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The Science of a Legacy: Chapter Thirty-Four, Part One

The Science of a Legacy: Chapter Thirty-Four, Part One






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    The Science of a Legacy: Chapter Thirty-Four, Part One The Science of a Legacy: Chapter Thirty-Four, Part One Presentation Transcript

    • In every story, there comes a point. A point where running forwards with as much strength and speed as you can muster is no longer is enough to break down the barriers ahead.
    • And at times like these we need to search for the other tales, those small threads of life that become vital to our understanding of the road ahead, even if lost in time. These need to be recovered, and screamed out loud to the world.
    • As the clouds grow thicker, and the light above us becomes ever faded – we find ourselves starting to become lost as the answers lie behind us. And so it is to these frayed threads of story that we look to for understanding, even if they do not make sense at the time, and we turn to the past. For these tales have been waiting.
    • And the time has come to tell ours.
    • London, 1804
    • “Cecily! Come here child!”
    • “Where has she got to? CECILY. CECILY!”
    • “That child is always running off..” “Calm yourself Rosalind.” “But a more disobedient child I never saw!”
    • “CECILY! Come here, at ONCE.”
    • “My dear, I fear there is little use and shouting. The child is often astray and a bedraggled sight when she is not, is all this hullaballoo really necessary?”
    • “Yes. I cannot have a granddaughter of mine running around like some common street gypsy! It‟s a disgrace, and not one to be tolerated. CECILY! CECILY URSWICK!”
    • “Hello Grandmother! Grandfather!” A chirpy little girl of no more than eleven years walked into the room, smiling and waving in greeting to the two rather sour faced elders seated on the squishy chairs. “Did I „ear you callin‟ for me?” The grey lady sighed. “Sit down Cecily.”
    • Doing as she was asked, the young girl hastily started to settle herself down on the nearest piece of furniture and turned to face her Grandmother, hands in lap.
    • “NOT on the tea table Cecily! The Earl of Wessex presented that set to the family last season, do not dare break it young lady. Get down at once!”
    • The girl sighed. “It is always about the tea ain‟t it?” But not wishing to displease her Grandparents, the young Cecily Urswick got off of the tea table and stood in front of her summoners.
    • “What did you wish me for, Grandmother?” “Cecily, what have you been taught?” said the exasperated elderly lady. “Oh. Righ‟. Sorry. What do you wish me for, Lady Urswick, Lord Urswick.” “That is better.” nodded her Grandfather. “Never forget that you come from great stock, Cecily my girl, one of the finest families in all of London.” “Yes Lord Urswick.” “Indeed, and that is precisely why we decided that it was high time that you had a proper address with us.” added the Lady.
    • “Abou‟ wha‟?” asked Cecily. But Lady Urswick just shudders at her granddaughter opened her mouth. “Exactly that, my child.” “Wha?” “You speech Cecily! Your behaviour! You lack of cleanliness and the general appropriateness of your demeanour. In short, the complete disgrace which you are brining upon this house. ”
    • “But I don‟ understand Grandmother! Erm, Lady Urswick. What is wrong wiv me? I say my prayers, I eat all my supper and wear dresses. Wha‟ more do you want?” “ Much more Cecily. You have picked up some terrible habits from those street children, and such things I will not have under my roof.” “But why not?”
    • “Harold. Please. She is being intolerable.” Lord Urswick raised himself from his chair and slowly made his way over to the window. Without shifting his gaze, he spoke to his Granddaughter. “As Urswicks, we are fortunate enough to have one of the largest and best staffed houses in not only Kensington, but also all of London. I wake up each morning and take in the view of Hyde Park, and remember how fortunate I am. It is beautiful, is it not Cecily?” “Yes Lord Urswick.” “But beautiful as it is, I would not want it in my parlour. I may feel joy as the light dances over the waters, but I would not drink them. I may watch as the wildfowl preen their feathers, but I would not help them. I may admire the great oak from a far, but I would not dress myself in its bark.”
    • “Grandfather, why is you calling me a tree? I do not understand!” “Cecily, I am not calling you a tree. Nor anything else for that matter, other than what you are. And what you are is a common ragamuffin.” “Well what‟s wrong wiv that?”
    • “Cecily, you are the only child of our only son. As such you will, unfortunately, one day inherit this estate and the prestige of the family name. You are, for lack of a better word, our heir.” “What if I don‟ want to be heir?” “You have no choice young lady, and it is an honour you should be damn proud of. And starting today, your journey down that path begins.” “Well what does that mean?”
    • “It means Cecily, no more playing out with whoever you so find on the street. No more lack of dedication and aptitude in your lessons. No more dirt on your shoes and stains on your clothes. No more lack of respect to your elders and betters. No acting like a little unkempt hooligan. And especially, no more speaking like a common mongrel. It means becoming a young lady, worthy of the Urswick name.” “But-” “Be gone from my sight child. We have already suffered you enough for one day.” Looking at the floor, Cecily knew she was beaten. She turned, and slowly mooched out the door.
    • “It must be from her Mother‟s side, no relative of ours has ever behaved in such a manner, Rosa.” “Quite Harold. For once I understand what that blasted woman did – I too would have died during childbirth if I‟d have know I would have to raise such an insolent child.” Cecily froze outside the door. She loved her Grandparents, honest she did, but.. Sometimes she felt they were just a little bit mean. She wasn‟t that bad, she wasn’t. ..Was she?
