When Henry was eight, and living in London, his parents took ill and died. First his father, and then a couple weeks later, his mother. Sickness or grief, or both, in the end it did not matter as Henry was left quite alone.
The housekeeper and he returned to a quiet house, still swathed in mourning from when his father died. The boy had gone to his room, while she went to speak to the solicitor who had accompanied them. It was only later, when Ms Dobbs went to check on Henry, did she find that he had taken the somber suit that he had worn only twice, along with the black armband he would have worn for the next year-
And ripped them both to shreds, tossing them into the fireplace. Quietly, he informed her that he would not wear them again.
Wellard headed to his room, one hand tightly clenched with the bit of knotted hemp cord-pale white and blood red
wound around his fingers. His face was neutral, and too many thoughts whirling around in his head for any one to show. The Scarlet Pimpernel was set down on the small table in his room, and Elda's feather laid on top of it. Then, to the foot of his bed, to the sea chest. It held all the few belongings he had on board the Renown
- all Wellard had in his life at sea, in the navy.
And plus one.
A pistol, carefully cleaned, oiled, wrapped and tucked near the bottom. A flint-lock pistol, with no shell or powder. Midshipmen did not carry guns in the normal course of their duties.("I can't let you reach Kingston.")
But he had it, and Wellard tucked it into his waistband, and then exited his room, heading outside.
He was a sailor, it was not a skill he had ever learned. But the flint and steel on the pistol still worked, still sparked, and after much trial and error, it managed to light a small handful of dried pine needles, then twigs. Soon there was a small cup of fire burning in a nest of stones on the lakeside. Nursing burned and bruised fingers, Wellard watched it quietly for a few moments, to be sure the flames would not blow out just yet-
Before tossing the knotted and braided bracelet into the flames.White and red-
Gold and burning
He stays, until the flames have died out, and nothing but a small handful of ashes remain. The stones are then nudged aside, to let the wind scatter those across the lake, before Wellard turns, to head back. Still silent.