The Noble Coachman Chapter 12

Available Amazon Kindle

 

Chapter 12
An Affair to Remember

 

The Inspector had a long talk with Lord Caldwell. Marshall was convinced the two occurrences to Caldwell’s women were related. For a year, he and the other law officers had been looking for any man with a patch over one eye. Many had been questioned, and alibis had been checked as well as they could. It was rare if any of them could remember where they were when Mary Caldwell was beaten to death. The coroner said the man was missing his left eye. From the state of Mary’s hands and nails, the possibility of the person having other scars near the other eye was high. Marshall had finally resigned himself to it being a vagrant passing through, but with this second Caldwell woman missing, initial doubts began to resurface.

Squeaks took no time in visiting her father in his room. She talked about her day, which felt better than the day before. She said that Kip was there once more, but would not be tomorrow. She would be on her own, come morning.

As she sat and ate her dinner with him, she said, “I’m going out this evening.” Clyde Dorset huffed out his displeasure, causing pain in his leg as he twisted about.

“Who are you going out with? You are not taking the carriage alone, young lady.”

“Yes, father you are right. I am not taking any carriage from here at all, and driver Kip invited me to ride footman tonight. He has an elegant affair and a client to drive.”

“He asked you to go with him? Does he need a footman so badly that he has to ask you?”

“Father, you are making me sound unworthy. No, he is going to teach me about night driving.”

“But you are riding as rear footman. Do you even know how to do that?”

“Father, I have been with you constantly, for many a year now. I open doors. That is it. There is no baggage. How hard can it be?”

“We use no rear footman. How is he going to teach you with you on the back?”

“I will ride on the bench until we pick up his fare.”

“You cannot wear His Lordships livery, you know.” Clyde couldn’t imagine Squeaks wanting to ride in the rear.

“Yes, I know, but I think Jimmy has a black footman livery I can wear.”

“Men’s clothes? Sweetheart, no woman does that. Do you have a skirt you will wear over it?”

That was the signal that her father would approve.

 

#

 

It was quarter past the hour when Kip rolled into the back of the estate in The Queen Mary. He had not expected Squeaks to go with him but thought she would be there to decline. He descended from his perch to talk with one of the grooms.

Calling out to one, “Is Miss Dorset about?”

“Who?”

“He’s asking about me, Bradley,” said Squeaks appearing from inside the stable. It was a dark night, but Kip could easily tell she was dressed as one of Lord Stokes’s footmen, black tails and a top hat that barely kept from covering her eyes. It sat on the bridge of her nose.

As Squeaks walked towards Kip, he rolled his fist to cover his mouth and stifle the smile he had at seeing her in men’s clothes.

I feel like I am being ambushed. She is stealing my life.

 

“If I could only draw her strutting towards me, pulling at her gloves and smiling,” he sighed to himself.

She walked straight to him and peered into his smiling face. “Will this do? This is the best we have.”

Kip wanted to pick her up, hug her, and spin her around for the joy she was giving him. His heart raced at the sight of this noble urchin. He knew he was in love there and then. At that moment … his life changed forever. He would not find a way forward without her.

“I cannot believe you found a way to do this and a footman’s real livery. I am stunned. I shall never doubt you again. Yes, it will do most splendidly. Perhaps in future, I will buy a hat that fits you, but I assume you are trying to pass as a man. Of course, that will not work, but I love your look all the more.”

Squeaks smiled. “What do you mean I cannot pass for a man? I’ve tried very hard to hide my hair and keep this hat on. I have taken all the snickering from the staff that I can stand. My father is laughing himself to tears, upstairs. I was going to wear a skirt over the pants but thought that might embarrass you to your client. So, this is what I am. Does it look good with the footman uniform with these high boots covering the legs? You did not tuck your trousers into your boots tonight.”

“You may want to pull the trousers over your boots for this evening. We are in tails, and we dress a bit differently. Ahem … I only see one failed attempt at being a man, but you are more charming than I could have hoped for. I just may have to kiss you before the night is over.”

“I insist that will be my payment.  Where did I fail? Should I get my father’s watch and chain? Wave to my father. He is watching out of the window.”

“We will talk about this failure later,” Kip stated as he looked where Squeaks pointed and waved, showing a very broad smile.

Squeaks made Kip turn in a circle to appreciate his effort of elegance. “You look most handsome, Sir Kip.”

He bowed to her. “Would madam like to see the coach interior?”

“Madam would.” Squeaks followed Kip to The Queen Mary, and he opened the polished brass door handle. He pointed out the stepping mechanism, which was shining and well oiled. Squeaks liked the broader step that it offered the ladies in fancy shoes. She entered and sat on the most comfortable seat she could imagine. Seats on both sides. They were much softer than the traditional horsehair-stuffed seating. Overwhelmed with fragrance, she touched the flowers in the vases on each side of the coach. There was an embedded torch lamp that could be lit but seldom was. Also, a window at the back with a courtesy drape to be unfurled if one wanted privacy.