    • “Oh fafflesticks..” “Something wrong young Miss?” said a voice, appearing at the top of the stairwell.
    • “PAPA!” cried the child, and threw herself into the waiting man‟s outstretched arms. “Ceci.” he smiled in return, and hugged her close. “Is something wrong, my darling?”
    • “I had to go and talk with Grandmother and Grandfather.” “Oh really? And how did that go?” “Not very well. Then wan‟ me to change Papa, but I do not wan‟ ta change! Can I not just stay the same as always? I do not want to be an hair!” “I expected as much. Do not worry about them Cecily, they are old toads.” “Papa! But I love Grandmother and father!” “I know you do darling. But remember that you do not ever have to be anyone other than who you want to be. Mother and Father have never taken kindly to any of my choices, and I do not let it worry me, especially when it comes to their opinions of my chosen career.”
    • Suddenly the child‟s eyes lit up, and she began pulling at her father‟s sleeve excitedly. “Can we go today Papa? Oh please! Can we go to visit the secret place?” “Wee-ell..” “I promise ta be good Papa! I will not disturb you at all, I will be the quietest mouse you ever did not hear. For I do love your secret place ever so.” “Our secret place, Ceci.” the man smiled. “And of course, it shall always be there waiting for you. Come! Let us depart at once.” ----
    • “And you are sure to be good, Cecily?” “Yes Papa.” she replied modestly with a nod. The two Urswicks made there way up the steps of a small building, bathed in the midday sun. It was not much to look at, but this was Montague House – and was to be the birthplace of something special indeed.
    • “Stay close Ceci, I do not want you wandering off and getting lost again.” “Oh Papa! I was only stuck in the cupboard for half an hour..” “Well that was half an hour too long for my liking, dear.”
    • “Raaraaaraaaraaaaa!” “Cecily..” warned her father as the young girl stopped to bare her teeth at a pile of bones. “Papa, what is this strange thing? I have never seen it before.” “Nor I, it must be new. Come, you can ask Wallace.” he concluded, and continued striding through the corridors, while he daughter hurried to catch his heels.
    • They had not made it ten meters before the pair were forced to halt again. “Must we stop every time to say good morning to Master Phillips? He is stuffed you know darling” “Yes, but he is my friend! And he would be sad if I did not greet him each time I were here – how would you feel if it were you, Papa?” Mister Urswick smiled. All truth be told, he did not mind one scrap about waiting for his daughter to take her morning rounds at the House before starting work. He was secretly thrilled that she seemed to be just as inspired by the place as he was, and loved nothing more to bring her at every opportunity. “Well Ceci, I am afraid that if we do not go and see Mister Wallace right away we shall not be able to ask him much – he tends to take rather long tea breaks you see.” Gasping, Cecily at once followed her father down the hallway.
    • “Ah, I see we have managed to catch him in time. What luck, eh Ceci? Alfie!” he called, “I say, Alfie!”
    • “Henry! You made it. Why, it is rather out of character for you to be so late upon arrival. We were getting rather worried about you! Or rather, I was. Wynston here doesn‟t seem to be able to take his eyes of his new arrival this morning. You know how he gets.”
    • “My apologies friend, there was some family business to attend to this morning.” “Ah, of course. And how is your old sour puss? Oh pardon me, I mean Mother.” “She‟s fine Alfie.” Henry smiled. “I‟m sure she sends her regards. But she certainly got out of the wrong side of bed this morning, and I thought it best to remain a while to mop up any spillages.” “Understandable, understandable.”
    • “Hey Mister Wallace! Wha‟ is that new thing in the corridor? It‟s right massive!” “You remember my daughter, do you not Alfie?” “Ah yes, Miss Cecily. Good morning to you too young lady.” “Yes, but what is that huge monster?”
    • “Well truth be told Miss Cecily, we do not actually know.” “But HOW can you not know! You are scientists, are you not? All you do is sit here all day with these magic things tha‟ no one else is allowed to see, and you look at them over and over again. You simply MUST know what it is!!” “It was a gift from the young Miss Mary Anning, and she certainly did not know what it was, well versed as she is. Perhaps one day you can find out what it may be Miss Cecily?” “Maybe..”
    • “Alfie, I need a word.” “But Papa!” “Ceci – just a moment. Alfie, have you heard anything from Latreille?” “Hm, what? Oh yes, those are the collections you are awaiting Henry. The little spiders with the difficult name from up North? ” “Yes, that is correct. Arachnid genus of the year I hear! Has Mr. Latreille sent any word on their progress? I‟m rather desperate to get my hands on them!” “Well, you know Charles..”
    • As the two scientists discussed their affairs, Cecily let her eyes drift around the room. Seeing Professor Wynston wringing his hands at his desk, she decided now was as good a time as any to investigate. “Mr. Wynston, are you alright?” “No! No, I am afraid I am not young Miss. Urswick! Not at all. This specimen arrived from the Amazon but this morning, but I have been unable to identify it. Me! Unable to see! Oh, what a to do..”
    • “Hmm..” The young girl leant across the desk to take a closer look at the plant. “It certainly is a strange sight. I don‟t think I have ever seen such a thing before!” “Exactly!” sighed Wynston. “But Dr. Jones said he was relying on my knowledge and I do not want to think I have failed.” “But what if you haven‟t? Look here Mr. Winston, you have never told me of leaves shaped so before – what if it‟s an entirely new plant?” The scientist gasped, and Cecily‟s father chuckled as he watched the expression on his colleague's face. “Come daughter, I believe it is time we settled down for the morning.”
