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Read Peachmonk Part 1

Peachmonk is a web novel made by John Eyerman.
This webnovel is presently completed.

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Peachmonk.

by John Eyerman.

I: BEGINNING OF THE TALE.

When one sees THE HONEY BEE constructing his little hexagonal CELL, and the SPIDERS weaving their webs and bridges, with all the accuracy of the ENGINEER, which operations are not ACCIDENTALS, one is inclined to ask: is one MAKING THE MOST OF ONE’S MIND? Candidly: I DON’T KNOW: perhaps not; but I do know from a scientific standpoint, the comparison is not permissible; still it makes ONE think. However, what is most apparent to me is that I am in THE CLUTCH OF CIRc.u.mSTANCES, and I have to write this tale; THEREFORE, ONCE UPON A TIME, as all stories should begin, a certain successful debutante, known as LADY ROSE’S DAUGHTER, THE LADY EVELYN, sat in her boudoir in THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT, IN LONDON TOWN, looking at THE FACE IN THE GIRANDOLE, and listening to THE CHIMES of the SILVER BELLS, announcing THE ELEVENTH-HOUR. This room, like THE CIRCULAR STUDY on the floor below, was hung with GOBELINS, between which, at regular intervals, were hung original DRAWINGS OF GAINSBOROUGH, the floor being covered with that world-famous textile, THE CARPET FROM BAGDAD, while upon a magnificent LOUIS XIV stand were some exquisite specimens of SALT-GLAZED STONEWARE, stamped with THE GREEN SEAL.

Through THE OPEN SHUTTERS came the VOICE OF THE STREET, and from distant KENNEDY SQUARE, the occasional bark of THE GOLDEN-GREYHOUND, intermingled with the soft lapping noise of THE MOVING OF THE WATERS in THE POND IN THE MARSHY MEADOW.

MAMZELLE FIFINE, her ladyship’s maid, was in the act of affixing THE JEWEL OF THE SEVEN STARS to her ladyship’s beautiful new Peqiun CREATION, when VIVIETTE, one of the parlour maids entered, carrying a box.

“MILADI,” said THE EXPERT MAID-SERVANT, “this box was left but a moment ago and DENIS DUVAL told me to bring it to your ladyship at once, as THE MESSENGER said it contained FAMILY SECRETS; there is a key in this sealed envelope.”

THE VERMILION BOX, upon being opened with THE DIAMOND KEY, disclosed A RED LILY, to which was attached a card bearing the short inscription, “LEST WE FORGET,” and the INITIALS ONLY, TO M. L. G.

NOW, the Lady Evelyn, being A DIPLOMATIC WOMAN, NOWADAYS, not unusual, expressed her astonishment in but seven WORDS, “AT LAST, THE TRUTH ABOUT THE CASE,” and continuing said, “Viviette, draw THE CRIMSON BLIND, see that MY STUDY FIRE is lighted, and ask ANN BOYD, the housekeeper, to come to me at once.”

The housekeeper entered almost immediately.

“Boyd,” said HER LADYSHIP, “I shall postpone MY IRISH JOURNEY, TO-DAY; I believe that before the TWELFTH NIGHT from now, I shall know who this GABRIELLE TRANSGRESSOR is, in fact I intend to know if it take FIVE YEARS TO FIND OUT; go to the Circular Study, and consult the last WHO’S WHO IN MUSIC AND DRAMA, and let me know what it says about MADEMOISELLE CELESTE of the Gaiety THEATRE; then telephone 2835 MAYFAIR, and ask WERNER, THE COUNT’S CHAUFFEUR to go to number NINETY-THREE, MANSFIELD PARK, to-night at nine o’clock, and finally tell BETTY THE SCRIBE to write a note of acceptance to the private seance of VERA THE MEDIUM; and this afternoon, if you care to, you may take your sister HELEN’S BABIES, SUSANNA AND SUE, to WUTHERING HEIGHTS to see the HYPOTEMNODON, or, if you prefer, to WAVERLEY to visit your UNCLE REMUS AND BR’ER RABBIT.”

II: INTRODUCES THE HERO.

THE Duke of Belleville, having arrived at THE STAGE DOOR of the Gaiety Theatre, just ten minutes late, had failed to keep his appointment, and had been informed by the door-man MR. PRATT that Mademoiselle Celeste had left word that he was to go on to the Savoy, where she expected to have supper and wanted the Duke to join the party.

The Duke, somewhat annoyed, but being made of THE RIGHT STUFF, as let us hope all gentlemen are, merely remarked:

“I shall go IN SEARCH OF MADEMOISELLE” and turning, he pushed his way through A MOTLEY crowd, the usual TYPES FROM CITY STREETS, regained his motor, at the same time deciding to FIRST go to his chambers, ROUND THE CORNER IN GAY STREET, to have a little chat with his friend, HENRY ESMOND, who had adjoining chambers and who was THE FIRST SECRETARY to THE PRIME MINISTER, and who was leaving on the morrow for EQUATORIAL AMERICA to study THE NEGRO PROBLEM and the AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY.

