Here we are just a few days into the novel and have reached 100 pages.
This it is time for an update.
The Fastest Love on Earth comes from an observation that on the opening day of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway where the first 2 chapters of the books are concerned, George Stephenson became the Fastest Man on Earth as he rushed his train towards Manchester.
As the beginning of the novel is concerned with this and our couple meet in this sequence, we have our title of the novel now at 30,150 words
For February we are at 125000 words and this is the last week of writing for February.
I also have started to write a weekly blog for GameDecider.com It is called Which Way Should I Go
As usual, at every hundred pages, the first part of a chapter
1) Nothing can go so fast
“There is Stafford. He has as many shares as you, I have heard.” Sir Horatio Fawkes said. He was of average height and a little heavyset, filling every stitch of his clothes. So well that they were close to bursting at the seams. He shivered in the warm Liverpool air as one of the big engines rumbled.
His companion Kevin, rail thin and taller than the first by some three inches, shook his head, covered with dark hair showing just three or four streaks of gray. Kevin did not like George Granville Leveson-Gower who his friend had pointed out. Perhaps the richest man in the world. He surely thought that clearing his estates of the poor was just, but Kevin could not see it. The man had wanted the poor off of his estates and would make the land better for his pocket later. Ten years ago and he had become even more wealthy because he had a compliant parliament support him.
“He had as many shares as I had, a thousand at the inception. I have more now for he has turned his interest to other things. It allowed me to acquire more, I am told by my man of business. Ah, the Prime Minister is come. You can hear the band begin. That Wellington is here is Stafford’s doing, or Lady Stafford. They are great friends and Arthur would not listen to me. He thought this event momentous for the entire nation and schedules were changed and set so this spectacle could be created.”
Horatio laughed, “They may be great friends but you are on a first name basis with him.”
“The war. Fifteen years already, but that bond will not depart.”
“You were young then, though.” Horatio said reminding Kevin of that time.
“Four years, damn dumbest thing to abuse my power so and go to war. Father was dead two years and mother thought she would scare me from doing my duty. I was sixteen and what did I know. Cannon shot and bullets changed my mind very quickly.” Kevin shivered at the memory.
“If I had known you then I would have told you that you were being foolish. Too many died during that war, or lost a limb.” Kevin shivered again at Horatio’s statement. Too well was he aware of that. By eighteen he was a Captain because of those who had been shot or died, and because he could well afford it. He was offered higher rank but knew that he did not have the skills or qualities to anything higher. It was one reason he had Wellington’s respect. The other that he was a peer. The seventh earl of Dorchester.
And rich. Wellington was become a politician and he knew that Stafford’s money as well as his own would see the growth of the nation. And he new king was all for supporting that. William IV and Kevin got along well enough too. Kevin would have to say that he met a few of the FitzClarence sons and enjoyed their company if briefly. The sons lived much more quietly than their father had. Much more frugally even though their father was now king.
One though could only spend as much money as Parliament allowed. Terrible, but then everyone should live within their means. That tenet would always hold true and made for good living. Kevin had a young brother who had trouble with that concept even on two thousand a year. Bartholomew who was an hour later than Kevin had asked him to come, but then it might have been wise to be late. Things were still not ready and with just a few minutes until they were supposed to start he was not sure that they would be on time. Kevin thought the idea of a pass in review when they reached Parkside and take on water and coal foolishness. They should show the trains here and look at them, then get aboard the one and see how fast they could travel. 17 miles each and every hour. How could one imagine such speed.
Surely a horse could go twice as fast for a few hundred yards. A mile perhaps, but then it would tire. The metal beast never did. It was a good investment. And he did not increase the size of his holding to do better than Stafford, but to do well for himself and the support he might need for Barthlomew and his sisters. There were two, and one well married. The youngest though, a child of their mother’s second marriage, was due to come out in society and he was determined that Kate would have a good showing of it. Margaret had married Viscount Conway and had three children. The son would be the heir after Bartholomew of his Earldom also. The boy was a lad of seven. Michael Parker Lennox.
“Yes, I am sure you would have talked me from my folly, but it made a man of me. At least man enough that I am proud most days of my actions. Today should be well, for this is an achievement despite all the hullabaloo. I may sell my shares for now that this is launched we must do so in other parts of the country. We must one day link all of the nation by rail and then other parts of the world with this advanced transportation. I think it will change all the world.”
“Here, here.” Another man came forward then, Older, about fifty and with one younger than he and looking like him also. “Sorry but I heard you as I was passing Lord Dorchester. I am inspired when you say such things.”
Kevin laughed, “You are inspired at everything Mister Stephenson. Sir Horatio Fawkes, Mister Stephenson and his son Robert.”
“A pleasure sure. A friend of our greatest patron and shareholder is always a pleasure to meet.” Stephenson said.
“Mine, sir. The pleasure is mine. I see what you have done her astonishing. I look forward to the trip. You are to steer one of these leviathans?”
Kevin chuckled. Horatio was a novice about such things. “No, they steer themselves. The rails you see, Sir Horatio. But I will be driving Northumbrian and Robert here will drive the Rocket, which won me my position as to supply the Liverpool and Manchester with these fine locomotives.”
“Very good.” Horatio said, not really interested but Stephenson probably could not tell that.
“If you will excuse me, not much time before we leave. You may want to board a train. You can see that the Duke is about to,” Stepehenson said and that was surely the signal for the rest of them to as well.
Kevin said a few choice words and the Stephensons moved on. “One day it will not be we lords who rule the earth but those men, the ones who know how to build such things.” Kevin said to Horatio when the two had moved on.
The noise from the crowd was increasing, so many people had come and the other shareholders had invited so many guests to the event that there had been no rooms available in all of Liverpool last night. It was a good thing that this venture had forced Kevin to purchase a small townhouse in the prior years both here, and one in Manchester. He did not like either of them but for their function. He also had arranged some local staff to augment three servants that travelled north to manage the houses when he visited them. Today they would travel to and from Crown Street station and so he just stayed in Liverpool for the entire affair. He and the other directors and major shareholders were to dine with Wellington of course and Kevin was conscious that many saw it as an honor. He had been doing so often for nearly twenty years.
Horatio glanced to his pocket watch and said, “Should we board?”
“Another ten minutes. We are well positioned to climb into a carriage and should like to give my ne’er do well brother every possible chance to get here. There goes William Huskisson. I think he is the smartest man I know. He can lecture you about the pound and prove to you how we can pay the debt off or how to manage the Corn Laws.” Kevin observed. Huskisson represented Liverpool the destination that day. He was also good friends with Stafford. Not that Kevin thought of Stafford as an enemy or even an adversary, just as man who had treated his people terribly and that was something that had become unforgivable.
The clock was ticking and now functionaries were on the landing asking all to take their places in the carriages. “Here comes Bartholomew and with a lady and children. You did not say anything about that. Wait until Hampton hear’s about this, he will be surprised.” Baron Franklin Hampton was Sir Horatio and his mutual friend and could not be bothered to have ventured north.