“Kip, I have never seen a finer coach, including His Lordship’s. This is exquisite. You are exquisite. This is a fairy tale for me, and to think I will be part of it.” Squeaks left the coach as time was wasting, and she asked Kip where she would stand later and what he wanted her to do. Was she to open doors or was his client expecting him to do it? Was she just for show?

Inside, Kip was bursting with emotions. His stomach was jittery with excitement. Her breasts were her failure, which is something he never thought he’d hear himself say. She neglected to bind them down if she wanted to pass as a male. But it was too endearing to correct. His selection of coach and horses had meant the world to him for over a year, but none so much as this moment in time, seeing her elated face.

“Miss Squeaks, since you are dressed appropriately in your footman tails, you may ride rear footman or second driver. You will look spectacular in either position. I shall open the door as they enter, you may open the door when they exit. Do not forget to extend your arm if the lady exits first.”

“Oh yes. Thank you. I am so excited. I will ride rear footman going and second driver when leaving. Is that all right?”

“More than all right, Miss Squeaks.”

“Should you call me that tonight or Dorset?”

“I think Squeaks as you wish to be called and it will separate you from your father. You will not pass for a man, so no need to call you Dorset.”

“Is it because I don’t have hair on my face? I tried to pull my hair down by my ears, but it looked foolish.”

“Thank you for the trouble you have gone to. It is a little more than facial hair, but I am glad you do not look like a man. I will be proud to have you with me.”

“Really? You’re not just kind, are you?”

“Well, I hope at the very least I am kind, but it is more personal than that.” Kip stared at her a moment longer. “I think we should leave now.”

Squeaks waved to her father and walked toward the back of the coach. As she stepped up, Kip showed her the handholds, as there were holdings for two rear footmen. She was to stand at the right side. He would rein on the left, keeping the coach balanced.

“Are you sure your legs can take it? It will be two ten-minute rides, and you will need spring in your knees and thighs.”

“I will do it. Have faith. This is a fantasy I’ve had for many years.”

“Somehow, I believe you will. Let us depart.”

Kip backed away, holding that image in his mind of her standing rear footman. He never wanted that to leave him. He would draw her tonight when he got home. “Squeaks, look at me.” She stopped fiddling with her gloves and turned towards him. “Now smile.” She gave him the world just then. “Perfect. Let us away.”

Kip sprung to the box, took the reins, let loose the brake and looked back at Squeaks. “Ready?”

“More than you’ll ever know,” she answered loudly.

Turning with a big smile, Kip ruffled the reins, Squeaks waved to her father, and the horses began their slow pace of starting. He never wanted to jerk the head of his rider by starting them too fast.

On their way, Kip looked back at Squeaks several times, and at one point, he broke into a laugh. Most of the time, he could only see a hat. She was holding herself on with one hand and keeping her hat down with the other. Tears came to his eyes from the sight of this, and the laughter that he had not felt for so long.

I feel as if my spirit is coming home.

Kip pulled up to the peerage-owned flat and jumped down to wait.

“Should I get down, too?” lightly called Squeaks.

“No, stay your stand. You look regal to the client.”

Out of the corner of his eye, he could see she was ensuring her hat was correctly placed.

The butler opened the door for the couple. The woman took her husband’s arm and proceeded to the coach.

Kip bowed as they neared. “Good evening, Lord and Lady Astaire.”

“Good evening, Kip. I see you have a footman tonight. Thank you. What’s his name? The Lord asked as he entered the coach.”

“Squeaks, milord.”

“What?”

“Squeaks, sir.”

“Squeaks? That wouldn’t be Stokes’s Squeaks, would it?”

“Yes, milord. It would.”

“You chaps do have an exciting life.”

“Yes, milord.” Kip closed the door and returned to his bench. He waited momentarily for the sign to begin. Hearing the knock of a cane, he started.

Squeaks thought she could not smile any wider. The excitement was overtaking her. Watching Kip maneuver his team was a dream. He was extremely skilled. She hardly felt herself sway. When they arrived, it was her turn to exit the couple, and she began the procedure in her mind. Should she wait for a signal to approach the door? No, that was only when arriving home. She would open the door quietly, let down the steps, and extend her arm if the lady exited first. What if an event had footmen was attending the coaches? Should she insist herself? She knew she would not if she were the driver, but she wasn’t. She was in a dither. Squeaks did not move as they made their way there. She knew her breasts were jiggling against the rear window of the coach. She must tell Kip about what was happening. She began to giggle to herself, which made her breasts jiggle faster. She prayed no one inside noticed. She pressed herself harder against the glass to stop them from bouncing about. As a rear footman, her chest area should exceed the height of the coach. Squeaks wondered how silly she looked. She was a dwarf rear footman, not likely to be found in nature.

As the coach was slowing down to stop, Squeaks jumped off the back and appeared at the coach door before the event footman. She prepared her smile and opened the door. She let down the step and stepped back, holding the door at its widest angle. The man exited first. She bowed.

“Good evening, Squeaks.”

She was stunned that he spoke her name.

“Good evening, My Lord and Lady.”

“I quite enjoyed my view.”

“Your view, sir?”

He laughed and walked on.

