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This is the book Alexander Dumas would have written if he’d
           read Terry Pratchett's sales figures.




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    In the winter of 171376, the Devil’s footprints appeared in the snow of a small village
on the edge of the Sussex Downs. . Nineteen years later, iIn the spring of that year 1736,
the moon disappeared a lunar eclipse marked the arrival of and a bright yellow star
appeared in its place. . The Archbishop of Canterbury declared the comet the comet it to
be the Star of Bethlehem, returned from the heavens. . William Whiston, the successor
to Sir Isaac Newton, predicted all three both celestial events, and he predicted a
fourththird. . I, inn the summer of that year the new star would come crashing down
onto the Earth, and create a flood that would bring an end to the world.
    For a time England went, quite literally, mad.




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  The
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CircleThe
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 Circle
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  oOf
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Hell Fyre
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 HELL-FYRE
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                   F                         Formatted: Font: Blackadder ITC, 16 pt



  Faithfully translated out of Dr Dees       Formatted: Font: Blackadder ITC, 16 pt



 own Copy, by JL.H & LJ.H and never          Formatted: Font: Blackadder ITC, 16 pt
                                             Formatted: Font: Blackadder ITC, 16 pt

          before in English. .




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            L O N D O N,                     Formatted: Left

Printed for Simon Miller at the Starre
   in St Paul’s Churchyard, 1742.




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All the swashbucklers that ever were, rolled onto one great Technicolor pantomime. .
Daredevil highwaymen dancing by the gallows, master occultists bent on toppling
governments, savage rituals in aristocratic houses, lost cargos of treasure and Black
Spots, devilish Dons and ghastly dungeons, plots, duels, treacherous etiquette and
tender romance. . And a mischievous young hero, torn between winning the heart of a
Lady and helping her to kidnap the Empress of Austria.


    Even Hollywood history was never like this.




    It is the 18th Century, the age of ScientifickScientific Reason. . Newton, Leibnitz
and the rest are solving the mysteries of the universe in their laboratories and libraries.
. Light, energy, atomic matter, the forces that govern the very motion of the planets
have all come within the understanding of Man.
    But God isn’t done with just yet, and fortunately for Him, hardly anyone believes
in all that scientifickscientific mumbo jumbo. . Not when curses, miracles and other
criminal deceptions are such common, everyday events. . You’d be mad not to believe
in the supernatural.
    And JerichoBenjamin Quick knows it. .
    Somehow, he knows it all. .
    JerichoBenjamin is barely nineteen, and happily using his skills as a magical
illusionist to divest the gentry of their valuables. . Since before he can remember,
JerichoBenjamin has been taught his craft by a master. . He can fling a rope in the air
and climb to the Heavens, can turn water into wine, and wine into blood. . He can
make the sky rain with frogs and pull a golden guinea from a child’s ear.
    In 1736, you see, people don't watch Magick in the theatre, or read about it in
books, they believe in it - everybody believes in it. . It's a time when a clever-dick
trick can win you a Duchy, and JerichoBenjamin Quick’s powers make him dangerous,

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and rather useful.
    The HellFyre Clubbe knows it - and vows to destroy him. . The Prime Minister
knows it - and vows to use him, and pretty soon the King of France will understand it
too, and then all Hell will break loose. .
    But none of this worries our teenage hero. . What really troubles JerichoBenjamin
Quick, is that the girl he loves, the first girl he’s ever,, truly loved, is trying to get him
hanged.




                                             The Plot


    The Circle of HellFyre is the first in a trilogy an of historical adventures set in          Formatted: Font: Not Italic


during the year of 1736 - - Tthe year the Devil strode the Sussex Downs, a lunar                 Formatted: Font: Bold
                                                                                                 Formatted: Font: Bold
eclipse was followed by the sudden appearance of a comet and William Whiston,                    Formatted: Font: Not Italic

successor to Sir Isaac Newton, predicted the End of the World. . This story scrapes              Formatted: Font: Bold
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away some of the varnish of history, applies a little scientific reasoning, and tries to
catch a glimpse of what really happened during the chaos of that infamous year …                 Formatted: Font: Bold


    the year Old Mother Shipton predicted would see the EndeEnd of the Worlde. It is
also the year that Louis de Bourbon, King of France, is set to marry the beautiful Maria
Theresa, future Holy Roman Empress. The alliance will spell disaster for England’s
ambitions of a colonial empire in the Americas - and the government of England, led by
the bloated and corrupt Sir Robert Walpole, schemes and counter-schemes to retain the
European Balance of Power.
    Meanwhile, yYoung JerichoBenjamin Quick is raising havoc on the London to
Brighton. . Quick is the original hoodie, a boy highwayman. . If he were alive today
he’d be placed somewhere on the autism spectrum. . In 1736 he is destined either for
an Earldom or the Gallows. . The locals think he’s the Spawn of Satan, but the truth is,
he’s just a teenage crook. . At eighteen, he knows how to steal a horse and pick a
pocket, and he knows a way into the Tower of London, into the room where they keep

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the Crown Jewels.
    It don't matter that he's not strong enough to lift a sword, because “killing
gentlemen” are two-a-penny, and with Europe on the brink of war, JerichoBenjamin
knows how to dodge a fight. . Because for all of his short life he's been trained to the
dark arts of the [m]occult, and he might just be the greatest exponent of them all.
    When Quick falls in love with the Prime Minister’s daughter (the exquisite Eliza -
society belle and amateur ScientifickScientific Philosopher) he is drawn into a brutal
game of international diplomacy and espionage.             .   Things can only get more
complicated when Members of the Royal Society start turning up dead, assassinated by
their own experiments.
    [is the following sentence refers to the trilogy – are we mentioning anything of the
trilogy hopes?] The action races across frozen lakes in Vienna, ducks under fountains in
Versailles and goes excavating at Stonehenge. . But all the while, Mother Shipton’s
William Whiston’s predictions for of chaos 1736 are coming to pass. . A chicken is
found in Aylesbury with two heads; the River Kennet runs dry, and a the comet is seen
arcing across the sky - every day bringing it closer to Mother ShiptonWhiston’s final
date of reckoning – the midsummer solstice. . As JerichoBenjamin begins to suspect
the hand of the Circle of HellFyre, and the novel draws towards its cataclysmic finale,
Londoners flee the city and the bells of St Paul’s are finally cut free. .




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                                         TO SUM UP


    This is every period melodrama rolled up into a huge burlesque of adventure,
witchcraft, piracy, madness, trickery, alchemy and death - that dances across royal
palaces, 18th Century espionage, and Madame de Pompadour’s front lawn.


    A great heaving broadside of grapeshot, rich in intrigue and littered with treasure.




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The Circle
    of
Hell Fyre
 Faithfully translated out of Dr Dees
 own Copy, by J.H & L.H and never
          before in English.




            L O N D O N,




                                        10
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Printed for Simon Miller at the Starre
   in St Paul’s Churchyard, 1742.
               The


   Circle
             Of


   HELL-FYRE
Faithfully translated out of Dr Dees
own Copy, by L.H & J.H and never
         before in English. .


            L O N D O N,
Printed for Simon Miller at the Starre
   in St Paul’s Churchyard, 1742.




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                                 PROLOGUE



    Forty years before, in what is now the very heart of London, on the
wastelands known as the Cock and Pye Fields, were built seven streets. .
Each street ended at a central point and fanned out like the radiance of a
star. . Perhaps because of this star, and because the number seven has
held occult significance from the earliest of times – all kinds of
astronomers and astrologers were encouraged to assemble there

    Then at some point, in the early 1700’s, the parish imploded. . The
Seven Dials (as it became known) became an abyss into which tipped all of
London’s strange secrets and desires. . It was an area of London into
which more strange folk were crammed than any other, and out of that
congregation sprang reports of evil and immorality, of savagery and
unnamed vice.

    All the filth in London found its way to the Seven Dials. .

    The HellFyre Clubbe was no exception.            .   When Sir Francis
Dashwood and his clique of young aristocrats formed the Clubbe, a place
for the wealthiest and most powerful to let down their wigs and party
hard, it seemed only natural that they would choose the Seven Dials as
their home.

    At the centre of the seven streets they built for themselves a house – a
residence for their sin. . London buzzed with stories of their parties, but
no one could enter uninvited, for the house they built had no front door. .
Linked to others via deep underground passages, it was a house that from
the outside seemed impossible to enter, or to ever leave. .




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    After a number of years people seemed not to notice that in the
middle of their parish sat a building with no means of entry or exit. . But
the rumours of a secret and occult society persisted. .



    Sir William WhistoneWhiston was a tall man, who had to bow as he
entered the doorway of the Cradle and Coffin. . The tap-rooms of the          Formatted: Font: Not Italic


public tavern were host to some of society’s lowest – and Sir William
instinctively tucked in his chin and kept his head down.        .   A brief
discussion with the barkeeper saw him shown through a back door, up a
double set of stairs and onto a wooden landing. . His instructions were
clear, at the far end of the landing he found a window, and clambered onto
a tiled roof. . WhistoneWhiston was presented with a leap, a leap of faith
they had described it, onto the roof of the neighbouring house. . Making
advantage of his height, Ssir William made the jump with distance to
spare, but he was not without a gloss of sweat as he climbed through a
skylight and into the building. . There, another set of stairs, downward
this time, ended abruptly in a door. . He knocked twice, and when asked,
spoke three words.

    “Two Fat Monkeys”

    A thick black hood was pushed under the door and he tied it firmly
over his face. . The voice on the other side of the door gave a final
instruction, “Lie on your belly and wait.”



    The next day, WhistoneWhiston woke – stiff and blinking from the
bottom of a rowboat in Putney. . Unable to remember much about the




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last twelve hours, – he suddenly felt a pang in his guts. . His first act was
to retch a stream of beetroot-coloured bile into the Thames. . His second
act though, was to smile. . He was in. . He was a member. . The secrets
of the cabal were his to plunder. . And he’d already learned something
pretty important.
    The world was going to end, and it was all going to happen rather
soon.


                                        ~




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   The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto
Hhim, to show unto hHis servants things which must
shortly come to pass. . Blessed is he that readeth, and they
that hear the words of this prophecy. . For the time is at
hand.

                                          Book of Revelation 1:1




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4WeeksFour
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       afore
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    It began in the old and golden days of England, in a time when all the
hedgerows were green and the roads dusty, when hawthorn and wild roses
bloomed, when big-bellied landlords brewed rich, October ale at a penny a pint for
rakish-booted gentlemen with jingling spurs and long rapiers. .
    When summers were long and warm and drowsy, with honeysuckle and
hollyhocks by cottage walls, when winter nights were clear and sharp with frost-       Comment [l1]: It began in the old and golden
                                                                                       days of England, in a time when all the hedgerows
                                                                                       were green and the roads dusty, when hawthorn
rimmed moons shining on the silent snow, and Claude Duval and Swift Nick               and wild roses bloomed, when big-bellied
                                                                                       landlords brewed rich, October ale at a penny a
Nevison lurked in bosky thickets, teeth gleaming beneath their masks as they heard     pint for rakish-booted gentlemen with jingling
                                                                                       spurs and long rapiers. When summers were long
the rumble of coaches bearing paunchy, well-heeled nabobs and bright-eyed ladies       and warm and drowsy, with honeysuckle and
                                                                                       hollyhocks by cottage walls, when winter nights
with powdered hair who would gladly tread a measure by the wayside with the            were clear and sharp with frost-rimmed moons
                                                                                       shining on the silent snow, and Claude Duval and
                                                                                       Swift Nick Nevison lurked in bosky thickets, teeth
gallant tobyman, and bestow a kiss to save their husband’s guineas.                    gleaming beneath their masks as they heard the
                                                                                       rumble of coaches bearing paunchy, well-heeled
    .When Newton and Leibnitz quaffed down the mercury and mapped out the              nabobs and bright-eyed ladies with powdered hair
                                                                                       who would gladly tread a measure by the wayside
Temple of Solomon in the Trinity College library, eyes burning from the stench of      with the gallant tobyman, and bestow a kiss to
                                                                                       save their husband’s guineas.
[phosphor] as they solved the mysteries of universe, glad that no-one paid them        This was an England that existed long before
                                                                                       interfering social historians spoiled it by
                                                                                       discovering that its sanitation was primitive and its
much attention. When religious miracles and other criminal deceptions were             social services non-existent, that London’s
                                                                                       atmosphere stank something poisonous, and the
common- everyday events, the skies sometimes rained bloody, or with frogs, the         countryside was either wilderness or rural slum,
                                                                                       that religious bigotry, dental decay, corruption,
tracks of heavy-footed beasts appeared on windowsills in the winter snow, curses       fleas, cruelty, poverty, disease, injustice, and cock-
                                                                                       fighting were all depressingly rife.
seemed to work and it was easier to believe in the Devil than to consider the Truth.   This story shields its eyes, and begins in the other,
                                                                                       happier England, of fancy rooted in truth, where
                                                                                       dates and places, and the order of events and
. Wwitches sprang up at the end of accusing fingers, ready to be damned and            people may shift a little here and there in the
                                                                                       mirror of imagination, and yet not be thought false
drowned, peasants prayed quietly, cowering with biblical dread, and the skies          on that account. For it’s just a tale, and as Mark
                                                                                       Twain pointed out, whether it happened or did not
sometimes rained bloody, or with frogs. . Pestilences struck down the ungodly, sea     happen, it could have happened. And as all story-
                                                                                       tellers know, whether they work with spoken
creatures waited in murky lochs, and the tracks of heavy-footed beasts appeared on     words in crofts, or quills in Stratford, or cameras in
                                                                                       Hollywood, it should have happened.
                                                                                       Thus:
windowsills in the winter snow.
    When Newton and Leibnitz drank quicksilver and mapped out the Temple of            Formatted: Font: Not Bold
                                                                                       Formatted: Font: Not Bold
Solomon in the Trinity College library, eyes burning from the stench of
phosphorus as they strained for glimpses of the truth. , but. N no one paid them
much attention for it was easier to believe in God and bar believe in the Devil and
bar the windows at night at night against the Devilthan to think about the truth. .



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And so the truth generally stays hidden.
        For this England you will recognise, an England when curses, miracles and             Formatted: Font: Not Bold
                                                                                              Formatted: Font: Not Bold
other criminal deceptions were common, everyday events, and no-one had much                   Formatted: Font: Not Bold

time for the Truth.
        []Time to t
        [a nod in this intro to the ‘illusion’ found in this book – not everything should
be taken as rote, not all is as it first seems, illusion – a conjuror’s world at times…)
This was an England that existed long before interfering social historians spoiled it
by discovering that its sanitation was primitive and its social services non-existent,
that London’s atmosphere stank something poisonous, and the countryside was
either wilderness or rural slum, that religious bigotry, dental decay, corruption,
fleas, cruelty, poverty, disease, injustice, and cock-fighting were all depressingly
rife.
        This story ake a second look at the stories history tells us, It’s easy to discount
the stories history tells us, to disregard them as fanciful nonsense, but fancy is
always rooted somewhere in truth. . Unicorn heads have were been found in the
dust of Africa, it’s just that but now we call them rhinoceroses; the clouds didn’t
rain blood but they did rain red, with iron oxide from the Atlas Mountains. . The
seven plagues of Egypt, Moses’ burning bush, the Sermon on the Mount, the
powers of the Ark of the Covenant, Methusaleh’sMethuselah’s 500th birthday, even              Formatted: Superscript


the Virgin Birth can be explained with an understanding of psychology and with a
steady application of historical psychology and scienctific methode.
        Even the strange happenings of 1736, when the devil strode the Sussex Downs,
the Star of Bethlehem came crashing towards earth, and all of England went mad,
will one day succumb to scientific analysis. . There’s always some truth, once we
scrape scrape away at the varnished tales and perhaps catch a glimpse of what lies
beneath, but for now so let’s keep a keen scientific eye, but begin shields its eyes,
and begins in the other, happier England, of fancysuperstition rooted in truthfaith



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and creed, where t. The facts of fancy rooted in truth, where dates and places, and
the order of events and people may shift a little here and there in the mirror of
imagination, and yet not be thought false on that account. , f. For it’s this is just a
talestory, and as Mark Twain Newton Mark Twain pointed out, whether it
happened or did not happen, it could have happened. . And as all story-tellers
know, whether they work with spoken words in crofts, or quills in Stratford, or
cameras in Hollywood, it should have happened.
    Thus:




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    It began in the old and golden days of England, in a time when all the
hedgerows were green and the roads dusty, when hawthorn and wild roses
bloomed, when big-bellied landlords brewed rich, October ale at a penny a pint for
rakish-booted gentlemen with jingling spurs and long rapiers. . When summers
were long and warm and drowsy, with honeysuckle and hollyhocks by cottage
walls, when winter nights were clear and sharp with frost-rimmed moons shining
on the silent snow, and Claude Duval and Swift Nick Nevison lurked in bosky
thickets, teeth gleaming beneath their masks as they heard the rumble of coaches
bearing paunchy, well-heeled nabobs and bright-eyed ladies with powdered hair
who would gladly tread a measure by the wayside with the gallant tobyman, and
bestow a kiss to save their husband’s guineas.
    This was an England that existed long before interfering social historians
spoiled it by discovering that its sanitation was primitive and its social services
non-existent, that London’s atmosphere stank something poisonous, and the
countryside was either wilderness or rural slum, that religious bigotry, dental
decay, corruption, fleas, cruelty, poverty, disease, injustice, and cock-fighting were
all depressingly rife.
    This story shields its eyes, and begins in the other, happier England, of fancy
rooted in truth, where dates and places, and the order of events and people may
shift a little here and there in the mirror of imagination, and yet not be thought
false on that account. . For it’s just a tale, and as Mark Twain pointed out, whether
it happened or did not happen, it could have happened. . And as all story-tellers
know, whether they work with spoken words in crofts, or quills in Stratford, or
cameras in Hollywood, it should have happened.
    Thus:




                                                                                   21
                                                                            22




    The wooden coach groaned violently as it took another bend at high
speed, but the coachman had no intention of slowing. . The London to
Brighton road was one of the finest highways in all of England and he had
six of the county’s best thoroughbreds to haul his stagecoach onward. .
The sun was beginning to wane and the light was failing, but he was under
strict orders. . “Don’t spare the horses for God or King.”
    Inside, Eliza tried to ignore the constant jostling and the occasional
leap into the air. . She was dressed in the finery of lady, only the absence
of a wig was out of the ordinary. But Eliza was famed for her hair, – it was
the darkest of reds, – and she never covered it. She was fussing to make
sure everything was ready, she knew she was fussing, that there was
nothing more for her to do, – but she fussed anyway. . For the tenth time
since leaving London, she checked the periscope.             .   The telescopic
viewfinder was well oiled, and, as it had done a hundred nine times before,
pulled down easily from the roof of the coach. . The view was exactly as
before – and she stole a look over the coachman’s shoulder before sliding
the telescope back into place. . Next she checked the reins. . The coach
and six had been fitted with two sets of reins – the coachman held firmly
onto one set, as he urged the six onto greater speed, whilst the other
slotted though a hole in the front of the coach where they were tied
loosely about Eliza’s ankle. . She made certain that the knot was secure
and gave a gentle tug to test them.
    [perhaps a sentence or two about her training with the Department in
this chapter, just to reveal a little more of her and intro the Department
from the off – MI5 of its day?] The late winter early summer sun was
dropping fast now, and she knew it wouldn’t be long. . Just long enough




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for one last look at her dossier. . She opened the leather roll and read the
first line with a thin smile: JerichoBenjamin Quick - The Child of the
Beast.
    First she read a yellow-faded newspaper clipping from The London
Examiner, though by now she knew it by heart. . It was dated January
17179, some nineteen years before …




               THE DEVIL VISITS SHEFFORD
         Considerable sensation has been evoked in the Village of Shefford by
         the Woodlands, in consequence of the discovery of a vast number of
         foot-tracks of a most strange and mysterious description. .
              Some go so far as to believe they are the marks of Satan
         himself, and great excitement has been produced among all classes.
              On Thursday night last there was a very heavy snowfall in the
         neighbourhood of Shefford. . On the morning following, the
         inhabitants of the village were surprised upon discovering the tracks
         of some beast. . The foot-tracks had the cloven appearance of a
         donkey-hoofstag but must belong to some strange and mysterious
         animal endowed with unnatural powers, because the hooffoot-
         prints were to be seen in all kinds of inaccessible places: – on the
         tops of houses and narrow walls, in gardens and courtyards enclosed
         by high walls and palings. . In one case, the footprints crossed
         through a 12-foot wall without a break in stride.
              The creature seems to have approached the doors of several
         houses and then to have retreated, but no one has been able to
         discover the standing or resting point of this mysterious visitor. .
         On Sunday last, the Rev. . Mr. . Musgrave gave a lesson on the
         subject in his sermon, and suggested the possibility of the foot-prints




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        being those of an African rhinoceros, but this could scarcely have
        been the case as they were found on both sides of the estuary of the
        River Arun.
                At present it remains a mystery, and many are fearful to
        venture outside their doors after nightfall.                                Comment [l2]: more olde worlde?




    There was a bang on the side of the coach and Eliza flinched - but it
was only a tree-branch thumping into the solid, lacquered door. . She
smiled at her uneasinesssilly anxiety, but noted that the sun was touching
the horizon now. . The orange red light streamed through the open
window and lit up the amethyst in her ring; she turned the gold band so
that the gemstone nestled in her palm.. To anyone watching, hidden in
the woods, they would have seen Eliza’s red hair lit up like a halo of fire.
[mention this evening light catching the fine red hair about her face, like a
halo a-fyre?]
    Returning to the carefully scribed papers, Eliza continued reading, this
time from a piece of paper headed with the Royal Warrant and the words:
“His Majesty’s Government.”           .”   Skipping over a long and rambling
introduction, she went straight to the key paragraph


                No official determination of the true nature of the
        marks was made. . The Rev Mr Musgrave did render a
        graphical record of six prints that led to the wall of a local
        crypt. . These are presented to the scale of one in four.


    Eliza squinted at the woodcut illustrations for the thousandth
hundredth time – they looked just like donkey the hooves of a large deer,




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but ran in a single line. . She skipped the long description and turned to
page two:


             No adverse or curious events transpired in the year
        following Thursday, 11th January, save one. . Over the
        following months a local virginal maid did bloom into
        pregnancy. . Rumour abounded and on the birth of a twin
        babes [or two babes? If Jericho is to have had a twin, he
        must feature from the beginning] the following October,
        the mood of the village was sufficiently ugly that the maid
        was forced to flee for fear of death at the hands of a mob. .
        After a time she returned to the village called Shefford the
        Woodlands, but strange happenstance began to surround
        her newborn[s?]. Birds were found dead at the foot of the
        babe’s’ cots, killed cold in mid-flight. . Dogs would bark
        whenever they were forced into close proximity, and when
        milk turned sour in the udder of a local herdsman’s prize
        cow, the populace of Shefford rose up. . They marched on
        the lodgings of the maid, and they would have broiled her
        as a witch, but the cot was empty. . The smell of Sulfur
        told them that Satan had reclaimed his own.
    [should we mention twins in the above? Depends how we want this
part of the story to unfold?]
    Eliza smiled as she read the scrawled hand of some court official who
had inscribed across the report the Latin term, CLAUSUSCLAUSUS. . But
the matter of the Devil’s visit to Shefford was far from CLOSEDCLOSED. .




                                                                        25
                                                                        26




    Eliza now turned to the third and final sheaf in her leather roll. .
Again it took the form of an official report, but this time dated only a
month before. . It was written by a Captain in The British Army who
styled himself Captain BenThomas Avery Esq. . Again, she skipped the
introduction, and read:


            Attended the village folk at Shefford the Woodlands on
        18th March April 17365 in the local Tavern there, which
        doth form a staging post from London to Brighton. . In all,
        some two-dozen villagers presented themselves. . At first
        they were reluctant to acknowledge the presence of any
        wrong-doing in their parish, but when I directed them to
        the facts of the matter, and the evidence of upwards of fifty
        attacks on the King’s Highway between Horley and
        Shefford in the last twelve months alone, they became
        somewhat less reticent.
            In all, sixteen persons came forward with evidence. .
        The people of this Godless place referred to a local demon
        called The Quick.    .    This demon, so they claim, is of
        human-appearance yet unusually tall slight and longfine-
        limbed.   .   The creature, they claim, has the power of
        apparation, with the ability to travel from place to place in
        an instant. . They describe him as possessing other strange
        powers. S – some described an ability to shape-shift, like a
        werewolf, and others claimed he was impervious to musket-
        shot. . On one thing they all agree – this demon has a




                                                                        26
                                                                        27




        particular fondness for maidens and no young woman is
        safe from his keen interest.
            So far, these descriptions fit with the accounts provided
        by those victims I have had the opportunity to interview in
        London.      .   However, the inhabitants of Shefford the
        Woodlands have furnished me with additional information.
        . The demon is rumoured to live in the forest to the north
        of Shefford. . Many Other reports claim that even where
        an armed guard is present, the demon appears by magickal
        means within the coach itself – and vanishes leaving only a
        sulfurous trace.
            I suspect a gang may be at work, with conspirators in
        both the staging posts at Brighton and Victoria. . One
        thing is clear, this threat is from no common highwayman.
        . I recommend decisive action.
            [should we mention the death of his doppelganger twin
        in these dossier notes – the belief that Jericho snuffed him
        out at an early age? And then turned his mind to thievery?
        That way the bro is very much there from the off]
    The speed of the coach dropped suddenly as the horses strained up an
incline. . The light was all but gone now and Eliza gave up her reading
and re-wrapped the parchments in their leather roll. . A milestone told
her that Shefford the Woodlands was only six miles further – she wouldn’t
have long to wait.
    Despite the adrenalin, she allowed herself a moment to rest her eyes. .
The fading light and the rattle of the coach conspired to dull her mind –




                                                                        27
                                                                         28




but Eliza had been trained for moments just like these, had been trained to
cope with anything. .     In His Majesty’s Secret Service a flicker of lost
concentration could mean the difference between success and three
months of wasted planning.. This might be her first mission, but there was
no way she would fail.     [mention more of her recent training at this
point…that way we can set her youthful age from the start?]
    BANG

    Another tree-branch smacked against the side of the coach –.
iInstinctively, Eliza looked out – only to realise with a sudden surge of
horror, that she was no longer alone in the coach.
    “‘A pleasant evening for a drive, your Ladyship.’”
    Despite expecting this very event, Eliza felt a surge of hot blood rush
to her head. . Remembering her training, she slowed her breathing, and
took a moment to take in the creature sitting opposite her. . It didn’t look
like a demon – though it was hard to tell under the heavy hood. . A
gloved hand rested on the hilt of its sword, and the creature tapped a boot
impatiently against the side of the coach. . The boots were of a quality,
but well worn. .
    For the plan to work Eliza would need to keep the creature in
conversation awhile. . She made an attempt at a composed smile and
looked down at his boots with raised eyebrows.
    opened with: ‘For a demon with powers of apparition you seem to do a
deal of walking.’ She looked down at his boots with raised eyebrows.
    It was difficult to tell, but beneath the drooping fold of his hood, she
thought the creature smiled. . An uncertain smile.
    “They’re stolen.” The creature paused, but not for long. What can I




                                                                         28
                                                                        29




say ma’am - the man I stole them from liked his exercise … “nNow if you
would hand me that ring, I’ll get out of your way”.
    Eliza looked down at her ring and took the opportunity to consider
her options. . The plan was working – and she had learned more about
the demonic Quick in one minute, than the worthy Captain BenTom
Avery had in a whole year. . For one thing he was no demon; he was a
flesh and blood human with a winning smile. . He just liked to hide it
beneath a hood. . Now if she could only find out what he looked like –
and better still, how he managed to suddenly appear in the middle of her
coach. . But there was no time to speculate – it was time to push on with
the plan. .
    The demon coughed politely, tapping its fingers on the seat of the
coach, “Excuse me? … The ring? I really do have to be on my way.”
    Eliza looked out of the coach window to judge her exact location, and
then across at the dark figure opposite. . She made a quick calculation –
Captain Avery and his armed guard were waiting some three miles hence,
she would have to keep this creature talking for some while longer …
    A miniature front-loading musket slid out of a lace-trimmed sleeve
and neatly into the palm of her right hand. . It was barely four inches
long and looked like a toy, but it was real enough. .
    “I’m sorry, but I really can’t let you take my ring. Yg – you see, my
fiancé gave it to me. . And if I gave it up without a struggle he would see
it as a bad omen. . Why don’t you just wait there until we get to the next
village and I can hand you over to the local authorities.” .” She waved the
small muzzle in an attempt to look menacing. . “Driver,” she shouted,
“make haste to Shefford; - we have company.”




                                                                        29
                                                                           30




       As the driver responded, and the horses kicked on to even greater
speed, the smile appeared from within the hood for a second time. . “I can
be reasonable What about the earrings? … why don’t I could settle for
settle for the earrings those ruby earrings and maybe a grateful kiss?”
       Quick leaned forward, Eliza retreated into her corner of the coach,
“They’re only marcasite … , fool’s gold, and the rubies are fake, they’re just
lumps of glass. . You’d be a bloody idiot to get shot for some costume
jewels. …”
       “Then why are you so desperate to keep hold of them?”
       Eliza looked out the window … they were still more than two miles
from safety – she’d never keep him talking that long. . Quick was inching
towards her, heedless of the pistol pointed at his chest. . It was time to
act.
       “Because they go perfectly with my dress.” .”
       And without further hesitation, she pulled the trigger.
       The flash of powder blinded them both – and they heard rather than
saw the small ball of lead fly through the front of the coach. . A grunt
came from the driver’s seat and a thud from the road as the coachman’s
body hit the ground. . Eliza screamed and dropped the pistol. . The
horses, terrified by the gunshot, put on another surge of speed and the
coach leapt forward.
       “You just shot him?!” said Quick, astounded, and lunged his head out
of the open coach window. . The wind took hold of Quick’s hood, blew it
back, and although it was half-covered in the highwayman’s style, by a
stiff scarf, Eliza saw his face for the first time. .
       “You’re just a little boy.” .”




                                                                           30
                                                                          31




    She said it without even meaning to, and the boy Quick just looked at
her as though she were mad. .
    “You just shot him,” he repeated.
    Such was her surprise at seeing a boy’s face staring back at her that her
second thought was slow coming. . It took seconds, but came with a surge
of alarm. [if he is wearing the scarf of a highwayman we need to say that a
‘lock’ of his hair is on view]
    The shock of dark, apple-red hair was disturbingly similar to her own,
but it was more than that, t. The eyes staring back at her, black eyes,
oddly elegant, with thick lashes and set beneath dark brows - everything
about them in fact -, was disturbingly familiar. . To look at him, if you
ignored the fact that he looked like a peasant, this boy could have been her
younger brother. .
    He was a shape-shifter, h. ad to be, aAble to change form at will. .
Eliza had studied the files; no one had [claimed to have] seen a shape-
shifter in England for a hundred years. . Quick seemed to sense something
too; he stared at her as the coach rattled on.. She took a breath.
     “Are you going to do something?” She pointed at the un-shuttered
window, “Bbefore the coach tips over?.” He seemed to follow her orders,
climbing out awkwardly. . Eliza took the opportunity to get a second
pistol into her hand.


