On April 2nd, 2012, a new online novel, Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square, launched here at Stalking the Belle Époque. The story line picks up after the events of Punch's Cousin, as we follow Julian, the Duke of Fallbridge and Dr. Robert Halifax as they return to England from their journey to New Orleans. Along with the Duke's newly adopted son, Colin, (really his nephew), the Doctor and the Duke take up residence at the elegant townhouse at No. 65 Belgrave Square. They are joined by their valets, Charles and Gerard, and their African maid Gamilla--all of whom traveled from New Orleans to London to stay with the Duke and Dr. Halifax.
Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square concerns the residents of Number 65--both upstairs and downstairs. As the Duke of Fallbridge struggles with his new life as a jeweler for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, his Dissociative Identity Disorder (his dominant personality is a facsimile of the famed puppet character, Mr. Punch), his new role as a father and as a companion to Robert, the staff of the luxurious mansion must learn to get by in a less-than-traditional household and with people with whom they never thought they'd associate.
Like Punch's Cousin had, a new chapter of Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square will be posted every day except Sunday. You can read past chapters here.
Chapter 1: The Idol's Gossip
Chapter Summary: London Society is atwitter with rumors of the Duke of Fallbridge and his new companion, Dr. Robert Halifax who, along with the Duke's newly adopted son, Colin, have returned to London after several mysterious weeks in America. Taking up residence in the Duke's palatial Belgrave Square townhouse, the couple is joined by two valets: Charles and Gerard, an African parlor maid called Gamilla and a complete staff. All that lacks is a governess. Ellen Barrett nervously awaits her interview with the widely discussed Duke.
Chapter 2: His Grace, Duke of In-Between
Chapter Summary: Ellen Barrett meets the Duke of Fallbridge for the first time. She quickly realizes that he is not the typical English aristocrat. This unusual fellow seems, to Ellen, to be always caught between two worlds. The Duke and the doctor offer Ellen the position of governess to the Duke's adopted son, Colin. Ellen accepts and is introduced to the African maid, Gamilla. The two form an instant bond.
Chapter 3: Downstairs
Chapter Summary: Ellen moves into No. 65 Belgrave Square. She is greeted by the butler, Speaight, who informs her that the Duke and Dr. Halifax have instructed everyone to make her comfortable. Gamilla arrives at Ellen's room to help her unpack. The two women bond as Gamilla tells Ellen about life in America and about the other people employed in the household. Ellen suggests that Gamilla should also serve as Nursery Maid, in addition to her other duties, since she has the most experience with Colin. Gamilla is pleased by the idea. Ellen notices that Gamilla accidentally refers to the Duke as "Mr. Punch," but doesn't press the issue once Gamilla says that her loyalty to the Duke and the doctor prevent her from speaking about them.
Chapter 4: The Duke and the Doctor
Chapter Summary: The staff of No. 65 Belgrave Square is introduced to the new governess, Ellen Barrett. Ellen talks with Mr. Speaight, the butler, about the possibility of Gamilla serving as Nursery Maid. Mr. Speaight agrees after playfully teasing Gamilla. Later, Ellen asks Mr. Speaight some questions about the Duke and the doctor and is told not to talk about her "betters." Speaight gently informs Ellen that what goes on upstairs is none of their concern. Ellen understands and goes upstairs at the command of the Duke of Fallbridge. Alone, Speaight and Mrs. Pepper, the cook, wonder if perhaps Ellen will be too curious.
Chapter 5: Mr. Punch and the Baby
Chapter Summary: The Duke of Fallbridge chats with Ellen Barrett about Colin and introduces the new governess to his puppet. Frankly, Ellen is surprised to see the Duke seated on the floor with a puppet, Colin and the Dog Toby, but she finds his strange behavior charming. As the Duke and the governess become better acquainted, he begins to speak in a more casual (and rougher) manner, asking Ellen if she minds. She replies that she does not. The doctor enters, referring to the Duke as "Dear Punch," unaware that Ellen is in the room. The Duke suggests to his companion that they can trust Ellen and hints that she should be told the Duke's secret. The doctor agrees and they urge Miss Barrett to not reveal what they're about to tell her.
Chapter 6: Childhood Friends
Chapter Summary: Though Dr. Halifax was, at first, resistant, he and Mr. Punch sit down with Ellen and share with the new governess the reality that the Duke of Fallbridge has more than one personality. The Duke explains that his dominant personality, Mr. Punch, developed when he was a child. Ellen is sympathetic and understanding, much to the relief of Dr. Halifax. Punch asks Ellen to call him "Mr. Punch," and Ellen explains that she will keep their secret.
Chapter 7: An Inevitable Invitation
Chapter Summary: Robert, upon reading a letter from his brother, Cecil, recalls a conversation the two had shared before he and Mr. Punch returned to England. Cecil entreated Robert to write a book about Mr. Punch's mental affliction--one which might help others in the same situation. Robert, however, felt that though such a book might help others, it would be a betrayal of the relationship he shared with the Duke/Mr. Punch. Robert received the morning's post and joined Mr. Punch in the Drawing Room. Amongst the bills was a letter from Prince Albert inviting the Duke of Fallbridge to the palace. Punch worried that he would not be able to serve the Prince as a jeweler, but Robert reassured his companion that his designs were as good as anything Julian ever produced. Punch asked Robert to join him upon his visit to the palace.
Chapter 8: Questions Above and Below
Chapter Summary: Mr. Punch pleads with Robert to come with him, the following day, to Buckingham Palace. Robert wondered how it would be possible, but then concludes that they should send a letter to Prince Albert asking permission for the Duke to bring his companion. Robert sends for Charles to deliver the letter to the palace. Mr. Punch and Robert chat and Robert reveals that the first time he ever saw the Duke/Mr. Punch was at the Crystal Palace during the 1851 Exhibition. The Duke, then Lord Fallbridge, had been in attendance with Queen Victoria and the Prince Consort. Robert and Punch remember that day and how, after the exhibition, the Duke had been beaten in Covent Garden. It was at that point that Mr. Punch had taken over as the dominant personality, seeking out medical attention for the wounds their shared body suffered. That was the moment that fate had first led Mr. Punch to Dr. Robert Halifax. Meanwhile, downstairs, the staff wondered where Charles had gone. Hortence proved to be very difficult, making wise cracks and implying that everyone was against her. Speaight explained that Charles had gone on an errand to the palace. Hortence complained that Gerard, Charles, Gamilla and Ellen were shown favoritism. The ornery maid then suggested that the Duke was mad--an implication which angered Speaight, Mrs. Pepper and Ellen. Ellen sprang to the Duke's defense, making Hortence wonder if she was in on the Duke's secret. Ellen and Gamilla exchanged knowing glances.
Chapter 9: Allegiance
Chapter Summary: Ellen leads Gamilla to the linen pantry where she talks with the maid about the Duke's revelation that he has more than one personality. Gamilla and Ellen continue to bond, closer from their shared knowledge. However, Ellen notices that someone is lurking outside of the cupboard. She opens the door to find a smirking Hortence who has apparently overheard their conversation. Hortence mocks the two women until Speaight arrives to break up the discussion. Ellen returns to her duties after spying Hortence scurry into the scullery. In the scullery, the scullery maid, Ethel, doesn't want to hear Hortence's gossip, stating that their situation is better than most and that they'd best not cause trouble. Hortence, however, appears to be crafting a plan to make life a little more comfortable for herself.
Chapter 10: Dressing a Duke
Chapter Summary: Charles finds Mr. Punch hiding under the desk in his bedroom, refusing to get dressed. The Duke/Mr. Punch is nervous about his impending visit to the palace. Charles recalls his first days with the Duke and realizes how much he's grown to care for his employer. He humors Mr. Punch who explains that he won't get dressed until Dr. Halifax returns. Charles manages to convince Mr. Punch to, at least, take a bath. Robert returns, much to the relief of both Punch and Charles. Robert reminds Punch that he must do things that he doesn't want to in order to make life better for Colin. He then tells Mr. Punch how proud he is of him. Meanwhile, though the men are unaware, Hortence is listening at that door.
Chapter 11: Blackmail
Chapter Summary: While Mr. Punch splashes around in the bathtub, Charles and Dr. Halifax lay out the Duke's clothes for the impending visit to Buckingham Palace. As they do, Charles awkwardly confesses to Robert that he's worried that Mr. Punch has been isolated for so long that, when forced to return to public, he will be unable to continue to pretend to be the Duke of Fallbridge. Robert reassures Charles that his master is more in control than they realize. Mr. Punch howls that he's ready to get out of the tub and Charles hurries off to tend to him, leaving Robert alone in the room. Meanwhile, outside in the hallway, Ellen catches Hortence eavesdropping at the Duke's door. She confronts the maid who smiles cruelly. Hortence says that if Ellen tells Mr. Speaight what she saw, Hortence will inform both Speaight and the Duke that a friend has said Ellen was dismissed from her last position for having an affair with the master of the house. Ellen says that Hortence is lying and Hortence responds that she's willing to call Ellen's bluff. Hearing the argument from outside, Dr. Halifax opens the door and asks the women what is going on.
Chapter 12: Always a Dozen More
Chapter Summary: Robert finds Ellen and Hortence quarreling in the passage and confronts them. Hortence claims she was just cleaning, but Robert calls her bluff. Ellen states that she caught the maid eavesdropping and Robert sends Hortence to the servants' hall, but not before warning her not to say anything about Ellen. Robert reminds Ellen that she is in a position of trust and must maintain it. Robert enters the Duke's room and finds Mr. Punch dressed for their outing to Buckingham Palace. He affectionately approves Punch's appearance before retreating to dismiss Hortence. Downstairs, Hortence causes a scene. She threatens to go to the press with tales of the goings-on at No. 65 Belgrave Square. Robert suggests that she should be very careful about what she says and fires the girl. Alone, Robert recalls the poverty of his youth and worries that Hortence could be a threat to their household.
Chapter 13: Family Pride
Chapter Summary: As Mr. Punch and Robert travel to Buckingham Palace, Mr. Punch wonders why they couldn't have walked as opposed to riding in a carriage and Robert quietly worries about Hortence's threats. Punch tries to get Robert to tell him what's on his mind. Robert doesn't want to further worry Punch and doesn't mention Hortence's angry exit. Punch suspects that Robert is concerned that he will be unable to effectively behave with the Prince, but Robert assures Punch that he is not worried. Robert states that since he has never met Royalty, he is anxious that he himself might embarrass them. Punch tells Robert that he is proud of his companion and that he is excited to present his "chum" to the Prince Consort. As the carriage approaches the palace, the two men share a quiet moment.
Chapter 14: The Rest of the Stag
Chapter Summary: Punch and Robert enter their meeting with Prince Albert. The Prince Consort is disdainful of Robert at first, but declares the man "handsome" and compares him to an Italian painting. Prince Albert addresses the rumors which have flooded London that the Duke is mad. Punch cleverly replies that he would be worried if people weren't gossiping about him. Mr. Punch notes that Prince Albert and Robert have similar sensibilities, a comment which seems to please His Majesty. The Prince states that he wishes Julian to create a brooch for Queen Victoria's impending birthday on May 24. The Prince is specific. He wants a pin adorned with golden oak leaves--with very specific stones. He tosses Punch/the Duke a small pouch filled with stag's teeth and informs him that he should incorporate them into the design. Mr. Punch bites his tongue. Afterwards, Punch and Robert laugh about their experience.
Chapter 15: For the Best
Chapter Summary: The afternoon following their visit to the palace, Mr. Punch and Robert sat in the library of No. 65. The two chatted as Mr. Punch sorted through the pouch of stag's teeth which the Prince had given him. Punch tried to come up with a proper design for the Queen's birthday, worrying that a pregnant woman--the Queen was, again, with-child at the time--would not want to wear jewels made from an animal's teeth. Robert watched Punch skillfully create a design and began asking questions. The doctor's scientific mind yearned to know the mechanics of the Duke's personalities--who knew what and how. Punch tried to answer his companion's questions, but soon became visibly upset, retreating behind the screen in the corner of the library. Robert tearfully apologized to Mr. Punch who confessed that he worried that Robert missed Julian. Punch asks Robert if he'd prefer to be with Julian and not with him, but Robert reassures the man that it was he--Mr. Punch--who had his heart. Mr. Punch suggests that they have nursery tea with Colin and Miss Barrett. As they leave the library, Robert decides that he should not write the book that Cecil suggested.
Chapter 16: From Workhouse to Townhouse
Chapter Summary: The evening after their visit to the palace, Robert returns from tending to a patient to find Gerard in his room. Gerard informs Robert that all is well in the household. Robert asks if there's any fallout downstairs from the fallout of dismissal of Hortence and Gerard responds that the staff is happier with her gone. Gerard tells Robert how they spend their evenings downstairs and how, at night, they all gather together to listen to Speaight read to them. That night they'll be starting "The Adventures of Oliver Twist." Gerard shares that he, as a boy, was in a workhouse and Robert shares the poverty in which he and Cecil were raised. Later, Robert joins Mr. Punch in his room and finds the man making faces in the mirror. Punch asks Robert to tell him a story and the two settle in for the night.
Chapter 17: The Language of Flowers
Chapter Summary: With their masters comfortably settled-in upstairs, the staff gather in the servants' hall to listen to Mr. Speaight begin "The Adventures of Oliver Twist." With Colin down for the night, Ellen feels she can take a few minutes of rest and comes downstairs. She spots a vase of spring flowers. Mrs. Pepper informs the governess that the flowers had been left for her while Jenny and Ethel speculate about the romantic (and Mrs. Pepper, the negative) meaning of the particular flowers. Jenny says that a man named "Victor" left the flowers. Ellen seems to know who Victor is, but when Jenny states that the fellow was a light ginger with freckles, Ellen becomes visibly nervous, excusing herself and going upstairs. In the grand foyer of the house, Ellen hears noises from outside. She opens the front door and spots a parcel left on the stoop. An envelope bound with black ribbon bears the Duke's name. With it, a yellow carnation--the symbol of disappointment--has been left behind.
Chapter 18: Communication
Chapter Summary: Mr. Punch is quite delighted with his breakfast, so much so that he doesn't notice when Ellen Barrett joins him in the morning room. Ellen is nervous receiving a mysterious gift of flowers and finding a letter for the Duke at the mansion's front door. Punch finally notices Ellen and invited her to join him. He spots the letter she's carrying--the one bound with black ribbon and adorned with a yellow carnation. He asks Ellen for the letter and reads it. Ellen mistakenly, at first, believes the letter concerns her and an event which took place at her last place of employment. She is both relieved and horrified to find that the letter is a threat to Mr. Punch. An anonymous sender has threatened to tell the press and the Crown that Punch is "mad." Mr. Punch is clearly upset and wonders who would do such a thing. Ellen suggests that it might be Hortence, based on the threats the maid made when she was dismissed. Punch is hurt that Robert didn't tell him what Hortence has said. The Duke/Mr. Punch dismisses Ellen and tearfully waits for his companion to return home.
Chapter 19: Dinner Will Help
Chapter Summary: Downstairs, the staff is sullen since the master seems to be ill-at-ease. Mrs. Pepper is bothered that no one has eaten the food she's prepared for upstairs and Mr. Speaight tried to mollify her. The Duke hasn't eaten, nor has he spoken to anyone. He's just been waiting for the Doctor to return. Robert comes home after witnessing the death of one of their neighbors. He's exhausted, yet he is immediately concerned that Mr. Punch is not himself. Punch shows Robert the letter that Ellen had found. Robert is outraged and Mr. Punch suggests that it was Hortence who left the unsigned missive. Robert realizes that Punch has been told about the maid's threats. Punch asks Robert if he thinks him mad as well, but Robert quickly reassured his companion. Punch explains that Robert shouldn't keep things from him, even if it is to protect him and Robert realizes that Punch is correct. Mr. Punch suggests that before they do anything, they should eat, much to the relief of Mr. Speaight who is pleased to inform the staff that all is right again in their small world.
Chapter 20: Flowers for the Drawing Room
Chapter Summary: Gamilla goes upstairs to check on Miss Barrett and finds that the governess has not touched her dinner tray. Gamilla convinces Ellen to eat and the two chat. Ellen asks Gamilla about Gerard and says she noticed that Gamilla and Gerard share an interest in one another. Gamilla states clearly that a romance between the two of them would be forbidden. Gamilla asks Ellen if she’d ever had a boyfriend and Ellen responds that she had, but that it was not meant to be because the man was of a different class. Ellen says the man’s name was Victor, but it wasn’t the same man who’d brought flowers to the servants’ hall. Gamilla confesses that no one has ever brought her flowers and Gamilla says that she will. The two continue to bond, but Ellen is still concerned about the disturbing note that the Duke received.
Chapter 21: A Fine Day of Rest
Chapter Summary: A new day begins quite well for Mr. Punch who is pleased to show Charles that he bathed on his own (only throwing three bars of soap, too). Charles helps his master get dressed and informs him that he and the doctor were mentioned in the newspaper. The announcement makes Punch nervous as he recalls the threatening letter he’d received, but when he learns that the news was just in the “society” section, he relaxes. Punch informs Charles that the doctor is still asleep and that the two of them have planned a calm day of rest. Speaight arrives to inform the Duke that a man has arrived to see him. The man, obviously not a peer, calls himself “Victor Geddes” and Speaight explains that he’s not seen the man before though he remembers a Victor Geddes who once lived on Belgrave Square, but moved to Grosvenor Square when he was created Baron of Lensdown. Speaight reminds the Duke that Miss Barrett once worked for the Baron of Lensdown. Just as Mr. Punch decides to ask Speaight to send the man away, Gerard comes to the room to announce that the Lady Constance Hamish, the daughter of the Countess Hamish had come to call. Punch decides, reluctantly and despite Charles’ hints to the contrary, to see both of them.
Chapter 22: A Way to Ruin
Chapter Summary: Gerard and Charles try to talk Mr. Punch out of receiving Lady Constance and Victor Geddes. Mr. Punch appreciated their concern and loyalty, but states that because there has been so much talk about their household, he feels she should avoid giving Society another chance to speak ill of them. Punch insists that dismissing Lady Constance would be construed by her family as an excuse and an invitation to gossip. He also tells the footmen about the threat he received and that he feels she should see Victor Geddes because he might be behind it. Gerard volunteers to stay with Geddes until Punch is finished with Lady Constance and Charles states that he’ll guard the library door. Punch visits with Lady Constance who awkwardly extends an invitation to a dinner party designed to welcome the Duke and Dr. Halifax. Punch reluctantly agrees to attend and is taken aback when Lady Constance slyly mentions Baron Lensdown, the real Victor Geddes, Ellen’s former employer. Finally rid of the woman, Punch sighs as he then must contend with the man who calls himself Victor Geddes.
Chapter 23: Quite a Coincidence
Chapter Summary: Mr. Punch, having just finished with a visit from Lady Constance Hamish, climbs the stairs to meet his next visitor—the man called Victor Geddes. Charles wishes the Duke luck and announced his master. The visitor is quite rude, angering Mr. Punch who manages to maintain his impersonation of Julian. The visitor states that he’s come to warn the Duke of a danger to his household—Ellen. He claims that Ellen has had an affair with her past employer. Punch asks for proof and the man becomes flustered. Meanwhile, Ellen comes down and wonders why Charles and Gerard are guarding the library door. Gerard reluctantly states that the Duke has been visited by a man called Victor. Ellen insists they let her in the room, but her plea is interrupted by Mr. Punch’s screams from the library. Gerard, Charles and Ellen enter the room to find the man strangling Mr. Punch. Ellen orders him to stop, calling him, “Roger” and reminding him that their connection is irrefutable.
Chapter 24: As Fortunate as I
Chapter Summary: Gerard, Charles and Ellen find a man choking the Duke/Mr. Punch. Charles and Gerard pull the man from Mr. Punch and Ellen pleads with them not to harm him since he’s her brother, Roger. Punch and the valets want to send for the beadle, but Ellen begs with them not to. Punch rings for Speaight who is shocked to hear the master speak in such an odd way. Punch covers. Robert hears the commotion and comes down. Angry at first, he examines his companion. Ellen tries to explain that, at times, Roger thinks he’s other people. She states that she’s kept him in a private suite of rooms with a hired care-taker, but that he must have somehow gotten out. Ellen further explains that she had, in fact, been in love with her last employer but that he heart was broken. She volunteers to resign, but Robert and Punch talk he out of it. Punch realizes that Roger is like him, but not as fortunate in that he doesn’t have wealth nor someone like Robert. Robert and Punch are resolute that they’ll help Roger. Ellen is grateful. Alone, Punch tells Robert that he never considered the possibility that there were others like him. Robert almost mentions his book idea, but doesn’t. The two men promise to aid Roger as best they can.
Chapter 25: Just Keep Talking
Chapter Summary: Robert hurries to dress so that he and Punch can join Miss Barrett and her brother (with Charles and Gerard) in Robert’s study. Punch confesses that he’s nervous and doesn’t know what to do. Robert says that he’s unsure, as well, the best course of action to take with Roger. Punch asks how Robert “treated” him and Robert says that he didn’t as there was no need. The doctor continues that Roger’s situation is, though similar, very different from Punch’s. The two men join the others and find Roger curled up in a ball on the floor. Gerard and Charles say that the man has been like that since his sister entered the room. Punch has an idea and sends Charles for his puppet. Using his puppet to soothe Roger, Punch gets the man to talk and reassures him that they’ll help him.
Chapter 26: Human Wants
Chapter Summary: Punch and Robert return to No. 65 after depositing Ellen and Roger at Roger’s hired rooms. Robert commends Punch for the way in which he was able to calm the man. Gamilla meets her employers and asks after Ellen and her brother. The maid is worried that Punch has been hurt. She tells them that she’ll look after Colin while Ellen is out. Punch tells Robert that Speaight heard him speaking in his Punch-voice and seemed curious. Speaight arrives and informs the gentlemen that Mrs. Pepper has prepared a special tea. He informs Robert that a man visited and asked for him. Punch questions Robert about this man. Robert says he was an old friend called William Stover. Punch is clearly jealous and tells Robert that neither he nor Julian has any old friends. Robert explains that he and William had a disagreement when William asked Robert to share a house with him. Robert tells Punch he has no reason to be jealous. Punch tells Robert that William must have gotten their address from the ‘Illustrated News.’” As the footmen bring in tea, Robert tucks William’s card into his pocket.
Chapter 27: Just Like Me
Chapter Summary: The day after the strange encounter with Miss Barrett’s brother, Punch, after breakfast, had taken Colin and Dog Toby into the library of No. 65 Belgrave Square where the three “chatted” and played. Punch shares a bit with the boy about his mother, and told him that when he begins to speak, he should call his uncle, “Father.” The joyful time was interrupted by Charles who informed Punch that a man had come to call for Dr. Halifax. The man—William Stover (whom Robert had mentioned to Punch the evening before) had, upon learning that the doctor was out, asked to see the Duke of Fallbridge instead. Punch agreed to see the man and an awkward encounter ensued. Punch couldn’t help but still feel a little jealous and caught himself being unintentionally rude to the man who admitted that he was curious to see with whom Robert was living. Punch assured William that he would take very good care of Robert. After the man left, Punch felt quite pleased (as Punch) with himself and ran upstairs to continue his morning with Dog Toby and Colin.
Chapter 28: A Lovely Chat
Chapter Summary: Gamilla, at Punch’s request, brings a tray from Mrs. Pepper to Ellen who has been sleeping since returning from her troubled brother’s aid. Gamilla insists that Ellen should eat and Ellen complies. Gamilla explains that everyone in the household is worried about her and sending prayers. Ellen is touched. The two women continue to bond and Ellen gives Gamilla the flowers she had promised the maid. Gamilla is overcome by the gesture. The maid attributes their happy home to the love of the Duke and the doctor and Ellen wishes that nothing ever happens to interrupt that happiness. Meanwhile, William Stover visits his unwed sister and her many children. The sister, Eudora, asks about William’s visit to No. 65 Belgrave Square and William says that it seems to be a happy, elegant home. Eudora, it seems, is a friend of Hortence who previously was employed by the Duke (and who, as we know, threatened Robert when she was dismissed). Hortence and Eudora have concocted a scheme to blackmail the Duke and Robert and have tried to enlist William who was once a friend of Robert’s. William wants no part of their vicious plan and tells his sister as much. He refuses to being ruin to a man for whom he once cared and to the Duke who treated him with kindness. Eudora, however, continues to insist and states that if William doesn’t assist her and Hortence she will reveal William’s homosexuality to their imprisoned father who will, as Eudora makes abundantly clear, murder his only son when released from prison.
Chapter 29: Any Such Control
Chapter Summary: Robert walks home from having spent the day with Mr. Barrett and his hired companion, Scotty. While Robert isn’t sure how to proceed in assisting Mr. Barrett, he does have a better sense of the man’s mental condition. As Robert walked to Belgrave Square, he recalls the many homes that he and his brother Cecil shared and how he had always dreamed of living in a place like Belgrave Square. Robert is interrupted by William Stover who has managed to gain access to the square’s lush central garden. William greets Robert and seems to want the doctor’s favorable attention, but teases him nonetheless. Robert tells William in no uncertain terms that he wants nothing to do with him. William becomes increasingly rude and Robert sends him away. After Robert leaves, William recalls the scheme that his sister and Hortence have hatched and bemoans the fact that he will have to carry it out, especially since he didn’t get the reunion with Robert of which he once dreamed. Robert returns home where Charles states that he saw Mr. Stover lurking around. Robert asks the footman to send William away should the man ever return. Punch greets his companion and Robert begins to feel safe again.
Chapter 30: An Unexpected Rise and Fall
Chapter Summary: Downstairs, Speaight is angered to find that Ethel scrubbed the stairs during the dinner rush. He demanded that the girl wipe them down so that no one would slip. In preparing for dinner, Speaight overheard Mr. Punch speak as himself instead of as the Duke. Punch finally admitted to the butler that he was two men in one and Speaight reinforced his continued loyalty. During dinner, Punch included the footmen and butler in their discussions. The conversation turned to a christening for Colin and Punch began to wonder what name to give the boy. They concluded on Colin Robert Julian Dearpunch Molliner. Speaight was touched and honored to be included and felt elevated to a position of being a member of the family. Meanwhile, on his way to fetch the pudding, Charles took a terrible spill—falling down the stairs.
Chapter 31: Nasty Stuff, I Know
Chapter Summary: Gamilla rushes into the dining room to tell them that Charles has fallen down the stairs. Robert, Punch, Speaight and Gerard hurry downstairs. Charles is injured and has a bloody nose. The men help him up as Dr. Halifax checks the man’s spine. Robert concludes Charles has a broken wrist. Mrs. Pepper helps to clean up Charles. Speaight notices that Tom is lurking about, but doesn’t realize that the boy is purposefully eavesdropping. Punch and Gerard try to comfort Charles. Ellen comes down and feels faint at the sight of the blood and Gerard helps her to sit, causing Gamilla to become momentarily jealous. Robert gives Charles pain medicine despite his protests to the contrary. Speaight notices that Tom has left without permission. Tom meets with his mother—Eudora Stover, friend of Hortence and sister of William Stover—and tells her all that he overheard—including the fact that the Duke is sometimes called Mr. Punch and that he speaks oddly when alone.
Chapter 32: Pour l'éternité
Chapter Summary: Mr. Punch awakens from a dream about puppies to see Robert watching him. Punch teases Robert about staying in his room all night and Robert explains that it’s a special occasion. Punch isn’t sure what Robert means and Robert explains that it is the anniversary of his birth. Punch exclaims that it’s the anniversary of Julian’s birth—not his—since he was never technically born like a human being. Robert explains that without Julian’s birth, there’d be no Punch, so technically, it’s the birthday of both of them. Robert tells an emotional Punch that he, Speaight and Mrs. Pepper have planned a party complete with a grand cake. Punch insists he doesn’t deserve such special treatment, but Robert happily protests. Robert presents Punch with the gift of a glittering ring set with gems spelling, DEAREST. The ring is inscribed. Punch is thrilled and the two share a tender moment.
