Thought I’d amuse you and post part of a chapter from Emily’s POV. You remember I deleted those chapters because the book was getting way too long…
This is from a scene at Lick House restaurant in San Francisco (late 1800’s for those who haven’t been paying attention).
Chance and Kye met my carriage at the curb. It seemed to be the latter’s turn to play escort, as he hurried forward to take my hand and help me down. I gave each gentleman a discreet embrace, and a chaste kiss on the cheek, before taking Kye’s arm and entering the hotel. Chance tagged along behind us, the very image of a platonic comrade.
Were Michelangelo still living, he would have demanded to paint Chance Knight. It must be said that the man is well aware of his effect on the opposite sex. He keeps his curly dark hair precisely long enough to instill a nearly irresistible urge to run one’s fingers through it, although that means that he must then habitually swipe the bangs out of his eyes in order to be able to see. His manner borders on impudent at times, although I have never noticed a recipient of his admiration making any complaints. I have not yet caught the man actually admiring his own reflection, although he is most fastidious about his appearance. The slightest bit of dust or soot that dares to alight upon his person is instantly and ferociously brushed away.
Chance’s usual expression is one that could only be described as Puckish. A dimple creases his left cheek almost perpetually, as though the man finds the universe immensely amusing and is only waiting for the rest of us to catch up with the punchline. One eyebrow seems always on the verge of rising sardonically. I have seen that brow in just such a position all too frequently, as well. Chance affects no facial hair, and, in my opinion, would look most displeasing beneath a beard or mustache. His posture and carriage rather remind one of a strutting rooster, albeit perhaps a bantam.
No matter what crowd the man may find himself in, Chance Knight will certainly be the center of attention. I have often thought it surprising that he has not chosen a life on the stage, so much does he love the limelight. I have never seen the man at a loss for words, or struggling to find exactly the right sentiment for any situation.
His partner, tall and silent Kye, is nearly his opposite. Where Chance seeks out the spotlight, Kye fades into the background. Kye is a solemn man. He seems to me a bit mistrustful of other people, as though he sees danger in every corner or behind every door. He does not speak much in public, although among friends his soft voice will make itself heard. The man has a certain way with a joke or tale, surprising because one does not expect it from so quiet a fellow.
He reminds me somewhat of Mr. Hickok, whom everyone calls “Wild Bill.” Kye is a striking man, though not what everyone might call handsome. His face is dominated by a great axe of a nose, beneath which he affects a thick mustache, of a shade slightly darker than his strawberry-blonde hair. Kye prefers a short haircut, slicked back as is the fashion, but otherwise he seems to care little for the current trends. In fact, I have always had the impression that the man simply pulls open his wardrobe and dons the first garment to come to hand.
Chance is the educated one of the pair, although he once confessed to me that he had left school at an early age and completed his education by reading. The man is easily intelligent enough to perform such a task, and I felt certain that Chance’s knowledge would rival that of any college graduate, especially as I had surreptitiously grilled a few of my male relatives about their college careers and passed along a list of recommended reading to my friend. Kye, although less educated than his partner, is nonetheless more knowledgeable than he allows people to guess. He speaks habitually in an exaggerated drawl, like an ignorant cowboy fresh from a cattle drive. However, having heard the man speak in perfectly proper English in the privacy of my own home, I am forced to decry that as a facade. It strikes me as yet another example of Kye’s droll wit: it amuses him to have people think of him as an uneducated farm boy.