I've been holding off on getting round to editing and posting the final chapter because the page stats on fanfiction.net have been offline for the last week, and I rather like to have some idea of how many people are actually reading my work — it's a big disincentive — but of course there's no reason why I shouldn't post it here in the meantime... (where there are no page stats anyway and it basically serves as an extra proofreading stage!)
I've done quite a bit of fiddling and written some extra material for the end — I hope there's a bit more foreshadowing of Erik's appearance now — but I'm still not sure the death scene has come across as I initially envisaged.
Chapter 3 — Paris
Ships had come and gone in the great bay at Brest Roads, over the years. Raoul had become an uncle three times over as his sisters burgeoned into contented domesticity and families of their own, and had grown out of his shy childhood into a quiet but determined youth. He and Philippe had had a trial or two of wills already, for all their mutual affection; but under Mr. Jackson’s tuition he had been preparing his mathematics to enter upon the rigours of navigation in that nautical training on which his heart remained set, and at this juncture the Comte had more than once been consoling himself with the prospect. Naval discipline might do wonders to curb the boy’s impetuous streak, and with their mother’s excellent understanding and sound judgement he bid fair to shine in the ranks of the cadets. There had been an admiral among their ancestors, after all: the great Chagny de La Roche, who had held high office under Richelieu and brought confusion to the Spanish off Cadiz.( Read more... )