Steampunk Family

An Awkward Position

February 11, 2011
This entry is part of a series, Voyage to Antafrica»

The evening meal was a subdued affair. The children washed up afterward and went to sleep in a suspiciously clean outbuilding. Ifan had not returned to the fields. No doubt he had spent the afternoon making the building suitable for the children since Gwen no longer wanted them in the house.

They kept up this uncomfortable arrangement for several days. Ifan was polite but seldom smiled. Gwen always seemed to be looking at them, but would never meet their eyes. The children increasingly looked to the skies for signs of a rescue. Claire was heard muttering calculations. “If they could get a ship from Otto that would be eight days. If they had to go to Hong Kong…”

During this time a peddler came to the farm. He pushed a cart that was woven like a basket. He looked like Ifan, short and broad and pocked, but his skin was yellow-gold. Adolphus followed the fellow to the house, asking questions about his travels and his wares. He got few answers. Although the twins were drilling their siblings in Welsh grammar as they worked the fields all day, Adolphus had not worked very hard at it. The language barrier did not deter him from hanging about, however. Adolphus von Hedwig

“Any excuse to drop your hoe, Adolphus!” Claire glowered when he returned. “I’ve done three rows while you were gone.”

“And jolly well, too. So this fellow was a sort of tinker, knife-sharpener.”

“So?” Claire hacked at a weed. “That’s hardly surprising.”

Gerhardt was delighted to use his brother as an excuse to lean on his hoe for a few minutes. “What was he sharpening?”

“Aha, my young friend,” Adolphus grinned, “that is the primary point of interest here. He’s finished the house knives and he’s working on the carpentry tools now. All of which, you may not have noticed,” he looked around at them for effect, “are made of stone.”

Annabelle nodded. “I noticed Gwen’s knives were obsidian, like Gerhardt’s axe.”

“She only has two of them,” Mirabelle added. “I thought they just didn’t have much.”

“All the tools on his cart are stone or wood,” Adolphus said. “A tinker’s cart should be covered in metal! You should hear him clattering down the road half a mile!”

“No metal,” Gerhardt pondered.

“Come on up and see for yourselves,” he answered. “We’re supposed to bring the hoes up for sharpening next.”

Claire, who had been working diligently throughout her brother’s interruption, flicked a clod of dirt at him. “Wretched brat! You might have said!”

Adolphus dodged. “I need you girls to translate, anyway. He goes all over the place; probably has great stories. Anyway, nothing ever happens on this farm. This is as close to excitement as we’re going to get.”

Three days after the tinker’s visit, the children got much more excitement than they wanted.
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!
Powered by Hackadelic Sliding Notes 1.6.5

Comments are closed.

Next Post