Famine #40: Mr. Vernon (wewriwa)

Hello, again, readers and writers. Welcome back to another eight sentences posted for Weekend Writing Warriors. I’m cranking away on Famine, having passed the halfway mark on the first draft last week; hoping to finish it this month.

Since I finished posting the first chapter excerpts last week, I decided to randomly select the next scene. So let me introduce you to Mr. Vernon, Bartholomew’s butler. In this scene, which takes place on a train traveling from New York to Chicago, Matilde is chatting with him while Bartholomew, now her legal guardian, composes a letter.


DixieKid_2“The fight was fairly won,” Mr. Vernon said as he buffed one of Monsieur’s tan toothpicks. He glanced up at Matilde, a smile quirking his lips, and added, “If you consider a thirty pound advantage fair.” He swiped his rag over the shoe, frowned, and went to work on its tapered toe.

“The advantage was yours, sir?” Matilde asked.

He nodded. “And the fight was my opponent’s doing. I wouldn’t have taken him on with such a disparity, Miss, but he kept at me about it. I knocked him down three times before the referee called it in my favor.”


Thanks to all of you who stopped by last week, left comments, and encouraged me to get better. My kiddo got sick midweek, which set my own recovery back, so I’m still in bed. Nastiest cold season I can recall. I’m really quite sick of being sick.


As always, I encourage you to stop by the Weekend Writing Warriors site and follow the list to lots of other fantastic snippets. It’s a lovely way to spend a Sunday.

  • Having just seen Django Unchained that scene brought some interesting visuals. At least Vernon sounds like he doesn’t favour casual violence.

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      Oh, sweet! I like how you think, Goran, and you’re correct that Mr. Vernon is a peaceable man…until he’s not.

  • Vernon’s a good man to have on Mathilde’s side. Or is he?
    Flu attacked my household and won’t let go.

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      I don’t rightly know all of Mr. Vernon’s secrets, Charmaine, so it’s hard to say if he’s an ally or an enemy. My characters have a way of surprising me, each other, and themselves. (And, I’m sooo sorry you guys have been hit by the flu. It’s a nasty season this year.)

  • Why do I see bone fragments instead of the toothpick that this guy is buffing? Or maybe they are crows feet? One could only hope…

    Great snippet Monica 😉

    Poor you. I hope you stand up and kick that flu in the balls!

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      You know, Keeley, Matilde would kick you in the shins for disparaging her crows. (Bartholomew, on the other hand, has been known to give ’em a good swat every now and then…when his ward isn’t looking.)

  • daezarkian

    That’s funny, I had a “Django Unchained” tune going in my head when I read that, as well. Nicely done, Monica, great character development!

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      Two Django references? I’d say this must be going well, then. Thanks, Steven!

  • Interesting, brings to mind many questions about this butler and where he fits in the plot. Excellent excerpt!

  • I love the dialogue–and so look forward to reading this book.

    Hope you feel better, Monica!

  • Based on this snippet, I really like Mr. Vernon. He seems to have an excellent sense of humor.

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      Thanks, Jess. He does and it combines with his boxing skills to serve a very important function for Bartholomew. 🙂

  • Don’t know why, but he reminds me of Lord Peter’s Bunter.

  • siobhanmuir

    I like that Mr. Vernon doesn’t seek violence, but he’ll do something about it if he’s pushed. Good reminder to pick your fights, too. Nicely done, Monica. 🙂

  • That’s my kind of butler. He’d be handy to have around should things get rough.

  • A very interesting man, especially for a butler. A great snippet this week!

  • I think I like Matilde!
    And, I could use a shoeshine.

  • I like his character and the understated humor when he’s telling Matilde about the fight.

  • There seems to be a lot more to Mr. Vernon than we and Matilde see on the surface. Great snippet!