    Once on the roof of the coach, the hard reality of the situation struck
Quick. . The daylight was gone, as indeed was the coachman. . All six
horses were foaming wildly with exertion, but they showed no signs of
slowing. . The reins had slipped forward and without them, all hope of




                                                                          31
                                                                            32




controlling the coach was lost. . The road ahead was straight, thank God,
but only for another half mile. . After that they were doomed. .
    Quick knew what he had to do. . He took a breath, and leapt onto the
back of the first horse. . The chestnut mare barely checked its stride when
Quick landed noisily on its rump. . Slowly, he gained some balance and
inched his way forward to grip the mane, but the mare showed no sign of
slowing – driven on by the frenzy of the other five horses. . He had to get
hold of the reins. . The bend in the road was now barely five hundred
yards – the reins flapped loosely between the front two horses. . It was
too late, – he would never make it in time.
    “Girl. . Can you hear me?”
    A small voice came from within the coach. . “Yes?”
    “We have to jump – otherwise we’re dead. . You understand? We
have to jump. . Now.”
    The voice came back, “I don’t think I can.”
    They were gaining on the bend terrifyingly quickly. . Quick found
himself pleading for the first time in his short life, “Please, girl - sorry, I
don’t know your name, but please, don’t die like this – you must be brave.
. Open the coach door.” [why does he pretend not know her name but
then obviously does? I realise it means that he can trick her at the end of
the scene, but we should get Eliza to ask the question again in the jail –
how DOES he know?
    Eliza pulled the catch on the door, and squealed when it crashed open
with the energy of the fast moving coach. . She looked down into the
darkness and saw the ground speeding by. . “Sorry, I can’t – I just can’t.”
    Quick was frantic now – but he didn’t let it show in his voice. . With




                                                                            32
                                                                            33




the deepest and calmest voice he could muster he said, “Yes you can, Eliza
– that’s your name isn’t it”.
    Eliza managed to calm herself. . “Yes[…], that’s my name. [How
did…?]”
    “Right, now, ElizaEliza, – we have twenty seconds to jump. . Jump
with me when I say ‘now’. . Are you ready? Steady yourself and—”
    “Hold on … how do you know my name’s Eliza?”
    And with that the lead horse hit the bend in the road. . But even as it
did so, – even as Quick thought he was about to die because some stupid
little brat of a Ladyship didn’t want to get her dress dirty, – the horses
slowed. . The coach still tilted, and for one moment Quick was convinced
they would tip anyway, but then it righted itself and the six were once
again off at a gallop – only now there was control and calm in the way
they ran.
    “What happened?” asked Eliza’s voice from the coach.
    “Er… I’m not sure. . I think we’re okal’right.”
    Eventually, after another mile or so, the horses slowed even further,
and finally drew to an abrupt halt.
    Eliza was crying when he found her – sat crumpled on the floor of the
coach. . She clung to him like a child when he tried to raise her up to the
seat. . Instead, he let her rest against him as she sobbed into his chest. .
After some moments, the sobbing subsided, and Quick allowed himself to
relax in the grip of her embrace – offering vague, soothing words and
breathing in her perfume. . Finally, she allowed herself to look up from
his chest, and with her soft, pink lips planted a full kiss on his mouth.
    “Got you.” .”




                                                                            33
                                                                          34




    The gratuitous smile on her [freckled freckled? Should they be              Comment [l3]: lose adjective??????????


freckled?] face rang bells in his head. . Something was wrong. . She
pulled herself away and stoodretook her seat. . Quick looked down to see
a thin iron ring chained round his left wrist and gave it a tug, only to find
the chain attached firmly to the floor of the coach. . “What’s thdo—”
    “I expect you’re wondering why I went to all this trouble.”
    Quick said nothing, but his senses alerted him to the movement of
horses and riders outside. .
    “Let me introduce myself properly.       .   My full name is Elizabeth
Walpole, of The Lord Chancellor’s Department. . We’ve been after you
for months, but you see, we didn’t have much information to go on. .
First, that you knew the woods around Shefford intimately, – we could
never capture you there, so we had to lure you away. . I could have shot
you on sight of course, – but then we would have missed the rest of your
gang, the brains behind the operation, - back in London. . And besides,
there’s the nagging rumour that lead shot passes straight through you.”
[Personally, I don’t believe any of that that‘s just a load of old bunkum, –
she is a scientist and would perhaps be sceptical…]but Department
protocol dictates that we take everything seriously.”
    She laughed then, – out loud.       .   JerichoBenjamin Quick wasn’t
normally so slow, but something seemed to be clouding his thoughts. . A
second pistol was somehow in her hand and it seemed easier to let the girl
continue her explanation than actually figure out an escape.
    Eliza continued her little lecture. . “But the critical information was
this – of all the robberies on this stretch of road over the last year, one
thing was constant, pretty girls seemed to be let off lightly. . So I decided




                                                                          34
                                                                           35




that whoever this Demon of the Netherworld was – that I would be the
perfect girl to trap him”.”
    Eliza reached down to the floor and held up two leather cords. . “We
were never in any danger of course., aAfter the driver jumped I always had
a firm grip on these reins just in case you weren’t able to control the horses
yourself.” .” She looked down at Quick; he was still sitting on the floor. .
“Frankly, I’m disappointed that you couldn’t stop the horses – it didn’t
seem overly difficult.”
    There was a knock on the door and a gentleman’s voice called in,
“Ma’am is everything in order? We have the carriage surrounded. . If
you’d ’d care to step outside we’ll take care of the prisoner.”
    “Just one moment, Captain, I’ll be with you shortly.” .” She turned
back towards Quick. .
    “So once we’d reached this perfect little spot for an ambush, by the
good Captain Avery and his men, all I had to do was pull up the horses, get
ready with my locking bracelet, and wait for you to kiss me.” .”
    She gave a brilliant smile; it said to Quick, ‘I knew you wouldn’t be
able to resist kissing me’, more eloquently than any words.
    “Well, goodbye, Quick. . If you would hand over your sword, I’ll let
you be on your way - to the gallows.”
    JerichoBenjamin Quick did as he was told, he took the hilt of his
sword and held it forward – there was no blade, it had been sawn off at the
hilt. Eliza laughed and Quick almost flinched. . “Does mummy not let
you play with a proper sword?”
    Quick was suitably uncomfortable when he explained. . “Actually, a
sword just gets in the way, they’re too heavy.”




                                                                           35
                                                                         36




    She took his sword hilt and went to step out of the coach, but
something stopped her and she looked back, “Thank you for trying to save
my life, I really do look forward to reading your confession. . There’s just
one thing I don’t understand; how did you know my name?”
    It was Quick’s turn to smile, “Oh that was easy,” he said, looking up,
“it’s written on the roof of the coach.” .”
    Even as she looked up, something told her it was a mistake. . With
his outstretched foot, Quick hooked the back of her knee and she came
tumbling on top of him. . The pistol went off with a loud flash of powder.
. The shot thumped harmlessly into the wood of the coach floor – but for
a second time that day, the sweat-sodden horses reared at the sound, and
set off at a gallop.
    Quick picked the lock of his manacle in under five seconds. . He was
on his feet and had the door open before Eliza could even sit up. . The
riders were in pursuit, but the bolted start had given the coach a thirty-
yard advantage. . It was all JerichoBenjamin needed. . A leap, a roll and
he’d be off and scampering into the dark woods. . They’d never catch
him. . He turned to give Eliza some parting bon mot – some pithy words
quote to remember him by. .
    But his plan for escape died in an instant. .       Eliza was grasping
clutching after the reins as they slid through the hole in the floor of the
coach. . The look of panic on her face, as they slipped away, was real. .
She’d tricked him enough times in the last twenty minutes for him
Benjamin Quick, who wasn’t usually so very good at reading faces, to
know that she wasn’t faking. . And tThe sight of that face, all conceit
gone, was too much for a nineteen year old boy to ignore. . Eliza’s eyes




                                                                         36
                                                                          37




showed no panic, but her [usually pale] cheeks were flushed with fear. .
With a sigh, he looked back at the riders – they had already halved the
distance and were gaining fast. . It was now or never.
    But he had already made his choice. . In the moment he looked into
that perfect, wide-eyed face, he had been trapped.
    “It’s al’right,” he said softly, “I’ll see you al’right.   W; we’ll jump
together.”
    He took her hand and pulled her to the open coach door. . She
stiffened at the sight of the eEarth thundering by, but he explained to her
calmly, “We jump forwards and run with the direction of the coach. .
When you begin to fall – try to roll.”
    “In this thing?” Eliza looked down at the full skirt on her formal dress.
. “You must be joking.” .”
    “Try to roll. . It’s easy. . I’ll protect you as much as I can.”
    Eliza nodded.
    “Ready…”
    He pulled rather than pushed her, making quite sure to break her fall
with his own body. . He landed with a smack that threatened to shatter
his spine, and then came the thump crack as Eliza crashed into his rib cage
– the heel of her out-flung hand cracking thumping into the side his face.
. It was that blow that did him. . He looked up into the dark sky and his
mouth felt strange. . It was only afterward that he realised a tooth had
punched through the side of his cheek. . Blood ran into his throat and he
coughed. . The world was beginning to shift and spin even before the
riders caught up with them. . Eliza was looking down, talking, though the
words made no sense. . Then her face was replaced by that of a square-




                                                                          37
                                                                   38




jawed officer, hands examining. . Through the blood and his mangled
mouth, Quick managed to choke out a laugh, and say, ““s”Sshe can punch
hard for a girl.” .”
    Then everything went black.




                                                                   38
                                                                           39




                         LAMBETH PALACE, LONDON


    Sir Lancelot Blackburne, former Pirate, now Archbishop of York, Lord
Keeper of the Great Seal, and High Chancellor of England and Wales, sat
in his wheeled conveyancing chair, shrunk with age and cocooned beneath
a heavy blanket.
    A wall of high-arched windows wafted draughts of sunlight into the
long hall, and Blackburne enjoyed the view down onto the river. . He
allowed himself to be pushed by the young Captain Avery, and listened as
the Captain finished his report.
    “I therefore consider the matter of The Demon of Shefford the
Woodlands, closed, sir. . Another scurrilous superstition - successfully
expunged. . Turns out it was just a local ruffian. . No sign of French
involvement at all. . The little crook is safely tucked up in Newgate Gaol,
waiting the drop.” .” Avery couldn’t help but allow a little whimper of
self-satisfaction into his voice. . Since he had been transferred from
service in His Majesty’s Navy to the Lord Chancellor’s unofficial and
unnamed Department, he had achieved nothing but unalloyed success.
    Sir Lancelot pursed his thin lips – he always felt a little annoyed by the
perfect and gallant Captain Avery. .       Avery was both physically and
                                                                                 Comment [l4]: [NB change the next bit :
morally blemish free in an age when blemishes were the resounding norm.          Blackburne knows all about Eliza – he employed
                                                                                 her to spite Walpole – she was born on the wrong
                                                                                 side of the sheets – has only met her father once –
. Blackburne scratched at a leaking pustule beneath his periwig, gave a          she told him she had syphilis and then sat in his
                                                                                 mouth. Her mother, of vague European origin
scowl, and decided to bring the young gallant down a peg.                        (see book 3) is insane (actually has syphilis?
                                                                                 Ultimate shame for a Lady). Keep the bit about
     “Very well Avery, but I don’t see why you needed to involve Eliza           Walpole talking to Avery – he has shown a first
                                                                                 glimmer of interest in his daughter. So we can
Walpole, whether he admits it or not, she is [italicise is] the Prime            keep the Blackburne threat etc.]

                                                                                 Formatted: Font: Italic




                                                                           39
                                                                          40




Minister’s daughter. . When I agreed to take her into the Department, it
was on the strict understanding that she would not see active service. .
She could have been killed. . Your plan was … reckless.” .”
    “Not my plan sir, I was acting on the Prime Minister’s direct request. .
Sir Robert suggested Eliza to me personally.”
    This was news to Blackburne, and he paused before responding. .
    “What? Sir Robert Walpole proposed that you involve his younger
daughter in business of a most dangerous and hazardous nature? … Are
you certain?”
    Avery wasn’t used to being doubted and he allowed a little coldness to
enter his voice. . “Yes sir, quite certain.”.
    Avery pushed Blackburne’s conveyancing chair in silence for a few
moments as the Archbishop processed this new information … why would
Sir Robert Walpole wish his daughter to enter into such a risky escapade?
What political advantage could the death of his daughter possibly provide?
Would he use a tragedy as an opportunity to depose Blackburne from his
position as Lord Chancellor?        Surely even Robert Walpole wouldn’t
sacrifice his own daughter … Mind, they weren’t exactly happy families ...
did hate each other ... ... Blackburne made a mental note to reassess the
ruthlessness of his political rival. . Walpole was increasingly jealous of
Blackburne’s power, and jealousy made men unpredictable.
    Returning to the present he asked Avery, “wWwhat other news from
The Department?” [add sentence or two about the well documented
political / power rivalry between Blackburne and Walpole?]
    The Department had been established as the executive arm of the Lord
Chancellor – it effectively operated as his private army in the fight against




                                                                          40
                                                                          41




the enemies of England – and they stood in a long line. . From the Pope
in Rome and the Habsburg Emperor of Austria, to the Kings of Spain and
Portugal and the Dukes of Genoa, Piedmont, and Venice - all good,
Catholic rulers detested Englanders as a Godless bunch of heretic
Protestants. .
    But one enemy stood out from all the rest - France. . England’s
enduring enemy of seven hundred years was looking with renewed envy
across the channel. . England was building an Empire of wealth, built on
trade; all seas led to the Thames estuary, and all cargoes ended up on the
dockside at Thamesport. . Textiles, spices and indigo from India, timber        Comment [L5]: check dates


from Muscovy and Scandinavia, cocoa and copper from the Americas,
ivory from East Africa and slaves from the West, Chinese porcelain and
silkssilks and porcelain, Malay rubber and sisal. . For every five Spanish
galleons that left the East Caribbean seaboard, two ended up in British
hands, and all the gold they stole found its way to the banking guilds of the
City of London.    .   France, the dominant power in Europe, saw rich
pickings. .
    Lancelot Blackburne, who had begun his life as a Buccaneer in the
Indies, seizing ship after ship, and port after port from Catholic enemies,
wasn’t about to see his life’s work stolen by a Papist French King.
    At first, the French machinations against the English King were
obvious, – and easily dealt with. . In the first year of The Department’s
existence, three royal assassination attempts were uncovered. . Each more
elaborate than the last – none fared any chance of success, mainly because
King George was paranoid, rarely left his estate at Windsor and valued
only the company of his German-speaking childhood friends. . That was




                                                                          41
                                                                          42




nine years ago, since then, French cunning had grown. .
    England, like any other European nation, was a superstitious place. .
Witches burned of a Sunday, animals were tried in the courts of law and
Jesus Christ’s body parts could still be bought at Smithfield on market days.
. Louis of France saw England as a backward and medieval place – ripe for
sowing discontent based on superstition and myth. . And so began the
Phoney War that Blackburne had been waging for over seven years. . He
called it a Phoney War, but the war was real enough. . Louis’ spies spread
out from the capital and found lodgings in ports and market towns across
the length of England. . And there they worked to bring God’s vengeance
to the kingdom - in the form of freak floods caused by blocked rivers, and
and fires that swept through townsburned houses. The , and pestilences
that spread from nowhere to consume crops and orchardsFrench had
somewhow, and in managed to create pestilences that spread from
nowhere to consume crops and orchards, and plagues that spread from
nowhere to sprang up and destroyed entire villages. .
    And aAs these strange events overran the country, a form of mass
hysteria consumed the people. . Just as the Scientific Enlightenment
promised solutions to all of God’s mysteries, the peasantry threatened a
retreat back to medieval chaos.
    “The Old Mother of Shipton is demanding most attention, sir.” .”
Avery’s clipped vowels brought Blackburne back from his reverie, “It
appears that her old the old crone’s prophecy is gathering fresh credence. .
Sir William WhistoneWhiston is due to publish an essay confirming her
predication of a comet.”.”
     [maybe add another sentence or two just introducing the old crone a




                                                                          42
                                                                                43




touch more from the off?]
    “What!?” Blackburne spluttered with temper., “Tthe bloody idiot –                 Formatted: Font: Not Italic


he’ll set the whole country into uproar.          .   He’s supposed to be the
President of the Royal Society of ScientifickScientific Philosophy, not
some two-penny astrologer. . Has the superstition spread further than
Shipton then?”
    “Well we are not certain about the essay, sir, but rumours are
circulating around Salisbury. . That's where WhistoneWhiston has taken
cover. . It's the usual stuff … - on the day of the summer solstice, London
and most of southern England will be consumed by tide and fire. . The
rumours are pretty clear that the West Country will survive any chaos, and
the general mood is still disbelief anyway, so there is little panic ... ... yet. .
But that will shift quickly if the Comet appears as forecast.”
    “Christ, when does he publish this rubbish?”
    “Possibly as early as this week, sir, but the Comet itself isn’t due for
another week.”
    “Assume the worst. . Bring back a regiment from Dover, in case it
gets ugly.”
    Avery pushed Sir Lancelot past an open door, and looked on in some
satisfaction at the sight of a dozen Department agents going about their
business; reading intelligence reports, sifting information. . Avery’s team
were drilled to perfection. . Sir Lancelot did not waste a sideways glance.
    “Damn the man, I knew he Whiston was too young to be made
President, the French couldn’t have done better if they’d planned it.” .”
Sir Lancelot paused to consider, and then asked, “might WhistoneWhiston
he be under French influence?”




                                                                                43
                                                                          44




    “That thought has crossed my mind, sir.”
    “But why would WhistoneWhiston he be involved?                 He’s not
Catholic? Surely he doesn’t need the money? He’s not a bloody gambler is
he?”
    “No Sir, William WhistoneWhiston has no financial concerns. . I was
at Cambridge with him sir, and have some first-hand acquaintance of the
man.”
    “So you’ve seen the young genius at work, eh?”
    Avery bristled up to his full six foot two, “Sir William’s [genius –
italicise?], as you put it, sir, is a little overdone - if you don’t mind me
saying. . He was no more advanced than I in mathematicksmathematics
and physicks and his natural philosophy was rather backward.”
    Blackburne allowed himself a smile at Avery’s vanity, “That’s as maybe
Captain, WhistoneWhiston’s genius may be a whole fart of hot air for all I
care. . The question is, might the French have got to him?”
    “Well, he has no close relatives and leads an exemplary life – so
blackmail would seem out of the question. . Furthermore, he possesses, in
the position of President of The Royal Society, the highest accolade and
status he ever aspired to - bribery would also therefore appear to be futile.
. There is one thing though, my Lord.” .”
    Avery hesitated for affect, enjoying the impatience of his superior.,
“[I]it would seem that young WhistoneWhiston possesses some of the
vices of his august predecessor, Sir Isaac Newton.”
    Blackburne let out a barely audible sigh., “[G]go on, Avery, and stop
beating about the bush.”
    “Well it seems that William shares Sir Isaac’s predilection for the




                                                                          44
                                                                             45




esoteric.”
    “For Christ’s sake Avery, just spit it out will you – I’m a busy man”.
    Avery coughed to cover his pleasure, “Our agents suggest that Sir
William WhistoneWhiston has been studying Newton’s papers on King
Solomon, sir … and Newton’s enquiries of other Biblical texts. . We have
an agent at Trinity College library, and it seems that WhistoneWhiston’s
interests took on a Biblical bent some two years time ago. . Since then
he’s been getting through rather a lot of mercury. . It all suggests that he
is veering away from the scientifickscientific and towards the arcane.”
    Blackburne        couldn’t   contain   himself   anymore.,   “[W]why     in
damnation wasn’t I told this earlier, Avery?” [Why the bloody hell is
another head of Royal Society, a scientist, turning his head to that old load
of witchcraft?]
    “Well the situation seemed contained, sir. . After all, just about every
ScientifickScientific Philosopher in the last fifty years has spent some
interest on the Alchemic arts. . It was only when the excavations began
that we started devoting more resources, sir.”
    “Excavations?”
    “Yes sir.     .     Rather unexpectedly, WhistoneWhiston has some
powerful friends. . Lady Salisbury has allowed him to begin excavations
on her estate.”
    “That old hag? What the Hell has she got to do with all this?”
    Lady Salisbury was one of the few women in England to interfere in
politics, and as such was universally loathed. . To Blackburne’s constant
annoyance, she had the ear of the King.
    “Well sir, her dead husband’s estate encompasses Salisbury plain




                                                                             45
                                                                         46




…”and the henge.”
    “And?” ?”                                                                 Formatted: Font: Not Italic


    “As in the henge, sir. . The [pagan -itallicise?] henge …” Blackburne
looked non-plussed, and Avery stopped pushing his chair. .
     “As in the Pagan henge, sir ... [Stone-itallicise?]henge, sire.”.
    Blackburne raised a thin eyebrow, he was suddenly calm. . “So they
think the rumours are true, eh?”
    “I couldn’t say sir, certainly they seem to be spending a lot of money
on the excavation – one hundred and thirty men from Salisbury town have
been conscripted to the dig. . WhistoneWhiston seems to be under the
impression that whatever this [rumoured buried?] artefact is … that’s
rumoured to be buried there ... that it contains enormous Alchemical
significance.” .” {perhaps clarify this sentence a little further? For the
reader’s sake and also to anger Blackburne further?]
    Avery paused to await Blackburne’s response, and when none came           Comment [l6]: [insert some ref in this section to
                                                                              the HellFyre Clubbe?????]
said, “[aA]as in, Alchemy, sir”
    Blackburne exploded. . His normally pale face suddenly flared with
blotches of crimson., “I know what Alchemical means, Captain Avery, I’m
a bloody Archbishop. . What I don’t know is when, exactly when, did
you intend to inform me about all this?”
    Avery was unfazed by Blackburne’s sudden temper; he noted the
pulsing vein in at the back of the old man’s forehead, and the odd,
white/pink colouration of his cheeks and ears. . He made the callous but
not unreasonable calculation that Blackburne’s health would not hold for
many more months. . It was a calculation many had made before – and
always to their lasting regret. .




                                                                         46
                                                                          47




    Avery noted the thought, and decided to resume their perambulation
along the gallery. .                                                            Comment [LH7]: More description of the gallery
                                                                                - a la St George's Hall at windsor!!!!

    “I decided planned to inform you when I had something concrete to
report, sir. . I have a man in the digging party. . It would seem they
struck bedrock about eight yards down. . WhistoneWhiston has been
there this last week with various bits of ScientifickScientific paraphernalia
- but there has been no [further] actual more digging. . It would appear
that WhistoneWhiston and Lady Salisbury have hit a dead end.”
    Blackburne allowed himself some time to think before continuing,
“Avery, I want to make myself clear – your contribution to The
Department to date has not been inconsiderable, and I am grateful for it,
but you cannot continue in this individualist manner. . When you receive
information, any information, it is your first duty to inform me
immediately. . Immediately, you understand?”
    “Yes, sir”
    They reached the end of the long hallway, and entered the Great Hall,
a big empty stone chamber with a broad portico door on one side. . The
portico looked out onto a luscious fig garden.       .   Blackburne paused
thought for a moment then said, “vVery well, Avery, that will be all. .
Push me into the garden – I could do with some sun.” .” With that final
task completed to perfection, Avery bowed a perfunctory bow, and turned
to leave.
    “Oh Avery, one last thing … if Sir Robert Walpole communicates with
you in the future, on any matter whatsoever mind - you will tell me
immediately – understandis that clear?[lots of ‘understands’ – maybe ‘is
that clear?]?”




                                                                          47
                                                                        48




    “Yes sir.” .”
    “If you don’t, Avery, I’ll be sure to have you killed. . You understand
me Avery? I’ll stand no disloyalty.
    “Yes, Sir Lancelot”. .
    And with that, Avery took his leavewas gone.
    Blackburne sat, and picked irritatedly [with frustration?]at the padded
velvet on the arm of his chair. . The garden was warm, even for mid May,
and he would value a sleep, but instead he sat and looked about his walled
garden.   .   He felt that Iit represented something about the modern
England, he felt. . The warm red stone of Lambeth Palace was firmly
rooted in the country’s medieval past – but the exotic garden – with its
espaliered Pomegranates from the Lebanon, and the Indian passionflower
cascading over the archway – all heated from beneath by warm blasts of
air from Newton’s revolutionary heat compression engine – spoke of a
modern England. . An England with trade and science, on the verge of
becoming the greatest power of the age, perhaps the greatest power of any
age. . Greater than Alexander’s Greece, perhaps, he thought warmly.
    “Do you require anything, sirm’Lord?” The voice came from behind
Blackburne’s left shoulder. . Blackburne’s manservant had slid silently
into the garden. . The man was no ordinary valet. . The pale face was the
first thing you noticed, as though his head had been kept constantly away
from daylight, and then you saw the bloodless lips and the small teeth. .
They gave the impression of a Jack Russell - as it darts down a hole, ready
to kill on the tail of a rat. . Blackburne’s manservant, known only as
Montrose, the Scottish town of his birth, possessed the disquieting air of
someone who had been trained rigidly to suppress his first instinct. . And




                                                                        48
                                                                           49




from the look of his face and the taut wiry body, you just knew that first
instinct was for brutality.
    “Montrose, we may have a problem with Avery.”
    “Shall I dispose of him sir?”
    “For God’s sake, Montrose, why do you always assume I want you to
kill people?”
    “Because you usually do sir.”
    Blackburne hesitated to think about that, before finally shaking his
head irritably., “I would just like Avery kept an eye on, he may be
receiving direct orders from Walpole. . Get one of your men to keep track
of him, it will have to be one your best mind, Avery’s no fool. . If he so
much as comes within a hundred yards of Walpole or one of Walpole’s
lieutenants, I want to know about it.”
    Blackburne went back to picking at the arm of his chair. . “And
Montrose,” he said with a slightly softer tone, “I think it’s time we brought
our Captain Avery down a peg or two – he’s beginning to think he’s bigger
than The Department[have we enough insight at this point into what the
Department is all about by this point? Do we need to add a little more in
chapter one or in this chapter?], and we can’t have that. . I think it is time
young Avery had a failure.”
    Blackburne looked Montrose firmly in the eye to make sure he was
understood, “a failure, not a calamity – and certainly nothing that will
damage The Department. . I just want Avery’s confidence dented a little –
it’ll make him easier to control.”
    “I quite understand, sir.”
    “That will be all for now, Montrose, I’ll have a little nap and think this




                                                                           49
                                                                        50




WhistoneWhiston situation through, then tea and tincture in an hour.”
    “Would you like me to push you over to the Datura sir, its fragrance is
most comely at this time of the afternoon?”
    Blackburne, well aware of the specific qualities of the large, trumpet-
like Datura flowers, agreed - and allowed Montrose to position his large
oak chair by the dense vegetation growing up the east west-facing wall. .
Montrose picked one of the bright yellow blooms and placed it on
Blackburne’s lap. . “I’ll be sure to wake you in an hour, sir.” .”
    Pausing only to tuck a little loose blanket around Sir Lancelot’s feet,
Montrose disappeared silently into the gloom of the medieval palace.


                                      ~




                                                                        50
                                                                        51




    [Sir William] WhistoneWhiston’s essay was published in The London
Gazette the following day, under the title, ‘The Alleged Prophecies of
Mother Shipton, and About the EndeEnd of the World’.
    It caused uproar.
    Sir William began with the Word of God spoken to John the Apostle
in the Book of Revelation:                                                    Comment [l8]: Deleted: ... to the Old
                                                                              Testament prophet, Malachi Behold, I will send
                                                                              you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the
                                                                              great anto d dreadful day of the Lord: And he
                                                                              shall turn the heart of the fathers to the
                  And the First Angel sounded, and                            children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of
                                                                              the just, to make ready a people prepared for
              there fell a great starre from heaven,                          the Lord, for I will come and smite the Earth
                                                                              with a Curse.
                                                                              (Malachi 4:5-6)
              burning as it were a lampe, and it fell
              towards the Earth. . And the name of
              the starre is called Death.


                                 Book of Revelation 8: 7


    And he was clear who was to blame:


                  First Newton, and now others,
              have delved too deeply into the sacred
              truths, have unearthed secrets that
              should have remained buried, and
              they have brought a Doome upon the
              World.


    Sir William mixed his ancient quotations with dense calculations
based on the new MathematickalMathematical Calculus, and in every
word and every number he wrote, was the [‘the’ or ‘his’?] authority of [‘of
or ‘as’?] the President of the Royal Society of ScientifickScientific




                                                                        51
                                                                         52




Philosophers. .
       He wrote of a great fireball that would appear in the sky at the next
new full moon.      .   According to WhistoneWhiston’s [mathematical]
calculations, and his studies of the Testaments, the Old Mother of Shipton
was accurate in everything she had predicted.
    The Comet was a sign that all should prepare their souls, a great mass
of rock and brimstone flung from the heavens by an angry God. . For half
of one lunar cycle it would travel towards Earth from the Heavens, and on
the 21st day of June, the summer solstice, it would strike, in the heart of
London. . It would hit the triple-layered dome of St Paul’s, the new and
accursed Protestant Cathedral, and the world would be consumed in a
Great Fyre.
    Then would come the flood, greater even than the deluge of Noah. .
WhistoneWhiston finished his essay with the words of the Old Mother of
Shipton herself:


               At Midsummer shall come His Wrath,
               First the Fyre, then the Flood. .
               And at the EndeEnd,
               Runs the Blood.


    In every city coffee-shop and rural tavern, and every teahouse,
taphouse and bucket-shop in between, people read the essay. . Some
thought him gone lunatic, but as President of the Royal Society, everyone
took note. .
    According to WhistoneWhiston, the Comet was only days away. . In
less than a fortnight, he would be proved either terribly right or




                                                                         52
                                                                    53




wretchedly wrong, but one thing was for certain, on Tuesday week, all
would look into the night sky – into the east – and they would know the
truth of it.


                                  ~




                                                                    53
                                                                        54




                         THE OLD BAILEY, LONDON


    The days that followed his capture were dismal.                           Comment [LH9]: LOST: It didn’t help, that for
                                                                              the first time, [Finbar Quick was in love] Quick
                                                                              needs to be more unfathomed in book 1,
    JerichoBenjamin Quick was tried on the Tuesday morning in the
Sessions House at the Old Bailey. . The desperate furore to see the famous
Demon of Shefford was so great that the King’s Justice was forced to call
out a Company of the Royal Household GuardCavalrys. . And it wasn’t
just the great unwashed who came to the covered, outdoor court – high
society were there in force too, eager to catch a sight of the dare-devil
highwayman who had dispossessed them of so many valuables. . And
Eliza was there too, both as a Crown witness and a keen spectator, curious
to see more of the young rogue.                                               Comment [LH10]: LOST: Every time he saw
                                                                              her, dressed immaculately in pristine cloth, his
                                                                              heart started. Sometimes, when he looked at her
    By all accounts, JerichoBenjamin Quick seemed quite content with the      flawless white face, he thought he would rather
                                                                              die than never see it again. But in all the days of
proceedings, – “smiling cheerfully throughout” according to one London        the trial, she never looked at him, not once.

chronicler. . It was only towards the end that he showed some sign of
remorse, when trying to plead Benefit of Clergy – the strange legacy of the
church courts whereby any man who could recite by heart the words of
the 51st Psalm would escape the full weight of the law. . But before Quick
managed to get to the end of the first verse, the baying crowd, and
eventually the King’s Justice, shouted him down as a Satanist.
    So the case of Rex v Quick was settled in one session. . The King’s
Justice decided Quick was too dangerous to be hanged, and besides, Quick
refused to give details of any accomplices. . He was sentenced to Death by
Gibbet, at Execution Dock. , . Tthat most hideous of all deaths -, to be
caged in metal and hung above the River Thames at Wapping, soaked at
every tide, but never drowned, and ‘there to stand until thy flesh be




                                                                        54
                                                                         55




consumed over days and weeks by the fish and the gulls’.
     The     corrupt   legal   system   of   England   never   really   gave
JerichoBenjamin Quick a chance, but then, as he would have been the first
to admit if anyone had actually asked him – he was as guilty as sin [in
italics?].


                                        ~




                                                                         55
               56




                    Formatted: Font: Blackadder ITC, 110 pt, Not




3WeeksThree
                    Bold, Not Small caps
                    Formatted: Line spacing: Multiple 1.15 li
                    Formatted: Font: 110 pt, Not Bold, Not Small
                    caps




                    Formatted: Font: Blackadder ITC




  Weeks
       afore
       ENDE
                    Formatted: Font: Blackadder ITC, 20 pt
                    Formatted: Font: Blackadder ITC, 48 pt

 The                Formatted: Font: Blackadder ITC




                    Formatted: Font: Blackadder ITC, Not Bold
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       Of           Formatted: Font: Blackadder ITC, Not Bold




       The
                    Formatted: Font: Blackadder ITC




               56
          57




               Formatted: Font: Blackadder ITC, 110 pt, Not




WORLDE
               Bold, Not Small caps




               Formatted: Font: 110 pt, Not Bold, Not Small




 Worlde
               caps




          57
                                                             58




   And the First Angel sounded, and there fell a great
starre from heaven, burning as it were a lampe, and it fell
towards the Earth. . And the name of the starre is called
Death.

