Master Raymond

The whole Scene:

“Mon­sieur Ray­mond?” I inquired polite­ly of the young woman behind the counter.“Maître Ray­mond,” she cor­rect­ed. She wiped a red nose inel­e­gant­ly on her sleeve and ges­tured toward the end of the shop, where sin­is­ter clouds of a brown­ish smoke float­ed out over the tran­som of a half-door.Wizard or not, Ray­mond had the right set­ting for it. Smoke drift­ed up from a black slate hearth to coil beneath the low black beams of the roof. Above the fire, a stone table pierced with holes held glass alem­bics, cop­per “pelicans”—metal cans with long noses from which sin­is­ter sub­stances dripped into cups—and what appeared to be a small but ser­vice­able still. I sniffed cau­tious­ly. Among the oth­er strong odors in the shop, a heady alco­holic note was clear­ly dis­tin­guish­able from the direc­tion of the fire. A neat line­up of clean bot­tles along the side­board rein­forced my orig­i­nal sus­pi­cions. What­ev­er his trade in charms and potions, Mas­ter Ray­mond plain­ly did a roar­ing busi­ness in high-qual­i­ty cher­ry brandy.The dis­tiller him­self was crouched over the fire, pok­ing errant bits of char­coal back into the grate. Hear­ing me come in, he straight­ened up and turned to greet me with a pleas­ant smile.“How do you do?” I said polite­ly to the top of his head. So strong was the impres­sion that I had stepped into an enchanter’s den that I would not have been sur­prised to hear a croak in reply.For Mas­ter Ray­mond resem­bled noth­ing so, much as a large, genial frog. A touch over four feet tall, bar­rel-chest­ed and bandy-legged, he had the thick, clam­my skin of a swamp dweller, and slight­ly bul­bous, friend­ly black eyes. Aside from the minor fact that he wasn’t green, all he lacked was warts.


“Madon­na!” he said, beam­ing expan­sive­ly. “What may I have the plea­sure of doing for you?” He lacked teeth alto­geth­er, enhanc­ing the frog­gy impres­sion still more, and I stared at him in fascination.“Madonna?” he said, peer­ing up at me questioningly.Snapped abrupt­ly to a real­iza­tion of how rude­ly I had been star­ing, I blushed and said with­out think­ing, “I was just won­der­ing whether you’d ever been kissed by a beau­ti­ful young girl.”I went still red­der as he shout­ed with laugh­ter. With a broad grin, he said “Many times, madon­na. But alas, it does not help. As you see. Ribbit.”We dis­solved in help­less laugh­ter, attract­ing the notice of the shop­girl, who peered over the half-door in alarm.



All rights for the Pic­ture go to the right­ful owner Starz
Quo­te and Excerpt by Diana Gabaldon from “DiA”
I own not­hing but the editing
Heike Ginger Ba Written by:

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