Carte Blanche (Camille Anthony in Charming the Snake) – Chapter Six

Chassy and Alicia are on their stalking tour, which is masked as a shopping spree. They arrive in town and are unsure about where to go. While they look around, we get an explanation as to why this world is like it is:

“I will never understand why the Touchdowns decided to pattern this world after Regency Britain. (…)”

I tell you, neither will I. First of all, this might be the crappiest explanation ever. Second, as far as exposition goes, this is only topped by “My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die!” [except that they, at least, were not being serious]. Third, it just won’t happen that way! You can’t just decide to form a culture in a certain way. You can make a conscious effort to change things but this will take about forever and only if enough people are with you. And remember, Liana was one of the first people to come to this planet and she still lives. You cannot tell me that in the span of a lifetime, a modern society just adapts to an archaic one. It just won’t happen.

If you want to write a Regency novel, fine. If you want to write SciFi, fine. But if you want to combine the two, try something along the lines of Steampunk instead of feeding me bad explanations for illogical things.

Okay, let’s get on with this wreck of a novella.

Alicia is, of course, confused and bewildered that Chassy dares to critisise the current social order. Chassy talks of changing an unjust society and how they are responsible and it would be interesting if it wasn’t so stereotypical. Give me one original thought, just one, and I can live with Chassy. But as it is, her rebellion consists of repeating the unpopular lines instead of the popular ones.

We get saved by Alicia spotting Chezann. He’s coming out of the local bookstore, but the girls can’t just go there to talk to him and maybe ask him if he can tell them, where Dare is. Instead, they walk into the bookshop to find out, where Chezann was going.

They walk into the bookstore and take a seat and get some tea from the owner. No looking at books, which hurts my soul. They ask about CC. But not in a normal way, which would be, “Excuse us, Mr. Shop-Owner, we just saw Lord Rotham leave here. We would like to talk to him – do you have any idea, where he went?”
No, instead, they bribe the shop owner to ask the employees servants whether they know anything.

While he’s off asking them, the motherlike lady from the night before walks up to them – Lucynda Pettibone. And because she was one of the few nice people that night, Chassy can’t remember her name (although I’m pretty sure that she has a list of all the people who ever mistreated her etched upon her memory).

Lucynda tells her – again – that she wanted the two of them to meet, privately. And that she knew Chassy’s father. [Oh, yeah, right, there was this whole murder plotline. I almost forgot.]

On the face of it, it didn’t seem possible that the mild-mannered, pudgy [Now, she’s mentioned three times (or more) that the duchess is not completely slim. So what? Isn’t one time enough? You don’t mention everytime you describe Chassy that she’s fit. So why do it with the duchess? I can remember when you tell me once, thank you.] duchess of Pettibone might have information — or somehow be involved with — the person or persons unknown who had tried to kill Chassy’s father. What else could she conclude, though?
“How well did you know my father?”
“Very well. We were… childhood sweethearts. I wanted the opportunity to, well… reminisce with you.” [Oh yes, let us reminisce. It’s been such a long time that I did that…]

Chassy promises to come, as Lucynda doesn’t really leave her a chance to say otherwise, while dropping mysterious hints like “time is running out, but take your time”. Then Lucynda leaves and the shop-owner returns [maybe they are actually one and the same person and can therefore never be seen together]: CC was going to the Landing Museum.

The owner offers to send a servant to acompany them there.

“That won’t be necessary, thank you.” Chassy stood and tugged her gloves back on. “The museum is a neutral place where we can accidentally bump into Lord Rotham. [Which is exactly what you would say to a totally uninvolved bystander.] Your assistance will not be needed.”

The man grabs the money from the table and Chassy and Ali leave.

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