Red Sands

Aunts in the Mist (15th November 1888)
15th November 1888

Bertie shuddered at the recollection of lunch. His new found wealth had meant that he had been able to take a lease on a new apartment, and was even able to employ a valet-a Gentleman’s Gentleman. But there was a price.

The awful realisation had dawned on him early that morning when Bowman had brought in his morning tea.

“I must inform you Sir, that your Aunt, Miss Gregson has sent a telegram.” Bowman handed him the document, which Bertie had accepted with a feeling of foreboding.

“Bertie,

Expect me for lunch at 12 o’clock sharp. I shall be bringing my friend Fenella Ponsonby so I DON’T want any of your foolishness. She is allergic to LEMONS."

Short and to the point.

“Is everything all right Sir?” asked Bowman, in that voice of his.

“No it Bally well isn’t! How on earth did she find out my new address?” said Bertie, with a feeling of hopeless frustration.

“Possibly your Aunt Julia, when she came to tea last week Sir?” responded Bowman.

“Ah yes” said Bertie sadly, “Aunt calling to Aunt like mastodons bellowing across the primeval swamp. I suppose it can’t be helped.”

“Miss Gregson’s visit is not welcome, Sir?” asked Bowman. Bertie snorted.

“I forgive you Bowman, as you’ve never met her.” said Bertie. " It’s rather hard to explain, but Aunt Agatha is a sort of human vampire-bat, only with less scruples. No doubt she has some improving plan for poor Bertram. It’s got worse since uncle Fred passed away."

“Sir?”

“Yes, an extremely decent chappie Uncle Fred. But there’s no doubt he did at times do rather rummy things, notably keeping eleven pet rabbits in his bedroom; and I suppose a purist might have considered him more or less off his onion. In fact, to be perfectly frank, he wound up his career, happy to the last and completely surrounded by rabbits, in some sort of home.” explained Bertie.

“I see Sir” said Bowman.

“No I’m afraid you don’t Bowman old chap”, replied Bertie. “With Uncle Fred off the agenda Bertram here is Aunt Agatha’s current project. A taste of things to come I fear.”

Events had transpired much as Bertie had feared. Aunt Agatha had arrived with a pallid, well dressed lady of middle age: this was Fenella Ponsonby, and to Bertie she looked vaguely familiar.

“Bertie, this is Lady Fenella Ponsonby, whom you will remember of course.” said Aunt Agatha.

“Ah… er yes of course…” started Bertie.

“Bertie you positively must stop looking like a fish. It is unbecoming of a Wilburforce -Stretham.” repremanded his Aunt sternly.

“Yes, Righto Aunt Agatha.” replied Bertie.

“You will recall Lady Ponsonby, and her second son Edward, your childhood friend” she said, fixing Bertie with a stare not unlike a rattlesnake eying up a lost kitten. An Edison lightbulb did its thing inside Bertie’s head.

“Childhood friend?” thought Bertie (though not out loud), “That’s putting it a little strong. The little squiff was four years younger than me and he used to get dumped on me in the school holidays when I was sent to Aunt Agatha’s. Face like a halibut, fascinated by butterflies I recall.”

“I see the dim stirrings of memory in that thick skull of yours Bertie. And now your Aunt requires your assistance!” said Aunt Agatha sternly.

“Oh I say,” said Bertie, “Anything for the old flesh and blood, What?”

“You are blathering Bertie.” said Aunt Agatha. “Stop it at once and listen.” Bertie looked suitably downcast at his plate, while Bowman served out lunch.

“One of your very few achievements Bertie,”continued Aunt Agatha, “Is that you graduated from Cambridge University.”

“What Ho! What Ho!” burbled Bertie, “Parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus, and all that.”

“Stop blathering Bertie!”

“Yes Aunt Agatha”

“It’s like this” she continued, "Young Edward has mysteriously gone missing after being “sent down”

“Oh I say!” commented Bertie. “What did the little squiff get up to?”

“Bertie!” repremanded Aunt Agatha. The pallid woman looked paler. "Edward was sent down from Trinity College for dishonorable behavior”

“Just like his old dad Sir Reggie eh?” laughed Bertie.

“Bertie!” said Aunt Agatha with a face like Medusa, “Cease this nonsense! This is serious!”

“I am so afraid Mr. Wilburforce -Stretham” said Lady Fenella timidly, "According to Doctor Oswaldtwistle, his tutor at Cambridge, Edward set off for the train station to take the evening train to London. But he never arrived at his destination ! It’s possible he never reached the station. I am afraid Edward may have done something stupid.”

“You see how serious this is Bertie? Imagine the scandal!” said Aunt Agatha. “Obviously with your experience at the Insurance Company-where I understand you were not a complete Dunderhead- I knew you would volunteer to help Lady Fenella.”

“Er, well I…..”

“Good, it’s settled then” said Aunt Agatha with an air of finality. “The Police have been informed, but I have limited hopes in that direction. Here is a letter of introduction to Doctor Oswaldtwistle. I’m sure you can catch an evening train and settle in.”

Bertie was trapped and he knew it. It wouldn’t pay to disappoint Aunt Agatha and her fortune, with Bertram as one of the probable (?) beneficiaries. And besides that, there was the Code of the Wilburforce-Strethams.

“Very well Aunt Agatha” he had replied, with a feeling of glum resignation, “Alea Jacta Est.”

“Bertie!”

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Read All About It (12th November 1888)
12th November 1888

Sebastian was at least sitting up in his hospital bed; he was fortunate that no permanent injury had been sustained, though he would be laid up for several days at the least.

They had managed to escape the perfume shop with bare minutes to spare before the police arrived. They had gone straight to the Explorers Club, and made arrangements from there.

Marko had retrieved a copy of the Times from Shop, dated the 10th; a number of items in the personal columns were marked-all were messages of farewell or congratulations for soldiers of various ranks, who were duty bound for Mars.

“There were many newspapers” said Marko simply, “This is only one of them.”

The early edition that morning had shed some further light on the matter:

THIEVES FALL OUT.

Metropolitan Police investigating reports of shooting in the Paddington area last night came across the signs of falling out between some nefarious criminal gang. Evidence retrieved from the scene links the gangs activities to assaults on at least en serving members of the Armed Forces over recent months, including several suspected murders. Inspector Morgan of Scotland Yard is dealing with the incident, and he assures our readers that the matter will be pursued with the utmost diligence."

“I still don’t understand why your cousin Madeline was attacked.” said Henry.

