The captain took a laboured breath, pushing his hand through his hair before turning back to the shop window. From inside, he could see Flora looking over, but once they made eye contact, she swiftly looked away. Had she seen him do that? He hoped not...
Finally, he pulled out the envelope from his pocket, tearing away the seal and opening it up; it was likely better to read the letters before speaking to Flora, right now. After all of this, he could do with some more battered fish; it was always a favourite of his.
Gunnar, [ View OOC Note ]
I hope you are doing well on your travels. Once again, I must urge you to come visit family on your return home; perhaps stay awhile and come visit the country cottage with Phineas and I. My children have grown, now, and perhaps a little holiday from your efforts is in order?
Please, do write back.
P.S. I have enclosed a wage packet to assist you. Please don't let it deter you from visiting.
Gunnar opened the package further, finding seven pounds, eighteen shillings, and ten pence. He pressed his lips together; she'd really outdone herself this time. He sighed, and then fiddled with the next letter.
[ View OOC Note ]
I hope this letter sees you well. I wanted to inform you of our new products, should you wish to indulge in a new regime or perhaps fund something for your young relatives.
• Blood purification meal plan, equipped with ammonia carbonate & charcoal powder for ingesting
• Mr Power's brand new nose machine for attractive bone structure
• Nightshade eye drops from the Belladonna fauna, perfect for ladies attracting those of the brisker nature
• Aceite de Alcanfor for fresh breath
• Pharmaceutical arsenic (perfect for male potency, should you require)
And as always, Captain, the fees are somewhat wavered for any services offered.
Lovelace & Co. Botanical Beauty
He rolled his eyes at this. He remembered this girl from his childhood when she was a flower seller, offering advice straight from the Language of Flowers article in the most recent gazette. It seemed like barely time that she had moved on from their very brief romantic affair - holding hands under the railway bridge with youthful ignorance - to her suddenly being whisked away to marry Mr Lovelace. It was the talk of the town at the time; Gunnar's mother had been certain he would marry her once he had earned enough from the wickie position. But he hadn't. And now she was wanting to remain friends of offer him samples and discounts on her husband's wares.
He pressed his lips together, and then skirted to the next letter.
[ View OOC Note ]
I hope this letter reaches you in time, but I sorely presume it shan't.
I must confess, dear Uncle, I am miserable in the highest degree. My blessed husband, Wilbert, as much as I adore him, has been pressing for a child. And though I am keen to continue our humble marriage, I am unsure whether I am of mothering material such as now; perhaps you once advised me before that I am still youthful and naive, and I believe you are correct as you often are.
Before I am shackled by the responsibilities of motherhood, pray tell me you would be willing to re-open your offer of one last see voyage across the Atlantic before I depart into the mundane?
Flora Schumacher (nee. Wraith)
Gunnar swallowed thickly. He knew this was of her hand and not some trickery; Flora had always had delicate hands but had never seemed to master the art of cursive. He grunted gruffly, flicking his eyes back up to the shopping display. This was why she had sought him out; she wanted to explore one last time before her life of adventure was over. He glanced over the next few letters, all from Flora, all growing more desperate in her needs to travel. He pinched the bridge of his nose.
Taking a long breath, he entered Fadgette & Spinner's, looking over to her, a flat cap in hand as she turned.
"Flora...my darling..." He frowned. "It is time to move on from the wild seafaring stories. Wilbert will be distraught to hear I have taken you West. My humble apologies. Please, go home to your loving husband."
Before Flora could complain, Gunnar twisted on his heel and left, the bell jingling above him as he paced away.
There was a storm brewing.