Chapter 33: A Jolly Good Fellow
Chapter Summary: Speaight informs the staff that the Duke and Dr. Halifax have asked that they all come upstairs after dinner to share a glass a champagne and piece of cake in honor of the Duke’s thirty-ninth birthday. Jenny and Ethel are thrilled, having never seen the reception rooms of the mansion before. Speaight thanks the staff for giving money to buy a gift for the Duke. Charles is clearly loopy from the pain drugs that Dr. Halifax gave him for his broken wrist. Charles asks Gerard to return the bottle of medicine to the doctor. Ellen and Gamilla have also purchased a gift for the Duke as have Charles and Gerard. Speaight instructs the staff on how to act. Later, Ethel asks Speaight about the Duke, wondering what he does for a living and why he’s not married. Meanwhile, alone, Gerard wonders what Charles’ medicine might do for him and secretly takes a swig from the bottle.
Chapter 34: Presents for the Duke
Chapter Summary: The staff gathers outside the drawing room for the Duke’s party. Ethel and Jenny, having never been in that part of the house, were in awe of the grandeur of the mansion. Speaight instructs everyone on how to enter. They go into the drawing room to find the Duke, the doctor, the baby and Dog Toby waiting with Miss Barrett. The Duke welcomes everyone. They present the Duke his gifts. The staff presents him with a music box painted with a scene from Punch & Judy which plats “Quadrille de Punch.” The next gift came from Buckingham Palace—a gold and enamel snuffbox, it is set with a diamond-framed portrait of Queen Victoria. Next comes a gift from Cecil and Adrienne Halifax in America. It is a puppet figure of Dog Toby. Charles and Gerard—who is high on the medicine he nicked from Charles—give the Duke a pair of gold and ruby cuff buttons. Dr. Halifax privately arranged for an enamel portrait miniature of Colin in a diamond frame for the Duke’s birthday. And, finally, Gamilla and Ellen give the Duke a porcelain nodder of Pierrot holding a Punch puppet. The Duke/Mr. Punch is honored and thanks everyone for their lovely gifts and their friendship, As Speaight pours the champagne and Mrs. Pepper cuts the magnificent cake, Tom enters to tell Speaight that two women have called for the Duke.
Chapter 35: Hide and Seek:
Chapter Summary: The Duke’s birthday celebration is interrupted by a visit from Lady Constance and her mother the Countess Hamish. The countess is irritated that she had to wait outside until Speaight answered the door. She rudely lashed out at Speaight before tearing into the Duke, reminding him of his mother and saying that he is “mad.” Robert, to whom the countess had also been insufferable, sprang to Punch’s defense, reminding the Countess that she was long rumored to have been a mistress of both William IV and George IV. Robert demanded that the two women leave their home. Lady Constance tried to calm her mother and whispered something to her about remembering the plan, but the countess was unmoved. Afterwards, Robert regrets his actions, but Punch praises him for being so forceful On their way to return to the party, Punch asks Robert to play a game with him.
Chapter 36: A Bit o' Joy
Chapter Summary: Mr. Punch, Robert, Colin, Gamilla and Charles go to Covent Garden on the morning after Punch's birthday to see the puppet show. Afterwards, Punch, Robert and Ellen were to go visit Ellen's brother. Punch was terribly excited to see the Punch and Judy show and Robert gently reminded his companion to act more like the Duke. Charles spotted William Stover in the crowd and alerted Robert. The sight of the man enraged Robert who covered in front of Mr. Punch. Robert informed Punch that it was time for them to go. Later, Gamilla asked Charles about the man who was watching them and Charles said that if that man tried to harm their household, he would rip him to shreds.
Chapter 37: In Ruins
Chapter Summary: While the Duke, Dr. Halifax and Miss Barrett visit Roger Barrett, Charles and Gamilla return to No. 65 where they find Mrs. Pepper and Jenny. Gamilla asks after Gerard and Mrs. Pepper says the footman has taken to his bed. Gamilla is worried, but Mrs. Pepper tries to make light of it. Mrs. Pepper offers Charles a snack and they discuss Mr. Speaight who returns from the mews annoyed that Tom has gone off again. Speaight explains that Tom was the son of a friend of Hortence's and that he'd been hired prior to Speaight joining the staff. Speaight and Mrs. Pepper discuss firing Tom. Charles goes to the room he shares with Gerard and finds the man passed out. Charles spots the medicine bottle he'd asked Gerard to return to Dr. Halifax and realizes that Gerry has been taking the medicine.
Chapter 38: So Much Like a Man
Chapter Summary: Punch, Robert and Miss Barrett return from visiting her brother and discuss his condition. Robert and Punch suggest hiring a new caretaker for Mr. Barrett and Ellen says she can't afford it. Punch and Robert volunteer to foot the bill. Charles arrives with Dog Toby intent to tell the masters that Gerry has been nicking the pain medicine, but he's interrupted by Speaight who says that a messenger came with an urgent missive about an accident at the Stover Porcelain Company. Punch frowns as he realizes this is William Stover's concern. Robert is annoyed and doesn't want to go,but Punch reminds him of his oath. Charles doesn't end up telling on Gerard. Alone, Punch whispered to Dog Toby that if this is a trick on William's part, he'll bash the man's head in. He doesn't realize the Tom is listening at the door.
Chapter 39: An Accident
Chapter Summary: Robert arrives at the Stover Porcelain Factory to find nothing immediately wrong. He's directed to the office where he discovers William who seems to know nothing of the message that was sent about an emergency. Robert blasts William, warning him to stay away and never contact him nor the Duke again, threatening to destroy the man if he does. As Robert storms out of the office, he realizes that the door has remained open and that all of the workers in the factory heard his threat. Afterwards, Eudora and Hortence arrive at William's office and William demands to know what just happened. The women tell William that it's none of his concern and that he'll soon understand everything.
Chapter 40: Raised Voices
Chapter Summary: Gerard comes down from the attics to find Charles. Gerard notices the loud shouting coming form the morning room and Charles explains that Dr. Halifax has been shouting since he came home from the emergency call at the Stover Porcelain Company. It seems that the message had been nothing but a hoax and that Dr. Halifax was feeling quite put-out. Charles confronts Gerard about the stolen medicine and Gerard insists that he won't do it again. Ellen joins the footmen and asks what the shouting is about. Charles again explains. Gerard, Charles and Ellen vow that no one will ruin the peace of their household nor hurt their masters.
Chapter 41: Gone to Ice
Chapter Summary: Punch and Robert visit Buckingham Palace to join Prince Albert for luncheon. While waiting for the tardy Prince Consort, Punch recalls when he (actually Julian) visited the Palace for the first time during the 1850 renovation when the East facade was altered and fittings from Brighton Pavilion were plundered for use at the palace. Punch and Robert remark that even after the Prince Consort's improvements, the palace is still brutally cold, even in the Springtime. The Prince joins them and is typically curt. Punch gives Prince Albert the designs for the jewels, and, suddenly, the Prince must take his leave. On their way home, Robert and Punch laugh about the queer meal. Their laughter stops when they see a heap on the steps of No. 65. The heap turns out to be the corpse of a man--William Stover--who has been beaten about the head until dead.
Chapter 42: Audacity
Chapter Summary: As Hutchinson runs off to find the beadle, Robert examines the body of William Stover while Punch starts to panic. Robert tries to calm his partner down, however, Punch fears that perhaps Stover was killed while he was trying to harm Colin or someone in the house. Punch rings the bell. Robert tells Punch that William seems to have been killed elsewhere, several hours before, and was moved to their front steps. Charles joins his masters as the constable arrives. Punch is able to compose himself enough to pretend to be Julian. The constable asks a great many questions and seems suspicious of Robert. When told who the victim is, the constable realizes that William was from a "low" family and appears to conclude that he met a bad end when something shady went wrong. As Robert and Punch go into the house, the officer tells Robert that he's"lucky to be with the Duke of Fallbridge now." Once inside, Punch sends Charles to tell the staff what happened. Robert and Punch tell one another that they didn't kill William. Punch feels whoever killed William did so to protect them, but Robert feels that the murderer did so in order to frame one or both of them and tear apart their household.
Chapter 43: Nowhere to Go
Chapter Summary: All of London is abuzz with the news that a corpse was found on the front steps of the Duke of Fallbridge's Belgrave Square home. While some of the rumors were malicious, the Queen and Prince Albert did their part to help the Duke. The Prince Consort and his aides helped to silence the newspapers. Meanwhile, Punch and Robert muddled through at home. Punch tried to cheer his partner, but found Robert to be unusually depressed. Suddenly, they hear a scream from downstairs in the servants' hall. Rushing downstairs, they found Ethel outside of the scullery, screaming that a man was in her room. Robert went into the scullery to find Roger Barrett--covered in blood--calmly waiting inside. Mr. Barrett asked for Mr. Punch as Ellen was fetched.
Chapter 44: Rubbish
Chapter Summary: There was no rest for the residents of No. 65 after the discovery of William Stover's body. Ethel discovered Roger Barrett, Ellen's brother, hiding in the scullery. The man was covered in blood and asked for the Duke. Punch tried to calm the man whose mood swung dramatically. Robert urged Punch to be cautious. Punch convinced Mr. Barrett that he was safe and managed to see that the man had a head injury. Robert send Charles for his bag and, then, drugged Roger with Punch's help. Robert asked Charles to fetch the beadle, but Ellen pleaded with Robert not to. Robert was firm that it seemed as if Roger killed William, but Ellen proclaimed her brother's innocence. Speaight interrupted saying that Gerry was found injured. Robert hurried to Gerard's side. Punch speculated that Roger and Gerry must have fought. Mr. Punch became irritable when Charles and Ellen quarreled and insisted that they both focus on helping Roger.
Chapter 45: When All the Troubles
Chapter Summary: Punch, after helping Ellen clean up Mr. Barrett, asks Charles to have Hutchinson ready the carriage. Punch wants Ellen and Charles to investigate Mr. Barrett's suite of rooms to make sure his caregiver wasn't injured when Roger got out. Ellen is upset, angry and defensive and lashes out at Charles when the footman suggests that Roger is dangerous. In doing so, she hurts Mr. Punch's feelings. Ellen makes matters worse when she suggests that Dr. Halifax has no authority in the house. Mr. Punch loses his temper and blasts Ellen, however, he reminds her that he will continue to look out for her best interest. Later, Mrs. Pepper comes into the scullery to check on the Duke. She sits with Punch and they chat. Mrs. Pepper tells Punch about her late husband and the life they shared. She praises Punch and Robert for making the household happy and safe. Punch feels stronger after Mrs. Pepper's encouragement.
Chapter 46: The Latter
Chapter Summary: On their way to Mr. Barrett's rooming house to see how Roger escaped and/or if his caregiver was harmed, Ellen and Charles continue the argument that they started in the scullery. Ellen takes a few low blows and brings up Charles' relationship with Barbara Allen, the Duke's sister. Charles calls the governess a dried-out spinster who takes advantage of the Duke. They quickly realize that there's no point to their fighting. Ellen confesses that she's always on the defensive where her brother is concerned. Charles says he hopes they can maintain a friendship and declares that he believes her claim that Roger didn't kill William Stover.
Chapter 47: With this Baggage
Chapter Summary: After Gerard is patched-up and Charles and Ellen return home, Punch and Robert retire for the night. Mr. Barrett is being watched by Charles and Ellen up in Hortence's old room. Robert states again that he thinks that Mr. Barrett should be handed over to the police, but Punch is firm that they gave no evidence against the man, especially since Gerard can't remember what happened and the blood on Roger appeared to be from his own wound. Robert becomes emotional and tells Punch that he fears that he will be blamed for William's murder and that by turning in Roger, he'd be guaranteeing their future together. Punch tries to convince Robert that he is protected and they have no reason to betray Mr. Barrett. Finally, Punch is able to calm his companion. However, downstairs, Speaight answers the door to find Hortence, Eudora and Tom Stover--demanding to know what the Duke intends to do about William's death.
Chapter 48: Mr. Molliner
Chapter Summary: Punch and Robert come downstairs to find Eudora and Tom Stover with Hortence in the foyer of the grand townhouse. Eudora immediately begins to taunt the two men, blatantly calling the Duke by the wrong name and stating that she knows he's insane. Hortence, too, taunts he former employers and Punch and Robert begin to realize that their page is the nephew of the man who was found murdered outside of their home. Eudora Stover demands "justice," and it's clear that she's looking for money. Eudora states that she thinks Robert killed her brother and insists that the Duke should somehow make it right. Eudora tells the men that they'd best do as she says because she asked a beadle to wait outside. Mr. Punch calls her bluff and walks out to call for the beadle. When the officer arrives, Mr. Punch, much to the shock of Robert, states that it was he who killed William Stover. Charles supports his master in the lie, saying that he assisted and Gerard further adds that he moved the body. Then, in his attempt to protect Robert, Punch/the Duke asks the beadle if he intends to be the one who arrests the Duke of Fallbridge.
Chapter 49: To Protect the Crown
Chapter Summary: Robert panics as Punch invites the beadle in. Punch begins to tell the beadle--in front of Eudora, Hortence and Tom--that he killed William Stover. Punch expertly lies, saying that he found William going through his private journal in which he'd written sensitive information shared with him by the Crown. Punch falsely states that he beat William to get the man to release the journal. Charles, Speaight and Gerard support the lie. Punch says that William wandered off, injured, but that he returned when Punch and Robert went to the Palace. Charles and Gerard pick up the lie and say that they finished the man off and tried to move his body. The officer believes the lie and lashes out at Eudora and Hortence who argue. The beadle says he'll have to get an inspector from Scotland Yard to come the following day, but that he doesn't anticipate a problem. The policeman removed Eudora, Hortence and Tom from the house. Robert expresses his fear after Eudora says their quarrel is not over.
Chapter 50: Aim to Fight
Chapter Summary: After the drama with the beadle, Eudora, Hortence and Tom, Punch and Robert retreat to Punch's bedroom where Robert becomes emotional about Punch's false admission of murder. Robert worries that Punch has made life worse for himself and wonders why Punch would bother to protect him. Punch reminds his companion of all they've been through together and states that its his honor to protect Robert. Punch's passionate response makes Robert realize how loved he is. Robert promises to be strong and stick to Punch's side as they continue to fight to stay together.
Chapter 51: The Unexpected Houseguest
Chapter Summary: Mr. Punch makes his way to the attics to see how Charles is fairing with Ellen and Mr. Barrett. Mr. Barrett doesn't recognize Punch at first, and, then, seems to cycle through half a dozen other personalities within several minutes. Charles is clearly fatigued and irritable and Ellen is highly emotional. Robert arrives and he and Punch explain to Mr. Barrett that he must return to his hired rooms. Robert says that an associate from the clinic, James, has been hired to look after Mr. Barrett since the man's original caretaker, Scotty, has gone missing. Mr. Barrett finally goes--accompanied by Charles, Hutchinson and Gerard. Alone with her masters, Ellen becomes even more emotional. Robert is callous at first, still annoyed with Miss Barrett for her treatment of Punch the night before. Punch recalls his father's family estate in Scotland, Grange Molliner--near Balmoral. The reference seems to trigger a queer reaction in Ellen. Ellen and Robert make hesitant peace and as they two men leave to let Ellen sleep, she mumbles something about Grange Molliner.
Chapter 52: God Save the Queen
Chapter Summary: Robert and Speaight discuss household business while Punch is upstairs working. They all await the arrival of the Inspector from Whitehall. When the doorbell rings, Robert fears the inspector has arrived earlier than expected. Imagine their surprise to see Queen Victoria with her entourage standing at their door. Speaight goes to fetch Punch while Robert nervously talks with the Queen. Her Majesty finds Robert sensitive and charming and feels comfortable enough to speak freely with him about her pregnancy and about her concern regarding the news that "Fallbridge" has killed a man. Victoria obviously doesn't believe the story and tries to convince Robert to reveal the truth. At first, Punch does not believe Speaight when he says the Queen has visited. Finally, the butler convinces Punch that it's true and the Duke panics. When Punch enters the morning room (as the Duke) the Queen states that Robert has told her the truth about the murder. Robert has done no such thing, but Victoria's idea worked as Punch confesses that he lied. Seeing that her "favorite" is crestfallen, the Queen soothes Punch and Robert saying that their Queen is there to help them.
Chapter 53: Send Her Victorious
Chapter Summary: Queen Victoria asks Punch to sit. She then explains that because of the rumors she had heard via Lehzen fromt he Countess Hammish, she concluded that Punch had lied about murdering William Stover in order to protect Robert. Punch admitted that this was true. Her Majesty reassures them men that she will help "erase" the situation. However, the Queen has other questions. She has noticed the difference in the Duke of Fallbridge and demands to know what has changed. She notes that it is as if her is doing an impersonation of himself. Punch admits his situation and, surprisingly, the Queen is not only unfazed by it, but seems rather approving. The Queen invites Punch and Robert to Buckingham Palace and asks if Robert will examine her as she is displeased with her current physicians. They agree. As she leaves, the Queen asks if she may, too, call the Duke, "Mr. Punch." Punch says that she may and Robert volunteers his companion to perform a puppet show for Her Majesty.
Chapter 54: We are Amused
Chapter Summary: The day after Queen Victoria's visit, Punch and Robert are on their way to Buckingham Palace at the Queen's command. Punch is grumbling and muttering about having to perform a puppet show for the Queen, complaining that he only has two puppets and that he fears his show will be dull. Robert points out that the Queen is not only fond of Punch, but that she was unusually supportive of their announcement of the fact that he is two men in one. Robert asks Punch about Julian and Punch his companion that when Julian does speak from within their shared body, he speaks of robert with favor. Robert expresses nervousness at having to examine the Queen, and Punch shows his support. They arrive at the palace where Queen Victoria announces that the show will be performed only for her. The Queen is in good spirits and takes delight in referring to the Duke as "Mr. Punch." Relaxed, Punch begins the show for the already amused Queen.
Chapter 55: Never More than Me
Chapter Summary: While the masters are visiting the Queen at Buckingham Palace, the staff of No. 65 takes a chance to rest a little. In the kitchen, Ethel and Jenny are chatting and teasing one another. The girls discuss the fact that the Queen was in the house and that they find it amazing that they work for a man who associates with Royalty. The subject turns to romance and Mrs. Pepper interrupts the girls. They ask her about her late husband and Mrs. Pepper shares that she was very much in love with him. The cook then sends her maids off to work. She is interrupted by a knock on the door and is thrilled to see her son, Georgie, standing there. Georgie has been dismissed from the hosiery factory where he worked since a machine has taken his place. The young man had been told by his aunt that his mother's employers were looking for a new page and, thus, he came to see if his mother could help him get a job at the Duke's residence. Mrs. Pepper is overjoyed by the thought and promises to help her youngest child.
Chapter 56: Away for Awhile
Chapter Summary: Returning from the palace, Mr. Punch and Robert are relieved that their visit went well. The Queen was pleased with Punch's performance and while Punch chatted with Prince Albert, Robert examined Her Majesty. Robert expressed concern that the fetus was smaller than it should be given the advanced stage of the Queen's pregnancy. Settling into the drawing room, Punch raised an interesting proposal. Punch suggested that they postpone Colin's christening for a few weeks and that the whole family should go to Scotland to visit Sir Colin Molliner's ancestral home. While Robert likes the idea, he is worried that the Queen might go into labor prematurely and that they'd better stay. Speaight arrives just as his masters are discussing the need to hire a new page. Speaight announces that the perfect candidate for the position is waiting downstairs--George Pepper, the son of Mrs. Pepper and her late husband.
Chapter 57: Hungry is All
Chapter Summary: In the days following Punch and Robert's visit to the Queen, the residents of No. 65 begin to relax and settle into their usual, happy patterns. Gerard and Charles are healing and Charles and Gamilla are keeping an eye on Gerard's use of his medication. Georgie Pepper has been hired to replace Tom and Mrs. Pepper's son has proven to be a welcome addition to the staff. Everyone seems at ease, except Mr. Punch who has not been himself. Not only has Punch been listless, he's been groggy and sleeping more than usual. One day before dinner, Charles and Robert find Mr. Punch sleep in the early evening--which is quite unusual. Robert suggests they take dinner in Punch's room and Punch argues, saying that he's just hungry. Robert is clearly concerned that his companion is ill. Punch agrees to rest, reluctantly, as Robert studies his companion.
Chapter 58: To Watch You Tell It:
Chapter Summary: The following morning, Mr. Punch is still feeling poorly and Robert is quite concerned. The doctor cannot figure out what's wrong with the Duke and has decided that he can prescribe a variety of elixirs to treat Punch's symptoms, but can't cure him until he figures out the source of the malaise. Robert insists that Punch stay in bed for another day. Charles and Gerard have prepared a variety of games to play with their master while he's recuperating. The younger members of the staff have even hand-made a card for him. Gamilla brings up a tray of Mrs. Pepper's special broth, some toast and some boiled ginger sweeties from Miss Barrett. Punch can't bring himself to eat the food, but does take a piece of candy. Robert cuddles with Mr. Punch as his companion asks him to tell him a story--if only so he can watch him tell it.
Chapter 59: No Explanation:
Chapter Summary: Robert catches Charles in the hall as he's leaving Mr. Punch's room. Robert asks the valet how Punch is and Charles explains that the Duke is still sick, but awake. Robert fumes that his companion is still ill and has been, off and on, for over two weeks. They'd attended the Queen's birthday dinner without incident, but following that, the Duke became ill again. Charles listens as Robert vents. Robert apologizes for speaking so freely and Charles reminds them of all that they've been through together. They discuss their time in New Orleans and their shared struggles. Charles tells Robert that Gamilla is sitting with the Duke at the moment. Robert is glad that Gamilla has such a way with the Duke. Robert goes to the Duke's room and finds Gamilla standing over Punch's bed with a red leather pouch. Robert is furious and demands an explanation!
Chapter 60: The Back Upon Which We All Grow
Chapter Summary: Robert shouts for Gamilla to move away from Mr. Punch, causing the woman to burst into tears. She sobs, stating she wasn't trying to hurt the Duke and that it was only a pounch of gris-gris (voodoo dust) which she was holding, explaining that it was "good magic." Robert doesn't wish to hear more, but Punch reminds Robert of his former Valet, Naasir, who had used similar "magic" to help Robert when he was ill. Robert realizes that he was too harsh and humors Gamilla who says a strange prayer over Mr. Punch. Later, alone, Punch tires to discuss his will with Robert, but Robert can't stand to think about it. Punch asks Robert to arrange for his solicitor to visit the house. Speaight arrives to say that there's a messenger from the Palace downstairs. The Queen has gone into labor and wants Robert. Punch urges his companion to go to the Queen's side.
Chapter 61: Ready to Lose
Chapter Summary: Mr. Punch is waiting for Gerry and Charles to come up and play board games with him. Instead, Ellen Barrett shows up to visit the ailing Duke. Ellen brings a tray of tea and ginger biscuits, but Punch isn't hungry as he still feels nauseated. Ellen tells Punch that Colin is doing well and asks how her employer is feeling. Mr. Punch admits that he is not improved. Ellen suggests that time away from the city would do Punch well. Punch explains that he and Robert had discussed leaving London for awhile, but that they'd have to wait until after the Queen gives birth. Ellen wonders where they might go. Punch says that Their Majesties said that he and Robert could use Osborne House, but that he's rather go to Grange Molliner in Aberdeenshire. Punch states that they'd have to bring much of the staff and wonders if Ellen would want to go or if she would rather stay near her brother. Ellen states that she would like to go. Gerard and Charles arrive with the games--and more tea and biscuits. Punch tells the men that they can eat the cookies since he's not hungry. Ellen removes the tray that she brought stating that she'll bring up fresh. Gerard and Charles start to set up the game and Punch seems distracted. He says he had a chill and tells the men not to worry.
Chapter 62: Call Him Back
Chapter Summary: At the Palace, a chloroformed Queen Victoria kicks out her doctor in favor of Robert. As the Queen goes into labor, Robert tries to convince himself that is situation is no different than delivering the child of any other woman. Meanwhile, at home, Charles and Gerard try to entertain the ailing Mr. Punch who seems to be feeling worse. After finishing their games, the footmen ask if they can sit with the Duke for awhile. Punch tells them to pull up a chair for Naasir--the Duke's long-dead former valet. Punch says that he can sense that Naasir is near. Then, he loses consciousness. Gerard and Charles panic, unable to revive their master.
Chapter 63: Inside
Chapter Summary: Mr. Punch realizes that in his unconscious state that he has been transported to the phantom "room" inside the body he shares with the Duke of Fallbridge. In this ethereal space, Julian and Punch sometimes meet to converse. Punch, at first, is irritated, but soon, he's glad to see Julian. Julian praises Punch's handling of their life, but cautions him. Julian reminds Punch of the time that a former footman, Arthur, had poisoned him. Punch realizes that Julian is suggesting that his sudden strange illness is the result of being poisoned. Julian urges Punch to open his eyes and return to Gerard and Charles. Punch awakens and his men are relieved. Punch raises the question of poison much to the shock of his footmen.
Chapter 64: Something to Eat
Chapter Summary: Robert returns with the news that a prince was born to Queen Victoria. Robert thinks they will call the Prince by the name of Leopold, and he shares that he fears the new child may be sickly. Robert goes upstairs to see Punch and finds Charles and Gerard with him. Punch states that he thinks he's been or being poisoned. The news upsets Robert. Gerard and Charles share their own experiences with poison. One of them suggests that Tom might have slipped poison into the Duke's food before he was dismissed. Robert thinks it's more recent and deduces that the poison must be in the sugar cubes that only the Duke takes with tea. Robert, much to the shock of the others, declares that he knows the culprit and sends Charles for Miss Barrett.
Chapter 65: No Right
Chapter Summary: Charles brings Miss Barrett to the Duke's room where Robert angrily asks her if Colin has had any of the sugar cubes. Ellen responds that Colin has not. Robert angrily explains that the Duke is being poisoned and that he thinks that Miss Barrett's brother is responsible. Charles and Gerard back up the doctor. Ellen denies that her brother could have had anything to do with it. Punch becomes upset at all of the raised voices and requests that everyone leave him alone with Robert so that they can discuss Robert's suspicions more clearly. Punch states that the staff should prepare to leave for Scotland. Later, after being rude to the footmen, Ellen privately celebrates some secret victory.
Chapter 66: The Announcement
Chapter Summary: In the days leading up to their departure for Scotland, Mr. Punch continued to become stronger. Robert, however, continued to be worried and frustrated. Punch and Robert argued about calling for the beadle. Punch contended that they had no evidence that he was being poisoned nor did they have any proof of Robert's assertion that Mr. Barrett was behind it. Punch was of the mind that they needed to forget about it and just take greater care with home security. Robert, however, insisted that Punch wasn't out of danger and that he was going to watch his companion every moment. Punch tried to cheer Robert--successfully. The two looked forward to their visit to Grange Molliner.
Chapter 67: Transportation
Chapter Summary: Four days have passed. The group has traveled by train, and then by carriage to Scotland. Gamilla and Ellen are sharing a carriage while Punch, Robert, Colin and Dog Toby share the first carriage, Charles Gerard ride with the baggage and Speaight and Mrs. Pepper follow in their own. As they travel, Ellen and Gamilla chat. Gamilla expresses her amazement that she's in Scotland and explains that when she was a young slave, she never imagined that she'd be free, let alone able to see the world and the homes of Royalty. Gamilla asks Ellen about her girlhood in Scotland, but Ellen doesn't really want to talk about it. Ellen shares only that they moved when she was a teen and that her mother didn't go with them. Gamilla is thankful that the Duke/Mr. Punch has improved and is stronger again. Ellen's reaction is somewhat peculiar. Ellen brings up the Duke's sister, and then says that she must be feeling nostalgic after returning to the place where she was a girl. Gamilla becomes concerned when Ellen begins to look ill, but Ellen says that it's just the carriage ride that's bothering her. Ellen declares that when the arrive at the grange, she will have everything she needs.
