The Plot Thickens

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  How Ponting had ended up here he had little recollection, or at least any recollection he was willing to recollect. Maudlin ding-donged the doorbell with a mix of excitement and nerves beside him.

  “Calm yourself, brother, the hosts will not bite.”
  “But what if they understand my intentions sooner than I would have them? I’m sure Williams still holds something for Bethany.”
  “I wouldn’t be suprised if he ran you through,” Ponting added, smiling a little. His brother squeaked as a maid opened the front door, bowing them in. Ponting strode in unabashed and – hesitantly – Maudlin followed.
  “Confidence, brother, confidence,” he whispered as Mr. Williams descended the grand staircase towards them.
  “Brothers Grimm!” he boomed, opening his arms as if they were old friends. Truthfully they had only met on occasion at events held by mutual friends, but Windsortown was as far away as any place from Stirrupshire and Mr. Williams had learnt long ago to stay discernations when it came to company.

  “Mr. Williams,” Ponting said, nudging his brother into action, who had until now been feverantly glancing at the twin swords above the mantle.
  “Mrs Williams,” Maudlin said, then – suddenly realizing his mistake, corrected himself. “Mister, I meant mister,” he said, laughing nervously. Ponting and Williams shared a cocked eyebrow before he led them into the sitting room.
  “Mrs Williams will be down in just a moment,” he assured them, evidently irritated by her tardiness as he glanced towards the staircase behind them. Maudlin took the time to compose himself, taking three deep breaths and reminding himself that murder was still a crime, no matter how far out in the sticks they were.

  “Is there a local constabulary about these parts?” he asked nervously. Ponting ran a hand down his face in disgust. His brother had always been nervous in polite society, but this was becoming ridiculous.
  “Yes, I’ve often thought it was a capital offence,” Mr. Williams said with a wink.
  “What?” Maudlin asked.
  “The lateness of one’s wife. If it was, Franny would have been hung, drawn and quartered a hundred times over!”
  Ponting laughed with Mr. Williams and Maudlin simply chuckled. Just as he was becoming comfortable the real mark of todays outing entered, in a simple olive dress and looking positively worn out; Francesca Williams.

  “Oh dear,” Maudlin said aloud, knowing all too well the feelings bubbling in his chest, “oh dear oh dear.”
  Oh shit, thought Franny. 

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~ by Joseph Blame on March 23, 2011.

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