Kip had been watching her the whole time. It was his reputation he was modestly risking tonight. View?

Squeaks closed the door and returned to her post.

Kip pulled away from the front and headed towards the driver’s area. There were more than twenty other teams. He saw two of the apostles. The looks he was getting from the other drivers had him sitting proudly with a rear man. Wait until they found out, he thought to himself.

 

Lord Stokes tapped on the door to Clyde Dorset’s room.

“Enter. Your Lordship. To what do I owe this honor?” he asked, sitting up straight in his bed.

“May I ask what is going on with our Squeaks? She may think that I do not know what she is doing, but she would be wrong.” He smiled.

“Am I wrong in thinking that this is a night off for her?”

“No, she is perfectly permitted to do as she pleases, once I release her for the day. I would like to know what she is doing tonight. I know she is with Kip. I trust and respect that driver, but what is her motive?”

“Sir, she desperately does not want to make any mistakes driving tomorrow night for you. She has had little practice at night. Kip offered to teach her.”

“I see. She is doing this for me, is she?”

“Honestly, sir, I would say yes. Although I do think there is more motive there than she realizes. Being a father, my judgment may be biased. I feel comfort in the fact that should Kip find a regard for her, which I think he has, his intentions will be all that they should be.”

“Clyde, you and I have watched this young, crawling, squeaking baby rise to a lovely striking woman. I know you have always been first in her heart, and I have hoped I have been close behind. I find it difficult to allow another man in with us. What is your thinking?”

“I am thinking you have been a second father to her and feel the pains of your child becoming an adult and wanting to control her own destiny. It is life, milord. We have been lucky to have her as long as we have. She has been hidden away on this estate. The road has opened, now, and she has tasted freedom. I know she loves it here, and nothing will pull her from my or your side unless it is the strong love of a man. This is natural and right, as much as we dislike it. All we can do now is to ensure the man who takes her from us is worthy of her.”

“Clyde, it sounds like you have been giving this a lot of thought. You are preparing yourself. Good on you.”

“Sir, there is little to do, lying here, but think of her out there. That leads to further realizations.”

“And you know this driver Kip fairly well and like him?”

“Sir, of all the drivers whom I know, he lives by a high moral standard. He has a good education that he tries to hide. I wish I knew why. He has been reared in a family that values honor above all else. His professional standing in the trade cannot be exceeded. He is well-liked and respected. As any man would protect a woman from harm, Kip is fiercely involved in the safeguard of young women. I have heard this from other drivers. He is driven in that respect. Again, I wish I knew why.  She is a lucky young lady if his feelings are sincere.”

“Well, we must ensure that they are,” Lord Stokes said, rising from Clyde’s bedside. “I am well enjoying the remarks about my driver from the other Lords. It seems I am not as stodgy as I once was,” he laughed.

“I am indeed happy to hear she has not embarrassed you.”

“That could never happen, even if she fails at this driving. Her bravery holds a significant place in many people’s minds.”

“Are you not being a little biased yourself, milord?

They both laughed as Lord Stokes walked out of the room.

 

Before Kip could get down to the ground, Squeaks was there asking if she did well.

“From all I saw and heard, you were perfect. What was the comment His Lordship said about ‘the view’?”

Other drivers were arriving to know about the footman more than his horses this time.

“I will tell you later, Kip.”

“Please be sure to do so. I must know what my rider is thinking.”

Marc arrived first. “Kip, you brought a footman tonight. Who was your fare? He’s a bit short if you ask me, and he needs a better fitting hat.”

“Marc, I would like to introduce you to Squeaks, Lord Stokes’s female driver.”

“What?” Marc looked her up and down.”

“Bloody hell, if she isn’t. You lucky bast … ahem. Nice to meet you, Miss Squeaks. We have been waiting for this day, and of course, The Almighty brings you to us?”

“Pardon me?”

Kip laughed. “I’ll explain later. This is Marc, one of my best friends I was telling you about. He was the first driver I met when arriving in London. He took my coin and pulled me under his wing.” They all laughed.

“Darn, I cannot believe this, my man. How … how did this ever come to be?”

Other drivers were arriving, and the voices grew louder. Kip waited for all he could see to arrive.

Kip quickly pulled Squeaks up to his bench. “Drivers, may I have your attention. And I know I do,” he laughed, as they did. “This is Miss Rebecca Dorset, daughter of Clyde Dorset; driver for Lord Stokes. His Lordship gave her the name Squeaks, and she would prefer to be called that or Dorset. She has been training to be a driver for…” he looked at Squeaks, “…for many years. Her father has broken his leg, and she is now first driver for His Lordship. She has had little experience reining at night, and she must drive her master tomorrow evening. She is here to learn. Tonight, she is my responsibility; she is my employed footman. If there are any issues, tell them to me.”

Someone from the rear shouted, “Is she single?” “Can she drive footman for me?”

“I will not speak for her. She is a professional driver, so I want you to treat her as one of us, which is what she wants, too. Just watch your language around her. If you are caught short, please take care of that privately. Thank you.”

Kip asked her to stand on the bench, so everyone could see her in the dark.

