Sunday, January 29, 2012


The alchemist raised an eyebrow, afraid what new question he would have to face next. Obtaining a motor had been far more difficult than he had anticipated. "What is it monsieur?"

Delon looked him up and down before he asked with a grim expression, "You swear you are not an anarchist?"

Maggiormente clapped his hands together. He did not mind the question, although it seemed his countrymen were unfairly maligned with this charge. "Monsieur, I swear on the life of my mother and all the she holds holy that I am not an anarchist."

Delon looked at Fabien, who nodded. "You cannot be too careful, monsieur. There are many strange ideas in the world at present."

"Indeed," the alchemist agreed, though he had no idea to what the mechanic might be referring. When it came to politics, the alchemist was a bit like a child. His opinions tended toward fairness, respect and all freedom for alchemical experimentation.

"As long as you are not an anarchist planning to create chaos with your explosions, I am willing to sell this motor to you," Delon said. He clapped the alchemist on the shoulder. "I would not want to have such a thing on my conscience."

"Nor I."

Fabien nodded agreement. "I have known M. Maggiormente for some weeks now and I can say he and Eduardo are most agreeable and only dangerous by accident."

Eduardo snorted. "I am dangerous on purpose."

The alchemist frowned at his familiar. "Yes, on purpose, but not often."

"And not to most people," Fabien agreed.

Eduardo raised his head a little higher. "I am selective."

"Indeed." Maggiormente was eager to change the subject before Eduardo began boasting of his exploits. "This motor will offer a great chance to develop—"

"I once killed a duke," Eduardo began.

"Not a duke," the alchemist corrected.

"What is it he was then? Something like a duke."

"He was an alderman."

Eduardo sniffed.

"And he didn't die. He was rather frightened though." Brigitte crowed from the lion's back and bounced up and down as if delighted with the thought of startling a minor official.

"The pigeons did not survive."

"That is true. So, monsieur, the price?" Maggiormente and Delon haggled amiably for a bit and at last agreed on a mutually satisfying amount and exchanged francs for the motor.

"Well, what will you attach it to?" Delon asked as the alchemist tucked the motor under his arm.

Maggiormente stared. "Attach it to?"

"Yes, to test it you'll need to attach it to something."

"But I do not need to propel anything, just to see how the motor works."

"And what? Hold it in your hand while you fire it up?" Delon and Fabien both laughed, as much at Maggiormente's puzzled expression as at his failure to see the issues at hand. "Monsieur, the motor will get very hot as it works."

"Ah," the alchemist said, enlightened.

"You could attach it to Mme. Gabor," Eduardo suggested. This provoked even more laughter, but Maggiormente did not join in.

"You are only making things worse, Eduardo." He frowned.

Delon disappeared into the depths of the garage once more and returned with a short wooden plank. "Let's see if we can attach the motor to this. It will offer some stability."

The mechanic and the alchemist bent over the plank and in a few minutes the motor had been secured to the wood.

"Eccellente! Now we shall go try it out."

Delon shook his hand. "Now, no explosions, monsieur."

"I shall endeavour," Maggiormente said with grave solemnity. "I think we are nearly there. To perfection!"

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