“Ah well” said Sebastian, “I’ve had the flesh and blood visiting. Believe it or not the little minx has joined the 62nd – the St. John Fusiliers.” Henry stared blankly.

“But she’s a woman” he said simply.

“Quite. The 62nd ‘s A Company is all female volunteers. Some bloody colonial’s idea of a sound military scheme. Probably the brilliant brainchild of some wealthy Masher of a Dame. A refuge for Toms if you ask me.”

“But are they any use? I’ve never heard of them?” said Henry astonished.

“Jolly good thing too” continued Sebastian. “The War Office happily uses colonial regiments on Mars, and the Amazonians are stationed in Syrtis Major. I suppose it releases the 62nd’s proper soldiers to do some actual soldiering while the ladies guard palaces and the like.”

“I see” said Henry. “Extraordinary.”

“I only hope young Madeline isn’t going to bat for the other team.” said Sebastian. “I’ll need to have a word with her.”

“So these men” interjected Marko, “They look through papers for easy targets of soldiers going to Mars, and they kill them yes?”

“That would seem to be the gist of it, yes” said Henry. “But who they are, and for what reason, we don’t know.”

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Careless Talk Costs Lives (11th November 1888)
11th November 1888

It was a chill November Sunday morning, and Sebastian’s head was still buzzing. He and Henry had woke up in the Explorer’s Club after a particularly indulgent Saturday Eve, and after his kedgeree he had decided that a stroll through Hyde Park would be just the ticket. Much to his irritation, a silent Marco followed them out, smoking one of his turkish cigarettes and walking quietly a few paces behind. What was even more annoying was that it seemed that most of the ladies glanced at Marco rather than at himself. Dammit, Marco didn’t even have decent whiskers.

“Let’s head for Speaker’s Corner” said Sebastian, “Most entertaining if you’ve not been there before.”

“What’s that old man?” asked Henry.

“It’s a place where traditionally any lunatic can voice any oddball views-religious, political or otherwise, and get away with it” replied Sebastian. “The onlookers mostly heckle, and in extreme cases throw chestnuts at them.”

“Lead on then.”

They strolled through the park to the north eastern Cumberland Gate, and saw ahead of them the fabled corner. It was getting on now, and the bitter cold had probably kept many potential gawkers away, but there were still several dozen people arrayed around the handful of speakers. A bored looking policeman did a desultory patrol. There was also a stall selling hot chestnuts and tin mugs of tea, and they decided that this might be the best vantage point.

Sebastian noted idly that a neat bearded man was spouting some nonsense about Home Rule, but the majority of the crowd were jeering at the three suffragettes nearer the chestnut stand. As usual in these instances, the two frumpy ones were holding placards and lending moral support, while a prettier one was haranguing the crowd about the evils of the male species and// or drink. Sebastian yawned.

“And even on the Red Planet” the pretty little chit harped on, "Martian women of the great tribes enjoy a form of franchisement within the tribe.Why, pray tell, are civilized women not permitted the same rights enjoyed by a barbaric Martian female?”

“just come ‘ome wiv’ me darlin” jeered some working class lout, egged on by his mates, “And I’ll show yer wot womenfolk are best enjoyed for.” His half dozen be -capped mates hooted with laughter.

Sebastian frowned. The chit was spouting nonsense of course but she was nevertheless clearly a person of quality, no matter how misguided. Women had weak minds after all, and could be forgiven. But that didn’t mean that these workshy louts could speak to a young woman in such over familiar terms. The blonde haired chit caught his eye and he froze.

“Blast it it’s young Madeline, my cousin!” Sebastian realised with a shock. He had failed to attend some sort of family going away party for her some weeks before, on the basis that the whole affair sounded deadly dull and he had a game of cards arranged with the chaps. He had presumed that she was off to marry some sort of pen pushing administrator type, but more likely now he realised she was likely off to be a schoolteacher, or typist, or some such nonsense. Either way, he hadn’t actually seen her for three or four years. My, how she’d grown.

The roughs were wrestling the two frumps for their placards now, and Sebastian started to edge forward. Tomatoes were hurled, and as the jeering level rose he saw that Madeline was
shouting at two of the toughs, who were making lewd remarks and closing in on her. Some of the onlookers started to get a little nervous.

As Sebastian tried to reason with the toughs Henry was aware that Marco had dropped his cigarette and was stubbing it out with his boot. He glanced over to his right and saw that two dapper gents who had been conversing with the Home Rule Speaker, were trying to edge their way around the affray, behind the suffragettes. It was then that one of the toughs swung for Sebastian.

Henry and Marco rushed forward, hampered somewhat by two brats of children egging the participants on. He briefly saw Marco lift his cap off and headbutt one of the men who fell to the floor with a cry.

As the fracas developed an off duty soldier- a corporal of the Royal Artillery pitched in to assist Henry. As Sebastian glanced round he caught a glimpse of his cousin as she suddenly froze with a startled cry in mid pose, and then slumped to the ground. With some concern he spotted that her side was discoloured with blood.

Marco was badly winded, but the half dozen toughs were now licking their wounds. The cries of the nearby women had alerted the policeman, and they were aware that he was blowing his whistle and approaching. Sebastian leaned down over his cousin.

“She’s been stabbed dammit!” he cried, “Someone send for a Doctor!” The corporal promised a shilling to a nearby child and sent him off swiftly. Henry quickly stuffed his handkerchief against the wound, and bound it round tight with a strip torn from the suffragette’s banner.

“Two chaps talking to that Home Rule fellow were walking behind her” he said, “They went off to the north.”

“Right, we’ll be off after them” snapped Sebastian. “Corporal, see to the Police there’s a good chap. Time is off the essence.” They raced off. The Home Rule speaker had also vanished.

The two men had a good start, but they were trying to be inconspicuous and so were moving only at a brisk walking pace. Just as they cleared the edge of the park they spotted the two men alighting into a cab. They hailed another to follow.

The chase led north towards Paddington. Although a Sunday there was still a fair amount of traffic, but eventually the two men alighted and made their way down a quiet street, and entered a Perfume Shop. “Bloody Foreigners” muttered Sebastian.

“What now old chap?” asked Henry.

“Well, I suggest we wait till dusk and then pay a call” said Sebastian, “There’s more to this than meets the eye. You keep tabs, and I’ll go fetch Marko. This is a three man job; there’ll be a tea house or something nearby and we can take shifts keeping watch.” Henry nodded.