Chapter 68: Grange Molliner
Chapter Summary: As the carriage nears Grange Molliner, Punch excitedly points out the castle to Colin and Robert. Robert is quite impressed by the estate. Punch explains a bit of the history of the land and of the house. Robert notes that the Grange's minimal staff appear to have gathered outside to greet them. Punch states that the housekeeper is called Mrs. North. The groundskeeper, Johnny, and his son, Finlay--a footman--are also there. Punch thinks that the staff members from Belgrave Square should get on well with the Grange's staff though there may be some power struggles between Speaight and Mrs. North and Mrs. Pepper and everyone else. Punch recalls a time when, as a young boy, his father left for the Grange with his mother, leaving him (Julian) at Fallbridge Hall. Punch remembers that it was during this time when he (Punch) developed most strongly within Julian. Mr. Punch points out that after that time, the Duchess never returned to the Grange. Robert becomes emotional, recalling Punch's very recent infirmity. Punch reminds Robert that they are family.
Chapter 69: In Scotland
Chapter Summary: Robert is in his room, getting settled, when Punch arrives with a gift. Robert is distracted by the distance between his room and the suite shared by Colin and Punch. Punch soothes his friend's nerves. Punch tells Robert that the staff from No. 65 Belgrave Square--except Gamilla who is watching Colin--is in the servants' hall being assigned their rooms and dividing up their duties. Mr. Punch insists that Robert open his gift. Robert does as instructed and finds that Punch has had a kilt made for him in the Molliner tartan. Furthermore, Punch has furnished all of the appropriate accessories. Robert is touched by the gift, but a little uncertain about wearing the garment, but Punch happily insists that while they're in Scotland, Robert must look the part. Robert says that he's so grateful for Punch's recovery that he''ll do whatever Punch wants.
Chapter 70: All the Truth
Chapter Summary: Gamilla, in order to give Punch and Robert some privacy while Ellen settles into her room, has taken Colin to the servants' hall. There, she finds Mrs. Pepper in the process of making dinner, and Gerard and Charles chatting animatedly with Finlay. Mr. Speaight and Mrs. North have already had a spat.about who will plan the next day's outing and Speaight has taken to his bed, leaving Mrs. North as the only person to speak with. Mrs. North is very interested in the baby and studies him closely, noting that he looks like the Duke did as a baby. The housekeeper asks about the relationship between Robert and the Duke. Mrs. North has a few other opinions to share as well. Suddenly, the housekeeper realizes that Colin must be Lady Barbara's son and she demands to know the truth.
Chapter 71: Otherwise
Chapter Summary: Mrs. North continues to insist that Gamilla share the truth of Colin's parentage with her. Gamilla repeats the story that the Duke and the doctor have been sharing since they returned to England with Colin--about Colin's parents being killed by the Yellow Fever. Mrs. North doesn't buy it. Mrs. Pepper interrupts and scolds the housekeeper, but Mrs. North states that no one is more loyal to the family than she is and that, unlike the staff in London, the staff in Scotland receives little thanks nor recognition and is nonetheless loyal. Gamilla gives up and admits that Colin is really the child of the Duke's sister. Mrs. Pepper is shocked, especially when she learns of Charles relationship with Lady Barbara. Charles tells Mrs. Pepper that he's not the child's father. Mrs. North seems satisfied by the answer. Gamilla wonders if she did the right thing, but Gerard assures her that she did.
Chapter 72: Makes a Bloke Dizzy
Chapter Summary: Mr. Punch and Robert return to the Grange from their hike--tired and hungry and ready for tea. Punch rings for Speaight while he and Robert chat about their holiday and the possibility of Punch returning to Fallbridge Hall. Speaight arrives, looking worn and worried. Punch and Robert ask the butler what is wrong, assuming he's fought with Mrs. North. Speaight explains that Mrs. North has been asking questions about Colin's paternity. Robert is, at first, incensed, but Punch quickly calms him down, saying he doesn't mind the housekeeper's questions because he trusts her. Still, Speaight looks worried. He further confesses that no one can find Miss Barrett.
Chapter 73: I Am Here
Chapter Summary: In an effort to look for Miss Barrett who has gone missing, Punch and Robert climb to the top of one of the Grange's towers. From there, they can see the entire estate, but don't spy Miss Barrett. Punch talks briefly about coming up there when Julian was a child. He becomes momentarily startled, but can't recall why. Robert continues to express his discontent with the governess and the two wonder why she wandered off. On their way down, Robert notices something which had been crudely carved into the stone wall of the tower. Punch shows the carving to Robert. It is a picture of the puppet, Mr. Punch, and the phrase, "I Am Here." Punch says he did it when Julian was small. Together, they go off to look for the governess.
Chapter 74: Wax and Wick
Chapter Summary: In searching for a missing Miss Barrett, Charles, Gerard and Finlay have wandered the estate. They come upon an old stone structure which Finlay explains is a "hunting cottage." Finlay recalls a time when Sir Colin and the Duchess had visited. Finlay, though still a child, remembered that the Duchess had taken over the cottage from Sir Colin and stayed there instead of in the castle. Finlay asked why Charles seemed to dislike Miss Barrett so much, wondering if it was truly hate or really love. Charles objected to Finlay's implication and explained that he truly detested Miss Barrett. Charles looked around the lodge and found that a candle had recently been lit. Had Miss Barrett been there?
Chapter 75: First and Last
Chapter Summary: Gamilla has taken Colin to the newly created nursery at Grange Molliner. She is joined by Mrs. Pepper who has kindly brought her a tray since everyone else is out looking for Miss Barrett. Mrs. Pepper complains that she missed Jenny and Ethel and that she's not getting any help from the Grange's regular cook. Mrs. Pepper continues to complain about Ellen, but Gamilla tries to stick up for her friend. After Mrs. Pepper leaves, Gamilla talks to the baby and his happily surprised when he speaks his first word, "Punch." Gamilla is shocked to find that Miss Barrett has crept into the room and declares that she may be speaking her last word.
Chapter 76: Fits
Chapter Summary: Gamilla is shocked when Miss Barrett appears in the nursery. Ellen declares that she's ill and Gamilla reminds the woman that she seemed sick while in the carriage. Gamilla suggests that Ellen keep her distance from the baby if she's sick. Ellen claims she's been in her room, having fainted and rolled under the bed. Gamilla doesn't seem to believe her. Robert and Punch arrive and Robert is furious to find that Ellen's been in the house while the whole staff has been looking for her. Robert does not believe Ellen's claims of illness and, furthermore, is incensed to discover he and Punch missed Colin's first word because of having to look for Ellen. Ellen faints dramatically and Robert and Speaight carry her off. Robert declares that if she's found to be feigning illness, she'll be sacked.
Chapter 77: A Great Expense
Chapter Summary: Mr. Punch is sitting with Colin while Robert examines Miss Barrett. Punch praises the infant for his first word--"Punch"-- and is thrilled when Colin also says, "Dear Punch." Punch cuddles with Colin and Dog Toby and tells the pair stories of his and Julian's shared youth. Punch recalls going to the Grange with Sir Colin during the Servants' Ball and wonders if maybe he and Robert shouldn't host a similar event. Robert returns and states that Miss Barrett is, in fact, feverish. Robert still thinks something suspicious is going on with Ellen. Punch shares Colin's achievements with a proud Robert and, then, presents the idea of the Servants' Ball. Robert agrees to it. Later, Charles wishes to speak with Punch about a matter of grave importance.
Chapter 78: Couldn't Have That
Chapter Summary: Alone in her room, Ellen recalls how she managed to fake her fever and how she was able to enter the hunting cottage on the estate. She then began looking over the items she had stolen from the lodge--a stack of papers and the journal of Pauline, Duchess of Fallbridge--dated 1820. Meanwhile, Charles tried to warn Mr. Punch that he found Ellen suspicious. Punch listened, but remarked that Ellen was very good with Colin. Punch reminded Charles that Dr. Halifax had similar issues with Ellen and promised he would talk to Robert after dinner. Later, Punch asked Gamilla to keep Ellen from the nursery, using the excuse that he didn't want Colin to catch her fever.
Chapter 79: Homesick
Chapter Summary: Gerard is feeling a little lonely upon his first night at Grange Molliner. He's missing the comforts of the feeling of their "family" at Belgrave Square. He's also missing Gamilla who is upstairs with Colin since Ellen is ill. Finlay approaches Gerard with a beaker which Gerard assumes is chocolate. It turns out to be whiskey and Gerard declines. Finlay chats with Gerard about Gamilla and Charles and shares a bit about his own life, telling Charles that he has spent his whole life at the Grange. Finlay asks about the masters as well as Miss Barrett, making Gerard uncomfortable. Gerard says he'd prefer not to gossip, but adds that he hopes he and Finlay can be friends. Finlay reminds Gerard that his room is right next to the room Gerard and Charles will be sharing and says that if they want to talk they're welcome to knock. After Finlay retires, Gerard eyes the remaining whiskey, but temptation does not get the better of him.
Chapter 80: History
Chapter Summary: Late at night, Ellen is in bed reading from the Duchess of Fallbridge's 1820 diary. The diary recounts a time thirty-three years before when Johnny Donnan had come to the Grange's cottage to tend the grate. The duchess wrote that she had hoped to speak to Johnny, but that they were interrupted by his son, a young Finlay. The duchess further recounted how thrilled she was to see Johnny beat a ten year old Finlay. Ellen is interrupted by Gamilla who couldn't sleep and wished to check on her friend. Gamilla asks about the book which Ellen is reading. Ellen lies and says it's her own journal. Ellen distracts Gamilla with a gift of a blank journal of her own. Growing impatient, Ellen hints that Gamilla should go to bed. Later, someone else enters Ellen's room and Ellen addresses the visitor sharply.
Chapter 81: If Need Be
Chapter Summary: Ellen speaks harshly to her visitor who turns out to be Finlay. Finlay states that she should be kinder to her half-brother and reminds her that the Duke of Fallbridge is also her half-brother. It seems that, thirty-three years earlier, a ten-year-old Finlay witnessed the affair between the Duchess of Fallbridge and his father, Johnny Donnan. The affair resulted in a pregnancy. The Duchess asked Johnny's sister and brother-in-law, Tess and Birk Barrett to take the child--Ellen. Therefore, Ellen has Fallbridge and Donnan blood, making her kin to both the Duke and Finlay. Ellen did not discover her true parentage until her adopted father died, at which time she contacted Finlay whom she'd always thought was just a cousin. Ellen is reminded that Finlay is helping her. He asks why she doesn't just go to the Duke. She says she doesn't have all the proof she needs and that she's not ready to speak to the Duke. She also states that she wants his entire fortune and not just part of it. Finlay reminds her that young Colin, Barbara Allen and, even, Robert stand between her and the Fallbridge fortune. Ellen says she can take care of all of it, recalling how she's already poisoned the Duke and murdered William Stover. She asks Finlay to carry out his duties in handling the Duke and the Doctor, and Finlay realizes that if he fails it could mean their death.
Chapter 82: Grooming
Chapter Summary: The following morning, Mr. Punch has settled into the Grange's cheerful Morning Room where he has started brushing Dog Toby. Finlay enters to begin to set up for breakfast and volunteers to brush the dog. Punch is mildly annoyed, already bothered that he has to pretend to be Julian with the Grange's staff. Finlay mentions that Mrs. North told him about the plans for the Servants' Ball. Punch confirms this and states that it will be fancy dress. Finlay then begins to flirt with the Duke, much to Punch's confusion. Later, Finlay watches as Punch goes upstairs to fetch Robert. He states that he wishes to "look after" the Duke.
Chapter 83: A Little Nip
Chapter Summary: Robert marvels that he and Punch were able to eat a meal without interruption. The pair decides to take Colin for a walk on the estate before they were to meet with Speaight and Mrs. North regarding the upcoming Servants' Ball. They ask Speaight to send Gerard up with Colin's pram. However, when they reach the nursery, it is Finlay who meets them instead. Finlay states the he volunteered since he found Gerard a little "groggy" and suggests that the valet had taken a drink after breakfast. Finlay then states that he would be happy to go with the masters.
Chapter 84: Competition
Chapter Summary: Robert and Punch are joined by Gerard who had been told by Speaight that the masters wanted him. Gerard is confused when the Duke and the doctor ask him how he's feeling. He stated plainly that he's quite well. Finlay interrupts and explains that he'd mentioned to the masters that he thought Gerard seemed groggy. Gerard repeats that he's well and confesses that he tripped on the leg of a chair, but that it was nothing but his natural clumsiness. Finlay seems a bit flustered as the masters dismiss him. Gerard is thrilled to learn that the Duke and the doctor have planned to take him and Gamilla on their outing, but he continues to be troubled by Finlay's comment, asking if the Scots footman had said he'd been drinking. Robert replies that Finlay had hinted that Gerard was drunk and Gerard becomes irritated, telling the masters that it was Finlay who'd been drinking the night before. The Duke and the doctor conclude that Finlay--accustomed to being the only man in the house--was threatened by Charles and Gerard and was feeling competitive. Robert concluded that he and Punch should give Finlay a little more attention and the problem would go away. Punch reassures Gerard that he's a part of their family.
Chapter 85: Comfort
Chapter Summary: Finlay interrupts Ellen with a bowl full of grapes--a gift from the rest of the staff. Ellen asks her brother if he's had any luck in getting closer to the Duke and Finlay replies that the Duke isn't interested in him and that he only has eyes for Dr. Halifax. Ellen suggests that Finlay try to appeal to the Duke's sense of sympathy. She also reminds her brother that he can always tell the Duke that he has fancied him since their youth. Finlay states that even if that were to work, finding time alone with the Duke was quite impossible since His Grace was always either with the doctor or in the company of Charles or Gerard. Ellen considers the fact that the valets have only missed time with their masters when they were injured and she begins to craft a plan to get the two footmen out of the way--beginning, she hints, with the impending Servants' Ball.
Chapter 86: Picnic
Chapter Summary: Punch, Robert, Gamilla, Gerard, Colin and Dog Toby pause on their hike on the estate. Stopping in a clearing in the pine trees, they settle down for the picnic which Mrs. Pepper packed for them. Gerard and Gamilla are, at first, uncertain if they should accept the invitation from the Duke and the doctor to join them, wondering if it would not be proper. But, the gentlemen win them over and the four adults and Colin have a nice time chatting and eating. Gamilla mentions that Miss Barrett has given her a journal. Robert hides his distaste for the governess, but Gerard is more outspoken. Gamilla defends her friend and Mr. Punch mentions that Ellen has had a difficult life. A breeze passes over them, causing Mr. Punch to become pale and quiet. He mysteriously says he had remembered something, but changes the subject.
Chapter 87: My Favorite Story
Chapter Summary: Mr. Punch has gone to bed and is cuddling with Dog Toby when Robert joins them. Robert can tell that Mr. Punch is troubled by something, but Punch doesn't seem to wish to talk about it. They discuss the staff and other household matters and Punch reminds Robert of their early days together when Robert had told Julian about the presence of Mr. Punch. Punch explains that had Robert not had faith in him he might not have survived and wonders why Robert thinks that he doesn't see the good in people the way Mr. Punch does. Robert explains that he always had an affection for Mr. Punch--an emotion he doesn't have for other people. Punch worries that Robert doesn't have enough faith in himself. Robert asks what else is troubling Mr. Punch and Punch explains that he has a bad feeling, but can't quite explain why. As the two settle in for the night, Robert tells Punch a story. They are unaware that Finlay and Ellen are listening from the next room.
Chapter 88: Functions and Freedoms
Chapter Summary: As Robert and Punch chat in bed, Dog Toby suddenly seems alarmed and leads his masters to the nursery where Punch finds Finlay standing over Colin's crib. Punch demands to know what Finlay is doing, forgetting to affect Julian's voice and mannerisms. Finlay says he had been passing by and simply wanted to see the baby. Punch and Robert are furious and remind Finlay that he has no place in the nursery. Finlay apologizes, but further annoys Punch by pointing out his speech. Punch warns Finlay not to question the master of the house and Finlay makes things worse by stating that he knew the Duke as a boy and that Charles and Gerard have liberties which he does not. Robert orders Finlay out of the room and, finally, the Duke and the Doctor retire again after getting Colin settled. Little did they know, but Ellen was hiding behind the screen. She'd ducked there when she heard the dog bark. Ellen fumed silently, knowing that since the masters had left the door open, they would see her if she tried to leave the nursery.
Chapter 89: Ample Opportunity
Chapter Summary: The following morning, Ellen blasts Finlay for leaving her behind in the nursery the night before. Finlay retorts that he had no choice and that the while affair was Ellen's fault to begin with. Ellen is pleased that she overheard the Duke/Mr. Punch discuss his past "wildness" and suggests that it's time for him to return to his old ways. Finlay replies that the Duke is not likely to do so and Ellen reminds him that the public still remembers his recent confession to murder. Ellen states that its time for another mysterious death at one of the Duke's residences and implies that she wants Finlay to carry it out. Finlay smiles and happily tells Ellen that her former lover and employer, the Baron Lensdown, will arrive soon to his Aberdeenshire estate. Finlay has told Charles to ask the Duke to invite the baron to the Ball. Ellen is livid as Finlay states that she won't get the better of him. Ellen, however, feels that Finlay will enjoy his murderous task and implies that it's something he's longed to do for quite awhile.
Chapter 90: Real Things
Chapter Summary: Robert and Mr. Punch have set up a cozy spot in the pine clearing at the Grange where they're enjoying the afternoon with Colin and Dog Toby. As Robert looks at the clouds, Punch is working on a drawing. Punch explains that he's designing a diamond ornament which Julian had always planned to execute. Punch has changed the design slightly by adding three butterflies to the jewel-encrusted diamond spray. The butterflies represent their young family. Robert is moved. Mr. Punch states that instead of only white diamonds, he intends to use some of the fancy colored diamonds which he'd recently received from Africa. Robert is fascinated as Punch recalls his/Julian's first meeting with Prince Albert just before the 1840 Royal wedding and how he had used the diamonds which were intended for this brooch to make a garter star for Prince Albert. Mr. Punch mentions that while this new ornament is intended for their own family, Prince Albert has requested its use (with two others) in the upcoming 1853 International Exhibition which will be held in New York. The Prince wished for the Duke's work to represent England at that American exhibition. Punch feels that the use of colored diamonds will be more "modern," and confides that he's keen to use the blue diamonds since they remind him of the lost "Molliner Blue." The two men recall how the missing diamond brought them together and ultimately bought Collin's freedom from the people who had stolen him. Mr. Punch suddenly feels a chill and, soon, both men realize that they're being approached by an unknown man. While Mr. Punch doesn't remember personally interacting with the man, he does know that the man is known to Julian. Punch introduces the man to Robert as the Baron Lensdown.
Chapter 91: Rolling Hills
Chapter Summary: The Baron Lensdown introduces himself to Robert and asks if he is the same Dr. Halifax who is so frequently discussed in London Society. Robert says that he is. The Baron is not entirely rude, but is decidedly unpleasant in an emotionless kind of way. He scoffs at the idea that Punch and Robert share the title of "Father" where Colin is concerned. He asks about Miss Barrett--his former governess--and wonders if she is working out in the Duke's household. The baron makes a veiled comment about Miss Barrett's illness. When asked, Lensdown states that he's traveled to Scotland with his wife. He reminds Mr. Punch that he had visited Grange Molliner when he and Julian were young. Punch, out of politeness, invites the Baron and Baroness to the upcoming Servants' Ball. After Lensdown leaves, Punch thinks, for a moment that he saw the baron wander to the locked Hunting Cottage, but he thinks he was mistaken and says nothing to Robert who insists that they not let Lensdown's unexpected visit ruin their day. Still, Mr. Punch can't help but feel uneasy.
Chapter 92: Until the Harvest
Chapter Summary: In an unexpected bit of weirdness, the Baron Lensdown met with Finlay in the Hunting Cottage revealing a previous relationship between the two. Finlay jealously told Lensdown that he should not have married his wife, but rather should have stayed with him and the Baron retorts that he needed the baroness' money. Finlay teases Lensdown about having had relationships with both him and his sister. The baron states, much to Finlay's delight, that the Duke of Fallbridge had invited him and his wife to the impending ball. Finlay states that after one more task, Lensdown will have all that he wants. The footman tells the baron that he will light a candle in a particular window when the Duke and Doctor are occupied and informs the baron where the nursery and Ellen's room are located. The baron shows a rare moment of some compassion and speaks mysteriously of an episode in the past where a young Julian witnessed something terrifying. Lensdown continues that he was encouraged by Julian's then-nanny to silence the boy. The baron confesses that he's always feared that the Duke's supposed madness might have been his fault.
Chapter 93: The Task at Hand
Chapter Summary: Ethel, Jenny, Violet and Georgie Pepper have arrived at Grange Molliner at the Duke's request. Jenny, Ethel and George are in high spirits as their carriage pulls up to the castle. The two girls are beside themselves with giddiness to be in Scotland and Georgie is quite jolly, teasing his female companions. Only Vi seems a bit sour. George accuses Violet of missing Mr. Hutchinson who has stayed behind unexpectedly to watch the house on Belgrave Square. Violet becomes upset at George's playful jabs. Charles and Gerard greet their old friends and inform them that the Duke of Fallbridge and Dr. Halifax wish to see them in the Great Hall so that they can be welcomed properly to Grange Molliner. Speaight asks Gerard to fetch Finlay so that the footman can bring the cordial tray to Dr. Halifax after the masters greet the new arrivals, but Finlay is nowhere to be seen. Finlay, meanwhile, is upstairs in the central tower, waiting to signal the Baron Lensdown that the masters are occupied. Lensdown awaits his task nervously, trying to focus on his reward rather than the task at hand.
Chapter 94: This Time, Louder
Chapter Summary: Mr. Punch and Robert greet the staff from Belgrave Square. The younger members of the staff are quite overwhelmed by the Grange. The masters explain that the group has been brought to Scotland as a way of thanking them for their loyalty and service. Punch tells them that the Servants' Ball will be a fancy dress affair and that he will personally help them with their costumes. Mrs. Pepper announces that she will be making a grand butterscotch cake which she has dubbed 'The Grange Molliner Cake.' Punch and Robert explain how the event will function and the staff seems thrilled. Mr. Punch feels uneasy that Hutchinson felt the need to stay behind at Belgrave Square and wonders if he's not being told of something which might have or may happen. After the staff returns to their quarters, Punch thinks he hears a strange cry coming from somewhere in the house. Robert hears it next. As the two run to the nursery, they fear Colin is in distress.
Chapter 95: Mourning
Chapter Summary: After hearing a low, mournful cry, Punch and Robert rush to the nursery where they find Gamilla holding Colin and looking panicked. Gamilla says she saw a man--all in white--in the hallway. He was holding a knife. Punch recalled a tale which his former nanny used to tell him about a ghost who roamed the halls of Grange Molliner. The ghost was said to be the spirit of Lucas Molliner who had been murdered for revealing a secret. Robert protested until Punch reminded him of other supernatural experiences which they'd shared. Robert vowed to look around the house, and Punch insisted on going with him, but they decided to wait until Gerard arrived to stay with Gamilla and Colin. Meanwhile, Baron Lensdown arrived in Ellen's room. She helped him out of his ghost costume and the two revealed that they were in league with one another. Ellen feared Finlay would realize that the Baron was deceiving him. Ellen spoke of their plans in vague terms and gave a bottle of some medicine she'd stolen from Dr. Halifax to the baron. The baron said he did not want to kill an unnamed woman, but Ellen reminded him that they had no choice.
Chapter 96: Locking the Door
Chapter Summary: Later that night, Mr. Punch and Robert have gone to bed. Punch seems nervous and softly asks if Robert is asleep. Punch wonders if the room isn't too dark, but doesn't want Robert to get out of bed. Robert is perplexed. They searched the house, but could not find the source of the cry which they had heard. Punch notes that Gamilla must have seen what she did as she could not have been influenced by a story which she'd never heard. Robert says that while Gamilla might not know the legend of Lucas Molliner, others might, and that it's possible that someone is trying to trick them again. Mr. Punch is concerned that Colin might be frightened, and expresses a wish that the others in the house also not be disturbed. Robert asks Punch if he wants Colin brought into their room and Punch says that he does. As they go to get the child, Punch concludes that they can only handle what's in front of them and that they must not fret about the unknown, however, he notes--there's no reason to open the door to it either.
Chapter 97: Fancy Dress
Chapter Summary: Mr. Punch concludes his meetings with the staff by seeing Ethel and Jenny. Ethel sheepishly admits that she's like to dress as a princess for the Ball and is happily surprised when the Duke not only creates a lovely design for her, but encourages her idea. The Duke/Mr. Punch generously volunteers to lend Ethel some jewelry as well. Ethel is very touched by his kindness. Jenny shyly tells the Duke she doesn't know what her costume should be, so Punch casually chats with the girl to find out her interests. He concludes that she should be Joan of Arc. Jenny is quite pleased with this. The two girls are effusive in their thanks. Punch is annoyed when Finlay interrupts with news that the Baron Lensdown has come to the Grange unannounced, but he reluctantly agrees to see the man.
Chapter 98: Always Breaks in Two
Chapter Summary: Putting on his "Julian" face and manner, Mr. Punch enters the library where he'd had Finlay put the Baron Lensdown. Punch is polite, but abrupt as he wants the Baron to leave. Lensdown states that he'd forgotten that his wife had invited friends from London to stay with them in Aberdeenshire and that they had just arrived. Punch realizes that the baron wants to know if he and Gertrude can bring their friends to the ball and states that they may. Lensdown tells Punch that his wife's friends are the Countess Hamish and Lady Constance with whom Robert had argued on the evening of Punch's birthday. Lensdown reminds Punch of the gossip, but Punch makes a point to show that he's not concerned and reinforces that the ladies are welcome. He then hints that Lensdown should be going. Alone, Punch shows his true feelings and hides under the desk in the corner of the library, distraught that trouble always follows them. Punch takes a porcelain figurine with him under the table, presumably so he can have someone to talk to since Robert is working on his book. He suddenly recalls seeing a young man fall to his death from the Grange's central tower. Startled by the memory, Punch bolts upward and hits his head on the table. To keep from toppling over, he tries to support himself with his arm, and, in the process, breaks the figurine into two pieces.
Chapter 99: To Bits
Chapter Summary: Robert looks up from his writing to see Mr. Punch arrived, rubbing his head. Immediately concerned, Robert examines his companion who explains that he bumped his head while under a table. Punch tells Robert how Baron Lensdown came and requested that the Countess Hamish and Lady Constance be invited to the ball. Robert is annoyed by the idea of those two in their home again, but knows that Punch had no other option. Robert asks why Punch was under the table and Punch says that he finds comfort in such spaces. He admits that he remembered something odd, but that he's not sure if it's true or a dream of Julian's. Punch recounts the memory of watching a young man fall to his death after being pushed by a man with dark hair. Robert is worried by this memory, but Mr. Punch, not wanting to upset his companion, insists that they not let it ruin their holiday and suggests that they take a walk. As they wander the estate, they're watched from the tower by a dark-haired man.
Chapter 100: A Trifle
Chapter Summary: Two days have passed in relative peace. The staff is preparing for the ball. Mrs. Pepper has engaged Jenny and Ethel in making the grand cake while Mr. Speaight and Mrs. North are directing their respective staffs. While the majority of the Scottish servants are quite busy, the few from Belgrave Square (with the exception of Gerard, Charles and Gamilla) have had some freedom to enjoy their holiday. Miss Barrett has been mostly ignored by everyone and isn't really too much on anyone's mind. However, Mr. Punch has been troubled by bits and pieces of memories from the day of the incident on the tower. Robert, aware that Punch has been troubled, tries to distract his companion just as Punch tries not to worry Robert with his memories. During dessert, Punch recalls a young man from the village who used to sell berries to the kitchens of the estates. Punch thinks the young man was called "Roger"--a fact which seems to concern Robert, Charles and Gerard. Nevertheless, they all try to act as if nothing is wrong.
