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Salvation of Ignorance - Chapter 10.1: Familiarity With Her Circumstances

by rawrafied

Salvation of Ignorance - Chapter 10.1: Familiarity With Her Circumstances

Niall had only cried thrice in his life.

The first was as a lad, after being fed dirt by his childhood friend. It was not the dirt that did him in, but the resurfacing worm a day later. His final-two catharses were after the passing of two distinct relatives.

It was this not-so-fine, cool, Autumn noon that tempted his fourth.

"These as well, your lordship?"

Niall lowered his hand and glowered at the page holding another chest with Niall's family name printed on it.

"I hadn't instructed you otherwise the last seven times."

"No, sir," The page said, unnecessarily, before scampering off to add on to the already prominent load. The poor carriage bore the Claremont crest and Niall's future headaches. For once, the crew seemed attentive to decreasing the usual likelihood that a fraction of the luggage may be lost amongst the highway's rough terrain.

Peter better rent himself a hearse.

Obviously, Niall couldn't blame Peter for being unaware of Niall's higher-ranking colleges bombarding the Baron with their paper work on his return. Granted, if the maritime bourgeois took to listening to something other than his own voice, perhaps he might had been enlightened. But that was a matter to address at a later time. No, Peter's fault lay in having promised the retrieval of Niall's paperwork. And then never complying.

Niall pinched his nose once more. No, that wasn't right. Peter did him wrong, but Niall's predicament was set in stone the minute he was tempted by months of undisturbed slumber. However, Niall was pissed and wanted to blame someone and knew he couldn't. He would have to bite his tongue and do his job. Per usual.

Once his anger seemed reasonably settled, Niall lowered his hand. The page entered his vision, staring at him. Having seemed to have been doing that for quite some time.

Niall raised a brow, prompting the page to stand erect. "We've packed it all, sir."

The baron nodded, then folded his arms and examined his well-stocked carriage.

Men of seven and twenty do not cry.

"Will you be needin' an'thin' else, sir?"

"No, that will be all," Niall said with eyes still on the cause of many all-nighters to come.

The vulture seemed intent on avoiding departure. Possibly out of concern for his employer's predicament, but--given that the boy had been shamelessly examining Niall's pocket--more than likely not.

Fortunately for the tax-collector-in-the-making, Niall had set aside his abhorrence for jingling and procured some coins for travel. An even greater fortune was to be made by the choice to carry crowns. Pre-highway robbery at its finest.

The boy scampered off with his coin, probably believing he should depart prior to his donor's awareness of the blunder. But Niall practiced in knowledgeable blunders.

In London's prime neighborhoods, the toll booths were paid generously. With an excess of luggage on his vehicle, however, Niall--respectfully--believed too much for too little. Every miniscule of neglect dipped the vehicle at irregular and rapid intervals. That, or his driver was apathetically plowing those foolish enough to cross a motioned vehicle's path. Niall's lethargy kept him from checking otherwise.

Arms folded and feet upon the opposing seat, Niall relished in the contrast of his thick, thermal skin against the frigid window-pane. The Town Coach was well-furnished, but Niall still sought comfort in wrapping his cloak around his upper-person and merging with the side-cushion. This came at the cost of providing enough space for his unwelcomed rectangular-guests to pester him with jabs during turns.

Each spatial intrusion earned a grunted release of moistened air. As consequence, the windows fogged and he was quite certain he could no longer travel by car without traumatic reflection.

A whiny from the horses and his momentum propelled by the motionless carriage insured as much.

Peeling his face from the front wall, his hands rushed to his on-the-verge-of-concaving temples.

His solitary solace was no sooner disturbed by a rap on the door, "M'lord, are you alright?"

"I would've been better had you not stopped the carriage to ask!"

"M'lord, someone's crossed our path!"

Niall groaned to make up for his paralysis of thought. Then he forced the door open, taking the driver with it. Niall was not felicitous with window-peers on his pain.

