Inspiration for a new story!

I love this poem by Rudyard Kipling and it’s given me inspiration for a new story – coming soon! 

If you wake at midnight, and hear a horse’s feet,
Don’t go drawing back the blind, or looking in the street.
Them that ask no questions isn’t told a lie.
Watch the wall, my darling, while the Gentlemen go by!
Five and twenty ponies,
Trotting through the dark –
Brandy for the Parson,
‘Baccy for the Clerk;
Laces for a lady, letters for a spy,
And watch the wall, my darling, while the Gentlemen go by!
Running round the woodlump if you chance to find
Little barrels, roped and tarred, all full of brandy-wine,
Don’t you shout to come and look, nor use ’em for your play.
Put the brishwood back again – and they’ll be gone next day!
If you see the stable-door setting open wide;
If you see a tired horse lying down inside;
If your mother mends a coat cut about and tore;
If the lining’s wet and warm – don’t you ask no more!
If you meet King George’s men, dressed in blue and red,
You be careful what you say, and mindful what is said.
If they call you “pretty maid,” and chuck you ‘neath the chin,
Don’t you tell where no one is, nor yet where no one’s been!
Knocks and footsteps round the house – whistles after dark –
You’ve no call for running out till the house-dogs bark.
Trusty’s here, and Pincher’s here, and see how dumb they lie –
They don’t fret to follow when the Gentlemen go by!
If you do as you’ve been told, ‘likely there’s a chance,
You’ll be given a dainty doll, all the way from France,
With a cap of Valenciennes, and a velvet hood –
A present from the Gentlemen, along o’ being good!
Five and twenty ponies,
Trotting through the dark –
Brandy for the Parson,
‘Baccy for the Clerk;
Them that asks no questions isn’t told a lie –
Watch the wall, my darling, while the Gentlemen go by.

Rudyard Kipling

The Girl from the Sea – Chapter 16

The Girl from the Sea – Chapter Sixteen 

There was a knock at the door.  It was Pete.  “I thought you’d want to know, Captain.  There’s someone asking questions about the body – the fellow.  Nothing about a girl though.  He seemed to be more interested in a missing boy, about ten.” 

“Good work, Pete! Keep your eye on him whoever he is.”

“He won’t be hard to miss, Captain.  He’s an ugly fellow.  Scars all the way across his face.”

“What did you say?  Scars?”

“Aye, from his eye down to his lip, and crossing from nose to ear.  Nasty…”

“Keep an eye on him.  He’s got something to do with this.  Frankie has just told us about a fellow with scars across his face, but he thinks she was a boy.  We can’t let him find her, Pete.  We’ve got to keep her safe – she’s been through enough.”

 ***

“There are questions being asked on the boats, Captain.  People looking for a missing girl.  What should we do?  We haven’t told anyone about her being here, but somebody will find out about her soon.  You can’t hide her forever.”

“Who is it who’s looking for a girl?  It can’t be the same people – they thought it was a boy they took, not a girl.”

“They seem like decent fellows to me, young chaps.  They have their own boat and it looks to be decked out with fishing gear.”

“Maybe we should have a chat with them?  We’ll meet at the inn later.  Is Scarface still here too?  I’d like a look at him too.”

“Aye, still poking his nose in.”

Catch up on previous chapters here: 

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15

Alice and the Cheshire Cat

Quote

Continuing my “Alice in Wonderland” theme with the fabulous Cheshire Cat!  Just let go and follow any road into Wonderland. 

Alice and the Cheshire Cat

Alice and the Cheshire Cat

Alice asked the Cheshire Cat, who was sitting in a tree, “What road do I take?”

The cat asked, “Where do you want to go?”

“I don’t know,” Alice answered.

“Then,” said the cat, “it really doesn’t matter, does it?” 
― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

The Girl from the Sea – Chapter 15

The Girl from the Sea – Chapter Fifteen 

“Have you heard what’s happened?”  The whispers had started.  “A body’s washed up on the beach.”  “A body?”  “Aye a man.”  “Who is it?”  “Never seen him before, not that you can tell much from the state he’s in!”  “Really? That bad?”  “Black and blue, stabbed through the chest!”  “Stabbed!  Well I never!  Who would do such a thing?”  “No one round here, that’s for sure.”  “You never can tell though.”  “That’s true enough.”

The village whispers eventually got back to the Captain.  This was too much of a coincidence.  Two bodies within two days – there had to be a connection.  He needed to talk to Frankie himself and find out exactly what had happened.

***

“Frances – we know it wasn’t pleasant and you were in some kind of danger but we can help you!  Surely you can see that the situation has changed now?  We need to know what happened so that we can find these animals that did this.”  The Captain had relayed everything he’d heard to Frankie and it had visibly shaken her.  There was no doubt that there was a connection between the two of them.  Frankie was sitting at the kitchen table trembling as she remembered.  

“Nobody can help!  I couldn’t help him.  It was too late…he was dead when I saw him!”  she blurted out.  

The Captain and Esther felt as if they’d walked in half way through the story.  

“Of course you couldn’t have helped him Frances,” said Mrs Captain encouragingly, sitting next to her and taking her hand.  “It wasn’t your fault.”  She glared at her husband to try and make him go slower with the poor girl.   

“Who was it though?  Did you hear any names?  Could you describe them again?  Would you know them, if you saw them again?  How about the boat?  What sort of boat was it?”

“I don’t know!” she exclaimed.  “It was dark and…and…”  The image of the tall, dark captain was burned into Frankie’s face.  Scarface was there too. It wasn’t a face you were likely to forget.  “One of them had a scar – a cross shape on his face.  His breath stank too.   They were all big men.  Two of them carrying….him.”  She paused.  “Another one was in charge and then Scarface.  So four of them.  And him.”  She didn’t know how to refer to a dead body.  

“That scar would be memorable.  He would be easy to recognise, but  the others could be anybody.”  The Captain pondered.  “How about the boat?”

“Fishing boat, like my brothers’.  They put me in the cabin below to start, with….him…this man.”  She had her eyes closed now as she recalled the sounds and smells.  She swayed as if she was still at sea.  “Then we were up on deck and that’s when they pushed….”   She put her head in her hands on the scrubbed table top.  

“Did you hear any names?  Anything else at all?”

“There was one name….but I can’t remember!”

“Well that scar is the place to start.  Someone must know someone with a face like that. Sounds like a nasty piece of work!”

Catch up on previous chapters here: 

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14

Off with her Head!

A classic!  Love the book, love the Disney film, love the Johnny Depp film…

This is taken from one of my lovely hardback books that I had when I was a child.

Off with her head!

Off with her head!