                                         Book of Revelation 8: 7

                                                                   Formatted: Centered




                                                             58
                                                                            59




                               NEWGATE GAOL




    There were over 150 prisons in London, but Newgate Gaol was the
                                                                                  Comment [l11]: [not dressed as a man – dressed
most notorious. . A dismal prison, even by the standards of the 18th              as a Bow Belle gutter-girl – gaoler giving grotesque
                                                                                  winks etc.]
Century – a place of calamity, of misery and confused chaos. . Eliza              [insert: that she is a bit embarrassed going to se
                                                                                  Fynn – but that she decides, against her better
clutched the lavender-filled nosegay in her left fist. . She longed to place      judgement, to listen to her conscience and go. She
                                                                                  just wants to get it over with. She hates the fact
it over her face, to shut out the stench of unwashed filth, but she was           that she is so morally guilty. She wishes she could
                                                                                  be more callous.. She’s a bit sullen and expecting
                                                                                  Fynn to be grateful. Insert in the dialogue below
dressed as a gutter-girl and had to play that role in front of the gaoler who     some explanation as to why Eliza – a woman – has
                                                                                  so much freedom. You’re not quite the lady I
led her along the dank walkway. . She enjoyed dressing up in the rags of a        remember from the coach. You want a Lady? I
                                                                                  can do Lady, I can do costume jewels and whale
street waif, it gave her the freedom to go to all sorts of places; and even       bone – but I can also do poor little street-girl, xx or
                                                                                  assassin. I prefer scientifick philosopher but it
Newgate Gaol held some interest.                                                  doesn’t pay – and my lunatic Russian mother let
                                                                                  our entire family fortune rot in Chatham harbour
                                                                                  in the summer 1722. Etc etc. She’s not a Lady –
     “This is ‘im, girlie”. . The gaoler stopped outside a door at the far end,   that’s just one of the parts she plays. because her
                                                                                  father is uninterested and her mother … distant
and slid back a metal viewing-grille. . Eliza produced five four silver           (she doesn’t yet explain that her mother is insane –
                                                                                  see book 2) Get more of the essence of who Eliza is
pennies from the pocket of her rough and ragged shift dress, and without          into the dialogue – she’s a less crap-taking, hard
                                                                                  edged, darker character than Celeste was. Much
fuss the gaoler muttered, “t[T]Ttten minutes” and took a step back.               more: “stop your whinging I’m here to help”. Less
                                                                                  of a Lady. Her voce has changed and Fynn has
                                                                                  noticed it. Hint at her past: she could have been a
    She looked through the grille not knowing what to expect and was              lady – but for the South Sea Bubble – Her mother
                                                                                  was a Russian Countess – who imported the
pleasantly surprised. . Quick had clearly thrown a few guineas at the             family’s entire wealth over to England in
                                                                                  preparation for her intended nuptials to Sir Robert
gaolers, because the room, far from being the squalid pit that most               Walpole. With the South Sea Bubble burst before
                                                                                  she could sell the timber she lost everything – the
prisoners found themselves in, had a certain simple elegance.          .   The    wood rotted in the harbour. No one could afford
                                                                                  to buy it. Mention here : when asked who she is,
                                                                                  “it’s a long story, Sir Robert Walpole, as in the
window was bigger than most, but still only gave a dim light, and the floor       Prime Minister, is my father, but I’ve only ever
                                                                                  met him once.” It didn’t go well - I told him I had
was covered with clean straw. . Quick was lying comfortably on his back,          the pox and spat in his mouth. There wasn’t much
                                                                                  conversation after that. Don’t ask…]
staring at the ceiling. . He looked over and said, “Hullo?”
                                                                                  Comment [LH12]: [insert one clause
    Eliza started to speak, but remembered the gaoler.         .   “I paid for    description of her outfit]
                                                                                  [insert one clause description of her outfit]
private,” she said, using her best East-end Cockneay, and looked                  [insert one clause description of her outfit]




                                                                            59
                                                                                 60




meaningfully down at the lock. . The gaoler looked through the grille to
make sure Quick was safely manacled to the wall, and then unlocked the
iron-lined door. . After a brief moment, Eliza was inside, the door closing
heavily behind her. .
    JerichoBenjamin Quick was sitting now, and smiling. . Eliza squinted
against the dim light, immediately drawn to . Hhis recently crhopped hair
- still identical in colour to her own.
    “How have you done that?”
    “Done what?”
    “Your hair eyes ... , ... they it’s the colour, ... the red is look exactly like
mine.. And your eyes.”
    Quick looked genuinely confused, stood up, and smiled awkwardly
with his injured cheek, “What d’you mean?”
    “No-one has red hair and dark eyes like we do.” More exasperatedly
than she meant, Eliza she askedsaid, “Dd[D]do you even know what you                   Comment [LH13]: USE LATER!(but she did
                                                                                       find him maddeningly self-satisfied – and she was
                                                                                       here to help him after all. She most definitely
look like? Have you ever even seen yourself in a looking glass?”                       wasn’t here to be an audience to some parlour
                                                                                       tricks that probably did a lot to impress the
    “A Llooking glass?” he repeated.                                                   peasant girls in his village pub but were hardly
                                                                                       going to excite someone with her thoroughly
    Eliza took another look at him, just to make certain she wasn’t                    scientifick education and superior breeding even if
                                                                                       she was temporarily dressed in the manner of a
hallucinating.     .     There was something rather appealing about                    street girl from Bow Belle)


JerichoBenjamin Quick, with his serious eyes and dark [copoper ?] hair,
cropped short and untidy, as if he’d cut it himself with a knife.
    “As in a mirror. Do you even realise how much we look alike?”
    Quick laughed. . “We’ve just got the same colour hair, that’s all ...
You look nice,” he said finished hesitantly. [does she ask again how he
knew her name? – maybe it is something she asks throughout the book
from time to time and only eventually gets an answer…]




                                                                                 60
                                                                                  61




    Eliza thought about how much effort she’d gone to dress like a street
woman and laughed.                                                                     Comment [LH14]: [insert one clause
                                                                                       description of her outfit]
    “When I first saw you, I thought you must had to be a shape-shifter. .
The Germans have a name for it, Doppelganger, that’s what they call a
double – someone so like you that they could be your twin. . They say
that if you ever meet your Doppelganger then you’ll die.”
    “I did have a twin oncehad a twin, ... a proper twin. H, but hee did
died a long time ago.” . He drowned.” Quick’s face turned suddenly stiff,
and Eliza realized she much preferred him smiling. . He rubbed the side
of his head with his palm and promptly moved on.,. “You do know, shape-
shifters don’t really actually exist? They’re just in fairy tales.,” [he said.]
    Eliza felt herself stiffen. “Yes, Of course I I do know that.. . T T,
thank you,” she said slightly abruptlyunconvincingly. .


    She looked at Benjamin closely and felt a sudden pang of doubt, maybe
she was imaging things – perhaps she had spent too many hours looking at
her own reflection. [as the thought that she may have spent too many
hours looking at her own reflection momentarily flashed across her mind.]
    Maybe I’ve spent too many hours looking at myself in the looking
glass, she thought to herself. [But their resemblance was more than just a
passing one]
    “Maybe you’ve spent too much time in front of thea mirror,” he
said[quippesaidd?]. Jericho.
    Eliza took an instinctive step back. . There was something about this
boy that unnerved her.[is her some kind of mind reader?] This was going
to be trickier than she had thought, but she was older, more mature, and of




                                                                                  61
                                                                                62




an altogether better class than this boy, she wasn’t going to be intimidated
by a few parlour tricks. . Besides, no matter how difficult this was going
to be, on one analysis, she owed him her life. . She had better just get on
with it.
        “Look, Boy, let’s get on with this shall we? I’m here and I’ve got ten
minutes – what do you need”[?]”.
        Quick was staring blankly,..     Hhe found himself staring gazing at
Eliza’s face..
        “I said I’m here to help,.” she said, “ Sso this is where you look grateful
and tell me what you need … to escape.”
        “I don’t need anything. . I sold that fake ruby from your earring and
got this room and a big bag of firewood.” .” He looked around at his little
cell.
        “You took my earring? When?” Eliza’s cheeks glowed in a way that
Quick found oddly disconcerting, but his conversation didn’t miss a beat. .
“When you kissed me, in the coach. . You were distracted, I thought I’d
make the most of it.”
        Eliza couldn’t explain why, even afterwards, but a hot irritation flared
in the pit of her. . She took a second to calm herself, before saying in a
cold and deliberate voice “That will explain why you kiss like a dead fish.”
        Quick looked bemused, but only for a moment. He paused as if
remembering a quotation and said triumphantly, laughed. . “qQuite so
mi’lady. , i. If I’d put everything into it, I think you’d have been lost
somewh’at more than an earring. … ”[Loz I’m glad you have changed his
speaking voice slightly here and made it more simple again – it varies a
little too much otherwise]




                                                                                62
                                                                          63




    “You stupid […] little […] boy.” .”       Eliza’s     had lost her temper   Formatted: Font: Not Italic
                                                                                Formatted: Font: Not Italic
nowflared, something she rarely did. . “I hope they give you a half-
hanging, and leavet you to squeal right into the grave.”
    A half-hanging wasn’t good – the thought of it unnerved even the
rtoughest criminal. . The half-hanged, still conscious but paralysed by the
rope, were put in the coffin whilst still alive. . Many a prisoner had tipped
the executioner to avoid a half-hanging.          .   JerichoBenjamin slumped
leaned back back down against onto the wall at the thought of it. .
    “I think you’ve forgotten,” he said, “I’m not good enough to be hanged
- I’m due the Gibbet, remember.” .” He repeated the words of the King’s
Justice., “Tthere to stand until my flesh be consumed over days and weeks
by the fish and the gulls.”
    Eliza found herself looking down at the top of JerichoBenjamin
Quick’s head [,so like hers,] as he rested his face in his hands. . The lack
of hope in Quick’s voice as he faced the prospect of death dissolved her
anger, and the movement of the shuffle-footed gaoler outside the door was
a reminder that time was short. .                                               Comment [l15]: [more insight into the fact that
                                                                                she is there because she feels obliged – in a get this
                                                                                over with kind of a way]
    “Look, I didn’t come to gloat … I didn’t even come to get my earring
back …” she tried a friendly half-smile, but it wasn’t convincing, “I’m here
because I owe you.”
    JerichoBenjamin looked up, the usual smiling eyese nowhere to be
seen.
    Eliza stumbled, “I mean – I don’t have a plan or anything. . I just
thought you might do with some help.          .       And I reckon I owe you
something for saving me … the second time. . You didn’t need to do that,
– not after you knew I was only there [on behalf of the Department] there




                                                                          63
                                                                          64




to trap you.” .”
    She was annoyed that he had forced her to spell it out. .
    “Look, street-girl, Lady Duchess, government agent, whoever you are,
I’ve been here for four days with nothing to do but plan an escape – and I
haven’t the first idea -a … you walk in and expect to come up with
something in ten minutes?”
    “Well I hate to point it out, but it was my plan that got you in here in
the first place.”
    [more face stuff?]She looked once more at his face and the thought
that he might be some distant relative flashed into her head. She dismissed
the idea as quickly as it had arrived.
    “So what do you suggest?” He asked.
    “What assets do you have? I mean, apart from the firewood”
    Quick looked around the small room and then up into the timbered
recesses of the ceiling, “I’ve got bats,” he said with a shrug.
    Eliza nodded. . “And you still have 14 hours ‘til dawn. . What else ...
. you have the clasp to my earring, marcasite, it’s fool’s gold -d … but it’s
worth something.”
    “If I can find a fool.”
    Eliza went over to the window grill and gave it a tug.
    “How secure is the window?”
    “New bricked. . And the door’s new as welltoo – and it’s lined with
iron.”
    “Come on, you’re JerichoBenjamin Quick, the [“]Demon of
Sheffordd[“] – you’re supposed to be able to can apparate for God’s sake. .”
[she said in little too much of a mocked tone]




                                                                          64
                                                                        65




    “You do know that’s not possible?”
    Eliza was unsettled by the boy’s candour, but instead of letting him
annoy her, she decided to ask the direct question that had been irking her.
“So how did you get inside the coach?”
    JerichoBenjamin smiled, he seemed almost gratefulgratified that she
she was showing an interest. “That’s easy. There’s a bend in the road at
the northern end of the woods. And there’s a tree branch that sticks out.
Coaches always bang into it. When they do, I just take use advantage of
the distractiondiversion to jump on the roof.
    Eliza nodded. “And the second bang, when you appeared in the coach
– that was the same thing? Another branch in the road?”
    “NoAlmost, – but I have to do the banging myself, ... I carry a big
stick—.”
    “And that works?”
    “With mMost of the timepeople.”
    Eliza ignored the conceit in his smile and looked round the room ,- at
the rough bars across the window, and up into the beams that held the
roof.
        “So what You must have other somethingtricks do you have up your
sleeve?.”
    “Well, I thought I was good for the Benefit of Clergy plea, I had it
word for word, and then those howling idiots wouldn’t even let me get the
first verse out.”.”
    JerichoBenjamin stood straightened back himself uprightup. . He
wanted to pace about the room, but the chain round his leg restricted
movement to a small semi-circle. . Eliza was stalking round the cell now,




                                                                        65
                                                                             66




prodding her fingers into the damp brickwork, studying the hinges on the
door, then the metalwork of the barred window. . “What would happen if
you started a fyrefire? [good, I think at this stage it is better, on the whole,
to spell words as they are spelt now] bBy the door.?”
    “They’d leave me to burn to death. . Or they’d form a queue and piss
through the grille. . I don’t think I’d like that.”
    “But you might be able to burn through the door.”
    “I think they’d notice. . Besides, it would probably be easier just to
pick the lock.”
    “Excellent, what do you need for that?”
    Quick looked at her as though she were simple. . “I don’t need
anything to pick a lock – but they’ve got two armed guards permanently
sitting in the corridor day and nighton the other side of the door. . They
might notice.”
    Eliza ignored his sarcasm., “w[W]hat about the stonework? It looks
like limestone - could you dig through it?”
    Quick pointed to a small groove in the stone behind him. . “See that
notch? It took me fifteen hours.” .” He touched the groove compulsively,
tapping it once, twice, and then a third and fourth time - each time with a
different finger of his right hand. . Eliza realised that she was watching
some private ritual.
    “What are you doing that for?”
    , and looked away awkwardly.               .      QuickBenjamin, equally
smiledawkward, smiled when he realised what he had done, an
embarrassed, an slightly awkward, crooked smile where his cheek was still
cut. “I don’t know, it’s just a habit.”




                                                                             66
                                                                        67




    His black eyes and brows were very serious when he wasn’t smiling,
and she was glad that he was still smiling now - there was something about
his face when the smile was gone that made him look altogether terrible. .
    After a pause, Quick roused himself to change the subject. . “Tell me
about the Lord Chancellor’s Department. . What do you do there?”
    “Bits and pieces, I’m a strategist – I don’t get into the field much. .
Usually I’m stuck at the Palace. . The Lord Chancellor doesn’t really trust
me to do field work.” .” [bit more about the Dept at this point – she can
tell him, he is going to die after all? Number of people employed? Secrets
held within etc just to introduce the layers of the Dept and its many
branches/faculties]
    Quick nodded, as though he understood, but Eliza could tell he
didn’t.”
    “Do you even know what the Department does?”
    Quick squinted. , “Not really.”
    “It’s like the Lord Chancellor’s secret army. It was set up to protect
the England – from counter the French. . Their agents are everywhere, –
plotting to bring down the country. . The Lord Chancellor thought you
weremight We thought you might be one of them.”
    “HeYou thought I was part of a French plot to overthrow the English
government?” Quick could hardly keep the smile off his face.
    “Have you any idea how much trouble you were causing? The London
to Brighton is our primary route for information from Paris. . The King’s
messengers were so afraid they stopped travelling at night.”
    Quick nodded to himself. . “I could help ... . you know ..., I’d be
brilliant. . When I get out of here, I mean. . I’ve made a fortune




                                                                        67
                                                                         68




[already]. . I could buy a house in London, become established—”
    “You mean you’ve made enough money to buy a little tavern in
Sussex.”
    “No, I’ve made a proper fortune, – I could buy a town house ... . in
Mayfair. . I could enter society. . Not right now,” he looked around his
cell, “ but later—”
    Eliza laughed. . “You’ve no idea what you’re talking about. . Trust
me, when this is over, go back [to] your little wood. . Society isn’t what
you think it is.”
    Eliza was trying to be frank, but it came across as patronising, and she
instantly regretted it. . JerichoQuick had no response; he just looked out
the window up at the darkening blue sky. . The silence ended when a bat,
sleeping on the joists above, decided to empty its bowels. . A rich white
gloop fell onto Quick’s forehead and caught his eye. . He squinted winced
in pain as the acid hit his eyeball. .
    “What was that?” Eliza looked up into the roof joists.
    Quick had one hand over his eye and held out the other. . “Give me
the water. . Jesus it stings.” .”
    She held the water bucket for him and he splashed large handfuls onto
into his eye. .
    “It’s the bats. . They crap everywhere,” he eventually said, and went
back to slopping more water onto his face. . Once he’d emptied half the
bucket and was able to look at Eliza through a squinted eye he said,
“Wwhen they’re not crapping on me they’re good fun.” .” Suddenly, he
was all enthusiasm. . “They can do amazing things, they can see even
when it’s pitch blackfind their way in the dark., - can get through a five




                                                                         68
                                                                           69




inch gap in the bars, in the pitch of night even.””


    “Of course they can, they’re bats,.” she said. When he didn’t hide his
enthusiasm, Eliza found him much more likeable.
    “BYea,s but how how? How do they see when it’s dark? They can get
through a five inch gap in the bars – even when there’s no light at all.
Hey?” JerichoBenjamin raised his eyebrows pulled a face of in mock false
bewilderment – and Eliza couldn’t help but smile at his enthusiasm.
        “I put a blindfold on one the other day,” he continued, “ and it could
still flewy about. . I spent all most of yesterday trying to figure out how
they do it?”
    “Instead of trying to escape?”
    JerichoQuick shrugged.
    Eliza thought for a moment., “Do you know of Sir Robert Boyle, the
Astronomer Royal? He has a theory that bats can see with their ears. . He
conducted an scientifick experiment - with plugs of wax dripped into the
ear.”
    “And?”
    “Whether he put the wax in both ears, or just one, and whichever ear
he put the wax in, the same thing happened. . The bat would fly around
for a bit but after a while would hit something. . The wall, the floor, it
would just go smashing right into it.” .”
    He nodded thoughtfully, and Eliza continued, “Sir Robert will be at
the Royal Society meeting next week; I we could ask him for more details
if you like—”
    She stopped abruptly. . They both shared the same thought - by this




                                                                           69
                                                                             70




time next week, JerichoBenjamin Quick would be a half-chewn corpse,
swilling in the tide at Wapping.
    “Good … I’ll wait ‘til next week then. . Thanks”.
    The door-grille slid angrily back and the face of the gaoler peered in. .
“Time’s up – you’ll be ‘avin to leave immediate.”.
    Eliza took a last look round the cold dark cell. . JerichoBenjamin was
looking at her with one eye, the other still squinted shut.
    “Don’t worry, I’ll think of something, - I usually do,” his eye lit up
then, e said.“and if I don’t, well, I don’t suppose it matters much, after all -
it’s only death.”
    Eliza just stood there, mind blank, she autonomically repeated his
words. “It’s only death.” The thought seemed strangely peaceable.
    tThen she remembered. ,
    “Oh, I almost forgot – I’ve seen the Gibbet, the Wapping Gibbet, when
I was a child.”
    Benjamin turned his head to the gaoler with a sudden There was
sudden urgency in Jericho’s voice. , “Give us a moment, geezersquire. .
Miss, can you dEliza, describe it ..., please, the Gibbet.”
    She took a breath to aid her memory. . “It was just a cage in the
rough shape of a man, but tall, maybe eight foot; made of thick bands of
iron - welded together”.
    “How large were the gaps between the bars?”
    “They were small, maybe no more than half a foot—“
    “But large enough for my hand to pass through ... . and my arm?”
    “… Yes, definitely. . The whole thing hung from a long chain at the
top.”




                                                                             70
                                                                           71




    “How was the chain attached?”
    Eliza looked blank. . “How the Hell would I remember that?I don’t
know.”
    “Think … please, remember what you saw.”
    An image from all those years before began to emerge in her mind. .
“I don’t know ... maybe There was a big bolt at the bottom of the chain.”
    The cell door was opened, and the gaoler gave another blunt order. .
“The front doors are closing. . You either get out, or spend the night.”
    Eliza allowed herself to be ushered out, and as the door closed, Quick
slumped onto the filth-covered floor. . Life was always easier when he
had an audience. . Now, iIn the quiet of her departure, the noise of
scratching rats returned and with it, the gloom of death. . Suddenly,
fourteen hours seemed like a very short time. .
    Then he heard Eliza’s voice – it was distorted because it came from the
end of the long passageway – and coarse because she was still pretending to
be an East-eend street-girl, but it was Eliza’s voice for certain. . He only
really caught one word, and even that seemed odd, he could have sworn
that she said “bats”, but the more he thought about it the less he was sure.
    The voice went on but was too muffled to make any sense, and soon it
was gone completely. . Quick repeated the word, “Bats … Bat’s? Bat’s
what?”
    He lay back on the hard floor and tried to think – tried to remember
what he knew about bats. . But just as it had done for the last few days,
whenever he tried to think up a brilliant plan, his brain seemed to veer off
onto thoughts of Eliza.
    He played back their conversation, almost word for word, checking




                                                                           71
                                                                           72




what he had said, c. hecking her reactions. ‘Don’t worry, I’ll think of          Formatted: Font: Not Italic


something, I usually do. And if I don’t, well, I don’t suppose it matters        Formatted: Font: Not Italic


much, after all - it’s only death.’                                              Formatted: Font: Not Italic


    ‘It’s only death’ – she’d liked that and she hadn’t recognised the quote.
It was a line from The Adventures of Captain T. Blood, his favourite novel.
Rafael Sabatini, the author, had come up trumps once again.                      Formatted: Font: Not Italic


    She’d been impressed with the line, he could tell. He always usually
had trouble reading people,e – their faces,s. Bbut there was something
about her face that was different – special.   He Just from looking at her he
could somehow tell what she was thinking, – just from the look on her
faceand she’d definitely been impressed.
    Maybe she was right, maybe they did look alike, maybe that’s all it
was.
    She must like him, he suddenly thought, or why would she go to the
effort? Unless it was just guilt, of course, but she hadn’t looked guilty. He
had a sudden pang, maybe she’d come out of pity.                And then he
remembered - she’d seen him tapping his fingers.             Had she looked
embarrassed?     JerichoBenjamin jumped to his feet.       If there was ever
someone in the world he didn’t want to see his little habit, it was Eliza
Walpole.     JerichoBenjamin felt his hand begin twitching just at the
thought, and he squeezed it hard, the pain forcing it to be still.
Jericho knew enough about girls to know that no matter what they said,           Formatted: Indent: First line: 0"


they all had a soft spot for a bloke who was blasé in the face of danger - the
bigger the danger the better. He smiled; it didn’t get any better than this.
His parting line had definitely impressed her, “Don’t worry, I’ll think of
something - I usually do”. [is he pleased with himself that he has managed




                                                                           72
                                                                             73




not to give too much away of himself and fooled her into thinking he was
ignorant os the powers that be – the Department?]
    It was a good line. .
    He had a sudden pang; she’d seen him tapping his fingers. She had
looked embarrassed. Jericho jumped to his feet. If there was ever someone
in the world he didn’t want to see his little habit, it was Eliza Walpole.
    Maybe sShe would come to Execution Dock. ; s. She was bound to. .
He thought back to her words, ‘I owe you for saving me … the second               Formatted: Font: Not Italic


time. . You didn’t need to do that.’. .                                           Formatted: Font: Not Italic
                                                                                  Formatted: Font: Not Italic
     Whatever happened tomorrow, he would put on a show. . He’d
impress her. He would go into that cage with an easy smile and a brisk
step, and she would love adore it.. Adore him .
    All he had to do was make sure that he came out again.
    He had fourteen hours. . Now was the time to think hard. . With
deft movements, JerichoBenjamin Quick flipped open the catch on his
shackle and placed it carefully on the floor. . He tapped the groove in the
wall, just as he had done before, in front of Eliza – the same obsessive,
compulsive tapping with each of the fingers on his right hand in turn. .
He started with the index finger, then fore-finger, then ring - finishing
with the softest tap of all from his little finger. . Tap, tap, tap, and tap. .
This time he repeated the tapping with his leftother hand. . Tap, tap, tap,
and tap. . And as he tapped, he began to relax, and an image of execution
dock began to form in his mind. .
    Quick JerichoBenjamin breathed deeply, feeling his stomach swell
with every in-breath. . He let the right hand side of his head go sleepy
and relaxed, just as his grandfather had taught him to, focussing all his




                                                                             73
                                                                       74




energy and willpower into the left side of his brain. . Then, counting his
breaths, backwards from a hundred, he let his mind begin the elaborate
process of forming a plan.
    He just had to start with the bats … and work it from there. .


                                     ~




                                                                       74
                                                                       75




[at some point in this scene or one at execution dock where he flshes to
                          brother drowning?]




                                                                       75
                                                                          76




                         STONEHENGE, SALISBURY PLAIN                            Comment [l16]: [The Excavation at Stonehenge
                                                                                500-750 words. Insert here for pacing: but also to
                                                                                re-introduce Whiston, now in declining physical
                                                                                and mental condition and introduce, briefly and,
                                                                                opaquely, the concept Lady Salisbury.
    Whoever built Stonehenge, and whenever they did it, they certainly          Describe Salisbiry Plain. 1 sentence history of the
                                                                                henge. “Whoever built the stone circle knew
knew their geology. . So thought Sir William WhistoneWhiston as he              that....”
                                                                                Paint the picture of William Whiston careless of
stood in the canvas doorway of his excavation tent.                             his health, lost amidst the chaos of the excavation.
                                                                                introduce Lady Salisbury – an arch political
                                                                                animal of rare ability – she mentions
    Bedrock. .                                                                  correspondence with King George. He doesn’t
                                                                                trust his advisors’ bickering not to land England in
    Barely eight yards down. . Impervious to anything a man with a              disaster – England facing its greatest threat since
                                                                                the Spanish Armada. Not sure whether Lady S
pickaxe could throw at it. . The builders of Stonehenge must have known.        welcomes this or fears it.
                                                                                Introduce, in an oblique way, the Legend of
. With such a foundation, the stone circle would likely stand forever. .        Stonehenge.
                                                                                They have hit a dead ende – bedrock only 20
                                                                                yards down. So this is the final resort –
Even an earthquake wouldn’t shift it.                                           gunpowder. When the debris clears, at least three
                                                                                of the stones have toppled. There nothing, the
    Briefly, WhistoneWhiston wondered if his logic was the wrong way            granite bedrock is untouched. Lady S is going to
                                                                                be happy.
round. . Perhaps there had been hundreds of stone circles, all across
England – just like the one here. . Maybe it was only a circle like this one,
lucky enough to have granite foundations, that had survived.
    No matter, the question was irrelevant. . He had dug as far down as
he could, as far as anyone could. . From that initial hole, they had mined
horizontal shafts in every direction, an underground star. . And they had
found nothing. .
    For the first time, Sir William truly feared that he was wasting his
time. The members of the Clubbe had been so certain, so specific. Sir
Francis Dashwood had been passionate: “You have influence over Lady
Salisbury. Charm her, persuade her, do whatever you have to, but get her
permission to dig beneath the henge. Dig deep enough and you will find
it. Then bring it to London, to Seven Dials.”
    WhistoneWhiston had dug as deep as he could, now It was the time
for desperate action..




                                                                          76
                                                                          77




    The men were all clear of the blast zone, and he nodded to Jackson, his
site foreman..
    The west-countryman struck a flint, and lit the fuse-powder. . It
phutted a little at first, but then the powder caught and a sizzle of sparks
shot through the grass. . It passed into the circle of stones and reached the
edge of the hole. . This was the risky part. . They had soaked the cord in
a tub of gunpowder and alcohol for over a week. . The sparkling flame hit
the cord and began the descent – down into the mine.                        .
WhistoneWhiston waited, and counted. .
    When the explosion came it knocked him to the ground, a huge rush
of air and debris belching out of the open mouth. . Like someone had
loaded a giant cannon with earth and rock. . The standing stones, stones
that had endured for unknown millennia, stood unmoved. .
    Smiling, grubby faces emerged quickly. . There were over a hundred
in all and they’d been digging for the best part of six a months – for them,
this was the fun bit. . WhistoneWhiston’s engine’ers spent the next hour
re-securing the wooden struts that lined the shaft. . Finally, Jackson
reported back. .
    “Nothing, sir. . Nothing at all. . We ain’t even dented it.”
    Whoever it was that built Stonehenge, they knew their geology. .
    The sky was clouding over, and anyway, it would be getting dark
again in a couple of hours. . WhistoneWhiston breathed in the warm air
of Salisbury plain. . The fields were well farmed at this time of the
summer, and the evening air was thick with the sickly smell of pollen. .
For some reason the tenant farmers had all decided to plant beetroot this




                                                                          77
                                                                             78




year; it made a splendid sight – great swathes of the landscape given over
to the reddish tinge of beetroot leaves. . WhistoneWhiston found himself
wondering why beetroot should suddenly be so popular. . He held his
forehead and shut his eyes wearily. . Always questions, his brain always
churned questions. . He was tired of questions.
    He went inside his tent to find the cot bed and get some rest, tired to
the bones. . He’d had another absence seizure the previous night and he’d
been too scared to go back to sleep. . It was almost time for another swig
of his medicine, but even that seemed to have stopped working. .
    Lady Salisbury Sir Francis Dashwood would be angry, but not as angry
as Lady Salisbury. WhistoneWhiston had told her the truth, had explained
why they had to dig now, had promised to share with her the spoils of the
excavation, had promised to betray the Clubbe.
    She would be angry but she could wait. . For now, he would lie, and
rest, and think.


    An excited shout came from outside, and WhistoneWhiston sat up,
unsure whether he had been asleep. . But he had been, Ooutside the tent,
the sun was low on the horizon and the sky had cleared to a deep indigo;
he must have slept after all. . He looked across the Salisbury plain and felt
more at peace than he had done for days; at this time of day the beetroot
crops gave off great clouds of pollen, and the setting sun lit up the dust as it
wafted into the evening air. . Jackson, his works foreman, was talking
excitedly. .
    “We found something, sir - a little pit, a chamber. . We thought it
was empty at first, but we found this.”




                                                                             78
                                                                           79




    He held out a gold disc. . It was a coin. . In WhistoneWhiston’s
hand, it felt oddly heavy, heavier than gold should be.
    “RESURGAM”. . WhistoneWhiston read the Latin inscription on one
side. . “I Shall Rise Again,” he translated. . The other side was blank, but
for a cross, it was the eight-pointed cross of Malta, the cross of St John the
Apostle. . WhistoneWhiston turned the coin carefully in his hand, the
edge was milled, which suggested it was modern. . And within the milled
edge more Latin was engraved in the same crude fine font, this time, ‘Jeova
Sanctus Unus ’.
    WhistoneWhiston looked up with a heavy smile. . ‘God’s Holy One,’
he said. . “Jackson, I think this needs some further thought, I think Sir
Isaac Newton . has left his calling card. It does, unfortunatelyI fear to say,
look like someone he beat us to it”.


