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That’s it!

Mr. Harvey ambled up Abney Parkway as he always did each morning, stopping at the Duchess’ shop for a pastry, fresh coffee already well in hand.

Odd to hear bells at this time of morning, in The Gut…

Odd to smell so many open fires in summer.

Odd to see such a bright glow from — Cogs above!

He dashed his mug to the cobbles (not before one or two last sips though) and ran for the Gut Memorial Circle.  There was the Ladies Fire Brigade, dumping canal water from a bucket line into the twin buildings making up Huxley Hall and Wilde Hospital.

He could see the cause already and inquired the brigade for details.  The windows were smashed in when they arrived, the place had been lit on purpose.  They had arrived only too late, The Gut being rather remote to the fire station.

The wooden beams holding the brick structures together already had creaked and groaned, and as he watched, they started to collapse like dominoes, bricks and glass smashing into a heap where his proudest establishments had stood.

For the third time, his dream of the steamlands’ only true public hospital was dashed into bits.  The first one fell prey to an old boiler explosion.  The second, under water, was rebuilt before it could sprout a leak, and ironically the redesign made things worse!  Now this one, he was sure it would stand.  And he made a deal with the Pennyfarthing Boys…

He made a deal! And they still took their delight in vandalizing a house of peace, a symbol that no one moves into their territory.

Or… could it have been someone else?  Mr. Underby and the Bucket of Blood was just up the road; Underby had always been polite if cool to him, but rumor of the man as some vicious monster kept cropping up.  Or his ex-wife, Phaedra?  Word on the street has it that she was the mastermind behind whatever it was he was accused of doing.

But why would they want him gone?  He helped Phaedra when she was injured and lost her memory… though Mr. Lionheart said she may have been faking the whole time.

It hardly matters now, he thought.  This is it.  The Builder, the Boys, someone has spoken and said no more.

He kicked away a few of the bricks and embers, recovered the tattered portrait of Thomas H. Huxley and a small brass caduceus, and slumped back toward the cafe’.


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  1. Maddox Sinclaire Maddox Sinclaire July 10, 2012

    Mr Harvey, if you like, my husband and I can help you with taking measures to find out who did it and how they’ll be repaid. All I have to do is inform Helio of what happened and we can help you suss it all out.

    And we can help you get it rebuilt. With consent from the people helping to rebuild it or not.

  2. Mr. Arnold Mr. Arnold July 10, 2012

    “…”  *TWITCH* “I’ll have to have a talk with Mr. Harvey later…”  *TWITCH*

  3. Sky Melnik Sky Melnik July 10, 2012

    *cracks her knuckles and quietly growls* The Pennyfarthing Boys again?

    • Mr. Arnold Mr. Arnold July 10, 2012

      That would be a better, simpler case scenario than popped into my head.  *TWITCH*  I hope you’re right.

  4. Bookworm Hienrichs Bookworm Hienrichs July 10, 2012

    Oh, dear–such a terrible loss! *makes a note to step up patrols in the Gut district*

    ((Sorry to see it go–I know you made a good effort at it! *sigh*))

  5. Kristos Sonnerstein Kristos Sonnerstein July 10, 2012

    ::looks over to Stormy:: Why did I agree to move the shop to the bad end of a town with no insurance…? Fine time to lose employment.

    ((Still sorry to see it go down, but nice little short for it. Maybe someday it can come back again. I noticed it improves every time!))

    • Blackberry Harvey Blackberry Harvey July 10, 2012

      ((Thank you.  I keep learning and getting better!))

  6. Professor Parx Professor Parx July 11, 2012

    Yes. It must have been the Pennyfarthing Boys. Obviously.

    *leaves some empty kerosine cans at the back of the Bucket*

  7. DoctorDinosaur Runner DoctorDinosaur Runner July 12, 2012

    *tries to remember if he sent the mecharaptor with the faulty boiler to Huxley Hall or not, gives up and helps himself to some cake instead*

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