At the Valliant home
Violet laid four papers on the table next to her couch. She had a morning to herself with no callers though Bertram had made extra pains to keep the room tidy, as several peope had left cards. There was a crudite of impolite vegetables that crunched, but the twins loved to graze like sheep and detested to be forced into a proper meal unless in the pretense of socializing. It had been a bad habit they had acquired with no mother, and a frequent absent father.
She read quickly and couldn’t make it through the day without reading anything. To expand her knowledge of the world. It was no longer for pleasure but for nourishment. She must learn more. Silly Romances about gloves and porridge were no sort of book for her anymore unless she was at sea.
Vance came out of his cellar hands blackened at the gloves and goggles sooty. He took them off to eat his snack? He sat down for a moment, taking a break from his experiment. “Four papers now, Sis?” He asked. “The papers of record in London. I am keeping abreast of current events.” She said. “Why read four?” Vance asked “It seems to me you only need one to tell explain what happened. Look at the Bible. That had four writers.” ”Well everyone has a right to their opinion.” Violet said.
Violet turned to her brother “I find that Journalism is a most intriguing study,” She said. “I think it is like nothing that has ever existed in the world. Why a war could transpire in America a half a world a way and we would know all of the details of it but a few weeks later, thanks to brave couriers as these.” She held up the paper, reflecting troubles in China.
Vance sunk back in the couch. “This will not be one of you passing fancies? Will it Violet?” Vance said.
”It’s not just a fancy.” Violet insisted. “Why one day the News will arrive at your door before you wake up. Before it even happens. Think of all the calamity and disorder that will be undone by that. Juliet will know the fate of her Romeo before she sets out the door. Invasions shall be repelled.” Violet said.
”Unless Romeo and Juliet take to shooting each other in the hearts with pistols. We are too busy for this.” Vance said.
” I am only trying to pick the most respectable papers. One that is not dripping with the current fad of sensationalism,” She said. “One not driven by tawdry headlines in block letters and tacky purple prose. One that is as stimulating as educational.”
Vance picked up a paper behind her of her pile of rejects. “Monster attacks again in the Heart of the City.” He shoved it in her face. “Sounds serious to me sister.” The young man stroked his chin and skimmed the paper, as he dangled it in her face.
”What? Is it some murder?” Violet was intrigued at first “A rape, a molestation, a scandal.” Violet was unusual in that while she had no prowess in hunting skills, she could recall the details of 3000 separate crimes of a most lurid nature. She was a very almanac of Vice and Infamy. And yet she still needed more.
“They are being quiet literal when they say monster.” Vance laughed at his sister’s expense. “But I see what you mean by stimulating and educational. You should have saved your coin.” ”What is this gibberish?” Violet said as she read. “They can’t publish that as real news. It’s not even real. I’ll bet there wasn’t a murder victim to begin with.” Vance dangled it before his sister. ”Don’t be cross Violet. You said everyone has a right to his opinion. And if this man believes that there is a conspiracy of the undead and gets paid for it.” Vance threw the paper in the dust bin, laughing at the anger on his sister’s face.
Violet couldn’t stand that one of her preoccupations was being belittled by writing of such poor quality. She took her paper from the trash. ”Why don’t you skip ahead to the part where they find the secret city of Leperocons?” Vance chuckled. ”Stop it. It’s not funny.” Violet said. Her brother went back to work.
She scanned the paper for the ridiculous tale. “Joseph P. Horrigan. Well then, I have a write to a pen as well.” She muttered to herself and went to her ladies desk, in her father’s office.