Imprudence | Chapter 13 of 28 - Part: 1 of 10

Author: Gail Carriger | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 8326 Views | Add a Review

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Egypt was stunning from the air – different from both England and India. With The Spotted Custard’s propeller running and a stiff southbound breeze, they made good time over the Nile Delta, a vast triangle of lushness. One long curved side nested against the variegated blue of the Mediterranean, with two shorter lengths stretching south, coming to a point where the Nile began her more solitary run. Egypt was greener than Rue expected, although the outside of the Delta was a seemingly endless expanse of inhospitable tan desert.

Lady Maccon stood on the forecastle, looking west at the long spear of Alexandria cutting into the green with white marbled humanity.

“It looks different from above.” She made room for her daughter to stand beside her.

“We didn’t approach by air when we visited last?”

“Sea. There weren’t transcontinental dirigibles when I was your age. At least, not very good ones. You don’t remember?”

“I was very young, Mother.”

“Barely speaking. You had but one word to say to most things.”

“I did? What word was that?”


Rue grinned. She had likely driven her mother to despair. “I was a difficult child?”

“Very. Still are.”

“Thank you, Mother. I can always trust you to be frank with me.”

“Don’t be maudlin, infant. It doesn’t suit.”

“You mean it doesn’t suit you.” Lady Maccon had ever avoided sentimental talk. It made her uncomfortable at the best of times and irritable the rest of the time. “Feelings,” Mother was prone to saying, “are meant to be felt and not discussed.”

Lady Maccon changed the subject. “Should we awaken your father?”

“After we’ve gone to ground, I think.” Rue twirled her parasol. It was burgundy with a thick fringe and a tassel. She thought it rather natty, more because it matched her cutwork leather bicycle boots than anything else. She also enjoyed the way the fringe moved. She’d chosen her dress with its white vest over a puff-sleeved shirtwaist and burgundy striped skirt because it matched the boots and not, as might ordinarily be the case, the other way around.

Rue explained. Her mother liked explanations. “It’ll be several hours yet until we’re able to de-puff over Cairo. Why wake him only to suffer a dodgy tummy?”

“As long as we do wake him during daylight. It’s full moon tonight.”

“Is it? I’d lost track. Best keep him tanked until tomorrow morning, then. Sorry, Mother, I know you miss him. But we have Miss Sekhmet to control already.”

Lady Maccon raised her eyebrows. “Actually, I’m rather enjoying the peace and quiet.”

Rue made a condescending noise, not fooled in the slightest.

Lady Maccon gave one of her wide smiles. “Very well, I have missed him. He leaves a large hole when he isn’t around. Being a large sort of beastie, I suppose that’s only to be expected.”

Rue resumed enjoying the view. They were high enough up and early enough in their approach so as not to be sharing the sky with many. A few other transcontinental dirigibles de-puffed out of the grey, flashing into being above them – a mail carrier here, a private pleasure craft there.

“Full moon’s a bother. Delays matters.” Rue turned back to her duties as captain. “Spoo? Warn Miss Tunstell, would you, please? Miss Sekhmet will need confinement tonight. I’m sure Primrose has the moon on calculation, but just in case. Best not let moons creep up on a girl. Miss Tunstell hates to be surprised by celestial bodies.”

“Who doesn’t?” Spoo had been lurking nearby in the guise of coiling rope. She made no attempt to hide the fact that she was eavesdropping on aristocrats. “Will do, Lady Captain.”


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Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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