Sunday, August 8, 2010
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Monday, November 23, 2009
Jock sat on the bank casting his fly rod as Stefania sat nearby her sketch pad in hand her hands busy as she roughed out another sketch of Jock fishing.
“I hope you have moved onto a more fitting subject,” Jock joked as he placed his fly just where he wanted it.
Stefania smiled. “My grandfather would say the same thing when I would visit him at Lake Como,” she smiled her cheeks dimpling as she continued to draw.
Jock grinned and continued on with his fishing.
“Any sign of Steede and Peele?” John asked as he set down a large hamper overflowing with food and drink.
“Saw them out earlier nosing around the shore near the ruins,” Rebecca said. “They were acting like a couple on holiday.”
“Really? Are they still using that cover? I think every agency on the continent is aware of that ruse,” John replied as he spread a large wool blanket over the ground.
“It seems a bit odd to be having a picnic this time of year,” Rebecca smiled as she knelt down.
“It is a bit chilly I admit, but,” John deftly removed the cork from a bottle of champagne. “I know that Skye is not the destination of The Saltire.”
Rebecca raised an eyebrow. ‘And you know this how?”
John grinned. “ I charted the currents from North America to here, they will make landfall in a day or two just to the north. Jock being close at hand was just a bonus.”
Maureen adjusted her camera’s lense and snapped pictures in rapid succession of Steede and Peele.
“Smile for the camera Miss Peele,” Steede said grinning, we seem to have attracted company.”
“One of the lady’s I see, he does have quite the industrious little harem.”
“Why MIss Peele, do I detect a hint of moral outrage?”
“What ever gave you that Idea?” Miss Peele smiled her eyes twinkling. “Trying to cover your hidden desire’s for your own?”
“Miss Peele! I would never desire,” Steede paused and looked down the glen, ‘Such an outmoded and barbarous institution!”
Maureen shook her head chuckling as the exchange carried across the glen. “John wishes he had a harem too,” she said softly too herself as she began to pack up the large camera. It took several minutes to break down the large camera and its components, placing them in their slot in the large carrying box.
“Grant!” The loud firm voice of Captain Panache traveled the length of the the airship The Saltire. “Report to the bridge!”
Grant set down his wrench and adjusted his golden flowing locks. He took his time working his way up from the bowels of the airship until he stood upon the open bridge.
“Reporting as ordered Captain,” he said standing there before Panache.
“Yes, Grant, have you been sending off those misleading reports as I requested?” Panache gave his crewman a stony gaze as he absently flicked his fly whisk about.
“Of course Captain, I always follow orders don’t I?” Grant said gazing at Panache.
“Except when you don’t,” came a rumble followed by laughter further down the bridge.
Grant shot daggers in the general direction of the laughter. Panache raised his hand and the laughter stopped abruptly.
“Good, we make landfall on the morrow. I expect you to have done your job well and that we shall be met by officials of Alba’s government so we can quickly go about our business. “
“Of course Captain,” Grant said staring ahead.
“Hmmm, yes,” Panache eyed Grant. “Crew, break out your number one kilt uniform, we must make a favorable impression after all. Grant, you may return to your duties.” Panache turned and took the wheel of The Saltire.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
John McBride stared out at the Dumfries skyline as he sipped at his tea. The late fall rains had been falling for over two weeks now swelling the River Nith as the rain swept clean the city streets. John turned and walked over to Rebecca who was reading the Dumfries Daily. Without looking up she held out a silver flask which he tipped into his cup pouring a medicinal dram of single malt into his tea.
“Thank you dear,” John said as he give his tea a quick stir as the door to the drawing room opened and William Earl of Argyll entered.
“Sorry to keep you waiting, business of the crown and all that.” The Earl set a file down on the table and went over to the tea pot and poured himself a cup. “Good job on that last bit of business,’ he said as he took a chair.
“Thank you. We’re looking forward to spending some time on the continent catching some sun,” John answered as he drained the dregs of his cup.
“I imagine you are but I’m afraid that will have to wait.”
Maureen and Stefania set down the cards in their hands and gazed upon the Earl. Rebecca stood and went to John’s side.
The Earl continued,” We have received information that may be of the utmost importance to Alba.”
“Go on,” John said neutrally.
“Britannia’s colonial troubles may soon wash upon our shores. We’ve received intelligence stating that a rebel airship known as The Saltire is heading towards our western borders, possibly the Isle of Skye.”
“The colonies want to draw us into the conflict on their side,” Rebecca said.
“That is a possibility,” acknowledged the Earl. “We don’t know, there has been no official communication between them and his majesties government.”
“Then why are we being involved?” John asked as he poured himself a port after offering one to the Earl who accepted.
“We have an informant aboard. A crewman by the name of Grant. He says the Captain is a rogue who will wreck havoc upon any who get in his path.”
“Sounds rather fanciful to me, like some penny adventure story,” John smiled.
“We thought so a first, but this grant chap provide information that has since then been proven accurate.” The Earl handed rebecca the file. “We are not going to take any chances. His majesty wants to send Princess Mary to the continent in a few weeks. The timing is bit too much of a coincidence for our liking.”
“Oh my! This Grant has a high opinion of himself,” Rebecca said as she looked through the file. Maureen and Stefania both looked at her questioning. “Golden flowing locks, pert firm buttocks.” Rebecca let out a laugh as Maureen joined her and Stefania turned away blushing.
“Yes, his dispatches have been a mixture of grandiose bragging and terror ridden pleading,” the earl noted as he sipped his tea and reached for a lemon biscuit.
“Mender of Weasels, Big Mikey, Captain...Panache? This all sounds like the fancy of some day dreamer,” Rebecca said as she closed the file.
“It is rather unusual I agree,” the Earl said, “But with the increased tensions within Britannia and her colonies, his Majesty feels we must be treat this situation with the utmost seriousness.”
Maureen and Stefania had put away their cards and were gathering up their purses. Rebecca slipped the file into a folio she carried with her.
“We’ll look into it,“ John said with a slight bow to the Earl. “LAdies?” he held open the door for them.
“It may come to nothing John, but his majesty is duly concerned.” The Earl rose from his chair.
Maureen, Stefania, and rebecca murmured their farewells and exited.
“John? We are not sure this Grant chap can be trusted, be careful, King Robert would like you to accompany Princess Mary in a few weeks.”
“It would not do to disappoint his majesty,” John answered. “Good day and he tucked his hat under his arm, gave a nod and was out the door.
To Be Continued……...