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 others 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 saw 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.