AT THE OPEN DOOR to his chambers, the Duke was met by his man, Jameson, who said,

“There is a LADY awaiting your Grace.”

“Well, Jameson, who is THE MIDNIGHT GUEST?”

“I really don’t know, your Grace, THE MYSTERIOUS STRANGER is closely veiled and will not give her name.”

“Very well, there is no ALTERNATIVE, I’ll see her, and, Jameson, remain within call.”

“GOOD EVENING, MY LADY OF DOUBT,” said the Duke, “may I ask to whom–great heavens, Evelyn, what are you doing here at this time of NIGHT? Surely the WORLD’S END IS NEAR; WHAT WILL PEOPLE SAY? Your independence, to say the least, is somewhat disconcerting; why not telephone?”

“JACK, you are positively hateful; I could not telephone my message–no EAVESDROPPER, I trust–I believe I am on the verge of discovering LORD CAMMERLEIGH’S SECRET, and I want you to accompany ME to-morrow to THE MATRIMONIAL BUREAU of THE PRINCESS DEHRA, that SORCERESS OF ROME, who has many LITTLE STORIES, LAID UP IN LAVENDER and can always find THE MAN HIGHER UP.”

“OH, I SAY, Evelyn, you certainly do lead A SINGULAR LIFE; you know I am not interested in these so-called TRUE STORIES OF CRIME and most unfortunately, too, I am taking THE 10.12 EXPRESS to Brighton; however, I shall be very pleased, you know, to go with you on Monday.”

“Thank you, JACK, but I AM AFRAID that is quite impracticable, and I am sorely disappointed: you certainly took more than a pa.s.sive interest in the recovery of THE EUSTACE DIAMONDS; now, it seems you never have the time for anything; of course it is well known that THE BEAUTY, this Gaiety star, always goes to BRIGHTON on Sunday, and I am told, by the 10.12 Express; I really do not understand your INFATUATION for this WILD WINGS; but I dare say it’s the WAY OF MAN, IN THE ARENA of course; it’s THE TREND of the times: however, MAJOR VIGOUREAUX will be only too delighted to go with me, but I wanted you, you foolish boy, you are certainly A CHANGED MAN, and I do hope you are not PLAYING WITH FIRE, but….”

“Beg pardon, your Grace,” interrupted Jameson, entering, “Detective-Inspector Morgan is below, and desires particularly to see your Grace.”

“Let him come up, Jameson, and conduct the lady to the North lift.”

“And, BY THE WAY, Evelyn, I’m opening the Eaton Square house and shall have a surprise for you: here, don’t forget THE VANITY BOX.”

“Well, JACK, good-bye, I suppose I’m turned out, MARION’S VACATION, begins next week, and I’m taking her to THE DOCTOR’S LITTLE GIRL, ELIZABETH HOBART AT EXETER HALL.”

“Inspector Morgan,” announces Jameson.

“Sorry to trouble you, your Grace: the lady….”

“Now, look here, MY MAN, the lady is my cousin.”

“EXCUSE ME, your Grace, I quite understand: no harm intended: I thought I recognized the LITTLE LADY as one of the LIGHT FINGERED GENTRY; beg pardon, I’m sure; I came particularly to ask your Grace’s aid regarding the so-called MYSTERIOUS MR. SABIN; we believe he was THE MAN INSIDE, THE MYSTERY OF THE MIDDLE-TEMPLE, although fortunately for himself, he keeps well WITHIN THE LAW; this slippery TENNESSEE SHAD was at lunch to-day with Miss Celeste of the Gaiety–nothing wrong with your Grace, I hope–great show on there; your Grace probably recalls the timely advice you gave us regarding THE CARLTON CASE; well, SIR MORTIMER, my chief, had HOPE that your Grace would again be able to advise us.”

“I fear not, in this case, Morgan, in fact I don’t want to stand in ANOTHER MAN’S SHOES, THE MAN IN THE BAs.e.m.e.nT was really responsible for that advice.”

“Then I shall INTERVIEW, THE LODGER; WHAT’S HIS NAME, your Grace?”

“That is OUT OF THE QUESTION, Morgan; you are like the DOG in the hands of the express company: you’ve eaten your TAG and don’t know where you are to go; too late; THE PEOPLE DOWNSTAIRS, I am told, left yesterday for TROIS SEMAINES EN FRANCE, which means, of course, SOJOURNING, SHOPPING AND STUDYING IN PARIS; and now you must go, as I have an appointment, long overdue; take a cigar, Morgan, from THE BRa.s.s BOWL, over there, and IN AFTER YEARS, you will remember that particular brand, as it is pure HEMP, and if you are going HOME, take that PURPLE FERN to your wife’s MOTHER, for a chance like this only comes ONCE TO EVERY MAN, and GOOD NIGHT.”

