However, in keeping with my usual practice, I am posting a character list for TFC.
Jessamine Warbling ~ Yes, she is narrating this story also. In case you are not familiar with her, she is a young London socialite with the ability to land herself in odd and dangerous situations.
Laird Andrew and Lady Laura Loughney ~ Jessamine's uncle and aunt on her mother's side. They live in Castle Cauldwerden in the Scottish Highlands to which Jessamine is banished after the Tittleton scandal.
The Honorable Mr. Byron and Mrs. Mary Dowald ~ Mary is the daughter of the Loughneys, and she is the pride and joy of her father, having upheld the family honor with a marriage to the son of an ancient family. Byron Dowald is a dour fellow, but at least he is rich and respectable.
Gavin Loughney ~ The estranged son of the Loughneys. He has always tried to respect his father, and even gave up the girl that he wanted to marry in order to honor Laird Andrew's wishes. But when Laird Andrew decided to cast doubt on the honor of the lady in question, Gavin had to defend her, even though it cost him a place in his father's house and broke his mother's heart (and her reason).
Alexander MacAuney ~ He raises horses for Laird Andrew, and he is engaged to the most beautiful girl in the town of Mickelhaudin. No wonder someone would be jealous enough to kill him in the deserted Castle MacDrae.
Grissie Faekell ~ The most beautiful girl in Mickelhaudin, and the daughter of the cobbler. She broke the hearts of all the young men, quite unintentionally, of course, when she consented to marry Alexander MacAuney.
Robbie MacNielton ~ He is in love with Grissie Faekell, and he is the prime suspect for the murder of Alexander MacAuney. After all, his family does live near the Castle MacDrae, and everyone in Mickelhaudin knows that he had an argument with Alexander.
Jeremy Marchmont ~ Jessamine suspects that his presence in Inverness is a ploy used by her mother and his to bring them together. Still, he is in a handy place when she needs help investigating murder.
Katherine MacNielton ~ She may be a plain country girl, but Laird Andrew blames her for the rift between himself and his son.
Inspector Fionn ~ A Scotland Yard detective, Jessamine wishes that he really was in Scotland. At least she can write to him for help in solving a murder.
Mehitable Churnell ~ Jessamine's insufferable companion, hired by Mrs. Warbling to make sure that Jessamine does not get into any trouble. Unfortunately, Miss Churnell takes her job a little too seriously.
Lady Diana MacDrae ~ She's been dead for ninety years, but the villagers are positive that her ghost still haunts the deserted Castle MacDrae.
So, that is the main character list. Here are a few snippets:
A girl of about fifteen or sixteen entered the room. She was carrying a silver tea tray, which she deposited on the table beside the fireplace. “Good e’en to ye, Miss,” she said, her Scottish accent as thick as Camclodie’s.
“Good evening, and thank you for the tea,” I replied, observing that the girl was tall and very skinny, with red hair pulled tightly into a bun beneath her stiff white uniform cap and cloudy but cheerful blue eyes. Her skin was ruddy and freckled, and she had extraordinarily long, chapped fingers.
“Ah’m Tillie,” she said with a smile.
“Good evening, Tillie,” I returned. “I am Miss Jessamine Warbling.”
“Och, I knew tha’,” she laughed. “Laird Andrew’s niece all the wa’ from London. ‘Tis guid to ha’ ye here.”
“Thank you,” I replied.
Tillie remained in the room, clearly wishing to engage in further conversation, but also too polite to speak without first being spoken to. I took pity upon her and also decided to try to satiate my own curiosity.
“Who was Diana MacDrae?” I asked.
Tillie’s cloudy eyes grew wide. “I dinna spaek o’ it much,” she said. “’Tis temptin’ Providence, sure enough.”
“Goodness, what happened to her?” I asked.
“She was murdered,” said Tillie, her eyes glowing with excitement, indicating that she did not care as much about Providence as she claimed.“Oh,” I said, for that monosyllable was as much as I could force out at the time. I had had quite enough of murder in the past few weeks.
~ The Fey Castle
|Castle MacDrae, better known as The Fey Castle|
I screamed and awoke, breathing heavily and staring at the green velvet hangings above me. At first I could not comprehend where I was, but soon I remembered that I was safely in Scotland, in my Uncle Andrew’s old Castle Cauldwerden. I shivered and wondered if I had really screamed or if that was only part of my dream.
My question was soon answered when Miss Churnell came rushing into the room, her thin dark hair falling in stiff, coarse locks all around the shoulders of her yellowed flannel nightgown. I had not thought it possible for her to be more ugly than she already was, but she was!
“What is it?” she asked stiffly.
“Oh, nothing,” I lightly replied. “I had a dream.”
Miss Churnell sniffed as if she could not believe that I had just roused her in the middle of the night for nothing.
“Do you realize the time?” she demanded.
“No,” I replied. “What is the time?”
“The time is five o’clock in the morning,” she said. “I am an early riser, Miss Jessamine, but I do not rise at this unholy hour. What were you thinking, anyhow? Proper young ladies do not have nightmares.”
~ The Fey Castle
“Tha mi sàsaichte bi fhios aig thu, Miss Warbling,” said Grissie, walking all the way out of the house. She may have been very pretty, but she was wearing very worn clothing, including a threadbare white blouse, a green vest and full, tartan skirt and a dark blue jacket. Her hands were calloused with hard work.
“I am pleased to make your acquaintance, Miss Faekell,” I said. I looked over at Uncle Andrew. “What did she say to me?” I asked.
“The same thing you said to her,” he laughed. “I should have known that you would not know Scotch. Well, you shall have to learn, for the people of Mickelhaudin know it more than they know Queen’s English.”
I smiled a rather sickly smile, for I recalled my futile efforts to learn French and German. After several years of each I could barely hold a simple conversation with anyone who knew much about either of those two tongues. Languages are not my strong point.
~ The Fey Castle
I would love to hear what you think about these characters and snippets!
Thanks for reading, and God bless,