The Ballad Of Mona Lisa~Chapter Four: Give Me A Sign

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Esteban had nearly knocked the door down until Heckett, the Urie's butler, answered the door. The butler was cheery. "Hello, Lady Markwell! And your lads..."

"Esteban. We must speak with Lady Urie before something worse can happen!"

Mona Lisa would have been glad to see the butler any other time, but she offered, "I beg your pardon by our unannounced visit, but we bring very sad news. Brendon..."

"Is dead," Remus quietly finished.

Heckett lost his jovial persona. "This can not be. This just can't be. Impossible... How?"

Remus introduced himself, and launched into what they had figured out. When he finished, Heckett was pale in pallor. "I... still can't believe this. Even with Mary's reputation... no. Even if I see his dead body..."

Grief and shock was obviously overwhelming Heckett. Esteban had to embrace the butler for comfort and a way to not just stand in silence.

"No..." Heckett started sobbing.

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If Edmund went straight to the constable, Luer would somehow have his hide and possibly drain his blood. Luer was far more crafty and elusive than he let on. Edmund may have had a narcissistic edge, but he happened to be in a compassionate mood. He must tip off Lady Urie, if only to see Mary beheaded and Luer thrown into jail.

A group of gypsies decided to put on a show on the London streets that day. Some of the aristocrats scoffed at this, most people made sure their valuables were secure, and others were eager to see the beauties dancing in an excited but in an almost elegant fashion. Edmund always loved to watch them dance. Thieving rascals, yes, but the artsy costumes made up for it almost.

As the show continued, one petite and charming lass broke away. She seemed depressed, heart-broken. She tried to make her way past Edmund, but Edmund forced a restraining hand upon her shoulder. "Hello, miss. You seem rather down."

"I should keep this remark to myself, but why in the hell are you trying to meddle in my fairs?"

Edmund was speechless for a few moments. Her words were cruel, rude, and Edmund felt his ego descend. However, Edmund had to admire a bold woman. At last he managed, "Well, I... suppose you are right." Never had those words been spoken from Edmund's mouth in such a sincere fashion. Esteban swallowed before he said four more words that never came out of his mouth in a similar situation. "I beg your pardon."

The outspoken gypsy shook her head. "Hopeless. The lot of you. All men are the same."

Edmund couldn't help but say, "Not all men. There are diamonds in broken glass."

The gypsy was silent, and shrugged off Edmund's hand. Edmund was oddly attracted by this mystery. Oh, right. Bring down Luer.

Edmund found a young chap. He had to be thirteen, certainly well-cared for. "Listen-oh, hello, little child- I need some information from you. Valuable information."

The chap cocked his head. "Mark, if you don't mind. What do you need, stranger?"

"Where does Lady Urie live?"

"Follow me. We must get a carriage. I shan't make this journey by foot."

Mark led the man to a simple carriage, and discovered the man's name was Edmund. Mark took the reins, and clattered and clashed his way to the Urie home.

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Lady Urie stepped out of her house. She was alarmed to see almost always joyful Heckett crying tears of sadness. That could not be Mona Lisa... but it was. "Mona Lisa! A pleasure to see you again." Lady Urie embraced Mona Lisa. She then realized Mona was crying. "Dear, what's wrong?"

Remus broke the news again. "Lady Urie, I fear your son has been murdered."

Lady Urie's eyes flooded. She fled to the cold comfort of her interior. Esteban finally stated, "I think I know how to-"

Esteban noticed the clatter and clash of a carriage. Heckett was the one to know the boy at the reins."Mark, well..."

At last, the carriage pulled into a stop. Edmund hopped out. "Greetings, gentlemen and lady. I assume that you have not heard the sad, so sad, news about Lord Urie?"

The four mournfully nodded. Edmund continued, "I must tell Lady Urie."

"She just found out," Remus assured. "From us."

"How did you know?" Edmund then realized. "Apologies, my name is Edmund."

Mark was at his side. "Edmund has very promising information, if you care to hear. It could lead to justice."

"I was about to get to that," Edmund hissed. He turned to the mournful ones. "Mary took Lord Urie's life. Mary is fleeing, of course. You know the carriage creator, Luer? He is helping Mary get the hell out of Dodge. That's important, right?"

Mona Lisa was not at all in her forgiving mood. "What's important is knowing that bastard will burn in hell."

"Well, the bastard will die later rather than sooner-"

"You imbecile, why are you telling us this now? Have you spoken to the constable?" Mona Lisa fired. "Did you want to see me in a mad mood?"

"Wow, it's all about you. I can not tell the constable, otherwise Luer will have my poor hide mounted as a prized possession."

Remus decided to unsettle Edmund. "I suppose somebody led you to Lady Urie, so you can hand her the responsibility to report the death of her own son to the constable. All to save your hide and give you a chance to laugh at her misfortune."

Even Edmund stalled after that bullet. "Well... I do want to live... a life that this... poor gentleman could have had. And I would never laugh at an elder's misfortunes... too much."

Esteban accused, "That's terrible!"

"I am an honest gentleman," Edmund acknowledged.

Heckett threw his hands in the air. "Why are we letting ourselves be distracted from the crux of the matter?" All eyes turned on him as he brought forth the matter at hand. "A man-a noble gentleman- died at the hand of somebody. That is quite obvious, as Brendon was the healthiest lad I ever knew. The suspected murderer is Mary Stafford, who comes from a family with a bad reputation. Also, she is on the run, with the assistance of Luer. One obstacle to overcome is the following-how do we track such an elusive character?"

"We send her an invitation to Brendon's funeral?" Esteban suggested.

"But she wouldn't come," Remus theorized.

"Spaniard, this is not a party," Edmund reminded in his usual style.

Esteban put his point in a more Remus way. "If she doesn't come, she will be suspected."

Mona had to smile. "Esteban, you are a genius."

Edmund saw one problem. "How will Mary find out?"

A messanger on a dappled pony rode up. "I have a message from Luer. Oh, hi, Edmund."

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