A Steampunk Guide to Hunting Monsters 1 - Page 20

I spoke to Missus Mayfair Mister, a professional monster hunter who is out collecting specimens for her travelling exhibition, "Missus Mayfair Mister's Marvelous Monsters." She is licensed to hunt the undead in America, even! The head guide and captain on our tour is Sir Hammerhorn. He is always accompanied by an automaton, his first mate, who pilots the ship while he leads the hunt. He is certainly very respectable, and has a handsome mustache! He knows Missus Mister from previous hunts. With him and Missus Mister aboard, perhaps this Tour will prove, after all, a real adventure! It is a delight to be waited on by automatons! The ship is positively swarming with them. Their mechanical human forms are devoid of any features, yet they have the most ingenious system of conveying emotions. Each serving automaton carries around a rectangular mask, like a masquerade mask or opera glasses, made of various pages. Each page has a different expression on it, and the staff flips through the faces to find the correct emotion to address the guests! Happy, sad, lonely, all of the emotions a robot could express! There is a dissatisfied woman named Mrs. Vandenklamp who has complained non-stop about the robot service since we boarded, and though you'd hardly notice it, she is accompanied by her poor hen-pecked husband. I was introduced to the youngest and handsomest of men, The Mayor. Already holding the position of Mayor of Venice, he is the youngest to ever hold the title. This trip is a work-vacation he is taking to learn how to better prepare the city for monster attacks. He speaks in an Italian accent, and try as I might, I find the Italian accent to be the silliest of all accents. He would be much more attractive with a handsome English accent, with perhaps a tinge of the highlands. Perhaps it could be worse. Heaven forbid he have a Welsh accent. Gracious. A robust woman named Brunhilde Bamfield also travels, and it seems I have found someone of a like mind to befriend. Best of all, she is properly English. But would you know it? That ridiculous boy from the other night who handled me so roughly during the incident with poor Miss Benedicta Basilio is on this tour, too! I hardly like to be introduced to people in such an informal setting, but I suppose it must do. His name is Percy Longville, and he says he is going on this tour to study monsters. Study them! Of all the ridiculous things. I do suppose this is his best chance to view the famous monster hunter Lu Yan's collection when we arrive in China. I do hope he doesn't become too familiar. I was hoping for adventure, but now I'm starting to regret this lovely berth, for instead of adventure, I have been placed in a portable palace packed to the pinnacle with pillows… and Percy Longville.