Friday, April 20, 2012


my A to Z - every day of the challenge I will find a word by flinging my finger into my American Heritage Dictionary and then riff on it. The posts may be essays or poems or stories or memories. Who knows what will happen when we give Serendipity her wanton way?
Rounder n. 4. A dissolute or dishonest person.

Dear Bernadette,
I know that you have heard some terrible words about me and I wish to set the story straight. I'm writing this in a small Inn a few hours by coach from where you and your lovely family live in sweet contentment. I cannot tell you in which direction as your father would have the authorities on my trail. I can only hope that you are allowed to read this missive. I will try to be succinct as the candle is guttering and I very much doubt that the keep will spare me another - he seems a most suspicious sort. He wasn't impressed at my harum-scarum appearance and my story of losing all that wasn't on my back in a fire was met with a cocked eyebrow and a sorry inhalation. Ah well, such is the life of one who takes their chances on the open road instead of settling for safety and dullness!
Please do not think I mean you, sweet girl. I know that you have little choice but to live quietly until you obtain your majority and can make some choices as to how you care to spend your days. I know that your father wills you to marry the good reverend but I beseech you to put him off as long as you are able. I will eventually make my way to Montreal where there is a very good chance I will be able to obtain the money that I owe your family and there will be enough for you and I to live in comfort if not in luxury.
I am not a dissolute as your father says. I will admit that I have been forced by circumstances to make the best of every situation that I find myself in but I have never been a slave to spirit or the poppy. The drug that has always been my mistress is that of freedom.
I do have a request of you, my darling girl. Would you go to that spot where we last met and look in the crook of the linden tree there. I placed a bundle there tied in a thick burlap. If you would bring it to the Smithy Brown at his forge he will ensure it gets to me. It is just papers and so forth from my family that I hid thinking I would be able to retrieve them easily but alas - it was not to be. Thank you my sweet.
I have only a moment before this candle is finished - such is the heat and light of it - like your heat and light dear Bernadette - it brightens my life but is so terribly brief.
I will write again when I make the next stop on my journey.
He Who Loves You,

To Bernadette Sullivan - I wish to inform you that this letter was found in the room that young John Cook had hired for the evening. Mr.Cook will not be needing you to send that bundle on as he has taken up permanent residence in the local gaol. He was found by the innkeeper in a scurrilous situation with the keep's daughter Bess and a great deal of the silver from that establishment.  


Keira said...

Call me wind because I am blown away by your post!

Margot Kinberg said...

Jan - Oh I absolutely love this!! Not only is it a great story with a delicious twist, but I love the writing style here! You capture the flavour of an entirely different time. Just wonderful!

Elspeth Antonelli said...

Love it, Jan!

Clarissa Draper said...

Is that a real letter or did you write that? It sounds amazingly authentic. SO cool.

Hart Johnson said...

Oh, this was fabulous, Jan! Wonderful way to get across such a rich story relatively quickly!

Liza said...

Fantastic! This is my favorite of all the fun posts you've included as part of A-Z. What a slimy, miserable, creepy...rounder! word for me!

Carol Kilgore said...

And let's hope Bernadette found more than papers in the bag that Rounder John hid. Great story!

Tanya Reimer said...

Gosh this was really wicked cool. Great job. I was no nervous that she was going to go for him!!!