A Steampunk Guide to Hunting Monsters 10 - Page 20

hair clippings and delicate trinkets-of-love the women of the town had given him . Why should he want to share such photos with me ? The men gathered around to gawk . There must have been at least a dozen portraits of those brazen women . Oh , it was too offensive .
I left the men behind in the dining car and went to Mrs . Bamfield ' s cabin . I had not spoken to her for any length since this ordeal began , and I was in need of some advice . I approached her door and gave it a determined tap . Perhaps she would understand how poorly Mr . Longville was behaving towards me .
" I know you are within , Mrs Bamfield , and I must speak with you . An emergency situation has arisen ."
She opened her door a crack , and then , to my great surprise , threw it open wide enough to pull me inside .
" Whatever it is ," she said . " It cannot be a greater emergency than the one that stands before me ! I am at my wits end . My husband is the very devil !"
" Do you mean your sister ' s husband ?" I asked .
" I have no need to conceal it anymore . He is my husband !" she exclaimed . " And whatever am I to do about this ?! I must catch some infernal beast before the demon devours me ! My liberty — my very life — is at risk if I do not recover something before we arrive in San Francisco ! I had hoped to take that blob to his doorstep , but it has sailed away into the sky with that gorgeous pirate captain . Oh , what shall I do with so little time remaining ?"
" Mrs . Bamfield ," I said . " I know you regret the loss of your specimen , but I really think you must calm your nerves !"
" There is a demon who haunts my dreams !" She exclaimed . " His name it is Ahrimanes , he hides in people ' s chim-en-ees ! He came to
England to steal some trade secrets regarding monster hunting routes . He lowered himself into my home one evening , around midnight , and with his evil glances he stole my heart !"
A demon ! In chimneys ? Brunhilde married to a demon ? I wished I could speak of this to Percy ... but of course I wished never to speak to that man about anything , ever again .
" We were wed by his infernal devices ," she continued . " But he is exceedingly cruel . I have obtained his permission for a divorce , for it would be his pleasure to force me to such a shameful act . Me , a divorcée , and at the tender age of twenty-one !"
I thought the estimate a little low , but I was now realizing that Brunhilde had more than a few of her own , personal , feminine , secrets . " He will grant my request only if I can procure any rare creature that he most particularly desires for his collection ! And you cannot imagine how he laughed at me when I declared my intention to go on this tour to complete the task . He said : ' In that case , my dear , you cannot object if I prepare the Red Room in anticipation of your return . There you will find yourself , should you fail .'"
She would not tell me the significance of this evil sounding " red room ", but I feared tortures of every kind and I felt quite resolved to aid her in avoiding it .
" We are scheduled to go on a gremlin hunting excursion at our next stop !" Mrs . Bamfield continued . " You must help me find a beast for that demon ' s collection , or my fate is surely sealed !"