Our final Pinkorama of the 10th Annual Pinkorama Contest comes from another powerhouse sister team!
Candace and Cassandra bring us “Carriage Troubles at the Peep-ford Arms” from Pink III, The Deception of the Emerald Ring.
In case it’s been a while since Pink III for you, Candace and Cassandra have included this handy dandy, put-your-coffee-down-before-you-snort-it-up-your-nose-laughing Dramatis Personae:
In Chapter 3 of The Deception of the Emerald Ring, the following peeps take part:
- Viscount Pinchingdale, Geoff the incorrigible romantic, who is reminded that gentlemen do not kiss women without looking first or you might end up with an unfortunate question about incest;
- Letty, the proper and practical Alsworthy, who is reminded that proper ladies should not leave home in their night rails;
- Martin “Frobbers” Frobisher and Percy “Perce” Ponsonby, the bon vivants, who continue to find the delight in drinking and catching some gossip; and
- MacTavish, the misogynist coachman, who is reminded that you can’t trust women.
And here’s the story:
In this scene of mistaken identities and unfortunate timing, Geoff has caught up to his carriage at the Peep-ford Arms and in his rush has mistakenly kissed Letty, to his unfortunate delight. Frobisher and Ponsonby, under some dubious timing, catch them in the act and delight in telling Geoff he has been caught by the oldest trick in the book. Letty tries in vain to say they are mistaken and to defend herself. Then to add to Letty’s woe, MacTavish takes the opportunity to add his take on her actions.
Here we are at the Peepford Arms! (Doesn’t that inn look quite convincingly like it’s been around since Tudor times?). And, really, no one looks happy here.
Of course, MacTavish, the grumpy coachman, is never happy.
Geoff is rather unhappy to have accidentally eloped with the wrong sister.
Okay, maybe Martin Frobisher is just a little happy to see Geoff discomfited. Percy, of course, is still trying to figure out exactly what’s going on. Not the brightest cravat in the bunch, don’t you know.
Try as they might, Geoff and Letty aren’t getting out of this one….
Check out those cunning fruit loop cobblestones! And that carriage! As always, Candace and Cassandra, I don’t know how you do it, but I’m so very, very glad that you do. Thank you for another amazingly rendered, entirely edible scene!
For your amusement, here’s a portion of the relevant scene from Pink III, The Deception of the Emerald Ring:
The moment was everything Geoff had known it would be.
After an initial startled gasp, his intended bride dissolved into his arms, returning his kiss with more fervor than she had ever shown before. They were on the verge of being married, after all. Amazing what a difference imminent vows could make.
Her hands, originally poised against his chest as though to push him back, slid slowly up to his shoulders and stayed there, as her head tilted back, her lips perfectly matched to his. Warm and soft beneath the voluminous folds of her cloak, she fit perfectly into his arms. The dark interior of the carriage closed around them like the velvet lining of a jewel box, blotting out the inn behind them, the unfortunate scents of the courtyard, and the very passage of time.
It was quite some time before it began to dawn on Geoff that she might be just a bit too soft. The arms encircling his neck were a little rounder than he remembered them, and her shoulder blades seemed to have receded. Geoff’s hand made another tentative pass up and down her back, without breaking the kiss. Yes, definitely smoother. It might just be the added padding of the cloak, but other discordant details were beginning to intrude upon Geoff’s clouded senses. Her fragrance was all wrong, not Mary’s treasured French perfume, but something fainter, lighter, that made him think without quite knowing why of the park at Sibley Court in summer. It was a perfectly pleasant scent, but it wasn’t Mary’s.
He was kissing the wrong woman.
In the sudden rush of clarity, Geoff arrived at another painful realization. The roaring noise he had been hearing, which he had cheerfully ascribed to the pounding of his blood in the heat of the moment, wasn’t coming from within at all. Someone was actually roaring, and not far away. The roar had a decidedly jeering quality to it, and it was coming from right behind him. Whoever it might be was clearly having a rousing, roistering good time—at Geoff’s expense.
Stiff with horror, Geoff pulled away, breaking the kiss with an audible pop. He could hear the woman in his arms, the woman who wasn’t Mary, draw in a ragged breath, as if she were just as shocked as he.
Devil take it, whom had he been kissing?
“Nice work, Pinchingdale!” called a voice behind him, and Geoff swung around, still poised on the steps of the carriage, to see Martin Frobisher saluting him in a gesture of exaggerated approbation. “I give that at least three minutes without coming up for air, don’t you, Ponsonby?”
As inebriated as his companion and slower on the uptake under any circumstances, Percy Ponsonby stumbled into the small circle of light cast by the carriage lamps and peered owlishly at the woman behind Geoff. “I say, Pinchingdale, what’s all this?”
All this was very clearly not Mary Alsworthy.
The woman so recently entangled with Geoff yanked back with enough force that her hood slipped back, revealing a confusion of ginger-colored hair that glinted like a fuzzy halo where the light struck the individual strands. It could not have been farther from Mary’s sleek fall of black hair, which ran silver and blue in the candlelight like a midnight stream. Mary’s eyes were delicately tilted at the corners; this woman’s were perfect rounds of shock, primrose to Mary’s sapphire. The only similarity lay in the lips, full and generous—although some more generous than others. Mary had never responded like that.
“Well, well, well,” said Martin Frobisher, rolling the word over his tongue like a fine port. “Well, well, well.”
Once he found a syllable he liked, he stuck with it till the bitter end. At least, Geoff was feeling bitter, not to mention decidedly unwell.
He had just been kissing his future sister-in-law. With considerable relish. That undoubtedly counted as incest under an obscure ecclesiastical law dating to the early years of the Reformation, complete with a punishment involving a sack, a beehive and a large pot of honey.
In his preoccupation with incest, Geoff realized he had completely missed a crucial step. What was Mary’s little sister doing in his carriage in the first place? He felt rather as though someone had just whacked him over the head with a very thick plank. Nothing made sense and the world was still spinning.
“If it isn’t little Letty Alsworthy,” continued Frobisher, looking like the cat who had gotten the canary that had fallen into the cream pot.
Letty Alsworthy very rapidly snatched her hood up over her head. “No, it isn’t,” she trilled from the depths, in a palpably false fluting soprano. “Can’t you see it’s Mary, you silly, silly man?”
Percy might be dim, but even he wasn’t that dim. He crossed his arms over his chest, peered into the carriage, and said, “No, you’re not.”
“How can you be so sure? It’s dark.”
For a moment, Percy wavered, swayed by the obvious truth of that last statement. He shook his head. “You’re still Letty. Can’t fool me there. They don’t look a’tall alike, do they, Pinchingdale?”
“No,” said Geoff grimly, “they don’t.”
This having been our last 2020 Pinkorama– and what a finale!– I’ll be posting the Round-Up and opening it up to voting tomorrow!