Oct. 6th, 2008


Note to Mr. Belgrave

Mr. Thos. Murray begs the pleasure of Mr. Belgrave's company for a walk, at his convenience, and hopes that Mr. Belgrave will inform him of an agreeable time by return. He also hopes that this note finds Mr. Belgrave in good health, and happy.

Sep. 25th, 2008


Open to all -- market day

The air was crisp, the sky a clear blue and the marketplace was buzzing with news as parts of conversations drifted across the gathering.

"Did you hear? The sheriff's gone missing!"

"Well I heard they've asked that Jonas Wilder to step in, be in charge."

"I went out to look at that rift my children heard about. It doesn't look safe at all. I've forbidden them to go out there again."

"And then he just hugged him, right there!"

The crowd fell silent as an elaborately dressed woman with a large piece of paper rang a bell and stepped into the middle of space. Her red and gold robe, white breeches, black boots and a tricorne hat caught everyone's attention.

"Oyez, Oyez, Oyez!" she shouted in a voice that could be heard throughout the market. "These are the proclamations, bylaws, market days adverts and sundry notes of importance for the City of LeChance for the week of September the twenty-first, in the year of our grace eighteen hundred and seventy-three, the right and honorable LeRoy LeChance, mayor, and spoken by your most humble servant Anastacia Mason on this twenty-fifth day of that month."

She paused to catch her breath and to make sure all were paying attention, then glanced at her paper.

"The mayor would have it noted that in the absence of Sheriff William Bowbuck, he has asked Chief Deputy Jonas Wilder to act in his stead and has given him all rights and privileges of that office until such a time that William Bowbuck should be recovered or his body found. The mayor commands all residents to accord Acting Sheriff Wilder with the respect and allegiance due that office."

"Furthermore, anyone with knowledge of the whereabouts of William Bowbuck or details of his disappearance should present themselves immediately at the sheriff's office for inquiry."

Another pause and the town crier looked around the crowd. This part was sure to get a reaction if for no other reason than that it broke a long-standing tradition.

"Furthermore, in his office and capacity as yenta, the honorable and worthy LeRoy Lechance would have these Marriage Banns read and announced for the first time:

Mr. Jonathon Stanton to Mr. Benjamin Simoneaux
Mr. Jonathan Ibis to Miss Effield Gallehawk
Miss Delphina Salas to Miss Harriet Palmer
Mr. Julien MacKallister to Mr. Theodore Nordstrom

If there are those among you who know reasons why these matches should not be allowed to progress, they are commanded to present themselves to the yenta to give such information as is right and proper."

A few more minor announcements about sales and market hours and the woman rolled her paper and made a final salute before moving through the crowd. She would repeat the news throughout the town all day but she knew most of it would be spread before she got to her next post.

Sep. 18th, 2008


Wednesday, Amy

Thomas arrived at the hotel promptly at 3:25, in the company of a young married lady by the name of Ms. Peters who had become a regular customer in his shop and been delighted to agree to his rather hesitant request for her chaperoning services.

He sent his card up to Ms. Mias to announce his arrival, and waited in the salon, conversing amiably with Ms. Peters about the remarkable happenings in Mr. Collins' latest novel.

Sep. 16th, 2008



Delivered to Ms. Sheedy's hotel, for the attention of Ms. Amy Mias:

Mr. Thos. Murray requests the pleasure of Ms. Mias' company to take tea on Wednesday afternoon at 3:30pm, and begs the indulgence of her response.

A suitable chaperone will be arranged.

Sep. 12th, 2008



Simon had cleaned up the few broken bottles that had toppled from shelves during the earthquake. The sweeping he did now was just to clear dust out of the shop proper. He had the door open and he was whistling as the broom bristles whisked over the floorboards.

He checked before he flicked a cloud of dust outside, not wanting to spatter anyone passing by with it. Then he leaned there, against the handle, and smiled at a passerby. "Good day!"

Sep. 10th, 2008


Delivered to Mr. Belgrave's shop

Mr. Thos. Murray hopes that Mr. Simon Belgrave will accept and appreciate the enclosed token of his esteem in gratitude for receiving him to tea last week. He found the visit most agreeable and hopes to be granted the pleasure of Mr. Belgrave's company again in the near future.

Enclosed is a volume of herbal remedies indigenous to the environs of southern California.

Sep. 9th, 2008



Jonathan had woken to his bed shaking. After his later to certainly denied yell, roll out of bed, and instinctive covering of his head, listening for the thundering roll of canon fire that never materialized. He took a few deep breaths before rolling into a stand, pulling on his trousers and a jacket over his long johns and heading outside to make sure there weren't any problems.

Aug. 29th, 2008


Friday 3pm, Simon Belgrave

Once his note had been returned, Thomas hadn't seen any sense in waiting around. After all, Mr. Belgrave had indicated a willingness to receive him on Friday afternoon, and 3 was a respectable time to call. It also meant that he would have the weekend clear to make the final arrangements to actually open his store on Monday morning.

Hoping that Mr. Belgrave would not be offended by his promptness, he arrived a little before three, and left his card at the front desk to be conveyed to Mr. Belgrave to announce his arrival, taking the chance to bespeak the services of one of the hotel's chaperones for their meeting at the same time. Then, flapping the tails of his coat neatly aside, took a seat on one of the benches in the lobby, and awaited the gentleman's convenience.

Aug. 28th, 2008



Letters to Ascendants )

Beloved )

Aug. 25th, 2008



A new morning, a new town, a new start. Thomas had located a building that would do excellent well for his store the previous week, and arranged for a joiner to install shelving. A visit to a local auction house had neatly supplied tables and sundry chairs, and the till would be delivered in another week.

This, though. This was his favorite part. The crates of books had arrived early on Monday morning, and he was humming to himself as he unpacked them, laying them out on tables until he could decide where each subject would most suitably sit in each location. When the bell above the door chimed, signifying that it had opened, he turned, a volume of philosophical essays in his left hand and a rather flustered smile on his face.

"I'm terribly sorry, the store isn't actually open yet. May I help you?"