Chapter 101: Passage
Chapter Summary: Gerard, after finishing with Dr. Halifax for the evening, is lingering in the passage between Robert's and Punch's chambers, hoping to see Gamilla on her way back downstairs. The pair has been so busy in the past few days that they've barely seen one another and they're missing each other deeply. Gerard knows that Gamilla will be pleased to see him and is fairly certain that neither the Duke nor the Doctor would object, but he knows that Mr. Speaight and Mrs. North would not approve, so he's trying to be cautious. When Gerard hears footsteps coming from the other end of the passage, he pretends to be studying the silver, expecting Dr. Halifax to be on his way to Mr. Punch's chamber. He is, however, surprised to see someone else all together.
Chapter 102: Your Perspective
Chapter Summary: Gerard questions why Ellen and Finlay are in the passage near the nursery and the masters' rooms. Finlay and Ellen lie, saying that Dr. Halifax had recommended that she take exercise and that she was too tired for it during the day. Gerard clearly doesn't believe Ellen, and isn't too sure about Finlay. Gamilla, hearing the voices, comes out of the nursery and is hurt when Ellen is sharp with her. Ellen, however, quickly covers and showers Gamilla with praise before retreating with Finlay. Alone, Gerard and Gamilla argue about Ellen and Gerard storms off. Robert comforts Gamilla and suggests that she find the footman. Afterwards, Robert goes to Punch's room and joins his companion under the writing desk.
Chapter 103: Excitement
Chapter Summary: Very early the next morning, Mr. Punch awakened Robert, playfully reminding him that it was the day of the Servants' Ball. Robert teased Mr. Punch about the event, saying he'd much rather get some more sleep. The two discussed the ball and the preparations for it as Robert began get used to the idea of being up so early. Robert was quite pleased to see how excited Mr. Punch was and noted the difference between Punch and Julian who would have been terrified of such an occasion. Punch rings for Charles and Gerard. He and Robert hope that Gerard and Gamilla have made up after their fight so that they can enjoy themselves at the ball. Charles arrives and looks quite serious. When asked, Charles states that Gamilla is missing.
Chapter 104: Gamilla
Chapter Summary: Robert and Mr. Punch follow Charles to the Servants' Hall where Speaight and Mrs. North are organizing a search party. Gerard is beside himself with worry and Mr. Punch tries to comfort Robert's valet. Robert suggests that they begin looking for Gamilla in the courtyard since he had, the night before, suggested that Gamilla go there. The doctor omits the fight between Gamilla and Gerard. Violet runs into the hall, claiming to have found Gamilla. Punch, Robert, Speaight and Gerard follow the maid and find Gamilla passed out in a small alcove between the silver vaults and wine cellar. A stoneware beaker is nearby. Punch examines the beaker and realizes that its filled with whiskey. Robert declares that Gamilla is drunk.
Chapter 105: Low Spirits
Chapter Summary: Gerard insists that Gamilla would never take a drink, but Robert states that he can smell the alcohol (along with another strong scent) on the girl. Punch suggests that sometimes when people are upset, they drink to escape, but Gerard holds firm to Gamilla's innocence. Finlay appears and makes a comment to Gerard about having found his beaker. Gerard realizes that it's his beaker that was filled with whiskey. Finlay implies that Gerard is always drunk and that Gamilla became intoxicated from drinking from Gerard's cup. Finlay also tells the masters that Gerard had stolen some medicine. Gerard confesses to the medicine, but insists that he hasn't had a drink in years. Punch believes Gerard, but Robert is slower to say so. Mr. Punch makes a point to show their support for their friend and employee, but as Gamilla awakens, she says that it was Gerard who had given her the whiskey.
Chapter 106: A Wee Chip
Chapter Summary: As Gamilla becomes upset while explaining that Gerard gave her the whiskey, Mrs. North interrupts to "check on" Gamilla and says that she's glad to have found "her" beaker. Mrs. North says she takes a nip of whiskey from her beaker each night to warm her bones. She states that Gerard has an identical beaker, but his is in his kit. Mrs. North states that Gamilla must have taken the beaker, thinking it was Gerard's and without knowing what was in it. Gerard is relieved as are Punch and Robert. Gamilla goes along with Mrs. North's lie. Mrs. North promises to visit Gamilla in her room, but first she goes to find Finlay. Finlay smirks as Mrs. North informs him that she saw him threaten Gamilla and force the alcohol on her. The housekeeper lied to protect Gerard and Gamilla as well as put a stop to whatever Finlay was doing. Mrs. North expresses affection for Finlay, but tells him she must tell the masters what she saw--but, not until after the ball. She's adamant that she won't ruin the ball for the Duke and the Doctor.
Chapter 107: Without Him
Chapter Summary: Robert finds Mr. Punch in the nursery, seated behind the screen with Colin, Dog Toby and the puppets. Punch confesses that he was chatting with Colin about Gamilla. He asks Robert why Gamilla said Gerard gave her the whiskey, and Robert says that Gamilla told him she had been confused, but wasn't going to be confused any longer. Robert assured Mr. Punch that Gamilla will recover quickly and shares a bit more about his sad childhood. Punch is troubled by Robert's sad past and wishes it never had happened. The two talk excitedly about the ball and Robert leaves to go get dressed. Punch tells Colin that his fathers love him. Meanwhile, Finlay comes to dress Robert instead of Gerard--much to Robert's annoyance. When Robert dismisses the man, Finlay, however, shows no willingness to leave.
Chapter 108: The Parakeet
Chapter Summary: Mrs. North goes to Gamilla's room to make sure that the girl is getting over her hangover. Mrs. North tells Gamilla that she heard Finlay threaten her. Gamilla confesses that Finlay made her drink the whiskey and told her to find a way to get rid of Gerard or he'd not only kill Gerard, but harm the baby if she told anyone. Their chat turns to Ellen Barrett and Mrs. North becomes quite curious about the governess. Gamilla explains that Ellen is from Scotland and that she'd said she'd previously toured Grange Molliner. This seems to bring up a memory for Mrs. North, but she keeps it to herself. Mrs. North leaves Gamilla to rest and, on her way downstairs, she sees Finlay--asking the man about the name of his aunt and if it wasn't "Barrett." After witnessing Finlay's odd behavior, Mrs. North concludes that Ellen must be the illegitmate daughter of the Duchess of Fallbridge and she wonders how she'll tell the Duke that he has another sister.
Chapter 109: Fancy Dress
Chapter Summary: The evening of the ball, Ellen and Jenny are getting dressed in their costumes. The two girls are both overjoyed and can't contain their excitement. They discuss how fortunate they feel and how kind the Duke and the Doctor have been. Violet and Gamilla (who is feeling better) arrive and share their costume plans. The four girls agree to help one another prepare for the ball. Gamilla excuses herself to go check on Mrs. North, recalling that she'd earlier promised to awake the housekeeper from her nap. As Gamilla approaches Mrs. North's room, the woman appears to be exiting her chamber. Gamilla calls after Mrs. North, but she doesn't respond and Gamilla presumes it's because of her slight hearing problem.
Chapter 110: The Valets
Chapter Summary: Mr. Punch and Robert are preparing for the ball and teasing one another about having to dress themselves while their valets have the evening off. Robert wonders when he became so helpless and Punch jokes with him that anyone of importance in Britain is essentially helpless. Punch questions his decision not to wear fancy dress, but Robert reinforces that they made the right decision. The two men express their appreciation for their valets and hope that the two men will have a good time. Punch informs Robert that he intends to dance with him at the ball. Robert says that they couldn't, but Punch reminds his companion that in their own home they may do what they like.
Chapter 111: Among Us Again
Chapter Summary: Speaight announces Robert and the Duke who come down the staircase carrying Colin to greet their guests. Mr. Punch begins by welcoming everyone to the ball and by reminding them of his father's tradition. He then individually thanks the members of the staff from Belgrave Square. Gamilla, Gerard, Mrs. Pepper and Charles are especially touched and Gamilla is thrilled to be called "Colin's governess." Robert thanks the Scottish staff, singling out Mrs. North. Punch makes an emotional toast, using traditional Scotch phrases and makes a point to have everyone toast Sir Colin Molliner. And, thus, the ball begins.
Chapter 112: A Note of Discomfort
Chapter Summary: The Countess Hamish and her daughter, Lady Constance, approach Robert and Punch at the ball. The countess shows her displeasure at the Duke's speech and expressed her idea that the Duchess of Fallbridge would not have approved of the familiarity with the servants. Robert states that both he and the Duke prefer to respect the human dignity of the servants, much to the disdain of the countess. The countess mocks Robert for not being a titled peer. Lady Constance tries to intercede and attempt to halt the uncomfortable conversation by saying how cute Colin is. This brightens Mr. Punch slightly, however, the countess continues to be rude. Their discussion further deteriorates as the countess indicates that the Duchess of Fallbridge would not have approved of Robert either. The four try to make small-talk, but it doesn't work and Punch and Robert excuse themselves. Alone, the countess and Lady Constance quarrel and the countess reminds her daughter that they have a mission. When Lady Constance balks, the countess reminds her that they have an obligation to Constance's lover, the Baron Lensdown (who really gets around--Ellen, Finlay, his wife and, it seems, Constance). The countess implies that the fate of a female child named Fern is at stake if Constance doesn't comply.
Chapter 113: Choreography
Chapter Summary: Gamilla slips out of the ball and goes to the veranda where she is followed by Gerard. Gerard is pleased to have some time alone with Gamilla, but the two of them are still shy with one another. They discuss the ball and the Duke's guests. Gerard asks Gamilla about getting intoxicated, and wonders if there's something she's not telling him. He reassures her that he'll not change his opinion of her whatever she tells him. Gamilla, however, insists that there's nothing to worry about as she recalls Finlay's threats. Gerard shyly asks Gamilla to dance with him, but she says that she can't. Gerard sweetly suggests that they dance outside, and, Gamilla finally agrees.
Chapter 114: Family Traits
Chapter Summary: Mr. Punch and Robert stand by and watch everyone enjoy the ball. Robert seems quite proud of his companion and their Colin. Robert notes that in a few years, Colin will be the toast of London Society and says how Colin resembles Punch. Punch recalls Colin's birth mother, his sister, and says how it's inevitable that Colin will resemble the Fallbridge side of the family. Punch notes that genetic traits that they share and says that Colin gets his blue eyes from Barbara. He hopes that Colin will not develop a personality like Barbara's, too. Robert reassures him. Mr. Punch wonders if they shouldn't let Colin go with Mrs. North so he can sleep in peace and the two men discuss the housekeeper. Punch says he believes that Mrs. North knows Colin is really his nephew and that she's sure to have noticed the resemblance that the baby shares with the rest of the family. Robert complains about Miss Barrett and Punch has a moment where he realizes that Miss Barrett looks a bit like Barbara.
Chapter 115: Up Close
Chapter Summary: Gerard and Gamilla are interrupted in an embrace when a woman in a lavish gown enters the veranda. She comments on Gamilla's dress and asks how she managed to make her skin so dark. Gamilla awkwardly explains that he skin is naturally that color. The woman apologizes profusely and says how beautiful she things Gamilla is. The woman introduces herself as the Baroness Lensdown and asks if they've seen her husband. Mr. Punch and Robert come outside, carrying Colin. The baroness requests that they refer to each other by their first names and tries to be friendly--something to which neither Punch or Robert are accustomed. Robert tells Gamilla and Gerard that it's time to cut the cake and Punch mentions that he saw the baron talking to Finlay--something which clearly annoys the baroness. She accompanies the Duke into the ball as Robert sweetly teases Gamilla and Gerard.
Chapter 116: In the Details
Chapter Summary: Georgie, Ethel and Jenny have formed a little group of three and are, as Mr. Dickens might have said, "making rather merry." Dancing to the pipers' music, the trio is slightly intoxicated, but they're all having a very good time teasing each other and enjoying the wonderful evening which the Duke has created for them. Feeling the warmth of the Duke's wine, they wish to toast their enduring friendship. Enter Finlay--dressed as a (if not "the") devil. Finlay suggests that he can help them out and tells them that they should have something stronger than wine. The footman informs the young trio that there's some whiskey in the Servants' Hall and asks them to come with him.
Chapter 117: Trade
Summary: Finlay's attempts to get Georgie, Ethel and Jenny to go with him to the servants' hall failed when Georgie spoke up for the group, telling him that he didn't think it was a good idea. George explained that they'd all promised Mr. Speaight that, though they would have a good time, they would be on their best behavior since all that they did reflected the dignity of the House of Fallbridge. Finlay tried to change the boy's mind, but failed. Ethel and Jenny were grateful to George and the three went about their merry-making. Meanwhile, Robert and Punch concluded that it was time for Colin to go to bed. Punch reluctantly agreed. They handed the child over to whom they thought was Mrs. North though Punch seemed to have misgivings and appeared apprehensive. His doubts, however, were correct as the woman who took Colin wasn't Mrs. North at all, but rather Ellen wearing Mrs. North's fancy dress. The sneaky governess walked to an upstairs window and grinned at the child in her arms.
Chapter 118: History Repeated
Chapter Summary: Ellen signaled out the window and was soon met by the Baron Lensdown who insisted that he'd not been seen. Ellen asked Lensdown if he'd been with Finlay and the baron lied and said he had not. Ellen caught him in his lie, but Lensdown pledged his loyalty to Ellen. Ellen told the baron that she had Finlay working on a particular assignment, but refused to explain further. The baron was ready to complete what he thought was their plan--to put Colin in his crib, and, then, steal jewels from the Duke which they would plant on Gerard and Charles. Ellen told Lensdown that she didn't need him. The baron became concerned that Ellen might harm the baby, but she teased him. Ellen seemed proud of the fact that Mrs. North was dead and that Finlay had hidden her body. She seemed pleased to know that no one had realized that Mrs. North had met her demise and that she had taken the housekeepers place at the ball. The baron asked Ellen if she was mad, angering the woman who told the baron that she wanted him to meet Finlay on the top of the Grange's central tower to see that history was repeated.
Chapter 119: The Dance
Chapter Summary: Despite the nagging sense of worry he has about Colin, Punch is tapping his feet as he and Robert watch their guests dancing. Punch hints that the dancing looks fun and Robert counters by saying that it's just a way to get dizzy and overheated. Punch says that he's never danced. Robert suggests that Punch can dance with one of the ladies, and, when Punch says he only wants to dance with Robert, he replies that it wouldn't be appropriate for the two of them to dance together. After Punch points out that even Gamilla and Gerard are dancing together, Robert relents and the two dance to the claps of the party guests. Punch, meanwhile, decides that afterwards, they must go check on Colin.
Chapter 120: Regrets
Chapter Summary: Gamilla and Gerard praise Punch and Robert after their dance. While the four of them are talking, Robert can tell that Punch and Gamilla are both concerned about Colin. Punch says he's worried because Colin is not used to being with Mrs. North. Of course, if Punch and Robert really knew what was happening with Colin, they'd be even more concerned. Robert tells Gamilla and Punch to go check on Colin. As they walk, Punch and Gamilla chat and Punch confesses that he should have made Gamilla Colin's nurse from the start. Gamilla recalls Ellen's cruelty and Finlay's threats, but, fearful, says nothing. Upon entering the nursery, Punch sees something which alarms him and he screams for Gamilla to fetch Dr. Halifax.
Chapter 121: Sure
Chapter Summary: Mr. Punch is distraught to find Colin missing and can't imagine where the baby is. Gamilla suggests that Mrs. North could have taken him any number of places--for milk, to change him, to bathe him. Punch refutes all of these ideas, knowing that Mrs. North was told not to take the child from the nursery. Punch insists that Gamilla find Robert and bring him back to the nursery. Stumbling from distress, Punch goes to his adjoining bedchamber where he finds Dog Toby and emotionally talks to the terrier about his woes. Meanwhile, Ellen is angry that he plans were disturbed. She hadn't counted on the Duke coming up so soon and wonders what she should do with the child. In frustration, she climbs the stairs to the tower.
Chapter 122: The Duke's Coffers
Chapter Summary: Robert arrives in the nursery followed by Gamilla and Gerard and is alarmed to find Colin missing. He tries to console Mr. Punch, but finds that his companion is too distraught. Robert sends Gamilla and Gerard to look for Mrs. North and the baby while he talks to Punch who recalls some of the horrible things which happened to Julian when he was small. Punch becomes disturbed by a thought and rushes to his wardrobe where he finds that his jewelry box has been emptied. Robert and Punch decide to go look for the baby, and, as they open the door find Finlay--dressed as the devil--standing there holding the child.
Chapter 123: To Blazes
Chapter Summary: Punch demands that Finlay hand over the child and Finlay cooperates. Punch is so furious that he forgets to affect Julian's voice. He insists on knowing what Finlay was doing with Colin. Finlay lies about Mrs. North asking him to take the baby. Punch is beside himself with fury and retreats to inspect Colin, but not before telling Finlay that he'll kill him if he touches Colin again. Robert has similar words for Finlay and explains that the man is on thin ice. Finlay's attempts to charm Robert fail and Robert orders the man to leave. Meanwhile, Gerard makes a gruesome discovery--Mrs. North's body.
Chapter 124: The Silver Vault
Chapter Summary: After finding Mrs. North's body, Gerard is shocked and repulsed. Without knowing what he was doing, he ran for the service stairs where he literally bumped into Robert and informed the master that Mrs. North was dead. At first, Robert refused to believe it could be true, but upon seeing the woman's corpse, could tell that she'd been strangled. Robert told Gerard about the robbery and that the two events must be related. He asked Gerard to have Speaight keep the guests from leaving and ordered him to get Charles and join him in the Duke's room. Gerard expressed concern for Gamilla's safety and, then, the two men realized that the woman who had taken Colin couldn't have been Mrs. North.
Chapter 125: Downfall
Chapter Summary: Lady Constance finds Baron Lensdown and tells him that his wife has a headache and wants to leave. The baron is coy and teases Constance. Lady Constance continues to insist that they need to leave so that they can have the discussion that she'd been promised about their illegitimate child. The baron informs her that the Duke has sealed the room and that no one can leave. Meanwhile, Punch tries to convince Gamilla to tell him what is troubling her, but before she can Robert arrives to tell Punch about Mrs. North. As Gamilla watches Punch's grief, she vows never to put him or their family in danger with what she knows.
Chapter 126: Danger in this House
Chapter Summary: Robert explains to Mr. Punch what had happened to Mrs. North. Punch is shocked that they didn't notice that the person at the ball was an impostor. Gamilla and Punch were upset that whoever it was gave the child to Finlay and Punch wondered just how involved Finlay was. Punch was horrified that someone would do this to Mrs. North. Robert suggested that the person could have been an associate of Finlay's and reminds them that they know little about the man. Gamilla volunteers to prepare Mrs. North's body for burial. As the masters mourn and wonder, Gamilla can take no more and begins to tell the men what she knows.
Chapter 127: The Buzz of Voices
Chapter Summary: As Gamilla is about to speak, she's interrupted by a cry from downstairs which alarms her, Punch and Robert. Gamilla fears that the sound came from the "spirit" which she has previously seen, but Robert assures her that the mournful sound came from a living woman. Charles and Gerard arrive at the nursery, also alarmed by the wail. They suggest that they should investigate. Robert asks Charles to stay with Gamilla and Punch and entreats Gerard to come with him. Punch protests, but Robert reminds him that, as Colin's legal guardian, he must remain there while Robert investigates. Charles locks the door behind Robert and Punch who go downstairs to find the source of the sound--Lady Lensdown who appears in the center of the Great Hall--covered in blood. She begs for help.
Chapter 128: Her Poor Mother
Chapter Summary: Robert and Gerard descend the stairs to the Great Hall to see Lady Lensdown covered in blood. The woman falls to her knees and Robert gently says he will help her. She says she doesn't need help, but that "Martha" does. Robert is unsure who Martha is, but quickly realizes that Lady Lensdown is referring to the Countess Hamish. The baroness says that Countess Hamish is dead. Lady Constance is stunned to hear of her mother's death and insists on seeing her mother. Robert asks her to wait until he and Gerard investigate. Robert chastises the baron for not helping his wife, and, then announces that the countess' murder is the second that evening. The staff is shocked to learn of Mrs. North's death. Gerard and Robert leave to investigate the scene of the countess' murder.
Chapter 129: Contempt
Chapter Summary: Robert and Gerard are both shocked at the condition of the Countess Hamish. She'd not merely been stabbed, but rather, brutally butchered. Gerard covers the body, and, then worries that Lady Constance won't be deterred from seeing her mother's corpse. He shares with Dr. Halifax that he'd been kept from his own mother when she died and that he regrets it. Robert vaguely mentions the circumstances of his own mother's death. Robert also wonders how he'll tell the Duke, but Gerard reminds him that the Duke is strong. Robert bemoans the fact that someone like Baron Lensdown is considered sane while the Duke is called mad. The two resolve to keep the party guests at the Grange until they can contact the authorities. As they depart for their various tasks, Gerard extinguishes the light and, suddenly feels a hand around his mouth. Unable to move or call out, he feels a sharp pain in his back.
Chapter 130: Folding
Chapter Summary: Punch, Gamilla and Charles are shocked when Robert appears with a wounded Gerard. Gerard says that he fought a man off and Robert explains that Gerard had been jumped and stabbed in the dark. Robert doesn't tell Punch about the Countess Hamish yet. Gamilla and Charles try to tend to Gerard as Robert determines that the wound isn't as bad as it could be. Gerard is a bit delirious, but seems proud that he managed to get the attacker away before any harm came to Dr. Halifax. As Charles folds Gerard's bloody clothes, he's shocked to find the Duke's missing jewels in the pocket of Gerard's coat.
Chapter 131: Like His Father
Chapter Summary: In the Servants' Hall, Jenny, Ethel, Georgie and Mrs. Pepper are tending to the Baroness Lensdown and Lady Contance. Mrs. Pepepr sends Georgie off while they try to convince Lady Lensdown to change from her bloody dress. At first, Lady Lensdown won't budge, but she finally agrees to go with Mrs. Pepper after they mention their children to one another. Lady Constance seems rattled and annoyed. She wonders aloud if maybe her mother is really alive and if the doctor could "save" her. The girls try to gently tell Lady Constance not to get her hopes up and Lady Constance sends them away. Alone, Lady Constance signals for Baron Lensdown who asks her why she "did it."
Chapter 132: Sutures
Chapter Summary: Punch recognizes his missing jewelry and Charles confesses that he found it in Gerard's pocket. Gerard states, in agony, that he didn't take the jewels and everyone reassures him that they know he didn't. Robert says he's got to sew up Gerard's wound and recommends that Punch and Colin go into the nursery with Charles and Dog Toby. Punch says he thinks he should make an appearance downstairs, but Robert forbids it--knowing he hasn't told Punch all that had happened and about the death of the Countess. Punch wonders what Robert's hiding and Gerard reveals that Robert should tell the Duke about Countess Hamish.
Chapter 133: Missing Something
Chapter Summary: Robert is forced to tell Punch and Charles about the murder of the Countess Hamish. Punch is shocked and feels somewhat responsible. Mr. Punch shows concern for Lady Constance as well as for the Baroness Lensdown who found the Countess' body. The men worry about the safety of the household and Charles, given that someone tried to frame Gerard in addition to stabbing him, feels that he should go down to join Speaight in securing the house. Robert, however, insists that Charles stay in the nursery to protect Colin and Punch while he tends to Gerard. Punch states how invaluable Charles, Gerard and Gamilla are, and, then, he thinks of Miss Barrett--suddenly becoming startled.
Chapter 134: Playthings
Chapter Summary: Mr. Punch is concerned about Miss Barrett, thinking that she's ill and alone in the house. Robert and Charles quickly tell the Duke that Miss Barrett can look out for herself and that he shouldn't waste time worrying about her. Robert must return to Gerard and asks Charles to make sure that the Duke, in his agitated state, doesn't do anything rash. Charles tries to soothe the Duke by bringing him his puppets. Robert realizes he needs his surgical bag and decides to get it from his room, but Gamilla doesn't like the idea of Robert going alone. Gamilla finally decides to tell Dr. Halifax what she'd experienced with Finlay and Ellen and warns Robert to stay clear of them.
Chapter 135: Beat the Devil
Chapter Summary: Gamilla confesses the horrible threats she'd received from Finlay and Ellen to a shocked Dr. Halifax. Robert then begins to realize that Finlay and Ellen must have been behind the deaths of Mrs. North, the Countess Hamish, and, even William Stover, but neither he nor Gamilla can figure why. Robert thinks that the Baron Lensdown might be working with them. Gamilla pleads with Robert not to leave the suite, but he insists that without his surgical tools, he can't save Gerard. Robert asks Gamilla to say nothing to Punch, but Punch has overheard everything anyway and insists that he's going to "Beat the Devil."
Chapter 136: The Others
Chapter Summary: Punch, being summoned by the others, loses control of the body which falls to the floor--much to the horror of Robert, Gamilla and Charles. Inside their shared body, the others speak to Punch. Scaramouche speaks first, declaring that Punch is a disgrace who should be killed. Though Julian and Guignol defend Punch, Scaramouche insists he should be given control of the body. Guignol suggests a vote and they decide that Punch should remain in control, but Scaramouche is not satisfied. Scaramouche calls out for another personality--Kasperl--who he insists is Punch's replacement.
Chapter 137: You Simply Must
Chapter Summary: Robert, alone with Mr. Punch, pleads with his unconscious companion to come back to him. Robert tries to reassure the man that it's always been him that he wanted, not Julian. Robert tells the non-responsive Duke that he needs him, that Colin needs him and that the staff needs him. Still, Punch will not regain consciousness. Robert worries about leaving his companion's side, but must suture Gerard before the man loses more blood. Charles stays with the Duke and also asks for Mr. Punch to return.
Chapter 138: Kasperl
Chapter Summary: Charles is surprised to see the Duke's eyes flutter. As Charles is placing Colin in his cradle, the Duke's body springs up into a sitting position. Immediately, Charles is aware that the body is being controlled by someone other than Mr. Punch. This newcomer to the Duke's body introduces himself to Charles as "Kasperl" and makes his distaste for Punch's life quite clear. Charles cleverly tries to question this new personality and quickly realizes him to be dangerous and destruction. Kasperl notes that his prime goal is to destroy the Duke's body and Charles, unsure of what to do, slugs the Duke right in the jaw, knocking him unconscious again.
Chapter 139: A Fight
Chapter Summary: After finishing Gerard's sutures, Robert hears a crashing sound from the adjoining nursery and goes to investigate. There, he's shocked to find The Duke on the floor. Upon questioning Charles, Robert learns that a new personality had appeared--Kasperl--and threatened the Duke's safety, so, unsure of what else to do, Charles punched him in the jaw. Charles is apologetic, but Robert--though upset--understands. Robert sends Charles to look after Gamilla and Gerard so that he can be alone with the Duke. The doctor speaks to his unconscious companion and tells the new persona that he's got a fight on his hands.
Chapter 140: Support:
Chapter Summary: Lady Constance finally corners the Baron Lensdown who tries to dismiss her, but Constance won't be brushed aside. She begs Lensdown to help her support their daughter, but the baron says he can't be sure that the child is even his. Angered, Constance tells the Baron that she knows about his affairs with Ellen and Finlay. She threatens to reveal them to the baroness, but Lensdown scoffs and says his wife already knows. Constance suggests that the baron is in an awkward position, showing allegiance to both Ellen and Finlay who are clearly working together. She then reveals that she knows that Ellen is the Duke's sister. But, her real bombshell comes when she knows that the baron once "murdered" a young man at the Grange. She states that the man didn't die at all and that he, Roger Barrett, is very much alive and has gone quite mad. She continues to tell him that Roger is Ellen's "brother" and that his care is being paid for by the Duke. She then threatens to tell the Duke all that she knows. Lendsown reacts violently, but realizes that Constance has got him. He asks what she wants and her response is that she wants a name for her child, the baron's support, and for him to take the blame for the murder of the Countess Hamish.