“Oh Kip, you’re shining a light on me. I don’t think I want this.”

“Squeaks, what happened to ‘I must get through this or twenty years is wasted’? This will get a lot of that out of the way, and I am here with you.”

“All right. Questions then?”

“Everyone, I know you men are gentlemen; at least that is what Squeaks has been told. She is willing to answer questions for a short time. She is very aware of the novelty she is to all of us.”

“Kip, give me the whip, please.” Squeaks said loud enough causing all the men to laugh.

The questions went on for an hour. The drivers were enamored with her. She had won each and every one of them. However, she still knew she had to prove herself to be considered a brother … or would that be a sister?

Finally, they dwindled away, all except Marc. Kip jumped down to stretch his legs. Squeaks followed.

“Kip, on our way here, I thought about the event footman, and should I open the door? As you saw, I jumped off and insisted myself. Was that all right?”

“Yes, being an independent, you have no allegiance to the rider if there are event footmen about, so it would matter not who opened the door. Staff rear footmen usually want to open their master’s door. What was that remark about the view from His Lordship?”

“I am glad you cannot see me blush. There is an issue we had not thought about.”

“And that would be what? I think I thought it all through.”

“Can I speak in front of Marc? It is embarrassing.”

“Whatever you say to me that isn’t too personal, you can say in front of Marc and the other apostles.

“Apostles, The Almighty? You said you would explain.”

“I will later; now what about this ‘view’?”

“We never thought about my breasts,” she blushed.

“I am not sure that is exactly true.” Kip was holding back a huge smile. “What was the problem, do you think?”

“It seems, with my height, they jiggle against the glass rear window.”

Kip turned his back to her so she wouldn’t see his beaming face. His eyes darted to Marc, who turned to look at him with the same expression.

“Are they that humorous?” Squeaks asked. “It’s not like I can leave them at home.”

“Miss, please forgive me,” said Marc. “In my life, I would never have expected to hear that as a driver, and I have heard it all.”

Now, Squeaks was laughing.

“I made a spectacle of myself and embarrassed Kip.”

“Squeaks, I am sure if anyone was embarrassed it was you. If this happens again, we will find a lift for you.”

“Suppose Lord Stokes hears of this?”

“He is a man like any other.”

“And that means what, exactly?”

“Squeaks, don’t make me explain that,” Kip pled.

“Next time they will be bound tightly.”

“Squeaks, if Lord Stokes doesn’t mind that you helped me tonight, it will become known that you are a woman. We are not trying to hide that fact; you know?”

How could anyone not fall in love with this breathtaking fearless female?

“I thought maybe you might be. That is why I left the skirt behind.”

“Listen, Squeaks, I asked you if you wanted to come along, knowing full well you would be known to all as a woman. I had not expected you to be able to accept, but still, I was prepared for both of us. I am proud to have you on board.”

“He is, miss. It is rare who he lets ride rear.”

“If you wish, I will speak with him.,” offered Squeaks. “I will apologize.”

“No, let us not bring it up any further.”

Kip sighed. “I am almost sorry this has been settled. The conversation has been quite entertaining. I admit, I thought I had figured everything, every move, every footfall, but so help me; your breasts never entered my mind … in that regard.”

“I am curious,” remarked Squeaks.

“About what?”

“Could I ask Marc to stand rear, and I get in the coach? You are too tall, Kip, for this.”

“At your service, my dear.” Marc climbed to rear footman.

Squeaks entered the coach. Kip knew what she was doing and laughed so hard he was about to bring up his dinner.

Inside, Squeaks found disappointment. The glass came to Mark’s mid-thighs, but no higher. She left the coach.

“Disappointed, Miss Squeaks?”

“Yes,” she pouted.

“Don’t you think that was a bit unladylike?”

“You don’t know many ladies, do you?” she coughed out laughing. “I was a driver checking the views presented to my rider. Suppose I have Lady Stokes and a footman?”

“Oh, I see. Research, was it? I think you have a point. I should know what my rider is seeing. Would you mind?”

“Mind what?”

“Would you mind returning to your post?”

“Some gentleman, you are!”

“I am the same as you. Researching.”

Squeaks walked back to her post. She stepped up. She heard laughter and a voice saying, “A little more to the left, please.” Squeaks jumped off the rear.

“Thought you had me, didn’t you?”

“I believe I will not comment on that.”

“I think I will leave you two,” Marc said, tipping his hat and leaving.

“Marc, before you go, did Kyle get the message about seeing Inspector Marshall?”

“I believe the Inspector found him first. He’s probably there now.”

