Excerpt from The Duchess, Her Maid, The Groom and Their Lover– Humor

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Two days later, the last of the horses was slung aboard Captain Leung’s ship. Watching from the dock, Henri bounced on his toes. He’d never been to sea before, though the coast was less than a day’s journey from the ducal seat, if one wasn’t picky about where one took ship.

Sylvie jabbed him with her elbow. “Be still. You are older than five.”

Henri grinned at her. “We’re going to sea!”

“We will likely drown,” she said, dourly. “Or be eaten by sharks. Or the tiny fish, who attack in flocks and shred the flesh from your bones.”

“Those are only in rivers, Captain Leung said.”

“Rivers run into the sea, and fish can swim along them,” Sylvie said. “You seem insufferably pleased with yourself. It could wear on a person’s patience. There might be an accident. Do you swim?”

Henri rose to his toes again, this time to try and see how Lilas fared as her hooves met the deck. He glanced over his shoulder at Sylvie. “She turned you down, didn’t she? Captain Leung?”

“Not all of us are so lucky as you,” she growled, and stomped away.

Kaspar strolled to Henri’s side. “And she gets seasick as well,” he said. “Won’t this be a pleasant trip?”

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c. Victoria Janssen, 2009

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