    • “You have brought your book, have you not?” “Yes Papa.” “Now study hard my dear, for there is no greater tutor than the words and thoughts of others. And I shall be right here if you need of anything.” The two smiled at each other, and each set about their work.
    • Cecily‟s father, Henry Urswick, had been working at Montague House since he was a boy and now took all the British Museum‟s entomological work upon his shoulders. He was fascinated by the little invertebrates, and how their hidden lives differed so much from the larger animals roaming the Earth. Cecily was more than happy to sit by her father‟s desk and study, just waiting for the moments when she was called upon to look at an especially exciting beetle for Borneo, or a fascinating fly from France. She enjoyed her studies her Father set her each day, but truth be told she was much more interested in the work of the men around her.
    • Alfred Wallace held a passion for the budding field of anatomy. Although his sketches of the inner workings of a human body were often ridiculed by the community, he stubbornly kept working each day on new theories of man. Some of the portraits around his desk brought suspicious glances from the rest of the team as they looked decidedly bizarre, but they had learnt with Alfie that it was best not to ask such questions as all one would get in return was a wink or a tap of the nose. Sometimes it was best not to know.
    • Martin Wynston was the team‟s botanist, and dedicated his life to all the plant-life of the world. Though thought a bit scatter-brained by his partners, Cecily loved him dearly. Truth be told she was often rather scared of Alfie Wallace, but she often took her lessons while watching Wynston potter away, and not only because he was known to slip her sugar when her father was not watching.
    • Cecily was more than content to spend much of her childhood in this house of treasures, watched over by its guardians and their latest discoveries.
    • As she grew she was able to sneak away from the watchful eyes of her Grandparents more and more often, but at the British Museum‟s collection of Natural History grew and grew, she often favoured examining the specimens over playing on the streets with the London street children.
    • Her new friends became her family, and it was not long before all three scientists though of little Cecily as a daughter in so many ways.
    • Although in Cecily‟s eyes, there was no one alive who could ever come close to her Papa. “Must you work today?” she sighed one morning. “Yes my dear, and I am afraid that I don‟t want you near such fixatives and chemicals. One day at home with your Grandparents will not harm you.” “But Grandmother will try and make me an hair again! I want to stay here with you.” “ Not today my little cricket.” ----
    • “Sleep well, my little cricket.” “Papa! Surely I am too old for that now?” “Never, Ceci. But it is late and Rosalind will be wondering where you are, but I must stay late and assist Alfie with some research. The carriage is outside.” “I do need escorting Papa, I am a grown lady! I will take the monster‟s skull with me, that will frighten anyone away.” “Somehow I don‟t think Miss. Anning will be too pleased with that when she visits in the morning..”
    • “Ready for another adventure, Miss Cecily?” grinned Wallace one morning as he spotted the young girl watching him from the corner. Well to be fair he addressed her thusly every morning, but never once yet had Cecily not nodded her head eagerly awaited instruction. Even though the instruction was usually to hold a measuring tape for several hours while her feather‟s best friend held out bits of various animals to her, with a frown of deep thought upon his face that often caused him to forget his young assistant.
    • “Ceci, have you seen Sloane’s Directory of Oddities? I was sure it was in the North Library, but oddly his entire collection of literature seems to have vanished!” “Oh Papa..” “You enjoy his works, do you not? Perhaps you can recall where they are housed?” The girl sighed with a smile.
    • “You brought the books to this part of the building last month Papa, do you not remember?” she said, and reached for the copy Henry was pursuing. “You said you did not like having to think of me walking all that way just to read my favourite books – so you moved them here for me!” “I did?”
    • “Yes, you did Papa.” Cecily said with a grin, and handed her father the volume. “Thank you.” “How marvellous! The works of Sir Hans Sloane by my very desk..” he mused. “Don‟t tell Alfie, Ceci!” “I will not, if you promise to keep it my secret?”
    • Although she was keen for her father not to know, Cecil still always made sure to greet Master Phillips each day she visited Montague. Yes, she knew he was stuffed, and yes she knew it was childish, but Cecily still fully agreed to was wrong to not greet a friend she had known for so long. She never told anyone, but she still secretly hoped to one day hear a chirp of reply from the little exotic bird. The constant unchanging faces of the Museum‟s specimens never failed to bring a smile to her face as she grew older.
    • As did the antics of her father and his friends! “Pocket-watch? Hello-o? Oh my, I‟m sure I saw it fall down here last week!”
    • With her twenty-first birthday approaching, Cecily began thinking more and more of the propositions placed upon her my her Grandmother, Lady Rosalind Urswick. Pulling herself up upon a stuffed mountain lion she had named Mr. Harold, even her favourite daydream of him partnering a semi-successful high street shop could not appease her.
    • It does not seem fair.. she mused. I wish it did not vex Grandmother so. Papa and I do not want this legacy lifestyle she so wishes us to have.. He is happy here! And as am I. And I have worked on my speech and studied hard, not only in the sciences but I can also now cook and sew to a reasonable degree. Mmm, those dairy dishes in particular are especially delectable. But still she is not happy! What does she want?
    • But sighing, Cecily got down and slowly made her way back to the work rooms. Next on her list was to find a name for this monster, as no one had yet done so. And although she did not like to think it, she knew what was next on not only her Grandparents agenda - but also becoming more and more apparent to her father. Marriage.
