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Well Met by Gaslight



A Hortence and Zedock Adventure



Copyright © 2011 George Berger

ISBN 978-1-4581-4817-9 (ePub ed.)

Electronically published by Smashwords

Visit the author's website at http://www.mendacities.net



First Edition



It was a bright and pleasant night in that genteel backwater town, and the silvery rays of the moon, full as a pregnant dog with promises of intrigue and romance, shone and sparkled through the cloudless sky, casting their tender illumination without discrimination upon sights both mundane and intriguing. Counted without question among the latter was a dark-suited, fair-haired figure who made his way with modest quickness up the vertical expanses of an ivy-covered wall that stoically supported one end of the sprawling mansion which had belonged, for at least five generations, to the local branch of a certain family of some small renown in richer and more sophisticated surroundings than this. He–with the sureness of hand and foot with which he scaled the greenery, gone dark grey in the moonlight, there could be no doubt that he was a he and not a she, even without seeing his ruggedly handsome face–moved silently and with great determination, growing ever further from the sweet embrace of terra firma even as he approached a large and dramatically Gothic balcony.

As he reached, at last, the level of that balcony, finely assembled years ago of carefully-crafted stone now worn and weathered by decade after decade of exposure to the whimsical furies of nature itself, he pulled himself with practiced ease onto and then over the railing, finally coming to stand suavely upon the very surface of the balcony itself. There he paused for a brief moment to double-check his impeccable sartorial excellence, before, having done so, pausing once more to admire his reflection in the glazed doors before him. He was tall, with well-cut hair, a square chin, and a handsomely aristocratic nose, and dressed in a three-piece suit of fine imported wool, expertly tailored to fit his lean and muscular frame. On his average-sized feet were laced a matching pair of hand-tooled shoes made from the tough and gorgeous hide of an exotic and unpronounceable foreign animal.

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