Bonfire of Destiny

  ‘THE BONFIRE OF DESTINY’
NEW PERIOD SET FRENCH SERIES

Over 3,000 extras, 1,500 costumes, more than 100 carriages, and 185 technicians, those are the numbers that went into the massive

The series already aired in French speaking countries

production of French language historical series THE BONFIRE OF DESTINY (Le Bazar de la Charité) which already aired in French speaking countries last month but will start streaming on Netflix in 190 countries around the world December 26th! So if you don’t know what to binge these holidays, this one is arriving on the second day of Christmas! The high profile series is inspired by a real life tragedy set in Paris in November 1897 and revolves around the consequences

The series starts streaming on Netflix December 26th!

of a devastating fire which destroyed the building known as the Bazar de la Charité, where a large charity event was taking place. The fire caused more than 130 deaths, mainly high society women and their entourages. Now, I hear

Click the photo to see the whole cast in all its magnificence!

from our French sources that there is a lot of exaggeration in the story serving the typical revisionist feminist agenda, so I’m guessing we have to take everything in the series with a grain of salt.

The Story Of The Series
Paris, May 4, 1897. Within only a few minutes a devastating fire destroyed the Bazaar de la Charité, the building housing a very popular charity event, killing more than 120 people, mainly women of high society and their

The whole series had a steady viewership of 6-7 million in France

personnel. On this occasion, three women, Adrienne De Lenverpre  (Audrey Fleurot), Alice De Jeansin (Camille Lou), and her maid Rose Rivière (Julie de Bona) see their destiny turned upside down. Usurpation of identity,

The series was written by Catherine Ramberg and Karine Spreuzkouski

prohibited love, radical change of life, emancipation, this mini-series immerses us in Parisian society at the end of the 19th century, following the romantic fate of its three heroines.

A Christmas Carol – FX 2019

 

FX’s A Christmas Carol is an original take on Charles Dickens’ iconic ghost story by Steven Knight (Taboo, Peaky Blinders). The FX Original movie is a spine-tingling immersion into Ebenezer Scrooge’s dark night of the soul.

The remake stars Guy Pearce as “Ebenezer Scrooge,” Andy Serkis as “Ghost of Christmas Past,” Stephen Graham as “Jacob Marley,” Charlotte Riley as “Lottie / Ghost of Christmas Present,” Joe Alwyn as “Bob Cratchit,” Vinette Robinson as “Mary Cratchit,” Jason Flemyng as the “Ghost of Christmas Future,” Kayvan Novak as “Ali Baba,” Tiarna Williams as “Belinda Cratchit,” Lenny Rush as “Tim Cratchit” and Johnny Harris as “Franklin Scrooge.”

The dark reimagining of the classic tale is written by Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight and directed by Nick Murphy (The Awakening). It is executive produced by Knight, Tom Hardy, Ridley Scott, Dean Baker, David W. Zucker and Kate Crowe. FX’s A Christmas Carol is produced by FX Productions in association with the BBC, Scott Free and Tom Hardy’s Hardy Son & Baker.

 

 

The Trial of Christine Keeler

 THE TRIAL OF CHRISTINE KEELER  ARRIVES TO BBC FOR HOLIDAYS
Holidays this year at BBC won’t be all about spooky horrors… there will be political horrors too! They are ready to premiere their new mini series THE TRIAL OF CHRISTINE KEELER on December 29th and 30th and today
The six part series will start airing ahead of New Year

you can check out the character photos and trailer for the six episode series that depicts the infamous Profumo Affair, a political scandal from the 60s.

What’s The Scandal About?
London, Winter 1962. Britain is gripped by the Cuban Missile Crisis, and a series of sex and spy scandals have rocked the British government. Short of money, working class model Christine Keeler has returned to stage dancing in

Sophie Cookson takes the lead role in the series

Soho’s famous cabaret clubs. Christine lives with her West Indian boyfriend Johnny in a racially tense Notting Hill, and confides in her best friend Mandy Rice Davies. It has been over a year since Christine’s secret affair with the

Click on  the photo to see the whole cast gathered around the pool

married, middle aged Conservative Minister of War, John Profumo. But now Christine is shaken by violent harassment by a West Indian stalker, ‘Lucky’ Gordon, and when Johnny fails to protect her, she considers refuge with her

Ben Miles has been made bald for the role of John Profumo

mentor, socialite Dr Stephen Ward. However, Ward is under MI5 surveillance for entertaining a handsome Russian diplomat, and amid delusions of grandeur, he tries to use his establishment links to secure emergency nuclear

James Norton is osteopath Stephen Ward who introduced Christine and John

talks between the US and Russia. At the same time, Profumo tries to raise his profile to mark the end of UK conscription, and Christine recalls the beginnings of their infamous affair: the fateful weekend they met at twilight by a country manor swimming pool.

Who’s Involved In The Scandal?

Sophie Cookson stars as Christine Keeler, a 19 year old model who is entangled in a scandal due to having an affair with the married Secretary of

Ellie  Bamber, left, plays Christine’s best friend

State for War, John Profumo. James Norton is Stephen Ward, an osteopath who introduces John Profumo to Christine Keeler. Ellie Bamber is Mandy

James Norton has starred in a lot of political shows and films lately

Rice Davies, a model and a showgirl. Ben Miles is John Profumo, a Conservative MP and Secretary of State for War who is plunged into a scandal after his affair with Christine Keeler is exposed. He initially lied to the House

Christine was sentenced to nine months in jail in the end

of Commons about the affair and the incident became a global scandal after it emerged that Keeler may have simultaneously been involved with a Soviet

Ward was convicted for pimping, but he killed himself before the sentence could be passed

naval attaché. Emilia Fox is Valerie Profumo, the actress wife of Profumo. Nathan Stewart Jarrett is Johnny Edgecombe, a jazz promoter whose

The series was both written and directed by females

involvement with Christine Keeler inadvertently alerted authorities to the Profumo affair.  Anthony Welsh is Lucky Gordon, a jazz singer who comes to public attention due to his involvement with Christine Keeler.

