DISCLAIMER:The Lost World and it's character's are the property of Coote/Hayes Productions and the wonderful writer, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. All other character's and this story are mine.
SYNOPSIS:Marguerite learns that sometimes you must be careful what you wish for…
Marguerite Krux stared up at the sunlight filtering through the trees and blinked a couple of times in surprise. Winded; she couldn't move for a second as she tried to regain her breath. At least she'd fallen on something soft, warm and, she sniffed the air delicately…very smelly, she recognised, screwing up her nose in disgust.
"Oh my God! Marguerite, are you alright? I'm so sorry," exclaimed the deeply concerned voice of someone who dropped to their knee's by her side. Into view came the contrite face of Lord John Roxton, hunter and love of her life. "Did I hurt you?"
"Hurt me? You flipped me over your shoulder, of course you hurt me!" she moaned angrily as she gingerly struggled up into a seated position. He reached out to try and help her up but she angrily slapped his hand away. "I can manage," she told him curtly.
Roxton stood up and backed away a few steps, feeling relief flood through him. He would never have forgiven himself if he'd caused her any harm.
It had been a pure reflex to grab the hand that had touched him on the shoulder and pull whatever it was into view. Too late, he'd heard the shout of warning from young journalist, Ned Malone and the surprised scream of Marguerite.
Now that the initial shock had passed, he quickly realised that his instinctive reaction had hurt nothing more than her pride and his usual outward veneer of barely restrained patience where Marguerite was concerned, automatically resurfaced…along with a healthy temper of his own.
"Well, perhaps next time you won't creep up on a man when he's out hunting," he ground out hardily.
The brunette bristled at his abrasive tone. "I wasn't creeping up on you. You just weren't paying attention," she retorted, shaking her head slightly to clear a sudden dizzy spell caused by the rank odour engulfing her.
Roxton opened his mouth to deliver a terse reply but, as he stared down at the heiress, he suddenly took in her predicament for the first time and couldn't help the surge of laughter that threatened to overcome him. Oh, he was going to pay for this, but it would be worth it just to see her reaction which he knew wouldn't be long in coming.
He was right.
"What the hell is this stuff?" Marguerite suddenly asked shrilly as she looked down at the dark mass she was surrounded by. A look of sheer horror crossed her features and she let out a small cry of distaste as recognition hit. She'd landed in a pile of fresh dino dung!
"No! Ugh!" she exclaimed, scrambling to her feet. Taking a couple of steps away from the still warm excrement, she frantically shook her hands back and forth in an effort to fling off as much of the mess as possible.
The sound of laughter brought her head up with a snap and she glared wrathfully at the three people standing nearby.
The look of such touching concern that had marred Roxton's features just moments before was no longer evident, having been replaced by one of barely concealed amusement.
Just behind him stood, Malone, his head was bent forward so she couldn't see his face but the shaking of his shoulders told her, he too, was laughing.
Her eyes moved to the right to focus on the blonde, plateau dweller, Veronica Layton and her rage was further incensed. The loincloth clad woman grinned unabashedly back at her, not even attempting to hide her delight at the brunette's misfortune.
Her attention was drawn back to Roxton as he suddenly commented dryly, "You know back home, that would be considered lucky."
At his comparison to the old superstition that treading in dog muck was supposed to bring good fortune, Marguerite saw red. "Well, I'm glad you find this so amusing," she said sarcastically, as she began to move towards him. "Maybe it won't be so funny if I share some of my luck with you, Lord Roxton."
He eyed her warily as she came to a stop in front of him, but he stood his ground. "Uh, no thank you, Marguerite," he replied cordially, the smell radiating from her causing him to cough slightly. He pulled a face and put his hand up to his nose in an effort to block out the odour. "I prefer my cologne a little less obvious."
Seeing the fury that lit the brunette's eyes at the hunter's goading, Veronica decided to step in before it turned into one of their full-blown rows. Moving quickly, she neatly stepped between them, pushing Roxton firmly out of the way.
"Marguerite, you really need to go and wash that off as soon as possible. If it dries, the smell will stay with you for weeks." She grimaced slightly. "Trust me, I know."
The brunette stared at the blonde, aghast. Involuntarily, she felt her right hand clench at her side as she mentally warred between sound reason and what she most wanted to do…namely wipe her dirty hand right across Roxton's face taking his smug smile with it.
As Veronica wisely guessed when she told her about the smell - reason won. She knew Marguerite well enough by now that she wouldn't want to go around reeking of dung for weeks on end.
Marguerite cast one last baleful glare in Roxton's direction then, with a grim, "I'll get you back for this," she abruptly turned around and strode quickly along the path that led towards the group's usual 'bathing' pond.
"Whew! I hope she gets there quick enough," Malone remarked as he waved his hand in front of his face. "Could be nasty for the rest of us if she brings that stench back to the treehouse."
"Yeah, the same thing happened to Assai once," Veronica recalled with a grin. "She stank the whole village out for six weeks. The only good thing to come out of it was that they didn't suffer one attack from any other tribes."
The two men grinned back at her then Roxton looked over at the path Marguerite had taken. "We'd better get after her. She'll need someone to stand guard while she bathes." The other's nodded and followed his lead along the track.
END PART 1