Day 14 and I have 2 drafts going here, as I work on something from two different ends. So I have a higher word count than what is here.
The blind woman was right to laugh at the creature. To make such a journey at that time of year was a foolish endeavour. Especially as he remained without clear direction. He tried to make note of the way the woman pointed and with fall becoming old and winter on its way, made his way into the mountains.
The mountains themselves were not a problem for him, in fact his body seemed to be made for them. The weather was something else though. Weather in mountainous terrain is a fickle and erratic companion. It would present you with a seemingly fair day and then turn into blizzard, blizzard would suddenly cease and become gentle snow. And wind danced and tore its way through every valley, crevice and passage. Keeping any sense of direction with visibility so often fleeting was a challenge, as was not being buried. Fortunately, man had left his mark even in what appeared to be the most remote locations. Small shacks would appear where no other sign of life could be observed, so although he often had to rely on small caves and rocky overhangs for shelter, he was also shielded from weather in far more civilized surroundings. When he had the good fortune to find such shelter and it contained matches he would spend a few days warming himself and resting before continuing.
On one such occasion he found the structure to be occupied, although its ice covered tenant had obviously expired some time ago. Grey and frozen and alone, a bearded old man lay crumpled on the floor between his cot and his table. The creature crouched beside the sad corpse and examined what looked to be a perfectly ordinary man. He pondered what might induce someone who appeared to have all the advantages required to be accepted into society to leave it for so remote a location and why he would be without a companion. Perhaps this was where the creature should stay himself, a hermit, the shack now being vacant. He took the dead man out and lay him near a stand of stunted trees. He could think of nothing to cover him with, so he simply stood and said a prayer in the way he had heard the DeLaceys pray. He believed that one prayed on such occasions. The cabin had matches and a sizable stack of wood piled beside one wall. With some struggle he eventually lit a fire under a large frozen pot of stew and then watched as the surrounding frost slowly dissipated and the room turned from white to gold. To stay would not be too unpleasant. He spent that night in a bed under four blankets. The next morning he had hot soup and a slice of cake from a tin for breakfast. He felt rich. After two weeks of this luxury however, he decided he had tired of it. He found himself a new set of clothes, no better fitting than his last but cleaner and in better condition, a hat and scarf, and a sack to put some crackers and tinned fish in. Unfortunately the many bottled fruits and vegetables that were obviously meant to last the winter had cracked and burst in the cold, but he was happy with the provisions he had. He also brought with him a blanket and of course the three notebooks that outlined his sad beginnings. He left for Geneva.
The creature hummed as he walked in what he hoped was the right direction. The days were getting longer and he had never owned so much.
The Frankenstein family considered leaving the house at Belrive to winter in their long neglected Geneva home, but it was decided that they would remain where they were. Only Elizabeth and Agatha were disappointed. They were looking forward to winter balls and concerts. Along with other company. But their disappointment wasn’t too great. It was much more picturesque by the lake and the chance of their attending any great event was quite remote. Even in the city the Frankensteins kept very much to themselves.
Victor’s letters were becoming longer and more regular. The promise of a fall return had been delayed to a spring one, but only because he and Henry seemed to be busy with various things. It was agreed by all that Victor seemed to be fully recovered and sounding like his former self again. Elizabeth wished the same could be said of Justine, who would for a day or two appear and perform her duties quite appropriately and then fall back into a malaise. But really, this was no different than Victor when his recovery was in its infancy. There was surely promise. Elizabeth decided that the noisy, Italian prayers that she had secretly used for Victor should now be dedicated to the health and sanity of Justine.