The Witcher Epic Series

  ‘THE WITCHER’ EPIC SERIES
MOST ANTICIPATED SERIES OF THE YEAR IS READY TO LAUNCH
The Witcher starts December 20th

The moment is finally upon us, spylings, Netflix is ready to start airing what is without any doubt the most anticipated series of the year, from December 20th! Lavish small screen adaptation of Andrzej Sapkowski’s epic fantasy adventure (the books have been sold to date in more than 30 million copies around the world) THE WITCHER will stream its eight episode opening season ahead of Christmas with the second season already ordered. Hollywood’s leading hunk Henry Cavill toplines the cast as demon hunter in an epic tale of fate and family. Anya Chalotra stars as Yennefer and Freya Allan as Ciri. Other

The series is based on Andrzej Sapkowski’s ultra popular saga

cast members include Jodhi May as Calanthe, Björn Hlynur Haraldsson as Eist, Adam Levy as Mousesack, MyAnna Buring as Tissaia, Mimi

The series will have eight episodes

Ndiweni as Fringilla, Eamon Farren as Cahir, Joey Batey as Jaskier, Lars Mikkelsen as Stregobor, Royce Pierreson as Istredd, Maciej Musiał as Sir Lazlo, and Anna Shaffer as Triss.

The Witcher Is An Epic Story
revolving around famed monster hunter, Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill) who lives in the world of The Continent where humans, elves, witchers, gnomes, and monsters battle to survive and thrive, where people often prove more dangerous than beasts, and good and evil is not easily identified! But when destiny hurtles him toward a powerful sorceress, and a young princess with a dangerous secret, the three must learn to navigate the increasingly volatile Continent together.
Witcher Geralt of Rivia

A demon hunter played by Henry Cavill who says that Geralt is not an average hero! He’s a tough person who won’t treat everybody perfectly. He’s

Henry Cavill is Geralt of Rivia

very hard on the exterior because that’s what he believes the world is!  He kills monsters who have invaded his world from a parallel dimension. He has a faithful horse called Roach.

Princess Cirrilla, played by Freya Allan, feels like she’s been sheltered from the real world. Hidden behind shrouds of loyalty and castles. She sneaks

Freya Allan is Princess Ciri of CIntra

out from time to time. She remains loyal but strives to know the world outside of her walls. After losing her entire family and everyone she loves in one night,

The series will feature exquisitely lavish and rich costumes and sets

Cirilla feels lost. She is thrown into a vicious, upside-down world than she is used to and must push forward to find Geralt. Adventuring from place to place

Joey Batey is charming minstrel Jaskier

and finding herself in new landscapes and towns, Cirilla learns a lot about herself. A power that she possesses, but cannot understand. Yet.

 

Yennefer of Vengerberg

Played by Anya Chalotra, Yennefer’s story arc is powerful and full of challenges. Born with a misshapen spine and jaw, she is sold by her father who

Anya Chalotra is sorceress Yennefer

resented her for her differences. This not only begins her on her journey but completely changes her life arguably for the better. She will become a powerful sorceress.

 Did You Know?
The series is created and executive produced by Lauren Schmidt who also produced Umbrella Academy and Daredevil series. Henry Cavill actively pursued the role of Geralt but was initially turned down before the
Henry Cavill was cast after 200 actors were turned down for the role
show was even written. After Schmidt tested more than 200 actors she realised Henry was the only right choice especially as she kept hearing his
MyAnna Buring is Tissaia de Vries a powerful sorceress who takes Yennefer under her wing
voice in her head while writing Geralt’s lines. Henry considers the role a dream come true and I’m sure you will all agree we wouldn’t want anybody else leading this show!

The Noble Coachman Chapter 11

Chapter 11
Almost a First

 

Putting in long hours each day since Miss Caldwell disappeared, Kip woke past his usual rising. He rushed to dress, had a quick shave, and buffed his boots. He paced the team at a good jaunt down the thoroughfare towards Parliament. Again, many shouts were calling him, but Miss Squeaks was calling to his heart.

Pulling in, he was not surprised that she was completely inundated with male admirers, and Kip was unable to park by her side.

He strolled over as if he were one of the group and tipped his hat. The smile that she greeted him with weakened his knees. The sincerity in it was unexpected. She looked lost.

Squeaks moved through the men and stood next to Kip. He folded his arms and looked over the horde of men who were there while he leaned sideways to talk with her.

“I am sorry I was behind time. I had a late night.”

“I understand. Right now, you are my champion.”

“There are many combatants for your favor, today. Has anyone been rude to you?”

“I don’t like the way they crowd me and brush me.”