An hour or so later Sebastian reappeared with Marko, having also retrieved his Webley. The three settled in for the wait, with two watching and one taking their turn at the Tea Shop.

By six o ’clock the streets had pretty much cleared. There were lights on at the upper floors, but Marko moved over to the rear door and producing a narrow probe from his pocket, managed to open the lock. They crept inside, and ignoring the silent shop downstairs, made their way up a set of stairs. A light behind a door indicated activity on the first floor, and Henry opened the door as quietly as he could.

Not quietly enough. The man staring at him from the corridor ahead was not at all whom you would expect to find in a perfume shop; a rough sailor, half shaven, wearing a pistol at his side. he looked at Henry for a brief moment, before drawing his pistol and ducking into a room with a yell. The game was up.

The man reappeared and fired at Henry. More face appeared, including one of the two men they had seen in the park. Sebastian raced up the corridor and ducked into the first room, which was empty, followed by Marko.

As Henry exchanged fire, knocking one of the men backwards, Marko bull rushed one of the men in the opposite room, pushing him backwards and Marko into the room away from the line of fire.

There appeared to be six men in total-three sailors and the three men from the park- one being the Home Rule speaker. Covered by Sebastian and Henry Markos tactic worked against a third sailor, and they could hear the man’s screams as his head was pounded against the wall, or something similar. The leader and the other two men from the park were a different proposition however, as they seemed to be both canny and good shots, and both Sebastian and Henry were wounded. One of the men rushed into the room where Marko was, and the other managed to shoot Sebastian again, who slumped senseless to the ground.

“Things looked decidedly grim” thought Henry, as he reloaded round the corner. All of a sudden however, a turn of fortune prevailed. After taking a several grazes in a difficult close combat, Marko managed to punch his assailant hard in the throat, who collapsed to the floor gasping. Almost simultaneously Henry wounded one of the others, and as staggered back into the room for cover, Marko rushed out again and followed him in, rapidly disposing of him.

The change in the Tide of Fortune wrought a swift descision in the leader, who snarling raced across the corridor into the master bedroom, shooting across the corridor at Marko as he did so. Henry moved up to the doorway to cover him

""Meddling Fools!" snarled the dastardly villain, twirling his moustache, “You don’t know what you are dealing with!” With that he fired another shot at Henry and then crashed trough the bedroom window, and down onto the street below. Henry raced toward the window, but the man was gone.

" We need to go" said Marko. “The Police. They will come.”

“I need to see to Sebastian first” said Henry. “See what you can find Marko, quickly.”

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Letter to a Childhood Friend (4th November 1888)
4th November 1888

“My dearest Lady Amelia,

Once more I offer you the most sincerest condolences for the death of your dear Papa on behalf of myself and my colleagues.

Whilst it will not compensate fully for your great loss, I hope that it brings a small degree of comfort to you to know that we were able to solve the mystery as to whom killed your father and the reasons as to why.

If you wish to apportion blame for the murder of your father, then the majority should go to Herr Z., a Foreign Agent who sought to obtain your father’s latest invention by fair means or foul. Although he may be no more, your father brought honour to your family name, for he died a hero. He would not reveal the secrets of his brilliance to the worthless Hounds for any price – he remained loyal to the service of our glorious majesty Queen Victoria (and Empress of India).

Herr Z. has now been apprehended by ourselves and loyal servants of Her Majesty and will be made to pay for his reprehensible actions, in one way or another.

The scoundrel Herr Z. was too cowardly to commit the act of murdering your father with his own hands. Instead he employed Dupes, one of whom was the madman currently at loose on the moor.

As much as we would like to hunt down Wild Willie and bring him to justice, alas our service to those in need within our glorious Empire upon which the sun never sets, and which brings civilization and order to the great unwashed continues to be required. I have been assured that the local Police will soon track down the madman so that he may hang for his heinous act.

I remain your humble and obedient servant,

Captain Sebastian Shaw"

Dear Secretary.

This is the altered version of the letter we intercepted from Captain Shaw to Lady Amelia Cotterill. While it more or less addresses the original content, we have deleted any of the more sensitive references, and our man has captured Shaw’s handwriting admirably I think. It may also be of interest to you to read the attached excerpt from this morning’s Tavistock Gazette:

MOORS MADMAN APPREHENDED!

Asylum escapee ‘Mad’ Willy McTavish was apprehended in his moorland lair early this morning, by members of the Okehampton District Constabulary, assisted by special advisors from Scotland Yard. Our reporter managed to speak to Sergeant Barnes of the Okehampton force, who has ably co-ordinated the manhunt.

Speaking shortly after the arrest, Sergeant Barnes thanked the efforts of his men, and members of the public for reporting what they had seen and avoiding panic.

“My men have done a fine job, and the villain is now apprehended. I emphasise that when this sort of thing happens, it’s best that members of the public inform the Police of anything they see, and avoid meddling themselves. Leave this sort of thing to the Professionals.”

The victim of McTavish has still not been named, pending arrangments with the family of the deceased."

Yr. Servant

A. Pooter

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All Aboard the Lady Henrietta (2nd November 1888)
2nd November 1888

It was close to 6 pm when the telegram was received form Bertie: the Lady Henrietta was just arriving at her moorings, and was engaged in the usual maritime activities associated with a quick turnaround in port.

The group met up outside a tavern, noting that Bertie was dressed in his Boater and white flannels-very much the young city gent slumming it around a variety of bars. Marko’s usually very smart and precise nautical garb had been exchanged for that of a working sailor enjoying a bit of shore time: compared to the others he would blend fairly inconspicuously into the dockside landscape.

As they finished their drinks and started to get up, Lady Glossop noticed a smartly dressed man in a long overcoat and bowler hat standing behind them. As Sebastian turned around he spoke.

“Captain Sebastian Shaw? I need to have a word with you and your colleagues, if you please”, he asked politely, though with an edge of authority in his voice. Lady Glossop noticed that positioned around the room, were several similarly dressed men. “Hmm” she thought to herself.

“What exactly is the meaning of this Sir?” rejoined Sebastian sharply, “Have we met before?”

“Not as such Captain Shaw” replied the stranger evenly, “Though I think you did catch a glimpse of me on Dartmoor the other night.”

“Dartmoor? That was you?!” replied Sebastian. “What D’you mean by it Sir?!”

“I’m surprised an old soldier didn’t spot one of my men or myself earlier” he replied, “In fact we’ve had you under observation ever since you left London.”

“What?!” exclaimed Sebastian. Henry again looked slightly embarrassed.

