Chapter 7

Written by: Mrellan

The opulence of the carriage took Liam’s breath away.  Deep burgundy velvet fabric covered the windows and the two settees in the salon. The rich cabinet work shone like a mirror reflecting the light from gas lamps mounted on the wall. Albert, the butler, a tall and willowy man in black suit and spotless white shirt explained to Liam that he would need to dress for dinner. 

Liam was about the same weight and height as Lucy’s father, Mr. James Jordan.  Albert produced a suit from Jordan’s wardrobe for the occasion.

There was a separate area for bathing and dressing and the air was heavy and humid with steam coming from a brass tub. The scent of Rosemary hung heavy in the air. Liam shivered despite the heat as Albert sternly pointed to the tub and ordered him to get in. 

The hot water felt good on Liam’s skin and he began to relax. Albert dipped a long handled brush into the water and rubbed it across a cake of French milled soap.  Liam put his hand out to take the brush and soap and Albert pushed him away.

“I’ll do it,” said Albert, in a tone of authority. 

Liam felt embarrassment while Albert scrubbed his skin to a bright pink.  He relaxed as he realized how good it was to sit in the hot tub and have layers of dirt removed after weeks of riding in railroad cars.  Albert wrapped Liam in a huge white towel as he stepped out of the tub. 

“Stop squirming boy!  Staying clean and wearing a suit is something you must get used to now.”

When dressed, he looked like a proper gentleman. Liam looked in the mirror and straightened up. He liked what he saw.  

Mr. Jones entered the room dressed in a black suit and frock coat.  He guided Liam to the dining car.  After a couple minutes of polite conversation he came directly to the point. 

“Liam, since you already know how to read and write I would be very happy to offer you the opportunity to work as an engineer’s apprentice.  If you can think fast enough to act when my daughter was in grave danger I think you must have the intelligence and integrity it would take to become a good railroad engineer.  The question is, do you have the courage to save yourself from a life of misery and make a better life for yourself?”

Overjoyed at the prospect, Liam grinned and managed to stutter a “Thank you, sir.”

Later, after dinner Mr. Jones handed Liam a twenty dollar bill, telling him this was an advance on his first pay and to get himself a proper suit to work in.

“You must look and act like a gentleman now, it is part of your job.”  

 

The job turned out to be part office boy and part student.

Mrellan Harahan (USA)

 

 

Comments

This is full of description and I can see the inside of the coach and feel Liam's excitment. The story line now takes us into the next phase of Liam's life and Mrellan has left the next writer with many opportunities.
I'm just waiting for the moment LIam has a serious romantic entanglement with Lucy. If it happens that is for the next few writers to work out. He has an unpredictable future that LIam.
The main thing I liked about this chapter is that it gives full treatment to a short scene. I could feel Liam’s apprehension of being scrubbed by this stranger. The descriptive detail is the best so far. One problem, however, is that Lucy’s father’s name was originally Mr. Jordan but changed to Mr. Jones. Or, did I miss something?
This is where the editorial staff run out the usual phrase - 'we sometimes test our readers to see whether they spot mistakes the writer has made. This is part of the training program.' So there you have it and I'm stiking to that.
Also, well done, Mrellan to get it done given your travel and the loss of your computer. How did you manage?
If she's Lucy Jordan then Marianne Faithful may have contributed to this ballad.
Another good one with the pace slowed. Done sparingly its a needed change. Also the description suited this scene.
I'm going to pick up on some small insignificant editing things, only because I know they help me when Suraya edits my work.
- First para we needed a comma after 'like a mirror.' I had to stop a reread to realise what exactly was reflecting.
- Third para, if you take out 'heavy' regarding the Rosemary, I think the sentence is stronger.
- Same para, I don't think the word sternly was required, mostly because he also was ordering him into the tub, so we understood what was going on without the adverb.
Ok, so reading chapters and typing on my phone is killing me, plus I'm almost at my stop. Cheerio
P. S. hope you get ur pc back soon! And your new home looks like dream!