Read The Swashbuckling Yarn of Milady Vixen Online

Authors: Christopher Newman

Tags: #sea fox. Eternal Press, #vixen, #humor, #Storyteller, #romance, #Newman, #adventure, #historical, #Violet, #erotica, #pirate, #vengeance

The Swashbuckling Yarn of Milady Vixen

BOOK: The Swashbuckling Yarn of Milady Vixen
2.29Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

The Swashbuckling Yarn of Milady Vixen

Book Three of the Storyteller’s Series

Christopher Newman

Eternal Press
A division of Damnation Books, LLC.
P.O. Box 3931
Santa Rosa, CA 95402-9998

The Swashbuckling Yarn of Milady Vixen:

Book Three of the Storyteller’s Series
by Christopher Newman

Digital ISBN: 978-1-61572-379-9

Print ISBN: 978-1-61572-380-5

Cover art by: Amanda Kelsey
Edited by: Stephanie Parent

Copyedited by: Sherri Good

Copyright 2011 Christopher Newman

Printed in the United States of America
Worldwide Electronic & Digital Rights
1st North American and UK Print Rights

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned or distributed in any form, including digital and electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the prior written consent of the Publisher, except for brief quotes for use in reviews.
This book is a work of fiction. Characters, names, places and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

To my stepmother Jean Newman, who is in reality the spirit, heart

and soul of Milady Vixen.

This one’s for you!

Rum to My Presence for Another Story?

Ah, my young and inquisitive listener, I see you’ve come back once again. You do me much honor. I see your curiosity is once more aflame to hear the further adventures of a family I have followed for many a year. Oh, you have already summoned the barmaid! My order, you ask? No stout this time; however, I wouldn’t turn away a nice flagon of spiced rum, for it will go quite nicely with the yarn I will be spinning.

Now where were we? Oh yes. We left off when the young scamp Ludwig Osgood-Simple went from the youngest son of a duchess, to a gigolo, to a prisoner, to a monk before finally reaching his destiny as the Duke of Farthing. Along the way, you do recall he sired a youngling, yes? It is her tale I will be delighting you with tonight.

The story begins ten years into the reign of Duke Osgood-Simple…

A Kit, a Castle and an Inconvenient Demise

No port in the world is quite like Purdy-on-the-Sea. The tall alabaster cliffs ring the city on all sides but one, making it almost impossible to assault and yet a perfect harbor. Bowing out in a crescent shape, the wharf permits a dozen ships to dock, unload or take on goods and passengers without much fuss. From this unusual and unique harbor, one has to climb up the winding cobblestone road to reach the sturdy gray walls hemming in Purdy-on-the-Sea. The town is no different, once you’ve gained entrance to it, from any other metropolis. People move about the streets and thoroughfares, interacting with one another with a purpose, dignity and industry common to most places.

There is a sense of peace here mainly due to the occupants of the keep located in the center of town, where it rises above the surrounding walls with clear views in every direction. Gulls screech and wheel around its spiraling towers, crying out like winged sentries. The keep has been in the Cornwell family for generations. Beloved by the inhabitants of Purdy-on-the-Sea, they have always ruled fairly, justly and with compassion. If the harbor’s shape is unusual, the humanity shown by the clan who administers to it is even more so.

At the time I begin this tale, those walking the streets of Purdy-on-the-Sea wore concerned expressions. Their concerns were not for business, for the sea saw to their needs, bringing trade, goods and profits with every transfer of cargo. Nay, their worries were more exotic than the beasts, fruits and fabrics brought into their care from far-flung countries and providences. You see, it was well known within all of the Kingdom of Effingham that Duke Cornwell had no legitimate heir of blood blue enough to secure his legacy. Folks fretted and wrung their hands in fear that another less understanding clan might be assigned by the king to ward their fair city. Still, the duke, elderly as he was wise, did have a daughter. Yet this was scant comfort to those who looked to His Grace for protection, security and leadership. For though she was named his heir, she wasn’t the product of a marriage recognized by most of the gentry.

Her name, oddly enough, was Violet. Most dwelling or toiling within Cornwell Keep had nicknamed the gangly child of ten Violet the Vixen, for she was crafty and cunning like a she-fox. No nanny hired by her father could keep the child in a dress, much less within eyesight as she scaled, scampered and scurried over the castle like a spider monkey drunk on overripe fruit. A born tomboy if ever there was one, she was a precocious girl, given to fast and ever-changing moods much like the weather so typical of a seaside city.

Like most children of her age she was mostly arms and legs, slender and sturdy. Violet, however, was not of the fish-belly shade of most of her playmates, for her mother was a reformed cannibal from the wild, untamed coast far to the south. She inherited from her mother a chocolate shade, with a regal neck and a tangled mass of curly hair that was brown highlighted with black. Violet’s eyes were like dark mahogany orbs, ever darting and deep.