“There isn’t time for this,” the stranger cut in. “My Name’s Trombley, Clancy Trombley, British intelligence service. Look, I don’t care what you know -quite a bit I’ll judge from your break-in at the asylum the other night. Nice piece of work by the way” he said, looking at Marko and Lady Glossop. “We all enjoyed it.” Lady Glossop blushed slightly.

“Anyway, I’m damned well sure we’re here for the same reasons. British intelligence has been keeping an eye on a German spy ring for some time. We suspected the German military attaché was the ringleader and it seems we were right.”

“I’m sure you can brief me on how Lord Cotterill was murdered later and what part Doctor Muelhoffer played, but for now I want us to pool our resources. Whatever your motives for being here are, we want Cotterill’s blueprints returned, and no doubt Von Steinhagen has them. Now,are we on the same side or do I have to arrest you all for obstructing an agent of Her Majesty?”

“I….I……” blustered Sebastian, “Well of course, we are all loyal servants of the Empire here!”. He stood rigid, casting a sidelong look at Marko, who was lighting up a cigarette.

“I’m glad to hear it. We may need your backup” replied Trombley. “Now listen. There’s one thing, and it’s important, Herr Oberst von Steinhagen is aboard that yacht and he can’t be killed. The murder of an important German official on our soil would cause massive political backlash and we just can’t afford that right now. No accidental killing or anything — if he dies, you face the gallows-its that simple, as we’ll need a scapegoat to pacify the Germans. You’re playing in a Big Game now, and that’s just the way it is.”

“Feel free to beat him senseless, though, and his men are expendable — given what he’s done he’s very unlikely to go and report this to the Kaiser. Germany can’t afford bad press any more than we can.”

“We understand Sir” said Henry. They briefly made their plans.

Twenty minutes later Trombley and his agents walked towards the gangway of the Lady Henrietta, along with Sebastian and Henry. Lady Glossop and Bertie has positioned themselves behind some crates on the dockside, and Marko was lounging nearby, looking for all the world like a merchant seaman idling away a few moments of his time. An officer approached Trombley.

“Mr. Trombley, representing Her Majesty’s Government” said Trombley. “I have reason to believe one of your passengers has violated his diplomatic status and removed documents belonging to The Government. I need to board your ship.” There was crisp authority and a hint of menace in his voice.

Peeking from behind a crate Bertie wasn’t sure of this. He could see that the officer wore a holstered pistol, and there were half a dozen smartly uniformed marines positioned around the upper deck- and these all had rifles slung.

“I am afraid that will not be possible Herr Trombley,” responded the officer. “This ship constitutes German territory- not British. You have no right to be here.”

“We’ll see about that” said Trombley brusquely, and brushing the man aside he and his four agents marched on board. The officer shouted a warning and went for his holstered pistol, while Trombley and his men rushed the officer and the adjacent Seebataillon marines.

At the opposite end of the boat Marko leapt on board next to a surprised trooper and swung a punch at him. The blow had seemingly little effect but a moment later a bullet form Lady Glossop’s pistol hit the man in the chest and spun him to the ground. Chaos ensued as the others moved on board, and the Seebataillon started to unslung their carbines.

In the close quarters of the yacht however, it was pistols which had the advantage, and at the front end of the yacht a close quarters brawl developed. At the rear Marko charged another marine and knocked him overboard, before making his way along the port side to the fore end.

Lady Glossop meanwhile had entered the central dining room behind Marko, and managed to shoot another of the marines positioned inside. She did however see that two sets of stairs led into the area from below decks, and she could here commands being barked and heavily booted feet clattering up them. Deciding that discretion as the better part of valour she retreated outside to reload, though not before shooting the officer running up the steps next to her.

At the front of the ship Trombley had finally managed to draw his pistol in the melee, and demonstrated that he was an accurate and able shot. Sebastian was engaged in a brawl with one of the Seebataillon, and seeing the crowded nature of the foredeck, Henry started to make his down the starboard side, firing both barrels of his Le Mat at one unlucky German.

In the logjam precipitated by the close quarters and deck arrangements, Marko’s brutal approach to hand to hand combat proved highly effective. Few of the Seebataillon carbines managed to get into play, other than as clubs in hand to hand combat, and the pistols and fists of the boarders started to take control of the situation. Bertie was making good use of his sword cane at the rear of the yacht, the marines again hampered by the crowded conditions.

As he thrust two of his knuckles into the eyes of another screaming German, Marko shouted out “Von Steinhagen” as he managed to glimpse in through the dining area side door. Hearing the shout, and seeing an opportunity, Sebastian rushed in, as simultaneously Henry entered from one of the aft doors.

“Herr Oberst von Steinhagen!" shouted Sebastian, "Your plan has failed, you Bounder!” Quickly taking in the situation Henry levelled his pistol towards Von Steinhagen.

“Your death would serve no purpose Sir, so hand over the plans and be on your way.” said Henry quietly.

Von Steinhagen sighed and reached for the briefcase he was holding.

“All of you think you are so very clever” he sneered, "but you have been duped. Germany is not behind this.” He opened the case and reached inside, and instead of producing the documents pulled out what looked like a stick, with a metal case on the end and a pair of wires hanging from it.

“My death will cause trouble between your nations. It may not lead to war, but war is coming, and soon. The darkness shall win, gentlemen.” He laughed and reached toward the wires.

Henry’s shot was faster, and Von Steinhagen winced as his bullet took him in the shoulder. Sebastian raced forward and pulled the object from his hand.

The German’s look of pain and surprise turned to complete shock as Marko raced up close behind Sebastian, his instep swinging high between the German’s legs and deep into his groin, lifting him completely off his feet and knocking him backwards into the cabin wall, from whence he slumped to the floor in agony.

“Oooehhhh….” said Bertie, sucking his teeth and wincing slightly, “Are you sure that was quite sporting, Marco old chap?”

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Return to London (1st November 1888: Noon)
1st November 1888: Noon

The group met for lunch at the Explorers Society,and considered their next course of action. It was agreed that Sebastian should deposit the documents they had discovered at his Bank for now, while they set to discovering the location of the Lady Henrietta.

Marko and Henry would pair up and use Marko’s familiarity with the docklands, while Lady Glossop and Sebastian would check out some of the locations frequented by Ships Officers, and the maritime civic institutions. Bertie suggested that he pursue some of his old maritime insurance contacts and see what they could turn up. All being well they would meet, or at least leave a message, back at the Explorer’s Society at 8pm.

