Perilous Artifacts: Bold As Brass
“Hurry, man,” Pieter urged as he abandoned the running board for the jump seat behind Harry. “I’ll pay you well if you take us straight to Mother.”
Olive quickly laid a hand on Harry’s shoulder. “Don’t listen to him, Harry. I need to change my costume! I can’t be seen entering Carew House dressed like this.”
Harry called over his shoulder, “Can you outbid him?”
“Would you rather have his money or a one-thirty-second share of the honeycomb?”
“Make it one-sixteenth, and I’ll take you straight to the Academy.”
Olive hated to let Harry have so very much of it, but she really couldn’t let Pieter drag her into his mother’s parlor in her grubby gardening costume. “Oh, very well, one-sixteenth share it is.”
“But—“ Pieter protested. By this time they were down the winding ramp and driving through the dark, dingy side tunnel. “I’d gladly pay you enough to keep you in honeycomb for the next year!”
“And you! You horrible man, you!” Olive rounded on him. “Keeping secrets from me. Hiding the truth! How long have you known who my parents are? Were you ever going to tell me? When are they arriving?”
Pieter wilted under the barrage of questions. He threw up his hands as if to fend them off. “But–but Mother insisted!”
“Keep alert,” Harry snapped. “We may need to repel boarders.”
Olive tucked the satchel under her seat and grabbed for a sturdy cane as a figure came hurtling out of the dimness with a loud howl. Harry opened the throttle. Their first assailant fell behind, but more appeared up ahead in front of a hastily constructed barricade of odd bits of broken pipe and slag bricks: artifacts of the city’s grim and perilous history.
Harry growled as he laid on the horn. He aimed the steamer’s sturdy grille right for the center of the barricade.
The would-be highwaymen dove for the sides of the tunnel as they barreled on through! Bricks spanged off the oil pan. Olive ducked as bits of pipe went flying. Pieter yelled.
Howls of protest rose behind them, but they were past and out, into the main thoroughfare. A police wagon drove by them in the opposite direction, alarm clanging loudly.
“They’re grown bold as brass, the Lurkers,” Harry shouted over the echoes. “Mister Carew, you must file a protest.”
For the next installment (available Tuesdays), read Perilous Artifacts: In a Hurry, where Olive once again gets her own way.
My books: Check out my Christian fantasy books.
About the artwork: I designed this lovely steampunk cover art (I also specialize in clean/Christian covers for fiction and non-fiction). Contact me for a quote.