nineveh_uk (nineveh_uk) wrote,
nineveh_uk
nineveh_uk

Wimsey ficlet

This was spawned (I hesitate to say "inspired") by shinyopals' summing up of the first four chapters of Strong Poison, which was a lot more exciting than the first four chapters of Strong Poison (I know why Sayers does it, I don't think it completely works), which included the immortal sentences: "After their interview, Peter leaves and skips through the road like a five year old because Harriet DIDN’T SAY NO and SAID HI TO HIM. And then he goes and doodles “Lord and Lady Peter Wimsey” and “Harriet Wimsey” all over his notebook in heart shapes." Followed by a note in comments that Bunter does, of course, know.

If the following might suggest a little too great a resemblance between Peter Death Bredon Wimsey and Bella Swann, well, just call it a jeu d'esprit (that's what I always say).

Art for art's sake

Lord Peter had often remarked disparagingly on the habits of amateur murderers who failed to pay sufficient attention to the detail of their crime, and thus found themselves discovered. It was a pity, thought Bunter, pounding the ashes with the poker as he tidied the library at the end of the night, that Lord Peter did not apply the same attention to his personal affairs. The mood produced by a surprisingly successful lunch with Miss Vane, followed by a particularly convivial evening at his club marking the fortieth birthday and upcoming nuptials of Mr Arbuthnot, had not been conducive of caution, with the result that half-charred scraps of paper covered with inky scribbles reading Harriet Wimsey, Lady Peter Wimsey, Harriet, Lady Peter Wimsey, Lord and Lady Peter Wimsey and, repeatedly over a whole sheet, embellished with little curlicues and what were presumably meant to be turtle doves, I love Harriet Vane, were left for the service flats’ staff to discover in the morning and, knowing Evelyn as Bunter feared that he did, giggle over to the detriment of their duties. Now that the trial was over, and the lady's innocence conclusively proved, this might have been merely embarrassing had the writing not also been accompanied by his lordship's attempts at a portrait of the object of his affections. His lordship had many talents, but, Bunter reflected, the artistic depiction of the human form was not among them. Nor did the little bubbles of speech above the figures' heads add to their dignity. As for this one, screwed in a ball on top of the others and barely singed, once the paper had been sufficiently smoothed and the traces of India-rubber dusted away to reveal the fine detail with which the artist had evidently struggled, no wonder his lordship had thrown the lot so hastily on the fire and hurried away to the bedroom if that was what was on his mind. One couldn’t fault the artist’s enthusiasm for his subject, even if the execution left something to be desired. A less trustworthy servant might have considered the opportunity offered for minor blackmail. Bunter, ever upright in his lordship’s service, merely rescued the Times Literary Supplement from beneath a brandy glass, and continued his sweep of the room. Love, he mused over his bedtime cocoa, did funny things to a man. The young lady herself seemed a little less moved by the romance inherent in the situation, but under the circumstances allowances might be made. Bunter himself, only an onlooker, had found the situation less than restful. Only unusual anxiety concerning the potential effects on his lordship of an unsuccessful outcome could have caused him to be so careless as to forget to burn that last revealing sheet of paper, discovered in a pocket by its crackle as he hung up his black coat to air. The fireplace in his bedroom had been taken out when the central heating was put in, and it was hardly an urgent enough job to necessitate a return to the kitchen at this time of night. It had been a long day, and the cocoa was soporific. Still, one mustn’t leave such things lying around. If one had forgotten this evening one might easily do so again in the hurry of the morning. A locked drawer was the thing, a locked box in a locked drawer. There would be plenty of time to deal with it properly another day.
Tags: wimseyfic
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