III: INTRODUCES MARJORIE.

MARJORIE’S VACATION was fast approaching its end; SHE and her friend MARIETTA, BY FORCE OF CIRc.u.mSTANCES, were conducting a flourishing TYPE-WRITING establishment, JUST BETWEEN THEMSELVES, at THE HOUSE ON CHERRY STREET, on THE SUNNY SIDE OF THE STREET, so that Pa.s.sERS-BY could see THE WAY UP, and they always allowed themselves, as a VACATION, LITTLE JOURNEYS of a fortnight’s duration IN THAMESLAND or among THE ALPS.

Marjorie and her very best friend, BETTY STANDISH, were seated under THE PLUM TREE, but obviously, not at a time when the fruit was over-ripe, in THE GARDEN AT NO. 19, in that historic spot, CHANTREY LAND, as the old village of Norton, DERBYSHIRE, is called, having just been served with a second instalment of TEA, by TILLIE A MENNONITE MAID, who carried with her, THE GLEAM of LOCAL COLOR. The girls had just had an exceedingly trying two hours’ visit from THE MAYOR’S WIFE, one of THE RAVENELS, and whose only TOPICS FOR CONVERSATION, IN A NUTSh.e.l.l, were invariably IN DEFENSE of her FAMILY; that she was following IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE BRONTES, and always ended with the statement that her BIG BROTHER, JOHN HENRY SMITH, THE ARCHDEACON, had ordered the removal of THE OLD PEABODY PEW, despite THE WARNING OF s.e.xTON MAGINNIS, that THE MONK’S TREASURE would not be found in that part of THE LONELY CHURCH of ST. JUDE’S and to-day, in addition to these thread-bare topics, she announced to her hearers, that ON GOING TO CHURCH, she had pa.s.sed AT CLOSE RANGE, LORD LONDON, and his SISTER CARRIE, taking some STRAY BIRDS and TOY DOGS to the ABANDONED, HILL-TOP FARM (to see the DOG STARS) and finally, that her husband, SIR JOHN CONSTANTINE, had always been A SERVANT OF THE PUBLIC: in fact, with the Mayor’s wife, it was always, I MYSELF and my family, and the young girls were at the point of collapse, when THE CRISIS came, and THE EGOTISTICAL I, lady took her departure.

BETTY had picked up the INEVITABLE, MRS. RORER’S COOKBOOK, for she liked THE FUN OF COOKING, in order to decide WHAT TO HAVE FOR DINNER, and with the HOPE of making an entire change in the SUNDAY NIGHT SUPPERS, for one can not subsist solely on BAKERS’ BREAD or CREAM TOASTS.

“BETTY dear,” said Marjorie, “I have come to the conclusion that THE CARD SYSTEM IN THE OFFICE is valueless to US.”

“Of course it is, if you say so; what does Marietta think? but listen; is that MUSIC or someone in distress?”

For from HERE AND THERE came the sound of MUSIC; Oh! such NERVE-racking, BROKEN MUSIC; Marjorie, at once, hastened to THE GIANT’S GATE, the last remnant of Blunderbore castle, which once occupied the site of the present house, to find the guilty person, and there discovered a wretched-looking individual, with two still more wretched-looking ANIMALS, which the man called THE TEDDY BEARS.

Now, as Marjorie believed, that in THE TRAINING OF WILD ANIMALS, one should first secure their FRIENDSHIP, she, WITH THE BEST INTENTION, gave each of the bears a piece of COTTAGE PIE, and this is no joke, either; for bears LOVE this particular kind of pie; as a matter of fact, DIDO THE DANCING BEAR, considers it THE RIGHT STUFF, and much prefers it to the flesh of THE SALAMANDER, and in A SPIRIT OF MIRTH, she gave THE IMMORTAL CHARLATAN some SIX PENNY PIECES, to take his PETS to NORTHANGER ABBEY, to SERENADE the Mayor’s wife, for, thought the young girl, harmless REVENGE is sweet, and moreover she may be AT DEATH’S DOOR, after the trying time she gave us.

“Betty, DEAR, I am so happy; we have had so many HAPPY DAYS and yet, I shall be glad to return to THE CITY OF PLEASURE; is it not strange that I, A MILLIONAIRE GIRL, should have to earn my own living, because of AN OPERA AND LADY GRASMERE? but what am I saying? THE DAWN OF A TO-MORROW is still far away; Horrors; there goes that fearful client of mine across THE LONG ROAD: I am frightened. WHAT IS COMING? what does she want here?”

“Marjorie, tell me, what is worrying you? let us be COMRADES IN ARMS; let me help you as I helped the FIVE LITTLE PEPPERS, IN THE LITTLE BROWN HOUSE; let me be THE CUSTODIAN of your secret.”

———-

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