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Poddington-on-Slossip: Characters

Julian Inch



Why, no one can remember much being different about Julian after the war...except that forgivable, nasty ridge of a scar on his right pinky, and his polite refusals to talk about fighting the Germans. Well, he's certainly older now: that shadow of a beard that never quite concedes to repeated shaving and his size, which has increased modestly, filling out his clothes respectably for a man in his twenties. Rough hands testify to his position at the Tegate House, grooming to become head gardener, if nothing intervenes. His black hair runs rampant and wavy, usually with a cap jammed over it for control. His brown eyes are slightly close set and rendered unremarkable underneath the wild brush of his thick eyebrows. A small hunch to the top of his shoulders makes him look always listening to whatever his body points to.


Julian is the third born and the second surviving child of the ill-timed, ill-founded, and generally ill marriage of the former Eva Julian and the forever Talek Inch. The marriage was the result of a supposedly secret engagement and hurried ceremony (rumored to be the work of Julian's 'magical' aunt), seven months before the birth of Julian's elder sister, Mary. Talek, to no one's surprise but the young, smitten Eva's, became a philanderer to beat all. Eva became bitter. Occasionally they would manage to reconcile, the results being Perran (dead at six months), Talan (dead at two years), and, lastly and finally, Julian, nine years younger than Mary, his knight and protector from the legendary arguments at the Inches. As soon as she could, though, she left the house and married. ("Fled" is the word in casual conversation.)
Julian soon disassociated himself from his household, regarding it mainly as a place to eat and sleep. A fairly smart child, he gleaned information from books, but was a little too anxious to excel at school. He was more or less ignored by the community during his childhood, not that he wasn't a little strange, but the elder Inches were just more engrossing and overshadowed the poor thing.
And then he volunteered for the war. Talk about it, he'd rather not, and in deference to his wishes, I won't, either. He eventually came back, settled on the side of town directly opposite his natal home, and found a job pruning shrubs and ignoring the frequent come-ons by the patient Mrs. Marjorie Gilchrist at Tegate House. He lives decidedly alone. Julian shows up in town enough not to be a recluse, and rumor has it that he might be in witchy way, taking after his favorite aunt. We'll see.

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