    • “But Alfie, that is simply fantastic news! How long have we been waiting now?” “A year at the least I would say Henry.” “It in indeed a fantastic turn of events, my dear friend.”
    • “Absolutely. We have been sorely in need of someone to deal with all these useless fossils Miss. Anning keeps on sending us, as well as all of those lumps of rock lying around in the Sloane collection. I am sure this young palaeontologist will be a fine addition to our work here.” “And a fresh Cambridge graduate you say?” “Yes, straight out of King‟s. I was always an Emma man myself, but needs must.”
    • “This is absolutely wonderful! And you say he starts tomorrow?” “ First thing. I am sure we can er, give him a proper welcome to the team..”
    • “Who are we welcoming?” asked Cecily as she turned the corner. “Afternoon Miss!” smiled Wallace. “And where have you been all afternoon”? But she ignored him. “ Who are we welcoming Papa?”
    • “A young Palaeontologist from Cambridge is joining us here Ceci, isn‟t that exciting news?” “Oh.” “Something wrong, my dear?” “But Papa..
    • Tomorrow is my Birthday Papa, and I thought we were to celebrate?” “I believe your Grandmother has organised plans for the morning.” “I see..” “Ceci, don‟t hang you head so low!”
    • “We have of course informed this young man that no one is to enter Montague tomorrow without a suitable present and greeting for my daughter! We shall celebrate here in the afternoon.” “Oh Papa! Thank you!” she squeaked, and launched herself upon her father. “It would never be any other way, my little cricket.”
    • “Now, let us think how we can make your Grandmother‟s plans pass us by as swiftly as possible..” ----
    • “Well that plain failed miserably.” “I know Ceci.” Henry sighed the next morning, as he lit the fire next to in the chair in which his now adult daughter was seated. “But I think I have to agree that this may not be such a terrible idea on your Grandmother‟s part.” “Yes, but the dress she chose is! I do not know where she got it from, but it is so terribly unlike those that the girls on the street seem to wear!”
    • “Do you not remember when we did this when you were but a girl?” “That was different Papa! You kept telling me jibes to keep me entertained while we both sat in the study. Now I have to sit all on my own for this portrait, and pose for Grandmother insists upon it, in this ridiculous thing!” “Well then I shall accompany you, my little cricket. I will be seated opposite and do my best to keep you happy.” he said with a pat on her shoulder, and went to take up his position across the room.
    • “Now Miss Urswick, that is simply lovely. Just raise your wrist like so aaand.. Perfect!” Cecily fidgeted. “Please stay still Miss Urswrick. But if you would permit me to say so, it is such an honour on this special occasion to be able to immortalise you so. I never dreamed your family would employ me for this service!” Immortalised, what fun.. Cecily thought angrily to herself. I just want to go outside!
    • “Sir, how long to you expect this to take?” asked Henry as the painter began. “Lord Usrwick, I-” “That was my Father‟s title.” he snapped quickly. “Not mine.” “Yes Sir, but since his passing..” But seeing the harsh look in Henry‟s eyes the painter faltered. “Only a few hours for my initial sketches and colour palettes. Then Miss Usrwick is free to spend the rest of her Birthday howsoever she sees fit.”
    • Two hours later.. “Miss Urswick, please stay STILL! But if I may be so bold as to say that from an artiste‟s perspective you have a spectacular face. Sir – your daughter is quite the beauty.” “No you may not be so bold.” said Henry coldly.
    • “Oh hush Papa! Everyone says that, and you know that none of them really mean it. Great beauty this, splendid flower that.. They are insincere fools.” “Cecily dear, I did not mean him to be silent in that respect, you‟re the most beautiful daughter a man could ever wish for, but it is not his place to say so.” Henry said quickly, casting another suspicious glance towards the painter. “Thank you Papa, but it is okay. I just like being Cecily.”
    • “As do I, cricket. But my-” he stifled a yawn, “how much longer is this whole business going to take?” “Oh not much longer I should think.” Cecily sighed and ran a hand through her hair, before straightening her dress.
    • Something exploded behind the easel. “MISS URSWICK! Would you please.. STAY. STILL.” “Oops, sorry..”
    • “What is all this commotion I hear?” said a cold voice from the doorway, as Lady Rosalind entered the room. “Nothing Grandmother.” said Cecily very quietly, as still as she dared be. “Good, and I expect nothing to continue happening. Henry, I need a word with you.” Rosalind said briskly. “I regret that I really must be getting on Mother. There is a new associate starting today, and it is only proper that Cecily and I go to greet him.” Henry gabbled quickly, and grabbing Cecily‟s arm led her out the door. ----
    • “Hello? I say, hello? Is anybody THERE?!”
    • *tee hee hee* *giggle giggle guffaw*
    • “HELLO?! I was told to be here at nine „o clock this morning, but no one has been here all day! You must be somewhere – hello!”
    • “BWAHAHAHAHAAA!” “What is so amusing gentlemen?” smiled Henry as he and his daughter entered the workrooms. “The new fellow arrived this morning, and we‟ve just left him all alone with all his possessions, teeeheee!”
    • “You did WHAT!?” bellowed Cecily, “That is hardly hospitable or very fitting of you gentlemen. I am surprised at you!” “Oh but cricket, we always give new staff a little teasing at the beginning!” said Henry, rubbing his hands together in glee. “Well I think it is simple horrid! I am going to sort this out at once.” and into the room she stormed, not noticing Wallace growling “spoilsport..” behind her.