    [… and left this as their calling card.]
    [More about Whistone here and why he is so interested in the
henge… any referral again to his membership of the Hell Fyre Club – why
is he a member? Is it this membership that is spurring him on to the arcane
and these investigations? Reveal more? – question Loz, is Whistone doing
this under instruction from the Clubbe? And they are using him – do they
know that the Henge has already been cleaned out of its buried treasure
previously and sending him there just to get him out of the way so they
can publish the essay under his name??]
                                       ~




                                                                           79
                                                                           80




                                                                                Formatted: Indent: First line: 0"


                                   LONDON


    All over London people were on the streets. . At first it was only a
faint glow – some laughed that it was just Venus, the evening star, but
then the glow grew brighter, and began to form a thick orange smudge
across the black sky.
    All faces were upturned to the Heavens – from the Astronomer Royal,
[Sir Robert Boyle,] in his observatory at Greenwich, to the gutter-dregs
and scum of Bow Belle. . All over the country, from York in the north to
Exeter in the south, in every village and every farm estate and on every
boat out at sea, faces looked to the east and saw the truth. .
    Parents wept and clutched their children, the gin-houses were drunk
dry, and when the last barrel was emptied, the mob turned onto the
streets, s – looking, as mobs always do, for trouble.{so far the old crone’s
prediction was coming to pass…]
    JerichoBenjamin Quick had glanced out of his barred window, had
strained to catch a glimpse of the Comet, but had given up quickly. . His
solitary window faced south, and besides, the night ahead would be a busy
one. . For a start, he needed to think up some dialogue for the big day.
    Over his lifetime he must have read five dozen newspaper accounts of
public hangings and his photographic mind scanned through them all.
There was good stuff there – and that was before he even got started with
his favourite. The account of Thomas Blood going to the gallows at Port         Formatted: Font: Not Italic


Royal made up an entire chapter, and Quick’s thoughts raced through it,




                                                                           80
                                                                         81




stealing any well turned phrases, plucking out the best of the devil-may-
care dialogue.
     All his fyrefirewood had been saved for this one night, and as he
planned out his script, he he stacked up the logs to ensure get up a hot
blaze. . The marcasite earring clasp, now empty of its glass [‘]ruby[‘], did
indeed look a bit tawdry and JerichoBenjamin didn’t hesitate before
placing the metal into a handkerchief and smashing it to pieces with the
heel of his boot. . The fyrefire was hot enough now, and as he opened the
cloth of his handkerchief, the iron pyrite crystals reflected the fyrefire’s
light onto his sweating face.     .   Then, taking great care to keep the
fragments of marcasite away from any bat droppings, he placed them in his
metal food bowl, and into the heart of the fyrefire.
                                                                               Formatted: Justified, Indent: First line: 0.3"




                                      ~




                                                                         81
                                                                               82




                            THE HELL FYRE CLUBBE,
                                  SEVEN DIALS




    [The Hell Fyre Clubbe]
    The billiard room was filled with red, sweating faces. . Champagne
had flowed for the best part of five hours, and the gambling had just
started to turn deliciously nasty. .
    Sir Francis Dashwood stood on the billiard table and called the room
to order. . “Quiet, gentl’man. . Quiet! We’ve less th‘ean an hour before
the I call a session of the [masonic term for inner cttee – there’s much
lodgebusiness to get thtough]main event, but there’s time enough for some
amusement, and I’ve a gift for ye.”
    He clapped his hands twice, in the Ottoman style, and the double-
doors opened to reveal three women. . They wore heavy rouge and
cavernous cleavage. . They were dressed à la mode Parisienne - and the
throng men adored them for it. .
    “I present to you … the exquisite Jacqueline ... . the adorable
Antoinette ... the magnificent Chantilly ... . and last, but never the least ... .
the abundant, nay, the bountiful ... . Françoise-Athénaïs.” .”
    Dashwood finished with a deep bow and [an even greater] great
rippling fart of hot air. . The crowd went wild and the women squealed,
clapping with delight as they skipped into the room.
                                                                                     Comment [LH17]: Insert either :
                                                                                     HellFyre Clubbe!
                                                                                     Reportage on the state of the nation
                                        ~                                            diplomatic negotiations
                                                                                     or Whiston – Montrose
                                                                                     or Finbar Quick ...
                                                                                     beetroot fields!




                                                                               82
                                               83




[any hint of the more serious side of the club
 here? Or as we discussed over weekend –
 insert another scene later to expand more
 into the darker side and the history of the
            club – its origins….]




                                               83
                                                                          84




                       38 MONMOUTH ST, SEVEN DIALS


    Even in dim lamplight it was easy to see that there were crates
everywhere, big packing crates spilling out with wood shavings and
powdery sawdust. . The crates had come from all the corners of the globe,
bringing Jacob Olger the tools for his work. . Books mainly, looted from
ancient libraries, but also odd little artefacts and scientifickscientific
wonders. .
    Jacob Olger’s great curiosity was Nature, and the oddities she threw
up. . [some reference here to Olger being one of the greatest scientific
minds of Europe…]The bizarre, wonderful and perplexing little paradoxes
of God’s creation – improbable creatures, or better still, impossible ones. .
The creatures that only exist at the edges. .
    Olger was standing in the great attic room of his house. . Many years
before he had turned it over for use as a laboratory, but the frenzy of his
work had filled it to jamming point. [mention that this is the focal point of
all his scientific expermiments – ones he aims to pesent to his intellectual
‘equals’ 9or maybe not equals in his eyes) at the Royal Society]         The
cabinets were rammed with heavy books and white-labelled boxes filled
with curiosities. . The desks were all covered in stacked books and piles
of paper, and in between were the crates. . He mainly used the crates to
house the dozen glass jars that held the majority of his experiments. . The
bell jars helped protect the experiments from the interference of outside
influxions. . They helped keep the experiments pure. .
    Jacob was a narrow, angular man, and it helped him squeeze his way
past a large bureau and ease round to the front of his desk. .     . He sat




                                                                          84
                                                                         85




down and pulled one of the glass bell-jars towards him. . He pulled it
close so he could study it carefully. . Inside the jar sat a piece of rump
steak next to a part-burned wax candle. . The jar was sealed with some
kind of grease. . Jacob’s desk-lamp illuminated the handwritten note
stuck to the side; it read simply, ‘SLAUGHTERED    AT   SMITHFIELD MARKET,
DECEMBER 6TH 1735’. . He took a closer look at the steak, it had a strange
shimmer, but still looked edible. . Jacob Olger was satisfied; it would soon
be time for the houseboy to sample a piece.
    For once, Jacob failed to write up his observations.        .   He was
distracted this night, disturbed even. . It had been a disturbing day. .
First of allIt had started badly enough;, his dog had died just after
breakfast, had inexplicably suffocated right in front of his eyes. . Then it
got worse; he had opened the letter. .
    The wax seal was a message in itself, the twin crescent moons might
have been a mystery to most men, but not to Jacob Olger.             .   He
understood the symbol clearly enough . [and the very sight of it made his
old body shiver – the cold hand of fear gripped his heart?].
    The careful handwriting inside was even clearer. . ‘Dubium et misit
eum in unda nex’. . It was a direct quote from the King James Bible. .
‘The unbeliever is cast into the waters of death’. . They had written it in
blood just to make sure he didn’t misunderstand.
    There was ayet another reason for Jacob to be disturbed, t. It was the
samhe same reason every man woman and child in London was disturbed.
T, [comma or dash or full stop here?] the comet.           .   He had read
WhistoneWhiston’s essay along with everybody else, had looked up at the
blemish in the heavens long and hard, had strained his eyes on the viewing




                                                                         85
                                                                        86




lens. .
    Unlike everybody else, what disturbed Olger about the essay, was not
the prophecy, it was that he knew the prophecy was [or ‘must had to be’] a
lie. . He absolutely knew it. .
    [a comet, yes, but a collision with Earth – impossible]                   Formatted: Font: Italic


    Olger sat now at his desk and looked down the length of the long attic
room. . He had set up a great mirror in the far corner so that he could
watch the comet from his desk. . It had taken him all most of the
eveningnight to find the exact angle, but he was glad he had gone to the
effort. . Sitting at his desk he could relax and think. . He watched the
comet at is inched its way across the sky, and thought about what it meant
to die. . Thought about his little dog struggling for breath, and wondered
whether he would be next. . “‘The unbeliever cast into the the waters of      Formatted: Font: Not Italic


death,”’ he repeated to himself.                                              Formatted: Font: Not Italic


    He wasn’t afraid, he was too old for that, but he looked into the great
glass mirror at the end of the long room and tears leaked down his face. .
The comet marked its pathetic yellow smudge against the blue-black sky,
and he wept. . He had lost his dog. . The old man’s white hand came up
and he wiped his leaking [strained and weary eyes?] eye with the lace of
his shirt. . Tomorrow he would get another dog, he vowed to himself,
perhaps he’d even buy two. . A pair of dogs, both just like the last one,
Beagle pups with wagging tails and everything to live for.




    [maybe hint at the source of the beagles here – if they are a part of a
genetics experiment also… or maybe they are just a hint at the gentics




                                                                        86
                                                                        87




involved with Jericho – if the beagles and their funny ears are a part of a
genetics experminet, why would they be selling them – maybe he gets
them from another scientist? Speak to Joe…]



                                    ~
                                                                              Formatted: Centered




                                                                        87
                                                                         88




                                                                               Formatted: Font: 12 pt, Small caps
                         [EXECUTION DOCK, WAPPING]                             Formatted: Font: 12 pt, Small caps




    The next morning was bright and cool. . A day of execution in
London was a day of celebrations – of riot and idleness. . JerichoBenjamin
Quick, laden with heavy chains, made the journey from Newgate to
Wapping on the back of an ox-cart – heralded all the way by a band of
pipers and trumpeters. . The authorities made sure of his security with a
platoon of the Coldstream Guards; they didn’t want any mistakes. . They
had been shaken by the antics of the mob the night before and a good
execution was a sure way to re-impose some order. . Besides, there hadn’t
been an execution by Gibbet for over three years; it would not do for
Londoners to miss out on some entertainment. . [mention of commotion,
hubbub, street sellers and other opportunistic profiteers making a penny or
two from someone else’s misfortune? Taking their bets on whether the
‘Demon of Shefford’ will blub, how long to die etc Selling little miniature
Demon dolls…]
    The gangs of drunks from the previous night were mainly gone – but
there were plenty of early risers waiting along the route, ready to hurl the
traditional rotten fruit, fish and excrement.    .   One over-enthusiastic
citizen threw a stone, and it re-opened the scar in JerichoBenjamin’s
cheek. . By the time he arrived at execution dock, his bright smile was
marred by dripping blood.
    He arrived at Wapping proceeded by a mounted sheriff carrying the
symbolic silver mace of the City of London, and he was greeted by a
dockside crammed with men, women and children. . The dock sat in the
early morning shadow of the Church of St Mary – its stone steps packed




                                                                         88
                                                                         89




with spectators eager for a better view. . Street sellers shouted out the
price for toy Gibbets with miniature Demon of Shefford dolls, [profiteers
gave out odds of survival. As the sun detached itself from the horizon, you
could have got ten to one that JerichoBenjamin Quick wouldn’t see be
dead by the next dawn. []
       The church saw more visitors for an execution than it ever did on a     Formatted: Indent: First line: 0.5"


Sunday.
       The river too, was filled - with all kinds of pleasure craft –, vying
for space under the quayside. . JerichoBenjamin looked about him, at the       Comment [l18]: [insert somewhere – the smell
                                                                               of the river at dawn on a spring day]
hundreds of upturned faces. . He couldn’t see Eliza, but he knew she was
would be there, and that thought made him smile. . He ought to be
feeling terror, but he couldn’t; he just couldn’t believe this was the end -
not surrounded by all these smiling [and fiercely curious] people. . All he
felt was a giddy sense of euphoria, even the rotting smell of river mud
couldn’t take that away. . If his plan worked, the whole of London would
talk about this day – the whole of England. . For a hundred years they
would tell the story. . He took a deep breath, he’d better make the story a
good one.
    The Gibbet itself was smaller than Eliza’s child-memory had
described. . It was barely taller than he was, which would make his
escape easier. . Otherwise, the cage was exactly as she had described it,
simply made from thick bands of iron, and hanging by a length of chain
from a thick wooden beam. . The beam sat over a deep-grooved, upright
post to form a giant T. . At its other end, the Gibbet was counterbalanced
by a huge leather sack – filled with rocks and sand. . The whole structure
could be rotated, so that the metal cage, currently resting on the quayside,




                                                                         89
                                                                         90




could be swung out over the River Thames. . [mention of the crowds
having to be contained at a short distance – give him some space but
tripping over one another to get a proper look at the ‘Demon’ – a story for
their grandkids]
     The dock was covered in marine slime, and Quick almost slipped, but
with the help of an escorting soldier he regained his balance and turned to
his audience. . They hushed [in a wave of consciousness?]at the sight of
him – his frame was slight but his feet were planted securely, arms chained
together at the front, but shoulders back and head high, in the orator’s
style..   His vivid red hair seemed to catch the intensity of the early
morning sun..
     ‘Lords and Ladies, Gentlefolk and Scum … welcome all. . Welcome
most humbly to my execution.” .”           JerichoBenjamin gave a bow,
remembering his lines to perfection. . “The King h‘as decided to snuff out
my life – as king’skings are wont to do. . So I say to him, and I say to his
Justices, and his guards and I say to his Executioner – come and’ ‘ave go at
young JerichoBenjamin Quick – and see if God’s on side.”’ [is he dropping
his ‘h’s’ for effect – otherwise his speech patterns are a bit
inconsistent..maybe too Jack Sparrow?]
     They cheered at that. . Those due about to die were usually reduced
to shuffling wrecks by the time they got to the Dock. . Even the great
Captain Morgan had been so utterly sodden with gin that they could
barely raise his chin for the noose. . Only once in a generation did a man
come to his death with head high – ready to play the crowd. . They were
the stuff of legend.
     The [bubbling] crowd hushed [once more], ready to hear the his next




                                                                         90
                                                                             91




words.
    “You have come here to watch me hang like a Pendulum to a Watch. .
You have come to see the gulls have their feast – and then the fish. . But
do you know why?”
    Some in the crowd cried shame, but for the most part they were rapt.
    “I’ll tell you why – because I endeavoured to be too rich, too soon …
But I say this – you can never be too rich, and it can never be too soon!”
    Simple stuff, but he got a laugh – and [with that distraction on…]he
took the opportunity to move[sidle?] closer to the Gibbet. [do we want to
hint at illusion here or just have him maybe explain how he escaped to
Eliza later]
    “Ladies and Gentlemen, I am afraid your morning’s entertainment will
be a disappointment.” .” The crowd responded on cue with pantomime
boos. . “I’ll tell you why, the King has made a mistake with this ‘ere
Gibbet” He took another step towards the cage and made a great show of
examining it – hands everywhere, testing the strength of the metal. .
Finally he gave the cage a great rattling shake with both hands.
    “You see, it’s only made of iron. . But I … I’m made of Sulphur, and
can pass straight through”.
    At the mention of this occult word, the crowd grew restless.              .
JerichoBenjamin answered with a dance. . He crossed his arms and stuck
a great, bloody, grin, and danced the only thing he knew how, a sailors’
hornpipe his grandfather had taught him as a child. . He danced his way
to the gallows and the crowd went wild[.. He, he] even swung the doors
shut himself. .




                                                                             91
                                                                           92




        “Now, be about you Jack Ketch1, and be sure to tell your grandchildren
that you tried to kill the Demon of Shefford, and yet he let you live.”
        The executioner didn’t hesitate; he didn’t like this one bit. . He’d
never known an execution like it. . The boy highwayman was altogether
too cocky by half. . Maybe he was a bit simple in the head. . But maybe
not. . With a tremble in his hand, the executioner locked the metal fast,
and quickly[without delay?] began the task of cranking the Gibbet out
over the Thames. . Once the wooden beam was swung about to the
correct position, the chain was unwound to lower the cage. . After a few
moments, Quick found himself suspended over the river, barely ten feet
from water. . He [momentarily gagged at the..]could taste the brackish
tang on the back of his throat – a salty mix of estuary and sewage.
        The crowd were craning forward now, eager not to miss a thing. .
When he was sure the Gibbet was fixed into position, Quick [composed
himself?... or is this too insightful] , and gave the rest of continued his
speech.
        “I have to leave you now – before I catch a chill. . My soul shall
descend to the netherworld, in the form of a giant bat … but fear not
ladies, I will return, and if you are pretty, you may find me at your
bedroom window, and if you are not … well, then you’ll find me in your
dreams.”
        He got a great laugh from the crowd for this last joke. , . it was
straight out of The Adventures. One old crone even shouted out her               Formatted: Font: Italic


address. . Quick smiled and blew her a kiss, relishing the moment – the
moment of triumph over fear. . As he looked up at all the gleaming faces

1
    Jack Ketch. . [tradit. . English. . Public executioner, hangman]




                                                                           92
                                                                            93




on the dockside, he imagined the tales that would be told of the young
man, careless of God and Satan both, who laughed his way into the Gibbet
– as casual of death as if he were strolling into his local tavern for a jug of
gin. .
     But even then, in his moment of supreme exhilaration, his mind
betrayed him. . Something in the sound or smell of the Thames below
him triggered it, or maybe he saw a face in the crowd that reminded him.
. His brain swelled with an image that had haunted him since childhood,
the face of his brother, screaming from the bottom of a river. . The day
his seven year old brother had drowned.
     The nerves of Quick’s right hand twitched and he felt the fingers tap
out the familiar, nervous pattern on the rusted iron of the Gibbet. . He
had one last look about for Eliza, ready to give her his best smile, but he
soon realised it was hopeless. . It was time to get out.
     He raised his manacled hands and pushed them through the bars of his
cage, pointing up and beyond the crowd, onto the domed cupolaspire that
was the roof of the Blessed Church of St Mary. . He waited for the noise
to fade before he spoke, and sure enough, all necks craned in the direction
of the church.
     “I see you Azrael,” he said solemnly, “I see your twelve wings of
death.”
     The crowd strained in vain to see the vision. .
     “Gentlefolk of Wapping, the Archangel of Death has come to bear me
up to his master.” .”
     JerichoBenjamin squinted at the invisible creature sitting atop the
church, “They say of Azrael, that he is Full of Eyes.” .” Quick’s voice




                                                                            93
                                                                           94




dropped to a loud whisper, “I understand see now what why they say
itthey mean.” .”
    He stared wildly, as if caught up in some great mental struggle, but he
never failed to keep eye contact with the creature. . The crowd were
transfixed.
    Eventually, a broad grin travelled the breadth of his face; it was bloody
from the reopened wound in his cheek, but even without the gash, there
was something terrible about that smile.
    “Cast aside your thirst for decay, put away your hunger for rotted
flesh; there will be no banquet today.” .” Quick rattled his chains, as one
would to frighten a wild pig or a dog. . “Be gone Azrael. I, in your eyes
now I see only fear.”
    A child in the crowd let out an awful scream and the tension spilled         Comment [l19]: burst / overflowed/ spilled


into a desperate babble. . Quick began to chant. . The words were
mumbled, but clearly held some form of satanic invocation and the crowd          Comment [LH20]: Raziel ellimiham irammish
                                                                                 zirigai Psonthonphanchia Raphael elhaveruna
                                                                                 tapinotambecaz mitzphecat jarid cuman hapheah
covered their ears to shut out this new dev’lry. . As he chanted the Gibbet      Gabriel Heydonturris dungeonis philonomostarkes
                                                                                 sophecord hankim
began to rotate, slowly at first, but gathering speed. . The chains rattled
and the wooden beam above began to creak and groan with the strain, and
then, when it seemed that the cage could spin no faster, the demon inside
collapsed to the floor and a gigantic bat flew out and upwards. .
    The crowd went crazy with panic. . Some tried to fell the flying beast
with rock and stone, but for the most part they sank to the ground, or to
the bottom of their boats, shrinking in terror.
    Most people heard rather than saw the explosion. .
    Some said afterwards they saw a spark and then a flash of smoke,
others that a bolt of lightning came out of the clear spring sky; others still




                                                                           94
                                                                    95




saw a great fish jump from the Thames and swallow the Gibbet whole. .
Most agreed that the cage, one moment held by yards of heavy chain, was
the next plummeting into the river.


                                      ~




                                                                    95
                                                                            96




                             VAUXHALL GARDENS


    Lady Elizabeth Walpole sat comfortably and elegantly in her open top
barouche as it trotted about Vauxhall Gardens.         .     Today, in front of
Captain Avery, she was once more playing the role of Lady. . The sun was
hot for so early in the morning, and when beyond the shade of the tree-
lined avenue, she was forced to hold a small para-soleil against it.          .
Normally, she would have welcomed the opportunity to show off this
latest Parisian accessory, but today she was distracted. .
    She hadn’t slept well if she was honest – which annoyed her. . In the
dark of night her mind had raced with half-brilliant ideas for
JerichoBenjamin Quick’s escape, but by day-break none of them seemed to
pass muster, and besides, he had gone to Execution Dock [that very]at
dawn. . It was all too late. [she wouldn’t see that shock of red hair again –
and wouldn’t have any answers to all her nagging questions…]
    More than anything it was the sense of failure that annoyed her. .
She was used to success, and a gaol-break was just the sort thing she was
usually good at. . That is what she concluded in the early hours, when she
had struggled for sleep. . Any guilt was firmly ignored. . [mention her
father – hardened herself in many ways because of him – survival, and also
part of her training – rarely been there for her or her mother – self reliant,
found her own way in spit of him – she found the Dept – too spite him?]
    It didn’t help that her riding companion, Captain Avery, looking down
at her from his magnificent, pink-eyed stallion, wouldn’t stop talking. .
    “So you see this is a very great honour, I believe Sir Lancelot sees me
as his heir apparent at The Department.”




                                                                            96
                                                                           97




    “Sir Lancelot never sees or does anything unless it is to his advantage.”
    Avery stiffened in his saddle, “That is hardly fair, darling. . This
Shipton Prophecy poses a threat to the Kingdom. . Sir Lancelot has always
put the nation’s future prosperity as his uttermost priority. . After all, at
his great age, his own future is hardly a promising pursuit. . Now, tell me,
how can I ... . can we stop this French invasion?”
    Eliza was seemed to be preoccupied with [her own thoughts and]a
loose thread of blue silk on the sleeve of her dress. . She gave it an
impatient yank, but it refused to snap, snagging the embroidery. . After
some moments she looked up at the Captain. . “Sorry, what did you say
something?”
    “Really Eliza, you seem most … distracted today. . Are you unwell?”
    “No BenjaminThomas,” Eliza gave a sigh, vowed to keep her thoughts
of JerichoBenjamin Quick secret. . “Please do continue, I am just a little
warm.”
    “Thank you. . I wouldn’t trouble you, but it is most important to my
future – to our future - that I succeed in this. . Now, would you like me to
go over the problem for a second time?”
    Eliza nodded, careful to keep any weariness out of her face.
    “Good. . First, the facts.” .” With exemplary military discipline,
Captain Avery set about repeating word-for-word his conversation of the
past half hour.
    “The Shipton Prophecy has been circulating round Yorkshire for some
time, but until now no-one has taken the old crone seriously. . She has
made certain predictions in the past, and has proved alarmingly accurate,
but the Department started a Ddiscreditation Ccampaign against her, five




                                                                           97
                                                                           98




summers years ago.” .” [why did they start this 5 years ago – explanation
please] Avery gave a little chucklelaugh. . “We wrote a series of new
prophecies – lots of bunkem about blood-filled hailstones and tornadoes in
July. . We thought the campaign had scuppered her reputation for good,
but then last July, reports came out of Grimsby of exactly that, a tornado
that rained down hailstones of human blood. . We still haven’t figured
out how the French managed it.”
    Avery paused, as if hoping Eliza would come up with an answer. .
Instead, she smiled, and made sure to look as though she was
concentrating. . Avery duly continued, “No matter,; what is done is done;
Mother Shipton’s reputation is in the ascendancy, and she has predicted a
comet-strike on St Paul’s Cathedral on the twenty-first June, [has
predicted][accompanied by]it’s to be followed by all sorts of flood and
conflagration. . So far, nothing surprising, it’s the usual sort of doome that
this gloome-laden hag loves to write and the public love to read about in
the newspapers. . But then William WhistoneWhiston enters the fray. .
You’ve read his essay, I suppose.
    “In The Gazette ? Of course.”.
    “WhistoneWhiston is a pretty decent chap, but he has been keeping            Comment [LH21]: subconsciously puts his hand
                                                                                 to his word

some rather poor company. . His new patron is the Lady Salisbury.”
    “I don’t know why you’re so hard on Lady Margaret, you’ve never
even met her. . She’s always been perfectly pleasant to me.” .”
     “Blackburne is convinced that Lady Salisbury is a traitor, that she has
somehow coerced WhistoneWhiston, and that her so-called diplomatic
negotiations with the French are just a front for treason. . He believes
that with Lady Salisbury’s complicity, the French will take advantage of




                                                                           98
                                                                           99




national panic on June twenty-first, to come up the Thames [and sieze
London].”
    Eliza looked unimpressed, but didn’t offer an opinion, so Avery
continued.
    “And they’re up to no good. . Down in Salisbury they’re excavating,
mining under Stonehenge.”
    “For what?”
    Avery shrugged. . “We’re not sure. . There’s a lot of old legends
about the Henge, but they’re all nonsense[as far as I’m concerned… his
opinion].”
    “Legend’s don’t have to be true to have power, all they need is people
to believe in them. . Just like the Church...”
    Avery straightened in his saddle, he didn’t like it when Eliza turned
philosophical. .
    Eliza smiled, “Oh BenTom, I wish you wouldn’t be so pompous, you
know what I think about Christianity.”           .”   They rode on for a few
moments in silence. .
    “So      which   particular   Legend    do    you   think   has   captured
WhistoneWhiston’s imagination?”
    “Sir Lancelot has a theory that Sir William is digging for something
that will aid him when the Comet strikes. . Th—” [expand maybe –
something that will aid his survival?? Gove more info here maybe]
    “But you said the Comet prophesy was just a ruse by the French, to
create panic before an invasion.      .    So why would WhistoneWhiston
bother?”
    Avery looked confused. . He hated it when Eliza did this. . She was




                                                                           99
                                                                       100




quick with thoughts. . “Forget that then. . It’s just a red herring anyway
– since he’ll not find anything. . Let me get to my questions.” .” Avery
pulled out a small scrip of paper and began to read his heavy scrawl. .
“Question one, how do we discredit Mother Shipton when we can’t even
find her?”
    “Use an impersonator, an actress.”
    Avery paused, thought about it for a moment, and then said, “Yes, that    Comment [LH22]: Hint at his handsomeness in
                                                                              this section - silhouetted against the morning sun -
                                                                              perhaps Eliza notes his strong jawline or aquiline
would work. . Good. . Well done. . We will find an actress, bring her to      nose - starched collar, carefully groom fresh-shaven
                                                                              dimple chinned!!
London, and …” He waited for Eliza to finish his sentence.
    “And, bring her to justice. . She will confide the true prophecy in a
public court… that the Comet marks the death of the French Monarchy,
and the House of Bourbon.”
    “Yes, quite. . Perfect. . You think that will work?”
    Eliza smiled behind her para-soleil. . Avery‘s finest trait was that he
was never willing to overlook a good idea just because it came from
someone else.     .   “Of course it will, but you will have to discredit
WhistoneWhiston as well. . Make a mockery of him.”
    “Ahhh, that was my next question; how do we do that? He’s President
of the Royal Society.”
    “Yes but as ex-president, the job will be easier. . We present [false]
evidence to the Society that Sir William WhistoneWhiston has become
addicted to gin and mercury. . It worked with Newton.”
    “That was gold. . They [claimed]said Newton had been eating gold
and the stuff had seized his brain.”
    “Whichever, it makes no difference. . Mercury is quicker, that’s all. .
Rescind William WhistoneWhiston’s Presidency, order him back to




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                                                                       101




London, and then feed him enough mercury, or gold, to turn him into a
gibbering idiot. . We put Sir William on a horse in his under-britches and
send him round Hyde Park. . A few days of that will ruin his reputation.”
    Captain Avery swallowed hard. . He could never allow himself to
forget that Lady Elizabeth Walpole, whom he adored and worshipped as
the most elegant woman in England, was also the utterly ruthless daughter
of a father who never spoke to her [and a mad Russian gypsy-countess
who, if the rumours were true, spent her last days living in a coal-cellar
eating rats.] [not sure whether he knows this much – either needs to be
expanded or removed at this point] He told himself that to him, a man of
action, it was all part of the attraction.
    “Yes, I think that should do it. . Will the affects of the mercury wear
off, I mean, after we have saved the country?”
    “Not if we give him enough.”
    Captain Avery blurted out a nervous laugh. . He was relieved to see
from Eliza’s smile that she was indeed joking. .
    “Now, what were your other questions?”
    “Well how, actually, do we do all of this. . WhistoneWhiston is
protected by his patron, the Lady Salisbury. . And first off we have to get
him thrown out of the Royal Society.”
    “Don’t worry about that, we’ll have the help of my Godfather, Sir
Robert Boyle. . We’ve been invited to the next Royal Society meeting - as
guests. . Sir Robert tells me that there is growing anger towards Sir
William’s presidency. . We just have to tip things over the edge.”
    Avery trotted on in silence. . The gardens in early summer were
wonderfully invigorating and he breathed in the smell of fresh-clipped




                                                                       101
                                                                         102




hedges and damp dew-filled grass. .        [They were the closest thing in
London to the gardens of his parents’ home near Gosport, where he had
learned to ride as a boy.] [remincer of his parent’s home – acres of fields
where he learned to ride] It was hard to believe, as he watched genteel
society go about its everyday perambulations on horse, foot and carriage,
that it was all about to end in fir’yfiery carnage.
    “I suppose that will work. . Sir Robert is such a big oaf, I imagine he
could bully anything through.”
    Eliza smiled; Sir Robert Boyle was indeed a massive man, two yards
high and with a chest that got stuck in doorways. . When he was a
student up at Oxford, he was famous for once punching a cow to the floor.
    “I doubt it will come to that. ,.” she said. “ I have already talked with
Roberthim, and he thinks the consensus is against Sir William. . I do
believe Sir Robert rather fancies the post of President for himself.”
    They rode another few moments in silence, eventually, Avery said,
“Well that all seems in hand.”
    Eliza looked at him and laughed; the sort of weary laugh a long-
suffering wife reserves for her husband after a lifetime of frustrations. .
She instantly regretted it, composed herself, and put on a more gentle face.
. “In hand, isn’t exactly the phrase I would use, but you can be damn sure,
whether the Shipton Comet hits or not, the next three two weeks are
going to be bloody [good ]fun.”
    “I didn’t mean—” Avery paused, he hated it when Eliza looked at him
as though he were stupid. . And he really hated it when she swore. . “I
just mean, is there anything else we should be doing?”
    “Like what?” she asked.




                                                                         102
                                                                          103




    “I don’t know. . What about the excavations, at the henge?”
    “Why should we bother? ”[..investigating that any further… my
undercover man has come back with as much as we need to know?...]
    “I don’t know.”
    “You told me WhistoneWhiston hasn’t found anything,” said Eliza,
with a hint of impatience.
    “True, and I’m sure he’s not going to[…I can’t see that he is going to].
. He hit rock eight yards down, complete dead end.”
    At the mention of that word, Eliza’s throat seemed to tighten. . Dead
end ... . She immediately thought of JerichoBenjamin Quick … - dead. .
If he’d escaped she would have heard by now; it would be the talk of
London ... . but she’d heard nothing; he was dead. . Dead because he had
turned back to save her. . He’d kneown that she was trying to get him
hanged, but and yet he’d still turned back to save her. . Eliza felt sick with
a back-wash of unwanted guilt. . [as hard as she tried to suppress her
natural instinct]
    “Darling, are you unwell?”
    She looked up, startled. .
    “You look a little liverish. . Should we get you home?”
    [something here briefly about him questioning her love or about their
future together.. but then interrupted… he is a little insecure in the
relationship]
    She nodded dumbly, and on Avery’s command, the carriage driver
performed a tight, well-executed turn in the direction of Mayfair. .
    They were across the river before they heard the news. .
    Shouted in excitement by the street throng crowd of Westminster. .




                                                                          103
                                                                        104




The people broke off their business to stand and chatter, and shake their
heads at this latest twist in the life of the city.
    Eliza tuned her ear to the voices quickly, and was shouting at an
urchin-girl, asking what she knew. . The girl came running over to the
carriage, hungry for pennies. . Eventually she spoke, and the words lit up
Eliza’s face.
    “The Devil ‘as come, miss. . The Devil ‘as come ta London.”