"In the future," Niall said while stepping down from the carriage, "check the status of the person you almost maimed first. You did 'almost' maim them, yes?"

The driver emerged from his entrapment by the door to lead the way to the horses, "Yes, m'lord. The girl was staggering--."

Niall hadn't caught the rest. Before his horse stood a crowd of onlookers. None of them concerned enough to check the victim's status in his driver's stead. The girl stood before them, clutching her hand in a familiar jacket. A familiar gentleman's jacket.

"Miss Barrettmore?" Niall called in confusion, rather than confirmation.

The chit did not reply. Either stupefied by what had transpired, or from practice.

Niall took a step forward, but immediately halted. Not because she responded--because she still hadn't--but in remembrance of how she flinched during his farewell gesture those few days ago.

Now, he wasn't entirely conflicted by the gesture. After all, they had only recently cleared the air of his egregious--but logically founded, given his lack of familiarity with her circumstances--accusation and the girl 'with an agreeable temperament' had met him with the only scowl he'd seen from her. It was simply a generality that he disliked the notion of invading the space of someone adverse to the intrusion.

Distracted by contemplating how to instead approach her, the sound of her chattering molars resonated. Christ, she really was scared stupid. And to think he had joked about the unlikely event moments prior.

Welcome to city life?

"Are you going to be alright, Miss Barrettmore?" Niall inquired from a distance. "Did you hurt your hand?"

In her continued unresponsiveness, he noticed her attention lay in a destination from across the road and not the carriage at all. Turning to see what had her attention, he found nothing significant. Confused, he waved a hand in front of her face.

Her glossed eyes clasped onto him. "Mi-Mi...Mister Cla-Claremont? Wha-what are you doing h-here?"

"That's Lord Claremont!" His driver called from behind and Niall instinctively shushed him. His concern resonated in her onset of amnesia.

"'Lord'?" She inquired languorously. Then made a small gesture of her head that resembled a nod. "Ah, yes. You said s-so. I...I need to go now."

"Well, would you like a ride?" Niall offered, considering she was clearly not in a state to refrain from entering traffic.

"A ride?"

"Yes, a ride," Niall latched on to her participation. "I mean, we are friends now. I almost run you over. I provide you a ride. We're two for zero on favors at this point."

"A ride?"

"I need a 'yes' or 'no', Miss Barrettmore," Niall declared with palms open toward the carriage. His hair roots were beginning to moisten by the continued audience of city dwellers.

Her eyes finally acknowledged the carriage and she followed the direction of Niall's hands. Intercepting the driver from opening the door for her, Niall signaled for the man to take his place at the reins. The sooner he was away from the witnessing ton and the girl was returned, the better.

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736 Reviews

Points: 42641
Reviews: 736

Thu Aug 10, 2017 6:30 pm
IcyFlame wrote a review...

Ooh I'm glad we're back to Niall's PoV!

The first was as a lad, after being fed dirt by his childhood friend.
I would say 'as a boy'. It seems more fitting with what his character would say.

It was this not-so-fine, cool, Autumn noon that tempted his fourth.

I think this could go in the previous paragraph - it doesn't stand on its own very well.

The beginning of this chapter is a bit heavy. I understand you're probably setting up things to come but maybe you could intersperse it with something happening, or at least have him talk to the page for longer, just so we get a break from his thoughts which can be wordy at the best of times.

I think I've got a little confused by the end of the chapter. It is possible I missed something but I presumed that the previous chapter was a flashback. Is this one too or have I gotten myself confused? I think the problem here is that you are quite heavy on the language you use here. It makes sense for the time period you're writing in, but maybe you could ease up on it ever so slightly, especially when you want to make a point. Otherwise it can be difficult to read and means that your reader (in this case, me) can miss important developments in the plot.

