I’m getting down to the end of THE WOLVES OF PORT NOVO, the book formerly known as EEL’S REVERENCE.
In this bit, Aunt Libby (the elderly Priest of Micah whose presence was the catalyst for the book’s action) is given a message from Aunt Isabella, who is holding a huge bunch of people hostage, and will free them if Aunt Libby gives herself over. Aunt Libby’s friends have been preventing her from doing so.
Aunt Libby Takes A Drink
excerpt from THE WOLVES OF PORT NOVO
by Marian Allen
I forced a smile. “You must be thirsty after your dusty ride. Uncles Phineas and Gregory will be back directly, and you can give them your message, too. Won’t you come in?”
“I’ll wait here, in the open, if it’s all the same to you.”
“Will you take something to drink?”
“If you’ll drink first.”
I laughed and went in, shooing the others before me. I came back with a decanter and a goblet. I poured a splash into the goblet, raised it to my lips and tipped it up. I poured another splash and handed it to the veiled warden.
He had a nice, long look at me. I looked back, smiling indulgently. At last he swirled the liquid in his goblet and tossed it off.
“Another?” I said.
“Thanks, Auntie. Not so sparing, this time. It isn’t yours, is it?”
“No, it isn’t mine.” I filled the cup and watched him drink it.
Constantine came out and stood beside me. “Good, isn’t it?” he said. “Most people enjoy the taste.”
“Ver’ good,” said Aunt Isabella’s warden. “Wha’ izh’t?”
“Works quickly, too. And absolutely harmless. Unless you happen to fall off a horse –” Constantine darted forward and helped the groggy warden to the ground.
I called Isaac out.
“Can you make him comfortable somewhere?” I asked.
“I’ll take his gear off and put him in with Reynold.”
“Cousin Constantine, can you help me mount?”
“Are we going now?”
“Please don’t,” said Isaac. “After all we’ve risked to get you here and make you safe, how can you –”
“Well, I like that,” I said. “I suppose I snuck into your cottage while you slept and threatened your lives if you wouldn’t stuff me into your basement.”
“Clare didn’t exactly kidnap you. She only asked if you’d come to us. You agreed.”
Fair enough. That was true. “I’m sorry for your trouble,” I said gently. “We have to go. Give Uncles Gregory and
Phineas the warden’s message. I can’t bear to wait. I can’t take the chance the Uncles will try to stop me again.”
Cousin Constantine kicked up the horse, and we trotted into the street.
“You handled that warden beautifully,” he said to me.
“I should hope so,” I said. “When the time comes I can’t fake a swallow, I go into a Retreat.”
A WRITING PROMPT BASED ON MY POST: A character escapes from friendly imprisonment.