    The rest of Eliza’s journey was overtaken by a blur of [giddy] thoughts.
. There was almost a carnival atmosphere on the streets. . She could hear
the [fantastical?]speculation and wild story-telling from her coach and
Eliza was itching to get amongst them. . Once she had gotten away from
Avery she could be on the streets and joining in the gossip. .
    Her house was a rather elaborate construction, sat at the back of St
James Place and fronting onto the royal park. . Avery dismounted, and
helped her from the carriage, but at the colonnaded gates she turned to
stand between him and the house. .
    “Thank you BenThomas.”              .”   She offered her hand and he
automatically kissed it. .       “I’ll see you at the Royal Society meeting,
tomorrow Saturday evening. . Will you call for me? At seven? We’ll
need to be early to talk with Sir Robert.”
    “I should see you inside Eliza. . You still don’t look yourself.”
    “Don’t be silly BenTom, I’m quite well. . Go on, get away.” .” She
gave him a smile to prove the point, turned and entered the house.
    Inside, she shut the door gratefully, and leaning against it, looked
around at the empty entrance hall. . She wondered, not for the first time,




                                                                        104
                                                                         105




what Avery would say if he ever saw the bare floors and walls of her
supposedly grand London home. . [maybe she thinks of her mad mother at
this point and it is introduced here – maybe even her fear of going the
ssme way?] But there was no time to waste – she wanted to join the
crowds horde on the streets. . Her guilt over JerichoBenjamin Quick had
evaporated, replaced by something new - c, curiosity. . He had escaped
the gallows, the first in living memory. There was something about the
boy., Iit wasn’t just that he looked oddly like her, or that he was the first
person to escape the gallows in half a century,; there was something else;,
sshe was convinced there was something else.of it., There was s
    There was something about JerichoBenjamin Quick that encouraged
Eliza to think he was worthy of further study. . She’d make him the
subject of one of her experiments..
    But first she would blend in with the scum on the streets – and hear
the story of his escape.
    She reached the first step of broad sweeping staircase before she heard
the voice.
    “How do you do, Elizabeth?”
    Eliza physically shook at the shock of hearing a voice from inside her
empty house. It’s The voice’s owner came waddling into the entrance hall
from the corridor that led from the kitchen, and sure enough, he’d found a
bowl of something, and a spoon to eat it with.
    Sir Robert Walpole, 1st Lord of the Treasury, known to his enemies as       Formatted: Superscript


the Prime Minister because he controlled the rest of His Majesty’s
Government by holdinggripping tightly onto the Treasury purse strings.
He was also her father.




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                                                                           106




        She’d only met him once before – to her memory at least – and then        Formatted: Indent: Left: 0"


the meeting had been short.          He had come to her mother’s funeral,
uninvited.      H, he had used the same words then.         “How do you do,
Elizabeth?”
        Eliza had told him that she had the pox, and had then spat in his face.
That was the sum total of their relationship.
        “I trust you’ve gotten over the pox,” he said with a fat smile. He was
truly huge now, bigger even than the last time she had seen him;, the
newspaper cartoonists were in danger of seeing their caricatures come to
life.
        “How did you get in here?” She asked.
        He waved a hand vaguely, as if to say, ‘I’m the PrimerPrime Minister
Ii can do anything I like.’” Instead, after a pause he said, “I want to grant
you a favour.”
        Eliza heard herself snort with disbelief. The whole bizarre situation
seemed to be spinning her thoughts – her father, the great Sir Robert
Walpole, the man who had been just a name for all of her childhood, the
man of whom she’d thought about all her life - whether it was wondering
what he was like, to wishing him dead - was standing in the middle of her
empty hallway, calm as anything, swallowing his way through what
looked like a bowl of [Albermale custard]. She responded with the casual
indifference that she’d rehearsed in her mind for the last dozen years.
        “A favour? For me? I bloody hope it’s money.”
        “Money, a position, information, anything you like.”
        “I’ll stick with money. How much?”
        “A thousand guineas should be fair.”




                                                                           106
                                                                        107




    “Fair? ... Fair? What the hell has—” Her composure deserted her, but       Formatted: Font: Italic


only for a moment. She stopped mid-sentence, looked at him with the
coldest stare she could manage, and took a breath. She finished with a
whole new sentence. “A thousand guineas, fine. Whatever you want to
give me – just leave it on the bottom stair before you leave. I won’t charge
you for the Albermale.”
    She turned to climb the stairs.
    “My dear you seem to have missed the point, I never grant a favour
without receiving one in return. It’s called politics.”
    He let the sentence hang in mid air, begging the obvious question.
Eliza turned back, but with deliberate [languorindolence]. She looked him
up and down, hoping he would feel some of her loathing, but the satisfied
half-smile was stamped across his face.
    “And what favour could I do for the Prime Minister?”                       Formatted: Font: Italic


    “That’s my girl, just like your mother – her price was always a
thousand guineas.”
    Eliza’s dark eyes flashed with her sudden anger, and Sir Robert took an
involuntary step back, momentarily reminded remembering of the insane
rages of ther mother took a step back. His nervousness did something to
stem Eliza’s anger.
    “You’re a coward,” she said matter-of-factly. “It never occurred to me
before . I’ve thought of everything, I’ve called you everything, every         Formatted: Font: Italic


name, every cuss, every blasphemy, but never that. Not ’til now.”
    Walpole looked at her uncertainly, seemingly uncomfortable for the
first time, and she spoke with a new hardness in her voice. . e. “You’re not
evil, you’re not immoral, you’re just a coward. That’s why you left my




                                                                        107
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mother – you were scared.”
    Her father stood there, his jowls quivering lightly, seemingly with a
life of their our own. Eventually he composed himself to form a sentence.
“It’s very simple really, I just need you to get something from the Lord
Chancellor’s Office.”
    “You want me to steal something from the Lord Chancellor?”
    “Just information.”
    “What information?
    “I need his file on the Hell Fyre Clubbe. I need to know who is
behind it - who the real leader is.”
    “Sir Francis Dashwood...”
    “Dashwood isn’t in charge. He’s just the monkey they put up for
public   consumption      –   someone   for   the   cartoonists   in   [Punch   Formatted: Font: Italic


Magazine]The London Illustrated News to sketch. I need to know who is
truly behind the Clubbe.        I need to know everything – and for one
thousand guineas I expect the whole file.”
    “All Lord Chancellor’s the files are locked away - in the Map Room.
Only Sir Lancelot has a key.”
    “If you have half the talents of your mother had that shouldn’t won’t
be a problem.”     Sir Robert let out a short breathless laugh and for a
moment Eliza sensed some of his true feelings for her mother. Sir Robert
looked down at the floor. “I did love her, you know. I would have killed
myself for her ... once.” It was his turn to look Eliza up and down, and she
was annoyed at how uncomfortable it made her feel. “The trouble with
your mother was that she liked to see proof of that sort of thing.”
    There was a silence then, father and daughter standing in the quiet




                                                                          108
                                                                         109




empty hallway, the morning sun lighting up the dust as it floated between
them. They looked at each other properly for almost the first time.
    Sir Robert broke the silence. “So will you do it? This is urgent, Eliza,
the sword of Damocles is hanging over our heads – and we’ve only a
fortnight before it drops.”
    “Half the money up front?”
    “Let’s say 50fifty guineas in advance – shall we?”
    “Leave a hundred guineas them on the bottom stair before you see
yourself out.”
    Eliza turned and began her climb up the great staircase. She had no         Formatted: Indent: Left: 0"


intention of helping her father – but a hundred guineas would be rather
useful.
    You could go a long way on a hundred guineas.”
    [is it at this stage that Walpole needs to physically come into the story
– is he waiting for Eliza in the house – maybe he wants her to find Jericho
personally, or he wants her to break into the Map Room… don’t know, but
it needs to be early on in the book that he is present]
    [maybe she thinks Avery doesn’t need to know the facts about her            Formatted: Indent: Left: 0"


mother although he has probably heard the rumours…. Maybe she thinks
back to the subject, brooding, shakes it off, too much else to be doing… too
busy thinking about young master Quick] [More of Eliza’s internal
dialogue here – does she love her fiancé? Should she tell him more of the
truth of her background, her fears? Is she attracted to Avery as he is very
much ‘the Department’ and thus angers her father? IS it about the position
in society, the security, the money….?]
                                      ~




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   And the second Angel sounded, and the rivers became
as blood. . And the thirde part of the creatures which had
life, were destroyed.

                                        Book of Revelation 8: 8




                                                           113
                                                                         114




    The Thames, at Wapping, was dredged for the Gibbet on the very
morning of the execution. . The cage was found almost immediately, its
doors swinging open – the heavy lock undone. . The highwayman’s body
was never found. [not to be found??]
    The rumour-mill began to grind fabulous tales. . The legend of the
Demon of Shefford took on a new twist. . He became known by a new
name, the Vampyre-Demon, a Cheater of Death, who fought with Azrael
the archangel, and won. . Soon he would appear by night at the window
panes of young maidens, ready to extract the blood-price of his
immortality.
    The authorities took a different view. . Scorch marks were found
around the large bolt that connected cage to chain - proof, they said, that a
freak bolt of thunder had struck the Gibbet.
    The Lord had presumably heard enough of JerichoBenjamin Quick’s
irreligious boasts, and had vaporised the rascal with a bolt of lightning. .
That was the official explanation - of The Royal Commission set up to
investigate the affair. . They found that no one individual was to blame
for the unfortunate event, and that justice, God’s Justice, had indeed been
done.


[…but of course, Jericho was the only one holding the real truth of it…]~




                                                                         114
                                                                         115




              LADY SALISBURY AT HOME, GROSVENOR SQUARE                          Comment [LH23]: [Diplomatic Negotiations
                                                                                {1000 words]: scene with Madame de Pompadour
                                                                                and Lady Salisbury (dowager) meeting for the first
                                                                                time to have high tea. In a grand drawing room in
                                                                                the new Rococo stylie. Start of Diplomatic
    [perhaps emphasise the importance of Mdme de P’s visit – nothing less       Negotiations between France and England. “Ah
                                                                                but we women can be so much more practical and
would have pulled her away from the excavations – had to leave Whistone         cool headed.” France demanding reparation for
                                                                                lost Empire (ref Treaty of Oludenitz 1716 : list of
          to it… set the fact that, for the moment, he’s still there]           demands : Gibraltar, Pondicherry, St Lucia,
                                                                                Dominica etc etc. prelude to War of Jenkin’s Ear
                                                                                1739 – and action of Book 3. “Why don’t you just
    In all her years as advisor to the King, Lady Margaret, Duchess of          take it all?” Pompadour ...“what an excellent
                                                                                idea…” Emphasize Tea Ritual – Salisbury laughing
Salisbury had never once negotiated with another woman. . All her               at the “new etiquette”. Description of Pompadour
                                                                                – a terrifying beauty. Introduce Grimaldi the
feminine wiles - brutally effective against the vain, pompous men she           Dwarf. So let us see if we can settle this amicably
                                                                                ... Hint that Walpole would be willing to sell his
usually dealt with - would be utterly useless against a woman. . And the        grandmother let alone his country for filthy lucre]
                                                                                [Insert description and report from – mobility of
                                                                                soul – a serpentine soul that has ensured the heart
Marquise de Pompadour was no ordinary woman.                                    of the King with such a tight grip that France can
                                                                                barely breathe without the approval of Madame de
    Lady Salisbury had read Pompadour’s description a dozen times. . Her        Pompadour.]
                                                                                [must go to Vespers]
spy at Versailles had written it over a year before. . Now, as she sat in her
                                                                                Formatted: Font: Not Italic
grand drawing room in Fitzroy Square, awaiting the Marquise, she
remembered the spy’s words.


                …    Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, Madame de
           Pompadour, ‘Reinette’ they call her at Court, has
           fulfilled all her early promise. . Above average
           height, with soft blonde hair and flawless skin. .
           Her teeth, arms, hands, feet, all are perfect. . As
           she is now, in all the freshness of youth, she is
           indeed a morsel fit for a King.
                But there is more to her than beauty. . She
           captures the nuance between the last degree of
           nobility and the first of notoriety. . Her eyes have




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           a particular charm that I would warn you about. .
           One moment a languorous blue, the next they
           possess the finesse of gray. . But anger her, or
           ignite her greed for power, and they flash brilliant
           black.   .   These indeterminate colours seem to
           render her ready for all kinds of seduction and to
           express in succession, all the impressions of a very
           mobile soul.


    A mobile soul – capable of shifting from hot to cold, from good to evil.
.   What a wonderful thing to possess, thought Lady Salisbury.               .
Wonderful and terrifying. . She played with the silk tassel on her fan. .
Despite her best efforts and despite all her years of experience, she couldn’t
suppress a tingle of nervous energy as she waited. .
    The Duchess was still much admired, but even her most ardent
admirer would struggle to say that she was ‘in all the freshness of youth’. .
She suspected that the Madame de Pompadour would prove all too
depressingly beautiful. .
    When Pompadour arrived, it was almost an anticlimax. .
    Today Reinette’s eyes were set to English country-garden green, and
her soul set mild and fair. . She was here to charm, at least at first. . Lady
Salisbury stood to greet as Pompadour came bounding forward. . Both
hands outstretched in friendship. .
    “My Dear Lady Margaret, how ravishing you are in the flesh.” .” Her
English was impeccable, but with a strong accent, “I just know we are
going to become firm friends. . And we are going to make history you and




                                                                          116
                                                                         117




I. . It’s going to be so much fun.” .”
    She smiled perfect teeth, and Lady Salisbury was certain that she saw a
streak of black flash across those beautiful eyes. . “Lady Margaret, history
is ours to play with, shall we start a war? redraw the globe? … we can do
anything we like.”
    Before Lady Salisbury could respond, Pompadour was turning her             Comment [LH24]: at some point in this chapter
                                                                               Pompadour casts her eye over the interior - allows
                                                                               for a brief snap shot of the room - decor/furniture etc
attention to the servant who had accompanied her into the room. . He
was barely the height of a seven year-old child, but he had an adult’s face
in size and age. .
    “Grimaldi, bring me Little Louis, I must introduce him.”
    The dwarf walked forward with an awkward loping step, and
presented Pompadour with a wicker basket. . She flicked open the lid,
and pulled out a bundle of fur and floppy ears. . The bundle yelped a
high-pitched bark. . It was a Beagle puppy.
    “Lady Salisbury, may I introduce you to Little Louis.” .” She waved
the dog’s upturned left ear. . “Don’t you think him tout à fait délicieux?”
    The dowager nodded, the Beagle pup, yet to grow into its big brown
eyes was indeed exceptionally sweet.       .   One ear seemed to be stuck
upwards, while the other flopped down; it gave him a quizzical air.
    “I named him after King Louis, because from the day I set eyes on him,
I knew they would both have to share my heart.”
     [where did she get this beagle that is so like the others?]
    “He is … delightful.”
    “You think so? He is actually English – from your kennels at Battersea”
.” Pompadour held up the dog to show him off better.
    “Yes, a real delight.”




                                                                         117
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    When Pompadour spoke next, her eyes seemed to ooze the colour of
warm honey, “Then you must have him, Lady Salisbury. . He is a gift,
[from France] – and from your most humble servant, the Marquise de
Pompadour.” .”
    [we need to look at this dog sub plot – why would she be getting a dog
from Battersea – where is it all leading to in book 3??]
    She bowed her head at that, and Lady Salisbury was left with no
option but to receive the dog onto her lap.
    Little Louis wriggled a little, barked, jumped, and was off and running
in seconds.     .   He scrabbled across a thick rug, dodged past the still
retreating dwarf, and was through the drawing-room door as if he were
running for his life. . The dwarf made an inappropriate oath and loped off
in pursuit. .
    Lady Salisbury raised an eyebrow. . “Thank you ... . He certainly has
spirit,” was all she could think to say.
    After that, the first interview went surprisingly [remarkably instead of
surprisingly as word used again in next sentence] smoothly, all things
considered.     .   Madame de Pompadour, with a surprisingly frank and
honest approach to international diplomacy, set out the demands
(“requests” she called them) of the French King:
    “Right, let me get it in order. . Firstly, we want Gibraltar – so we can
control entry into the Mediterranean.” .”
    “Secondly, Louis wishes to marry with Maria Theresa, of Austria. .
You will not interfere – and a wedding gift may be appropriate. . Might I
suggest Dominica or St Lucia?”
    Lady Salisbury saw a possible chink in Madame de Pompadour’s




                                                                        118
                                                                        119




armour, “I hear Maria Theresa is young, and very beautiful.”
    “No, she is plain, she has the regrettable Habsburg chin, but she has an
Empire, which is all that matters in a wife.” .” Pompadour didn’t break
stride, “Thirdly, your Indian possessions, and a promise to respect our
trading monopoly there for one hundred years.”
    “And fourthly, we would ask you to cease all excavations at your
Stonehenge. . My King will send Parisian scholars; they will require
unhindered access to the excavation site for two summers.”
    “Finally, and this is not negotiable, King Louis has heard stories of a
Death-Cheater, your London Gazette calls him a [‘]Vampyre Demon’[‘]. .
You will recapture and send him to Versailles for testing. . That is all. .
We ask nothing more. . You can keep your Godless German King, can
keep the American colonies, most of your ports in the West Indies,
everything. . You can even keep Ireland.”
       Pompadour leaned forward with a conspiratorial grin, her eyes
back to cheerful green.       .   “M’lady, England can remain utterly
independent, a proud and prosperous jewel off the north coast of Europe.
.” Her eyes darkened then and widened. “But we must decide quickly.
Whether the comet comes crashing down to earth or not, I fear the men at
Versailles,” she almost spat out the word men, “will be altogether happy to    Formatted: Font: Italic


take advantage of the pandemonium. Young Men, they are always so
eager to invade, n’est pas?”And have no fear - we will settle the young and
gallant Prince Charlie.”


    So there it was, the ultimatum. Lady Margaret had been expecting it,
had expected it to be delivered diplomatically, even elegantly, and indeed




                                                                        119
                                                                          120




it was. She mirrored Pompadour’s look of sisterly concern, Bonnie Prince
Charlie, Catholic pretender to the English throne, had sat at the French
Court in Versailles for most of his twenty-seven years – waiting for
support from King Louis for an invasion force. . Lady Salisbury wasn’t
quite sure whether young Charlie could expect to be ‘settled’ on a nice
estate in the South of France, or whether he would have his head split.
    Lady Salisburyand decided to be equally frank.
    , “Madame, it seems to me that diplomacy is a great deal easier than
our male colleagues might suggest.” .” She breathed a warm happy smile,
“His Majesty will give your requests the utmost respect, but I must warn
you, we too have young men eager for a fight – and the Navy have been
preparing for a scuffle for quite some time. Shall we have some tea?
While I pour, you can tell me what your King expects to find at
Stonehenge. . Milk?”


    Pompadour inclined her head to a nod sat quietly and watched Lady
Salisbury carry out the elaborate tea pouring ceremony.         .   Finally,
porcelain cup gently resting in her gloved hand, Lady Salisbury, asked
spoke again, “This highwayman, JerichoBenjamin Quick, the boy who
escaped the gallows, what do you hope to do with him?”
    Pompadour took a moment to sip her tea.          It was too weak and
practically cold, but she managed to stop herself from pulling a face.
“They say he looked Death in the eyes and stared him down. We’ve had
reports of such people in France – but whenever we’ve put them to the test
none of them pass muster.”
    Salisbury felt her mouth open, and immediately shut it with an




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inelegantfaint clattering of teeth. “You mean, you kill them?”
    “Yes, it’s a sort of competition. You’d be amazed how many people are
willing to enter. We just string them up and see what happens.”
    “Oh, I see.”
    “But this JerichoBenjamin Quick story is different – it’s the first
verified story we’ve had.”
    “So you want to string him up too ... and see if he survives[?].”
    “Something like that. T, this JerichoBenjamin Quick, he must have
tremendous life force, [French for life force – élan,] non? To survive the    Formatted: Font: Italic


gallows like that. I read the story in tThe Gazette twice over, they say he   Formatted: Font: Italic
                                                                              Formatted: Font: Not Italic
just ... evaporated.”
    “Well, I hadn’t given the boy much thought. I suppose we’ll just have
to find him.”
    There was a silence after that, while the ladies drank their tea, each
trying to out dooutdo the other in the delicacy of their tea drinking.
Finally, Lady Salisbury spoke again.
    “King Louis must think Sir William WhistoneWhiston's excavations
terribly important.”
    “M’lady, but of course, but you know exactly what he expects to find
there. . You have been digging for six monthsweeks, non?”
    “Oh, Sir William WhistoneWhiston begged me to fund his excavation.
. It’s because of an old folk tale. . William is very earnest, and utterly
brilliant at mathematicksmathematics – but like all men, he tends to get
carried away with himself.”
    Pompadour wrinkled her little nose, “So you think the legend stories
are a piece of nonsense?”




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                                                                            122




     Lady Salisbury took another sip from her tea. . “Men adore their little
mysteries and their great stories. . I suspect this one is like all the others.”
     At that moment, the drawing room door burst open and much to
Pompadour’s annoyance her servant,, the dwarf,, entered breathlessly,
holding the small Beagle under one arm. . He loped over to the Marquise
and presented the pup, “Vvotre chien, Marquise.”
     The dog was a little fur-ruffled but not obviously unhappy. . It
panted with either exhaustion or heat. . Madame de Pompadour declined
to take the dog, and with an invisible nod instructed the dwarf to hand the
pup to Lady Salisbury.
     “Where was I, oh yes, but I think you are teasing me Duchess, I think
that you know all about the legend already. . After all, it’s the story of
John - John the Apostle, author of the last of the Gospels. Tell me if we
have the story right. . Grimaldi? The legend of the hengeTell us the
Legend.?”
     She looked at the dwarf and he stiffened to attention. . When he
spoke, it was with a thick Gascony accent and all the tenor-bass of his
great barrelled chest. . He stroked his long beard once, then recited
quickly, [and in perfectprecise English,] as if from a script.
     ““Twenty years after the death of Christ, the Apostles John and Peter
argued at the Council of Jerusalem. Neither could agree who would take
control of the early Church. The legend has circulated for over a thousand
years. . Peter was victorious, he became the first Pope, founded the
Catholic Church and persuaded the Emperor in Rome to boil John in a vat
of oil.”
     Pompadour interrupted. “You should see the painting we have at




                                                                            122
                                                                                123




Versailles, your ladyship. It’s truly horrible. But John, according to the
legend was completely unharmed – he practically bathed in it. He was the
first Death Cheater you see?”
    Lady Salisbury nodded, as she would to encourage a small child. The
conversation was fast becoming surreal.
    “Carry on Grimaldi,” said Pompadour.
    “St Peter believed John’s power came from a gift he had received from
Christ. The artefact gave him power over death, and John was exiled to
the island of Patmos to force him to relinquish it. No one knows what
form this artefact takes, only that it is a relic of Christ’s time on Earth.”
    Pompadour interrupted, seemingly unable to contain her enthusiasm.
“They thought John would die on that barren, horrid, little island - but he
lived there quite contentedly, amongst his own disciples, living off roots,
and leaves and rats. In fact they thrived, and the legend says that John the
Apostle lived years beyond the other Apostles. There are reports that John
still lived in 148 AD, impossibly beyond any normal human lifespan - and
even after that there is no mention of his death, anywhere, he just vanishes
from the histories.” She paused then, and composing herself, turned back
to her servant.
    “Continue, Grimaldi.”
    “John feared for the safety of the artefact he held on Patmos. He
feared that others would force it from him, and A sacred Christian relic
was when they were threatened with discovery by the soldiers of Nero's
Rome, , sixteen hundred years agothey upped and left. . They deserted
the island upon which they had lived for almost a hundred years.” None
know what form the relic takes, only that it possesses great significance.”




                                                                                123
                                                                          124




.”   The dwarf paused, to stroke his beard a second time, and then
continued at the same breathless speed.
     “The early Christian Church in desperation formed a holy order,
whose sole purpose was to protect the relic. . “In the year 14858 AD, the
known world didn't reach very far. T – hey reached the edge of it, and
came to only as far as the Islandand of the BritonsBretons, off the north-
eastern coast of Europe.” .”
     As Grimaldi spoke, Pompadour's eyes didn't once flicker from holding
Lady Salisbury's gaze. . They looked at each other in silence, neither
woman willing to break eye contact.
     “And so the John’s Holy Order came to Britannia. . They carried a
giant wooden box and buried it deep within the earth, beneath an ancient
temple. . But not before they discovered told of some of its secrets. . The
relic was a gift from God, His gift to the Servants of God, and their
protection come the EndeEnd. . Reference is made to it in the Book of
Revelations, where it is called the Tabernacle of Christ, the homeuse of
Christ: and any who know it shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, for
He shall rise again and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor
crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for safe in the body of Christ
all such things are passed away.”
     Somewhat to Lady Margaret’s relief, Grimaldi took a step back when
he finished his recital. . He stroked his beard twice, as if in some ritual;
there was something a little odd and robotic about the dwarflittle man.
     Pompadour had a glint in her eye and Lady Salisbury realised that she
was expected to speak. She put down her cup.
     and spoke, “Madame, but this is just a children's story. . In Salisbury




                                                                          124
                                                                           125




the mothers tell the stories about what is hidden beneath the Hengey to
entertain their children at bedtime. . I never realised King Louis was so
fond of bedtime stories.”
    Pompadour laughed. . An abrupt, unpleasant sort of laugh. . .
    “Yet you seem to believe in bedtime stories too m’lady; you employ a
hundred workmen at the Stonehenge. . A hundred workmen to dig a big
hole.   .   It seems a lot of men for a hole.,” Pompadour showed her
[pearlescent] teeth with a brilliant smile., “uUnless you expect to find
something valuable at the bottom.”
    “Madame, on my estates I employ thousands of workmen, all they
seem to do is dig - holes, wells, fields for barley, fields for wheat – dig dig
dig. . Peasants were put on this Earth to dig it. . After all, if they stopped
digging, they might start thinking . . . . . . and then we’d be in trouble. .
For all Sir William WhistoneWhiston's conviction, I don’t have any great
faith that he’ll find anything. H; he is a sweet thing though, all down-at-
the-mouth and floppy hair.” .” Lady Margaret stroked under the dog’s
chin. . “This dig at Stonehenge, it's just a little thing, but if King Louis
wishes it to stop, then King George's government will consider it, along
with all your other requests.       .    I just hope King Louis won't be
disappointed.”
    “Don’t worry about Louis, it’s my job to make certain he is
never[italicise never?] disappointed.”
    Once the official business was done with, Lady Salisbury and Madame
de Pompadour spent an amiable afternoon together. . They charmed each
other mercilessly – as perhaps only these two great women could. . When
finally the Marquise was compelled to leave, to attend vespers, the two had




                                                                           125
                                                                         126




achieved an understanding. . France's demands were not moderate, but
they could have been greater – and they were only a starting point, the
negotiations had almost weeks a fortnight to run. . Lady Salisbury was
suddenly looking forward to it -– after all, she had learned something of
the bright young thing who had been sent to negotiate the future of
England - and she had learned something of the King who had sent her. .
King Louis, the most powerful monarch in all of Christendom, handsomest
man in all of France, had a weakness - and so did his triumphant
courtesan, the Madame de Pompadour. T, they were afraid of dyingdeath.
. Maybe they really did think the world might be about to end. . But
certainly they were afraid. . Now she knew their weakness, she could
begin to control events.
    Lady Salisbury looked at her own image, reflected back from the
polish of the silver tea-tray, and quoted the dwarf’s words from the Book
of Revelation:.
    “There shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither           Formatted: Font: Not Italic


shall there be any more pain, for safe in the body of Christ all such things
are passed away”
    The Beagle pup looked up at her inquisitively. .
    “So Little Louis, how would you like to live forever?” she asked the
pup. .
    The dog tilted its head onto one side, as if confused by the question. It
barked once in reply.“Well, for a start let’s write to Sir William
WhistoneWhiston.” Lady Salisbury continued to speak out loud. “It’s
about time he came back to London and explained himself. Then we’d
better take another look at this JerichoBenjamin Quick. I have a feeling he




                                                                         126
                                        127




could be rather useful.”
    The dog barked once in reply.


                                    ~




                                        127
                                                                            128




                       MEETING OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY
                            GRESHAM’S COLLEGE


    June 10th 1736, At a Meeting of the Society,
    Apologies were presented for the Absence of SIR WILLIAM
WHISTONEWHISTON, PRESIDENT OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY.
    Messrs NICHOLAS FERMI, and JAMES LOCKE were Elected and Admitted.
    The rest of THOMAS HOOKE’S experiments about light were read, to the
great satisfaction of the society; who ordered that all should be registered,
and that MR HOOKE should take care of having the like experiments tried
before the society, as soon as he could procure the necessary cats’ eyes.
    DR DENNEY presented a white blackbirdresurrected frog.
    DR CARADIGAN showed the skull of an executed child from Ireland
with moss grown upon it in the shape of a face.
    MR HOOKE gave an account of his findings on the human eye and
demonstrated its ability to turn images upside down.         .   SIR FRANCIS
DASHWOOD expressed an opinion that the eye must come from a Catholic
priest. . DR CARADIGAN contended that since the Fall of Man in the
Garden of Eden perhaps all men see the world upside down.                         Comment [LH25]: [start the “evolution story arc
                                                                                  here??” - some question about ...]

    MR SOLOMON gave an account of two earthworms that had been cut in
half and thence sewn together, head to head. . SIR JO OGLANDER was put
in mind of a two headed snake that had attacked him in the Levant.
    MR METCALFE presented a proof as to the existence of GOD with a fifty
percent probability.
    DR ROMNEY brought in a dead Cuttlefish. .
    SIR ROBERT BOYLE demonstrated the Powers of Mesmer with a chicken




                                                                            128
                                                                         129




and a piece of chalk.
    MR CAVENDISH presented his new mercury thermometer.
    DR CONROY reported that swallows live under frozen water in the
Baltic.
    DR DENNEY gave an account of a great ball of hair found in the
stomach of a girl who had died of the ague.
    MR HOOKE presented an experiment in which a silent bell was rung
within a glass jar from which the noise had been sucked by a pump.
    THE UNDERWATER DOG, that had previously been presented to the
Society in a glass tank of aerated water, yet still lived, had, on enquiry of
DR OLGER, died. .
    The Society gave order for THE UNDERWATER DOG experiment to be re-
executed by MR HOOKE.
    The Leyden Jar Battery developed by MR HOOKE, had been used to kill
and then cook a horse. . THE DUKE OF CHENEY enquired as to whether the
device could be used to kill a man. . The Society gave order for plea to be
sent to THE KING requesting the use of the Leyden Jar to replace the
gallows at the next Assize.
    MR PIKESTAFFE presented an explanation for the raining of frogs
bloody hailstones in ShropshireYorkshire, October last.
    Speculation was entered into by SIR FRANCIS DASHWOOD as to the
escape by Devilry of the VAMPYRE-DEMON        OF SHEFFORD.   . THE DUKE OF
CHENEY confirmed that he had witnessed the execution and had seen
AZRAEL, the twelve-winged Angel of Death. . The Duke confirmed that
the Angel had been cheated of his harvest when the Highwayman
transformed himself into a great bat. . DR DENNEY speculated that the




                                                                         129
                                                                       130




defeat of AZRAEL would create disastrous over-population. . THOMAS
HOOKE confirmed that he had witnessed a mortality at lunchtime, which
suggested AZRAEL was maintained in work.
    The rings of Saturn had been counted by SIR ROBERT BOYLE, at twelve,
using the Great Telescope newly built at Greenwich to the design of SIR
ISAAC NEWTON.
    After an interval, the Society reformed to discuss the main business of
the day. . CAPTAIN AVERY, a guest of the society, speculated that the
Shipton Prophecy was a French Plotte for the invasion of England. . SIR
FRANCIS DASHWOOD intimated that the existence of the Shipton Comet was
a sign from GOD, not a FRENCH KING.
    CAPTAIN AVERY proposed that the Comet posed little threat when
compared to the panic of the Mob. . CAPTAIN AVERY stated that SIR
WILLIAM WHISTONEWHISTON’S Essay in tThe London Gazette had already            Formatted: Font: Italic


achieved more damage than a dozen French regiments.
    DR    JACOB     OLGER     expressed    severe     doubt    over    the
mathematicksmathematics of WHISTONEWHISTON’S projections for the
trajectory of the Comet.
    SIR FRANCIS DASHWOOD defended Sir WHISTONEWHISTON as a
purveyor of Truth. . He confirmed that the Comet had been predicted by
JOHN THE APOSTLE, in the Book of Revelation.
    LADY ELIZABETH WALPOLE was granted leave to speak. .
    SIR ROBERT BOYLE confirmed that, in his capacity as Astronomer
Royal, he had written to SIR WILLIAM WHISTONEWHISTON requesting his
calculations for the future trajectory of the Comet. . SIR ROBERT BOYLE
confirmed that he expected to be in possession of the calculus within days.




