I chose this painting by Millais
I chose this painting by Millais because
Dudes…can we lay off please, or you so know what is going to happen to that Hamstah Week? And that will sorely disappoint your fans.
Now then, I chose that painting…well..all right, I never chose it as such
No, I sort of wasn’t actually. What I was going to say was
Yeah. Look at that pink pig there with flying wings. Isn’t it pretty?
I just find my inspiration in the ordinary, as you can see……
And that painting did inspire this scene in Loving Lady Lazuli, which is as much as I am going to share with you today.
“I’m tellin’ yer, soddin’ ‘ell, I’m tellin’ yer, yer can’t. Yer…”
“Just take his feet. Do it will you?”
His feet? Devorlane clicked his tongue in the hope of nudging Mephisto closer. The beast was finicky and he didn’t particularly want to be caught where Lord Koorecroft had told him not to be. Although, when he considered it, Lord Koorecroft’s specifics had been shrubberies. Shrubbery? He wasn’t even on her damned property, was he?
Whose feet and why, was what he had the burning urge to discover.
Of course, he could be mistaken about that. Maybe it wasn’t feet at all? Maybe it wasn’t anything?
“Pearl. The spade…”
The instruction was faint but, no, he did not mistake it. A spade. A spade and feet. A spade and feet meant one thing. He’d seen enough death to know.
He dismounted and crept one or two steps down the incline through the faint mist coiling around his boots. The dew soaked them with each mushy step. If this baggage was down there with a spade, he must be careful.
For that matter it might be his feet she was instructing Pearl and Ruby to get. Look at the things she’d managed to turn around on him so far. From sticking the Wentworth emeralds in the pocket of his best breeches, to bleating to Lord Koorecroft about the big bad Chessington wolf being in her shrubbery.
He turned and clapped Mephisto’s neck. It was better if he sent the animal back to Chessington.
Keeping low, Devorlane tiptoed to the tree at the foot of the incline. The vantage point was not so good from there, but he thanked Christ for at least being able to bring the throb in his thigh under control.
“Oh!” that other serving girl, Pearl, wailed. “What’s that noise? What’s that noise, Rube? Listen. Do you hear it?”
He froze to the tree bark. The possibility existed they could just be gardening. It was the time of year for that, wasn’t it? Hell on earth, he’d been so long away from a garden of any sort he couldn’t remember.
“Only sound I don’t ‘ear is the soddin’ sound of yer bleedin’ diggin’. Put yer back inter it, yer lazy trout. Bleedin’ ‘ole won’t dig itself.”
A hole? There was only one kind he could think of. He’d thought of it when he’d edged down the hill. But now he’d done so his mouth dried. Shock, that he knew he must squash if he was still to have the element of surprise and turn this to his advantage, clutched his gut. Not who. Why? That was the thing he needed the answer to. Then he could go to Lord Koorecroft. It would be the end of her. There would be no passing off a corpse in her garden as a servant of the realm.
“But, Rube, I only got a trowel.”
“I don’t care if you’ve only got a spoon. Do what Ruby says.”
Her voice. He’d wondered, hadn’t he, that night, about what particular level of gutter-snipe she was. What hole she’d crawled from, for all the brilliant mantle of her entirely faked refinement never slipped for a second. Those words, that husky, slightly rough undertone , said maybe not a center of the earth one, but certainly one deeper than that grave they were obviously digging.
“But, Cass. Cass, listen. I swear I’m not imagining it. I can hear it. What if it’s—”
“Are you stupid? Devorlane Hawley’s nowhere about. He can’t be. I assured it.”
“I wasn’t thinking Lord Hawley. What if it’s Gil?”
“Oh, ‘ow the bleedin’ ‘ell can it be Gil? Jeesus-sake. Ain’t that Gil. Ain’t that only Gil there? Dead as the soddin’ dodo.”
“Ruby’s right, the dead don’t walk.”
Devorlane crept forward. Oh, didn’t they? He did not believe this, these words he had just heard, but now was the time to get through the border of bramble and bracken, to sidle with the broken wall beneath his fingertips, and to peer, with a clawed breath, at the coronet of women, laboring in the cold of the early winter sunlight, digging, with a kind of desperation. At least she was.
A kind of something else too. His eyes unfortunately roamed the nicely rounded curve of her buttocks clearly outlined by the clinging gown. Soft. Velvet. The exact color of her eyes too.
When the throbbing ache in his thigh was under control for the first time today, why give himself another? Especially when her husband’s days of peace and tranquility had ended sooner than any of them anticipated by the looks of this. What seeped through the barrier of the sheet? Had she perchance assisted with his demise?
The thought determined him. Here was his chance. He was soldier enough to know there was dissent in the ranks. And man enough not to fear three women.
After all, what could they do to him, he thought, as he now stepped forward.
Copywrite Etopia Press.