The carriage pulled up at exactly nine am. The polished black buggy with its springs like dull silver swayed lightly as the horseman pulled back on the twin tan and white horses that looked more like they belonged at the Sandown races than at work.
The owner of the carriage descended from the unmarked door, down the steps that one could pass right by without noticing, his young moustached face vanished behind the carriage door. No signal was needed as the driver in the tuxedo sprung the strong horses to action, following just behind a Government street trolley car.
On board a man with a newspaper tried not to notice. He looked at his pocketwatch and made a note, tucking the pad and pen back into the tweed coat he originally bought in the Vauxhall high street. It had served him for over twenty years that summer.
Now he had the new boy to consider. One man had stumbled upon far too much and he would have undoubtedly left traces and questions behind for Mr. Baels, the junior clerk from Ottawa not to notice. The passenger knew he could not be get off the street car until he reached the new Legislature.
The car clicked onto the new road beside the grand hotel with the warmth of the harbor sun pouring through the windows. The shadow-like carriage driving behind turned towards the Empress Hotel, driving up the immaculate lawns to the stone steps of the front door. Outside a sturdy woman in white with bags waited by the door, two giants of men flanking her sides.
“Miss Penny has arrived,” he whispered to himself with his eyes just over the unkempt edge of the Colonist “God help us.”
Quiet City is one of the projects I’ve been working on set in Victoria, British Columbia in both modern times and in 1910.
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