    • “Hello? I-I an hear someone! Is somebody there?” asked the nervous man. “Yes, I am here.”
    • “My name is Cecily Urswick, and my father and his friends decided to be rotten to you for which I can only apologise.” “Oh, I see.” said the man, and struggled a little under the weight of his boxes. “My name is Donald Trumpington, and I er, oh my!” “Here, let me help you with those.” Cecily smiled kindly, and started to lift Donald‟s things onto the floor.
    • “Oh my, what a relief! Thank you very much Miss, Urswick was it?” “Yes, that is correct Mr. Trumpington.” “Oh please, just call me Donald. I know it is most unorthodox, but please. It has always seemed so wrong to be called by my father‟s name!”
    • “Okay then.. Donald.” Cecily smiled. “After all, I am rather a fan on the unorthodox.” “Well you would be if you frequent a place like this! You are the daughter of Doctor Urswick I gather? I am most looking forward to meeting him, I am sure he will be a pleasure to work alongside.” “Oh he is magnificent! You must meet him at once!”
    • “Papa! PAPA!” she called, “Stop playing silly beggars and come here! You must meet Donald!” Donald tried desperately to straighten his shirt as the renown scientist entered the room.
    • “Doctor Urswick ,it is a pleasure to meet you – my name is Donald Trumpington, and I shall be working at Montague House as the resident palaeontologist. I cannot thank you enough for this opportunity.” “Do not thank me young man, it was Alfie who accepted you.” “Alfie?” “Ah yes, the man who left you here while he hid outside the door with our colleague. I think my Cecil here had the right idea, it was not very appropriate behaviour for your first day. Gentlemen!” he called.
    • “Now apologise.” Cecily commanded sternly as the two men traipsed in. “Sorry..” “‟pologies..” they mumbled. “Well then Donald!” smiled Henry and he held out his hand. “Welcome to the family!” ----
    • A few months after Donald‟s arrival, a rather strange specimen was sent to the scientists. It had been unearthed in an African cave after one of the British Museum‟s zoologists had insisted on chasing a gazelle in there while wearing a copper lion mask. He had run smack bang into the block, which the field team deemed an interesting enough reason to send it back to Montague House. “Well I have no idea what in the world this could be.” concluded Wallace after several hours staring at the block in the middle of their workroom. “Neither do I..” sighed Wynston, scratching his head with a branch. “Henry.” “Not a bean of an idea. It‟s just a big lump of rock as far as I can see.”
    • A cough from the other side of the room broke their thoughts. “Ahem. If you‟ll excuse me gentlemen, I believe that is because you are not looking at this specimen in the right way. I do believe I can be of some assistance.” said Donald, and approached the stone.
    • “Oh yes of course! What an idea!” said Wynston excitedly, as Donald ran his gaze over the find. “Why this is your field of expertises, is it not?” said Henry, while Wallace merely tapped his foot and waited for the young scientist to come to a conclusion. He did not have to wait long.
    • “Why look here gentlemen, this part of the stone appears to be formed of a material quite different to the rest.” Donald exclaimed, and indicated to a darker section of the rock. “I believe there may be something embedded here.”
    • “I do believe you are quite correct young man.” Wynston clapped with glee. “We should begin excavation at once!” “Do not be too hasty,” said Donald, “we do not know what it may be. May I suggest that we run a battery of preliminary beforehand?” “Do not be ridiculous man!” snapped Wallace, “I am bored enough of standing around as it is. Let us go and fetch equipment men.” The three older men happily skipped out of the room, leaving a rather aghast Donald behind. Sighing, he returned to his examinations.
    • “It was most intelligent of you to see what the others could not in that stone, Donald.” Cecily beamed later, once her father and the other two began fruitlessly whacking the specimen with spades. For a reply, Donald could only muster a rather noncommittal “Mmm..”
    • “Are you not proud then?” she asked. “I am just worried at the haste with which they wish to dismantle the stone. I do not know much about Africa‟s history and traditions and would like to learn such before we open it up.” “Well that sounds sensible!”
    • “Yes, I just wish they saw it that way.” he sighed, and stood up. “This is such a beautiful place Cecily, but they all just rush through it day by day without taking time to appreciate their surroundings and head straight for the answers.” “But answers are good!” said Cecily, as she joined him.
    • “Yes I know. I just wish we could all think about this some more first. But no matter, it is rather thrilling to have them all so interested in my work for once.” he finished with a grin. “Oh COURSE it is interesting Donald! And you have such a lovely look in your eye when you speak of it, it is most wonderful. I know I can speak for Papa as well, but we are ever so glad that you came to work here.” “Really? That‟s wonderful to hear Miss. Urswick! I.. I have so far enjoyed my time here greatly. And not just for the work I have been able to carry out.”
    • “It has been a most pleasant surprise to be able to converse with you so often, Miss Urswick, and to see such an inquisitive and intelligent woman such as yourself out so often in society. It is a pleasure to look upon your face so many of these days.”
    • “What do you mean by ‘out in society’ exactly, Donald? I am free to do as I wish, and my father is quite content with my decision to continue my studies here with him!” “But I-” “But you thought it would be entertaining to sound like my elderly Grandmother today? Oh come now Donald, I thought you were open to the „unorthodox‟ effort we have here. If there was anything incorrect about my presence here, it would be up to my Father to decide – not you.”