If the townspeople eyed Violet with concern, they outright stared and gawked at her mother. Not only was she a former eater of human flesh, but she was tall as well. Too tall, by most people’s reckoning, for any woman to rightfully be. No matter how they craned their necks at her, it always felt to those dealing with Violet’s mother she was lofty, even better than them. Also, rumors and innuendoes ran amuck over avenues and within ale-soaked taverns that she was a warrior woman and a witch. Those who met Suga knew her to be of sweet disposition, loving and fiercely devoted to Duke Cornwell. However, the general population still conjured up stories of secret rites involving ill-gotten human bones, chicken blood and other foul trappings.

People often make monsters out of nothing to justify their petty fears of the unknown; well, that’s what I’ve come to understand.

The fateful day all this gossiping and fretting came to a head started out as usual. Nanny McGovern rushed about the corridors of the keep, her skirt’s hem swirling around staggering legs while she chased Violet. The object of her pursuit was busy darting from room to room, doing battle with the suits of armor randomly placed within the halls and chambers. It was a game the little vixen enjoyed immensely.

“Miss Violet, you come b-back here this instant!” the governess gasped out with ragged breaths.

“Ah-ha! Ah-ho! Take that, you yellow-bellied varlet!” Violet shouted, jabbing the crotch of a very old suit of plate mail.

“Young ladies don’t fence with the décor!’

“I’ll carve out your gizzard, you foul villain!”

“Such language. You’d better n-not be speaking to me!”

With her bare feet slapping upon the stone floors, Violet scampered toward the audience chamber, her wooden sword whistling in the air in front of her. In her imagination scores of broken-teethed pirates, heavily cloaked highwaymen and dark-faced assassins fell like wheat chaff in a hurricane’s gale.

“I don’t get p-paid enough for this!” Nanny McGovern stuttered.

Violet scurried into the audience chamber and slid to a stop on the long red runner that covered the stones from threshold to dais. The rug went from under her, and she landed with a thump on her back, driving the wind out of her young lungs.

“Well, I hope that has taught y-you a lesson, you scamp!” the governess scoffed. “I warned you something like this was going to happen.”

Gripping the child by the belt, she tugged upwards, forcing Violet’s body to arch and permitting her to suck in much-needed air. Tears leaked out of her dark brown eyes, and a thin wail rose from her full lips.

“I say,” Duke Cornwell wheezed. “Is my daughter quite all right?”

“She’ll be fine, Your Grace,” the tired woman stated. “I really wish you’d reconsider those leg irons so I can keep track of her.”

The thin old man cackled with merry mirth. In front of him an ambassador from the Kingdom of Gaston covered his bow-like lips with a perfumed handkerchief. He tittered behind the fabric with a girlish giggle.

“Your daughter seems to be quite spirited, Your Grace,” the rouged-faced man commented.

“Aye, she is as you say,” the duke replied. “I love her with all my heart and hope to one day see her energies directed into something more useful than running the meat off her nannies.”

“Children are a comfort and blessing, are they not?”

“I have always thought so.”

Violet, who was slapping at the gentle hands of her keeper, wiggled away to scamper into her father’s lap. His eyes went misty, like the rolling, low-hanging fog upon the ocean, while he gazed upon her. She threw both brown arms around his reedy neck and planted an unabashed kiss upon his withered cheek.

“Did you slay all the villains, my child?” he queried.

“Yes, Father,” she answered. “Nary a one escaped my cold steel.”

“That’s a good girl.”

“Uh hum,” the ambassador coughed.

“Oh yes. I’m sorry, my dear, but I have business to discuss with the viscount,” he chided her. “You mustn’t give Nanny McGovern such a difficult time. I would appreciate it if you’d take to your lessons as enthusiastically as you do with yonder wooden saber.”

“I don’t wanna be a lady,” Violet pouted.

“I think in time you’ll change your mind. If you do not, however will you find a nice husband to bear strong sons and beautiful daughters to continue our line?”

“I will give no boy my heart, for I love only you, Papa.”

“Is that so?”

Violet giggled with merriment, making her father’s eyes soften even further. Another quick peck on the cheek reduced the man’s long-drawn face to the consistency of melted butter. Bouncing the undisciplined waif upon his bony knee, he turned back to the perfumed visitor.

“I pray you to continue, Viscount,” he said in a voice thick with emotion.

“As I was saying,” the man tittered, “if Your Grace would permit it, my king would be ever so delighted to achieve a preferred status in our mutual dealings. It will, as I have outlined, profit both our nations quite handsomely.”

BOOK: The Swashbuckling Yarn of Milady Vixen
2.29Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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