After a long day they pooled their information later that evening. The Lady Henrietta was in fact a yacht privately owned by the German government. She was currently not in her moorings, but was due to collect passengers and sail back on the following evening at 7.30 pm, in order to arrive home for the Kaiser’s birthday celebrations, a matter widely reported in the British Press.

It was agreed that Marko and Bertie should procure nearby lodgings and await the return of the yacht. Meanwhile all they could do was wait.

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The Witching Hour (1st November 1888: After Midnight)
1st November 1888: After Midnight

It was just after midnight when they returned to the Hollies. Lady Glossop had not spoken a word, though Marko was whistling happily to himself. Bertie had started singing some music hall song about an Actress and a Bishop.

Eventually Lady Glossop re-entered the library where they had gathered. She had changed her attire and was smiling as though nothing at all untoward had happened.

She gestured and Sebastian pointed over at the table at which they had laid out their spoils. They all gathered round, and she started to read through them.

“These letters and papers we obtained from the safe all detail a plan to to acquire Lord Cotterill’s weapon designs by any means and return them to Germany, and thence to Trieste, where they are supposed to someone only referred to as ‘The Master’. There are references to some organisation called the ‘Night Guard’, but I’ve no indication of who they are: a secret society no doubt.”

“Anarchists?” suggested Henry.

“More likely Ultra Royalists of some sort, or some higher echelon cabal I would think” suggested Lady Glossop. “Anyway, I don’t really know.”

“These notes” she continued, referring to the Prometheus file, are something else entirely. “They are research notes on his special sedatives. As far as I can gather they make the recipient highly receptive to hypnotic suggestions.”

“There is something else as well. There is a lot of stuff I don’t understand about the Duality of the Psyche and suppressed emotions, but it does list something about problem side effects. The notes refer to something called ‘Ingredient S’, and apparently there seem to be a few ongoing problems with what I presume is the key component of these concoctions.”

“Problems? How so?” asked Sebastian.

“I’m not sure. But I think there must be some sort of side effect. He refers to psychotic behaviour and a heightened transformation. He uses the word ‘Ubermensh’- super man.”

“So,” said Bertie, “We seem to have the semblance of a plot here. But who or what is this Lady Henrietta business?”

" Maybe is not a person", suggested Marko who was generally laconic and silent during these group discussions. All heads turned towards him.

“What the Deuce do you mean?” said Sebastian, still somewhat outraged by the Lady Glossop incident- even though it had been no fault of Marko’s.

“There is expensive yacht moored on the Thames: at Kensington, not far from the Embassies. It is called ‘Lady Henrietta’.” As this sunk in, Marco lit up a cigarette and smiled faintly.

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Night Moves (31st October 1888: Evening)
31st October 1888: Evening

It was just after 8 pm when they walked their horses out through the moor gate, and into the chill mist of the moor; a Full Moon at least would give them light, and as long as they took it slowly Henry was confident that he could lead them towards the asylum.

The horses and tack they had hired out from a local Livery for a few days, and they were now all suitably attired for life in the country. A passerby would also have spotted a number of longarms situated amidst the horse furniture.

As they mounted the beast Marko looked distinctly uncomfortable; Sebastian smirked quietly to himself, being the expert rider that he was.

Their path across the moor led them close to an old prehistoric settlement, and the old lines of stones and stone bothies lining the nearby Tors like lines of broken teeth, added to the eerie atmosphere across the misty moor. Behind one of the Tors the moon was rising, and it was then that Lady Glossop halted her horse and pointed. Outlined against the top of the hillside was the figure of a man, his cape showing him in sharp relief. Sebastian cursed, and spurred his horse forward towards the hillside.

Unfortunately he wandered into soft ground, and most of the other group also experienced difficulties: it was Henry who climbed up onto the Tor, well ahead of his peers. He dismounted and started to look around.

He did find evidence of numerous recent movements of a set of booted prints recently, but in the maze of stone huts there were literally dozens of places a stealthy man might evade him. he picked a likely trail and followed it, but ended up meeting only Bertie, leading his horse. They decided to resume their course towards the asylum.

With the delays they had encountered it was around 10 pm when they approached. Most of the lights on the ground floor were off, although the foyer light was on, and a light to the left of it. Earlier they had seen a guard emerge from this room. Up on the second storey a few lights were lit intermittently, but one by one these started to go out.

Finding a concealed spot behind the stone wall, they determined that Marko and Lady Glossop, who both seemed confident of their abilities to move quietly, would try to get into the office. The other would hide nearby in case they needed assistance. There was some debate about Lady Glossop’s role in this but she persisted, and stripping off her outer coat she revealed that she wore ony a dark blouse and a scarf, which she proceeded to tie around her face. Beneath her riding skirt she had also chosen to wear a pair of ladie’s riding trousers, and these she now tucked into her tall riding boots. Clearly she had done this sort of thing before . She and Marko crept forward.

While Marko jemmied the window frame (“I knew there was a reason I didn’t quite trust him” thought Sebastian), Lady Glossop flipped open the latch with a thin blade, and the pair silently opened the window and slipped inside.

Apart from the light coming under the door leading into the foyer, they say that the door opposite the window, leading into the interior of the building, also had illumination seeping under it. As they remained in the room they heard occasional footsteps pacing quietly past- possibly a guard patrolling along a corridor. The irregular screams and whimpers of the inmates could also be heard. Lady Glossop laid out a selection of tools in front of her, and turned her attention towards the safe.

It was not easy, but Marko noted with some degree of admiration that she clearly knew what she was doing. After twenty minutes the safe clicked open. They scooped the notebook and documents into Marko’s satchel.

The lock into the laboratory was nowhere near as challenging, and after a few minutes Lady Glossop had also opened this. As well as all the glass tubing, small oil lamps, textbooks,and other accoutrements of a scientist, the room also contained an operating table, and a small library.

There was also a filing cabinet, and Marko made his way straight towards this. Between himself and Lady Glossop they determined that the bulk of the Doctor’s research notes seemed to be contained in a file labelled “Prometheus”. It was time to leave.

Quiet as a cat, Marko jumped down from the four foot window, and then turned round to catch Lady Glossop, from her position crouched in the window frame.

“Now. Now- jump!” he hissed.

“I can’t, I’m caught on something….ah OWWWWWW!” she shrieked. Some hidden nail or protrusion had snagged the rear of her clothing, and as she wriggled about something sharp had pierced her skin. The sudden pain caused her to release an explosive shriek louder than a train’s whistle, and as she jerked forward there was a loud tearing sound. She completely lost her balance and pitched forward. There was more tearing and she flew forward, minus blouse and already loosened riding bodice, into the arms of a flabbergasted Marko.