                                                                       130
                                                                       131




. Until that day, SIR ROBERT BOYLE could neither confirm, nor deny with       Comment [LH26]: [what follows is
                                                                              cinematographically unique, ingenious, relevant to
certainty the impending danger to the nation.                                 the assassination plot, Finbar Quick/vampyre
                                                                              daemon relevant – oh, and scintilatingly dramatic.
    The Society gave order to the absent SIR WILLIAM WHISTONEWHISTON          Here's how it's done:
                                                                                Describe Gresham's College – home to the Royal
that he copy his calculus of the Comet, and provide it to all members of      Society. The debating chamber is masterpiece of
                                                                              Sir Christopher Wren – it sits on a bend in the
                                                                              River Thames and the south-facing side is a giant
the Society for immediate study.                                              ironwork and glass window looking out onto the
                                                                              black river. [Gresham's College had been built by
    THE LADY ELIZABETH WALPOLE was granted leave to speak.                    Sir Christopher Wren. St Paul's Cathedral was his
                                                                              biggest project, but Gresham's College was his
    Sir ROBERT BOYLE confirmed that in past correspondence, SIR WILLIAM       masterpiece. It stood taller than St Paul's, at over
                                                                              [30] yards high, Sir Christopher himself called it a
WHISTONEWHISTON had espoused an unforgiveable blasphemy, a belief             Cathedral to Human Knowledge and vowed that
                                                                              the home to the Royal Society would eclipse
                                                                              anything the worshippers of God could offer. The
that the Comet flew upon an orbit of the Heavens that returned to Earth       debating chamber Eliza sat in now, was the most
                                                                              spectacular aspect of all. The High vaulted ceiling
every four hundred and thirty fourth year.                                    was inspiring, dwarfing the debaters – but it was
                                                                              the far wall the staggered the mind with it
    SIR FRANCIS DASHWOOD asked for clarification.                             engineering genius. The College sat on the very
                                                                              edge of the the River Thames, and the far wall
    Sir ROBERT BOYLE stated that SIR WILLIAM WHISTONEWHISTON                  contained only glass. A great ironwork window
                                                                              facing onto the black river. Eliza could make out
                                                                              the odd light from the lantern of a riverboat, but
believed the Comet to have completed four orbits in the period since the      the far bank was a grass wasteland. She turned her
                                                                              back, looked out of the ]
year of the birth of Christ.                                                    All is kicking off in the chamber, the Bishop is
                                                                              firing into the plaster ceiling etc, when suddenly
    SIR FRANCIS DASHWOOD asked for further clarification.                     they spot a trail of fire snaking across the surface
                                                                              of The Thames, a Wall of Fire. Avery realizes that
    Sir ROBERT BOYLE stated that SIR WILLIAM had believed the Comet to        something is very wrong and manages to pull Eliza
                                                                              back. The fire strikes the north bank of the river
                                                                              and hits a stash gunpowder kegs hidden there and
be the same Star which had led The Magi to Bethlehem, the birthplace of       all Hell breaks loose. Glass shards fill the air.
                                                                                They flee the College, the massive Sir Robert
JESUS CHRIST. He proposed that such a blasphemy should not be permitted       Boyle helping them through the scrum. Dr Olger ,
                                                                              of the underwater dog experiment, joins them
without sanction. He proposed that SIR WILLIAM relinquish his position,       panicked beyond his wits. Avery doesn't hesitate
                                                                              to whip the coach horses away to safety.
and that a new President of the Society be elected.                             To Seven Dials. The discussion in the coach
                                                                              throws some light onto the mystery of the
                                                                              HellFyre Clubbe.
    Open and concurrent debate was entered into by the Society.                 When they arrive at the home of Dr Olger, the
                                                                              black lacquer front door is swinging loose and
                                                                              open. Olger is terrified but on investigation, the
                                                                              house is empty. Olger disappears midway through
    Eliza was appalled by the behaviour of the Royal Philosophers. . They     – they find him, in his basement laboratory, inside
                                                                              his water tank, the air bubbling upwards, steam
behaved no better than children. . Avery led her away from the squabble,      pump pushing air relentlessly through the H20.
                                                                              The mircale of his experiment is that despite being  ...
to sit and watch from some relative peace at the far end of the hall. . The   Formatted: Font: Not Italic
                                                                              Comment [LH27]: Sir Francis Dashwood, the
room itself was a great stone cavern, designed by Sir Christopher Wren as     founder of the HellFyre Clubbe - exposing his
                                                                              buttocks? to aid his argument.? Some mention of Sir
                                                                              Francis Dashwood - here or earlier.




                                                                       131
                                                                           132




a chamber to embody the greatness of the Royal Society. . The grandeur
of Gresham College made the bickering seem all the more pathetic. .
    The end to which Eliza and Avery had retreated was filled by a giant
window – itself a wonder of engineering. . The massive ironwork frame
sat on the very edge of the embankment, looking directly out onto the
Thames. . With the sun set, as it was now, the river was black, peppered
with little dots of light from the lanterns of river boats. . On the opposite
bank was Sir Christopher Wren's other great work, the Cathedral of St
Paul, but it was sparsely lit and Eliza could barely make out the shape of its
great dome. . When Wren built his two monuments, one a tribute to God,
the other to man, he made it very clear that he regarded Gresham College
to be his masterpiece - his testimony to the wisdom of the Royal Society.
    The chamber dwarfed the arguing scientists; Eliza looked on at their
display wearily.    .   The massive Sir Robert Boyle, Eliza’s godfather,
[perhaps mention who he is here again] stood a full head above the rest,
trying to instil order, but to little effect. . Eliza turned away, looking back
to the boat lanterns drifting down the river.                                     Comment [LH28]: mention dashwood here? as
                                                                                  well / instead

    “Eliza, I think we need a change of plan. . This lot will never agree to
anything – leave alone a new President.” .” said Avery.
    “We could always just leave London you know, v. Go isit Europe.               Formatted: English (United Kingdom)


Paris or Vienna … Romeand stay with your parents.” .”             [would she      Formatted: English (United Kingdom)


suggest this? Is this something she would really want – maybe a suggestion
that ‘he’ leave London?]She smiled at him but it was with little hope. .
Avery cleared his throat, ready to mutter something about duty, but Eliza
wasn't listening, she knew his answer already.          .   She made herself
comfortable on a seat in the curve of the great bay window, and let her




                                                                           132
                                                                           133




mind become absorbed by take in the view.
    “BenThomas, have you ever been here on the solstice?”
    Avery shrugged.
    “The College, this chamber, it faces north. . Faces north precise to the
minute ... . to the second. . Only on the solstice, at midday, with the sun
directly overhead, can sunlight hit this window.” .” She looked up at
Avery to make sure he was listening, “These window panes aren't a normal
shape,” she stroked the nearest, as if to prove the point, “Each one is a
prism; Wren angled every single one.” .” [for some people this would be a         Comment [l29]: Insert Eliza description
                                                                                  fragment

romantic scene but she doesn’t seem to engage with it in that way. It
underlines her practical scientific leaning rather than romantic. Perhaps
Avery would like to see a little more romantic inclination from her and we
should bring this through into the story?]
    Eliza was interrupted momentarily by a great shout from the other
end of the hall. . If anything, tempers were deteriorating. . She turned
her back on them in annoyance.
    “I've never seen it myself, but on Midsummer’s Day the sight is
supposed to be astonishing. . Every one of these panes bends the sunlight
into a rainbow. . Imagine, every square inch of this chamber filled with a
different colour. . That's why they call it the Rainbow Room.”
    “So Wren captured a rainbow, eh? Does that mean there's a crock of
gold buried here?”
    Eliza ignored the little joke. . “I'd like to see it, one day.” .” she said
simply.
    “It sounds beautiful.” Avery looked at her with what he hoped would
be unmistakable romantic fervour.




                                                                           133
                                                                         134




    “It’s much more than that - it’s engineering perfection.             It’s
mathematical precision. It’s—”
    “Eliza?” Avery never interrupted her, but the sight of her cheeks
reddening with passion did something to bolster his resolve. He would ask
for her [hand]. He had been meaning to do it for monthsweeks, but there
was something about the manner of Lady Elizabeth Walpole that made
even the bravest a little timid.
    “Eliza, I’ve been meaning to ask you for some time ...” He bent a knee,
oblivious to the fact that she was looking the other way, out onto the river.
“Lady Elizabeth Walpole, over these plast yearsmonths, my admiration for
you has grown greater than the strength of my heart to hold it.” He’d
practiced the words five dozen times, and he had them word perfect, but
he couldn’t bring himself to look up from her delicate, silken shoe.
“Elizabeth ... Eliza, we would share such a life you and I ... if you would
accept me I would dance across oceans, jump mountains, I would capture
the moon and—”
     But something on the far riverbank had captured Avery's attention.
    “What are they up to doingover there?” Eliza interrupted and Avery
looked up, bemused. She was staring, captivated by something on the far
riverbank.


    He Avery, still on one knee, peered through the glass. . The view
view was hard to make out – the prism-shaped windows distorted his
viewvision. . Somewhere to the left of St Paul's, almost at Blackfriars
Passage, a bonfire was beginning to burn. . Avery and Eliza watched ,
fascinated as the flame began to grow, and then, after only a few moments,




                                                                         134
                                                                         135




to spread.
    It seemed to step lightly off the embankment, and straight onto the
river itself. . The vision was so strange, so odd, that Eliza just sat there,
transfixed. . She watched as the fire worked its way across the water, a
burning wall of flame sitting on the river's surface as though a stack of
kindling was somehow floating high and dry. . The black river lit up as
the fire began its journey, and steadily the wall of flame curved towards
them. .
    Afterward, Eliza and Avery realized how stupid and slow they must
have been to just sit and watch the fire burn towards them. . It was Avery
who acted first. . He grabbed her arm and in a coarse shout needed only
one word, “Run!”
    Avery dragged Eliza to her feet, and together they sprinted. . BenHe
had the presence to pull out a pistol and fire it into the plaster ceiling. .
The gunshot drew silence in an instant. . The red faces of three dozen
scientists turned towards them. . “Fire!” he pointed backwards and the
scientists’ faces turned from puzzlement to horror as they saw the window
filling with unnatural light. . Avery didn't stop moving. . When the
explosion came, he and Eliza were diving through the chamber’s double
doors. .
    The window imploded, sending glass shards like grapeshot into the
room. . Avery held Eliza in the safety of the hallway. . When the noise
had settled, he stepped tentatively back into the debating chamber. .
There was devastation. . To a man they were on their knees, cowering
from the force of the explosion. . The great window was empty of glass –
and gusts of night air filled the room. . There was little dust, which Avery




                                                                         135
                                                                         136




noted as odd, and slowly, as the ringing in their ears began to lessen, one
by one, the Members of the Royal Society returned to their feet.
    Avery looked at Boyle. . The big man had a thick gash across his
cheekbone – like the cut of a German, Schläger fencer. . He had the
bemused look of a prize-fighter at the end of a fight, staring down to the
floor, only half comprehending. . There was the fat body of Dr Nathaniel
Caradigan, limbs splayed awkwardly, a great shard of glass buried deep
into his plexus - driven by the force of the blast through to his backbone. .
It didn’t take a ScientifickScientific Philosopher to determine see that the
old physician was dead. . The Doctor had a fixed look of puzzlement on
his bloated face,
    Avery gripped Sir Robert Boyle by his shoulder. . “Robert, we must be
quick. . It came from Blackfriars Bridge, if we’re swift we can still catch
them.”


    With the help of Boyle, they left the College at a run. . The rest of       Comment [LH30]: [insert : Avery's explanation
                                                                                to Boyle – one sentence more description of the
                                                                                scene. Away to Blackfriars Passage]
the Royal Society wasn’t far behind them. . Dr Olger, the thin-faced
scientist now famous in the Society for his Underwater Dog, was at the
head of the crowd. . He didn't wait for an invitation; he saw Sir Robert
Boyle ushering Eliza into the waiting carriage and despite the big man’s
best efforts, pushed in after her. . Avery was frantic with impatience,
“Quickly, Doctor, quickly.” .” In the dim moonlight, Dr Olger's face was
white, Avery practically pushed him onto his seat.
    By the time their carriage had cleared its way out onto Southwark
Street and over Blackfriars, they had lost valuable minutes.       .   Avery
jumped from the carriage and scrambled down the bank at the side of the




                                                                         136
                                                                           137




bridge, but his hopes of catching anyone were in vain. . Whoever they            Comment [LH31]: almost knocking a drunken
                                                                                 yob to the ground

were, whoever had tried to assassinate the entire Royal Society, they were
long gone.
    The river still burned, giving off as much heat as light, and a black
acrid smoke. . Avery felt it scour the back of his throat. . The smoke
didn't seem to put off the crowds though. . They were beginning to
gather, lining both banks of the Thames, laughing and talking, excited by
the burning river. . A Biblical event in the very heart of modern London.
    “It's some kind o’ coal-tar,” said Boyle’s rich, Black Country voice,
from behind him. .
    Sir Robert held forward his hand; his fingers were coated in a thick
black grime. . Eliza and Dr Olger stood next to him, looking out onto the
glowing river, mesmerized by the fyrefire.
    “They must have discovered some method for making it float,” said
Avery.
    But Eliza was full of questions, and talked over him.              .   “It   Comment [LH32]: [fire in form of a symbol???
                                                                                 linking in to Olger message??] more dramatic –
                                                                                 crowd of ne’er do wells. A thrown xx]
don't[doesn’t – not sure about these don’ts – it may confuse and suggest to
the reader that she is not better educated, even though it may have been a
part of common parlance in the 1700s] make sense. . Why go to all that
trouble? Why not just light the powder on the other side of the river?”
    “You’d ‘ave to row like a bugger [demon? Instead of bugger?] to cross
river against the current,” said Boyle, dabbing at the cut on his cheek.
    Dr Olger gave a more thoughtful answer, “Eliza, whoever did this was
more interested in sending a message than they were in any killing.” .”
He squinted against the light from the burning river. . “Have you noticed
the fire, it’s in the shape of a crescent”.




                                                                           137
                                                                       138




    Eliza looked with new interest, but failed to make out any shape. .
She turned back to Boyle. . “This must have taken dozens of men to
organise. . And the risk they ran; and anyway, how did they get the
powder into position? Surely someone at the college would have seen a
work gang mining the college with great kegs of powder.”
    Avery gave a dubious sideways look, first to Dr Olger, then to Sir
Robert Boyle, “Eliza, I'm not sure that's correct. . It would have been
relatively straightforward for a boat to unload a few kegs of gunpowder on
the embankment below the college. . And assuming this tar oil floats, it
would have been just as simple to pour a thick trail of the stuff out the
back of the boat as they rowed back here, to the north bank.”
    “Wouldn’ae work,” said Boyle, bluntly. . “The current would ha'
dispersed the tar in moments. . By my guess they used lengths of rope –
covered in tar. . . God knows how they got it to float.”
    Avery conceded the point with a shrug, and went to make a quick
inspection of the site, but it was next to useless in the dark. . When some
local drunks started throwing stones, he decided he’d seen enough.
    “My men will get some answers in the morning,” said Avery casting a
wary look at the gathering [as he glanced into one of the drunkardsmob .
He– I like the idea that we refer to this collision in passing and later we
find out that it was Jericho – maybe he says something briefly to him
thinking him just another drunken vagabond], and led them back up the
steep embankment,. and
    [perhaps a brief line of speculation that it surely couldn’t be down to
Mr Quick – too big a job for the young death cheater – all said when he is
actually standing nearby looking like another local drunk….]Ttogether the




                                                                       138
                                                                             139




four rejoined re-found the carriage on the bridge.. A crowd was already
gathering round it, drawn out by the supernatural flames on the river,
emboldened by the night and the fantastical events.             The coachman
seemed relieved to see them return, he was struggling to keep the horses
calm.
    Avery lost his temper with one of the drunks and pushed him to the
ground in his determination to clear a path to the carriage. Eventually
tThey clambered aboard and had a moment to From its look down from
the height of the carriage onto height they looked down on the river. ,
and sure enough tThe trace of the fire was in the shape of a great snaking
arc. It did indeed form a large crescent on the surface of the water. . .
    Sir Robert abruptly ordered his driver to make for Dr Olger’s
apartments on Monmouth Street, and they set off toward the Strand. .
    “I’ll have the site secured overnight,” said Avery, pulling a small disc
rectangle of writing paper and a piece of graphite from his coat pocket. .
He began to write and his companions watched in silence. . Eventually
Dr Olger spoke.
    “As your good Captain knows, Lady Walpole, there are dark forces at
work in this country, powers of which we have very little understanding.”
    “What do you mean Doctor?” She looked at Dr Olger, and he shook
his head wearily.
    “I am talking of the Clubbe -. . . . . . the HellFyre Clubbe”
    “But that's just a drinking clubbe[or ‘club’?], Jacob,” interrupted Boyle,
“Sir Francis Dashwood’s HellFyre Clubbe ... . , it’s just a bit of fun, ... . for
the dafter more idiotic members of the aristocracy ... . just games.”               Comment [LH33]: More description somewhere
                                                                                    of the clubbe as just a harmless society

    The carriage groaned as it made the sharp turn up St Martin's Lane at           Comment [LH34]: More description here? or
                                                                                    ealier - maybe a scene with Sir Francis Dashwood




                                                                             139
                                                                         140




the Charing Cross. . Avery looked up from his writing, “Gentlemen, at
the Department we found no evidence that this Clubbe is anything more
than an excuse for some drinking and womanising. . None at all.”
       Dr Olger smiled and showed his pristine wooden teeth. . “Then you
had better look harder. . The Clubbe is recruiting, here in London, I was
invited to join myself. . If you think they are only interested in a bit of
fun, you’re very much mistaken.” .” He paused to make certain they were
paying him careful attention, “The HellFyre Clubbe is much like our Royal
Society, but instead of seeking an understanding of Nature, the Clubbe
looks to the arcane, the supernatural, and it’s really only interested in one
thing[,.],” Olger shifted pompously in his seat, “[Cc]cheating Death.”
       Avery handed Eliza his written note, and she, without discussion,
rolled it into a small spill. .
       “Go on, Doctor.”
       “I also used to think they were a just a bunch of wealthy drunkards,
but recently I’ve had very good reason to change my mind,” continued
Olger, “When they invited me to join them they were most explicit, most
explicit indeed. They offered me the joys of life everlasting. No death, no
pain ...”.
       Avery reached into the ruff of his sleeve and took out a small leather
bag.
       “What’s that?” asked Boyle.
       In answer, Avery loosened the drawstring and pulled out a white-
collared dove. . It blinked in the darkness – utterly terrified. . Avery
held it up with a serious smile. . “For communicating with headquarters.”
.” Without needing to be asked, Eliza fixed the small roll of parchment




                                                                         140
                                                                           141




onto the bird's ankle. . The carriage rattled on and Avery flung the dove
through the open window. .
    “Sorry, Doctor, you were saying?”
    Sir Robert Boyle breathed in his vast belly and sat taller in the gloom
of the carriage, “Yes, go on Jacob, and tell ‘em about your letter.”
    Jacob Olger pulled a sheet of folded paper from his top pocket and
held it gingerly between his thin fingers. .           “Yesterday, I received a
message.” .” He passed the paper to Captain Avery.
    Avery held it up to the weak light of the coach lantern. .
    “I wouldn’t bother in this light,” said Boyle. .
    Dr Olger leaned forward. . “The ink’s dull brown. . It’s the colour of
dried blood; tho' I ain’t tested it.” .”
    Sir Robert paused, the cut to his cheek was still distracting him, but he
let off from pressing his handkerchief in order to say, “Jacob showed me
the letter earlier tonight. . It don’t say much, just a quote from the Book
of Revelations of John the Apostle. . “Dubium et misit eum in unda nex”
    “What does that mean?” asked Avery.
    Jacob spoke slowly, “The script is from chapter 20. . It translates
roughly as:, the unbeliever is cast into the waters of death.”
    “I suppose it couldn’t be much clearer,” said Eliza.
    “Somebody wants me to halt my tongue,” answered Jacob, taking the             Comment [LH35]: Jacob Letter earlier insert?


parchment back from Sir Robert. . “Wants me to flee London, but I defy
them, I refuse to be scared off.” .” The doctor stuck his chin forward in
what was meant to be defiance, but to Eliza it just served to emphasise the
[‘withering’, ‘wilting’]wilting frailty of the old man.
    “Who wrote it?” asked Avery.




                                                                           141
                                                                            142




    Jacob gathered his thoughts before answering, “You saw the single
crescent burned onto the River Thames earlier tonight.          .   The left-
pointing crescent moon - the waning moon - is the symbol of the aging
Moon goddess, the crone. . It has been used down the ages to symbolise
victory over death. . For the dying moon is always reborn.”
    The carriage lurched over a mud-filled puddle and Dr Olger seemed to
leap up from his seat in fear. . Eventually he regained some calm, but
Eliza couldn’t help but notice the patina of sweat that covered his face.
    “The Circle of HellFyre combine it with a second crescent – a waxing
moon – the double symbol has had great significance since the earliest of
times. . It is the sign of the BeastPagan, a sign of defiance against God’s
judgement, defiance at the EndeEnd of Days.” .”
    Jacob offered up the folded letter and showed the red wax that had
been used to seal it. . The double crescent was clear even in the dim
coach.
                                                                                  Comment [LH36]: [or: ]??




    “Sir Robert, I suspect, has understood already.” .” Jacob Olger placed        Comment [LH37]: Use this symbol later on – Sir
                                                                                  Robert Boyle denouement

his bony hand onto Eliza's arm to emphasize his point, “I’ve been familiar        Comment [l38]: Olger more panicked! Udring
                                                                                  coach journey – description here and elsewhere to
                                                                                  emphasize
with this symbol for some time, long before tonight. . They use it at the
HellFyre Clubbe.”
    “This is nonsense, Jacob,.” said Sir Robert. “Your so-called crescent of
fire, on the river, was just caused by the river current – dragging the
burning rope downstream. . You’re imagining things. . And Dashwood’s
drinking clubbe wouldn’t know about ancient symbolism and the double




                                                                            142
                                                                          143




crescents – they’re just childrendrunkards.”.”
       [is this Sir Robert speaking?]
       “That’s just not true.” .” Dr Olger had worked himself into a passion,
he was almost rocking back and forth as he spoke. . “On the outside,
everyone talks about the Clubbe as a bit of fun, they whisper about a
bordello, for drinking and womanising. . That rumour is useful, it diverts
attention ... . and it encourages the gentry’s younger sons to join, but I’ve
studied the histories. T; the Circle of HellFyre isn’t new, it has existed
since the crucifixionat the beginnings of the world. . Time and again in
the literature you see its symbol and you see its work. . For five thousand
years it has prepared for the EndeEnd. . Ready to defy the God who
created us.”
       Avery spoke hesitantly, “So this double crescent is a sign that some
will     survive   the    ApocalypseApocalypse?    ...   the   comet.”[explain
apolocalypse idea – caused by Comet crashing into the Earth?? End of
days?]
       “Exactly! Some will cheat Death. . Your [young] Highwayman, at the
gallows this morning. He has shown it can be done.”
       Eliza gave a look to Sir Robert, and he raised his eyebrow in a show of
amusement. . Jacob looked around the carriage expectantly, “I tell you, the
cross was the symbol for Jesus, a symbol for a different age, an Age of
Hope. . Now we are at the End of Days, and mankind is looking for a new
symbol.”
       Eliza looked at Olger. “Are you saying that you believe the comet will
actually hit London?”
       “Well no, not exactly, WhistoneWhiston got his scripture in a twist,




                                                                          143
                                                                         144




and I don’t believe his calculus for a moment. I think they’re trying to
scare us.”


    Eliza looked blank. . It was left to Avery to ask, “and you say the
HellFyre Clubbe uses this symbolwwhy would they do that?”
    [Eliza should ask Olger – ‘are you saying that you believe the comet
will hit and herald the end of days? – does he believe in end of days but
not caused by comet hitting – I’m confused – help!]
    “YesWho can say, but secretly.? Mayhaps they wish to take over the
city. . If you conquer London you conquer the country.” [do we have one
of them – Olger??? theorising at this moment that it has all been contrived
so that people get out of London – but why they might ask?? Is the Hell F
C in league with the French – is Charlie behind it all in order to free up
London and seize the throne?? Taking advantage of this comet as means to
clear the way?? Is the Vampyre demon / boy highwayman in league with
them too…]
    Sir Robert had heard enough. . “Jacob ... . Jacob, we are men of
science. . We believe what we can see and test, not the poppycock we
hear in coffee shops, or read about in dusty ol’ scripture.” .” His face
broke into a fat smile, “Wouldn’ae it it be fun though? If it turned out that
Old Fatty Dashwood and his chums were an End of the World Cult.” .”
He gave a sour laugh. . “There’s just one problem with your theory – Sir
Francis is a fat fool.”
    Avery spoke softly. . “Yes, it hardly seems credible.”
    Sir Jacob stared, eyes bulging, first at Avery then at Boyle. . He didn’t
say a word.




                                                                         144
                                                                            145




    Sir Robert spoke firmly, “Jacob, be thankful the facts are duller ’an
your imaginings. . The Clubbe’s real, but it’s no more ’an a bunch of men
acting like little boys. . Just a bit of fun, that som’times gets out of hand.”
    “Then how do you account for the letter?”
    “We all ’ave enemies Jacob, and you’ve upset more ‘an most, in both
the Society and the Church. . You know I agree with you in most things,
but you don’t suffer fools gentle. . I suspect someone’s trying to make you
uneasy, that’s all.”
    “I tell ye, gentlemen ... . and lady,” interrupted Jacob Olger, “the likes
of Sir Francis Dashwood may seem like sophisticated City gents, but
they’ve a terrifyingly deep knowledge of the workings of the Beast.”
    “Then if they do, they’re just sully boys playing sully games,” said Sir
Robert with some finality. .
    But Jacob wasn’t ready to stop. , “Captain Avery, you ask me if I
believe that the HellFyre Clubbe is a Cult preparing for the endeend of the
worlde, and I have to confess that it seems a little farfetched. . But the
idea, the quest for everlasting life – that’s such a powerful thing, it has
followed mankind down all the centuries. . And this Clubbe? After
tonight we’ve reason to believe they’re serious – and whoever they are,
they’ve a cartload of money and a cartload more power, and if they’re in
league with the French you’d better watch out.”
    “Well if you speak to ’em, Jacob,” said Sir Robert, “ask ’em for a little
everlasting life for me – I just hope they can sort out my bad knee.”             Comment [LH39]: improve


    “But none of this answers my first question,” said ElizaEliza, [ ignoring
Sir Robert’s little joke]., “Wwhy would the Who are they?Clubbe want
you dead? And why would they try to blow up Gresham College?” [And




                                                                            145
                                                                           146




why would they kill their own founder?] [this is no longer required]”
    Jacob gave a shrug, “Ahh, who can say?             I suspect I may have
uncovered some deeper truth with my Underwater Dog experiment.”
    Eventually the carriage pulled up outside Dr Olger’s residence in
Seven Dials and he took his leave. . They waited patiently for his old
knees to make the descent, and Boyle was about to knock his cane on the
wooden roof, to signal the driver to move on, but when the Doctor turned,
gripping hard and gripped hold onto of the carriage door.
    “Robert. . Look!”
    Jacob Olger’s home was a fairly standard example of a late Queen
Anne town-house, muted brick and tall white windows.               .   Its only
flamboyances were two life-size, stone ostriches, flanking the entrance. .
The giant birds looked at them with white granite eyes. B;. Bbetween and
beyond the statues stood the front door, glossy black in the darkness. .
    It was open, swinging free in the night air. . Jacob Olger's face was full
shrunk of with fear[if it was possible, he looked even older!]; his nerve had
finally snapped. .
    “They’ve come,” he said.                                                      Comment [L40]:




                                       ~
                                                                                  Comment [LH41]: [From Finbar Quick
                                                                                  perspective. Concerned, they enter together,
                                                                                  inching into the house – nothing. They go down
    JerichoBenjamin Quick looked down from a vantage point on the roof            to the laboratory – there they see the underwater
                                                                                  dog experiment – blue light - and they meet the
of Jacob Olger’s home. . This high up he felt safe, like he did hidden in         new Beagle, barking in its cage. Olger upside
                                                                                  down in his own water tank. Looking terrified - a
the forest branches back home[in the woodlands of Shefford]. . His horse          glimpse of a vampyre demon.

[well, the one he had ‘borrowed’] had made the journey from Blackfriar’s
bridge in twenty minutes, twice the speed of Boyle’s carriage, and he’d had
plenty of time to make the climb. . [reference to his comfort in the trees at



                                                                           146
                                                                        147




this point? In command of his environment – vantage point, able to relax,
hung upside down like a bat – helps him think- unconsciously smiles at
the thought of being a ‘Vampyre Demon’…. We should reveal more about
what he thinks of this public opinion of him – should he play up to it??]
    The door had been swinging open when he arrived, and he’d known
something was wrong. . He could have walked straight in, but that wasn’t
his style. . Once on the roof, he had time to take stock, and to listen. .
Not a sound came out of the house. . There were several windows to the
rear of the property, and some were even open, but neither the creak of a
footstep, nor the ray of a single candle emerged from within. .
    JerichoBenjamin looked down along the street; it was utterly empty of
people. . Since the comet had appeared, most streets were at this time of
night. . Some of the houses themselves showed signs of life, and beyond
Monmouth Street, he could see a thousand dim-lit houses homes spreading
into the reaches of the city.
    This had only been his second ever trip to London, but the days since
his escape had been dull nonetheless.. [grandfather has always seemed to
want to keep him away…?] [jokey references to London like it is now –
busy, people don’t even look at one another, expensive, difficult to get
around….]At first he had worried that he’d be recognised, but in a stolen
hat and coat, neither too fashionable nor too ragged, he kept his head
down and was surprised by how little attention any one Londoner paid
another. . After he’d pocketed a couple of purses, and or two and found a
comfortable accommodation in the attic of a deserted Westminster
townhouse, for spending money, life had been positively tedious.. His
only distraction had been reading the newspaper accounts of his escape.




