Steampunk Family

The Sorrows of Chef

September 21, 2009
This entry is part of a series, Voyage to Antafrica»

The Twins vs ChefChef’s eyes bulged at the sight of this sudden Annabelle. He never wanted to see any of the children in his kitchen; it was a nasty shock to wake up from a pleasantly saucy dream with one of the worst of them practically in his lap.

“Qu’est-ce que vous faites ici, ma p’tite gamine affreuse?”

“Je suis en train d’exécuter une mission, pour Madame.”

“Speak en Anglais – your French it is of the worst!”

“D’accord, Monsieur, mais c’est meillure que l’anglais lequel vous parlez.”

Chef only growled, so Annabelle pushed on, edging her way toward the sink, away from her sister. “Mother would like to know if you still have sufficient potatoes for Bettina’s mash. How many days before we need more?”

Chef clutched at what little remained of his hair.

“Hélas,‘las! Pourquoi est-ce que j’ai assumé cette fonction-ci? Autrefois, j’aurais pu être chef de la Tour d’Argent elle-même!!”

“No doubt you wanted to see the world, and make its most intelligent children happy with delicious desserts.”

This was too much for Chef. Up he sprang, mustaches bristling. Annabelle jumped back and brandished the small saucepan. Chef stopped, as quick as he had started, staring at the pan, and then at the still swinging hook whence it came. Mirabelle, crouching behind the pastry table, listened to the awful silence.

Annabelle slammed the pan down on the stove. “This fell down,” she said, “and I caught it.”

“Attention! Veuillez prendr’un peu d’soin avec ma marmite!”

Mirabelle leapt up from her hiding place, scrambled up the front of the larder shelves, and grabbed the marshmallow tin, as Chef cradled his little copper pan.

“Potatoes!” said Annabelle.

“Get out of my kitchen, get out get out!”

Annabelle balled up her fists and put them on her hips, as Mirabelle crept behind Chef, into the dumb waiter. “Potatoes?” she said.

Chef ran a weary hand over where his hair used to be.

“Anozher 3 weeks, if I do not use them for anyzhing else!”

“Merci, Chef,” Annabelle smiled, and curtsied, and left the galley.

She found her sister in the great room. “Ga ‘s illiank!” she said, through a mouth full of marshmallow.

“You were brilliant, too!” Annabelle helped herself to the tin, and they went to find their brother.

After that they spent and hour testing the new weapon with Gerhardt, trying to propel marshmallows into each other’s mouths at increasing distance, then trying to hit the mountainside from the garden. On top of the ship, watching a marshmallow arc infinitely through the Himalayan twilight to become one with the snow and rock below, Mirabelle remembered.

“We should be looking for it!” she chided her sister.

“I entirely forgot,” Annabelle admitted, joining her at the rail.

“You’ll never find a marshmallow from here!” said Gerhardt.

“We’re not looking for marshmallows!”

“Then what?”

The girls’ eyes met for the briefest of moments. “Never you mind, is what,” Annabelle said.

“We’ll tell you when we find it,” added Mirabelle, “if you finish the crossbows you owe us.”

“You two and your secrets!” Gerhardt pelted them with the remaining marshmallows and went back to his room to work.

This story began with On Grandmothers. The last episode was Assault on the Galley, and the next is Faeries, Helpful Siblings, and Other Mythological Creatures.

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Entries in this series:
  1. On Grandmothers
  2. With A Bang!
  3. In Search of Ancient Angiosperms
  4. Assault on the Galley
  5. The Sorrows of Chef
  6. Faeries, Helpful Siblings, and other Mythological Creatures
  7. Meanwhile, Back in the Lab
  8. A Day of Discovery
  9. The Children’s Hypothesis
  10. A Research Date
  11. Aboard the Schmetterling
  12. The Cave
  13. The Cage
  14. Knee of the Yeti
  15. Kidnapped!
  16. A Clue
  17. The Yeti and the Comb
  18. Fighting the Count
  19. Fighting the Yeti
  20. Falling
  21. Breadcrumbs
  22. The Search is On
  23. Flight to Saigon
  24. On the Streets of Saigon
  25. The Sad Man
  26. At the Grandiere Club Aeronautique
  27. If you Give a Count a Cookie
  28. Out of Cookies
  29. Stuck!
  30. Airships Float?
  31. Where is Claire?
  32. Drowning
  33. Into the Drink!
  34. Boat!
  35. Mushroom Trip
  36. Ambush
  37. The Variegated Strangler
  38. In a Strange Land
  39. Hand over Hand
  40. The Last of the Gouda
  41. An Unusual Breakfast
  42. Downstream
  43. What's for Dinner?
  44. Axe and Fire
  45. Meanwhile, Back at the Airship
  46. Over the Gobi
  47. Return of the Grandmothers
  48. Warning from Huang
  49. Anxious Hours
  50. Ulrik Prepares
  51. Destruction by Dawn
  52. Finding Philomena
  53. No Luck in Pekin
  54. The Children Rescue...Something
  55. Corndog Liberation
  56. The Fate of Corndogs
  57. Have you Tea?
  58. Antafrican Hosptitality
  59. Onion Porridge
  60. Homesick
  61. On the Hunt
  62. Farm Living
  63. Singing for Supper
  64. You Say Potato...
  65. Curiosity is the Foundation of Discovery
  66. An Awkward Position
  67. Trouble Comes Riding
  68. Capsicum Capture
  69. To the Palace
  70. The Death of the Lincoln
  71. War Wings
  72. A Long Way Down
  73. Enter the Lightning
  74. Before the Queen
  75. You are a Tomato!
  76. A Sunken Ship
  77. Eglantine Aubergine
  78. Children of the Soil
  79. At Night in the Nightshade Court
  80. At Night in the Nightshade Court
  81. At Night in the Nightshade Court
  82. The Price of Popcorn
  83. Ulrik and Chef
  84. Fire!
  85. Claire's Bluff
  86. Tomato Queen and Aubergine
  87. It's Going to Blow!
  88. Rhodri in the Gardens
  89. The Servant's Fountain
  90. History Revealed
  91. Fight at the Fountain
  92. Repercussions
  93. Father Discovers the Yeti
  94. Aboard the Lucy Stone
  95. Summoned
  96. The Queen's Accusation
  97. The Queen's Rage
  98. The Khan
  99. The Last War Wing
  100. Eglantine Departs
  101. Thumping Rhodri
  102. Bad News from the Boys
  103. Where's the Count?
  104. In Search of the Count
  105. Spying on the Queen
  106. Confronting the Count
  107. Orphaned?
  108. Orphaned?
  109. Montesanto's Experiments
  110. Montesanto's Experiments
  111. The Queen's Tantrum
  112. Bettina's Tantrum
  113. The Flaming Queen
  114. Uprising!
  115. Uprising!
  116. Escape
  117. On the Run
  118. The Mysterious Coach
  119. Red Racer!
  120. Revolution Reset
  121. By the Acid Sea
  122. Farewell Antafrica
  123. Home Again!
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