Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Law of the Green Man: Part Nine

Lady Sylvia changed into the riding kit that she had adopted as her fighting costume. Walking swiftly towards the hall, the young aristocrat made her way up the drive, her boots crunching on the gravel.

Striding up to the front door, Lady Sylvia pressed the bell with confidence. From his tone, it was clear that Sir Harold was expecting a frightened, trembling child. Well, he would find just the opposite. This was Lady Sylvia Vaughan he was tangling with - the Green Man's agent.

A butler opened the door, looking at Lady Sylvia with some surprise. She only smiled back innocently.

"You probably know who I am," she told him. "Sir Harold expects me."

"Lady Sylvia," the butler nodded, ushering her into the hall.

She followed the butler across the great marble hall, and into the library which the Green Man had burgled the night before. Sir Harold was there, smiling.

"It's nice to see such a prompt response, Lady Sylvia," Sir Harold took a step towards her. "Especially from someone who was so cold last night."

"You were a swine," Lady Sylvia replied bravely.
"Maybe I am," he shot back, "but you are going to give yourself to me. Because if you disobey me, then your brother will be destroyed."

"How?" she demanded.

"Because I know about that bribe he paid to get that contract," Sir Harold smiled wickedly. "And the girl who he had committed to the asylum."

Much to Sir Harold's surprise, Lady Sylvia began to laugh, her musical laugh began to echo around the halls, as her head tilted back, trim shoulders shaking.

"What?" the blackmailer demanded.

"You're a fool!" she stold him. "You see, that story was a plant. If you go public with it, Lord Ambrose will sue you for all you're worth!"

"A brave statement, Lady Sylvia," Sir Harold shook his head, a wicked smile on his sensual face. "But I just don't believe you. Why should that story have been given to me."

"Because, Sir Harold, I needed to find out if you were the Leech. And now I know for sure."

Sir Harold turned very slowly, the colour draining from his face. There, by the curtains, was the sinister figure of the Green Man.

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