Baskergrand The Nautilus

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Garth's Guile

Percival headed out early on Tuesday to confront Garth at his home in Locker Manor, eight miles east of Comerton Hall. Percival was not in a happy mood, and wanted to see Garth as soon as possible. When Percival arrived at Locker Manor, he marched right inside without giving much attention to the protestations of the servants.

''Please, Master Baskergrand, just wait here while we get Master Mason! He is in the middle of eating his breakfast!'' one of the servants pleaded with him. Garth heard the disturbance and came out of the dining hall.

''Percival? What brings you here?'' Garth asked his friend. He still had a handkerchief hanging from his neck. Percival narrowed his eyes into Garth, as if they were daggers piercing inside his mind.

''What do you think brings me here? You told Valerie I was going to America with you,'' Percival answered bitterly. Garth realised why Percival was upset, and looked at him squarely in the eyes.

''Please leave us, Hobbs,'' Garth directed his servant without looking at him. Hobbs looked cautiously at Percival, but obeyed Garth.

''Yes, sir,'' he replied before he bowed and left the pair alone.

''Let's go into the study,'' Garth instructed as he walked briskly to a room to his left, with Percival following closely behind. Garth closed the door quietly and turned to face Percival.

''I cannot believe you did that! You know I am not going, and that is final. Why tell Valerie that I was?'' Percival spoke angrily. Garth exhaled loudly.

''I did it because you were too slow!'' Garth answered in a low tone. Percival looked baffled.

''I was...too slow? Whatever are you talking about?'' Percival questioned. Garth came closer to him.

''I wanted to speed things up because I know how you are. I told Valerie so that she could...spur you to tell her that you are in love with her, and you in turn would tell her that you love her,'' Garth began to explain. Percival still looked puzzled.

''But...I was going to inform Valerie of my feelings about her, anyway,'' Percival returned.

''No, you wasn't, so...I made sure you could tell her now. I didn't think you would because you never realise things until it is too late, Percy,'' Garth spoke calmly. Percival sighed and put his right hand on his hip.

''Garth...you could have just waited. Besides, she couldn't wait herself and came over to let me know,'' Percival said to his friend. Garth smiled to himself.

''That's good. Waiting for you to confess your feelings is like waiting for the summer to arrive in England,'' Garth mused. Percival scoffed and the pair chuckled lightly.

''This doesn't change my mind, you know. I am still not going to America with you,'' Percival replied.

''I know,'' Garth said. They were silent for a moment, looking at each other.

''We shouldn't keep anything from each other, Percy. We used to tell each other everything. I think my being away has created...a distance between us,'' Garth admitted. Percival came closer to his friend.

''I think so too. We need to build up trust within each other again,'' Percival responded.

''Yes, we should. I apologise for my behaviour,'' Garth said. Percival smiled briefly and nodded.

''That's all right. And I apologise for interrupting your breakfast. And...for storming into your home,'' Percival returned. Garth grinned as he came closer to Percival.

''All right, old chap. I'm going to get back to finishing my breakfast. I will see you soon,'' Garth said as he embraced Percival.

''Yes. Good-bye,'' Percival said. The pair left the study and entered the hallway again.

''Oh, I forgot to tell you, but I'm planning to go to the Great Exhibition, in London. I wondered if you would like to come along, before it ends next month,'' Garth mentioned. Percival's face changed.

''Uh...of course, I would love to go, but I may go in my own time,'' Percival replied, although unbeknownst to Garth, he was already going to be there along with the Nautilus suit.

''All right, then. Good-bye, now,'' Garth said to Percival before he went back into the dining hall.

''Bye,'' Percival said after him, before he turned to leave.

'When I go to the Exhibition, I must not reveal to Garth that I am within the suit,' Percival thought, somewhat worried. He journeyed back to his home, pondering deeply upon the suit and the upcoming event.


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