Thursday, July 24, 2008

Some MLAS Backstory

Anon said ...

I just started rereading MLAS, and ... I realized as I started though, that I don't know what happened to Jess's mom. Or why where Josiah went and why he didn't come back for her, when she was a kid--if I remember correctly, Jess' mom was still alive when she went to work for Lazarus.

I pulled a good bit of backstory out of My Lord and Spymaster.

It's always a hard choice. Do I go wandering down these side alleys of the distant past, or stick to the straight highway of what's happening right now.

Here's a bit of a scene about Jess' mom, pulled out of an early draft.


Always liked to watch people, Sebastian did. Probably saw a lot.

He said, "What in Blue Blazes did you think you were doing?"

"It was one of those calculated risks."

"It was a calculated madness. Did you really stab him when you were eleven?"

"I tried to. He was expecting it." She frowned and began fingering along a strand of her hair. "I wanted to kill him, Sebastian. He got me locked up in Newgate when my mother was dying of fever. Bad fever, whatever it was. Both the women nursing her died of it in the end. When I got out -- "

"You were in ... For God's sake, you were in Newgate."

"I was safe enough. Nobody touches what belongs to Lazarus. But I about battered myself silly on the walls, wanting to get to my mother. I kept waiting for Lazarus to buy me free. It took me a couple of days to figure out he was the one who peached on me."

"And your mother died."

"When they let me loose, I went after him. Didn't do much more than scratch him. I think I was out of my mind for a while."

"You think you were ... Jess, is there ever a time you're properly sane?"

"I'm cautious, generally. You barging in and asking Lazarus for me -- now that was daft."


And here's something about Josiah.


Loyal to the bone."

That described Jess pretty well. She certainly picked godawful men to be loyal to. "Where the hell was this father of hers all that time?"

"In Egypt, in Napoleon's army, shooting at Englishmen." Adrian rolled the pencil back and forth on the table. "That is supposed to be a deep dark secret from us."

"In Egypt."

"Whitby got picked up in Boulogne for smuggling and spent six month in Prison, passing himself off as a Frenchman. Ended up swept into the Emperor's army. It took him years to get loose and back to England. Jess and her mother were on their own."

"And Jess sold herself to Lazarus."

"I imagine Lazarus arranged it that she didn't have any choice."


1 comment:

  1. Ah, I love it when you put up the deleted scenes. Anything else juicy from MLAS? *hopeful face*