I continue writing as fast as I can on The Defiant Daughter. Here is a bit for WIP Wednesday, one that slowed me down. The villain has shown himself and threatened people at The Willow and the Rose. The inn being too hard to secure, they are attempting to move him to the earl’s manor until the magistrate can deal with him. I needed him to escape, but I find this sort of action difficult to write. It took a while.
The damned woman driving the gig was a distraction. Even from behind, wrapped in a cloak, her graceful back drew his eyes. The bonnet hid her glorious hair and he wished it to the devil. He suspected Jessop did as well, wide as the brim was.
Brynn forced his attention to Jessop. They had knocked him to the floor when he rushed the door and searched him thoroughly, finding a deadly looking knife from one boot and a pocket pistol from his coat. He wasn’t a man who took defeat easily, and Brynn regretted allowing Maddy to handle the gig. Even now Jessop fidgeted with his bound wrists, occasionally rubbing them on the peculiar leather belt he had around his waist to hold up the loose homespun trousers he wore. Brynn thought it a colonial affectation. He narrowed his eyes.
What is the miscreant doing?
Before he could investigate a gust of wind struck them and Maddy’s deep blue cloak fluttered in the wind, blocking his view. Another stronger one knocked her backward and the ties of her bonnet came loose sending the thing kiting into the air, striking Corporal Goodfellow before flying past. She tried to grab it, dropping the reins to do so and twisting around.
“I’ll get it colonel,” Goodfellow said, turning his horse and cantering after the bit of female frippery.
In the blink of an eye in which Brynn glanced at Goodfellow and turned back to the gig, Maddy screamed and Jessop leaped from the gig, rolling into the deep brush beside the road. Brynn’s heart stopped. Blood. Maddy’s face bled and it ran down her neck to stain her cloak. She slumped against the back of the seat. The horse pulling the gig ran off toward what the beast must know as the safety of home.
“Goodfellow!” Brynn roared galloping after the gig. “Get Jessop.” Get him so I can kill him. The animal had a blade of some sort in his belt.
Brynn reached the frightened horse quickly and brought the gig to a stop before leaping to the ground and pulling Maddy into his arms.
“I told you to stay with Kendrick, you fool woman, but you wouldn’t listen,” he shouted frantically pulling her cloak aside to look for wounds.
She batted his hand away. “It is my face. My face,” she cried, leaning into his arm.
He pulled out his handkerchief with his free hand and wiped at her face, sick inside when she moaned in pain. A gash ran from her temple half way down her cheek.
Thanks be to providential grace. He missed her eye. Barely. The gash still bled, and appeared deep enough to require stitches. It would leave a scar, he suspected and grieved for her. He pressed the cloth firmly against it and held it in place, glancing around for Goodfellow.
“I need to get you to the Hall.”
“Just take me home. Esther can—”
“Don’t be daft. We’re going to the Hall. If you had listened to me this wouldn’t have happened.” He pressed the handkerchief firmly against her wound and put her hand over it. “Hold that tight while I lift you up.”
She slumped against the seat and he climbed in next to her, slipping one arm around her. He briefly considered turning back toward the inn, but the Hall was closer and turning the gig on a narrow lane would be difficult.
Goodfellow emerged from the woods, angry as Brynn had ever seen him. “Hides like a rabbit in those woods. Snapped a branch in my face, and I didn’t even see him. He’s gone colonel, and the undergrowth is too thick to pursue on a horse. Do you want me to track him on foot?”
“Not alone. He has the advantage. Tie my horse to the gig and follow me to the Hall, then ride back for Doctor Farley.”
Note: excerpts from works in progress may have not yet been edited, will likely undergo change, and may not even make it into the final work!