Masked Warnings


Masked Bandit and tess_icon.jpg


* Miriam Llewellyn

Summary: Mrs. Llewellyn has a masked visitor

Date: January 11, 1884

**Masked Warning*

Gemstone and the Llewellyn Home

The shadowy figure had crept silently through the edge of the forest, then made the quick dash across Pine Street. It was but the work of a moment to open the gate of Tietz's Shechita, and slip through the closed and quiet butcher shop, right under the noses of the proprietors upstairs.

A quick dash up Division and around to the back of the Gemstone, his movements covered by the noise from within. A sharp rap on the small window, the latch turned through the broken glass, and the Masked Bandit was in, and utterly alone.

Armand's office is a small, rather cramped affair. A large desk dominates the room and it's covered in papers. There is a small cabinet on the wall and a small dresser looking thing by the window. It's obvious he is a very busy man and puts in many long hours on his paperwork, etc.

The window looks out on Apple Ave, if one looks, though the window is covered most of the time for privacy.

But, the usually tidy office is now a shambles, some intruder has broken in and obviously ransacked the drawers, slashed the seat cushions and left the small room devastated.

Quickly, the gloved hands slashed the seat cushions, searching the padding. Each drawer and shelf was thoroughly searched, the contents upended onto the floor. Ignored were the small amounts of currency, and the random costume jewelry. Even an expensive fob watch was left, but then the gloved hand closes on a piece of tin..a simple, inexpensive piece of metal…a star, with the word SHERIFF on a shield in the cut-out center of the badge.

The piece of tin is slipped into a pocket, and he turns back to the small window.

The trip back was much the same, in reverse. Slithering out the small window, closing it..even propping the larger shards of glass in the frame. Down the dark Apple Ave, through the butcher shop, and once more into the fringe of trees along Pine.

The masked figure makes his way along the gravelled path of the Llewellyn properties, between the old house and the grand structure, newly built. A quick glance through the window reveals the kitchen to be empty, and into the pantry to hide in the shadows for his time.

When Tess, all by herself, enters and sits to cut vegetables for the next days meal, he steps out, a wraith for all the sound he made, a gloved finger over his face where his mouth would be, were it not for the sacking. The shotgun was lowered, and uncocked, but the menace of the man was yet evident.

In a low, very low whisper, he says, "Do not call out, Missus Llewellyn..We would not wish there to be an untoward incident."

Tess was sitting in the kitchen, cutting vegetables for the soup. She looks up and gives a bit of a start. Then she just nods. "Take what ye need..leave the bairns alone, aye?", she says softly.

He chuckled..yes, LAUGHED at her words, no more than a mirthful breath, but unmistakeable, his tone reflected his amusement with such a statement, "Madam," the bandit replies, "It is the furthest thing from my mind to harm you, or any of the children. Rather, I have come bearing gifts, not unlike the Greeks at Troy. Mine, however, hide no tricks within."

The cold eyes glance towards the door, "We shall not wish company, however, might I impose upon your good will to lock that door?"

This did give Tess a bit of a puzzle. SHe nods and slowly..very slowly..levers herself out of the chair. With a lumberous gait, she moves to the back door and locks it. "Gifts, ye say?", she asks in a quiet tone.

He watches her form, ungainly though it was, with a man's obvious pleasure, and comments, "It seems you will have yet another child soon. Congratulations, and best wishes for good health."

Easing himself around the table, watchful of the door, his hand goes inside of his coat as he asks, "Is it true what I have heard, that your husband wishes to run for Mayor?"

Odd as it is, Tess goes to get the man a cup of coffee, showing little overt fear. She nods. "He is…", she says. She turns around just soon enough to see his hand in his coat and she freezes, cup in hand.

Mirth again..the corners of the flour sack mask twitching with the soft laughter. he withdraws his gloved hand, a glittering object between two of his fingers. "It would be good to have an honest man in charge of this town," he says, ever softly. "There is, I fear, a serious situation arising that must be laid to rest." The shiny bit is twirled in his fingers, throwing off rays of reflected light.

Tess squints a bit and comes closer to see what he is doing. "Which situtaion be that?", she asks quietly, setting the cup of coffee down in front of him. "And my husband is a verra honest man."

His tone changes..regret, sadness? "Missus Llewellyn, I have seen firsthand the heartbreak and pain that rampant vigilantism can bring. Indeed…I must confess, I have been responsible for much of that myself, a fact I now deeply regret, and strive to rectify."

The object is laid on the table before her..a shiny Sheriff's badge. "A Sheriff cannot be appointed without a mayor, and a city council, or so I have been led to believe. So, I took secure this, before someone declares that he is the Law, and we all must suffer vigilante justice."

The flour sack twitches, "Surely you can see my aversion to that, given my occupation?"

"I agree wi' ye, lad. I do. I am sure Adrian will appoint someone worthy, aye? Someone who wlil be keepin' us all safe….", Tess says, closing her eyes a moment and putting a hand on her tight round stomach

He freezes as the door between the kitchen and parlor creaks open, his whole body going rigid with a sudden wary tension. A small, black headed girl toddles in, looking with wide, dark eyes at the stranger, a fist in her mouth. Straight to the wary warrior she goes, then reaches up with both arms.

"That be Miriam…..", Tess says softly, watching them together. She gives a nod to the girl. "Ye are s'posed t'be sleepin', lassy."

Without thinking, the Bandit kneels, and wraps an arm around the toddler, rubbing her cheek with his masked one for a moment, then says, his voice thick with emotion, "Go to your Mother, child," turning to hand her over to Tess, saying, "A lovely child. You are to be commended for your charity in taking her in as you have."

Recovering, he adds, straightening, "I would suggest, if I might, that your husband wires the Capitol for a Marshall to restrain the leader of this vigilante ring, though, I shall leave the decision to him, and the consequences." The shotgun is lifted slightly, meaningfully.

Tess gathers her daughter up to her. SHe nods soberly at the Masked Man. "Aye..I will tell him what ye say…", she say ssoftly. "An' thank ye for the gifts. Whate'er they be…"

"Knowledge is power," he quotes, "And I have given you that." he hesitates, then holds out a gloved hand, "If you..or any of yours should desire my assistance, send a message to Achille through the paper." He pronounced the name in the French manner, AhSheel, rather than the English.

Tess frowns, concentrating on the name. "Achille…", she says with her own accent. "Aye..I will. If ye be needed. An' ye have my word that Adrian will hear what ye say…"

He withdraws his hand, and moves towards the back door, unlocking it, "I must depart before your men return, and time grows short." his cold gaze fixes on her, and he adds, "You are handsome woman, Missus Llewellyn..I believe you will do as you say, and bring both beauty and grace to the office."

With barely a whisper of cloth, quickly torn away by the wind, he is gone, fading into the shadows between the two houses.


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