26 January, 2014 by katelaity
“You must remember it,” Israel tutted as his brother busied himself with checking the motor’s operation. “We were staying in that lovely little pension that mama had lodged at when she was on her grand tour.”
“Of what possible interest could that be now?” His brother’s irritation had only grown as they bickered. Edgar’s only thought was for the competition—and destroying them. Once he conquered Helen Rochester, he could bring her around to the idea of marrying him. That’s what a woman needed after all: a man who took charge.
“Don’t you see?” Israel persisted. “The lions!”
Edgar blinked at his brother. “There aren’t any lions in Venice.”
“Yes, there are!”
“You’re thinking of pigeons.” Edgar was pleased to see the engine running so smoothly and with relatively little heat. No danger of fire at all.
“No, no. Not actual lions—though there must be some…” Israel’s voice trailed off as he considered the thought. “Or one, surely.”
“What are you on about?” Edgar usually did his best to ignore his brother’s meandering rambles through conversation. It was difficult to manage here. One of the major drawbacks to airship travel was the limited range of movement and conversational partners.
“The Venetian lions,” Israel continued implacably. “Remember outside the Doge’s Palace? What’s the place…? It will come to me…” He tapped his chin thoughtfully. “It’s on the tip of my tongue. I’m thinking a disciple. Help me, Edgar.”
“Help you what?”
“What’s in front of the Doge’s Palace?”
“Is this a riddle?” His brother’s irritation reached a level that would be dangerous for the motor but could not cause a conflagration in the human machine. “I hate riddles. You know this.”
“No, I’m just trying to remember. If it’s a disciple, there’s only twelve, right? So we could narrow it down…”
“Disciples? Do I care about disciples?” Despite himself Edgar found he was being inexorably drawn into his brother’s aimless cogitations.
“Wait a moment. Not disciples. The other ones. What are the other ones?”
“Other what?” Edgar was annoyed to realize he was completely lost now. The one thing he had hoped to avoid. He should just turn away and focus on the ship as they had a race to run. But an idea struck him. He hated being twins. Alas, he knew how Israel’s mind worked. “Evangelists? Do you mean the evangelists?”
Israel smacked his forehead with his palm. “Yes, precisely! Ah, you have done it again, my brother. The evangelists. Only four of them.”
“Indeed, now can we get back to—”
“Matthew, Mark, John and er, what’s his name? Do you remember?”
“Does it matter?” Edgar snorted. His hands itched to close around his brother’s throat. Again.
“Well, I think it was Mark anyway.” Israel nodded, slowly at first and then more rapidly. “Yes, I’m almost certain. Mark. St Mark.”
“Well, if that’s sorted now—”
Edgar stared. “What?”
“St Mark’s Square!” Israel looked so very pleased with himself, it was difficult to hate him at the moment, but Edgar very nearly managed it.
“What about St Mark’s Square?”
“The lion! The Venetian Lion. It’s there. Don’t you remember the wings?”