Chapter 141: Horrid
Chapter Summary: Mr. Punch cheers for Charles' choice to strike the Duke--a choice which sent a defeated Kasperl back within their shared body. Scaramouche is furious that his plan has been thwarted and taunts Punch, Guignol and Julian. Julian and Guignol try to defend Mr. Punch, but Scaramouche continues to angrily puff himself up. Punch warns Scaramouche that he won't win and Guignol reminds the others that Scaramouche and Kasperl intend to destroy the body. Scaramouche decides that he's going to defeat Punch and the others once and for all and begins to reveal a memory which even Punch can't recall.
Chapter 142: Sparks of Something
Chapter Summary: The battle within the body of the Duke of Fallbridge continues as Scaramouche reveals the memory of the day when Victor Geddes pushed Roger Barrett from the turret. Punch and Guignol plead with Scaramouche to stop. Punch states that if Scaramouche were a human man, he'd know how to stop him, and, then Punch realizes that Scaramouche--and, in fact, all of them--are just the Duke's thoughts. Punch suggests that Julian can make Scaramouche go away. Though Scaramouche insists he will return, Julian wills Scramouche and Kasperl to be gone. Punch then awakens to a grateful Robert.
Chapter 143: Any Further
Chapter Summary: In the Servants' Hall, Mrs. Pepper, Georgie, Ethel and Jenny are discussing how they're going to manage to feed everyone in the house without the help of the Grange's permanent cook, Mrs. Gall. Jenny wonders why the Duke has kept everyone in the castle and Mrs. Pepper explains that His Grace was trying to keep the murderer from leaving. They worry that the Duke and the doctor haven't come downstairs because something is wrong and they also note that they've not seen Gamilla, Charles or Gerard. Or Finlay. Ethel, Jenny and Georgie don't like Finlay and Ethel mentions that she once saw him go to Miss Barrett's room. Ethel recalls a portrait she'd seen upstairs and says how she thought the Duke's sister resembled Miss Barrett. Ethel then goes into the darkened kitchens alone.
Chapter 144: Not a Chance
Chapter Summary: As Ethel is attacked in the dark kitchens, she recalls the words of her cousin Everard who had taught her to fight. Ethel manages to get her attacker to release her, and, then, bloodies the person's nose. Hearing Ethel's screams, Jenny, Mrs. Pepper and Georgie come running into the kitchens. Finally getting a candle, they see that Ethel's attacker is Miss Barrett--dressed in a man's clothes. Georgie restrains the nanny and Mrs. Pepper says to lock her in the cellars so that they can get the masters. Miss Barrett orders them to let her go, telling them that she's the Duke's sister.
Chapter 145: To Spill Tonight:
Chapter Summary: Finlay arrives just as Mrs. Pepper tells her son to take Ellen to the cellars so that they can get the masters. Finlay tells them that they should let Ellen go and Ethel, Jenny, Mrs. Pepper and Georgie scoff. Finlay tells them the story of Ellen's birth. The staff doubts Finlay's honesty and Mrs. Pepper insists that the masters should be alerted. Finlay acts as if he's defeated, but spins around and holds a knife to Georgie's throat, threatening to kill the boy if he doesn't let Ellen go.
Chapter 146: Now that I Hear It
Chapter Summary: Mrs. Pepper, fearing for her son's life, insists that Georgie release Ellen. Finlay and Ellen threaten Georgie, Ethel, Jenny and Mrs. Pepper before running out of the Servants' Hall. Mrs. Pepper and the kids run upstairs to tell the Duke what had just happened and that Ellen claimed to be the Duke's sister. While Robert and Charles are surprised, Mr. Punch doesn't seem at all shocked by the news.
Chapter 147: No Doubt
Chapter Summary: Robert tries to convince Punch that Ellen was lying, but Punch isn't too sure. Punch realizes that he's not taken the time to speak as Julian and that Ethel, Jenny, Mrs. Pepper and George have heard his own voice. They explains that they've heard him before and that they're honored that he's comfortable enough to be free in front of them. Punch recounts the time when Julian's mother and father had come to Scotland without him and returned months later. That would have been around the time Ellen was born. Mr. Punch also reminds everyone of the Duchess' lust for the make staff. Punch believes Ellen's story. They all realize that she and Finlay are related and that they murdered Mrs. North. But, what of the Countess. Punch has an idea about that and invites everyone to be seated so he can speak to them.
Chapter Summary: Finlay arrives just as Mrs. Pepper tells her son to take Ellen to the cellars so that they can get the masters. Finlay tells them that they should let Ellen go and Ethel, Jenny, Mrs. Pepper and Georgie scoff. Finlay tells them the story of Ellen's birth. The staff doubts Finlay's honesty and Mrs. Pepper insists that the masters should be alerted. Finlay acts as if he's defeated, but spins around and holds a knife to Georgie's throat, threatening to kill the boy if he doesn't let Ellen go.
Chapter 146: Now that I Hear It
Chapter Summary: Mrs. Pepper, fearing for her son's life, insists that Georgie release Ellen. Finlay and Ellen threaten Georgie, Ethel, Jenny and Mrs. Pepper before running out of the Servants' Hall. Mrs. Pepper and the kids run upstairs to tell the Duke what had just happened and that Ellen claimed to be the Duke's sister. While Robert and Charles are surprised, Mr. Punch doesn't seem at all shocked by the news.
Chapter 147: No Doubt
Chapter Summary: Robert tries to convince Punch that Ellen was lying, but Punch isn't too sure. Punch realizes that he's not taken the time to speak as Julian and that Ethel, Jenny, Mrs. Pepper and George have heard his own voice. They explains that they've heard him before and that they're honored that he's comfortable enough to be free in front of them. Punch recounts the time when Julian's mother and father had come to Scotland without him and returned months later. That would have been around the time Ellen was born. Mr. Punch also reminds everyone of the Duchess' lust for the make staff. Punch believes Ellen's story. They all realize that she and Finlay are related and that they murdered Mrs. North. But, what of the Countess. Punch has an idea about that and invites everyone to be seated so he can speak to them.
Chapter 148: Happy Things
Chapter Summary: Gamilla watches over Gerard as he rests after having his wound sutured . Trying to stay awake, the exhausted Gamilla daydreams about going home to Belgrave Square. She is pleased and relieved when Gerard awakens. Gerard has no memory, at first, as to what happened. Gamolla tries to keep Gerard from worrying and tells him to think only of happy things. The two continue to grow closer.
Chapter 149: The Lass
Chapter Summary: Ellen and Finlay convene in a hidden spot on the Grange's grounds and discuss what's just happened. Finlay is pouting because Ellen got caught, but Ellen tells him not to worry. She believes that the Duke won't be able to pin the murders of William Stover and Mrs. North on them. She asks Finlay how he killed the Countess and Finlay claims he didn't do it. Ellen claims the same. They conclude that the Baron Lensdown couldn't have done it either. Finlay wonders how the Duke will react to having another sister and Ellen believes he'll invite her into the family--giving her ample opportunity to rob and torture him further. Their conversation is interrupted by Johnny Donnan--their father--who unexpectedly strikes Ellen.
Chapter 150: To Beg
Chapter Summary: Ellen knocks on the nursery door. Charles shouts to her that she's a monster. Punch asks Mrs. Pepper and the younger staff to take Colin and Dog Toby into the adjoining bedchamber. Jenny is nervous to see Gerard who is wounded, but Punch reassures her that she can help him heal by being kind to him. Punch asks Charles and Robert to open the door. Ellen falls to her knees and begs forgiveness, but no one believes that her display is sincere. She says that her actions were out of her control, which angers Punch further. Ellen lies by implying that Johnny Donnan influenced her and that he's out for revenge against the Duchess' heirs. She also says that Finlay was killed by their father. Robert and Charles are going to take Ellen away to lock her in the vault and she tells them that she can help save them from Johnny.
Chapter 151: Welcome to the Family:
Chapter Summary: Mr. Punch furiously begins to question Ellen. Punch, Robert and Charles begin to assemble the details of all of Ellen's crimes. Ellen, despite presenting the litany of her crimes, seems undaunted by the consequences, and, in fact, seems to be quite proud of herself. She readily confesses to killing Mrs. North, and even William Stover. She also confesses to stabbing Gerard and even admits that Finlay helped her and that he's very much alive. When Ellen begins to blackmail the Duke, Mr. Punch has had enough and orders Robert and Charles to leave him alone with his sister so that he can welcome her to the family.
Chapter 152: A Good Boy
Chapter Summary: Robert comes into the bedroom and tells the others that he left the Duke with Ellen. They're concerned, but Robert assures them that His Grace will be fine. Still, he wants Georgie to listen at the door with him. Suddenly, Speaight knocks. He's holding a golden braid which he believes was Violet's. Speaight falls the the floor and Finlay appears claiming to have poisoned the man. They find Charles is missing. Finlay claims he has an antidote, and that he won't give it to Speaight unless they give him Ellen. Meanwhile, in the nursery, Punch says he wants to welcome Ellen to the family--not the Fallbridge family nor even the Molliners, but the Family Punchinello. With that, he strikes her across the head with a bed-warmer.
Chapter 153: Nothing There
Chapter Summary: Punch enters the bedchamber and spots Speiaght and Finlay. He asks what's going on. Finlay demands to know where Ellen is and Punch declares that she's dead on the nursery floor. He asks Gamilla to fetch Colin's quilt. Gamilla returns with the baby's blanket and confirms that Ellen is dead. The others inform Mr. Punch as to what has happened. Punch demands that Finlay give him the antidote and when the man won't Punch hits him with the bed-warmer as well. He didn't kill Finlay, however. Ethel and Jenny tie up the footman. Punch hides under a table with Dog Toby and asks for Robert and Georgie to move Ellen's body. Reluctantly, Robert agrees, but they two return shortly after and say that Ellen is gone.
Chapter 154: Hunting
Chapter Summary: Charles has been bound and gagged and realizes that he's being dragged across the estate. He finds himself in the hunting cottage with Violet who is distraught that her hair has been cut by Finlay as a warning. Violet wonders why they've been taken and Charles explains that Finlay and Ellen had intended to use them as a way of negotiating with the masters. Charles tells the girl about Ellen's birth, but neither is aware the Mr. Punch has killed Ellen or that Finlay has been captured. It was Johnny Donnan who had carried Charles to the cottage. Charles realizes that the cottage has a basement and they both search for a trapdoor as a means of escape.
Chapter 155: Any Other Choice
Chapter Summary: Mr. Punch is shocked to learn that Ellen's body has been moved. Georgie and Robert note that it looked as if the body had been dragged. They all wondered who could have moved the body. They question Ellen's continued involvement with the Baron Lensdown and Punch reveals what he recalled about the baron and Roger. The group also thinks that Ellen's and Finlay's father, Johnny Donnan, must somehow be involved. Ethel suggests that maybe Ellen isn't dead. Puch finds the idea bothersome and insists he killed her. Gamilla agrees. Punch and Robert wonder how to proceed. They conclude that they must go in search of Johnny, but neither likes the idea of leaving their friends alone, especially with Charles and Vi missing. Georgie, Mrs. Pepper and Ethel insist they can handle whatever may happen.
Chapter 156: Orpha Polk
Chapter Summary: Still trapped in the hunting cottage, Charles and Vi are disgusted that they've not found access to the cellar. Charles recalls an Italian palazzo he had seen as a bot wherein a door was hidden in a bookcase. He realizes that the door to the cellar is hidden in one of the trophy cases in the lodge. Charles guides Vi down the stairs and just as they are about the approach the window to escape, Charles bumps into someone in the dark. The woman claims she is Miss Barrett, and, then lights a candle to show her face. She's not the woman that they know as Ellen Barrett. This woman claims that the woman that they know is someone called Orpha Polk.
Chapter 157: Lennie
Chapter Summary: Charles and Vi agree to listen to the strange woman's tale. She explains that she had a happy upbringing in a middle class home with a maid of all work named Orpha who resembled her slightly. The two were very close. The woman explained that she cared for her brother, Roger, who had become mentally unbalanced after an accident. Orpha helped look after Roger who often confused the two young women. As the woman's father died, he told her of her true parentage and urged her to seek out her natural mother, The Duchess of Fallbridge, and her siblings Lady Barbara and our Julian. But, the woman wanted no part of it. Shocked and confused, she allowed Orpha to use her name in order to get a job as a governess for the Baron Lensdown. Then, Orpha slowly took over Ellen's Barrett's life. Eventually, Orpha, for a mysterious reason, moved the woman to Scotland, and, then, a few days before locked her in the cellar of the Grange's hunting lodge. Violet and Charles believed the woman and promised they'd escape. She told them to call her by her father's nickname for her, "Lennie."
Chapter 158: A Nasty Bruise
Chapter Summary: Punch and Robert discuss the events of the evening. Robert is concerned that Punch was hurt when Charles struck him. Punch says he's glad Charles did it since it seemed to aid in bringing him back. Robert shows regret that they hired Ellen, but Punch says there's no way they could have known. He wonders why Sir Colin never mentioned anything about the Duchess' indiscretion. Robert suggests that Sir Colin didn't have a chance or that he wanted to protect Julian. Punch remembers a time when his father had said he wanted to talk, but changed his mind and went to France where he was later killed. In the Great Hall, they encounter Lady Constance who cannot sleep--worried that her mother's murderer is still in the house. Punch and Robert tell her not to be concerned because the murderer, Ellen, is dead. Lady Constance scoffs and says that Baron Lensdown killed her mother.
Chapter 159: Ready to See
Chapter Summary: As Charles and Violet hurry to escape the cellar of the hunting cabin, Lennie seems resistant. They explain that if they escape, she can go home and she states that she has no home. Charles and Vi suggest that she can go to the Duke for help, and explain that since she's really his sister, he'll welcome her. Lennie replies that she's not ready to see the Duke and worries that the rumors of his madness are true. Charles tries to reassure the timid woman, but Violet becomes enraged, stating that she's not going to rot in that cellar because Lennie is unsure of herself. Charles scolds her, but Violet won't be stopped. Just as Vi climbs up to the window, they hear footsteps above them.
Chapter 160: For What You Are:
Chapter Summary: Mr. Punch and Robert were told by Pete, the pig-nosed stable boy, that Johnny Donnan had been in the hunting cottage. So, after dispatching Lady Constance, the duo went to the cottage to investigate. Robert expressed concern that Ellen was not dead, but Punch insisted that he'd killed her. As they were about to leave, Punch recalled the hidden door to the cellar and he and Robert went downstairs, shocked to find Violet, Charles and an unknown woman. After exchanging comforting words, Robert asked who the woman was and Lennie claimed her name was "Orpha Polk," but Violet, who had had quite enough by that point, blurted out that the woman was the true Ellen Barrett. Punch was surprised, and forgot to speak as Julian, asking the woman to explain. She seemed put off by his demeanor, at first, but he said that if she expected him to accept her, she'd have to accept him. Lennie praised Punch and said she would try.
Chapter 161: Of Little Comfort
Chapter Summary: Mr. Punch insists that Charles, Vi and Lennie come back to the Grange. Violet and Charles are all for it, but Lennie fears that if Ellen returns for her, she'll become enraged. Punch says not to worry. He killed Ellen. They think. Lennie becomes upset, worried that if the Duke killed a woman he thought was his sister, he'd do the same to her. Punch didn't make matters any better--simply by being Punch. They turn to Robert for help.
Chapter 162: To See You Die
Chapter Summary: Finlay awakens to find himself bound and being watched by Ethel, Mrs. Pepper, Georgie, Speaight, Jenny and Gamilla. They staff delighted in the opportunity to make Finlay squirm after all of the vicious things he'd done to them. They teased him with talk of cooking him and torturing him--just to make him uncomfortable. But, Gamilla was a little more serious than the others--furious not only for what he and Ellen had done to Gerard, but for the wicked things they'd done to her.
Chapter 163: All the Better
Chapter Summary: Mr. Punch is frustrated with his new sister and finds her crying to be annoying. He recalls that he's had little success in the sister department and decides to be honest with this one. Punch tells Lennie that he understands that she's upset and that she has every right to be, but that she doesn't need to fear him. He tells her about his "Mr. Punch" side and states that if she can accept Roger she can certainly accept him. Robert informs the woman that it's Punch who has been looking after Roger these last few months. Lennie finally comes around and says she wants to get to know the Duke better.
Chapter 164: Wake
Chapter Summary: Alone in the stables, Johnny Donnan has placed "Ellen's" body in a vacant stall. He watches her for signs of life, unaware that she's an impostor. Johnny recalls his affair with the duchess and notes how "Ellen" resembles the late duchess. Johnny reflects on his life and his other children and wishes that the woman was alive. Just when he's about to give up hope, she opens her eyes.
Chapter 165: False magic
Chapter Summary: Charles and Violet return tot the Duke's bedchamber where they are greeted warmly by their friends who had been worried. Charles explains that the Duke and the doctor are in the passage with a surprise and that they sent Charles with specific instructions. Charles learns that Gamilla has used her gris-gris on Finlay and seems pleased by the idea. The footman instructs everyone on where to sit and drags Finlay to the fireplace to wait. Finlay begs to be released, but Charles happily informs the man that the surprise is really for him.
Chapter 166: Another Stone on Your Grave
Chapter Summary: Punch and Robert bring Lennie into the room with the others. Punch commends the staff for their loyalty and strength and the fine way they've handled the tragic events of the evening. Robert and Punch introduce Lennie to the shocked group and explain that she's really Ellen Barrett. Finlay is outraged and doubtful, but Punch manages to quiet him down. Punch names Gamilla as Colin's nurse, and welcomes Lennie to live with them if she wishes because Colin needs an auntie. Then, they turn to Finlay and demand answers from him.
Chapter 167: That I Am
Chapter Summary: The Baron Lensdown answers his door to find Johnny Donnan who insists that the baron come with him. The baron asks if it's his wife that's in trouble and Johnny repeats his demand. Lensdown insists that they have no connection to one another and Johnny says that since the man had an affair with his offspring, they do have a connection. Lensdown thinks that Johnny is referring to Finlay--an admission which only angers Johnny more. He drags the baron off and explains that it's Ellen who wants him. The baron knows Ellen is "dead" since he was lurking around and spied her "death." Johnny just says he wants the baron to join Ellen and the baron thinks Johnny will kill him.
Chapter 168: The Best Part
Chapter Summary: Johnny drags the baron into the stables and the baron protests the whole way. Tossing the baron into a stall, Johnny insists that he look upon his girl. Lensdown does not want to look at Ellen's "corpse" and tries to scramble away. He, instead, bumps into Ellen's body and is forced to turn around. He studies Ellen and shrieks when she opens her eyes and speaks. Lensdown is not amused by Ellen's trick and blasts her. Ellen then instructs her former lover to go and fetch Finlay from the Duke. Lensdown wonders how this will be possible, but Ellen is insistent.
Chapter 169: Kin to Me
Chapter Summary: Finlay begins, grudgingly, to share his past dealings with the woman who claimed to be Ellen Barrett. He explained that she contacted him, telling him that she was Ellen and that she wanted his help in moving forward with her life. Lennie finds Finlay to be offensive, and Finlay resents her interruptions. Robert and Punch question the man, to seems to be trying to push most of the blame off on "Ellen." They're interrupted when the baron Lensdown comes into the room and informs them that "Ellen" is still very much alive.
Chapter 170: Quite at Ease
Chapter Summary: The baron informs everyone that Ellen is alive and, in doing so, slips up and shows that he knew all along of her claims of being the Duke's sister. Punch is shocked, and also surprised when the baron tells him not to bother with his Julian charade. The baron tells the Duke and the doctor how Johnny brought him to the stables and how Ellen sent him to get Finlay. He claims he has nothing to hide. Imagine the baron's surprise when he learns that ellen was a fraud. Finlay wants a go at Ellen, but Lennie states that no one will see "Ellen" before she does.
Chapter 171: A Streak of Sensibility
Chapter Summary: With Finlay locked away in the cellars and with the rest of the staff gathered in the Duke's room, Robert, Punch, Charles and Lennie make their way to the stables. Despite Punch's protestations, Lennie has decided that it is she who must confront Ellen. Robert tries to reassure Punch, but obviously, he has misgivings as well. Charles, Robert and Punch wait outside as Lennie enters the stables. They are horrified to hear a scream come from the old stone building.
Chapter 172: Play Mute
Chapter Summary: Punch is dismayed to hear Lennie's scream and wants to rush into the stables to her aid, but Robert and Charles stop him. They listen as Lennie pretends to be shocked by Ellen's "resurrection." Ellen is quick to ensure that her masquerade is not revealed to Johnny Donnan and insinuates that Lennie should keep their secret. With misgivings, Lennie plays along, and, then, realizing she might get the upper hand, offers to help "Ellen."
Chapter 173: With Each Step
Chapter Summary: Gamilla, watching Gerard sleep, realizes that she'd almost lost him too many times and that she should allow herself to love him. She suspected that their marriage would be illegal, but she vowed to be a wife to him even if the law forbade it. Gamilla also concluded that she would not allow Finlay and Ellen to continue to torture the masters and her friends. So, despite the protestations of Mrs. Pepper, Ethel, Jenny and George, she went to the Servants' Hall to get the key to the cellar where Finlay had been detained.
Chapter 174: The Last Thing
Chapter Summary: Gamilla enters the silver vault to find the still-bound Finlay on the floor. He asks her to free him and she refuses. She even refuses to get him a blanket. Finlay asks why she's come and wonders if she's there to taunt him as the others had done. Finlay begins to berate Gamilla. She tells him that he's a bad man and that her people have ways of dealing with men like him. Finlay asks if she's going to kill him and Gamilla replies that she's there to do the opposite. She wants to keep him alive. She removes a vessel and a pouch from her apron and says they may be the last thing that Finlay ever sees.
Chapter 175: Your Name is on Their Nails
Chapter Summary: Finlay wants to know what Gamilla intends to do to him. She points to the bottle and the leather pouch and says that there are questions in both vessels and it's up to Finlay to answer them. When Finlay protests, she tells him to tilt his head to expose his ear. Finlay fears she will pour the liquid in his ear and begins to talk, trying to justify his wicked behavior by saying how his father beat him and that he lives with fear in his heart. Gamilla uses the example of the Duke of Fallbridge as a man who endured similar experiences, but manages to not torture the people around him. Finlay says it's easy when you're wealthy. Thinking that Gamilla will torture him, Finlay finally agrees to talk. Gamilla says she knew he would.
Chapter 176: Them Things
Chapter Summary: At first, it seemed that Finlay was ready to confess, but, Gamilla quickly realized that the man was just stalling when he asked her to untie him. Gamilla refused, and Finlay continued more of his weasel-like rhetoric. Gamilla had had enough, pouring the fluid into his ear and sealing it in with cotton. Screaming, Finlay begged for mercy, but Gamilla was too upset. She emptied the bag of powder into his face and told Finlay that he's have to give in to the magic. In reality, the "magic" was only oil and flour, but Gamilla knew that Finlay would be a changed man.
Chapter 177: The Only Door
Chapter Summary: Mr. Punch is concerned that Lennie has led "Ellen" to believe that she'll cooperate with the impostor. Lennie states that she had no other choice. Punch tries to comfort Lennie when she thinks about the fact that her father is Johnny Donnan. Robert further tries to soothe the woman by reassuring her that they'll continue to look after Roger. Meanwhile, Charles remains concerned about "Ellen." Lennie hopes that by luring Ellen into a false sense of security, she'll be able to bring justice. Punch and Robert fear that Finlay may be a problem, but they conclude that they'll have to lead him to the only possible door--the one behind which his punishment awaits.
Chapter 178: Cordial
Chapter Summary: Finlay's in rather bad shape--thinking that Gamilla has performed some sort of voodoo ritual on him. As a thunderstorm blots out the dawn, Finlay thinks that his sight has failed him. He's terrified. Gamilla decides to leave him to think about what he's done, and he pleads with her to stay. Gamilla reminds him that he had a chance, but lost it, and that now he must answer for what he's done. She goes to Mrs. North's pantry to get the late housekeeper's cloak, planning on going into the dark vault to scare Finlay. Gamilla is overtaken by an image of Mrs. North who seems to approve of her actions. When Gamilla opens her eyes, she sees a bottle of cordial and knows what to do.
Chapter 179: To Keep
Chapter Summary: Mr. Punch insists that Lennie stay with them in the castle, but Lennie tries to explain that if she were to do so, "Ellen" would become suspicious. Lennie apologizes for her initial emotional behavior and explains that she'd come to expect the worse from people and was surprised when Punch and his family and friends were so kind to her. Punch continued to try to be protective, but Robert and Charles concluded that Lennie was correct. Lennie and Charles devised a system by which she could contact him for assistance.
Chapter 180: A Part in That
Chapter Summary: Gamilla dons Mrs. North's cloak and takes the decanter of claret from the pantry. Going back to the silver vault, Gamilla takes advantage of the darkness and the lightning to further scare Finlay into thinking she's Mrs. North's ghost. She pours the claret on his hands, mimicking the feeling of blood with which she taunted him earlier. Then, as Finlay moaned in fear, Gamilla slips out. Back in the pantry, from without, Gamilla hears the voices of the masters and Charles. She hides, not wanting to involve the men in what she considers a sin. Thinking that they'd left, Gamilla comes out--only to come face-to-face with Charles who asks what she's doing. She tells him she's looking for justice and Charles asks to be involved.
Chapter 181: Conscience
Chapter Summary: Gamilla explains to Charles what she's been doing. She's fearful that Charles will think ill of her, but Charles conveys his respect and shares that he thinks Gamilla has been very clever. Gamilla says that she thinks the only justice would be for Finlay to live with the knowledge of the severity of his crimes. She states that Charles has no conscience and Charles suggests that he could speak for Finlay's conscience. Charles sneaks into the vault behind Gamilla and they continue to make Finlay aware of his crimes. Suddenly, however, Finlay begins to thrash about, saying his heart hurts. He stops his spasms, and Gamilla checks the man--announcing that he's dead.
Chapter 182: A Few Pieces
Chapter Summary: With Finlay appearing dead, Gamilla becomes terribly upset. She bemoans the fact that she didn't mean to physically harm the man, and that she just wanted him to be aware of the pain he'd caused. Gamilla wails that she's never been responsible for anyone's death before. Charles tries to tell Gamilla that it's not her fault. Charles then remembers how Dr. Halifax once got a man to breathe again, but he can't figure out how to do it. Gamilla tells him to get the Duke and the doctor. Alone with Finlay, Gamilla decides it's not fitting for a dead man to be bound and she loosens his ties. Charles gets Punch and Robert and just as they arrive in the vault, they find it empty.
Chapter 183: Wishing
Chapter Summary: Punch, Robert and Charles are terribly distressed to find Gamilla and Finlay gone. Punch is upset that Gamilla is in danger. Robert tries to think that perhaps Gamilla had carried the man off, but they realize its just wishful thinking. Punch notices a trail of flour and they decide to follow it. Meanwhile, Gamilla is outside with Finlay who unsuccessfully tried to escape. She's got the pleading man by his hair. Finlay begs to be released and Gamilla tries to convince him there's no escape. Then, Finlay pulls away and flings himself into the Grange's well.
Chapter 184: Come Back To Life
Chapter Summary: The rain finally begins to fall in a torrential downpour just as Punch, Robert and Charles catch up to Gamilla. Gamilla tells them how Finlay threw himself into the well. Robert investigates, but the well is so deep and the water so high that the man's body cannot be seen. Gamilla blames herself for Finlay's suicide, but Punch reminds her that the man's crimes--the true cause of his death--were not her doing. Punch also says how Gamilla is needed and that they should go back to the house. They are unaware, however, that Johnny Donnan is watching.
Chapter 185: A Father's Love
Chapter Summary: Johnny Donnan returns to the stables. Ellen and Lennie are there and Ellen asks what's wrong. The man replies that Finlay is dead and Ellen assumes the Duke of Fallbridge killed him. Johnny describes what he saw with Gamilla and Finlay and Lennie blurts out that it seems Finlay killed himself. Johnny says no Donnan would be such a coward. Ellen reminds Johnny of this history with his son, but it seems Finlay's death has allowed Johnny to romanticize the man. Lennie tries to keep the two from arguing, but only succeeds in making Johnny compare Ellen and Lennie. Johnny asks Lennie if she'll help him avenge Finlay's death.
