Harrison & Sylvia, Part Seven
Pulling the material from the cauldron, he allowed it to dry completely. Then Harrison clutched at the knife laying on the table. He took a slow breath and plunged the knife into the treated cloth. Unfortunately, the blade parted the fabric and dug into the table. Harrison scowled as he pulled the tip from the wood. He put his hand through the hole. He stalked over to the fire and threw the scrap of silk into the flames.
He walked back to his table and removed a larger piece of the material and melted it in the cauldron. This time once the silk absorbed all of the liquid, he used a candle to dry it faster. Unfortunately, he left the silk over the flame a little too long, and when he started to smell smoke, he yanked it away from the small tongue of fire.
He threw the swatch of silk on the table and rammed the knife into the cloth. He let go of the dagger, but instead of standing, the blade fell to the table with a clang. Harrison’s mouth dropped, and he lifted the knife from the table and tried to stab the table again. Once again, the cloth prevented the tip from endangering the table. He lifted the knife and tested the tip of the dagger, yelping as he drew a bead of blood from his finger. He placed the blade on the table and lifted the swatch of silk up and examined it. A smile blossomed when he found no evidence of a hole in the material where the dagger struck it. Rushing, he set the fabric up in his testing apparatus and fired the crossbow at it. The bolt didn’t bounce off the treated silk, but it didn’t penetrate very far.
He pulled the cord, and a servant entered his laboratory, “How can I help you master Harrison?”
“Bring me a seamstress,” Gabriel said as he yanked the bolt from the swatch of cloth.
“Yes, Master Harrison,” the servant said as he left the room.
Harrison pulled the swatch from the rig and examined the weave. A cough drew his attention from the material, and Harrison looked at the seamstress, who curtsied and asked, “What can I do for you, Master Harrison.”
He walked over to her and handed her the weave saying, “I want you to weave me something about twice as think as this scrap.”
“I can do that, master Harrison,” she answered as she took the piece of silk and examined it. “When would you like it?”
Harrison pointed at the loom, answering, “If you can, please do it now.”
She nodded and walked to the loom.
“I would also like the weave to be about twice as dense,” Harrison said as returned his attention to the workbench.
“Yes, Master Harrison,” the seamstress replied as she began loading the loom with silk.
While the seamstress worked on the loom, Harrison began making more of the material. He made more of the solutions that when combined, would create this marvelous substance. When he poured the solutions into the wooden bowl, he watched the bulk of the liquid congealed into the gooey greyish blob.
He reached to remove the material when the seamstress broke the silence of the room. “Will this do master Harrison?”
He pulled away from the material and turned to accept the new swatch of cloth. He examined and frowned when he found the fabric stiffer than he expected, but he still smiled. “Yes, this should be perfect. But could you wait here to see if I need you to adjust the weave?”
With another curtsy, the seamstress answered, “Of course, master Harrison.”
He took another piece of the original grey blob and repeated the steps to process the new swatch of cloth. Once it began to smoke, he placed the material inside the rig and fired his crossbow at the target. The first bolt bounced off the swatch of cloth.
“Master Harrison, what is that?!” The seamstress exclaimed as she staggered towards the rig.
“Alisha, thank you for your assistance,” Harrison said as he led her from his workroom. “I’ll need you to remember how you made this swatch.”
“Of course master Harrison,” Alisha replied as she left the room.
Harrison reloaded his crossbow and fired at the cloth again. Then he fired a third and a fourth bolt at the fabric. Harrison smiled as he loaded a fifth bolt into his crossbow. He walked right up next to the material and placed the tip of the bolt just in front of the cloth. He pulled the trigger, and the bolt bounced back past Harrison’s ear.
He removed the material from the rig and looked over it, and smiled since he couldn’t see a single scratch on the cloth. He jumped up and shouted in glee that he managed to replicate the demonstrated power of the stone.