Daniel Williams

Arwen Blackgrace: Part Seven

In Arwen Blackgrace, Stories, Writing on 08/08/2013 at 18:00

After being freed from the jail by Varney, Beatrice learns that her savior had been the order who ordered her kidnapping after the death of Giles Corrigan. A prisoner in Varney’s house, Beatrice looks for a way out.

Arwen Blackgrace

Part Seven

The wall was made out of slates and rock. Climbing it wouldn’t be too hard. Climbing it quickly would be difficult, though.

The slates were rough against my hands. But it wouldn’t be as bad as what would happen to me if I stayed behind. I wasn’t going to be anybody’s prisoner.

I was halfway up the wall when I heard shouting from the house. I had to hurry. I reached my hands out, not worrying about getting a safe holding.

At the end of it, I reached over the top and could feel the other side. All I had to do was pull myself up.

A hand grabbed my foot and I squealed. I kicked out but the hand held firm. I began to pull despite the hand trying to drag me back.

‘Get around the other side!’ Varney’s man shouted. ‘Get around the other side!’

I lashed out with my leg and managed to crush his hand into the wall. He yelped in pain and released his grip. Taking the chance I pulled myself up and was on the top of the wall.

Anders was unlocking the gate to come around. By the time I’d climbed down they’d both be waiting for me.

The only was I could get away was to jump.

I took a deep breath.

I turned to my side.

And jumped down.

My right side hit the ground and the pain went through me. But I had no time for pain. I pulled myself up and ran. Footsteps padded behind me.

I fled through alleyways, constantly changing directions, and soon I couldn’t hear their feet, but I knew they’d still be after me.

I was in the Seastone market. It was packed with people, so I could blend into the crowd. But I had to avoid the Governor’s men.

One stall had a selection of shawls for sale. I borrowed a dark red one. I promised to myself I would return it eventually. I put the shawl over me to cover my hair and give to chance to hide my face if the Governor’s men got too close.

Carefully I made my way through the market and into another part of the town. I avoided the main street and the busier streets and kept my head down. At the top of the street was The Hollow Crown. I took a look around me to see if there were any Governor’s men about. Seeing there were none I quickly made my way to the inn and went inside.

The old woman behind the desk glanced up at me, but I kept my face turned away as I quickly went up the stairs.

At the top there were the rows of doors and I struggled to recall which one had been Lydia Pryce’s. Last time I was here it had been Devon who had known where to go.

I reached a door that I thought might be the right one. I reached my hand out, balled it into a fist and knocked on the door.

No response.

Then I heard some movement from within the room. I stepped back, ready to run if it were wrong.

The door slowly opened.

‘Beatrice? Oh my word…’

Lydia took my arm and pulled me into the room.

‘I was convinced you were dead!’

She shut the door behind us. Lydia dashed from me and over to the window, holding on to that scarf that was around her neck. ‘Officers have been watching me since you escaped…’

‘I didn’t see any-’

‘They questioned me,’ she said, turning from the window to me, ‘because I’d gone to the jail and tried to get you released. I told them you were an orphan in my care but they wouldn’t release you…Did they take you when you went to get your things?’

I took the shawl from around my head. I said, ‘I need your help.’

‘Of course, yes, there’s a shop that sails to Penita tomorrow afternoon-’

‘No,’ I told her, ‘I need help to be hidden for a little while. Lydia, I thank you for what you’ve done, but I’ve found out that I have a family and I want to do all I can to get back to them.’

Her eyes darted as she looked at me, as though there was something growing out of either side of my head. ‘But…you’re an orphan,’ she said, ‘you don’t have a family, like me.’

‘I found out…I do.’

‘No, you’re like me, we’re orphans, we only have each other and all the other orphans to take care of…’

I shook my head. ‘I’m sorry, Lydia. I have to find my family.’

‘No…’ she said, ‘you were supposed to help.’

She turned away and paced the room. I apologised again but she didn’t seem to hear. ‘But you were supposed to help and make things right…’

‘I need to get to my family, you understand?’

‘No,’ she snapped. ‘No, I don’t. I’m trying to help you. We can run the orphanage and save-’

‘I don’t want to run an orphanage. My family is alive and they’re looking for me and I want to be with them, need to be with them.’

‘Go then.’ Lydia pulled her scarf up to cover her neck. ‘Find your family, I can’t help you with that.’

Quietly, I told her I was sorry and left her alone. As I walked down the stairs putting the shawl around my head and I wondered if it had been a bad idea to tell the truth.

I stepped out onto the street. I could either sneak onto a ship and try to get back, or I could let my family know I where I was.

Then I remembered who said he had connections with the Blackgraces.


Most of my day was spent avoiding them and waiting for the night. I had found the house I wanted and knew who I wanted was inside.

The window at the back of the house was partly open. I just pulled it towards me. It creaked as it opened and then I climbed through.

