Our second Pinkorama comes from Sharon, who brings us… the wedding of the Purple Gentian from The Secret History of the Peep Carnation!
Even Bonaparte can’t stop true love. With the dastardly Gaston Delaroche thwarted, the unmasked Purple Gentian and the always undaunted Amy Balcourt take to the high seas– and matrimony.
It’s not every wedding that has a parrot instead of a choir! But the sea is blue, the deck is mostly solid, and the ceremony is possibly legal… so it’s all good, right?
Don’t you love Amy’s wedding veil and, of course, the parrot?
Thank you, Sharon, for bringing us this happily ever after moment!
For your amusement, here’s the scene in question from the very end of The Secret History of the Pink Carnation:
“Mother’ll probably insist on getting the Archbishop of Canterbury,” he muttered. “And how long does it take to prepare a wedding breakfast for five hundred people?”
“Five hundred people? Hmmm?” Amy yawned.
Richard seized Amy by the shoulders. Her eyelashes flew up. “Ships’ captains can perform wedding ceremonies, can’t they? It’s legal, isn’t it?”
“Did I miss something?” Amy scrubbed her eyes with her fists. “I’m sorry. I must have been dozing off. Five hundred ships’ captains…?”
“Let’s get married!”
“Wasn’t that the plan already?”
“No, I mean right now. Here. We can have the captain marry us. Whoever the captain is.”
“But why…?” Amy began bemusedly. Richard tipped her back over the rail of the ship for a long, searing kiss. Fortunately, Marston’s boat was in far better repair than the packet they had taken over, or they would have both been thrashing about in the waters of the Channel.
Amy’s face looked considerably less sleepy as comprehension dawned. “What a splendid idea.”
“Excellent!” Richard grabbed Amy’s hand and tugged her away from the rail. “Who’s acting Captain?” he hollered across the deck.
It was Stiles, striding across the deck, only…. Richard blinked. He couldn’t tell whether his hair was still dyed grey, because it was covered by a bandana of blinding red. One silver hoop swung from Richard’s butler’s ear. A white shirt billowed over breeches that had to have been deliberately frayed along the hems. And to top it all off, a stuffed parrot perched upon Stiles’ shoulder.
“Awk!” screeched the parrot.
Make that a live parrot, Richard revised.
“Arrr, I be the captain,” Stiles growled.
“Amy, you do remember my butler, Stiles, don’t you?”
“There’ll be no time for buttling on the high seas, me laddie,” Stiles grumbled darkly. “I’ll be busy fightin’ off the sea serpents and battlin’ the raging waves, waves that can bury a ship and none the wiser.”
“Ah, but can you perform a wedding service?”
With a great many arrs and expressions of nautical incomprehensibility, Stiles averred that he could, and went off in search of a Book of Common Prayer. As Marston’s crew hadn’t been much given to spontaneous religious ceremonial, the search proved fruitless. So Stiles improvised.
It wasn’t like any wedding Amy had ever imagined. The mid-morning sun shone down on them like a benediction. The air smelled of fish and brine; music was provided by the waves lapping against the keel; the wedding guests, Richard’s footmen, staggered from side to side with the rocking of the boat. Amy’s veil was a scrap of sailcloth, and the parson was an actor turned butler turned pirate, whose interpretation of the wedding service would have made the Archbishop of Canterbury take to his bed. Amy loved every moment. After all, if they were standing in the apse of Westminster Abbey, she rather doubted Richard would be allowed to stand with his arm around her waist and his head resting on hers. Nor would Richard have been permitted to kiss the bride for a full five minutes, which, the bride decided, would have been a sad loss.
“I do! Awk! I do!” croaked the parrot, who seemed to feel he had deserved a more central role in the ceremony.
Amy’s eyelids fluttered open as the long kiss ended. “I’m not sure this is entirely legal, but I don’t really care.”
Richard grinned, and swept his new, if perhaps not entirely legal, wife up in his arms, and kissed the tip of her upturned nose. “I adore you, Amy. I really do.”
Join me here tomorrow for Pinkorama #3!