With overwhelming delight we are proud to be presenting you with the 32nd installment of KP Critiques!! We enjoy all of the effort and willingness from each and every one of you who has participated. We know the great courage it took for you to submit your work to scrutiny and we thank you abundantly! Keep ’em coming! We love your critique submissions. Even if you’ve already sent one in, don’t hesitate to submit another one!
Thank you Daeus for this awesome submission!
An hour past noon, Matthew and Valmond found themselves with Rameaux mounted on horses overlooking a long dusty road many miles from the bandit hideaway. They were on top of a semi-large hill hairy with trees which descended directly upon the road before them in a series of steep slopes and shallow ones which resembled a terrace with steep ramps connecting each level.
“Hairy with trees.” Nice. XD
At its end, past the road, there extended broad fields of pasture land.
“When will the carriage arrive?” asked Valmond.
Rameaux crunched his lips in the strange hybrid of a smirk and frown of discontent. “I expected Madame Leclair by here several minutes ago, but then she is not of such ignominious birth as to do things on time.”
They waited for several more minutes until they at last saw a thin cloud of dust in the distance. Rameaux dealt the instructions. “The carriage we are about to raid is among the most insecure of all carriages in wide France. Its only occupants are Madame and Mademoiselle Leclair and their driver. None of them will pose any resistance. Our strategy is simple. When I fire my gun as a signal, we will all charge down upon the carriage and you two will yell, ‘Pierre La Sanglante’. When you descend upon the road, I want you two to cut off the carriage. I will deal with the ladies. Valmond, make sure Matthew understands.”
When the coach arrived, they descended as they had
planed planned At the crack of the gun, the horses strained at their harnesses in terror. Matthew and Valmond sprang from the woods and level leveled their pistols at the driver. He struggled with the reigns, scarcely able to make the fear-strung horses check their rampage. The Madame and Mademoiselle were intensely terrified. They repeatedly cried, “It is Pierre La Sanglante! Holy Virgin save us!”
Then from outside the carriage a clear commanding voice rung, “Hold, you scoundrels, you hotheaded thoughtless vagabonds! Is this how we treat our hosts? Fear not ladies, it is only I.” The door to the carriage opened and at its foot was Rameaux. He extended his arm to help the trembling ladies out of their carriage. “Come now, you have nothing to fear.” The terror disappeared from the ladies faces, but there still remained a great anxiety.
“Rameaux, you robbed us only two months ago!” moaned the Mademoiselle Leclair, her slender frame bent like a wind blown reed as she leaned upon the door trying to evade her captor’s eyes.
Rameaux’s face became streaked with pain. “I am sorry ladies, deeply sorry. I would not have returned so quickly if a great raid of ours had not failed. There are companions of mine who are wasting with hunger back at our hide out. I ask only a donation.” Haha!
“But Rameaux,” begged the Madame Leclair, “we cannot give up our ornaments. Not if you were to threaten me would I give them to you.”
“Ornaments? Do you think I am so base as to deprive you of your life’s blood? I swear to you on my word as a highwayman that such a thought never entered my mind. I ask only for your money bag. It is just as valuable to me, but less precious to you. Where is it?” They would not answer. He stepped into the coach and immediately caught the speck of bright red not sufficiently hidden. Reaching out his hand, he grabbed the money bag and came out. He bowed graciously to his customers. “I thank you my ladies.” With that, he called to his men. “Matthew, Valmond, let us leave these good people alone.” In a second, they had galloped into the woods leaving the less rich ladies and their driver to recover themselves.
Not sure if this is the route you are intending to drive, but the narrator’s voice is detached. Very matter-of-fact-ly written. Not a recommended style for writing fiction. 🙂 There’s a ton of telling, which at times is great, but overall showing is better and tends to snatch the reader’s attention more acutely.
I did enjoy the descriptions. “hairy with trees.” That just…that’s awesome! 😀
Overall, I’d suggest applying more showing and getting inside the main character’s head. (which from this passage I couldn’t ascertain correctly who that was.) And a little more emotion.