Steampunk Family
This entry is part of a series, Voyage to Antafrica»
Yeti Compassion by iAes

Yeti Compassion by iAes

The twins studied the contents of their pockets. They had, together, 2 observation books, 3 pencil stubs, some bits of string in a tangle, a stub of chalk, 2 etched brass decoder rings, 2 compasses, 4 springs, a small hammer, 6 cut nails, 2 handkerchiefs, a cricket cage (without cricket), 7 small spanners in varying sizes, a napkin full of cookies, an apple, 2 whistles, a screwdriver, 6 ounces or so of copper scraps, a small flask of the boiler chief’s special distilled engine cleaner, tweezers, and a tin box full of cheeses.  They pawed through the pile without enthusiasm.

Mirabelle nudged her brother. “Do you have a comb?” He looked at her as though she should be wearing a straight jacket, but pulled a comb out of his pocket and handed it to her. She slowly approached the beast, making a soft soothing shh shh shh noise, such as she believed lion tamers used in the circus.

She stood directly before it, but still the yeti did not move. She raised her hand, and touched the creature’s leg with the comb. Annabelle was some feet behind her, positioned where the yeti’s body would block the Count’s view of her. She picked up the boiler crew’s heaviest spanner, and stood alert, covering her twin.

Mirabelle combed the yeti.

It did not move.

Mirabelle reached the comb as high as she could, standing on her tiptoes, and combed the yeti again.

It did not move.

“Are you insane?” Gerhardt hissed. “Even if it doesn’t rip you apart, you can’t reach its head!”

“You’re right,” she answered. “Let me stand on your shoulders.”

Her brother goggled, turning a bit purple.

“And don’t make any sudden moves, if you don’t want to get ripped apart.”

“We don’t even know what will happen!”

“There’s only one way to find out,” Annabelle whispered. “I can try beaning him with this spanner, but I don’t think it’ll do more than distract him.”

“That doesn’t make me feel any better!” Gerhardt asserted.

“Bettina go up!” said the youngest vonHedwig.

“There you go, Faintheart,” Mirabelle said, “The baby’s not as scared as you.”

“Either she doesn’t know any better, or she’s as crazy as you!”

Nevertheless, he helped his sister on to his shoulders. He took a stumbling towards the beast, and they wavered, Mirabelle’s arms windmilling. The creature growled. Gerhardt bent his knees, sinking into a steady stance, and Mirabelle regained her balance. She made the soothing noise again, holding up the comb for the yeti’s inspection. Gerhardt slid a foot forward, advancing with the greatest care.

Mirabelle found herself face to face with the yeti. She hoped the Count was not looking, but could not spare a glance to find out. The yeti did not meet her gaze, although she was inches from him. Or her. It’s face had brown, leathery skin, with long red-brown hair sprouting all around it, but not on it. The eyes that would not meet hers were deep brown, almond shaped, and heavily lidded. Its nose had prominent nostrils, and with its mouth, protruded in a short snout.

She held her breath, and slowly reached out with Gerhardt’s comb. “There, there, Bear-Monkey Man, let me help you with that nasty moss.” She breathed the words out, and touched the yeti’s shoulder with the comb. It didn’t react, so she moved up to its neck. This close, she could distinguish the moss from the fur, even though their coloration was the same. The comb caught at the moss, and Mirabelle pulled gently.


Claire was so absorbed in her invention, that she did not spare a glance for the risky business unfolding not 5 feet away. She had found a broken chair leg to be an adequate lever, and had pounced on her sisters’ tangle of string. Using a bag of ball bearings as a counter weight and lashing the lever to a fulcrum point made from a cam shaft and the back of the broken chair, she fashioned a small trebuchet. Madly calculating angles and trajectories, she loaded the device with the biggest chunk of metal she could find, and aimed it at the yeti’s head, only to find Mirabelle’s head there instead!


This story began in On Grandmothers. The previous episode is A Clue and the next is Fighting the Count.
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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