Thursday, May 30, 2013

Misplaced Baroness - Ep 8

Episode 8 - "Plink's Plan of Escape"
by Camille LaGuire

Antonio was -- had been -- a slight man.  Not much taller than Plink herself.  His coat ought to fit well enough. And since he had a tendency toward flamboyance, he had a large floppy-brimmed hat.  Her feet sticking out from beneath the coat might give her away.  It would be clear she wasn't wearing trousers... but there were those riding boots. Tall enough to disguise her lowest extremities.
She slipped off her small boots and stuck them in her suitcase, and donned her disguise, but as she reached for the hat, she realized that her chestnut hair was too short to gather and hide under the hat. But she might cover it to hide the color at least.

She pulled the dark blue scarf from her neck, and wound it round her head, tucking it behind her ears so that it could be mistaken for hair if any showed from under the hat.

She grabbed her suitcase and peeked out the front door. 

The man stood there on the walk, looking up and down the street.  If he saw her come out of the house, even in disguise, the game would be up.  Behind her, she could hear the boss and his sidekick Bains searching the back of the house. They'd move to the front soon.


She tried to remember which side of the house had a narrow alley beside it.  She was pretty sure it was on the office side, to the right.

She glanced through the door again, and dashed across and into Antonio's office.

It was a cluttered room, and showed signs that someone had been searching it; drawers open, papers scattered about the desk.  Across the room was a small window, half covered by a folding screen.  She ran to it, and adjusted the screen to shield her from view if the other men returned.

The window was small, but large enough to get herself and her overnight bag through.  She carefully pushed the sash up, and found it didn't stick too badly, but it made some noise.  She paused, but heard no footsteps running to see what made the sound.

Below was a fine narrow alley, no one guarding it at either end, and there were dustbins to hide behind.  But the window was a tad high, and the dustbins were so close, that dropping her suitcase might make a racket.

She could lower the bag and perhaps herself with the assistance of an umbrella. 

She turned to go back to the hall and fetch one, when she saw, behind the door, Antonio's silver handled cane.  It was lying cross-wise atop a small suitcase along with a pair of gloves and a large leather wallet, of the sort you might keep your papers or tickets in when traveling.

Two thoughts struck Plink on viewing this tableau: one was that Antonio had clearly set out these things in preparation for his trip, and the other was that whoever had been searching the room hadn't got to that side of the room yet.

The other side of the room was all in disarray. This side was not. And the suitcase was out of view of where the man had been searching.  He probably hadn't seen it.

And if Antonio had something they wanted, wouldn't he take it with him on his trip?

Plink bounded across the room.  She peeked out the door as she slipped the wallet and gloves into the pockets of the coat, and took up the suitcase and cane.  She could hear the men, distantly.  Maybe coming closer.

She slipped back to the window, and lowered the suitcases as quickly as she could. The voices were already closer.

"What will we do with him?" asked Bains.  He seemed to be standing near the body -- not at all far from the door to the office.  "Best to make it disappear, shouldn't we?"

"Leave that to the Varishkins," said the leader.  "They're good at making things disapper.  Go up and check on them.  Tell them to take the body when they're done."

Plink tossed the hat and coat out the window, and slipped one leg through.  The men had stopped talking and footsteps moved toward the office.  Oh, blast! she thought.  She pushed herself through as quickly as she could manage without making much noise. 

Thank god I'm good at climbing lampposts and things, she thought.

She clung to the sash as she got her feet down, and onto the suitcases below. She leaned against he wall and slid downward, hoping the wobbling suitcases would hold.

Stay Tuned For Episode 9 - "Antonio's Itinerary"

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