At present one of the projects I’m working on is another Historical Story, set in the Regency era. I am having great fun with it and the tale should be finished before Christmas.
As ever the research for the story is what takes me the additional time, and its always the tiny things I have to double check. Here are my two completed Historicals, and a snippet from each.
Charles thumped a fist on the bar of the Cross Keys Inn. “Molly, I’m home, and I’d relish a bottle of your best port wine! I’ve a surprise for you.”
Molly bustled out from the kitchens, wiped her hand on her apron, and opened a bottle. “Surprise, Charlie? What surprise?” She poured, and the wine glugged into a narrow-stemmed glass.
He took the glass and bent to whisper in her ear, showing her the small, slender gold-colored band rolling in his palm.
“No! Dear Lord a mercy. When did you find a bride?”
“Tuesday last week, and she’s a rare beauty. The license already lies in Mr. Knox’s hand.” He slid the ring back into his pocket but didn’t add that beneath the delicate Meissen loveliness of the woman he’d met he’d found the heart of a Billingsgate fishwife who bargained as hard as a Dutchman.
Moll clasped his cheeks between her palms and planted a kiss on his lips. “When’s the wedding to be?”
“On the morrow, I lay down my freedom at eleven of the clock at St. Saviour’s in Turn Again Lane. Mr. Knox will officiate. By eleven thirty I’ll be a married man and leave for Cranly in Gloucestershire.”
“Oh, Charlie, I’ll miss you.” She stood back, her warm hands still cupping his face.
“There’s more. Here, you give this to Tom; it should be the full accounting but let me know if it’s not enough.” He dug in his inner pocket and drew out a moneybag.
“Where did you get this?” Moll weighed the heavy bag in her palm.
“Luck was with me last night,” he lied, confident she’d not notice his missing sword or the gold signet he rarely wore. Both had been sold to pay her and Tom his longstanding bill. What was left had paid the fee for the wedding, the price of a new coat to be wed in, and the hire of a coach and driver to take him and his bride to Cranly.
“I knew the angels were looking out for you. I’ve always known it. Let me give this to Tom, and we’ll share a bottle together.”
“Indeed, more than one I would think. I’ve invited some gentlemen and ladies I know to join us here tonight. I must celebrate my last night of freedom before I become a married man.”
“Of course you shall, my handsome. I’ll tell Tom to stoke up the hearth in the kitchen. Set them lazy wenches to work. There’ll be drink and food for everyone, a real Cross Keys carousal. Ah, my dear lad, I couldn’t be more pleased. No one deserves a better bit of luck than you.” Moll kissed him, and carrying his purse as though it were the crown jewels, she strode through to the kitchen.
“Stand and deliver!” echoed through the window glass.
What a nuisance! She threw the door open and shouted, “I have little of value, and don’t shoot the coachman. He’s unarmed.” She stepped out, pulled up her hood. The wide wealth of evening sky, the deep azure blue she’d always loved, spread over the treetops. A lone star shone above. Some feet from the coach a figure on horseback stood in shadow. He sat wrapped in a dark cloak, his silhouette topped with a tricorn hat. As rider and mount approached, the horse danced and sidestepped beneath the pressure of a curb bit. He steadied the animal then his pin point gaze from the eye slits in his mask focused on her.
She could give the rogue little, other than her clothes chest. Perhaps he might have a use for a dozen flounced petticoats.
“I have nothing but my gowns,” she called, but he continued to advance. She stood her ground and looked up at him astride the dark gray horse.
“Ye travel alone?” His voice, muffled behind his black scarf, threatened with its deep tone.
“Yes.” She didn’t bother to add more.
“None. What I had, I left in London with a bigger thief than you.”