Wednesday 19 October 2011

#REN3: Coach Thief (part 3)

Read part one and part two.

Prompt: Relationships unravel or strengthen, a long-kept secret is revealed
Wordcount: 574


“Did I? I don’t seem to recall.”
“So you be a liar and a thief.”
“How dare you accuse me…”
“You don’t have problems accusing everyone else.”
“Let go of me, you… you…”
The verbal volley made Jean’s head spin. He was just glad no guns were making their appearance just yet, though he could see the man’s trigger finger twitching involuntarily.
“Hold on a minute here,” he interjected, stepping in between them. “What are you doing here, Jane? Were you following me?”
“Oh Jean, I saw someone drive off with the coach and I couldn’t find you, so I came after him.”
“Then why did you say it was yours?” the man growled. “Who are you? And I don’t like being lied to, woman.”
“She’s my fiancee,” Jean said quickly, shooting a look at her.
“And who might you be?”
“I’m Jean Johnson. I’m here to visit with my cousin Randall.”
“That the truth now,” he replied, rubbing at his stubble. Jean wasn’t sure if it was a question or a statement, so he just nodded.
“Well, then. This is a pickle.”
“What is?”
“I always thought Cousin Jean was a girl.”
Jean laughed. “My mother was French.”
“And that makes it alright?”
“No, that makes it normal - in some faraway places, like the Roundeli Mountains.” Jean had a sneaky suspicion that this would turn out to be his cousin. The man looked less tense now, starting to smile genially at Jane. “And you are…”
“Cousin Randall.”
“Ah. Glad to have finally met you, Cousin.”
The two men shook hands.
“Done with your letter writing, Bill? You’ll have to take the coach round to Cousin Randall’s place,” Jean addressed his coachman.
“All done, sir.” Bill purchased a couple of stamps and left the letter with the postmaster.

Noticing Jane’s pinched face, Jean hung back as Randall and Bill headed toward the door.
“Cousin Randall, you two go on ahead. I just need to have a talk with Jane for a little while.”
Not waiting for a reply, Jean turned on his fiancee. “What’s wrong now?” he hissed.
“I thought you didn’t want to announce our engagement just yet!” she said frantically. “Did you forget?”
“Forget? No - he looked like the family-man type and I didn’t know who he was. And it’s the truth anyway. You are going to be my wife, aren’t you?”
She smiled coyly angling her face up for a kiss. He kissed her on the nose.
“What if your mother finds out?” she whispered.
He put his arms around her waist. “We’ll steal the letter before it reaches her. Don’t worry, Jane. We’ll sort it out somehow. Practically though, what do we do now?”
“I’ve got to get back to Assart before Bob throws a fit.”
Jean looked out the window. “You had better leave soon if you want to make it before sundown.”
“Yes. But I’ll miss you.”
“You can ride up any day you want, missy.”
She giggled. Hand in hand, they headed out the door.

Randall was leaning against the coach inspecting his gun, the brim of his hat pulled low over his eyes.
“I do have a question, Cousin Jean.”
“What’s that, Cousin Randall?”
“If this here woman’s your fiancee,” he tilted the barrel carelessly at Jane. “How come this here coachman of yours doesn’t know that you’re engaged? And why would she not know your own coachman?”
Jean held her close, protectively.


Tune in next Wednesday/Thursday for the grand finale! :)

Edit: Read part four here.


  1. I like the build-up, like the mix-up (with the Jean issue...that was great!), and like that Randall is putting these pieces together. All in all, well done. I do want to let you know that I had a bit of trouble following in the beginning until I figured out who was saying what.
    Only one more week for us all to wrap up our stories! I can't wait. :)

  2. Thanks Nadja.
    I can't wait for it either. :_

  3. Nicely done. Can't wait to see how the story ends. :-)

  4. Thanks Misha and Stuart! I'm looking foward to it too... it's going to be fun to write!

    Also, Jenna Quentin and Li... if you stop by and notice your comments have gone missing, I'M SORRY! There was an IntenseDebate glitch and the post reverted to the old commenting system (what you see now). But I received your comments in my e-mail! And *heart* you for them.

  5. Your dialogue never ceases to amaze me! So fluid and natural! Next week is bound to be a firework show. Great installment! :)

  6. oh so curious!! I can't wait o unravel this one.

    agree with David... excellent dialog.

  7. Yeah, I'm loving reading this, but I have to say, I'm confused what with all of the facades and quick reveals going around. I suspect that I'll have to go back and read from the beginning to sort it out - once part four is up!

  8. @David & Corinne - thanks! The dialogue was difficult to do, but I guess the scripting/acting experience helps a bit. I still read my dialogue out loud most of the time! :)

    @Chris - All will be revealed next week... hopefully!

  9. A complex story, with multiple layers. I love the characters, and the dialogue banter.


  10. Is anyone who they say they are??
    Gr8 build up

  11. Not sure why I came up as Unknown - hmm

    I'm at Lady's Knight

  12. @Donna - thanks! I may have layered it a bit too much - having problems tying things up in the next 600 words :P

    @Lady's Knight - hmm... there seems to be something wrong with your link. Is that why?

  13. OH DAMN! You got me. Did not see that coming.