Tag: Tachybaptus

Victoriana 15

Tachybaptus, Going Postal

Chapter 15
The departure of the cart had not however, passed unnoticed; little Emmeline Trelawney had hardly been able to sleep, partly because of the excitement of being allowed to accompany her Papa and Mama to a Highland camp while her Papa was on active duty, but mainly because of the thought that soon she would be able to ride the delightful Shetland pony that her parents had bought for her to make up for the prolonged absence of her best friend Victoriana.

Victoriana 14

Tachybaptus, Going Postal

Chapter 14
Later that night, after a hearty supper of locally caught mackerel, the four were upstairs in Irving and Fingers’s room, trying to make sense of the day’s events.
Rusty spread out the documents he had taken from McHerring’s pea jacket. One of them was much thicker than the others, and opened out into a large map which showed Scotland, the north of Ireland, and Iceland. It was marked with numerous lines and two large and enigmatic circles.

Victoriana 13

Tachybaptus, Going Postal

Chapter 13
After they had walked a couple of miles they sat down on a bank at the edge of the road for a rest. Victoriana laboriously unbuttoned her boots and rubbed her feet vigorously.
‘They do feel a little sore,’ she admitted to Irving.
At that moment, a horse pulling a cart loaded with bundles of straw came clopping smartly up the road behind them. Irving sprang to his feet and stepped out in front of it.
‘Hey, buddy, can ya give us a ride?’ he asked, startling the figure who had been lolling on his seat, seemingly relying on the horse to find its own way.
‘Mebbeasyerenoasassenach: whauryeboundthin?’ asked the driver.
Rusty got out his translator box and turned the little wheel.
‘Mebbeasyerenoasassenach: whauryeboundthin?’ said the box.
Irving grabbed it from him and gave it a sharp smack on the side of the cart, then turned the little wheel again.

Victoriana 12

Tachybaptus, Going Postal

Chapter 12
Rusty did not hesitate. With the briefest of glances at the map, he shouted ‘That one!’ and pointed at the easternmost of the three holes. Irving picked up Victoriana and Fingers seized Rusty, and they bolted for the geyser with Molotok’s gang in pursuit.
As they approached the hole, to their relief they saw a doorway in the wall with an iron door standing open, through which they flung themselves. Fingers slammed the door shut, dropped the bar to lock it, and looked around for a way of securing it more firmly.
There were rails running through the doorway, and inside was a small truck filled with broken stone. With a convulsive effort the four of them managed to get it moving down the slight slope towards the door. It crunched into the iron panels, which were already beginning to resound with the battering of Molotok’s men. Fingers spun the handwheel that applied the brakes, and Irving put stones under the wheels for good measure. ‘Dat’ll hold ’em f’r a bit,’ he said.

Victoriana 11

Tachybaptus, Going Postal
Chapter 11
The temperature had been dropping rapidly for some time and the stowaways were shivering in their hideout.
‘Wadya reckon, Oiving? Guess we’re headin’ north much as east?’ suggested Fingers. ‘I t’ink I’ll try an’ get some coats fer us.’
He slipped silently out of the lifeboat, returning after a short interval with an armful of peajackets. Victoriana barely stifled a giggle as Rusty pulled on the huge warm coat and nearly disappeared from view.

Victoriana 10

Tachybaptus, Going Postal

Chapter 10

They sat in silence on the floor of the chamber as Fingers toiled unavailngly with the lock. The sky was slowly beginning to lighten. Victoriana could not help asking apprehensively, ‘What happens to us when the sun comes up?’
‘Nothing,’ said Rusty. ‘The ship’s heading east, the Telectroscope’s facing astern. It’s the evening we have to worry about. But it may not be too bad. You see the view through the front? It’s right way up and not too magnified. There must be two lenses, convex and concave, to do that. We may get warm but we won’t fry.’
‘T’anks, kid,’ said Fingers. ‘Doin’ da best I can but, boy, dis is a tough one.’
Looking through the huge lens, Victoriana became aware of a faint dot in the distance – impossible to estimate how far away it was. As she watched, it seemed to be catching up with them.

Continue reading “Victoriana 10”


Victoriana 8

Tachybaptus, Going Postal

Chapter 8
‘Move it, goil,’ said Irving. ‘We gotta get t’ru da narrow bit before dey come.’ He seized Victoriana’s hand and dragged her over the uneven floor of the tunnel, while Fingers and Rusty stumbled after them in the faint glow from the lantern.
After a few yards she sensed rather than saw that there was more space around them. ‘Quick, back dere,’ Irving whispered, leading her round some large object and hastily shutting the window of the lantern. They all shrank into the darkness as the voices drew nearer and lamplight spread over the floor. It seemed that they were in some kind of cave.

Victoriana 7

Tachybaptus, Going Postal
Chapter 7
When Victoriana descended for breakfast the following morning, she was intercepted by Rusty before she could enter the dining room.
‘I have sent a letter to the stationmaster at East Broadway station with an enclosure which I have asked him to pass to Messrs Irving and – er – Fingers,’ he hissed in a conspiratorial whisper. ‘The enclosure contains a graphic description of the diamonds in the Intensifier, and a suggestion that these gems may be obtainable if they were to meet with a lady named V outside A Certain Cellar on Lower East Side at 8 p.m. tonight. They’re bound to want to find out more,’ he said confidently, chinking the At tokens in his pocket, ‘and then we can get into the cellar and find out what’s going on.’