                                                                        147
                                                                          148




    Until this evening. .
    He had gone along to the Royal Society meeting more on a whim than
anything else. . Eliza had invited him, in a sense, when she visited
Newgate, and he had been curious to see the goings on at the famous
scientifickscientific society. . But hHe knew that Eliza was the real reason
– he’d wanted to see her reaction when she saw him, standing relaxed,
discussing complex mathematicksmathematics with Thomas Hooke or Sir
Robert Boyle. . He’d run the image over in his head, it would have to be
Hooke, Boyle would make him look short.             .   JerichoBenjamin had
imagined it all - Eliza’s look of astonishment, quickly turning to
exasperated admiration when he refused to talk about his escape from the
Gibbet - she’d press him with questions - he’d just laugh, and say it had
been more fun than he’d expected..
    [perhaps he should question why he would so much like to impress
her – does he think he is infatuated with her, is it because she is one of
only a few people he has ever felt a little comfortable with – if so, why is
this, is it because she looks similar, he can read her face – does he want top
prove that although she managed to snare him, he is a clever dick?]
    In reality, the evening had been a disappointment; the stiff Royal
Navy Captain had stuck to Eliza like a limpet, and JerichoBenjamin hadn’t
got close. . Even after the explosion there’d been no time to talk to her. .
At the river, Avery had mistaken him for a local drunk, and he’d been able
to get close enough to Boyle’s carriage to hear its destination.
    JerichoBenjamin had been sitting on the roof for nearly ten five             Comment [l42]: [generic – check “coach”
                                                                                 nomenclature]
                                                                                 [some tantalizing reference above to Eliza thinking
minutes by the time their carriage had finally arrived. . He watched as          she had seen Finbar.?]
                                                                                 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
first Avery, then the others made their way into the house. . It was time




                                                                          148
                                                                       149




to join them. .
    The roof was modern tile, not very steep, and it was easy enough to
work back to the edge, slip over and onto an iron drainpipe. . He seemed
to ignore the fact that he was four floors up, and made it to the nearest
window ledge without a problem.. [what he apparently lacked in physical
strength, he made up for in apparent fearlessness] The window itself was
unlocked, most were this high up, and JerichoBenjamin slid it open. . In
all, he took less than a minute to find himself inside some sort of attic
storeroom, and then out onto a thin passage. . He worked his way to the
top of a flight of stairs, sticking closely to the edge of the passageway,
careful to avoid creaks from the wooden boards. . He probably needn’t
have bothered, because filling the house with a low monotone, was a deep
vibrating hum. . The vibration seemed to invade the walls, as though
some great engine was sitting in the basement. .
    Nonetheless he clung tight to the wall, and worked his way
downwards. . JerichoBenjamin had only gone down half a flight when he
spotted the first sign of life.
    Eliza, Avery and Robert Boyle were arguing in whispers in the
entrance hall three floors down. . There was no sign of Jacob Olger. .
After a moment, a feeble glow of yellow candlelight crept upwards. .
More loud whispers, then the dim light disappeared. . They had begun
their search of the house.        .   Then came another noise, a floorboard
                                                                              Comment [l43]: THIS WHOLE SECTION
creaked above his head, and for the first time that night, JerichoBenjamin    FROM NOW ON NEEDS IMPROVING
                                                                              MASSIVELY REWRITE REWRITE REWRITE
                                                                              REWRITE REWRITE REWRITE REWRITE
Quick felt a surge of blood. . There was somebody else in the house; Tthey    REWRITE REWRITE REWRITE REWRITE
                                                                              REWRITE REWRITE REWRITE REWRITE
weren’t alone. .                                                              REWRITE REWRITE REWRITE REWRITE

                                                                              Needs some originiality, suspenseful action,
    He didn’t hesitate. . The noise had come from the attic rooms above,      character insight, 1st chance for Avery-Eliza-Quick
                                                                              interaction,




                                                                       149
                                                                       150




and in the same crablike shuffle, he made his way back up the stairs. .
Back on the top landing the passageway was still empty. . He counted the
number of doors – five in all, including the one from which he’d first
emerged. . Four of the doors came from the front of the house, which left
only one to the rear. . With a small un-oiled squeak, he turned the handle
of this solitary door.
    Crouching, to avoid any shot, he gently pushed it open and found
himself looking into blackness. . The only noise re was the rhythmic
sound of a monotone hum, like the sound of a bubbling kettle, but much
deeper. . Nothing happened for a count of ten, then came a second noise,
a scraping sound, it too came from deep within. . It sounded like an
animal scratching the earth. . Then JerichoBenjamin heard the rattle of a
metal cage as the beast struggled against it. .
    The room was big, crammed with furniture and boxes and he couldn’t        Comment [l44]: More reason for finn to go into
                                                                              the lab?

really make out anything in the darkness.         .   JerichoBenjamin was
unarmed. . T, didn’t even have his usual sword hilt[hey’d stripped him of
his sword hilt in the woods of Shefford. . Crouching in the dark, he made
a mental note to steal a replacement at the next opportunity. . And so
with nothing he liked to carry just for show / as a deterrent] to grip onto
for comfort, and he didn’t want to take chances - so keeping close to the
ground, he entered the room with a noiseless forward roll. .
    He    and scuttled to the closest piece of furniture,,     some kind of
bureau. . Still no sign of danger -, but for the gentle animal movements at
the far end of the room. . Easing further inside room, his eyes began to
adjust. . The room It was truly massivelarge, taking the entire width of
the house, and in the gloom it seemed endless. . Even in the dark,




                                                                       150
                                                                           151




JerichoBenjamin was quick to realise that he’d found the Doctor’s
laboratory. .
    After some moments, more he became confident that, but for the
caged animal, he was alone. . He swiftly crossed back to shut the open
door. . It had a key and he used it, feeling better for the safety of a lock. .
JerichoBenjamin always carried flint and he found a tallow lamp that gave
off a dull yellow glow. . The bubbling noise seemed quieter now that he
had light; it came from the far end of the room, and he looked to see if he
could make anything out. . All he could really see was a huge gilded
mirror in the far corner, it was hung to fill the entire height of the inner
wall. . He decided to make towards it.
    JerichoBenjamin squeezed between a wardrobe and a large, over-filled
bookcase and found himself in the heart of the Doctor’s laboratory, an
emporium of curiosities. . There was aA desk sat in the centre, buried
beneath piles of paper, and he held up his lamp to look closer at the
assortment of letters and essays. . His lamplight caught a reflection and
took his attention to a bookcase. . On the bottom shelf, nestled between
leather volumes, he saw the head of cat. . It sat dismembered on a
wooden block, one eye held open with a dozen pins. . JerichoBenjamin
didn’t flinch. . He raised up his lamp and looked as the light danced over
the cat’s eye - its narrow slit reflecting brilliant green. .
    There were jumbled crates everywhere, all different sizes,[difficult
enough for Olger to manoeuvre around his own chaos, let alone a Demon
intruder] with a mixture of old books and glass jars sitting about them. .
JerichoBenjamin eased down the room, intrigued by the sound of the
bubbling liquid. . The animal had gone quiet but JerichoBenjamin wasn’t




                                                                           151
                                                                         152




afraid, it was[his honed senses told him that it was] in a cage. [he was well
atuned to a life carried out under the cover of darkness…]the creature was
caged.
    His path across the room was almost blocked by a cabinet. . Taller
than all the rest, it contained neat rows of boxed drawers, three dozen or
so across and another two dozen high. . Each little drawer had a small
white label slotted into the front. . JerichoBenjamin held up his lamp and
read randomly:
             ‘Quicksilver, Solid’
             ‘Quicksilver, Liquid’
             ‘Salamander Foetus’
             ‘Phosphor (Depleted)’                                              Comment [l45]: Deleted ‘Stone from the Tomb of
                                                                                Robert the Baptist’
                                                                                ‘Hen’s tooth’
    The animal whimpered from the other side of the cabinet, and                ‘Foetus, Possible Dragon’

JerichoBenjamin looked up. . He moved quickly now, as if the noise had
broken his trance. . JerichoBenjamin Quick was slight of build, and he
needed to be. . He squeezed past the cabinet and found the animal he’d
been looking for;, it was a dog, barely a pup - a Beagle sniffing at the bars
of his cage. . JerichoBenjamin smiled and reached down a hand, a pink
tongue greeted him through the bars as he looked for a bolt to set the
animal free.
    That’s when he noticed the curtain. . It hung from the ceiling, next to
the mirror, sealing off the corner to the room. . It hung thick and heavy,
colourless in the weak light; the sound of the bubbling liquid came from
behind it.     .    There was another sound now, a dull tapping.            .
JerichoBenjamin pulled the curtain without even thinking.
    A giant glass globe stood behind it, like a massive goldfish bowl, a good
half yard taller than JerichoBenjamin’s six foothead. . The glass was filled




                                                                         152
                                                                        153




with a violently bubbling liquid; it looked yellow-green in the light of his
lamp. . From within the mass of bubbles, JerichoBenjamin first saw a
paw, then a black snout, and finally two big, brown eyes, staring madly. .
    It was the first dog’s twin.
    The dog floated halfway up the tank, legs paddling gently, its claws
scratching dully against the thick glass.
    JerichoBenjamin retched, but managed to swallow back the sick. . He
found himself sliding, slumping to the floor. . Mechanically, he held out
his hand – so the other pup, the caged pup, could lick his fingers. . Images
of his brother were swirling again, spinning round his brain. . He felt his
stomach twitch with another retch but he held it back; his mouth was
filling with saliva. . He swallowed and breathed deeply, but another wave
of nausea swelled up from his stomach. . Despite his conscious will not to,
JerichoBenjamin looked back up at the swimming Beagle. .
    The Beagle in the tank had been shaved, and covered with some kind
of grease or fat. . Its baldness just made the dog seem all the more
grotesque. . The folds of skin looked loose and soft, as though they would
slough away with the slightest friction. . Even through the bubbling
water, the dog could see him. . It gaped with the same confusion he had
seen oin his brother’s eyesface, the madness of someone who is drowning,
but still alive. . JerichoBenjamin blew out the flame of the tallow lamp to
save his eyes.
    He sat there in the dark for some minutes, – breathing heavily against
the nausea, still hearing the occasional tap of dog’s claws on glass,
desperately t.rying to expel the image of his dead brother that kept pulsing
into his head .




                                                                        153
                                                                          154




    The pup in the cage continued to sniff his hand through the crossbars,
and JerichoBenjamin had just decided to smash open the cage when he
heard something new, the metallic click of a door catch. . His skin
pricked in alarm. . The sound had come from behind the giant mirror that
sat next to him.
    The gilt frame was fixed to the wall, but it angled outwards so that
now, as Quick looked at it, he could see the reflected stars of the night sky.
. A big crescent moon part-filled the glass but as JerichoBenjamin stared
intently, the moon began to shift. . He even caught a glimpse of the
Shipton Comet before he realised what was happening - the mirror was
moving – it was opening like a door. . First a hand, then a coat-sleeve
appeared from within. . JerichoBenjamin didn’t wait, he was up and
smashing through the nearest window and onto a balcony. . He wasted
took a seconds to looking over the balcony and into the blackness of Dr
Olger’s gardens, but .
    Musket-shotmusket-shot flared above Jericho’s his head, shattering
more glass and sending him scuttling over the vine-covered balustrade. .
He was onto the ivy, sliding through its dense vines, falling as much as
climbing. . He let the glossy leaves slip through his hands as he sped
downwards. . One story down, then two, every moment expecting a head
to peer over the balcony and fire off another load of shot. . But if a head
did peer over at him, JerichoBenjamin didn’t see. . As he reached level
with the first floor, he gripped onto the ivy to brake his momentum and
with all the care and attention of a born thief, swung, smashing through
another window. . He landed on thick carpet and rolled straight to his
feet. . Just like his grandfather had taught him as a nipper. .




                                                                          154
                                                                         155




    JerichoBenjamin got to his feet found his balance quickly, and took a
second to gather himself, adjust his coat and look about the small library. .
The shocked faces of Lady Eliza, flanked by Captain Avery and Sir Robert
Boyle, weasre a delight.
    “Sorry,” he said with a bashful smile.


                                            ~
    [not sure this following deliciously gruesome scene quite sits
correctly.. jars slightly.. speak to Joe}
    Jacob Olger could barely breathe [as they was dragged him through
the mirror-concealedvered mirrored door to his laboratory]. . The muscles
in his chest were rigid with terror and a gloved hand was jammed hard
into his open mouth.           .    They[The hooded gang men that had
overwhelmed him in his back stairway] lifted him easily, many hands
finding purchase to push him upwards. . He entered the water tank head
first. . Upside down and disorientated, he felt the hot water on his face
and screamed. . It was the worst thing he could have done. . His lungs
were filling with water even before the meny had finished pushing his legs
into the tank. . Water slopped over the rim, displaced by the Doctor’s
small frame. . The lid was fixed firmly back in place. .
    Jacob Olger retched for a while, but eventually even that reflex
succumbed to the embrace of the warm water. . Some instinct made him
right himself – but all sense had left him. . His eyes were open but his
mind made nothing of the shapes that he saw. . His world was distorted,
the density of the water and the curve of the glass bending the feeble light
in the room; faces pushed into view – one moment swelled large, the next




                                                                         155
                                                                           156




shrunk. . He recoiled, shutting his eyes in terror. .
    The dog licked the back of Jacob Olger’s hand, but he didn’t notice.


                                      ~




    The window exploded and Eliza jolted with the shock, instinctively
she shrank behind Captain Avery. . It was only when he the figure stood
up that she realised who it was.
    “JerichoBenjamin?” she said.
    He looked flustered. . “Sorry.”
    Eliza couldn’t help smiling. . “Ain’t[Aren’t][ as before – not sure
about common sound from Eliza] you supposed to be dead?”
    “Yes, technically,” he stuttered, unsure of himself, “but but iit’s a just
a legal thing.”
    BenAvery took a step forward, protecting Eliza. . The sudden sound
of footsteps running down stairs was unmistakeable, and JerichoBenjamin
turned to the open library door. .
    “You We should probably run,” he said, but didn’t moveand sprinted
into the dark hall.
    Captain Avery didn’t hesitate, “Eliza, out. . Out the window.” .”
Avery shouted.[should he question whether Jericho has any involvement
in the what where why of Olger’s house??]
    She didn’t move. . “I’m not a dog, BenTom.[!]”
    “Then stay hidden. S,tay with her Sir Robert.” Avery blew out the
light from his candle and gripping the candlestick in one hand, and his




                                                                           156
                                                                            157




flintlock in the other, ran into the hall.


    In the dark anything could have happened. . [in the confusion] Avery
ran into somebody almost immediately. . He fired instinctively and the
flare lit up a scene of chaos. . There were men everywhere, scrambling
down the stairway, then everything was black again. . An arm smashed
into the side of Avery’s head and he went down. . He kicked out a foot
and had the satisfaction of hearing his assailant fall down the stairs. . The
front door burst open and the jumble of noise quickly settled to silence.
    Avery squattedcrouched, coiled and ready to defend himself. . He
waited for a long time, breatheding in the musty smell of the hall carpet,
and waited.
                                                                                  Formatted: Left, Indent: First line: 0"


    Back in the library, Eliza stood close to the near bookshelf, ready to
defend herself. Benjamin’s whisper was unexpected and close, and it made
her jump.
    “So what did you think of my escape from the Gibbet?”
    In the dark s, he gave him a look of disbelief. “Shush.”
    He was quiet, but not for long.
    “I think they’ve gone,” he said, changing back to his normal voice.
    “Just be quiet.” Eliza practically hissed when she spoke, but he either
didn’t notice or chose to ignore it.
    “I told you I’d think of something.”
    Eliza turned to him. “Benjamin – just shut the Hell up. I didn’t even
see your bloody escape.”
    For a while she thought he was still there, obediently staying silent




                                                                            157
                                                                         158




while she waited for word from Thomas - but it was soon obvious that he’d
gone. Somehow he just seemed to disappear into the dark. Eventually she
risked a whisper into the hall.
      but sure enough the hall was empty. . Eliza’s whisper came out from       Comment [LH46]:


the library along with the feeble light of a hand-covered candle. .
      “BenThomas? Are you there? I think they’ve gone.”
      In accordance with protocol, t[Taking this as his cue, Avery sprang
back into action, his training leading him to lock…] The first thing they
Avery did was to secure the perimeter. . He locked and barred the front
door, but. Avery wouldn’t feel safe until they had searched ; the second
was to search through the entire house, room by room. . With Sir Robert
and Eliza close by, [Re-grouping with Boyle and Eliza,] [This seems a little
too    easily   put   –   maybe   extend   slightly   and   not   firstly and
secondly…]aThey he worked upwards from the first floor. Jacob Olger             Comment [l47]: More description – creepy
                                                                                house in the dark.

had disappeared almost the moment they entered the house, and no-one            Comment [LH48]: keep the suspense? describe
                                                                                ascending the stair to the top corridor - Quick
                                                                                tapping his finger as he makes his way back up to the
held much hope for his well-being. . What they found on the top floor           Laboratory

though, was enough to contaminate their souls.
      With proper light, the laboratory didn’t seem particularly sinister. .
Nevertheless, Robert and Eliza held back and let Avery lead the search.
[through the maze of furniture and boxes.]        When she heard Avery’s
muffled cry, Eliza assumed he had found the Doctor, assumed the doctor
was dead. . But she was wrong. .
      Avery stood staring into the tank. . There was a Beagle, swimming
about, and Jacob Olger, his expression frozen in blank terror, hands
opening and closing mechanically. . The air bubbled past his face, and
Avery found himself breathing heavily at the thought of water-filled




                                                                         158
                                                                       159




lungs. . For a few moments the dog seemed almost happy; it had a
companion. . Then Robert Boyle arrived.
    Inside the tank, the drowned doctor seemed to see what would happen
next; he waved his arms frantically. . The big scientist took no heed, and
smashed the glass with the ball of his hand. .
    It was a foolish, but natural thing to do. . Dr Olger was dying as soon
as he coughed the water out of his lungs. . He was dead within a minute.
. The dog took slightly longer.                                               Comment [LH49]: [Xhere – the above section
                                                                              needs to be clever – Inigo-esque. Eliza and Avery
                                                                              need to see FQ? FQ saves the day?]


                                      ~




                                                                       159
                                                                         160




    For a while it seemed that the Tuesday Saturday of the June 10th 1736
would go down in the history of London as the day the River Thames
caught afire.
    An investigation by The Department managed to explain much of the
mystery. . A massive length of rope, soaked and coated with some kind of
coal-tar, had been strung along the river supported by small airtight barrels
– but no-one quite understood how the tar had managed to burn so
fiercely and for so long.    .   Several of Gresham College’s best minds
volunteered for the task of reverse engineering the coal-tar – to determine
its formula. . Work was underway even by the following evening. .
    The explosion at Gresham was just a footnote – at least at first. . The
structure of the College was largely unscathed by the explosion, the
ironwork was unbent, and in time its windows could be replaced. . By
contrast, the infamy of the boy-highwayman and his dawn escape from the
Gibbet the week before, suffered. . In any other month, JerichoBenjamin         Comment [l50]: check dates!


Quick’s dare-devilry would have been hailed as the event of the year, but
next to a Burning River it became was a sideshow.[relegated to page 2!]the
back page.
    That was the initial reaction, on the Wednesday, but then on the
Thursday Monday morning, everything changed. . .Even in the early days
of [Fleet Street] any editor worth his print run knew that fear sold news-
sheets. . And the Monday reports gave Londoners a new reason to be
afraid. . [something about newspapers, reporting, yesterday’s news, then
back to headline the next… a little comment on journalism… relevant to
today…?? Speak to Joe]
    The Department had done their best to conceal it, but in the middle of




                                                                         160
                                                                        161




the capital, especially in Seven Dials, where folk rarely went to bed before
midnight, it just wasn’t possible.     .     There were too many [possible]
potential witnesses. . One witnesssuch, an under-maid from the house
opposite, urged on by a terrified household staffe, gave an account to the
local magistrate.
    She had seen the Vampyre-demon, she swore it under oath, had seen
it clinging, upside down to the rafters of Dr Olger’s house. . And then the
creature had seen her; their eyes had locked, and she had known it was
trying to take her soul. . The next thing she remembered was waking in
the early hours of the morning, lying in her nightgown on the bare floor.
    The gossipers [with their colourful imaginations]did their usual work.
. Somehow a story got about that Dr Jacob Olger was only half-dead. .
They said his body was merely dormant, preserved in a coffin filled with
honey, waiting for night-time to come awake. . The Vampyre-demon had
turned him into something not quite alive.
    By the time the Lord Chancellor, Sir Lancelot Blackburne, called
Avery to interview on the Friday it was all too late. . There were crowds
gathered on Monmouth Street, demanding entry to number 38.                  .
Everyone remembered the words of the Boy Highwayman now. . ‘I will
return,’ he had said. . ‘You will find me at your bedroom window.’


    A company of the Coldstream Guards was brought in, and after several
nasty scenes had to open fire on the crowd. . Eventually they quartered a
platoon there and closed off the street. .
    Avery’s officers made a thorough investigation of course, but they
[came no closer to solving the mysterious and ghastly circumstances of Dr




                                                                        161
                                                                           162




Olger’s murder}never really got to the bottom of the mystery. . Dr Olger
The Doctor had clearly been overpowered by a number of men, but they
left no clue as to their identity.
    Avery’s main role was the rather unpleasant task of reporting to the
Lord Chancellor the following morning, back in his bedchamber at
Lambeth Palace.


    “So, no one considered leaving Dr Olger in the water tank?” asked Sir
Lancelot.
    “Sir Robert Boyle acted before anyone could restrain him, sir. . His
first act was to smash the glass. . It was a hasty, but [a] natural instinct. .   Comment [LH51]: Check for repated line


Dr Olger died of asphyxiation as soon he hit the air.”
    “This is most unfortunate. . Dr Olger should have been interviewed
whilst he was still in the tank, using a chalk board or some-suchthing. .
The killers made a mistake, but have gotten away with it. . I fear it may
be a while before they make another.”
    Sir Lancelot was sitting in bed, prop’t amongst a magnificent array of
heavy Persian cushions. . “What is our next step, Avery?”
    “The rumours around Seven Dials are all certain on one thing, they
blame JerichoBenjamin Quick. . They’ve stopped calling him The Boy-
Highwayman, now they call him The Vampyre-Demon. . There is a
report in this week’s Illustrated London News; it went to print this
morning. . JerichoBenjamin Quick, would you believe, has returned from
the netherworld and needs to feed on human brains to keep him himself
alive.”
    The Captain held up a pen and ink sketch on the front page of the




                                                                           162
                                                                             163




newspaper. . It showed a long-limbed creature, half human, half beast,
with wild staring eyes.
       “I fear Mr Quick’s trip to the Netherworld hasn’t been kind to his
health,” joked Avery.
       Sir Lancelot raked up some phlegm from his throat. . He played it
about on his tongue for a few moments, and then re-swallowed. . “And
why didn’t you arrest Mr Quick?           When you had him right next to
you?”[…we really need to abate these ludicrous imaginings of the public
about Mr Quick and his so-called Demonic powers….]
       Avery didn’t have a particularly good answer to that.                    .
JerichoBenjamin Quick had just upped and left before he’d really had any
time to think. .
       “Well to be honest sir, he just disappeared in the middle of it all – and
in any event - I didn’t really have grounds to hold him.                 .   Mr
JerichoBenjamin Quick is in a rather interesting legal position – he’s now
under the protection of God’s Pardon.            .   Under English law he is
technically dead.”
       “Bollycock. . Dead or not, JerichoBenjamin Quick is, or should be,
the chief suspect for this current murder. . It happened after the escape,
so God’s Pardon don’t apply.”
       “Except he’s not guilty sir, not truthfully. . It wasn’t him – I’m sure of
it.”
       “And when did ‘truthfully’ come into it. . We have a murder – we
find a murderer, it’s what the people expect. . End of story. . This is all
getting out of hand, Avery. . There’s too much happening too quickly,
and it’s more than the people will accommodate. . They’ll riot proper if




                                                                             163
                                                                           164




this goes on much longer. . First WhistoneWhiston’s Comet, then that
devil escapes from the Gibbet, then there’s this ridiculous fire - on the
bloody river of all places. . Then the very public deaths of two famous
scientists. . The people don’t expect much from their betters, Avery, but
they do expect us to keep life dull.”.”


       Sir Lancelot raised another quantity of phlegm, this time he was happy
to speak with it in his mouth. . “There is something unusual about this
JerichoBenjamin Quick, something we don’t understand, something that
makes me nervous. . I don’t like to be nervous, Captain.”
       Avery stood silent.
       “Don’t underestimate him, Captain, that’s all. . What else to speak
of?”
       “I fear sir, that this is only the beginning. . Th—”
       “Have no doubt, Captain,” interrupted Blackburne, “our spies in Calais
and Dieppe have reported activity. . It seems the French are preparing to
mobilize.”
       “I don’t think we can blame the French for everything, sir.            .
JerichoBenjamin Quick is a lone rogue, I’m sure of that. [,- a clever dick
with a few tricks up his tatty sleeves, b.] But the attack on Jacob Olger ... .
well, Dr Olger knew who was going to kill him.”
       At that moment, Montrose, the manservant, appeared with a well-
laden tray. .
       He placed it on a side table, and with a small struggle, helped Sir
Lancelot to sit up further in bed. . The tray had legs, which fell down
beneath, and when the Lord Chancellor was properly comfortable,




                                                                           164
                                                                          165




Montrose set the tray over his lap.
    “No kippers today. . Cook wasn’t happy wi’ ‘em. . You’ve devilled
sardines instead.”
    “Go on Captain, you may talk in front of Montrose. . He will only
listen at the door if you don’t.”
    “Well, sir, Dr Olger gave credence to some of the wilder theories
about Tthe HellFyre Clubbe. . He received a warning, a death threat, and
according to Olger the origins of Sir Francis Dashwood’s Clubbe go back
rather a long w—”
    “The HellFyre Clubbe? Hell’s Blood, Captain. . Have you utterly lost
your wits? I can hear ‘em laughing already – the whole French bloody
Embassy pissing themselves with laughter.” .” Sir Lancelot stabbed a fork
into the yoke of his egg. .
    Avery spoke up, “But sir, the Doctor was quite certain.”
    “We’ve investigated the Clubbe from top to bottom and there’s
nothing there but a bunch of rich numpties who think drinking
champagne off a woman’s thigh is the height of sophistication.”
    “But the death threat sir—”
    “Avery, the French are playing us for fools, and you seem happy to
play the idiot. . Sir Francis bloody Dashwood is just a bloody half-witfool
, if that. for one thing – I hardly think we need to worry about the
HellFyre Clubbe if he’s the brains behind it. . What are the facts, Captain?
What do we know? All we know is that if the French are going to invade,
then they’ll do it on 21st June. . I know I(italicise ‘I’?] would. . The state
this country’s in we’ll be lucky if there’s a single serving solider who’s not
half-mad with terror. . So who created this panic?




                                                                          165
                                                                           166




    “The Shipton woman”
    “Wrong. . Old hags make predictions all the time – no one ever
listens. . I’ll ask again – who caused the panic?.”
    “Sir William WhistoneWhiston?”
    “Correct. . No-one gave a monkey’s nuts about the prophecy until
your old college friend Sir William WhistoneWhiston decided to find
some mathematical proof. . That’s what is causing the problem, Avery. .
Mix doome-mongering superstition with a bit of science that nobody
understands and everyone goes bananas.”
    Sir Lancelot was spitting bits of sardine over his bedspread now, and it
took all of Avery’s willpower not to think about it. .
    “So, Avery, what is our strategy?”
    “We discredit WhistoneWhiston, sir.”
    “And how do we do that?”
    “Well I did suggest, when we last met, thatthought, if we shcould have
him brought back to London. You said you would look into it, sir. If we
can get him to Londonhere, sir, and feed him some mercury, it would send
him a bit crazy and then we could then stick him on a horse in his
underwear and—”
    “Avery,    you   imbecile,    the    way   we     discredit   Sir   William
WhistoneWhiston is by putting forth our own scientists. . Credible and
learned men, men who can prove that WhistoneWhiston’s calculations for
the path of the Comet are a pile of gibberish.”
    “Yes sir, that is also part of my plan, but—”
    “But suddenly the most brilliant minds in England seem a little
endangered. . A co-incidence don’t you think?”




                                                                           166
                                                                       167




    “So you think the French are trying to ... ” Avery hesitated, lost for
words.
    “The French fear Reason, ScientifickScientific Reason. . This killing,
the explosion at Gresham, and the rumours of the Comet - they are all
linked.   .     The Royal Society has sent order for Sir William
WhistoneWhiston to yield up his calculus on the path of the Comet. . [I
wager that the French have Whiston under their power…}The French
have one scientist under their power, but not them all. With the genius of
the Royal Society, we will show WhistoneWhiston’s mutterings to be
what they are, French lies. . So the French send a warning to our Royal
Society – a flaming river and an explosion of glass. . And just to make
certain – they stick one of the Society upside down into one of his own
experiments.”
    Avery was still standing ramrod straight at the end of the bed. . He
waited while Sir Lancelot Blackburne took a swig of tea before asking,
“And what do you propose we do next, sir?”                                    Comment [LH52]: Some reference to Walpole in
                                                                              this section- as a blundering money obsessed fool
                                                                              incapable of doing anythingto defend the realm.
    “The members of the Royal Society are in danger. . Well, certainly
those who have mastered Newton’s calculus – which is no more than a
handful. . I propose, Captain Avery, that we offer protection to everyone
who possesses that knowledge. . In eight nine days time, on the solstice of
midsummer, I want the whole country to be clear on one thing – that Sir
William WhistoneWhiston is a fool, a man despised by his scientific
peers.”
    “Very good sir, I will personally guarantee the person of Sir Robert
Boyle.    .     He is one of only a handful of men with a
mathematickalmathematical reputation to match WhistoneWhiston’s –




                                                                       167
                                                                          168




and he will be easily persuaded to write an essay confounding
WhistoneWhiston’s logic.”
    “Good, I’ll have The Gazette told in advance. They can run a story           Formatted: Font: Italic
                                                                                 Formatted: Font: Not Italic
that the two great scientists of the age are about to go head to head, they’ll
like that. but wWe’ll still need to get WhistoneWhiston up to London. . I
like your mercury idea – it’s a good one. - although Montrose has rather
more sophisticated methods for sending a man crazeddoolally. I’ve seen it
done – a little mercury in his porridge will send a man crazy quicker than
anything. But first we get WhistoneWhiston to London.”
    “I could go down to Salisbury, sir, and bring him back.”
    “That won’t be necessary, Avery, I’ll send Montrose. . He is the right
sort for that kind of job.”
    Blackburne mopped up the last of his egg with a piece of bread, and
Avery felt a surge of relief that the experience of watching the Lord
Chancellor at breakfast was over.
    “Do you have any more news on what WhistoneWhiston is doing
down at Stonehenge?”
    “A little, sir. . The excavation has been abandoned. . It seems that
WhistoneWhiston has found something. A, a gold coin to be precise.”
[…”left by someone who got there to the ‘booty’ before he did]                   Formatted: Font: Italic




    “Go on,” said Blackburne, his fork held mid-air.
    “Well I don’t think it was quite what WhistoneWhiston was looking
for, but apparently he was quite taken with it. . It’s just a coin with some
inscriptions.”
    “What sort of inscriptions?”




                                                                          168
                                                                         169




    “My agent described it as a Maltese coin, with the word ‘Resurgam’ on
one side. . There’s more Latin engraved on the edge, ‘Jeova Sanctus Unus’       Formatted: Font: Not Italic


but we haven’t got a clear reading understanding of it yet.what it means .
WhistoneWhiston apparently thinks it’s important.”
    “And he’s abandoned the excavation you say? That man has gone
lunatic. . I can tell you this much, we won’t be needing much mercury.”
    “Yes sir, he thinks the coin is a calling card, – a sign that the Henge
has already been excavated by someone else ...- recently.”
    Blackburne nodded his head once, vigorously, as if trying to dispel an
unpleasant thought.


    “Right, next, what news on the Shipton Woman? Any progress?”
    “She has gone to ground, but we have fifty men scouring North
Yorkshire for her. . She can’t hide for long.”
    “Don’t you think you should be up there looking for her yourself?”
    “I had intended to, but with the events at the College, and the death of
Dr Olger … I believe I am needed in the Capital, sir.”
    Blackburne took a final slosh of tea – he had a disconcerting way of
working it around his gums before he swallowed.                                 Comment [LH53]: Insert reference to Sir
                                                                                Lancelot’s “tincture”

    “Sir, the Shipton woman can’t do any more damage. . We have
counter-measures in place; I’ve hired a crone from Whitby.”
    “Go on”
    “She’s an actress, only sixtyseventy, but[she’s had a colourful life and]
looks a hundred and five. . She has been briefed, trained and is ready to
go. . Whenever we need her.”
    “And what do you intend to do with her?”




