Steampunk Family


October 14, 2011
This entry is part of a series, Voyage to Antafrica»

Rhodri gasped and scrambled to his feet and into the fountain, putting the bench between himself and Adolphus.

“Adolphus! Apologize.” Claire’s voice was firm, but her eyes imploring.

“No. I’ve said what I need to say to him.” Adolphus closed his mouth and drew a slow line across it with a finger, staring at Rhodri.

“Rhodri, I’m sure this is just a misunderstanding-”

“I understand perfectly that your little brother is a violent beast, that he’s colluding with the kitchen staff to promote a scandalous and untrue revision of history, and that the Aubergine has been filling your heads with lies!”

“That’s not true!” Adolphus was red in the face. “She hasn’t told us anything! I just uncovered the carvings, I’ve never seen them before and… and don’t know what they mean. And Bettina’s just a baby. You can’t be so low that you’d rat out a baby, can you?”

“I don’t know what you mean,” Rhodri said. “The Queen must be told about the carvings, because…so, so they can be corrected. You can’t leave lies like that just lying around.”

Claire studied the pillar. “But they weren’t lying around, were they? If we uncovered them, we can cover them back up. Surely the kitchen staff packed the mud on so that no one would see the carvings, don’t you think so, Rhodri?”

“Well, I have no idea, Claire. But I must insist that you do something about your violent little brother!” Rhodri sneered each time he said ‘little brother’, and Adolphus ground his teeth. He could not look at Claire or Rhodri, but kept his eye on Bettina, who was swishing her stick back and forth and glaring at Rhodri from behind his back.

Claire considered her sullen siblings. “Adolphus, perhaps you could go to the kitchens and tell them that the fountain has been uncovered. Quite by accident, of course.”

She directed a smile at Rhodri. “But I’m sure they will want to repair the damage we’ve done. I’ll take Bettina back to the palace and clean her up.” She grabbed her sister’s hand and started away. “Are you coming, Rhodri?”

Rhodri looked from Claire to the fountain to Adolphus and back to Claire. “Only if you hold your sister’s stick.” Claire held out a firm hand, and Bettina reluctantly gave her the offending implement.

Adolphus trudged toward the kitchens alone, boots full of water and heart full of regret.
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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