Obviously it's different when you're reading the novel as a whole and not flitting back and forth from it as we do on this site. Just ask yourself whether you think someone can read big sections in one go and maybe tailor your prose to that a little more. I really like your writing style so hopefully you won't have to change too much, just try to avoid big dumps of information in one go, especially when you've got loads of 'big words' in the text.

This is true of some of your description as well. I know you're trying to avoid cliches but sometimes they're better than descriptions that don't really mean anything.

Looking forward to seeing these two characters together again.

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1080 Reviews

Points: 125
Reviews: 1080

Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:45 pm
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Kaylaa wrote a review...

This is Nikayla here dropping in for a review on this lovely Review Day!

I see that this is in a different perspective than the last chapter that I reviewed. I'm unsure of who Niall is in relations to Phoebe or Lucrecia. Guess I won't know and I'll just judge this review off of what's going on in his perspective! With that, let's jump right in by saying that I'm a little confused as to how Niall's only cried three times in his life. What about when he was a baby? Not even then? This seems to be an exaggeration or a hyperbole, though I'm unsure if you're serious about this or not. Just odd.

Niall is...royalty? Maybe eventually crossing paths or having crossed paths with Phoebe at one point since she's now no longer in the Colonies (if I'm getting this right and remembering correctly). Not sure. Anyway, 'the page' should probably be capitalized seeing as that's a title. I admit that I'm not as interesting by what's going on here--that's because there isn't much going on. At least in the last chapter we got to see the first interactions between Phoebe and Lucrecia.

Here we don't get much of anything, really. What I'm most bothered by is the fact that a lot of this chapter is told as well while the descriptions aren't that strong. I'm just bored because there's nothing here to move the plot along or make this captivating to the reader. I'm fine with reading a whole chapter that's based on a conversation because the two of them just met and the governess added more to talk about. In the case of this chapter part however, we don't get any real interaction until the end where Phoebe does appear.

"I need a 'yes' or 'no', Miss Barrettmore," Niall declared with palms open toward the carriage. His hair roots were beginning to moisten by the continued audience of city dwellers.

What is this description. Please do something other than hair roots. Overall, not very interested by this chapter. I suggest cutting all the unnecessary parts out and just sticking to the main plot. Suits the story better than to drift off and drag on for too long as this does by a landslide.

If you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask! I hope I helped and have a great day.



rawrafied says...

Hello one last time. :]

Lol. Yes, the crying line is supposed to be an exaggeration. It's meant to help plant seeds of doubt toward Niall as a trustworthy narrator. It's also suppose to be a segue into the next paragraph where I'm foreshadowing three major aspects of Niall's life/character. I suppose I could toss that part out. Though, it was also meant to catch the reader's attention before they tackle that intro.

You did a great job tackling the basics of Niall despite not reading the earlier parts. Yes, he is a baron and Lucrecia is a baroness. They both are of the peerage/royalty. Niall and Phoebe are the two protagonists. Yes, Niall and Phoebe met first in America.

Actually, a page is an occupation, not a title. Upper-casing page would be like upper-casing "teacher". However, if the teacher has a PhD, then you would give them the uppercase title of "Doctor (insert name here)".

Yeah, the first half is a bit tough to get through. A lot of it is very important for setting up Chapter 12, the second half of Chapter 10, and a lot of later events. But I can try seeing what I can omit. However, that last section you quoted is important. That sentence is basically just saying he's starting to sweat because people are looking at them. You see, it was improper for a man and woman to be in proximity with one another if they weren't in locomotion or lacking a chaperon. It sets up a major event in Chapter 11 and a major event toward the end of the story. Though, I suppose I could try clarifying the impropriety.

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read three parts despite finding them boring. xD

Kaylaa says...

Setting up future exciting parts chapters are often what I get stuck on. :p Not by accident, but by luck! This isn't the type of setting that I favor either, so that's probably contributing to it as well.

Spend your days thinking about things that are good and true and beautiful and noble, and you will become good and true and beautiful and noble.
— Matthew Kelly