“Put me down! Put me down!” she shrieked slapping the top of his cap.

“Mmphfffff! Mmmmmmm.” was his only reply.

Bertie was peering though Marko’s borrowed spyglass at the scene.

“I say, she’s ripped her bodice off and jumped on top of Marko. I didn’t know she liked him that much” he tittered.

“What?!”, exploded Sebastian, and then, “Here, let me see!”

A topless Lady Glossop, still slapping Marko had now been tossed over the tall seaman’s shoulder, and he was hightailing it through the trees towards them. Inside the building lights were being switched on, and the front door was opened and a guard stepped out, shouting warnings in German.

As Bertie watched Sebastian and Henry tussled with once another to be the first to scramble to the top of the wall to pull Lady Glossop over, but Henry beat him to it. Moments later a furious Lady Glossop was hauled into her saddle and her riding coat tossed to her. Marko just shrugged and winked at Bertie

" Mhux kbira, iżda perfettament iffurmat. Sbieħ ħafna." he grinned.

“Absolutely old chap. Whatever you say!” responded Bertie.

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New Developments (31st October 1888: Late Afternoon)
31st October 1888: Late Afternoon

When they arrived back at the Hollies they found that their deliveries had arrived, and the next hour was spent as they experimented with their new wardrobes. As they relaxed over tea, Jacobs entered.

“Mr. Burtles has returned Sir. I have taken the presumption of inviting him in to speak with you Sir.” he bowed. There was a flurry of excitement and Mr. Burtles was shown in. He was a stout, respectable looking man in his early sixties, and introductions were made. He explained that he had recieved the communication from Lady melia only that morning, and had headed straight for Okehampton.

““Arthur and I were partners.” he explained, " Several years ago, the Cotterill Armaments Company hit a lean spell. As a man of independent wealth, I was seeking an investment at the time and my broker brought me to the attention of Lord Cotterill. After several meetings, I invested heavily in the company and became a partner.”

“But why did you argue?” asked Sebastian.

“Work. It’s an old argument." continued Mr.Burtles. " Arthur and I have been partners for 15 years. He did the design work, I provided the money and used my contacts to acquire materials — some of our inventions required very precise machining. I suppose it all started two years ago, really. Arthur had just sent off his latest designs to the War Office. He was confident they would accept anything he sent them, arrogant fool that he was. He had designed an underwater weapon for these submarines everyone is experimenting with. The War Office turned him down,
quoting it as being too expensive, especially since submarines were still experimental."

“Successive inventions were also rejected. Each prototype of these designs cost us thousands and thousands, and we were getting no return. The regular patents provided limited income, but our expenditure was huge."

“Anyway, the German government offered us a fortune for the blueprints for all the weapons the War Office had rejected. No idea how they found out about them. Arthur refused without even consulting me — ‘You can’t trust foreigners,’ he used to say. A Herr von Steinhagen contacted me a few days before Arthur’s death and asked me to try and change his mind. That’s why I was here. Arthur remained pig-headed, though, saying he’d rather go bankrupt than deal with a German.”

“I see” purred Sebastian, “When did you tell Herr Oberst von Steinhagen of the result of your meeting?”

“I telegrammed him from the village, just before I caught the train at nine o’clock.” replied Burtles.

“And did Lord Cotterill open the safe while you were there?” asked Lady Glossop.

“No. There wasn’t any need.” said Mr. Burtles crisply.

“Was Lord Cotterill alive when you left?” said Sebastian, staring him straight in the eye.

“I don’t appreciate your insinuation Sir" replied Mr. Burtles hotly,"Of course he was alive, just ask Jacobs. He had just summoned Jacobs to escort me from the house when I stormed off! Ejecting his own business partner!” Lady Glossop moved forward to smooth the hiccup over.

“There’s just one more thing Mr. Burtles” she asked apologetically, “Was the study window open during your visit?”

“Only a crack. I like to smoke cigars, but Arthur hated the smell.”

“And did you close the window” she persisted.

“No, no, I didn’t. After our row I stormed out. I must have forgotten to close it in my anger.”

With no further questions to ask, Mr. Burtles took his leave, indicating that he cold be contacted in London over the next couple of days.

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Country Rituals (31st October 1888)
31st October 1888

As they sat at breakfast Henry suddenly started, and waved about the copy of the Tavistock Gazette he had been reading. “Listen to this” he spluttered.

LUNATIC ESCAPES LOCAL ASYLUM

Kills Local Resident: Manhunt on the Moors.

Local Police are hunting for a madman who has escaped a local asylum, according to Sergeant Barnes of the Okehampton District Constabulary Office.

The madman, Willy McTavish, also known as the Strathclyde Strangler, was serving a life sentence for the murder of three Scottish prostitutes. Although a death sentence was considered, the judge, Lord Justice Reginald Montague – Fawkes, agreed to a proposal that McTavish should receive care at the asylum on Dartmoor run by renowned German psychiatrist Doctor Karl Muellhoffer.

Although Doctor Muellhoffer was unavailable for comment, his aide Gunther Schenker told our reporter that the asylum was working closely with Police to recapture McTavish. He further said that McTavish was responding to a revolutionary new treatment and was no longer a danger to the public.

McTavish is 5’ 11" tall and weighs 160 lbs, has cropped brown hair and green eyes. Sergeant Barnes has warned that he should not be approached. Any sighting of him should be reported to the local police."

“Well, well” said Sebastian. “German Doctor, missing Madmen, Military Inventor with open safe. I think a visit is probably in order chaps.”

“I want to check those tracks first said Henry. I may as well do it now.” He got up and left, returning some twenty minutes later.

“Hmm. I tracked Bigfoot to a sort of gate in the wall. Know it Jacobs?” asked Henry.

“Yes Sir. The Moor Gate Sir.” the old servant responded.

“Well the gate had been forced. And- and this is the tricky bit I don’t understand – Little Foot came into the grounds on his own, But Big Foot left the grounds on his own. Make of it what you will.”

“Do you know this German Doctor Jacobs?” asked Sebastian, “Did this Doctor Muelhoff ever visit?” Jacobs hesitated.

“No Sir. That was not the name of the German gentleman who visited last week Sir.” he replied. There was a short silence.

“D’you mean to say ANOTHER German gentleman visited here last week?” asked Sebastian. Jacob nodded.

