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Thursday, August 02, 2007

an exceprt from Come and Take It: England

available from Torquere Press

London, 1845

Leland August figured London was a pretty strange place for a man who grew up in Texas. It just seemed so damned civilized. All those streets paved with cobbles, with more folks on them than he'd ever seen in one place save the battlefield.

The Texas Legation was on St. James' Street, which made it even more intimidating to a bumpkin from Waterloo. Oh, it might be called Austin now, but Leland had been born there when it was just four families and a settlement before, the new government had decided to call it after Mr. Austin. Wasn't much to it, really, but a map and a plan.

Not like London, that had been there for hundreds of years and soared up so a man could hardly see the clouds.

He'd been there for nearly a month so far, working at the Legation office, which mainly seemed to involve having a drink with the gents at the exclusive clubs on Pall Mall and riding about in the park, showing off horseflesh.

The streets always seemed to have people on them in London, even late in the evening while Leland made his way back to the Legation office. His own accommodations were nearby, and he itched to get out of his starched and yet drooping clothing, but he needed to stop in and leave the packet of papers he'd retrieved from the shipyards.

Sighing, he turned the corner from Pall Mall to St. James, quickening his steps as the wine merchant the Legation hovered over came into view.

Which was, naturally, when he slammed into another body, sending his leather bound packet flying and his own body stumbling back almost into the street.

"Damnation, man! Watch where you put your enormous feet, will you?"

"My feet?" Leland saw red, his hands clenching into fists. "I, sir, was watching where I was going. You came from thin air, I assure you.

Lord, he hated fellows with that snooty tone.

"Indeed? Well, then, certainly the fault is all mine. My abject apologies, you insolent backwoods oaf."

"Oaf!" Growling, Leland straightened his clothing, making sure nothing was awry. "I might be forced to take offense, Sir."

"We are in the right place, then."


get it at www.torquerepress.com

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