Chapter 186: So Long
Chapter Summary: Gamilla is rightfully rattled after what transpired with Finlay who had killed himself. As she, Punch, Robert and Charles made their way back into the castle from the rain, the men tried to convince her that she should try to get some rest. Gamilla, however, was concerned about every aspect of the household from feeding the guests to taking care of Colin. The men tried to reassure her as well as praise what she'd done. After Punch shared some of his peculiar wisdom with Gamilla, she agreed to go to bed and Charles escorted her to her room. Sadly, no one noticed the muddy footprints which led down the servants' hallway.
Chapter 187: Catching
Chapter Summary: Johnny and Ellen jump Gamilla and Charles and push them into Gamilla's room where Lennie is waiting. Johnny says that Gamilla must pay for killing Finlay. Charles and Gamilla try to explain that Finlay killed himself, but Johnny has made up his mind. Ellen teases Charles and Gamilla and Lennie stands silently by. Gamilla lets it slip that Ellen is not really Ellen. She tries to cover, but it's too late. In the confusion, Charles tries to tackle Johnny who ends up hit Gamilla. Lennie finally confesses that Ellen is an imposter.
Chapter 188: Workhouse Girl
Chapter Summary: Charles makes sure that Gamilla is all right after being hit by Johnny. She says she is. Meanwhile, Johnny demands to know what Lennie is talking about. Lennie confesses her past and how she's really Johnny's daughter. Ellen is livid. Johnny orders Ellen to give him the truth. She finally does. Johnny asks Charles and Gamilla to take Lennie to the Duke and to leave him alone with "Ellen." Lennie tries to convince Johnny to be understanding, but it's clear that he intends to harm Ellen.
Chapter 189: Obligation
Chapter Summary: Punch is horrified when he sees that Gamilla has been hurt. Charles explains how Johnny and 'Ellen' jumped them. Punch wants to make sure that Gamilla is not badly harmed, but she insists that she's all right. Lennie states that her secret is out, that she told Johnny that Ellen is an impostor. Ellen and Johnny, Lennie and Charles explain, are alone in Gamilla's room. Charles thinks that they should be left to devour one another. But, Punch feels that he has an obligation to intervene and see that no one else is hurt. Robert agrees with Charles and, so does Lennie who thinks that the Duke should not involve himself any further.
Chapter 190: Exodus
Chapter Summary: Several days have passed. The Duke and Robert gave Mrs. North a fine funeral and rid the Grange of its confused guests. They even fished Finlay's corpse out of the well. Sadly, Johnny and "Ellen" seem to have just disappeared. Punch's family and staff journeyed back to London. They were greeted by Hutchinson upon their arrival at Belgrave Square. Lennie seemed relaxed and grateful to be part of a family again and Punch and Robert reassured her that she was always welcome and to consider No. 65 her home. As they went into the house, they were unaware that former employees Hortence and Tom were watching them with Eudora Stover--sister of the late William Stover.
Chapter 191: A Wardrobe
Chapter Summary: Mr. Punch shares an unusual peaceful moment with his new sister and his companion as they show Lennie her new room at Belgrave Square. She's touched by their kindness, but can't help but wonder about the Duke's other sister. She asks if Lady Barbara is really dead and Punch and Robert confess that she's not and that Colin's mother is living a disreputable life in America. They do, however, reassure her that the Duchess of Fallbridge is truly dead. The men offer Lennie a chance for a new wardrobe and she is moved by the invitation. She asks for a favor, however. She wants to see Roger.
Chapter 192: Sweet Dreams:
Chapter Summary: Robert and Punch take Lennie to see Roger. Punch and Robert go in first and Roger, again, thinks that Punch is Victor Geddes, the Baron Lensdown. Punch says he's Roger's friend and that the baron is a bad man, but that Roger needn't worry anymore. Roger mentioned Ellen. We must recall that for the past couple of years, Roger knew Orpha Polk as Ellen. Punch says that Ellen is well and asks if he wants a visitor. Lennie enters and Roger recognizes her, but is a little confused because his "sister" always looks different. She reassured him that she'll never look different again and that he has no reason to fear. She tells him she called herself 'Lennie' and wants his approval to take a different surname. He is honored to be asked, but wonders why. Punch suggests that his new half-sister call herself "Lennie Molliner." She is touched by this. Roger agrees. Roger, however, keeps mentioning that the Duke appears to be someone else. He is chilled when Roger states that he is a Punchinello. They leave Roger to sleep as Lennie begins to cry.
Chapter 193: Knowing
Chapter Summary: Punch awaits Robert in his room. Sitting with his puppet, Punch wonders how Roger knew about his Punch side. Punch think perhaps that maybe all people like him can recognize others of their own kind. Robert arrives and says that he has checked on Gerard and that he's worried that Gamilla isn't getting enough rest. Punch confesses that he checked on the rest of the staff. The two hope that they can get a few days of peace, but that dream is shattered by a letter from Prince Albert.
Chapter 194: An Exhibition
Chapter Summary: Robert and Punch face an angry Prince Albert at Buckingham Palace. The Prince is upset that the Duke of Fallbridge was unable to provide the jewels His Majesty had requested for the International Exhibition in New York. Punch does some quick thinking and plays to the Prince's pride, suggesting that the Americans wouldn't appreciate fine jewelry the way the British do. Punch concocts a scheme for a jewelry exhibit in the Prince's honor at the newly proposed South Kensington Museum--later the V&A. The prince seems pleased. Later, Robert praises Punch for his fast talking. They wait for the Queen to come to the room.
Chapter 195: The Nice Chair
Chapter Summary: Gamilla is annoyed when Gerard comes down to the servants' hall. She doesn't want him to pop his stitches and lovingly scolds him. Mrs. Pepper says she thinks Gerard was just lonely, so they make him comfortable in Mrs. Pepper's chair. Gerard is clearly feeling left out, and feeling a little envious that Georgie has temporarily taken over some of his duties. Mrs. Pepper reminds Gamilla that she must go feed Colin who is with Miss Molliner. Gerard is surprised that the Duke has allowed Lennie to take his surname, but Mrs. Pepper reassures him that Lennie seems to be an improvement over the last two sisters. Gamilla is torn between her duties and wanting to stay with Gerard, but she knows she must go to the nursery. As she leaves, she and Gerard say "I love you," for the first time.
Chapter 196: Forever Grateful
Chapter Summary: The staff is surprised when Punch, Robert, and Lennie come into the servants' hall with Colin and Dog Toby. They've brought a box with them--wrapped in gold paper and tied with violet ribbon. The servants are as excited by the wrapping as they are with the idea of a gift. They learn that the package was a present to the household from Queen Victoria. Mr. Punch kindly lets the girls take the wrapping and ribbon, and, then, they open the box to find a gold and diamond-encrusted music box which plays "The Punchinello Quadrille." Everyone enjoys a good laugh before the masters return upstairs. Lennie praises her brother's way with the staff, but Punch insists that it is they who are good with him.
Chapter 197: In Bedlam
Chapter Summary: The same evening, by the fire, the staff--minus Gerard, Gamilla and Charles--has settled in for the night. Ethel and Jenny are still impressed by the present from the Queen. Hutchinson scoffs and comments that the Duke treats the staff the same way as he does Dog Toby. This annoys Violet, who had developed a crush on the much older man. Speaight warns Hutchinson to stop, but the man continues badmouthing the masters. Speaight sends the stableman to his flat in the mews. Speaight and Mrs. Pepper try to change the subject and Speaight says he'll read to the group. Georgie goes to fetch Speaight's book and sees Hutchinson out of the window talking to two women. He calls his mother to come and look.
Chapter 198: Standing in the Abbey
Chapter Summary: Before turning in for the night, Robert and Punch relax in the library. Well, Robert is relaxing. Punch is chattering. He's worried about a task that the Queen requested of them. Queen Victoria has asked that the Duke of Fallbridge examine an important, large blue diamond which has been offered to her by a merchant who bought it from an American. Punch and Robert are certain that it's the Molliner Blue--the huge blue diamond found by Sir Colin Molliner, and the very diamond that the pair traded for Colin's freedom while they were in Louisiana. Punch fears that the man who had purchased Colin in America will come looking for him, but Robert allays his fears. They agree to do what the Queen asks.
Chapter 199: Single Women
Chapter Summary: The following morning, Speaight arrives to inform Dr. Halifax that Hutchinson was spotted speaking to two women. Robert asks if they were "single women"--a Victorian nicety referring to prostitutes. Speaight and Robert discuss Hutchinson's often disagreeable nature and Speaight tells Robert that Hutchinson was speaking ill of the family. Robert instructs Speaight to leave the situation alone, but to let him know if anything further develops. Robert assures Speaight that he'll tell the Duke.
Chapter 200: Respectable
Chapter Summary: Hutchinson has readied the carriage for the masters' trip to Buckingham Palace and is waiting at the front of No. 65 Belgrave Square. He's irritated to see Eudora Stover come up to him and tells her to go away, but Eudora is not budging. She flirts with Hutchinson who rebuffs her advances. Annoyed, Eudora tells Hutchinson not to ruin their plan and that it's a "sure thing" since "Ellen" is on their side. Eudora suggests to the groomsman that she's got a plan that could accelerate their scheme.
Chapter 201: Delay
Chapter Summary: Upon climbing into the carriage Robert and Punch notice the scent of cheap cologne in the air--unaware that the aroma had been left behind by Eudora Stover. Punch says the smell reminds him of Iolanthe Evangeline's Bawdy House--the brothel in which they'd left the Duke's sister, Lady Barbara, in New Orleans. Robert informs Punch of Speaight's news that Hutchinson had been spotted with two women and Punch is surprised. They try to put the unpleasantness out of their heads as they journey to Buckingham Palace, but are annoyed when Hutchinson, without warning, halts the carriage.
Chapter 202: This Place
Chapter Summary: While Punch is confused as to why the carriage has stopped, Robert is furious. They insist that Hutchinson explain himself. Robert threatens to dismiss the man. Hutchinson comes down and opens the carriage door, asking Robert if their stop looks familiar. Robert realizes that they're at Eudora's house. Punch, next, becomes enraged and demands that they be taken away. Eudora and Hortence swagger out of the house and Punch tries to shut the carriage door, but Hutchinson grabs the Duke's arm, hurting him in the process. Eudora jokes that the Duke's former sister wants to see him.
Chapter 203: Most People
Chapter Summary: Punch and Robert have been deposited in Eudora Stover's parlor where they encounter the vicious talk of Eudora and Hortence. Still, the two men manage to remain calm and not let their captors get the upper hand. Punch even forces himself to speak as Julian. Still, Eudora and Hortence are clearly after something and, furthermore, they've been under the spell of the former "Ellen," Orpha Polk. Hutchinson arrives with Orpha who declares that she wants money.
Chapter 204: Seized
Chapter Summary: Inside their carriage, Punch and Robert are rattled by their experience with Eudora, Hortence and "Ellen." Punch wants to see Hutchinson dismissed and plans to have the palace guards seize him when they arrive one hour late. Robert is concerned about the threats that the three women made--stating they'll reveal Colin's paternity and Lady Barbara's life in America if they don't pay them off. They also implied that they'd do harm to Colin if they didn't cooperate. Punch insists they should tell the Queen all that happened, but Robert is concerned the truth could jeopardize their relationship with the Crown. Punch tries to reassure Robert. they arrive at the Palace and are told that they're not welcome.
Chapter 205: A Little Sick
Chapter Summary: While pleading with the palace guards, Punch and Robert are rescued by The Marchioness Ely, one of the Queen's Ladies of the bedchamber. The marchioness reminds the guards that the Queen's orders trump any from the Prince Consort. The guards apprehend Hutchinson and the marchioness escorts Punch and Robert into the palace, explaining that Prince Albert had ordered the duo unwelcome because he was put out that he had to wait with the gem dealer. The Queen joins Punch and Robert and notes that they look upset, asking them to tell her all about it.
Chapter 206: A Clue
Chapter Summary: Unaware that Hutchinson had been seized by the palace guards, Eudora, Hortence and Ellen are waiting for him to return with the Duke's reaction to their threats. Ellen insists, now, on being called by her real name, Orpha, and she's clearly not pleased to be with the other two who continue to insist how alike they all are. Orpha reveals that she does have a natural brother of her own, and when asked, admits that she knows him, but he's unaware that they're related. Furthermore, Orpha has an appointment about which she seems most anxious and, finally, she must leave. Afterwards, the other two women indicate that they hope to get the better of Orpha.
Chapter 207: Without Fail
Chapter Summary: Punch explains to Queen Victoria all of the trials and tribulations that he and Robert endured over the past year. At first, Her majesty is silent and Punch becomes fearful that he's said too much. However, the Queen, recalls her lonely childhood and shares a bonding moment with Robert. Victoria declares that she hates to think that anyone about whom she cares would ever feel lost or lonely. The Queen announces that she will help the Duke and the Doctor, but jokingly says she's doing it for her own selfish reasons. Victoria then commands Punch to go and buy the blue diamond, a task to which he readily agrees.
Chapter 208: Attention
Chapter Summary: While taking tea at Mivart's with her husband, Lady Lensdown is distracted by a woman in the corner of the tearoom. Though Gertrude can't get a good look at the woman's face, Lady Lensdown thinks the woman resembled "Ellen Barrett." This idea seems to bother the baron who insists that the woman can't be Ellen. Since the woman is joined by Lady Constance, the baron says that Constance would not take tea with such a despicable woman as "Ellen Barrett." The baron then insists his wife leave with him, but Lady Lensdown decides to pay a visit to the Duke of Fallbridge when her husband leaves for his club.
Chapter 209: Made of Worry
Chapter Summary: In the library of No. 65 Belgrave Square, Mr. Punch and Robert have settled in for tea following their visit to Buckingham Palace. Punch notes that Robert isn't his usually animated self and asks if his companion is all right. Robert says that he never imagined he'd have close conversations with the Queen, he also confesses he's worried that Eudora, Hortence and Hutchinson will become enraged when they learn of Hutchinson's arrest. Punch tries to comfort Robert by telling him that the house has been secured and that the Queen has ordered their residence under surveillance. They both worry that Violet has had her heart broken by Hutchinson. Violet arrives unexpectedly and asks to be released from her position.
Chapter 210: A New Place
Chapter Summary: Thinking quickly, Punch realizes that he must try to get Violet discover on her own that she doesn't want to leave. He tells her that he and Robert want her to be happy and want her to do what she thinks is best for herself. He even suggests giving the girl extra wages, but, she must go right away. Punch says it will be too difficult to say goodbye to the rest of the staff. Punch's scheme worked and Violet realized that staying with her friends was the best way to nurse her broken heart. Punch sends Violet up to Lennie's room and the girl gratefully goes.
Chapter 211: Family Bonds
Chapter Summary: At Mivart's Lady Constance and Orpha start their meeting. Constance asks what she should call the woman she knew as Ellen and wonders why she's been summoned. Ellen explains that she knows that Lady Constance murdered her mother, Countess Hamish, but says she understands why Constance did it--to protect her daughter, Fern. Orpha explains a bit of her own past and reveals that she just wants to be reunited with her family. Orpha confesses her failures and says that she, too, has a child with the Baron Lensdown, but that the boy is a "monster." Constance asks why and Orpha explains that the Baron is really her own brother! Yuck. Constance is shocked and pities Orpha who begs for Constance to join her new scheme.
Chapter 212: Not Receiving
Chapter Summary: Speaight follows his orders and tells Lady Lensdown that the Duke and Dr. Halifax are not receiving visitors that evening, but Gertrude, who has slipped away while her husband is out, insists that it's urgent. Much to Speaight's annoyance, Lennie agrees to talk to the baroness. Gertrude and Lennie share an awkward introduction and, then, Gertrude explains that she saw the former "Ellen," nor Orpha Polk, with Lady Contance Hamish at Mivart's. Lennie is alarmed and wonders what the two could have to discuss. Lennie lets slip that the Baron has had numerous affairs, including trysts with both Orpha and Constance. Gertrude confesses that she knows of her husband's many infidelities. The two women begin a friendship and just as Gertrude is about to leave, she and Lennie hear Speaight telling Lady Constance that the masters are not receiving.
Chapter 213: Great Ladies
Chapter Summary: Lennie leaves Lady Lensdown in the morning room and hurries into the foyer to see what Lady Constance wants. Speaight is annoyed that Lennie has let someone else in, but keeps silent. Lady Constance pleads to see the Duke, but Lennie can't let her. Angry, Constance snaps at Lennie, telling her to inform the Duke that her daughter has been abducted. Constance tells Lennie not to look so shocked and begins to comment about Lennie's own illegitimacy. Lennie asks what Constance knows about the abduction and Constance replies only that the Lensdown children have been taken as well. Lady Lensdown rushes out, much to Constance surprise.
Chapter 214: Authorities
Chapter Summary: Lennie brings Lady Constance and Lady Lensdown to Mr. Punch and Robert. Punch feels it best to address them with his Julian impersonation. Constance explains that she received a letter saying that her daughter had been taken and that she's not to go to the police. That much was true, but she didn't mention Orpha's involvement. Constance said that the letter also stated that Gertrude's children had been taken and that the abductor wanted her to bring Baron Lensdown to a specific location. That's when Gertrude realized that her husband was the father of Constance's child. Punch and Robert fear that the baron won't cooperate and Punch says that they'll find a way to make him.
Chapter 215: Quite Simply
Chapter Summary: Punch suggests that they should go to the Queen for assistance. Constance seems against the idea and reminds them that the letter specified that the authorities not be involved and that the Queen is the ultimate authority. Punch and Robert are insistent. Constance begins to look ill and says she must tell them something.
Chapter 216: A Choice
Chapter Summary: Punch has known all along that Constance is lying and he challenged her to tell the truth. Gertrude tells Punch and Robert how she'd seen Constance with Orpha at Mivart's. Constance confesses that Orpha is threatening her and reveals Orpha's scheme as well as the shocking news of her incestuous relationship with the baron. Lennie, Gertrude, Punch and Robert are disgusted. Punch declares that he will help, but not for Constance's sake. Robert has Lennie take Gertrude to rest while he and Punch question Constance.
Chapter 217: What I Am
Chapter Summary: Hortence is furious when Orpha finally shows at Eudora's. Orpha is, however, quite pleased with herself and ignores the woman's taunts. Eudora is concerned that Hutchinson's arrest changes their plans, but Orpha haughtily suggests that she had factored that in from the start. She then shows the two women the three children that she abducted and claims that those children will give the trio all they desire.
Chapter 218: Father Christmas
Chapter Summary: Punch visits the servants' hall and the staff can see that he's worried. He tells them that Lady Lensdown and Lady Hamish will be staying for dinner and perhaps longer. Punch states that he can't give the staff details about a private matter. Once he's gone, the staff is concerned for their master. Jenny says that she used to make wishes to Father Christmas for people she cared about. Though Ethel teases Jenny, the girl's innocent statement inspires Mrs. Pepper and Mr. Speaight.
Chapter 219: And So Hopeful
Chapter Summary: Mr. Punch and Robert discuss the troubles of Lady Lensdown and Lady Constance and comment how horrid and tense their dinner was. Upon retiring, they discover a surprise in Punch's chamber, and for once, it's a pleasant surprise. The staff has made a "Christmas" display--in the summer--for their masters out of a decorated holly bush illuminated by candles. A homemade card expresses the sentiments of everyone on the staff. The two men are very touched and Punch says how the staff is like family.
Chapter 220: Force a Body
Chapter Summary: Violet has volunteered to watch Colin for awhile so that Gamilla may visit a recuperating Gerard. The two discuss Gerard's recovery and the goings-on in the household. They feel sorry for Violet who has had her heart broken by Hutchinson. Gerard thinks that Charles should fall in love with Violet, and Gamilla warns her love that he shouldn't try to force anything.
Chapter 221: Needing a Place
Chapter Summary: Charles has been put on guard duty in the foyer of No. 65. He spies Lady Constance trying to get out of the house. She tells him that he couldn't understand what she's going through. He replies that he once knew a woman who went through something similar. She answers that she knows of his relationship with Lady Fallbridge, surprising Charles. They talk about the Duke and Constance speaks of her mother, confessing that she murdered the woman. She tells Charles that she trusts him, and, then propositions him.
Chapter 222: As Good a Time as Any
Chapter Summary: Robert arrives at Punch's chamber and finds his companion anxious having heard footsteps. Robert explains that Charles had gone up to Gerard's room and that Speaight was guarding the front hall. Punch says he wishes it really was Christmas, because then they could get a new year. They wondered what the future held for their son, and, then, conclude that the best thing for them to do is to celebrate what they've survived and look forward to the good that will come.
Chapter 223: In Confidence
Chapter Summary: Charles visits Gerard who can immediately tell that his friend and roommate is bothered by something. Charles makes Gerry promise to not to reveal what he's about to say. Confessing to his meeting with Lady Constance, Charles explains the woman's admission that she killed her mother, the Countess. Gerard insists that Charles must tell the masters, and, then realizes that Charles is repeating his behavior of wanting to rescue damsels in distress. Gerard reminds his friend about the debacle with Lady Barbara, and pleads with Charles to go to the masters right away.
Chapter 224: Breakfast
Chapter Summary: Charles is dressing a distracted Mr. Punch who seems to be eagerly awaiting his breakfast. Punch explains that he and Robert have been summoned to the palace for the presentation of the blue diamond to Queen Victoria and also to discuss the plans for the South Kensington Museum. Punch is also bothered by the chaos caused by the arrival of Lady Constance, and Charles wishes to confess his experience with the lady to his master. Charles decides to tell the Duke and the doctor together and follows Punch to the nursery, but they're interrupted when Constance asks for Charles' help.
Chapter 225: Weary
Chapter Summary: Punch and Robert arrive in the morning room for breakfast to find Lady Lensdown looking quite distressed. They try to soothe the woman, and, in the process, Punch refers to himself as "Punch," causing confusion with Lady Lensdown. They explain it away as being Robert's nickname for the Duke. Lennie comes downstairs and together with Robert and Punch, they try to explain Orpha's potential for evil and wonder about Constance's motivations. Punch tells Lady Lensdown not to worry. He says that after he and Robert visit the palace, they will begin their plan--to give Orpha and her cronies what they want. Punch also reveals he has a secret weapon and refers to Eudora Stover's father.
Chapter 226: Ammunition
Chapter Summary: Speaight interrupts breakfast to tell the Duke that the new driver had arrived. Punch explains that the Queen had sent Alonzo Blake from her own stables as a temporary replacement for Hutchinson. Robert wishes Gertrude would eat more and Punch let's his own personality slip out. Lennie and Robert try to cover, but Punch doesn't want to pretend anymore. He explains his condition to an accepting Gertrude. Speaight returns with a letter, surprisingly, from Johnny Donnan.
Chapter 227: Ragged
Chapter Summary: Lennie is shocked that Punch can be so light when referring to Johnny Donnan. Punch and Robert explain that they'd exchanged several letters with Johnny who was looking for a way to cease Orpha's plans. Johnny was staying in London with Eudora Stover's father who was recently released from prison. Punch and Robert believed that the two men could convince Eudora and Hortence to turn against Orpha and get back the missing children. Though Lennie was uneasy with the idea of her brother trusting her natural father, she agreed to the plan as did Gertrude, but Punch insisted that they not tell Constance anything about it.
Chapter 228: As It Should Be
Chapter Summary: Robert nervously tries to prepare for their afternoon trip to the palace. Punch can tell that his companion is anxious and tries to soothe him. Punch reminds Robert of all of his many successes and tells his "chum" that he shouldn't continue to think of himself as nothing but a poor little boy. Robert is grateful for Punch's encouragement and the two realize that they need to spend some time alone together.
Chapter 229: Tea
Chapter Summary: Punch and Robert are taking tea with Queen Victoria while they wait for Prince Albert. To be more accurate, Punch is staring at the tea trolley since the Queen seems disinterested in eating. Of course, no one eats until the Sovereign eats. Punch and Robert assure they monarch that they have pretty good control over their situation, and the Queen reassures them that she will do whatever needed to help. Victoria states that she's aware that the Baron Lensdown's children have gone missing. She hints that she knew that Punch and Robert were also aware. The Queen, however, does not mention Lady Constance. Victoria then states that Prince Albert has a distaste for the Baron Lensdown and asks Punch and Robert to help get rid of the baron.
Chapter 230: Too Sweet
Chapter Summary: The Queen remarks that the Baron Lensdown is a low person and would have been even is he'd been born into the aristocracy. Her Majesty states the the baron has made advances on some of her ladies, and this concerns her. She also says that Prince Albert is convinced that the baron is trying to get court information. The Queen realizes that Punch and Robert know more than they're letting on. She bribes Punch with cake for the gossip.
Chapter 231: Practice
Chapter Summary: A Clearly frustrated Orpha returns to Eudora's house. Eudora mocks the woman for failing in her scheme to get the baron alone again. Eudora suggests that Constance has betrayed her in favor of the Duke and the doctor. Orpha says that she hasn't failed and that, furthermore, Constance will not let her down. When Eudora asks how Orpha intends to make Constance do her bidding, Orpha asks Eudora to bring her a knife and the child called Fern.
Chapter 232: The Rightful Heir
Chapter Summary: At Buckingham Palace, the Queen listens intently as Punch and Robert tell the ugly tale of the Baron Lensdown, Orpha Polk and Lady Constance. Her Majesty is shocked, but also intrigued by the sordid affair. She states the Orpha is corrupt and should be hanged, but, as Punch points out, that would only solve half the problem. The conversation is interrupted by Prince Albert joins them to present the Queen with the blue diamond. The Prince Consort is most pleased with himself and is delighted by the Queen's reaction to the jewel--until she offers it to Mr. Punch. Her Majesty tells Punch that the stone rightfully belongs to his son, Colin.
Chapter 233: All of Us Combined
Chapter Summary: Punch and Robert have returned from the palace and go to the nursery where Gamilla tells them that Colin has had a pleasant afternoon playing with Lennie. Gamilla goes upstairs to see Gerard and Lennie joins the couple as they play with Colin. Punch tells Colin that the Queen knows his name and sent a gift. He shows Colin the blue diamond and tells his son the story of the gem. Punch tells Colin that he will one day inherit the stone which saved his life, and, then tells Colin that he will have all of the names of those who loved him. Colin says his second word, "Papa" in reference to Robert. They share a quiet, content moment before the dressing gong reminds them that they must return to the trouble downstairs.
Chapter 234: Usual
Chapter Summary: After dressing for dinner, the family gathers in the foyer. Lennie has become even more comfortable at No. 65 and jokes with her new brothers. She confesses that she's overwhelmed by the idea of being in a family--something for which she'd given up hope. Just as they are about to retire to wait for dinner, Speaight arrives and tells Punch and Robert that a package has arrived--one he dares not bring upstairs.
Chapter 235: Tied
Chapter Summary: Lennie, Punch and Robert follow Speaight downstairs where they find most of the staff gathered at the table, staring at the package. Lennie immediately recognizes the handwriting as Orpha's. After some discussion, they open the package to find a lock of hair tied in black ribbon with a note written in red ink (the package had been signed with a drawing of a skull). Though Robert won't reveal the contents of the letter to the staff, he does say that the hair was chopped from a little girl's head, a girl called Fern. Violet is reminded of her own trauma. After the masters retreat, Ethel and Jenny conspire to get Georgie to take them to stop Orpha.
Chapter 236: A Grotesque Souvenir
Chapter Summary: After showing Orpha's letter to Lady Lendsown, Punch, Robert and Lennie try to reassure her while also making it clear that the situation has now become even more difficult. They do intend to employ Johnny Donnan and Mr. Stover, but Orpha's newest demands make the whole affair more dangerous. Lady Constance comes into the room and can tell something is wrong. Upon learning that Orpha now wants Lennie in addition to the baron, Constance suggests they hand Lennie over. Punch, of course, tosses her out of the house, informing her that he knows she's a murderess.
