149: The Patriarch and the Butler’s Thanksgiving

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Had your fill with family, food and football? Come find a quiet moment to stop by and step into our parlor where devilish delights await. We welcome you to a very special Thanksgiving feast in this Carte du Jour as we continues where we left off earlier this month, an addendum to the short snippet from a scene during Thanksgiving of the year 1919 in New York City.

First, we serve you an appetizer, a smattering of light dishes before the main course of ideas of future stories I'm working thanks to the jumpstart of a few charitable patrons: Secret parties. Feminists. Asians. Vegans. Private islands. Artfully presented deli cuts of meat that look suspiciously familiar. A lady who loves hunting ending up being hunted herself. A lady who loved shoes who ends up in the hands of men who loves feet. Wealthy men who paid a pretty penny to see a very special show before their very special meal.

These and more are Some of these will hopefully end up as completed comics in the near future. Thanks to these few, there will be many stories to come! And that will be my own way of celebrating my very own Thanksgiving, to these few and to you all, the rest of my subscribers and patrons.

And on to our featured presentation!



1919, at the Dakota Apartments, Manhattan, New York. A brief conversation between Count Victor van Duyne and Wallace Eaton, Butler of House Van Duyne.


You might ask me, Mr. Eaton, who was this young, beautiful socialite? Will she be missed or be forgotten to history? A daughter unloved, disowned by her parents who had thought she had brought disrespect to his family. A false story would be told that she turned away from her family and friends. What was it? Yes. A failed relationship with the Prussian Prince, the ensuing bitterness and a new relationship with a poor Gallic stranger whom her family disapprove of and the ensuing fallout. Disowned, discarded and forgotten. It is a tale all too common and we are here to sweep up the mess. Isn't it better to hear a more optimistic tale of two young lovers who had eloped for a new life in the Mediterranean instead of the harsher reality of self-destruction, depression and ultimate sacrifice to the Hellfire Club. I do not want to live in this world anymore, she says. Do what you will with my body. She was quite broken that it made me almost wistful that I could not be her prince that would sweep her from her feet and save her from this life of sadness.

So, she knew what was to happen to her, my Lord?

In a sense, yes, but of course, I had omitted the part about what we would do to her body, and when I'd told her, you could say the immense horror of her corporeal desecration had her desperately begging for her life at the end. Of course, we couldn't allow her to live with our secret so... well... she is at peace now and appreciated by all the power of the world present. And for that, she is the most important person of the evening. I am thankful to her for her bounty and delicious sacrifice.

Now, isn't it curious that it is left to us to honor her memory when her own loved ones had chosen to discard her? Memorialized in the Museo to be appreciated by our forebears for generations to come. What would they think of her as they look upon her reliquary? Would my descendants and their compatriots wonder about her life and the feast that had come of her. Would they think of me as one look upon a lost era and a long dead empire? What happened in times past and was she delicious? It is beautiful to think isn't it? The fragility of life and the history of the moment. Tragedy. Tragedy, is a beautiful concept isn't it, Mr. Eaton.

You are ever wise, my Lord.

I have carved many birds, savored much of the delicacy that is the graceful turkey, but even then, this forgotten, nameless creature would be quite special to me. As I had spread her drumsticks apart to carve them off, seeing herself presented to me, dead and beautiful, roasted to perfection, exposed to me, I was beset with a sudden bout of nostalgia, that of my own youth when I first discovered my family's secret. It is good to revisit the passions of the past and how it consumed me. Jadedness is a foul thing and these moments are important don't you think?

Yes, it is so, my Lord. I have felt it. Daily I recount the moment when you had brought me into your fold when I was at the lowest ebb of my existence and revealed to me the secrets of the world. I owe you my life and my servitude.

And that I am most appreciative of your loyalty too, Mr. Eaton. And here is where I ask for your advice.

A rare pleasure, my Lord. I am all ears as always.

In your general stoic state that you find yourself in most occasions, Mr. Eaton, as I trust that you are the most observant kind. What do you think of our friend, the Baron? I have already made my decision of who will ascend to the position of Tetrarch but I would like it reinforced with your most observant estimation of human character.

I believe the Baron to be extremely talented, creative, loyal and present himself as a worthy coadjutant to the principles of Asterion. However, to put it mildly, I find myself harboring a small part within myself when I am in his presence, a certain reservation in expressing my truest feelings. He does pull those around him into his presence as the planets do to their moon.

I do believe you are describing, hubris.

Well, that is a strong word, My Lord, but yes.

Thank you, Mr. Eaton. I have reservations with the Baron. Putting him in a position as powerful as that of Tetrarch might bring about... complications. But I will reward him nonetheless. A more modest promotion, that of Seneschal. If he is unhappy about the matter, then we will know the fullest state character and might find himself on the outside looking in. As a just reward, I believe you have earned a meal. Let me carve you a piece of my favorite part of the roast. Have you tried this part, a rare and juicy piece of the rump near where the leg joins the hip? Coated with cranberry and thyme sauce, it is an absolutely delightful dish.

This is an honor, my Lord, thank you.

The honor is all mine. Carving the bird is one task that is as much a pleasure for me to do as it is for me to enjoy the fruits of my labor. A Merry Thanksgiving to you, Mr. Eaton.

And a Merry Thanksgiving to you, my Lord.


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