03/29/2024 Snippet, DOCTOR RYPMAW’S METHOD.


“He’s, ah, you know. Mister W[*],” Edgar stammered, in a way that I found oddly gratifying. “I’m sure you know that name, Georgie! I sent for him when you had your, ah, trouble.”

“Trouble? I haven’t had any trouble.” Georgie guffawed, and I blinked. That didn’t sound like his regular laugh at all. My hackles didn’t like it, either, and I wasn’t even sure that I possessed any. “Everyone else had the troubles this evening.”

“Including our friend here,” I interjected, controlling my own sudden, primitive instinct to run a boar-spear through him, or anything else with enough reach. “You did run away, and it was a chore to clean up your messes afterward. You should be grateful, Georgie. Edgar has done you several favors tonight.” Well, Edgar had actually only paid for them, but that was close enough for this conversation. I still wasn’t sure if it would end in a fight or not, but confidence and sternness had seen me through sticky situations before.

For one horrible moment, Georgie looked at me blankly — no, not blankly. He looked at me like nothing about me had any meaning for him, including quite possibly my life. Just then I didn’t want a boar-spear; I wanted a revolver, and at least twenty feet of range. Then his face cleared, and he smiled like a human for the first time. “Oh, Harry! I’m so very sorry not to recognize you from the start. It’s been an evening.” His brow furrowed. “Oh, dear. If you’re here, then there’s been a problem. I hope I haven’t been too much of a problem tonight.”