I have had the great pleasure of making the acquaintance of a delightful new friend, Mme. Ella Kremper, who is quite a formidable lady in addition to her other talents. We took a stroll under the moonish light, lingering in dark corners here and there, gathering a few poorly written cautions before retiring to her rooms for a late supper. It was a lovely interlude and I do hope we’ll be able to enjoy another soon.

Perhaps she — and dear Henrik and Theodor and Tobias, too — will permit me to add their names to my guest list here. Dear, delicious friends — where would I be without you?

I have a few moments before I must return to the Forgotten Quarter (and the soon-to-be-forgotten archaeological expedition, I hope!) and I find in perusing my mail that I have a report here from the team leader on this weekend’s expedition. It seems preparations are going well and the team shall be departing from the coast this Thursday. I do believe my airship can make it there in time, providing the double valves in the reciprocating pressure chamber do not fail. Anyway, this man, Madison by name, relates that he and his wife have the provisioning in hand and will be hiring on some of the aboriginal peoples to care for our mounts and equipment. He also reports that the rivers are running abnormally high due to the late snowfalls this past spring, but that he anticipates little trouble so long as we all use just the barest modicum of common sense about being near the rapids.

Well, he put it much more bluntly, some reference to God and a goose, but I’m sure you get the point.

We shall make our way inland, through the pass over Berry Summit, and then the next over Oregon Mountain and resupply at a small town there before continuing onward. There is a small gold field at Steiner Flat on the Trinity River (are not these names delightful?) where we shall make camp in order to catalog the strange flora and fauna of the place. I am told to be alert for black bear, mountain lions, poison oak, the western timbler rattler, several species of scorpion, and wildfires.

It should be a lovely trip.

The invitation was extended by an old family friend, Dr. Colin James who now holds a respected and tenured position at San Francisco Polytechnic and who insists upon keeping in touch with me even after I have become a true resident of the Neath. He’s a dear old fellow and I enjoy his letters almost as much as his company.

The open air of the Pacific Northwest shall do me good, I hope. If not, I’ll have laudanum along, just in case.

Ah well. If I wish to return in time to listen in on our dear Commodore’s broadcast tonight — and I do — I must be about my other business. One last thought to consider: If I wish to hold an Open Salon here, what dates and times would work best, do you think? Not that it couldn’t span multiple days, I suppose, but I am curious and desirous of input from you all…

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9 Comments

  1. Ella Kremper said,

    July 6, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    My dear Lady Merriwether, I would be delighted to add my calling card to your guest list. I found our loitering most helpful to my cause and I certainly would enjoy supping with yourself again.

    At the moment I am engaged in the shipping business, which, I must admit, is different to the type of dispatching I am generally hired for, but then, not even Jack-of-Smiles alarms me in that respect, and the payment is adequate for my needs. Whilst my work currently brings me to Spite, I do intend to wind down a little in the Singing Mandrake. I find the company there most intriguing!

    • cl0ckw0rks said,

      July 6, 2010 at 6:04 pm

      Thank you, and do please call me Merri. I left all that behind on the surface, and don’t stand on formality with my friends in any case.

      I am so happy you contacted me. I have missed closer feminine companionship very much!

      • Ella Kremper said,

        July 7, 2010 at 12:53 am

        Of course, Merri! Surface ties are so terribly passé and get in the way of whatever machinations one delights in down Below.

        And indeed, it is excellent to have more feminine companionship, as my previous friends usually find themselves down with the Drownies after an ‘accident’ of sorts… oh dear!

  2. Henrik Paulsen said,

    July 6, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    I would be grateful to be considered your guest, and I shall be available at your convenience for your Salon.

    • cl0ckw0rks said,

      July 6, 2010 at 6:05 pm

      You are a dear man. Thank you.

      Your Aether-mail coordinates are rather intriguing, I must say…

      • Henrik Paulsen said,

        July 6, 2010 at 9:10 pm

        A joke long since worn out, I assure you. Alas, a Miss Yujao has entered the Neath via my more favourable co-ordinates, and she is indisposed to let me reclaim them. Shall I give her your card?

        • cl0ckw0rks said,

          July 6, 2010 at 9:13 pm

          Of course! I am predisposed to grant your friends immediate entré, especially if they are as erudite and intriguing as you.

  3. Theodor said,

    July 7, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Forgive me; I should have left a card when last I called upon you, but paper, I’m afraid, has been scarce. Count me among your guests if you still wish.

    • cl0ckw0rks said,

      July 7, 2010 at 6:11 pm

      I had begun to wonder if I’d offended you, my dear sir. Your card has been added, thank you so much for granting me the honor.


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