    • “Please Miss Urswick, that is not what I meant!” Donald said hastily, “It was just an error of speech, and I know your father is most proud of you.” “He is?” “Yes, he is, and speaks so highly of you even when you are at home. But please forgive me, I only meant to remark on how much I enjoy your company Cecily.” “Oh so it is Cecily now, is it?” “Miss Urswick, I meant Miss Urswick!”
    • “Well I think it is best that you try to figure out exactly what it is you mean. Good day, Mister Trumpington.” It was a rather ruffled Cecily who strode out of Montague that afternoon, and a still particularly flustered one who shattered her tea cup over supper. ----
    • Over the next few moths, the team worked tirelessly to try and unearth the hidden treasures within the stone.
    • Henry had been able to persuade Wallace and Wynston to let Donald carry out a few sample tests as the boy‟s charming manner had quite won the three of them over. The scientists has in fact taken to calling him „Pleasant Donald‟.
    • But alas the result appeared to be inconclusive, and Donald was forced to accept that he had no prior experience of the substances they were working with and that the best course of action would be to excavate at once.
    • Years passed, and progress was slow. The four men tried any and all methods they could think of the remove the surround rock from the buried object, with varying degrees of success. Donald took a methodical and painstaking approach.
    • Henry a rather more forthcoming one.
    • No one quite knew what to make of Wynston‟s attempt.
    • And Wallace? Well.. Again, they chose not to ask. ----
    • “Cecily? Oh little cricket, there you are!” “Hello Father.” “It is the third of the month Ceci, and you have missed yet another shipment from the New World! That was always your favourite when you were younger.” “Yes Father, when I was younger.”
    • “Do you mind if I join you, Ceci?” “Of course not Father.” “Are you quite alright my dear? You do not seem chirpy yourself at all, and you barely visit Montague anymore.” Henry put on his happiest smile as he sat down opposite his daughter - but truth be told he was very worried. Ever since Lady Rosalind had died Cecily had barely left the house, and he had been furiously busy with the stone.
    • Full of guilt, he moved his first piece. “I know things must have been hard since your Grandmother died Ceci, but we all miss you at Montague. I feel terrible about how much time I have spent there away from you, but you always used to be so keen to come with me..” he trailed off. “Oh Papa, I know. And I still am! But Grandmother was so weak towards the end and even though she was a bit of an old bat, sorry Papa, I wanted to make her happy if I could. So I took up any and all heir duties she asked of me. I couldn‟t bear to see her suffer.” “That is because you are a good person, my daughter, and you have done spectacularly. But she is gone now, and you do not have to remain here alone if you do not wish to.”
    • “Donald has been asking after you also. You know that he wishes to court you Ceci?” She looked at the floor. “And I would be happy to give him my permission if that is what you wanted. You two have always gotten along so well, and he would be a fine match for you. I do not like to think of you alone.” “But I am not alone Papa! I shall always have you, will I not?” Henry smiled. “Yes my little cricket, but surely the thought of marriage must have crossed your mind. I know my life has been made more than a thousand times better for having your Mother and you in it.”
    • “I know Papa, and I would dearly one day love to have a family of my own and show them the wonders that you have shown me.” She said sincerely. “And you are quite correct Donald, er, Mister Trumpington, is a wonderful gentleman. He is genuine, kind, and interested in me for myself and not just full of empty words like other men. But Papa – I do not think he is the one for me. It does not feel.. correct. He is my friend Papa, and I do not believe he can be anything more.” “If that is how you feel then no more can be said on the matter, cricket. I shall tell Donald I am not willing to let him proceed with his intentions at once. But I do hope one day the right gentleman should find you, and you he, for you are not meant to be alone my dear Ceci.” Henry smiled.
    • “And neither am I for that matter!” he added. “When you regain your strength Ceci, I would be honoured if you would join me once again in our secret place.” “I never lost my strength Papa, but after a while all that dust made your work rooms unbearable! And all that banging and scraping.. It was rather worse than having to listen to Grandmother all day. Besides, you never seemed to make any process.” “Then my daughter, I have a surprise for you.” ----
    • Before Cecily had even set both feet in her father‟s workroom, she let out a gasp. She had been unable to stand the seeming fruitlessness of her friends‟ task; sure it would end in dust, dust and yet more dust. But before her stood something she had not in the least been expecting.
    • Gone was the large chunk of grey stone, now leaving the complete emergent behind. The remaining substance was darker than the previous and as much as she wanted to avoid it there was no doubt. The shape was distinctly human.
    • “Impressive is it not?” grinned Donald as she approached. “It may have taken us years but there is no doubt it is a rare find.” “Oh absolutely.” Agreed Wallace earnestly and smiled at the young man. “I never had any doubt about its value.” Wynston simply rolled his eyes from the corner of the room.
    • “What do you think it could be?” Cecily asked nervously as she stood next to her friend. “Do you know, I have no idea. I am awaiting a letter from Cambridge confirming the visit of a professor with more experience in this area than I.” “What is your opinion, Papa?”
    • “Ceci, I am no wiser than young Pleasant Donald here, but as far as I can tell it appears to be some form of statue. Though why it was encased in rock I do not know.. Perhaps it was sacred in some way, an image of their God or suchlike. But isn‟t it amazing, cricket?”
