All Bedlam Courses Past (part eighteen)
All Bedlam Courses Past
The Peculiar Nature of Logical Science
“Your name is Everard. I am Ryan-Neville.”
“What’s she want you to tell me?”
“To return to the fold. Words to that effect. The Towson has it you’re seeking work. Miss Gremot has a job for you.”
“Grave digging. I can’t keep that kind of company.”
“Now, sir. You may please yourself. But you must speak for yourself.” Ryan-Neville paused, and a smile played at the corner of his mouth. “Old gag of the Pilgrim fathers, wasn’t it?”
This was the foreigner who had the town atwitter.
Bouncing back to the veranda, Ryan-Neville arrested himself, idling Richard a step lower. The pasty-faced inmate was in speech. Miss Gremot rested her monitoring gaze on the patient, on the secretary, on Richard.
The patient closed his remarks with a rheumy screw of the eye. “All things unknown were made to be known, of course, by the Divinities. Mr. Ebrach says it’s whether to mortal ears, they can be made understood.”
“The Divinities,” Ryan-Neville said, conceivably to Richard, “are not the creators. They are mankind’s helpers, the guardian souls.”
“I don’t want him finding me. I don’t believe he’s sorry at all.”
“Connections,” Miss Gremot said, “come through the strength of desire, and so your father’s as well as yours…”
“Bad will can have the same intensity as good, Miss.” The patient flinched at her, eyes falling to the hand that worried a smock-button.
Ryan-Neville winked. “We’ll have the experiment. And most likely, have it again.”
“Yes,” the patient said. “I have time.”
“Manfred. I don’t think Richard knows everyone.”
Mrs. Jerome made shift to stand. Élucide touched her shoulder. The secretary—given name Manfred, as Richard must believe—took his cue.
“Mrs. Jerome, Mr. Unversaght. Everard.”
Not caring, Richard bumped past them all. To the wife of Honoré Gremot (who suborned himself to his cousins under the name of Jerome), he said: “Ma’am.”
“How do,” she said, with some pride. She took the hand of a child sprawled at her skirts, and waved it. “How do, how do.”
The child dropped her mouth, stared with a toddler’s absorption, and said, “How do! How do! How do!”
“How do you do, sir?” Richard said to Unversaght.
Unversaght looked pained.
All Bedlam Courses Past (part nineteen)
(2023, Stephanie Foster)