A Steampunk Guide to Hunting Monsters 9 - Page 6

I have made it a personal rule never to pass up a chance to dance , but one wonders how an American ball can be worth the effort ? An American ball must be a something a bit like a German Muffin or a Canadian Silk .
I had a long conversation with the Mayor this morning . I had hoped to add him to my dance card ! The gloriously bearded man is confused by this monster hunting tour because he says there have been no monsters . He wished to know if it would be ill-bred of him to request a discount upon the price he paid .
I was already well aware he missed the zombie attack entirely due to his misplaced luggage , but surely he cannot have missed the pirate attack ? " The pirates on the airship ?" I enquired . " Yes ," he replied cheerfully . " Most amusing !
But they could hardly be considered monsters ."
It turned out that he managed to find himself entirely separated from any sight of the blob oozing through the ocean liner as well . What a curious adventure for the poor man . He may not return to Venice well equipped to stave off monster attacks after all . But I did get his name on my dance card , though the effort would prove futile ... for Percy was still feeling quite ill , and though I had to swallow my pride to do so , I decided to attend to him — perhaps in an attempt to try to appear helpful , as he often tries to do for me . This was what caused me to miss the ball !
For the man had fallen quite ill and it seemed best to guide him to a doctor . All the other monster hunters had departed , so I packed the sickly boy up and we took the carriage to the nearest Doctor — who was out , it seems , attending the dance !
" Must ... dance ," Percy said in his delirium . " Prove ... Philomena ... I can ..."
But he must be disappointed , for all the doctors in town , it seemed , were headed out to the ball .
A most gracious footman explained that there was always a doctor on staff at the state Asylum . It was , in fact , an asylum for the insane . This resident physician was our only hope at this point , and so we rode out to the Asylum .
The building was massive , built of weathered brick , and surrounded by the jagged spears of an iron wall . It was clearly meant as more of a prison , but it was quite the size of Versailles , and that it housed the insane and afflicted caused me some minor apprehension . But , as I reminded myself , even the insane suffer illnesses of the body which must be tended to . " Come , Percy ," I said , jostling him . " Would she ever deign to offer me a kiss ?"
Percy said , apparently addressing a nearby horse . " I imagine she ' d be willing enough if you gave her a carrot ," I replied .
Once inside , it was a most shocking sight ! We were greeted by an excessively attentive person in a badly-fitting uniform . At the time I thought , " Why must Americans purchase all their garments prêta-porter ?" The uniformed person began urging us to take a seat in the waiting area . Waiting around us in this seating area were some truly disturbed looking people . One demented , wall-eyed man nodded at me smiling , but not in that polite ' howdo-ye-do ' way . In fact , I wouldn ' t be surprised if he was still nodding and smiling at me to this very day , even though I was no longer there .
Percy was getting sicker by the moment and the fever had overcome him . “ The Doctor will see you now !” a nurse called . We were ushered along past a door that was closed and bolted , and in the small observation window , I glimpsed a man ' s face , staring out . When he saw me , he threw himself upon the door and began screaming for help . I suppose I thought this was typical behavior in a mad house , having never been to one , and mustering my most reserved affectations , nodded politely and continued into an operating room .
The nurse stopped in front a pair of double doors before swinging them open with a flourish . There stood the doctor and what could be described ,