    • Cecily approached the object and looked hard at it. “Come on Miss Urswick, give it a touch!” laughed Wallace at her hesitance. “No thank you Mister Wallace, to be honest.. I do not like the look of this thing, not one bit. It makes me feel most peculiar.” “Well let us hope that the press does not feel the same way.” Henry said happily. “The Times has heard news of our discovery and wishes to speak to us in the morning!”
    • “Oh Papa, what news!” she exclaimed, and wheeled round in delight. Unfortunately she had failed to notice that Donald has come to stand by her side, and smacked him in the face.
    • “Oh Donald, I am truly sorry! I did not hear you approach..” “It is quite alright Miss Urswick. It was silly of me to place my nose ..so precariously.” “Oow but look, you are bleeding and it has gone everywhere. Please, take my handkerchief.”
    • “Thank you Miss Urswick. Oh Alfie, do stop laughing!”
    • “Are you in pain, Donald?” “Ceci, leave the lad alone. I know you merely wish to help but I‟m sure he is quite fine.”
    • “Yes, please do not trouble yourself Miss Urswick, I would not wish to bleed all over your beautiful gown. In fact-“ The young man was cut off by a sudden scream.
    • In a flash the creature dropped the lifeless body to the ground, and set his eyes around the room. He was awake, and he was hungry.
    • He did not have to look far, as a deep silence filled the room, all eyes fixed upon Wynston‟s body. All eyes except one pair. “No.. Please no.. What to you want from us? I can help! I can-“
    • Cecily found herself covering her eyes, and her body shook as the sound of screams filled the air. It took her a good few minutes to realise that the loudest were her own.
    • It did not take the creature so long. Although his movements were appearing more human at each moment while his skin lightened, the newly acquired blood filling his veins; he was still not sated. A low hiss echoed from his long dormant throat as his eyes fixed on the three figures in the doorway.
    • “Ceci, you must run!” her father whispered as loudly as he dared, shielding his daughter behind him. “This is no place for you – you must keep yourself safe!” “Nor is it a place for you Sir.” shouted Donald, a look of anger in his eyes. “I will not have this beast harm either you or Cecily, never on my watch! Take her Sir, and save yourselves.”
    • Before they could stop him, the young man ran bellowing towards the creature, fists raised and eyes wide.
    • He barely lasted twenty seconds.
    • Quickly turning to his frozen daughter, Henry shook her. “Promise me Ceci, promise me you will always look after yourself.” He spoke quickly. “You WILL have a good life cricket, you will. But now you must leave me and flee at once, run and run until you reach the house and do not look back.” “I-I..” “You must my darling. It is time for me to leave you, but I love you more than this Earth and one day we shall see each other again.” “Papa..” “Cecily..” he whispered, his eyes brimming with sadness.
    • And slammed the door shut before her.
    • “Come on then!” he shouted once the door was locked. “If this is the way things must be then I shall do my duty, and protect my daughter while I still can. This is not meant to be her fate, do you hear?”
    • Henry Urswick took a deep breath and lowered his voice. “So it is time. Miriam – may you have prepared a place in paradise for me.”
    • The noises from the workroom chilled Cecily to the bone. She knew she was to run, she knew she must, every instinct was screaming at her! But she could not move. Not even blink while the echoes reverberated around the walls of the corridor.
    • It was not until the silence fell that she regained the use of her body.
    • “Oh my pretty.. I know you are out here, my pretty!”
    • “I can hear you running..” Panting, Cecily raced down the corridor. While the dead eyes of hundreds of birds above watched her sprint, she did all that she could to block out the deafening silence filling the halls. Part of her longed for the screaming to start again.
    • She turned the corner as quickly as she could – but the heavy footsteps behind her told her that the creature was not far behind. His crimson eyes scanned the corridor, and he sniffed the air. Grinning, he continued onward.
    • Gasping for breath, Cecily ducked down behind the skeleton of the monster. She knew she could not linger, but the burning in her lungs forced her to snatch gulps of air. “Such pretty, pretty breaths.. But do not worry love, that shall not be a problem for long..” The voice echoed along the walls, and Cecily once more got to her feet.
    • And just in time! For no sooner than she taken more that two steps forward, the creature appeared in her hiding spot. A shriek escaped her as she turned to look behind her, and immediately wished she hadn‟t. “There‟s no need to run pretty! I just want to taste you..” Cecily decided this was more than enough reason to keep running.
    • Shaking his head, the creature slowly followed after her. There was no need to hurry – she could not out run him. But he was tired, and had had enough of this needless game.
    • “No..” She felt a cold hand on her shoulder, and Cecily knew it was pointless to keep trying. She had failed her Papa. So quickly! Gulping, she turned to face the creature.
    • “Now that is better.” he drawled. “See? It is much better to show your pretty face than turn and hide it. It is such a lovely face.. You know, my dear? I believe it would be a waste not to keep such a face with me forever..”
    • Although he had let her go, Cecil found herself unable to move from her stance. Her feet were no longer willing, but her mind was. Amongst her pleading and whispers to stop, the creature merely hushed her. “It is almost over, my sweet. It is over for you now. You shall belong to me.”
    • “Forever.”
    • The deed done, the creature backed away to revel in his handiwork. A strange sensation passed through her body, and the young woman began to rise steadily off of the ground. A light filled the room, and she raised her eyes to the heavens, praying that the end was near.
