Transport on WIP Wednesday

Boat, carriage, horse, train, rocketship or shanks pony, our characters need to get around. In today’s WIP Wednesday, I’d love to see your excerpts about travel. Mine is from Forged in Fire, my Bluestocking Belles’ box set story for 2017. My characters are tourists in New Zealand’s Rotorua in 1886.

Lottie was pleased to be on the road again. The morning had been a trial with Myrtle determined to exact vengeance for Lottie’s avoidance of her trap. She might calm down a bit now they were once more with the rest of the party, since Mr. Farthingale was avoiding Lottie’s gaze and speaking to her as seldom as politeness allowed, though a gleam in Mr. Farthingale’s eye suggested she should be careful not to let him catch her alone.

The Pritchard family normally took one carriage, while Mr. Farthingale joined Myrtle’s party in the other. How could Lottie avoid the horrid man? Fortunately, her interests and Myrtle’s aligned, and when Myrtle suggested that the two Misses Pritchard might like to join her carriage to discuss London fashions ‘to while away another boring bush trip’, Lottie eagerly seconded her, but lowered her lids to veil her eyes when Mr. Berry climbed up to take the seat opposite her. If Myrtle caught a hint of how Mr. Berry affected her, Lottie would never hear the end of it.

The road wound around the shores of the lake, and then struck up into the hills. They would spend two nights at Te Wairoa, since the trip to the famed terraces of Rotomohana would consume the day in between.

Mr. Berry was distant today, too, but he smiled when he caught her looking at him, so she acquitted him of prejudice and just wondered what had him out of sorts. No. Sad. Something had happened to distress him, though he hid it well.

She left him to his brooding and Myrtle and the young ladies to their discussion, all but pressing her nose to the window. Boring? By no means. Lottie could not see enough of the ever-changing textures and the unending variety of greens in the passing scenery.

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5 thoughts on “Transport on WIP Wednesday

  1. Here’s a bit from my WIP. Elizabeth and Mrs. Burgess are seeing a professor of botany out of town when they encounter Mr. Broward. The reasons for a well-off gentleman having to hire a post-chaise will form the central action of the novel.

    The sound of footsteps approaching from behind made us both turn to find Mr. John Broward, a portly gentleman with a large estate near Leighton, approaching us. He seemed quite in a hurry, his face flushed from exertion. It was a surprise to see such a proper gentleman afoot, and intent on hiring a carriage.

    “Is this where I may hire the post-chaise? I must make my way to Exeter as quick as can be.” Remembering his manners, he hastily tipped his hat. “Miss Collington, Mrs. Burgess.”

    I confirmed that he was in the right place, wondering to myself why he had not used his own carriage; perhaps it had broken down. Just then Professor Townsend emerged with the ostler, who was exclaiming, “It’s just that we’ve been damnably busy—” Then, catching sight of us, “Oh, begging your pardon, ladies—Miss Collington.” His eyes gave a twitch as he saw me, and I wondered what that could be about. “As I was saying, Bob should be back with the chaise by now. I’d suggest you take your ease in the inn but he could arrive at any moment. We’ll have the horses changed in a trice, and then off you’ll go.”

    “I must get to Exeter as quick as may be,” Mr. Broward said, stepping forward. Clearly, he was not used to hiring carriages.

    “You’re in luck then, as this gentleman,” said the ostler, nodding his head to Professor Townsend, “is headed that way, and you can share the chaise.”

    Just then we heard the sound of hooves and clattering wheels in the distance, and soon the post-chaise pulled up, the young Bob riding postillion on the left-hand horse. I was just turning to take our final leave of Professor Townsend when the chaise door opened and a figure in uniform emerged.

    I quickly forgot all courtesy and stood staring at the gentleman thus revealed: my brother, Jamie.

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