I have a fully functioning flintlock pistol. Sometimes, when I need a break, I’ll charge it with black powder, tamp it with a bit of tissue paper, and shoot it against the brick wall in my office: big bang, big flash, lots of smoke. Huzzah! The bit of tissue, however, has a tendency to catch fire and land where it should not. Just like it does for Dolley.
I removed this to speed the reader into the gist of the story.
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The following is a deleted scene, mercilessly cut from the heart of the novel and tossed screaming into the outer darkness of this web site for your sadistic amusement. It’s raw stuff, unrefined, un-wordsmithed, probably not even spell-checked. Read at your own risk!
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. . . .Gunpowder wasn’t necessary. When she knew for certain Jemmy would be out of town for the day she’d put a little powder in the priming pan for a delightful flash and aromatic puff of smoke.
Once, for reasons she still didn’t understand, she used a full powder charge tamped with a scrap of rag instead of a bullet. The pistol had made a much louder pop! than she had anticipated, and the flaming rag had struck the mirror and fallen to the carpet, starting a small fire she doused with a vase of freshly cut roses. She had fibbed to Mother Madison about the noise (“I smashed a spider with my shoe.”) and spent hours trying to mask the distinct aroma of gunpowder smoke. The room still reeked when Jemmy returned, and only her bawdy and scandalous behavior distracted him from the odd scent combination of lavender, rose, daffodil, onion, fried chicken, and gunpowder.
No gunpowder today. It was enough to have the hammer strike its flint against the frizzen and make a spark . . . .