    • With one last gasp, Cecily Urswick took her final breath. ----
    • 1825, Winter
    • “How was your evening, my beautiful?” The ancient vampire known as Mister Bayes strode through the door of the upper level of the townhouse he “rented”, late one December evening. The hunched figure in the corner did not stir.
    • “Well mine was wonderful, thank you for asking.” Still nothing. “You are going to have to leave this room sometimes you know my darling, you need to feed.”
    • Tears fell down Cecily‟s face at the thought. She had only been a vampire for a few weeks, yet she was already horrified by the lifestyle that Bayes led. Although not the definitive food source for the un-dead, human blood was the only acceptable taste for Bayes and as he told her, for all vampires roaming Britain and the new world. She must join him in drinking.
    • “Come Cecily, let us take you hunting. It hurts my heart to see your beauty wither so..” the vampire said softly. But silently she shook her head, and returned her dull red eyes to the floor.
    • “So be it!” bellowed Bayes. “Then you shall starve. This is what you are now Miss Urswick, so you had better get used to the taste of blood upon your lips! Because God only knows you will never feel anything else again.”
    • Muttering Bayes turned, and strode out of the room. Although Cecily could barely hear out of her stupor, she was sure she could hear something about “forced” and “temptation” but she did not care. All that filled her head were the pictures of her last night at Montague House.
    • And indeed few hours later, Bayes did returned to Cecily‟s room. And this time not alone, he had brought with him a terrified looking young girl. “Cecily, you must eat.” He said calmly. “Please. Do not prove me as making a mistake by turning you. Come, you are to be by my side for all eternity and I will not have you fainting during it. Now eat and sustain your beauty.”
    • Bayes‟ hard eyes drilled into Cecily, and she glanced quickly up take in the scene by the doorway. The strong vampire was now silent, but the girl has fallen to her knees in the hopes of pleading with her captors. Cecily did not like to think of herself in such a way, but that is what she was. That girl had been brought here, by who knows what means, to satisfy the ever growing thirst inside of Cecily‟s new body.
    • Cecily could see the fear in the girl‟s eyes, and it was not hard to tear herself away from it to look at Bayes. The vampire‟s eyes were filled with some emotion Cecily could not place, but she did know one thing. She was hungry. And the girl smelled like food.
    • Slowly, and with a reluctance more heavy than her heart had ever known, Cecily Urswick picked herself up and across the room.
    • Bending down, she leaned into the girl. “I am truly sorry.” the vampire whispered. ----
    • 1842, Spring
    • “Aldous! Oh Aldous, look here!” Cecily was squeaking excitedly at an article in The Times that she had been pouring over for the last five minutes. Although the years had been hard, she was more able to cope with her new life and found some of her old vigour returning. But she would not let go of her papers, claiming she used them to pick out victims for Bayes. She would never tell him the real reason she held the words to close to her heart. The words of a human. But she waved the paper frantically in an attempt to gain Bayes‟s attention.
    • “It is some yet another crackpot theory about the East-end disappearances?” he asked with a sigh. “You know I tire of your interest in the matter, Cecily. It does not concern you.”
    • “No! They have finally named the monster, Aldous!” she gasped excitedly. “The what?” Bayes‟s head snapped up. “The monster at Montague House, that I was always wondering about. No, it is that young Doctor Owen – he has called is a dinosaur! That is simply fantastic is it not? Dinosaur.. What a word, Aldous!”
    • Bayes relaxed. So they were not on to his scheme in the East. That was most pleasing, for he had big plans for his work there. Plans that did not involve Cecily, or more importantly, the Metropolitan Police. Returning his book to the shelf, he smiled slyly to himself.
    • “May we go and see it?” she asked eagerly. “See what, dear?” “The dinosaur of course! Oh, do you not ever listen?” “Cecily. We have spoken of this more than a hundred times. It is not safe for me to permit you leave to visit the city. You know this.” “But it is unfair! I want to see this dinosaur.”
    • “And I want you to remain safe. Cecily, you know full well that you would be killed upon sight out there. The humans are nothing but animals bent on destroying us out of fear.” “But I have done nothing to cause them to fear me!” she protested. “And what about all those young men and women whose blood you have drained to sustain yourself? The children we have slaughtered to keep us sated.” “But.. We did not have to.” she whispered in a small voice.
    • “Oh, but we did my sweet. They are but animals placed on this Earth to provide us gifted few with a never ending source of life. They are vermin, and they detest you for their own mortality and are vengeful. You, my dear, are above all that now. They are fit for nothing but consumption in comparison.” Silenced, Cecily let Bayes idly stroke her hair. Hiding her eyes, she prayed that she could one day be forgiven. ----
    • And so it was, for many years. Trapped between a world she longed for and one where she existed, Cecily was not able to live in peace. The faces of those she had lost, and the lives she was forced to continue to take haunted her dreams – and dreams do not come easy to the dead. Bayes was an ancient vampire, and deeply believed in the life force of human blood. He would not be reasoned with, and Cecily soon felt her humanity start to slip away with each murder he held her to. Which was more than she ever would have liked.
    • One was too many. But this was the life she now led, and even the strongest cannot always see a way out of such a situation. She could not run, for Bayes had instilled in her a deep fear of life outside the four walls of her room. And she could not challenge him, for she had no doubt that he would destroy her. For although she despised what she had become, Cecily was not ready for that. The oblivion beyond frightened her more than life ever could.
    • And would you believe me, if I were to tell you that this was the happy part of our tale? ----