Chapter 1- New to Town

Chapter 1- New to Town

A Chapter by LKBillips

Where our adventure begins


The Catalyst

Chapter 1- New to Town


            1817 �" London Town- Grey skies with a chance of mayhem


            I had just arrived in town and couldn’t wait to embark on a most splendid season.  I was to take house with my dear cousin Jaime Nethersby and I daresay he would make an excellent companion.  My mother sent me off from their country estate in hopes that a little civilized society and the right crowd might straighten me out from my mechanically inclined mind and bookish desires.  Pish posh and hogwash I would say, but never to her face.  Her life-long dream of living away from society and enjoying the fresh air had long since been realized. I, however, wanted to see industry and the cogs and gears of the great town of London since I could first have a rational thought.  My cousin Jaime, I understand, is quite peculiar as well.  He has a tendency to dress quite brightly and I daresay he loves feathers to the extent of exhaustion.  There was indication that we would be rivals in the romance arena as well, but I think that would be most intriguing.

            Stepping off from the Steam Engine No. 7 I walked across the platform in search of my luggage.  I traveled fairly light hoping to come across some splendid fabrics upon my journey and make a truly fetching ensemble. Yes, I make my own clothes. I know that is not ton etiquette, but I love putting my own touch on things.  Perhaps the addition of mechanized moving parts is a bit much, but I do so love to make brooches and hair pins that whirl. I had one such piece firmly attached to my traveling hat.  It was a flattened brass sparrow shown as if in flight with moving metal wings. I used a wind-up mechanism from an old timepiece.  I loved the ticking noise it made as I moved through the crowd.

            I stepped lightly and made my way to the cargo cart.  A scurry behind me caught my attention as three guttersnipes weaved in and out.  One bumping me on his way, I quickly grasped the back of his collar and brought him to a halt. 

            “Return it at once.” I demanded of the little thief. “You are quite skilled, but I have worked hard for the little I have and you will not benefit from my toil.”

The child stared at me in utter awe.  I doubt he had every been caught before. He unfolded his hand and there was my small purse I had tucked neatly in the side of my skirt. I took the purse and felt the weight of it.  I came down to peer in his eyes. 

            “Give me the rest, you are not fooling me.”  His eyes widened in shock.  He dropped the two coins he had liberated from my purse into my outstretched hand. “What do you have to say for yourself?”

            “Sawry Misses, I thought you were a Glimmer.  Didn’t expect you’d be a Brass wit’ a fancy hawt like that” he responded.

            “A Glimmer? What is that little one?”

            “You know a fancy to do with the nawt a care in the world since they so rich.  Always cover’d in such shiny things.” He gestered as if his hands were covered in rings.  “But you are like us, a Brass, a working stiff.”

            “I daresay thieving is not working at all young sir, and you should find yourself some appropriate employment before you end up in Scotland Yard, or worse the gallows.”

He shifted from his left to right foot and made an audible gulp as he contemplated what fate I would deal him. I smirked and tapped my chin with the hand still holding my purse.

            “I think I have just the thing for you.  Come now and grab my bags.  You will be my assistant while in town and tell me all such things that I do not know.  In return you will not go to the gallows and I will pay you a fair wage.  What do you say?”

His eyes looked at me bewildered and weary as if I was surely toying with him and will call for the constable any moment. His eyes darted back and forth looking for his fellow snipes and having found them being pinched by the aforementioned, he turned to me and nodded most fervently. A tap on my left shoulder had me turning to face a most handsome officer.  I blinked rapidly with the direction my thoughts had taken.  Shaking myself loose of the momentary lapse in composure I released my hold on the boy and curtsied to the officer. 

            “Hello Sir, what is it I can assist you with?” I asked calmly.  The boy could’ve run, but instead sidled up beside me as if to show a solid front. I peaked down at him and gave him a firm nod.  He returned the gesture and I knew my bargain had been accepted.

            “Not Sir, Miss, What I mean to say is I’m Officer Weston and I am here to apprehend this urchin for pocket picking” he said.  “I can see you have done the hard work for me by capturing his collar.”

“Sir, I mean Officer Weston, I am Miss Annabelle Sweeting and this is my traveling boy, I am afraid you are mistaken on his misdeeds.  He did say quite a coarse word that resulted in the collar grab, but he assured me he would act more civilized once we reached my cousins.  Boy introduce yourself to the officer.”

The boy’s eyes looked large as saucers as his lips trembled with fear.  He took a deep breath in and steadied himself quite amiably before looking at the officer.

“I am Nathan Starling. Officer, I am employed now by Miss Sweeting and will be off to get her bags if there is nawt else sir?”  He bowed most gallantly and took my luggage ticket hurrying off to the waiting bag attendant. 

Turning my attention back to Officer Weston, I looked him up and down from head to toe. Noticing the scuff on his hat on the left side, the lose button on his wrist, and the extremely shiny yet worn boots I could tell this man was single.  Why this mattered to me I do not know, but I feel relieved by it.  He cleared his throat audibly and smirked when my eyes met his dark brown stare.  I felt my cheeks heat from being caught observing and quickly covered my embarrassment with a smile.

“Thanks again Officer Weston, I am sure you have more pressing issues to attend to now that you are aware there is nothing amiss here.  Thank you kindly for the inquiry”, I said dismissingly.

“Of course Miss Sweeting, and if you should need my services while you’re in town, please take my card,” he said stopping me from turning away with his extended hand. Reaching for his card our fingers brushed each other and we both dropped the card.  Eyes connecting instantly, we both bend down to retrieve the fallen card trying to deny the electric pulse that just occurred. Eyes never wavering we come up simultaneously holding the card on each end. 

“Ahem, Miss if yawrs all ready I have your luggage.” Little Nate, bless his heart, breaking the awkward trance I’ve found myself in. 

“I do apologize Officer Weston, I don’t know what happened there, perhaps the journey has caught up to me.  Thank you for your card and we shall be off now.” I hastily gather my parasole and begin to walk towards the exit with Nathan doing his best to keep up with my luggage. I dare not look back because I’m fearful of what I would see.  Having no idea why a young helpful officer might be frightening to me in the least.


© 2018 LKBillips

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I really like that. "Grey skies with a chance of mayhem"
Annabelle sounds like a young independent young woman.Probably rare in those times.i assume Officer Weston will be the love interest
Good job with your introductory chapter

Posted 2 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


2 Years Ago

Yes, very rare, but it's my story so I can tell it like I want to. lol. You'll have to see if Office.. read more

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Added on June 27, 2018
Last Updated on July 11, 2018