“I can’t say I haven’t thought to do that myself.” His smile was short-lived, though. “Where has Boots been all this time?”

“I think he’s afraid of them. There are so many.”

“Perhaps two footmen tomorrow?”

“No. I will not ask His Lordship for more staff. I knew what I was getting into, and I insisted. It is right to stand my ground, but I have decided to carry my whip when on the ground,” she laughed. “As I get to know them, it shouldn’t seem that all of them are strangers.”

“Excellent idea about carrying your whip, milady. They shall fear that. I apologize again for being late.”

“Are you teasing me about them fearing my whip?”

“If you must know; yes. I am having a bit of sport with you.”

“Were you out late with a lady?”

“Why do you ask that?” he smiled at her nearly jealous question.

“I was just inquisitive. You never talk about people. I would not care to ride with you if you have a steady lady in your life.” Squeaks said in all innocence.

Kip saw a pout beginning to form, causing him to cough and cover his grin. He took her elbow and guided her towards the rear of her coach, then he walked her towards his, across the back. “Perhaps if those gentleman drivers think you are spoken for; they will not be buzzing about you so thickly.”

“Spoken for? Do you mean by you?” Her face lit up.

“I do, or any member of the male population that you choose.”

“I believe you did not answer my question.”

“Are you asking me if I was out with a lady last night, or do you mean to know if I have a steady lady in my life? My answer would be – soon, I hope. However, you didn’t answer mine, either.”

“About what?”

“About making these drivers believe you are forming a relationship, not attachment, with your choice of males,” Kip said, puffing out his chest, conscientiously.

“I am comfortable in your presence and feel safe, too. I cannot ask you to give up your fares any longer. If I chose you, would it be depriving you of your wage.? I don’t think you can keep away from me, anyway. And you see where I’m standing. The next few days may be hard, but I have to get through them. If not, twenty years have been wasted.”

“You do not believe I can keep away from you? Is that not being a bit presumptuous on your part?”

“You mean; you can?” she asked, sporting a crushed look.

He smiled until he thought a tear would be shed if he didn’t hurry away from this lovely torment. “Do know that a driver will never climb to your bench without asking to come up. It is like asking the captain to come aboard a ship. So, you have a relatively safe place to be when you are alone.”

“Well, can you? Am I not your priority that you mentioned the other day? Father thinks I might be.”

“Do you want to be a priority in my life?”

“Is that a question you can ask a woman?”

I’m being lovingly ambushed by a wee woman. How can one so naive and so small have such great thoughts?

“Can you please answer my question?”

“Yes.”

“Yes? What? Yes, you want to be a priority in my life or, yes, you will answer my question.”

“That is good to know about safety on the bench. I am sure there are many practices that father never thought to explain because none ever occurred. If I entered the coach and closed the shades, would anyone open the door?” Squeaks elected not to give him the satisfaction of an answer.

“No, they will not. They may knock and wait for an answer, knowing your master is not in there, but if the shades are drawn a coachman respects the privacy expected inside. Why would you … oh … forget what I was going to ask? I will be glad for you to meet my group of friends. I know and trust them, well enough. I think you will like them, too, and they will take you to heart and protect you, as I want to do.”

“How can I meet them if they’re never here? Do any of them want to form a relationship with me, not an attachment, so I’m told?”

“Soon, I am going to paddle your backside. You know I mean me! So, do you have an answer?”

“Do you mean like very good friends?” She started to cry. “I don’t know what a real relationship means.”

“You trust me, am I correct?”

“Yes.”

“I will tell you when we are entering into a relationship. Then you will know. And always remember that most associations pretty much mean the identical thing. So, if we begin to become more than friends, and you are uncomfortable, you can find the same closeness with another man. Now, onto a different subject. As for my friends, I imagine they will all have fares for this Saturday night event. If Stokes is going, you will meet them.”

“Oh, he is going. He asked if I could drive in the dark. I told him I could. I was driving at dusk last night. I found it hard to tell if the coach ahead of me was moving or stopped.”

“Your team will sense that and slow down or stop. Unless you are fast-pacing them, which we do not do in the night, you could injure one or both.  You should not have any problems.”

“Why do you not pace them fast?”

“If we step them into a hole or on a bolder they need time to recover themselves. I believe the other horse senses a change in stride with his partner and adjusts quickly.”

“So, you are telling me to take my time and watch for the side of the road. The horses will do the rest.”

“That’s a quick lesson, but it is a place to start. They can see only slightly better than we can if their eyes are given a chance to adjust. They don’t do well leaving bright sunlight and led into a dark stable.”

“Have you heard anything about Miss Caldwell, Kip?”

“No, I haven’t. I did not stop by yesterday. However, I wish there would be an attempt to inform me. I am no one to the Blevins, who I drove that night. I should think I have been forgotten by now.”

“Do you think she’s alive?” Squeaks asked.

“I wish I could say yes, but I have my doubts now.”

Squeaks sat on the back step of Kip’s coach. Kip looked around for anyone watching them. He saw no one, so he sat down next to her, their bodies touching.