I lit a candle so I could see where I was. I was in the kitchen. Which is just what I waited. I soon found what I needed- a cutting knife. I blew out the candle and let my eyes become accustomed to the dark.

I found the stairs and went all the way up. I found the door at the top that led into the bedroom. I slowly pushed it open. There were no curtains. Some moonlight came through the window. Lying in the bed was Underwood.

I crept over, holding the knife out. I stood next to him, and then put the knife against his sensitive areas. I tapped the tip of the knife against his thigh.

Underwood’s eyes fluttered upon.


Fear flared up in his eyes when he saw me.

‘Stay still,’ I said, ‘and be quiet.’

‘You, I-’

‘You sold me out to the Governor for the reward.’

‘I, I’m so sorry, I-’

‘I’m sure you are.’

‘Please, don’t…’

I moved the knife a little closer.


‘Why shouldn’t I?’

He whimpered. ‘I can give you the money…’

‘What I want,’ I said, kneeling down so I was closer to him,’ is to know how good your connections with the Blackgraces are?’

‘I, I know somebody-’

‘How well?’


‘Could you get a message to him?’

Underwood nodded.

‘And could he get a message to the Blackgraces?’

‘I don’t-’

The tip of the knife pressed against his skin and I twisted it.

‘Yes!’ He shouted. ‘Yes!’

‘No so loud,’ I smiled. I told him what message I wanted sent. Arwen Blackgrace had been found and was in danger. She was at Seastone. ‘Can you tell him that?’

He nodded.

‘If you don’t sent the message I will know and I will find you. There’s going to be trouble coming. Make sure you’re on the right side.’

I stood up, ‘Oh, and Underwood? When you’ve done that find Devon. Tell him I’ll be at his parent’s.’


Early in the morning the butcher’s shop opened. The butcher stepped outside, wearing the same apron I had seen him wearing last time. It was covered in spots of dirt and blood. I approached him.


‘Morning,’ he said. ‘You want something?’

‘I’m looking for Devon.’

‘You were with him the other day, weren’t you?’


‘He ain’t here, haven’t seen him since then.’

‘He should be meeting me here,’ I said. ‘Mind if I wait?’

‘Oh Jesus,’ he groaned, ‘he hasn’t got you pregnant, has he? Jesus…’

‘No, no,’ I said, ‘nothing like that.’

‘What is it you want then?’

‘A favour from a friend.’

The large butcher shrugged and invited me inside. I went thought the shop and lead up upstairs to where the family lived. There were five or six other children in the room. Mattresses and rags lay on the floor. Devon’s mother was sitting in a rocking chair by the window. She had the same dark curly hair as Devon.

I told her I didn’t know how long I was staying.

‘Well…if you’re friends with Devon…’ She found little jobs for me to do, sewing and mending, or looking after the children. It felt like been back at the orphanage.


‘Hello, Go Away.’

Devon stood in the doorway, smirking at me. Before I could speak to him, his mother had him and told him how worried they’d been. He took out a small purse of coins and handed it to her. His mother looked down at it in wonder then back at Devon. ‘And who did you steal this from?’

Devon rolled his eyes and walked away. ‘Come along, Go Away.’

We went into the back alley behind the shops. There was nobody about but us and a cat.

Devon leaned against the wall. ‘What is it you want with me, Go Away, if that is your real name.’

I smiled. ‘Underwood found you?’

‘He did. Half-scarred to death. What did you do to him?’

‘Did he have a message for me?’

‘He did,’ Devon said. ‘He said he spoke to the bloke who spoke to the bloke who told him to tell me to tell you that they’re on their way.’

‘That’s good news.’

‘I take it ‘they’ means the Blackgraces?’

I shrugged.

‘Don’t take me to be thick,’ he said, ‘all you were asking about were the Blackgrace family. You’re the lost one, aren’t you?’

I nodded and told him everything that had happened to me. I told about Varney and how he must have had Giles Corrigan murdered to get a hold of me.

I said I had escaped and he replied, ‘Full of surprises aren’t you, Go Away?’

‘You can call me my name, you know.’

‘Oh, I know,’ he grinned. ‘So you want me to hide you out until your family comes to get you. Putting not just me at risk, but my beloved family too.’

‘You’ll do it,’ I said, ‘because you know there’ll be something in it for you.’

‘I should hope so, very dangerous, this, very dangerous.’

‘And I’m afraid it won’t just be hiding me.’


I looked about to check for open windows and stepped closer to Devon. ‘The Governor and Varney’s men will be after me.’


‘I want to distract them enough so that when my ship comes they’ll be too busy to notice I’m gone.’

Devon said, ‘And how do you suppose to distract them?’

‘We’re going to turn the Governor and Varney against each other. Their truce is failing, we’re going to break it. They’re going to destroy each other. And while they’re doing it I’m going to sail away in peace.

Devon swallowed. His Adam’s apple bobbed.

He said, ‘We?’


Part 8: 12/8/13

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