Chapter 237: Lose Our Places
Chapter Summary: Charles comes down, to Mrs. Pepper's shock, with a growing bruise on his face and explains that the Duke has tossed Lady Constance into the street. Constance gave Charles a good slap on her way out, after learning he'd told the Duke that she killed her mother. Mrs. Pepper takes Charles into the larder to find something to soothe his bruise and Ethel and Jenny seize the chance to talk. Ethel adamantly wants for her and Jenny to go to Orpha and make her stop bothering the family. Jenny is frightened and fears they'll lose their places in the Duke's house were they to sneak out. But, Ethel convinces Jenny that they must protect the Duke and the doctor.
Chapter 238: A Fine Time
Chapter Summary: Gerard sneaks down to the servants' hall and finds himself in trouble with Violet who threatens to tell Gamilla. Still, she's glad to see Gerry and sets his place at the table. Mrs. Pepper similarly chastises Gerard, as does Charles. But, they're all pleased he's getting better. Gerard wonders about the trouble upstairs, but Mrs. Pepper warns everyone not to let Speaight catch them talking about it. Violet later catches Ethel and Jenny trying to sneak out of the house.
Chapter 239: As She Asks
Chapter Summary: Lady Lensdown agrees that Constance should have been ejected from the house, but she's still worried that now Connie will go crazy again and come after them as she did her own mother. They conclude that Orpha is still the biggest threat. Lennie feels that everything is her fault. She argues that had she not exposed Orpha, Lennie's wrath would be much softer. Lennie volunteers to give herself over to Orpha, but Punch, Robert and Gertrude are set against it.
Chapter 240: The Life From Me
Chapter Summary: Ethel is startled in the scullery by Jenny who catches her listening at the dumbwaiter again. Ethel tells Jenny that she overheard the Duke and the Doctor telling Lennie that she was forbidden to give herself over to Orpha Polk. Ethel continues to reveal that she learned of the missing children and Constance's affair with Baron Lensdown. Jenny again tries to talk Ethel out of her desire to confront Orpha Polk, but Ethel won't be deterred. She says that Speaight was ordered to send everyone to bed early and, then, they'd have their chance to sneak out of the garden door into the mews. Ethel declares that she and Jenny can frighten Orpha off.
Chapter 241: The Man in the Moon
Chapter Summary: Ethel and Jenny sneak into the foyer of the grand house. Jenny is clearly scared, but Ethel pretends to be unfazed. They pause to admire the house, and they're reminded of the kindness that the Duke and Dr. Halifax have shown them. They make their way into the morning room from where they'll slip into the garden and, then, into the mews. Jenny asks Ethel if they're doing the right thing--one final time. Ethel assures her that they are and that they'll be safe.
Chapter 242: Sunrise
Chapter Summary: Mr. Punch has been up all night. When Robert awakens, he asks his companion what's troubling him and Punch explains that he couldn't sleep because he has a funny feeling in his stomach. He couldn't quite say why, however. Perhaps he was worried about the impending visit of Johnny Donnan and Mr. Stover. Still, Punch sighs, he could not sleep. Punch notes that when he'd taken Dog Toby in the garden, he noticed the garden door was unlocked. Robert finds this upsetting and vows to scold Speaight for the lapse. Suddenly, a scream pierces the house. Punch and Robert rush toward the sound, followed by Lennie and go downstairs to the servants' hall. There, they see Mrs. Pepper sobbing and...Ethel. Ethel stands in the area door holding Jenny's bloodied body.
Chapter 243: Our Thoughts to Jenny
Chapter Summary: Mrs. Pepper's screams pierce the silence of the servants' hall, but Ethel is unmoved. Punch and Robert plead with the girl to come in and to give Jenny's body to them, but Ethel will neither speak nor move. Finally, Lennie is able to reach the girl who becomes hysterical over the death of her friend. With no answers, they carry Jenny to her bed.
Chapter 244: Tragedy in the House
Chapter Summary: Mrs. Pepper opens the door to Johnny Donnan and Jonas Stover. Johnny is polite and says he saw the undertaker. Mrs. Pepper explains that Jenny has died and Johnny seems sincerely saddened by the news. He asks of Lennie, and Mrs. Pepper snaps at the man, but apologizes, but, Johnny seems to understand her grief. Mr. Stover is silent and Johnny explains that the man has not spoken much since his release from prison where he was often in solitary. George and Violet are made uncomfortable by Johnny who tells them that he understands. Johnny expresses regret about his past actions and he tells Mr. Stover that they must atone for their sins by helping the Duke. Mr. Stover points, seeming to think he sees Jenny as an angel.
Chapter 245: Arrangements
Chapter Summary: Robert comes to Punch in the drawing room and tells him that Jenny had been stabbed. Punch is very upset and mourns the girl whom he calls just a child. Robert informs Punch that Lennie convinced Ethel to leave Jenny's body and that the undertaker was with the corpse. Robert and Punch begin to make arrangements. Punch says the wake will be held in the house and they conclude that the funeral should be at St. Peter's on Eaton Square. They wonder where Jenny should be buried and Robert volunteers the crypt he and Cecil had purchased.
Chapter 246: Monogrammed Linens
Chapter Summary: Gerard visits Gamilla in the nursery to see how she's holding up. Gamilla is clearly upset about Jenny's death, but is trying to hide her emotions so as not to scare Colin. They talk about Jenny and Gamilla shares her worry that something will happen to Gerard again. She confesses that she wants to be his wife, and Gerard proposes.
Chapter 247: Wickedness
Chapter Summary: Punch and Robert finally meet with Johnny Donnan and Jonas Stover in the garden of No. 65. Punch immediately notices the change in Mr. Donnan who seems to have a strong desire to unburden himself and confess all of his previous sins. Punch and Robert try to mask their annoyance and Robert manages to finally regain control of the conversation. Punch explains what they had initially planned for Mr. Donnan and Mr. Stover, but, then confesses that they want the men to kill Orpha Polk.
Chapter 248: A Peculiar Task
Chapter Summary: Lennie joins Punch and Robert in the morning room. She's exhausted after spending hours trying to get through to Ethel. Though Ethel has settled into a fitful sleep, the girl is still in shock. Robert brings up the awkward reality that they're no short-staffed. With Jenny gone, Mrs. Pepper will need help in the kitchen. Furthermore, they're unsure what will happen with Ethel, so, they'll need a scullery maid. Violet is overtaxed already. Punch and Robert agree that Violet should serve exclusively as Lennie's maid. Punch and Robert tell Lennie of their meeting with Mr. Donnan and Mr. Stover. Lennie is curious about her father, but still harbors resentment. She asks if the men agreed to their plan--to kill Orpha.
Chapter 249: Brothers
Chapter Summary: At Eudora's, Fern is asking when she'll be sent back to her mother. Eudora, realizing that she's made a huge mistake in trusting Orpha, tries to get the girl to be quiet. Fern recalls Orpha's murder of Jenny and we learn that Hortence tried to stop the violence and was blinded for her troubles. Orpha storms in with a large bundle and tells Fern that she should be prepared to meet her brother. Orpha reveals the hideous child--the result of her incestuous union with the Baron Lensdown.
Chapter 250: Wake
Chapter Summary: Punch awakes with a start after having a dream. He quietly slips from his room, careful to not bother Robert and Dog Toby and goes to check on the baby. Descending the stairs, Punch goes to the drawing room where Jenny's wake had taken place hours before. Punch speaks to the poor, dead girl and tells her of his dream and how Naasir had come to him again and warned Punch of a new monster which threatens his family. Punch mourns for Jenny, and, then, returns to bed.
Chapter 251: Blessings
Chapter Summary: After returning home from Jenny's funeral, Punch and Robert are left in the library with an emotional Lady Lensdown who is, naturally, mourning the state of her own life. They uncomfortably try to keep her entertained, but are secretly relieved when Gamilla and Gerard interrupt. The couple announces their engagement, seeking the consent of the Duke and Doctor--consent which Robert and Punch happily give. Lady Lensdown, however, surprisingly has other ideas.
Chapter 252: Strength Renewed
Chapter Summary: Mr. Punch questions Lady Lendown's objection to the marriage of Gerard and Gamilla. Gerard suggests that Lady Lensdown's objection is that Gamilla is African. He says that he check with the vicar and that the law does not prevent their marriage, but Lady Lensdown states that many will frown upon it. Gerard insists that he will protect Gamilla from anyone, no matter what happens. Lady Lensdown tries to explain that her objection is only because she lost her faith in love and marriage and she apologizes, but Gerard is clearly insulted. Punch, too, is upset and excuses himself from the room, followed by Robert. Punch breaks down and Robert reminds him how they can regain their strength.
Chapter 253: Marriage Banns
Chapter Summary: Gamilla and Gerard return from the church where they've posted their marriage banns despite the vicar's obvious contempt for the mixed marriage. Gerard is upset, but Gamilla is being positive. Gerard bemoans the fact that everyone seems to feel that they should give him an opinion about his marriage. The rest of the staff is supportive and Gerard begins to calm down, but he declares that nothing will prevent him from marrying Gamilla.
Chapter 254: To Pieces
Chapter Summary: Constance is desperate. She appears at Eudora Stover's door and pleads with Orpha to let her have Fern back. Orpha's not too interested, feeling that Lady Constance betrayed her and ignored her commands. Orpha taunts Constance's fondness for the Duke and Constance says that the Duke threw her out. Constance says that she knew of a threat to Orpha and says she'll share the information in exchange for her daughter. Orpha scoffs. Constance tells Orpha of the Duke's order to Johnny Donnan and Mr. Stover. Orpha's not impressed and refuses to give Fern back, but does invite Constance into the house to meet her son.
Chapter 255: Monster
Chapter Summary: Once inside the Stover house, Constance again pleads with Orpha to release Fern, but Orpha just laughs and hints that she'll kill the girl when her son tires of her. Orpha's son, it seems, finds Fern amusing. Constance offers her own life in exchange for Fern's and says that she never did change the documents which her mother, the Countess, had drafted, naming Punch and Robert as Fern's guardians. Orpha reminds Constance that the very reason Constance killed her mother was to prevent Fern from being given to the Duke. Constance is adamant that Fern should be released, but Orpha would rather introduce Constance to her infant son, Marduk--alternately referring the the baby as "him" and "them." Constance is shocked at the sight of the child--in reality conjoined twins, giving the appearance of one child with three arms and two heads (one perfect, the other deformed). Constance faints.
Chapter 256: Cordial
Chapter Summary: Speaight opens the door to a strange red-haired woman who insists upon seeing the Duke. She introduces herself as Ulrika Rittenhouse. This America begins asking many questions about the household and Speaight begins to feel uncomfortable, unaware of the horros that Robert and Punch suffered at Ulrika's hand while in America. Ulrika gets Lennie's attention and pushes into the house. Lennie asks Speaight to send Charles up and Ulrika says she knows Charles as she's his brother's lover. Ulrika then reveals that she's come to England to see a child she believes to be "the savior"--the child of Orpha Polk.
Chapter 257: Fire
Chapter Summary: Punch's reaction to the news that Ulrika has arrived is to pack up the household and leave. Robert, however, reminds Punch of their many responsibilities and the people who rely upon them. Punch understands, but says he just wants to have a peaceful family life. Punch reminds Robert of Ulrika's wickedess. Of course, Robert didn't need reminding. But, they both knew that had to face their guest, even if Punch suggested keeping something heavy nearby in case he needed to smack some heads.
Chapter 258: Salvation
Chapter Summary: Constance awakens in Eudora Stover's parlor with the woman hovering over her. Eudora is unusually comforting and tells Constance that Fern is all right. Constance is shocked by what she saw--Marduk--and she and Eudora discuss the child. Constance begs to see her daughter, but Eudora knows Orpha would be livid. Eudora, however, has an idea which may help Constance and Fern escape.
Chapter 259: To Learn:
Chapter Summary: Punch is relieved after he and Robert quickly eject Ulrika Rittenhouse from their house, but Lennie has some natural questions. Robert and Punch try to explain who and what Ulrika is, and how their lives were endangered by her. Lennie is shocked by much of what she heard, but not as shocked as Robert and Punch when they learn what brought Ulrika to London. As Punch and his sister continue to bond, Robert begins to think of ways to use this inconvenient arrival to their advantage.
Chapter 260: The Fifty
Chapter Summary: Robert has been poring over Sir Colin's old texts and discovers information about a cult formed in 1841 which calls itself "The Fifty." Fifty people, world-wide, inherit each of fifty positions representing the fifty demons. Their earthly leader is to be the one who represents the reincarnation of the demon, Marduk who is said to be born with two heads and three arms of a woman of pure evil. Robert reveals that Marduk's representative is to be a member of the Rittenhouse family, and it's likely Ulrika who has come to London to see Orpha's child.
Chapter 261: Marduk's Queen
Chapter Summary: Ulrika and Orpha meet for the first time, and Ulrika is introduced to Marduk. Ulrika's thrilled with the poor, deformed child, and they two women begin a depraved dialogue recounting their exchange of letters. Pleased with Orpha's progress, Ulrika praises the woman and they make plans for Marduk's future.
Chapter 262: Only in This House
Chapter Summary: Punch and Robert discuss conjoined twins and Punch realizes that, in a different way, he's rather like such a twin. Robert seems bothered by this comparison, but Punch says that he can understand how a conjoined twin must feel because he and Julian are forever joined in the same body. Just as the two are about to retire after a very long day, Speaight and Charles come in with a tea trolley. The say that Mrs. Pepper was concerned that the Duke, the doctor and Lennie hadn't eaten that day. Punch and Robert insist that the staff join them upstairs for their late night feast.
Chapter 263: Motherhood
Chapter Summary: Morning brings trouble to Eudora's house as Orpha demands Marduk's breakfast. Hortence informs her that they're fresh out of rats. Orpha slaps Hortence and tells the girl to fetch more. And, in the meantime, she wants Fern sent to Marduk for his/their amusement. Hortence goes to get Fern and finds that Eudora let Constance take the girl. Hortence is terrified that when Orpha finds out, she'll kill everyone in the house. A knock on the door buys them some time.
Chapter 264: What We Feared
Chapter Summary: The staff is preparing for the day in the servants' hall when they are startled by the front bell ringing. They were surprised anyone would be calling at such an early hours. The Duke and the doctor weren't even out of bed yet. After some speculation, Charles went to answer the door and was surprised to find a little girl standing there. He immediately recognized the girl as Fern, Lady Constance's illegitimate daughter and ushered the girl in. Fern was dirty and gaunt and carried a letter for the Duke which she would not give to Charles. Fern revealed that she'd been kept in a filthy place with a two-headed baby! Charles rushed upstairs to awaken Punch and Robert and told them what he'd learned. Punch realized that Robert was correct and they hurried down the stairs with his companion.
Chapter 265: Yellow Pinafore
Chapter Summary: Punch and Robert greet Fern who is rather cold more so than timid. She says her mother is "gone" and hands the letter she's carrying to Punch who reads it to himself. Punch gives the letter to Robert who also reads it silently. In the letter, Lady Constance speaks of the horrors that Orpha has brought to Eudora Stover's house. Constance urges Punch and Robert not to be too harsh on Hortence and Eudora for they've suffered for their greed. She states that she discovered her daughter was to be wed to a monster when she grew old enough. Constance feels this is her punishment for her sins and that she believes that she has no way out except to hang herself. She pleads with the Duke and Dr. Halifax to take Fern as their ward, and, barring that, to at least employ her in one of their households. Punch and Robert are moved by the letter and without hesitation welcome Fern to their home. They are forced to tell the girl that he mother is dead and she seems unmoved by the fact, asking for her yellow pinafore.
Chapter 266: A Tree, Growing
Chapter Summary: With Fern upstairs, Punch and Robert assembled Lennie, Gamilla and Speaight to discuss the reality of Fern joining the household. They try to think of what would be needed to make the girl comfortable despite her tragic arrival. When the subject of what to call the girl comes up, Punch figures she should take the Molliner name, but Robert suggests that they call the girl "Halifax" and says that they can tell people that she's a cousin of his from America. Later, Robert and Punch remind Speaight of the impending danger from Orpha.
Chapter 267: When They Smile
Chapter Summary: Eudora opens the door for Ulrika who asks Eudora if she's Fern's mother. Eudora says she is not, and Ulrika orders Eudora to bring Fern to them. Eudora nervously hurries off, knowing that Fern has been freed. Ulrika and Orpha chat about plans of Marduk's future. Ulrika reveals that a suicide has made a lease available in Belgrave Square. Orpha asks who committed suicide and is delighted to learn it was Constance. Ulrika is similarly pleased. The two take joy in knowing they'll be so close to the Duke's residence. Eudora and Hortence arrive with Marduk's breakfast. Orpha asks for Fern and, Eudora, backed into a corner, reveals that Fern is gone. Orpha is furious and threatened Eudora's children, but Eudora tells Orpha that she sent her children with their aunt and that she released the Lensdown children. Eudora then challenges Orpha, but Ulrika intervenes...with a dagger.
Chapter 268: Logic of Kindness
Chapter Summary: Lady Lensdown embracing her children, wondering how they escaped Orpha Polk. The two reveal bits about their abduction, explaining about the horrors which they witnessed. Lady Lensdown is concerned to learn of Marduk, but Punch brushes it aside. With the Lensdown trio in the morning room, Lennie wonders why Eudora released the children. She and Robert are concerned that keeping Gertrude and her children in the house will bring even more danger from Orpha, but Punch reasons the situation differently. Their conversation is halted when they hear a scream from above. Knowing it's Ethel, they hurry to the sound.
Chapter 269: Uncle Punch
Chapter Summary: Punch, Robert and Lennie rush to Ethel (who is in Lennie's room). Ethel stands upon the bed, shrieking and pointing at Fern whom she remembers from the night Jenny was killed. Punch talks to Fern and tells the girl that because she and Ethel shared something terrible that only they know about, they should help one another. When Fern balks that Ethel is a maid, Punch is quick to remind her that everyone in their household is a family, including her. Punch's words get through to Fern who successfully comforts Ethel.
Chapter 270: Trust the Quiet
Chapter Summary: As Punch works on a brooch in the library, he becomes uneasy when the house is too quiet. He goes to sit by Robert who is reading nearby and Robert reassures Punch that everyone in the household is accounted for and that they should enjoy the peace while they can. Punch and Robert discuss the staffing situation and also continue to grieve for Jenny. They are interrupted by Speaight who informs them that Johnny Donnan has arrived with tragic news.
Chapter 271: Finished
Chapter Summary: Lennie, Punch and Robert stand in the kitchens and listen as Johnny Donnan recounts what he and Mr. Stover saw when they went to Eudora's house. Johnny discovered Hortence and Eudora dead and the house empty. The shock sent Mr. Stover running into the street. Mr. Donnan explains that he tried to carry out the Duke's plan to bribe Orpha. Lennie blasts her natural father, saying that he has no right to worry about her. Punch and Robert are sympathetic, but tell Mr. Donnan to leave and find his friend. Punch allows Johnny to keep the bribe money. Later, Johnny sees Ulrika and a veiled woman go into a nearby townhouse and he follows them.
Chapter 272: Who Will See
Chapter Summary: Gamilla finds Fern in the day nursery and tells her that she's welcome to play with any of Colin's toys. Fern isn't interested in playing. Gamilla invites Fern to help give Colin his bath, but instead the girl begins asking questions about the household and its occupants. Fern's mental state begins to become very apparent, very quickly.
Chapter 273: Our Little Family
Chapter Summary: Gerard is thrilled to be in the servants' hall after having waited at table for the first time since he was stabbed. He expresses his excitement to Charles and Mr. Speaight. Speaight tells Gerard he can return to valeting for Dr. Halifax as long as he doesn't overdo it. Violet informs the men that dinner is almost ready and that Mrs. Pepper seems more like herself than she has since Jenny's death though she refuses to discuss the new kitchen maid who's coming the next day. Gerard continues his friendly scheme to encourage a romance between Violet and Charles and is delighted to find Gamilla will be joining them for dinner while the baby is with the masters. Violet asks Charles about his brother, making the others uncomfortable. Charles explains his brothers' criminal past and admits that his brother killed the Duke's father. While Gerard and Gamilla already knew this, the others were shocked and weren't sure what to say. Speaight changes the subject and reminds them all that they're safe and tells them that the Duke is correct when he refers to all of them as a family. Gerard, meanwhile, knows that Charles has more to tell him.
Chapter 274: Welcome Home
Chapter Summary: Mrs. Pepper introduces herself to the new kitchen maid, sent by the agency. The new girl, a fourteen year old, freckle-faced lass named Maude, had just been dismissed from her position in the scullery of Hamish House. At first, Mrs. Pepper tried to keep an emotional distance with the girl, feeling that welcoming Maude to heartily would somehow betray Jenny's memory. But, the girl shared a lot about her life, and Mrs. Pepper realized that Maude wasn't going to replace Jenny and that she was a person in her own right. Mrs. Pepper described the household to Maude and reassured her that she'll be happy there. Maude revealed that the lease to Hamish House was sold to an American woman and Mrs. Pepper realized that it was Ulrika Rittenhouse. She went right to Mr. Speaight.
Chapter 275: Portrait
Chapter Summary: Maude is impressed with the food at No. 65, but there's some tension with Ethel who has joined the staff for luncheon. Gerard tries to soothe everyone with news of a message from the Royal Academy. The Queen has commissioned Winterhalter to paint a portrait of the Duke, Dr. Halifax, Colin and Dog Toby. Speaight reveals that the Duke has invited the entire staff to the drawing room for a mysterious announcement. Gerard wonders if it has anything to do with what they'd learned of Ulrika Rittenhouse leasing the former Hamish House, but Soeaight says it's happy news. Gerard becomes curious and wonders what they're not telling him.
Chapter 276: Invitations
Chapter Summary: Maudie joins the other staff in the front hall of No. 65. We see the household through her eyes...the opulence of the house, and, then, the majesty of its masters. The new maid is welcomed to the household and is deeply touched by the kind words from the Duke whom she finds curious, but kind. Fern is also welcomed to the household, but the girl seems disinterested. Lady Lensdown announces that she'll be leaving for the country soon with her children, and thanks the staff for their help. Punch, Lennie and Robert tell everyone that they intend to host a reception for Gamilla and Charles.
Chapter 277: Like Gamilla
Chapter Summary: Gerard interrupts Punch at his table in the library and seems nervous. The Duke invites Gerard to chat with him and they discuss marriage as Punch tries to reassure the valet that he'll be a good husband. Gerard thanks the Duke for everything he and Robert have done to help him and Gamilla. Gerard awkwardly asks for one more favor. He needs a ring for Gamilla and offers to pay for it from his wages. Punch takes Gerard upstairs and shows him some of the diamonds Julian/he have collected. He gives one to Gerard with his blessing. Gerard mentions that Charles has gone out, and Punch realizes that Charles must be investigating Hamish House.
Chapter 278: Marduk Commands It
Chapter Summary: Ulrika catches Charles outside of the former Hamish House and shouts down to him through a window. She invites him inside, but Charles refuses. The two argue and discuss their past. Before Charles knows it, he feels a hand on his shoulder...it's his brother, Giovanni who commands Charles to come into the house to see the "messiah," Marduk.
Chapter 279: Expansion
Chapter Summary: Charles returns home from Hamish House and everyone downstairs can see that he's shaken. After making sure that the younger servants aren't near, Charles tells his friends of the horrible things he saw at Hamish House and how he was introduced to Marduk. Gamilla and Gerard take Charles upstairs to the doctor and Gamilla goes up to the nursery, side-stepping the workmen who are planning the expansion of the living quarters there. She enters the day nursery to find a shocking sight!
Chapter Summary: Gamilla has sent Fern to Robert and Punch after having caught the girl taking Colin to an upper-story window. Fern says she thought the baby was hungry and wanted to get him a bird to eat. Robert is furious, but Punch is more understanding and tries to explain things to the girl. They tell her she's not to be with the baby unless someone else is there. After being sent to her room, Robert and Punch discuss sending Fern to a school, and Punch says it's not the right time. Meanwhile, angry with Gamilla for telling on her, Fern has slipped into Gamilla's room.
Chapter 281: Box of Rodents
Chapter Summary: Ulrika is indulging Giovanni by listening to him complain how Charles has changed. Giovanni is upset that Charles isn't following in his murderous footsteps. Ulrika, clearly, has become bored with the whole thing and tries to entice Giovanni with some amorous behavior. However, they are interrupted by a messenger who brings a letter from the Duke of Fallbridge, inviting them to tea.
Chapter 282: Salvage
Chapter Summary: Punch and Robert respond to a scream from the nursery and find Gamilla very upset. Her wedding dress has been slashed and covered in ink, written with the words "Go to Hell." Fern obviously was the culprit. Gamilla is distraught because the silk had been a gift from their friend in America, Marjani. Punch suggests they use some of the undamaged fabric and add it to a new gown which he will have made for her. Gamilla is touched. She asks the Duke and Dr. Halifax to not be too harsh with Fern. Robert and Punch go looking for Fern, but find Speaight instead. Speaight informs them that Ulrika and Giovanni have arrived with an invitation to tea. Both Punch and Robert are shocked. No one sent an invitation, they declare. However, they fear that it may have been sent by Charles and Gerard. Meanwhile, Charles and Gerard are carrying out some secret scheme of their own, an attempt to get to Orpha and Marduk.
Chapter 283: Forever
Chapter Summary: Punch and Robert adamantly tell Giovanni and Ulrika to leave their property. Robert does most of the talking, but becomes increasingly irritated by Ulrika's taunts. Robert tries to convince Ulrika that Marduk is no messiah, that he is actually conjoined twins who need medical help more than they need worshipping. This infuriated Ulrika who finally leaves. On their way, Ulrika and Giovanni notice Fern who is hiding in the area. Ulrika offers to take Fern with her.
Chapter 284: Forever
Chapter Summary: Orpha seems unfazed by the sudden appearance of Gerard and a cleaver-carrying Charles. She greets the men and Charles reminds Orpha of all of the terrible things she'd done to him and his friends. Orpha is still cool and unbothered. She tells the men that they'll "feed" Marduk. Charles tells the woman that she's mad, and then asks which of them should die first--she or Marduk. Orpha remains calm and invites Charles to try it.
Chapter 285: One of Us
Chapter Summary: Charles stands in front of Orpha and realizes that he should not proceed. He drops the cleaver. Orpha calls him a coward and Gerard leaps to his defense. Orpha mocks Gerard, and, worse still, taunts him about Gamilla. Gerard is overcome with rage and reaches for the cleaver, leaping at Orpha and accidentally cutting off her left hand. Orpha seems unaffected by the serious injury. Just as Charles tries to get Gerard out of the room, Giovanni, Ulrika return--with Fern.
Chapter 286: To Protect
Chapter Summary: Punch and Robert spot Fern with Charles and Gerard. Punch notices blood on Gerard's cuff as Robert chides the girl for leaving without permission. Fern tells her new caregivers what had happened and she is dismissed to her room. Gerard is thoroughly beside himself for having cut off Orpha's hand. Charles takes Gerard upstairs and Punch wonders if Robert should help Orpha.
Chapter 287: Around the Edges
Chapter Summary: Robert pulls Punch aside and gently asks him if he recalls a time in Louisiana when Punch risked his life to rescue someone who had long been their enemy. Punch replied that he certainly remembered, but wondered what that had to do with anything. Robert admitted his admiration for Punch's ability to forget personal differences to preserve life. Robert says that, even as a physician, he has a difficult time removing himself from his personal feelings. Punch tells Robert that he doesn't want him to change. They both recall that the new nursery maid, Ruthy, is to come that evening. Robert asks Punch to speak to Fern while he tends to Gerard and Charles.