“Father and His Lordship found your sketch of me fascinating. I think they were both surprised with your ability to see me the way they do.”

“I have always drawn for my own pleasure. It has never been a work I show others. I am a bit embarrassed to know that others have offered an opinion. My friends know I fool around with it, but they never ask to see what I’ve done.”

Kip turned his head towards Squeaks, looking down at her.

She sensed that and faced him, catching only his eyes. He looked at her inviting lips, in a way no one had ever looked at her before. It was a moment that seemed to stand still.

Kip removed his hat as he began to lean in the direction of her mouth until a voice interrupted them.

Squeaks experienced disappointment when Kip pulled back. She heard him sigh. She looked away from Kip, and the other driver as regret had to be on her face.

“I wondered where you two got to. Sneaking off, were you?” the driver laughed.

“Kip was explaining how to drive after dark. I will take His Lordship out in the evening soon. I don’t have the strength in my legs to stand all day, as you gents, so I came back here to sit. Someday, I suppose they will grow strong.”

Squeaks continued to speak covering up any wayward thoughts by the other driver. Kip knew she was talking too much as if guilty of something. Although frustrated himself, Squeaks was amusing in her childish attempt to begin a new subject. Yet, he was buoyed by the fact that she was trying to hide her discontent.

There was the woman, recognizing the situation and the child searching for explanations to satisfy the onlooker.

“Is there a way to light the lamps? I had to have someone lift me last evening.”

Kip and the other driver looked to each other and laughed.

“Miss Squeaks,” offered the other gent, “you do not try to light them from standing on the ground unless you have Kip’s height,” he smiled.

“I shall try climbing the next time,” she said, rising and walking around to see Kip’s lanterns.

The other driver waited for her to be out of sight from the rear of the coach. “Do you fancy this Squeaks woman?” Kip was asked.

“I am sorry, but I insist that is my concern and not yours.”

“She’s Stokes’s driver, you know.”

“Yes, I do know. Since when have we started comparing our ladies against each other? A gentleman never does that.”

“Yes, you are right there. What I mean is, we all know Stokes’s attachment to her, like she was his daughter. Anyone who she takes a fancy to will have to pass muster with Stokes.”

“Sir, I will worry about my own regard if that day ever comes. Excuse me.” Kip headed in Squeaks direction. He had never thought to pass muster with Stokes, but he would not let that worry him. She was of age. His intentions were honorable. Had they not just been interrupted, she might have allowed him to kiss her. He felt her pulling him near, and he wanted to go there, too.

Jesting to Squeaks, Kip said, “I have an elegant fare tonight, would you like to ride footman?” That just seemed to slip out, wanting to lift the disappointment a moment ago.

“I think you tease me,” replied Squeaks.

“Yes, it has to be a tease, because I am sure you would not be permitted to leave the estate.”

“Oh, yes, I can. I’m old enough. Is it a long ride?”

“No, it’s here in the city. Quite close. It is at Cranford House.”

“How long would it last, do you know?”

“It is not a ball. Perhaps it is a dinner, in which case it would last about three hours, approximately. I pick up my clients at 8:00 p.m. You are not seriously considering this, are you? I should say, I would love to have you with me … this isn’t coming out the way I mean to say it. I would enjoy the company. It would add a bit of flair for my riders, and I could pay you, too.”

“Could I have some tips on driving in the dark until you pick them up?”

“By all means,” Kip broke out in a smile as if she was devilishly finding a way to make it happen. “You could not wear the Stokes livery, though.”

“Yes,” she said with disappointment. “I still might have a way.”

“Are you sure you want to attempt permission for this?”

“I do not need permission, remember?”

“Squeaks, this is a big step you are taking. Think it over.”

“I will. The livery is a challenge, though. Do you wear all black?”

“I do. I wear my tails tonight.”

“Oh, yes. I would love to see how you do business.”

“Squeaks. Perhaps another time.”

“Would you have time to come by the Stokes stable to see if I can go with you and have time to pick up your riders?”

“I will find the time if you really feel inspired.”

“I do want to try this. I am quite keen on the idea.”

“And the livery?”

“I think I have an idea.”

“If you wish it, I will come to the Stokes stables at quarter past seven.”

“Truly? You honestly mean it?”

“Well . . . yes, I honestly mean it, but I doubt you do.”

“Am I very far out of the way to stop and see if I mean it?”

“Not very. Perhaps, ten minutes more.”

“Then you will do it?”

“Yes, of course, I will try anything to … yes, I will do it.”

“You may go now. I have a lot of planning to do.”

“I may go now? Thank you. That is kind of you to dismiss me, milady. Suppose I want a few more minutes with you.”

She was an impetuous imp.

Kip could see she was already scheming. There were times when he could see the beautiful young woman, and at others, there was the child at play. In between the two was a woman of great courage to brave a trade that existed only in a man’s world. She was resolute in her chosen profession, and once over the awkwardness of proving herself, she would reach heights never accomplished by a woman. Even though of legal age with many her age married, she was all innocence. He would come to the Stokes stable tonight but in truth, would not expect her.

Scroll Up