“Yes Sir. A Herr Oberst von Steinhagen, a military gentleman visited Lord Cotterill last week, several days before his death. Excuse me Sir, I never thought that it was important Sir.” stammered Jacobs.

“That’s all Right Jacobs” sighed Sebastian. “But you must tell us all now. Understand?”

“Yes, sir” said Jacobs. " About a week ago the Master was visited by a foreign gentleman, this Herr Oberst Ludwig von Steinhagen. He was not expected, but was insistent his lordship see him. I
took his card to Lord Cotterill, who reluctantly agreed to see him. I escorted the gentleman through to the study and then retired to the dining room to prepare dinner. Next I knew of the
matter was the front door slamming and his lordship ringing for me. When I arrived in the study he was fuming. He told me to take his evening meal to the study and not to disturb him again that night.”

“Thank you Jacobs. That will be all for now.” said Sebastian.

“Herr Oberst von Steinhagen” said Lady Glossop, “is the German military attache’ to Her Majesty’s Government. He is based in the German Embassy.” The others all stared at Lady Glossop’s revelation of this tidbit of information.

“How about this?” suggested Bertie. “German bigwig approaches Boffin for secret inventions, and gets told to jump in the jolly old lake. Said bigwig uses violent nutcase borrowed from his Doctor German pal to murder Boffin, but because he’s two humbugs short of a quarter nutcase slips his lease and rampages off to terrify local yokels. Meanwhile one of his smarter chummies sneaks in and steals the magic papers. What d’you think?”

Lady Glossop beamed a brilliant smile at Bertie. “I believe you and that squirrely mind of yours just may have cracked this hard nut of a case!”

“I say!” said Bertie.

“Hum” scowled Henry, "We still have a number of things we need to check before we drive out to this asylum. We need to visit the Doctor in Okehampton: we should check at the station too for our deliveries while we’re at it.

Taking the Trap it was a half hours drive into Okehampton, and at the edge of the town the neat station was the first point of call. Their parcels from London had indeed arrived, and while Sebastian signed off for them and arranged for their delivery to the Hollies, Lady Glossop went and stood out on the empty platform for a pleasant view of the surrounding countryside. With his back to her, Mr. Cribbins the station master was repainting a section of a white wooden fence along the edge of the platform. The man was muttering to himself. She smiled faintly and pretended to ignore it, until she caught the words ‘Bloomin’ Foriegners". She frowned and turned, letting him grumble on for a few more moments before giving a polite cough.

“Arrr..Ohhhh…” said Mr. Cribbins, standing up with a paintbrush still in his hand.

“Oi beg your paardon young Miss.” he said politely, “If oi’d known you were there oi’d ‘ave ceased moi grumblin’. Oi’ didn’t mean any offence oi’m jist a bit purturbed and owt of sorts you moight say, Miss.”

“Think nothing of it my good sir. We all have our moments when we think we are alone I’m quite sure.”

“That’s very koind of you to say so Miss,” said Mr. Cribbins, “And oi apologoise onest agin.”

“It is quite alright” Smiled Lady Glossop, “But did I hear you say something about Foreigners? Is there some danger a Lady should be aware of?”

“Bless you ma’am I didn’t mean to scare you!” said Mr. Cribbins, “It just be with the escaped Lunatic out on the Moors, and all them Germans about it seems this here community ‘as been turned upside down. A murder too the papers say, but they don’t say where.” LAdy Glossop’s eyes lit up.

“Germans? There have been Germans hereabouts?” asked Lady Glossop.

“Yes Miss. There a German Gent. in a uniform-looked like some sort of sojer to me. Very smart and military like. ‘E came orf the train askin’ for The Hollie-a big house up on the moor -oh over a week ago it was. The 22nd it was-I remember because it was my sister’s kids birthday.”

“A few days later, three other men -Germans too I reckon. One of them had a kind of bag like a doctors, and they all had overnight bags. They left the next evening. Damn rude lot, all curt and snappy.” he continued.

“When was this? Can you remember?” asked Lady Glossop eagerly.

“They arrived on the 25th and left on the 9 o’clock evenin’ train on the 26th” he responded. It certainly looked suspicious-the 26th was the date on which Lord Cotterill had been murdered, and it seemed to back up Bertie’s theory. As they left the station she informed the others.

Their next port of call was Doctor Locock: his picture postcard cottage was situated down a quiet lane close to the station. It was a modest two stored stone building, with a front garden which probably would have looked stunning in high summer, though even in the autumn it retained a variety of shades and colours. A brass plaque on both gatepost and door proclaimed the Doctor’s residence.

The door was opened by a maid; Sebastian presented his card and they were soon ushered into a morning room where the Doctor was still busy at his breakfast. Sebastian briefly explained the reason behind their visit.

“Hmm yes, bad business. And most disturbing, in the light of this morning’s papers.” he munched, offering them some tea.

“The cause of death?” asked Henry.

“Massive trauma and blood loss from the initial stab wounds thrusting upwards into the chest. Probably died almost instantly.” said the Doctor.

“Initial stab wounds?” asked Bertie.

“Let me show you” said the Doctor, wiping his hands. “This was please.”

He led them out of a side door and into a large and equally profuse rear garden. Down one side of this was a converted agricultural building.

“I use this to conduct post mortems, and as a temporary morgue” explained the doctor. As they entered, they noticed that the temperature was noticeably cooler. He led them to a body wrapped in a winding sheet, and unveiled the mortal remains of Lord Arthur Cotterill.

The body had multiple stab and slash wounds to the stomach and chest, as well as sets of three parallel slash marks on his forearms.The Doctor pointed out that the initial stab wounds were inflicted on a man standing upright, whereas the slash marks indicated a prone target.

“But these are almost like claw marks!” exclaimed Henry.

“Indeed” agreed the Doctor, “But there are no beasts in this country that could inflict such a wound of course- unless you believe the local superstitions of devilish hounds on Dartmoor” . He smirked briefly.

“No. With this news of the escaped lunatic I think it is far more probable that the marks were inflicted deliberately as a result of some acute form of monomania. The Scotsman is deemed to be insane after all- and the human brain is a complex organ.” he concluded.

“Thank you Doctor” said Sebastian, “I think we’ve seen enough.”

A visit to see Sergeant Barnes at the local police station only served to confirm that Lady Amelia’s assessment of him had been correct. As they wandered back to their trap Bertoe looked around curiously.