Chapter 288: Gospel
Chapter Summary: After Giovanni bandages up Orpha's arm, he joins Ulrika who has been lazily playing with the woman's severed hand. Ulrika asks Giovanni to sculpt a new hand for Orpha so that the mother of their "messiah" won't be lopsided. Giovanni suggests to Ulrika that they make the Molliner household pay for what Gerard did to Orpha. He and Ulrika devise a rather bizarre scheme.
Chapter 289: Punishment
Chapter Summary: Punch sits down to talk with Fern. He asks her why she's in trouble and finds the girl to be difficult. Fern explains how important Gamilla's gown was to her and how Fern's destruction was very hurtful, but Fern remains unmoved. Mr. Punch begins to realize that the girl is more emotionally damaged than they expected. He asserts a lenient punishment on the girl and leaves the room, only to be told that the new nursery maid has arrived.
Chapter 290: Meet the Baby
Chapter Summary: Punch meets the prospective new nursery maid, Ruthy, and explains a bit about his household to her. Ruthy seems a little put out that Gamilla is African, making Punch uncomfortable. However, she seems eager to be helpful to Fern. Punch is clear that even if she were to be hired, it would be on trial. As Punch is about to introduce Ruthy to Colin, he realizes that Ulrika, Giovanni and Marduk have entered the house without anyone knowing. Ulrika invites Ruthy to meet the baby, and Ruthy, thinking its Colin, comes forward only scream upon seeing Marduk.
Chapter 291: Dismissed
Chapter Summary: Ruthy's screams make everyone in the household come running. Ethel freaks out upon seeing Marduk again and wants to kill it. Georgie and Maudie take her back downstairs. Robert is furious that Ulrika and company manages to get in and fires Speaight, but Punch tells the butler he can stay. Punch tries to reason with Ulrika, attempting to convince her that Marduk isn't a two-headed baby, but conjoined twins and needs medical help. Ulrika refuses to believe that he's not the demon messiah. Giovanni tells them that because Gerry cut off Orpha's hand, they owe them Fern. Punch refuses and Ulrika and her strange gang leave. Punch realizes that he still has to explain all of this to Ruthy and is certain the girl won't want to work there.
Chapter 292: Safety
Chapter Summary: Mr. Punch visits the servants' hall and comforts Ethel whose spirits are raised so much that she returns to the scullery, making deals with Maudie. Mrs. Pepper is grateful for the Duke's care. Punch then turns his attention to Ruthy who surprises him by saying how impressed she is that someone as lofty as the Duke of Fallbridge would care so much as to come downstairs and cheer up the servants. She asks if she may start her trail as nursery maid. Punch agrees. Upstairs, Punch's exhaustion is becoming apparent as he and Dog Toby hide under the centre table in the library.
Chapter 293: Service
Chapter Summary: Lennie and Gamilla walk back to Belgrave Square from Bond Street where Gamilla spoke with a dressmaker about recreating her wedding gown. Gamilla, though pleased with the new gown, was still upset about the loss of the original which she had made with violet and Ethel from silk given her by her friend, Marjani. She said that since she'd been taken from Africa, the first time she felt like part of a family was in the Duke's household. Lennie opened up to Gamilla about her own past and shared that she, too, finally feels that she has a home. Lennie continued that she's glad to have Gamilla as a friend. Spotting Ulrika (holding Marduk) and Giovanni further up the street, Lennie and Gamilla decide to hide until the trio went away, but they were stopped by the Baron Lensdown who returned to England. Lennie is angered by the Baron and tells him that Orpha is his sister and that the product of their incestuous union was the conjoined twins called Marduk.
Chapter 294: Avoidance
Chapter Summary: Lennie continues to berate the wicked baron with the truth about Marduk and Orpha. The baron protests, accusing Lennie of slander. Lennie challenges the baron to walk up the street and see Marduk himself. She says that surely one of the child's two faces must resemble him. The baron threatens to tell the Duke that his seemingly timid sister is a madwoman, and, then, even goes so far as to imply that he'd go to the Queen herself with news of Lennie's slander. Lennie scoffs and says that she knows for a fact that the baron is loathed in the court. She tells him to run to the palace and see how it works out for him. As Lennie and Gamilla walk away, the enraged baron grabs Gamilla by the arm and threatens to kill her if Lennie goes to Orpha with the news that he's back London.
Chapter 295: Quite a Punch
Chapter Summary: To protect Gamilla, Lennie strikes the Baron Lensdown. A crowd forms around the scene and the men who gathered begin to ridicule the Baron for being felled by a woman. One man in the crowd, Matthew, the Earl of Cleaversworth, asks Lennie is she's been harmed. She says she hasn't, but that the baron had grabbed Gamilla. Gamilla assures Matthew that she's all right and is secretly pleased that the Earl seems so interested in Lennie. As they pass Ulrika, Giovanni and Marduk, Matthew spots the baby and whispers to Lennie not to look, but Lennie assures Matthew that she's not bothered.
Chapter 296: What on Earth
Chapter Summary: Lennie studies Marduk and tells Ulrika he should be taken to a physician, much to Ulrika's chagrin. Ulrika cheers up when Lennie tells her that the Baron Lensdown is just up the street and is positively delighted to learn that Lennie stuck him. Ulrika sends Giovanni for the baron and informs Lennie and Gamilla that Gerard cut off Orpha's hand. Gamilla is shocked and rushes to Gerry. Matthew walks Lennie home and asks to see her again.
Chapter 297: Regret
Chapter Summary: Gamilla finds Gerard with Charles and asks if he's all right. She tells him that she knows what had happened with Orpha. Gerard becomes emotional, thinking that Gamilla will hate him for hurting a woman, but Gamilla responds that Orpha is not like a human woman at all and that given the fact that Orpha nearly killed Gerard, his reaction was understandable. Gerard asks how Gamilla knew and she explains that she and Lennie saw Ulrika after an altercation with the baron. Gerard is furious that the baron may have hurt Gamilla, but she explains that he'll get his comeuppance as he was being delivered to Ulrika and Orpha as they spoke. Meanwhile, Lennie looks around the house for her brother and Robert to tell them of their encounters, but most especially of meeting Matthew. She finds Punch under the table in the library, a favorite spot--but, he's unconscious. She calls for Robert.
Chapter 298: Sleep
Chapter Summary: Robert races to Punch, ordering Gerard to bring his medicine bag and for Gamilla to assist. Punch is not responding and Robert can't figure out what's wrong with him. He asks if Punch had eaten anything or had anything to drink that could have made him ill. The pitcher of water from which Punch usually drank is empty. Robert realizes a bottle of sleeping tonic is missing from his bag and asks Gamilla to get Fern. Lennie is upset, preferring to think Fern could not do such a thing, but she quickly realizes that the girl is not the average innocent child. Robert questions Fern who admits to taking the bottle of tonic and pouring it into Punch's water pitcher. Robert is afraid of how much Punch consumed as too much of the tonic could be fatal.
Chapter 299: Salvation
Chapter Summary: Robert demands to know how much of the sleeping tonic Fern gave to Punch. She confesses that she administered the whole bottle, but claims she was trying to help Punch, not hurt him. Fern says he mother used the same tonic and called it her "salvation." Fern says she hoped that she could get Punch to rest. Robert blasts the girl, calling her wicked and demanded she be locked in her room. Fern freaks out and Lennie comforts her. Robert tries to calm down and is more gentle with Fern, but still thinks that she's lying.
Chapter 300: Yearning
Chapter Summary: Over at Hamish House, Ulrika is annoyed that the baron isn't putting up more of a fight and asks him to stop being so passive. She reminds him that he's been captured for the encounter with his sister/former lover and that terrible things are going to happen to him. Still, he remains calm, even after Giovanni slaps him around. When Orpha enters, the sinister ceremony is about to begin.
Chapter 301: To Be Made Welcome
Chapter Summary: Lennie tries to talk with Fern and explain to her that what she did, by putting the sleeping tonic in Punch's water, was wrong. Fern replies that sees nothing wrong with what she did and criticizes Lennie and the others for trying to convince her that she's part of the family. Lennie is shocked by the change in Fern, and is especially aghast by Fern's cruelty. She locks the girl in her room and leaves, meeting Speaight in the hall. Speaight informs her that she's received a package from a florist's shop.
Chapter 302: Faces of Madness
Chapter Summary: Lennie arranges the flowers sent to her by Matthew and, recalling "The Language of Flowers," realizes that the Earl has sent her a token of gratitude as well as "love at first sight." She is terribly moved by the gesture. Ringing for Gerard, Lennie asks if there's any news of the Duke. Gerard says the man is unchanged. Gerard and Lennie share an informal conversation about Fern and the nature of madness.
Chapter 303: With Delight
Chapter Summary: Ulrika watches with delight as Orpha and the baron talk about their past. Orpha confesses to her brother that she seduced him as retribution for his abandonment of her as children and confirms that she really is his lost sister Hannah. The baron finally begins to show emotion and wonders what Orpha and Ulrika want from him. Ulrika has ordered Giovanni to fetch a bowl and a knife and is honored when Orpha allows her the honor of beginning their mysterious ritual.
Chapter 304: That Frown of Hers:
Chapter Summary: In the kitchens of No. 65, Ethel and Georgie speak of the Duke and what Fern has done to him. Ethel is surprised that Fern would do something so wicked. Georgie asks if Ethel thought Fern was mad, but Ethel says that they really only spoke once. Ethel confesses she still feels responsible for Jenny's death and Georgie assures her that Jenny would not want her to continue to be sad. Maudie joins them and they ask her about Fern since Maudie had seen Fern often when she worked at Hamish House. Maudie says that Fern was always strange and recalls how the girl was often sent away. Maude explains that she always thought the girl was sent away because she was illegitimate, but she recalls a time when Fern cut the Countess Hamish with broken glass, and then, later remembers a fire in the parlor of Hamish House for which a maid was unjustly blamed. Georgie wonders if it had been Fern who set the fire, but Maudie says that it couldn't have been since, at the time, Fern was very small. Maudie begins to worry, however, that she's mistaken. As Mrs. Pepper comes to the kitchens, the young servants scatter and, privately, Ethel asks Jenny to watch over the household from Heaven.
Chapter 305: Head of the Family
Chapter Summary: Gamilla checks in to see if Mr. Punch has shown any improvement. While there, she and Robert and Lennie begin a discussion--a continuation of what Lennie discussed with Gerard--about whether or not madness is learned or inherited. Robert teases Lennie about the Earl of Cleaversworth and Mr. Punch finally awakens.
Chapter 306: Darkness Until You Die
Chapter Summary: Awhile after Punch awakens, Lennie has filled in Punch and Robert in regards to her afternoon adventures. The discussion turns to Fern and Robert is clear that he wants the girl out of the house. Lennie admits that her faith in the girl has waned considerably. Punch has sent for the girl and Gamilla brings her in. Punch calmly explains to Fern that if she thinks she can get the better of him, she's mistaken, and that she has a choice. She can be a good girl and remain part of the family or she can continue to cause trouble and be sent away to an asylum. They await the girl's response.
Chapter 307: A Chance
Chapter Summary: Fern chooses to go to an asylum as opposed to staying at No. 65. Lennie is shocked by the girl's choice, and Robert pleased. Punch, however, expected Fern to decide as she did. Once the girl leaves, he explains to his sister and his companion that Fern is afraid to trust in herself. He says he has no intention of sending the girl away, and in the morning, will explain to her that he believes in her and is going to give her a chance to be the decent person he knows she can be. Robert reluctantly agrees to go along with Punch's plan, and, then, the two men tease Lennie about the attraction of the Earl of Cleaversworth. Meanwhile, alone in her room, Fern smiles when she stares at the lit lamp.
Chapter 308: Angels
Chapter Summary: Mrs. Pepper convinces Gamilla to take a break and chat. The two women discuss Fern and, then, marriage. Mrs. Pepper reveals that she lost two babies before having Georgie. Gamilla is encouraged by Mrs. Pepper's words about her own marriage. The cook teases Gamilla about having children of her own one day. Later Mrs. Pepper addresses someone on the stairs, asking how she got out of her room.
Chapter 309: Some of Him
Chapter Summary: Fern terrorizes Mrs. Pepper who screams, alerting Speaight and Charles who come running. Fern says that she tricked Violet and got out of her room, leaving Violet upstairs. Mrs. Pepper runs to get Dr. Halifax and to see if Violet is injured. Fern bites Charles and overpowers Speaight, running out of the area door. Charles chases her to Hamish House where she is taken inside by Ulrika. Ulrika tells Fern that she can see her father, and, Fern does. However, he's been chopped into pieces.
Chapter 310: Made Stronger
Chapter Summary: Fern is horrified to see her father's mangled remains and even more horrified by Ulrika's cavalier attitude to it. Orpha finds Fern to be disappointingly week. Ulrika tries to explain to Fern how she and Orpha are related and how she will one day be Marduk's bride. Obviously, this doesn't make the girl feel any better. Orpha declares that she knows how to toughen up the girl.
Chapter 311: To the Devil
Chapter Summary: Charles returns to No. 65 and admits to Speaight that Fern got away. He then goes upstairs to tell Robert who is tending to Violet. Fern had set the bed in her room ablaze and Violet's arms were injured in trying to put out the fire. Robert is full of hatred for Fern and is glad she's gone. He tells Charles not to go back to Hamish House for her, and insists that he will convince Mr. Punch that she should not be brought back.
Chapter 312: The Heroine
Chapter Summary: Charles visits Violet in her room and gives her flowers. She is moved by the gesture and asks Charles not to leave. They discuss Fern and Charles says that the Duke sent Gerard with a letter for the Queen. He guesses that Punch is asking for help from the Crown to get through their situation. Violet fears Fern, but pities her, too. Charles confesses that he can't pity the girl. He admits he was worried that Vi had been killed and tells the girl he likes her. Violet jokes that Charles is falling for Gerry's and Gamilla's plan to fix them up, but he replies that he's felt that way for awhile.
Chapter 313: Fancy Things
Chapter Summary: With the house quiet, Gerard steals a moment with Gamilla in the nursery. They look over the room which will be converted into the suite in which they will live after they are married. Gamilla tells Gerard that he's the only thing she needs. Gerard tells Gamilla that she should have everything in the world and presents her with the diamond ring which Mr. Punch had given him.
Chapter 314: Aunt Orpha
Chapter Summary: Orpha takes Fern to Marduk's room for a private chat. Fern blasts Orpha for being responsible for killing the baron, and Orpha explains cooly that she loved her brother/lover and that Fern has little right to be upset since she barely knew her father. Orpha tells Fern that she's lucky because one day, when she marries Marduk, she'll rule the world as his consort. Fern is shocked by her aunt's talk of marrying her two-headed half-brother, and Orpha demands that Fern "be good." Orpha instructs the girl to help with the cleanup of the baron's remains. Fern faints.
Chapter 315: Beggars
Chapter Summary: The following day, Mrs. Pepper is annoyed by an early knock on the door. Gerard rushes to open the door and finds Johnny Donnan on the other side. Johnny has been mugged and is looking for food. Mrs. Pepper reluctantly agrees to feed the man. Gerard receives a letter for Lennie from the Earl of Cleaversworth and Johnny begins asking questions about his daughter. Mrs. Pepper chides the man and reminds him he has no right to know anything about Lennie. When Gerard steps away, Johnny eyes the letter.
Chapter 316: No More
Chapter Summary: Gerard finds Johnny thinking about stealing Lennie's letter. He stops the man and repeats what Mrs. Pepper said about Johnny having no claim to Lennie. Gerard explains that Johnny gave up the right to knowing anything about Lennie when he gave her away as a baby, but also tells the man that he did the right thing because he ultimately gave Lennie a better life. Gerard tells Johnny how loved Lennie is by everyone in the house, and how strong and brave she is. He also reminds Johnny that if she were to marry her suitor, she'd be Lady Cleaversworth, and that she'd be the wife of a peer of England. Johnny understands what Gerard is saying and leaves, but not before telling Gerard how much he'd love to kill Orpha Polk for all the damage she's done to Lennie and the Finlay, as well as the Duke and his family.
Chapter 317: Courtship
Chapter Summary: At breakfast, Lennie is worried about responding to the letter from the Earl of Cleaversworth and asks Punch and Robert for advice. Robert and Punch bother say they know nothing of courtship and Lennie asks them about how they met and became partners. Punch suggests that Lennie invite Matthew to tea, and Lennie worries she's being selfish. Punch explains that they want her to be happy and that she'd be wrong not to get to know the Earl.
Chapter 318: Twins
Chapter Summary: Ulrika catches Fern trying to leave Hamish House and teases the girl. Fern pleads to be released, and Ulrika taunts her by saying she can act more like the Duke of Fallbridge, if Fern wants. Ulrika then tells Fern that the Duke never wanted her in the first place, and, then cruelly tells the girl about her mother's hanging. With Fern in tears, Ulrika tells her that if she tries to escape again, she'll cut off Fern's hand so she'll be more like her Auntie Orpha.
Chapter 319: Sure Enough
Chapter Summary: Lennie is atwitter. Worried about her hair and her gown, she's flitting about the library. After all, she had to do her own hair since Violet is still recovering from her burns. The cause of this? A letter to No. 65 from the palace asked for Punch and Robert to bring Lennie with them for their luncheon visit with the Queen. Lennie is nervous to meet the Sovereign, but the boys try to reassure her.
Chapter 320: Maybe
Chapter Summary: The youngest members of the staff, George, Maude and Ethel, are taking a break. Maudie teases George about how he and Ethel argue like an old married couple. This sets off Ethel who is already jealous of Georgie's attention to Maude. They talk about Lennie and how her suitor is coming to tea. The girls wonder if they could ever marry a rich man. A knock on the door interrupts them and Georgie opens it even though he's not meant to. Fern rushes past him into the servants' hall.
Chapter 321: Imprisonment
Chapter Summary: Before they can stop her, Fern runs up the service stairs. Maude, George and Ethel are in pursuit. They spot her hiding behind a potted palm, but instead of grabbing her, tease about how she'll probably go to jail, or worse, be taken tot he Tower of London where she'll be tortured. Fern reveals herself, and pleads with them to not send her away. She breaks a vase and threatens to kill herself.
Chapter 322: Amongst Peers
Chapter Summary: At luncheon at the palace, Lennie is touched by Queen Victoria's praise. Victoria is grateful to Punch for being himself and not putting on his Julian routine. Victoria asks about Lady Barbara, and Punch explains that she's unlikely to return and that she is as good as dead. The Queen says she's been thinking about Lennie since Punch told Her Majesty that Lennie had been found. The Queen suggests that Lennie be created Lady Fallbridge. Lennie is honored. Furthermore, Queen Victoria thinks Robert should be a peer of England. Robert is humbled, and protests slightly, but the Queen won't hear it. She's already set a writ in motion to create Robert a baron. Robert says he has no barony because he owns no land, but Punch steps in and gives Robert the land adjacent to Grange Molliner in Scotland. Robert emotionally calls the land after their son, Colinshire and the Queen declares him The Right Honorable Dr. Robert Henry Halifax, Lord Baron of Colinshire.
Chapter 323: Wall
Chapter Summary: Ulrika fusses over Orpha and is acting strange enough to even raise Orpha's eyebrows. Orpha asks of Fern and Ulrika, unaware that Fern has run away, tells Orpha that Fern has been locked in her cupboard. Orpha approves and begins to coo over Marduk, but she quickly realizes that locking Fern in the cupboard may not have been the best thing to do.
Chapter 324: Change of Tidings
Chapter Summary: Punch, Robert and Lennie return home from the palace, filled with happiness about Robert being created a Baron and Lennie being given the title of Lady Fallbridge. Speaight is overjoyed. Punch asks Speaight to gather everyone in the hall, and Speaight sadly informs the Duke that Fern has returned. Robert is annoyed, and Lennie is concerned, but Puch seems certain as to handle the situation.
Chicken 325: And So Say All of Us
Chapter Summary: Mr. Punch, Robert and Lennie retreat tot he servants' hall and see Fern being kept cornered by Ethel, George and Maude. Punch begins by saying that under no circumstances can Fern stay at No. 65. He then asks each servant what they think should be done with Fern. Many say she should be sent to an asylum, but more say that she shouldn't. Punch announces that Fern will be sent to a very fine school, and Robert and Lennie make sure Fern understands that at the first sign of trouble, she will be sent to an asylum. Punch arranges for Fern to stay in the rooming house where Roger is kept until she's sent to school.
Chapter 326: Too Much
Chapter Summary: After Punch announces that Lennie has been created Lady Fallbridge and Robert as Baron Colinshire, Mrs. Pepper and the staff discuss the honors with pride. The girls ask Mrs. Pepper how to address Dr. Halifax and Lennie from then on, and Mrs. Pepper tries her best to explain the English peerage and aristocracy to the younger women. Discussion turns to Lennie's suitor and the impending introduction of Matthew to the Duke and Lord Colinshire (Robert). Mrs. Pepper suggests to Violet that Charles may have a romantic interest in her.
Chapter 327: Lady and Gentlemen
Chapter Summary: Matthew has arrived for tea, and, at first, everyone seems a little ill-at-ease though Lennie is flattered by the attention. Matthew confesses that he's nervous to meet the Duke and Lord Colinshire, both of whom are so beloved by the crown. They begin to relax and Matthew tells Robert and Punch to refer to him by his first name. Punch is unsure what to tell Matthew to call him and Lennie slyly suggests that Matthew call the Duke by the affectionate name of the household, "Punch." They quickly explain why without actually telling Matthew of Punch's different personalities. Punch and Matthew over a shared passion for food.
Chapter 328: Taken
Chapter Summary: With Matthew gone, Punch and Robert discuss the man with Lennie. Punch thinks Lennie should marry Matthew and Robert agrees, however, Lennie is forthright and says she's not sure how she feels about the man nor whether they'd be compatible. In fact, she points out, he's not even asked her to marry him. Punch and Robert, however, clearly won't change their opinion. They decide to visit Colin (and Dog Toby) in the nursery. On their way from the drawing room, they're told that Lum Ruskin is downstairs. Lum, the man who was tasked with bringing Fern to the boarding house, has come with news that Fern was taken by Ulrika and Giovanni and that, in the scuffle, Roger Barrett escaped.
Chapter 329: Roger's Walk
Chapter Summary: Manic, Roger Barrett wanders the City of Westminster, muttering about Victor Geddes (the now-deceased Baron Lensdown). He stops a stranger whom he thinks is Victor, and, at first, the man is frightened, but soon, he begins to take pity on Roger whose mad ramblings lead the stranger to discover that Roger has some association with the famed Duke of Fallbridge. Just as the stranger, a friend of Matthew's, in fact, is about to take Roger to Belgrave Square, he's interrupted by Johnny Donnan who insists he can take care of his own nephew.
Chapter 330: Fault
Chapter Summary: Robert doesn't know how to proceed. He, Punch and Lennie are perplexed as how to remove Fern from the clutches of Orpha and Ulrika. Lennie is also very worried for Roger and blames herself. Punch, however, makes Lennie realize that what's happened isn't her fault. They discuss proceeding with the plan that they developed with Queen Victoria. Speaight interrupts and tells them that Roger is downstairs with Johnny Donnan. Lennie wants to go to her cousin, but Punch and Robert warn her that Johnny is scheming, wishing to be a father to her. Lennie is resolute and Robert and Punch support her.
Chapter 331: Time
Chapter Summary: Lennie is reunited with Roger while Punch and Robert distract Johnny Donnan. Gerard and Charles have returned home from their search for Roger just in time. Gerard chats with Georgie who asks many questions about Roger, wondering why he is the way he is. Gerard explains that Roger is ill and can't help himself, but that it doesn't mean that, in time, Roger won't be able to have a rewarding life.
Chapter 332: A Perfect Day
Chapter Summary: Gamilla goes with Lennie and is surprised to see that her wedding dress has arrived. Gamilla nervously opens the package and is delighted to find that the dressmaker has almost duplicated the gown which Fern had ruined. Gamilla suggests that it may be Lennie who is next married.
Chapter 333: Let Him In
Chapter Summary: Claiming to be dejected by Lennie, Johnny Donnan arrives at Hamish House where Ulrika delights in his depression. Still, she won't let him in, reminding him that he's made it clear he has a grudge against Orpha for fooling him and indirectly causing Finlay's death. Johnny claims he has no one in the world and that his only living relative, Lennie, wants nothing to do with him. He hears the cry of a baby(ies) and asks about it. From inside, Orpha asks Ulrika to let Johnny in.
Chapter 334: The Middle One
Chapter Summary: Orpha speaks with Johnny, questioning why he's come. He repeats what he told to Ulrika, about being alone in the world. He suggests that he could be a father to Orpha, or, even a servant. Orpha confesses that they could use the help. She also suggests his harsh parenting could benefit Fern. She introduces him to Marduk and Johnny tries not to react.
Chapter 335: The Queen's Plan
Chapter Summary: According to the Queen's plan to bring down Orpha, Robert has installed a spy at Hamish House--Johnny Donnan. Johnny reports back to the Duke and Lord Colinshire about being hired by Orpha and tells Robert how sickly Marduk appears.
Chapter 336: Ignorance and Want
Chapter Summary: Orpha and Ulrika continue to indulge each other's weirdness, as Ulrika triumphs at finally having a servant again. Orpha admits she's concerned about Marduk's health, but Ulrika says that Marduk is just fine.
Chapter 337: Regard
Chapter Summary: Violet bursts into the drawing room, much to Speaight's horror, with a package for Lennie from Garrard's. An embarrassed Lady Fallbridge explains that she didn't order anything, but Violet insists that someone could have sent it. At t he urging of Punch and Robert, Lennie opens the package to find a jeweled brooch from Matthew. Lennie says she can't accept it, but she's encouraged to do so, and, even to invite Matthew to dinner.
Chapter 338: Passage
Chapter Summary: Several days have passed, with only two days until the marriage of Gerard and Gamilla. Punch finally begins to feel better and hopes that their time of suffering has passed, even though he is still worried that Fern is in the clutches of Orpha and Ulrika. Just as Punch is about to invite everyone to see the newly completed nursery quarters, the door bell rings.
Chapter 339: Do No Harm
Chapter Summary: As Punch and Robert allow the staff to view the new nursery quarters, Georgie teases Ethel and the staff enjoys a light-hearted moment. Speaight arrives to explain that Miss Rittenhouse has arrived at the door. She needs a doctor, but not for herself.
Chapter 340: Labels
Chapter Summary: Punch and Lennie wait in the passage while Robert examines Marduk. The presence of the conjoined twins worries Punch who begins to think about what makes one a monster. He speaks with Lennie frankly about his mental illness and, also, being homosexual, and how there are no words in their current parlance to describe who and what he is. He compared himself to Marduk. Lennie reassured her brother that his thoughts and deeds are what define him.
Chapter 341: Aristocracy
Chapter Summary: Robert urges Ulrika to be silent while he examines Marduk, and tries to explain to the madwoman that Marduk is two children who have been conjoined. Ulrika continues to insist that Marduk is a god and mocks Robert for having lived a life of poverty, implying his relationship with the Duke was only to advance his place in the world. Robert will have none of it and blasts Ulrika for the poor care she and Orpha have given the children. Ulrika is insulted to be told that Marduk is human, and later Robert suggests that the reality was too much for the woman to take.
Chapter 342: The Bargain
Chapter Summary: Ulrika returns to Hamish House and reports to Orpha what she'd been told by Robert. Orpha is furious to hear that Robert suggested Marduk was mortal. She demands that another sacrifice be made. Ulrika offers Giovanni, but Orpha declines. It must be a woman, Orpha says, and one whose passing will cause much pain. The answer--Gamilla.
Chapter 343: Intentions
Chapter Summary: Punch is not too surprised when Matthew shows up for dinner. He and the Earl are beginning to understand one another and Punch is relaxing in the Earl's presence. Matthew rather awkwardly proclaims Lennie's virtues and Punch urges the man to reveal his intentions. The Earl admits he'd like to ask Lennie to marry him.
I'm catching up with the chapter archive. New links and summaries will be added each day as I catch up. Thanks for your patience.