Welcome to my blog, and to my first WIP It Up Wednesday snippet for 2016. In case you wandered in here by accident, this is the blog hop where authors share excerpts from their works in progress. Please feel free to comment – we’re needy types and we love feedback, and it’s great to know if we’re on the right track.
This week I thought I’d share another snippet from To Have A Highwayman. That title might yet change, but at least now the story is finished.
It features Gray, a highwayman who makes a decent living out of relieving wealthy travelers of their valuables. Nothing much surprises this cynical bandit, but when he holds up a coach on a lonely road the last thing he expects to find is a woman fighting for her life inside the carriage. Will he intervene, or just help himself to anything of value and leave her to her fate?
Here’s the snippet, which picks up where I left off last week. No editing yet, so please be gentle.
“You, there is rope attached to my saddle. Bring it here and tie this one to the wheel. Do it quick, else I may change my mind and decide to lodge a lump of lead between your ribs after all.”
I am unable to see anything from within the coach, and I do not dare venture out. I listen as the coachman scurries to do the highwayman’s bidding, and Sidney unleashes a string of curses. The tirade comes to an abrupt end with the cocking of the pistol once more.
“You are beginning to grate sorely upon my nerves. I suggest you turn your attention to emptying your pockets, sir.”
“You robbing bastard. I will not. You shall hang for this, you mark my words.” Belligerent to the end, Sidney seems intent on self-destruction.
“I shall mark your more than ample jowls with a noose of my own if you do not do as I say. I’ll be having your valuables in this bag, if you please. It is of no concern to me whether that occurs whilst you are alive, or dead.”
“I have no valuables with me, no money. Nothing of worth.”
I know that to be untrue, he had intended to bribe the vicar who would marry us so must have about him at least the wherewithal for that. I leave it to the robber to ascertain the facts of the matter.
“Then you will have no objection if our friend here goes through your pockets on my behalf. Will you?”
“If you value your hide you shall not lay a hand on me, you blackguard.”
“Ah, now there we have a difference of opinion, fine sir. And since it is I who hold the pistol and you who snivel on the ground like the coward you appear to be, I have little doubt how this dispute of ours will end.”
“You can take her.”
“I beg your pardon?”
“My wife, the slut in the carriage. Have her if you like. She should fetch a bob or two in a tavern I should wager.”
“Ah, you mean the lady you were seeking to batter to death just moments ago? She is your wife, then?”
“Aye, more or less. Allow me to leave here unmolested and she is yours to do with as you wish. That is a fair bargain, is it not?”