“I say. Have you noticed that in a lot of these windows the yokels are putting turnip thingies in? Carved like heads with funny faces, What?” he pointed. Indeed his observation seemed to be correct. Some of the houses also had bundles of ash twigs tied to the door knocker or some other convenient projection, and Henry espied another householder doing the same.

“What’s going on?” asked Bertie, “Are these people Druids or something?”

“Hmm let me see” said Sebastian. “You fellow. There.” He tapped nearby workman on the shoulder with his stick, and the man looked back at him insolently.

“These turnips and all this mumbo jumbo. What’s it all about eh?” demanded Sebastian. The fellow slowly looked him up and down, spat on the floor, and strutted away.

“Why that insolent…..”began Sebastian.

“I say, I say calm down old fellow” said Bertie. “Lack the common touch a bit, what? No point in a brawl in the middle of the street, what? I bet Sergeant Barnes would love to put one of us in the cells for a night.” There seemed to be sense in Bertie’s words.

Henry produced a shilling and walked over to a window cleaner, who was whistling to himself as he just climbed safely down form his ladder.

“Good morning my man”, he smiled, “This shilling is your if you can tell us what all these turnips and bundles of twigs are about. I have a friendly wager on with my friend over here.” The man smiled, and pocketed the shilling.

“Thaat’s no secret Zur. ’Tis dukapple noight”

“Ah yes quite " smiled Henry, somewhat confused. “Can you repeat that again?”

“Arrpp. ‘Tis dukapple noight. Mischef noight as’twere.”repleid the man, obviously pleased at his further clarification. Clearly, only an idiot now would have failed to comprehend his meaning. Off he walked, leaving Henry mollified and slightly amused: also short of a shilling.

Cutting their losses on the local folklore front, with it now approaching noon they decided that they had best drive out to the asylum out on Dartmoor. The drive was a long one, and they really wanted to be home before dark.

The asylum lay some dozen miles from The Hollies by road , though a mere five miles cross country. In the trap the logner route was the more practical, and well muffled against the thin, chill mist and light drizzle, they settled back for their first foray across the wild moorlands of Dartmoor.

Eventually below them they saw a stark, grey, imposing two-storey structure, which spoke of untold misery within its walls and little hope of release for those lost souls sent there as
inmates.

On arriving and ringing the bell for attention outside the gate, they were met by a burly guard. He asked, in a german accent Sebastian noted, the nature of their business, and nodding he opened the iron gates and let them into the grounds. A short drive across fairly bare grounds led them to the front of the house, where they were met by another guard. In fact all of the guards appeared to be german. They presented their cards, and were shown into a foyer, and then off to their right into an office. In front of them was a neatly dressed man with a short trimmed beard and moustache. A monocle was worn in his right eye.

“Good afternoon Captain Shaw. I am Doctor Muelhoffer, director of this establishment” he said. Introductions were made, and he bowed and kissed Lady Glossop’s hand. Refreshments were called for and shortly arrived.

“I must now ask the nature of your business here. We do not get many visitors.” pronounced the Doctor.

“We represent a group of concerned local landowners. We really need to ask you about this McTavish fellow.” said Sebastian. While she had been introduced Lady Glossop had noticed tht Doctor Muelhoffer’s diary was open on his desk, and she now stood to one side waiting for an opportunity to take a look at it.

“McTavish,Ja .A most disturbing case indeed, but he was making good progress until he absconded.” replied the Doctor.

“But how did the fellow escape?” asked Bertie.

“Ach, a most unfortunate accident." continued Herr Muelhoffer. " An orderly administered the wrong drug. Willy was not as sedate as he should have been. He overpowered the orderly and escaped by hiding inside the laundry baskets, which he knew were due to be collected soon. He may be insane, but he is not stupid.”

“But why did you ask him to be admitted here in the first place?” asked Sebastian. “Surely a man that dangerous poses a threat to us all here?”

“You must understand that my research is cutting edge." explained the Doctor-not without a hint of frustration Lady Glossop thought. "Vile Freud goes on about patient’s mothers, finding something wrong in every person’s childhood, I prefer to put my faith in therapeutic drugs. Willy sounded like the ideal case for my research.”

“And what do these drugs do?” asked Sebastian.

“I will put this in layman’s terms for you." explained the Doctor patiently. "Through the use of my patented sedatives I take the patient to a peaceful level,where he feels relaxed und safe. These sedatives do not make him merely drowsy, but also completely calm. Even a raving lunatic would be among the most sane of people, without risk of harming anyone. Then I tell the patient that he is cured over und over until he believes it for himself. Simple, yet very effective.”

“I say, like bally hypnosis ,what?”suggested Bertie.

“You mean like a stage-magician? Certainly not!” repleid Herr Muelhoffer. " I do not make patients cluck like chickens. I cure those others called incurable through the power of my will!”

“But the papers say Willy was cured?” persisted Sebastian.

“Almost. Whatever Darwin thinks, humans are not animals. We are not designed to live in cages. My aim is to cure madness, all madness, so humans can enjoy a full and healthy life.”

“Hmm, most enlightening Herr Doctor” said Sebastian. “And have any of your countrymen visited you recently? I don’t really understand why your research is being conducted over here, rather than in Germany”

“In my own country funding is difficult, where the foolish theories of Freud begin to hold sway. Your own countrymen take a more enlightened approach, and I was able to procure this post on condition that I be able to conduct research into my own therapeutic treatments. And yes, I was visited by a fellow countryman- a Herr Oberst von Steinhagen, a government official, just over a week ago. I do not know him personally, but as a fellow countryman he felt compelled to visit. Whatever the world thinks of us, we Prussians are a well-mannered people.”

As he spoke Lady glossop had managed to edge closer to the desk and look at the diary. The sole page entry was for November 2nd and read "Lady Henrietta, London, 7:30 p.m.” .

Doctor Muelhoffer noticed the movement, and leaned over and snapped the diary shut.

“If that will be all, I have many duties to attend to.” he said firmly.

“perhaps we could be allowed to see McTavish’s cell?” enquired Henry. “To put our minds at rest regarding your security”

“Given the sensitivity of my patients, That will not be possible. I will not have then unduly excited or disturbed” said the Doctor apologetically. Two of the guards were summoned, and the group were escorted back to their trap. As they drove back across the moor they discussed their experiences.

“That fellow was hiding something for sure” said Bertie. “And what’s more did you see the lab coat hung up on the door with the lock behind him. There was a safe too.”

“I think”, said Lady Glossop, "That we should try another visit later on. The windows to his office were not barred from the outside, unlike many of the others.

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