Excerpt: Piper Reports at the Horse Guard
by Penny FreemanPiper reports to Sir Alistair the results of his murder investigation.
Weary and worn after a long evening of political wrangling in the Privy Chamber, with the slam of his chamber door, DuLac loosed the buttons of his coat, flung his hat on a sofa, and flopped in the high-backed chair behind his large mahogany desk. He tugged open his cravat, rested his head against the sumptuous upholstery behind him, and closed his eyes. However, a moment later he opened them to stare at the sealed note sitting squarely in the center of the otherwise pristine surface before him.
“Had I any messages or visitors whilst I was out? Any post?”
“No, your lordship,” the seasoned professional announced confidently. DuLac thought better of bringing the missive to the man’s attention. The single symbol of crossed and sweeping strokes would mean nothing to him, and DuLac saw no need to rattle his well-deserved confidence. He required no explanation, and no level of security would keep out that particular shadow—not when he was determined.
The Kanji symbol on the front caused the general to sigh. The lad could cut to the quick when he had a mind. That single word was as good as a full report for DuLac. Even so, he forced himself to break the seal.
“Burn in hell.”
DuLac bent to the grate and fed those four biting words to the flame. Perhaps it was time to engage.
—A Chaotic Mind