                                                                         169
                                                                               170




    Avery hesitated, he had not talked this through fully with Eliza yet,
“Well I was hoping we could discuss that, sir. . Basically I thought she
could meet with say, the Queen. . As long as the message gets out that she
has changed her mind ... . about the Comet.”
    “The Queen? You think we should set a precedent whereby any half-
baked old hag with a prophecy is honoured by an audience with royalty?
Good God, Avery. . The world may be going to the dogs but I’ll not have
our monarchy dragged into the gutter with the rest of us.”
    “Very well, Ssir. . What do you suggest?”
    “We’ll hang her.”
    “But ... . sir, she’s just an actress. . We can’t actually kill her.” .”
    Don’t worry, Avery. . Leave this to me, I will find some able young
officer in The Department to take care of it. . I think you have taken on
too much in the past, spread yourself too thin. . Forget about the Shipton
woman; forget about WhistoneWhiston; and forget about the bloody
HellFyre Clubbe. . Forget everything but the safety of Sir Robert Boyle. .
His safety is your duty now. . Return to The Department when you have
categorical...” .” Blackburne paused to look Avery steadily in the eye. .
“Come back only when you have categorical evidence that the Comet will
not hit London.”
    Before Avery could respond, Montrose stepped forward and whispered
into Blackburne’s ear. . Blackburne pushed himself higher up on his
cushions.
    “Captain, when I was a young buccaneer in the last century I made
one mistake. . It was a silly thing. . I gave a young officer in my
command the captaincy of a galleon we’d commandeered from the




                                                                               170
                                                                      171




Portuguese. . He was a nice chap, but I promoted him before he was
ready, before he’d really had a chance to be bloodied in battle. . Twelve
weeks out of Portobello and his crew mutinied. . I had no choice. . I
talked with the mutineers and we agreed the captain should be keel-
hauled. . After they had their fun, I had mine. . I pulled alongside and
ripped the belly out of that boat with [my of nine-pounders] [doesn’t make
sense] – two hundred souls lost because of a silly mistake. . I’ve never
forgotten that lesson, Avery. Maybe I gave you too much responsibility
too soon. . Forget about everything but the safety of Sir Robert Boyle.
Get you down to Greenwich and make sure the Royal Astronomer is safe.
. S [while he works on that calculus – see what he comes up with ...h….}.
We’ll speak again when you have his proof. Let your elders take charge of
this campaign.”
    Avery turned to leave, but Blackburne hadn’t finished. . “Oh Captain,
we’ve barely little more than a week ‘til the French invade. . Be sure to
urge Sir Robert to haste.”




                                    ~




    After Captain Avery had left, Montrose helped Sir Lancelot dress. . It
was a complicated affair but they had the routine to perfection. . Whilst
still propped’t on the bed, Blackburne would take on a freshly laundered
shirt over his woollen vest. . Then, Montrose would twist turn him to the
edge of the mattress, exposing his wasted white legs. . Socks first, then




                                                                      171
                                                                         172




breeches, made of a stiff gabardine. . Montrose had to practically pick up
the old man to get them on. .         The height of his chair meant that
Blackburne could slide onto it fairly easily, and once in his chair, Montrose
put the finishing touches to the old man’s dress – shoes, waistcoat, and of
course, the ever present twill blanket.
    The whole event took five and twenty minutes out of Sir Lancelot’s
day, but when it was over, he was immediately ready for the rigours of life
as the Lord Chancellor, leader of the country’s judiciary and self-appointed
protector of the realm.. [what exactly are his duties as Lord Chancellor?
Should we introduce his sermon duties at this point – archbishop….]
Montrose was still smoothing the old man’s blanket, when Sir Lancelot
barked his first order.
    “Take me down to the map roomMap Room … and Montrose, tell me
what you think of this JerichoBenjamin Quick? Is he someone we need to
worry about?”
    Montrose talked as he pushed.
    “He’s cocksure, full o’ swagger, but with no direction, no motive or
strategy. . In the right hands he could be dangerous, but no one is guiding
him. . In the right hands he could be very useful, sir.”
    “I don’t believe someone like JerichoBenjamin Quick just … happens. .
Young master Quick was created, was taught and trained. . What I can’t
work out is why? And by whom?”
    Montrose didn’t need to push the heavy chair, he just had to counter
the acceleration of gravity as they descended the downward- sloping
corridor. . It wound downwards in a broad quadrant, taking them first
one, then a second floor down - to a basement as large as the floors above. .




                                                                         172
                                                                            173




In all, it took barely ten minutes to arrive at the map roomMap Room, but
by the time they had arrived, Sir Lancelot was already forming a theory.
    “You saw him in the dock, describe him again, give me the full
description.”
    “Well sir, physically you’d call him slight, his limbs are a little long for
the size of his frame. .     Gangling Sleight you might describe him, –
comfortably over under six foot, but and physically weak – weighs no
more than 13040 pounds. . His most striking feature is his facehair, a .
dark vibrant apple red. His head itself is larger than average, but not
dramatically so. .    High forehead, slight widow’s peak, hair unnatural
black, his face is thin and long, but not weak. . Oh, and when he was in
the dock he had a tendency to tap the fingers on his left hand. . A nervous
tic you’d call it.”
    “Open the door, Montrose. . I have something to show you.”
    They had arrived at the map room. [Map Room??? In capitals]. . It was
called the Mmap Rroom, and there were maps a plenty, but in reality it
contained much more. . Every scroll, every book, every record, every
scrap of information the Department possessed was kept behind the thick,
metal-studded door that they now faced. . The map roomMap Room was
the depository of knowledge – the Lord Chancellor’s second brain - and he
only trusted himself with the key. .
    The key was overlarge and the lock was stiff, but Montrose snapped
open the mechanism without difficulty. . Inside they needed light, and
Montrose spent several moments with a flint to make sure the room was
properly lit. . Even by the light of a candelabrum the stacked shelves
disappeared into the shadows of a vaulted ceiling - shelves so high they           Comment [LH54]: more description - dark
                                                                                   corners




                                                                            173
                                                                          174




Montrose would need a ladder to search them. .
    The room was cold, to help preserve the parchment, and Montrose
was eager to work quickly – he didn’t want Sir Lancelot to get over-
coldchilled. .
    “What are we looking for, sir?”
    “There’s a letter, written twenty years ago. . It was written in the
days after Newton went mad, just before he died. . I didn’t give it much
credence at the time but it has been troubling me lately. . It will be
somewhere on that shelf – it’s filed under Correspondence 17176, look
near the beginning, it was written sometime in February.
    Montrose didn’t need much time to find the correspondence file for
1716. .   [As quick as a ferret hHis dextrous quick fingers located…]
extracted Ta he wooden file had with the date MDCCXVII embossed into
the thick, leather-mounted spine. . He flicked through to February and
presented the page to Blackburne. . Sir Lancelot read almost immediately:
    “Honoured Sir,                                                               Formatted: Font: Monotype Corsiva, 14 pt,
                                                                                 Italic
    Since you pleased to enquire after events at Sir Isaacs’ household in
these troubled days, I take up my quill as you requested, for rare events have
occurred since we met last, events that may hold some significance. . Sir        Formatted: Font: Monotype Corsiva, 14 pt,
                                                                                 Italic
Isaac is still unwell, and his Doctors have now confined him to his bed
chamber. . They no longer seem to believe that he will recover from the          Formatted: Font: Monotype Corsiva, 14 pt,
                                                                                 Italic
malady. . It has been over nine days since he last partook the gold, yet he      Formatted: Font: Monotype Corsiva, 14 pt,
                                                                                 Italic
shews not the slightest sign that he will recover his mind. . But that is not    Formatted: Font: Monotype Corsiva, 14 pt,
                                                                                 Italic
why I write. .                                                                   Formatted: Font: Monotype Corsiva, 14 pt,
                                                                                 Italic
    On yesterday morning we had a visitor. . A young woman, barely               Formatted: Font: Monotype Corsiva, 14 pt,
                                                                                 Italic
twenty, well dressed, a lady. . She arrived unannounced and unescorted. .        Formatted: Font: Monotype Corsiva, 14 pt,
                                                                                 Italic




                                                                          174
                                                                            175




She demanded an audience with Sir Isaac, and we, of course, refused. .             Formatted: Font: Monotype Corsiva, 14 pt,
                                                                                   Italic
Eventually, when she [refuseddeclined ][..showed no sign] to leave, we             Formatted: Font: Monotype Corsiva, 14 pt,
                                                                                   Italic
invited her to meet with Sir Isaacs’ doctors so that they could explain the        Formatted: Font: Monotype Corsiva, 14 pt,
                                                                                   Italic
impossibility of any meeting whilst Sir Isaac is so incapacitated by illness.      Formatted: Font: Monotype Corsiva, 14 pt,
                                                                                   Italic
    She met first with Dr Olger, and then with both he and Dr Cavendish. .
[There was something quite striking about this young lady, not just her            Formatted: Font: Monotype Corsiva, 14 pt,
                                                                                   Italic
looks, though she was quite strikingbeautiful, there was something about her       Formatted: Font: Monotype Corsiva, 14 pt,
                                                                                   Italic
countenance and her determination to meet with Sir Isaac that struck me as
notable.. ] [re-work this sentence perhaps] So I took the liberty of listening     Formatted: Font: Monotype Corsiva, 14 pt,
                                                                                   Italic
at the door when she met with the doctors. . I am glad I did, because the          Formatted: Font: Monotype Corsiva, 14 pt,
                                                                                   Italic
conversation was worthy of record.
    She did not give a name, only her identity. . She gave oath that she was       Formatted: Font: Monotype Corsiva, 14 pt,
                                                                                   Italic
the child of Sir Isaac, that he knew well of her existence and that he would
be most insistent that they meet. . We know full well that Sir Isaac never         Formatted: Font: Monotype Corsiva, 14 pt,
                                                                                   Italic
married. . He never even so much as conversed with a woman unless he was           Formatted: Font: Monotype Corsiva, 14 pt,
                                                                                   Italic
obliged to. . Doctor Cavendish was particularly unimpressed with the girl’s        Formatted: Font: Monotype Corsiva, 14 pt,
                                                                                   Italic
tale, and threatened the law court if she ever repeated the calumny. . They        Formatted: Font: Monotype Corsiva, 14 pt,
                                                                                   Italic
sent her packing pretty smartly, as I would have done the same myself in
their situation. . It is not uncommon for a chancer to emerge with the first       Formatted: Font: Monotype Corsiva, 14 pt,
                                                                                   Italic
sniff of an inheritanceprobate, but there was something about the young            Formatted: Font: Monotype Corsiva, 14 pt,
                                                                                   Italic
woman that rang truth. . She Her brows and lashes were darkwas dark, like          Formatted: Font: Monotype Corsiva, 14 pt,
                                                                                   Italic
Sir Isaac, but her hair blackwas a deep russet red, much darker than Sir
                                                                                   Formatted: Font: Monotype Corsiva, 14 pt,
                                                                                   Italic
Isaac, so vivid it looked almost dyed. but And sShe was tallslight, she had
                                                                                   Formatted: Font: Monotype Corsiva, 14 pt,
the same long slender limbs as Sir Isaac, and the same long, lively lively face.   Italic
                                                                                   Formatted: Font: Monotype Corsiva, 14 pt,
Her brows and lashes were dark, like Sir Isaac, but her hair was a dark red,       Italic
                                                                                   Formatted: Font: Monotype Corsiva, 14 pt,
so vivid it looked almost dyed.                                                    Italic
                                                                                   Formatted: Font: Monotype Corsiva, 14 pt,
                                                                                   Italic




                                                                            175
                                                                       176




    I trust this knowledge into your care on the terms that we have agreed,
and in the sure knowledge that you will know best how to deal with this
matter.
    Your humble servant,”


    Blackburne looked up from the file. . “Well? Black Deep Dark red
hair, long limbsfine bones, a long and lively face?”
    “It could be a coincidence sir?”
    “Possibly. . But when it came to Sir Isaac Newton I learned a painful
lesson. . I no longer believe in coincidences, Montrose. . We should pay
JerichoBenjamin Quick some close attention.”
    Blackburne closed the folder and retied the ribbon.
    “Come, the cold is getting into my bones. . It’s time for my [tincture
followed by my?] my mid-morning cocoa”.
                                                                              Formatted: Centered, Indent: First line: 0"




                                                                       176
                                                                         177




                          THE HELL FYRE CLUBBE
                                SEVEN DIALS
                                                                                Formatted: Centered


    Every two thousand years or so, no one knows exactly how often, the
heavens re-align – shifting through the table of the Zodiac. Astrologers
will explain how the birth of Christ marked a precession from the age of
Taurus the bull, to the age of Pisces the fish. The adoption by the early
Christians of the fish as their sacred symbol was no act of chance.
    Before Christianity, the cult of the Bull ruled people’s heads. They
worshiped Mithras, the Bull God, and in the age of the Caesars the Romans
brought their god to Britannia. Londinium, as they called the new capital,
was a mainly flat place, resting on a rolling bed of white chalk, but just
north of the river, after only some minor excavations, they uncovered a
complex underground structure of Silurian sandstone.
    The underground catacombs were Cathedral-like in their scale and in
the beauty of the natural arches. Ancient peoples had worshipped in them
since antiquity, and the Romans quickly usurped them for the worship of
Mithras.
    Mithras was a god of blood and of sacrifice. Countless throats were slit
in his name, and when the Order of St John found the caves, hundreds of
years later, the stone was stained red-brown. Pools of sacrificial blood had
run down and collected in the deepest recesses of the sandstone.
    The new tenants ignored the ancient barbarity and excavated the
caves, digging tunnels deep into the rock, and outwards to connect to
other secret locations across the city. The first seven pointed star at Seven
Dials was deep underground.




                                                                         177
                                                                      178




    Sir Francis Dashwood looked at the blood-red floor and thought to
himself that the catacombs of Seven Dials hadn’t witnessed such a scene
since the days of Mithras. The stone table was dripping and the nauseating
stench made him gag if he tried to breathe through his nose.
    The partying was over and the Clubbe was at work.
    Unpleasant work, work the gentry were wholly unused to, but
necessary work. If the world were to progress, if man’s pact with God was
to be overturned then sacrifices had to be made. The world was coming to
an end and with it came the prospect of something new. The age of
Taurus had been ended by the emergence of Pisces, and now it was the
turn of Pisces to be washed away by a new age, the age of Aquarius. The
astrologers were confident, the heavens were turning – and to the
members of The HellFyre Clubbe it promised one thing they treasured
above all else. Life everlasting.
    Sir Francis Dashwood did not take pleasure in following the
instructions that had been given to him. He pulled his foot up from the
floor and felt the leather sole reluctantly unstuck from the coagulating
slime. In return for immortality, the sacrifices they made now would be
well worth the price.
                                                                             Formatted: Centered


                                          ~
     [Insert Scene - Hell Fyre Clubbe?]
    Masonic style scene                                                      Formatted: Left




                                                                      178
                                                                         179




                       FLAMSTEED HOUSE, GREENWICH


    To the rear of the White Palace, out through the Italian gardens and
up - up on the hill - stood Flamsteed House. It was the official residence of
the Astronomer Royal, Sir Robert Boyle, but he didn’t care for it much.
Flamsteed was too far away from the fun of Soho and the sordid delights of
Seven Dials. The air at Greenwich was altogether too fresh – and the
house itself was all dark wood and creaking floors. But Captain Avery had
insisted that Flamsteed House would prove an easier environment for his
security team to work in. It was easier to defend, and besides, the house
was not completely without attraction. It contained the one thing Sir
Robert Boyle valued above any other - his telescope.
    Newton had designed the instrument as long ago as 1689, but it had
taken another forty years before the resources could be found to construct
and house it.     The end result of those efforts though was a truly
astonishing advance in the history of science.
    ‘Dear Captain Avery and the beautiful Eliza’ had been invited to spend
the week. It was not a bad place to spend possibly their last week on
Earth. He wouldn’t admit it, but Sir Robert Boyle, the big, bluff, cow-
punching Black Country Squire, was nervous.
    On the night of their arrival, they took their Madeira wine into the
west wing and sought out the telescope. By day, the oak-panelled room
was light and airy, thanks to the glass-domed ceiling, but now the room
was filled with the soft blackness of a night sky.
    The room contained only one object, a massive cedar-wood cylinder –
pointing up and out through the open ceiling. The enormous body of the




                                                                         179
                                                                          180




telescope was held in place by what looked like a wooden staircase – but
with hydraulic pistons and tubes for raising and lowering. This whole
construction, staircase and all, sat on a rotating platform in the form of a
massive metal wheel, and as soon as the party arrived, Sir Robert set to
with the hydraulic pumps. He hurriedly ratcheted the telescope towards
the correct quarter of the Heavens.
    “This thing is like magic. It uses a massive, concave mirror, bigger ’an
me, to gather the starlight and focus it.”
    Boyle’s big hands moved about excitedly as he talked. “The light’s
then reflected back up the telescope where it hits a much smaller mirror –
no bigger than ha’penny coin. This small mirror, angled at forty-five
degrees to the optical axis, bounces the light into a viewing lens at the
side.”
    Boyle indicated a small eyepiece poking out the side of the telescope,
about half way up. It could be reached only via the small set of steps.
    “The resolving power of this telescope is astonishin’ – on a summer’s
day, with a clear line of site, I can see the girls washing in the river at
Woolwich.”
    Partly because it took him so long fussing over the hydraulic controls,
and partly because of his appalling eye-sight (Boyle had studied optics in
his youth, and once copied Newton by pushing a sewing bodkin into the
back of his eye-socket) it took some time for the Comet to be found. But
after much shouting of instruction, and some to-ing and fro-ing of the
giant apparatus, Eliza was finally presented with her first opportunity to
properly study the Comet.
    She placed her eye against the viewing piece and stood for some




                                                                          180
                                                                          181




moments transfixed by the sight. “It is a remarkable thing,” she said
eventually, and then with some solemnity, “when viewed thus, at such
magnitude, it becomes clear that this object, beautiful though it be … is
fierce enough to destroy us all.”
    Avery’s face dropped, and Eliza had to smile, “Thomas, I’m joking; it’s
just a comet. The telescope is truly amazing, though.”
    She invited Avery to look through the viewing piece – and he pressed
his left eye to the lens. His vision was filled with the sight of a big burnt-
orange ball, spewing off large clouds of vaporous heat.         The tail was
altogether less intense – a yellow smudge – the burning remnants of the
Comet’s destructive path as it made its way through the Heavens.
    Avery had an immediate question.
    “If we can see the tail of the Comet, and therefore its path – clearly,
from left to right – then how could it possibly be heading towards us?
Surely if the Comet was headed straight at us – then its tail would be
behind it – and therefore unseen from our view.”
    Eliza considered this for some moments – she had studied mathematics
and Newton’s mechanicks.
    “Newton’s Principia Mathematica provides the principles of the               Formatted: Font: Italic


movement of objects in the Heavens. The planets, the sun, the moon, the
stars even, all follow curved, elliptical paths dictated by the gravitational
attractions of the other heavenly bodies.”
    “You’re telling me that comets don’t move in straight lines because
they are pulled by the gravity of other planets – I understand that, but how
can Whiston possibly have calculated the exact path of this comet?”
    Boyle interjected, “That’s what I am strugglin’ to figure. After two and




                                                                          181
                                                                          182




bit weeks I still don’t have enough to predict the Comet’s path to within
ten thousand mile - let alone stick it on the top of the Dome at St Paul’s.”
    Eliza spoke as Avery made his way down the small staircase, “We’re
only assuming that Whiston actually has calculated the course of the
Comet. Maybe he hasn’t bothered with physicks at all.”
    “Then what has he done?” asked Avery.
    “Perhaps he has more information than we do,” said Boyle
    “More information than the Astronomer Royal?”
    “Perhaps.     Maybe Whiston is relying on prophecy, and not
mathematics.”
    Sir Robert scratched at the hairline beneath his wig. “That would
certainly explain why he’s been so slow in coming forward with his
calculations. The Royal Society asked for them a week ago, but as far as I
know, he is still lying low down in Salisbury.”
    Avery needed some time to think, so he had another look at the
Comet. Still squinting into the viewing piece, he said, “Let’s just assume
for a moment that Whiston is correct, and the Comet is due to strike St
Paul’s’ Cathedral on midsummer’s day. What would we expect to see?”
Avery didn’t wait for an answer, “I’ll tell you - as the Comet marks its
curved passage through the Heavens – the yellow tail should diminish in
length – as we see it from London.”
    Eliza completed his sentence, to make sure she had understood,
“Because as it gets closer, and its path curves towards St Paul’s, the tail of
the Comet will increasingly lie behind the Comet itself. Yes that would be
true.”
    Boyle interrupted, “I’ve been tracking the Comet now for a fortnight,




                                                                          182
                                                                       183




and the Comet does seem to be turning ... turning towards us.”
    Avery nodded at that – happy to have resolved a thought that had
been nagging him since he had first seen the Comet. He was indeed the
intellectual equal of a Sir William Whiston.
    “Tom, I don’t think you understand.          Robert is telling us that
Whiston’s calculations may be correct.”
    “Well it’s still too early to know for sure ... a few more days
observation and I’ll know more.”
    They didn’t stay in the telescope room for long after that. Avery was
anxious to carry out his security inspection. Accompanied by both Boyle
and Eliza he insisted on going about every room of the house to make sure
the windows and doors had been effectively locked, barred and belled.
Captain Avery had learned the lessons of the debacle at Monmouth Street
– in the dark, anything could happen. So each window and every door -
inside and out – had a small hand bell hanging above it, like a shop bell,
ready to clang out a warning as soon as anyone, or anything, tried to pass.
No matter how dark, Captain Avery would know the exact location of any
intruder.
    They walked from room to room, and Avery took enjoyment from
displaying his thoroughness. He had even guarded against intrusion via
the fireplaces - a local blacksmith had been employed to block each
chimney with a big iron cross.      Eliza delighted in the opportunity to
inspect the elaborate plasterwork of the newly designed interior but
eventually Boyle grew bored of the inspection.
    “Unless you’re a child, or monkey, there’s no way in, and even a
monkey-child would set off dozen alarm bells before he reached a second




                                                                       183
                                                                         184




room.”
    With that comforting thought they retired to their bed chambers, and
slept soundly.


                                        ~




    Benjamin Quick lowered himself through the open glass dome. They
had left some time before, and he was satisfied they wouldn’t return now.
He hastily pulled out a small notebook and took up his position on the
wooden steps of the telescope. The Comet looked slightly darker, redder,
less orange than the night before, and he jotted down a detailed
description along with the new co-ordinates and some other scribbled
notes. When he was quite satisfied that everything was documented, he
put down his notebook and pulled out a loose plank from the back of the
great staircase, lowering himself into the belly of the structure. He took
great care to replace the plank behind him and settled down into the
comforts of his little hide-away.
    Benjamin didn’t mind small spaces, he found comfort in them; they
gave him security to think.         Seeing Eliza again had crystallized some
thoughts and he was glad that he had decided to follow her down to
Greenwich. There was something about her that left him mesmerized. It
wasn’t just that she was pretty, although she was decidedly pretty, and it
wasn’t just that they looked alike, it was something else, about her face. It
was a face he could understand – he could read it. Where other faces
seemed blank, her face was lit up with expression, signs of what she was




                                                                         184
                                                                         185




thinking and feeling.
    She was out of the ordinary and Benjamin liked out of the ordinary,
after all he was pretty extraordinary himself. His grandfather had brought
him up to be exactly that, unique.      ‘A probabilistic impossibility’, his
grandfather had always called him.
    Benjamin laid himself down on his makeshift bed of cushions and let
his mind wander. The other thing about Eliza was that she was his route
into Society. With her by his side he would sail into it. Years ago he had
known that a life toiling on the land was too utterly dull to contemplate,
that’s when he’d first argued with his grandfather. The old man was
happy to live out his life in the forest, tending his vegetables and his
chickens, working on his experiments, shutting out the world. Life in the
village wasn’t any better – they were a suspicious, wary lot who didn’t
seem to think about much beyond food, beer and a roof.
    It had taken him a year of robbery to build up his nest egg. Most of it
was still in jewellery, but a decent share, maybe 2000 guineas was in ready
coin. He’d originally planned to go abroad, maybe buy a boat and go
trading in the East Indies, become the king of somewhere exotic south of
Sarawak. After that he could return as a great nabob and buy up half of
Sussex for his country estate.
    Since he’d met Eliza though, his plans had changed. He didn’t need to
disappear overseas – he could just set up in London, maybe a trading
house, or a Bank. He’d always fancied setting up a great lottery - like
Cassanova. All he needed was a bit of property and a decent tailor ... and
the right connections ... he’d need Eliza for those, but once he got going he
wouldn’t need anyone, he’d be unstoppable.         Benjamin found himself




                                                                         185
                                                                      186




tapping gently on the side of his knee, enjoying the rhythm. He had spent
part of the time after his escape enquiring about property, and had been
surprised to learn how cheap it was to come by. A short lease over a six
bed house in one of the new squares would be less than a thousand
pounds. He had a set of rubies worth half that on their own.
    The only question was how to secure a pardon, and his mind turned to
that far from simple topic. Technically he didn’t need one, everyone knew
that God’s pardon was the most sacred of all, but given the publicity his
escape still seemed to be attracting it would probably be prudent to have
something arranged – in case people got excitable.
    Better still, Benjamin thought to himself for the first time, he could
win over the mob – win their favour. If he could do something to save the
country from the comet, he’d be a national hero. Benjamin let the thought
sit there for a few moments, enjoying the possibility. There had to be a
way, he now knew more about the comet than just about anyone alive.
And with that happy thought Benjamin Quick drifted into an easy sleep.
                                                                             Formatted: Font: Not Italic


                                    ~


    His sleep was broken by the sound of the observatory door opening
inwards. It gave a long, constant groan as it opened and Benjamin was
immediately awake. The entrant carried a lamp and its light penetrated
through a gap in the wooden structure that Benjamin occupied.          He
pressed his eye close to the wood, and made out the shape of Sir Robert
Boyle. The Astronomer Royal had clearly been sleeping and had obviously
been woken for the first of his night-time observations. Benjamin realised




                                                                      186
                                                                      187




he would have to become used to these interruptions over the next few
nights. Benjamin waited now for the groan of the wooden staircase as it
took the man’s great bulk, but the noise never came.
    Benjamin took another look through the slit and quickly saw the lamp.
Sir Robert had placed it on the ground and was making himself
comfortable next to it. He crossed his arms over his belly, pulled up the
collar of his nightgown and closed his eyes.
    Benjamin sat for a full twenty minutes watching the man sleep,
bemused as to why he would bother to get out of a perfectly good bed just
to sleep on the floor. Eventually the astronomer opened his eyes, gave a
fat yawn, and rather nimbly for a man of over sixteen stone, sprang to his
feet. Benjamin watched as the scientist stretched his back and made for
the door, leaving as noisily as he had arrived.                              Comment [l55]: [Flower Thunbergia
                                                                             myorensis]
    Benjamin jabbed the ball of his hand against the wooden plank above
his head and it jolted upwards. Soon he was out and looking into the
viewing piece of the telescope and sure enough, the earth’s rotation had
long since moved the telescope onto an empty portion of the heavens. The
astronomer had come down to observatory but hadn’t bothered with any
actual astronomy. Benjamin filed away this latest piece of information and
decided to make use of the telescope himself.
    He was increasingly confident that Whiston’s predictions for the path
of the comet were nonsense, but he wasn’t certain – not completely. He
could tell Eliza what he’d discovered, but she wouldn’t believe him
without proof, and he didn’t exactly have that after only a few
observations.
    No, he would bide his time and present her with unequivocal proof.




                                                                      187
                                                                        188




He thought about the look of amazement on her face when she learned
that he had mastered Newton’s calculus and could prove that London was
safe. If she wasn’t fascinated by him already – then she soon would be.
Soon she would be as fascinated by him as he was with her. And with that
satisfying thought, he went back to his scribbled calculations, just to make
certain he hadn’t missed anything.


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   And the third Angel sounded, and lo, there was a great
earthquake; and the sky became black as a sackcloth of
hair.

                                      Book of Revelation 8: 10




                                                          194
                                                                            195




    When       Dr    Denney,      Member    of    The    Royal    Society    of
ScientifickScientific Philosophers, was found dead in his bath, some people
assumed it was just an unfortunate accident. . The sort of accident that
happened to ScientifickScientific Philosophers. . Most great intellectual
discoveries coame at a cost in life, usually it’ was [just] a ratmouse, or a dog
that loses out. . Some who read the newspapers story [in the whatever
newspaper..]assumed the silly stupid blighter fool had done himself in by
mistake.
    But not many. .
    Most knew exactly who [must be]was to blame. . [in their collective
imaginings it could only be][It was] the Vampyre-Demon. . He’d come in
the night to claim another victim – and feed on living brain.. At least,
that’s what everyone said, yet another sign that the world was about to
end.
       [I guess, like we discussed, it is the little passages like this that
potentially confuse the reader]
    When the King’s Coroner investigated, it didn’t take him long to find
the cause of death. . The mortician found, within the scholar’s gullet, a
great ball of human hair. . It had been stuffed down his throat with
immense force. It was confirmed that the hair had been the very same
bundle that the Doctor had presented to the Royal Society the Saturday
before.
    The Coroner made sure to note that the brain was intact – but this
small fact didn’t seem to hinder the newspaper essayists. . They had
another dead body – more fuel to their fire. . It was a grand time to be a
writer, every fantastical word theory they wrote created was devoured by




                                                                            195
                                                                          196




a paranoid population..
    [what were they writing exactly/ it may help to clarify the collective
hysteria of the populace]      Conversely, it was a terrible time to be a
scientifickscientific philosopher. . The members of the Royal Society, who
for a generation had seemed to be everywhere, in all walks of public life,
strutting their intellectual brilliance, just seemed to evaporate. . Back to
their country houses, or to the Universities of Europe, to Leipzig and
Vienna - they just upped and left. . Within a week few days of Dr Olger’s
death, barely a single scientist remained in the Capital.
    And the Shipton Comet still weighed heavily on people’s minds. . It
never left the sky, even during the day a light smudge could be made out
amongst the blue.      .   Two Over a week s had passed since its first          Comment [LH57]: Check timing


appearance, and at every nightfall since, it had been the first star to shine,
and the last to fade at dawn. . Its existence seemed to burn itself into the
mind of the city. . People would cross themselves whenever they caught
sight of it; they would go to bed early just to avoid looking at it.
    The supposed night-presence of the Vampyre wasn’t helping. . Men
would scurry into taprooms and not leave ‘til dawn, the streets of London
had never been quieter, even crime seemed to vacate the city.[do we need
to express a link made by the newpapers and the populace between the
Demon who escaped death at the gibbet and the comet – perhaps we need
to quote a paper article very much linking the two… and the two headed
chicken is a further sign of impending doome….]
    The tension could not keep building forever.               .   Finally, on
Wednesday, June 14th,, after days and weeks of terrible speculation and
wild tattle-tales, there came news from Aylesbury. . A chicken had been




                                                                          196
                                                                       197




found, with two heads. . It was as sure a sign as anything that the country
was going to the Devil. . The people of [Seven Dials][do you mean the H
F club? Or do you mean just Londoners in general – bit confusing]London
knew who to blame, it was the King - they should never have allowed a
German onto the throne. .
    They marched on Buckingham Palace, rattled the new railings, and
generally hurled foul words and street filth at an empty balcony. . There
was only one company of guards in residence, and they formed up in front
of the palace, a meagre looking force when set against the great facade of
the King's residence. . Muskets were primed but never fired; the railings
served their purpose and when night came on, and brought with it the
Comet, the crowd went home in sullen fear.
    Sir Robert Walpole, the Prime Minister, and Sir Lancelot Blackburne,
the Lord Chancellor, were immediately summoned to dine with the King
and his favoured advisor, the Lady Salisbury.
    The discussion was widely rumoured to have been frank and full. .
Lady Salisbury was given strict orders to keep the French Embassy
content, hint at everything – but promise nothing. . It was her duty to
prolong negotiations beyond the date of midsummer, though she professed
her doubts that such a thing would prove possible. . Sir Robert Walpole
agreed to raise window tax and order make monies available for the army
to be put on war footingthe army to prepare for war. . Sir Lancelot
Blackburne would preserve law and order, and the sanctity of the nation.
    [this short scene may need to be expanded a little – the king and
Walpole are very much absent in this book and both may need further
exposure – we don’t however, I guess, want to slow the pace too much –




                                                                       197
                                                                        198




maybe a couple more paragraphs?]King George was advised to switch
residence to a more remote palace. . Blackburne was clear in his advice,
Buckingham House was out of the question, even Windsor was too close. .
But the King declined Blackburne’s counsel, confirming that his place was
with his people. . He would remain in London, and be able to look the
people of the East End in the eye.
    Sir Lancelot Blackburne took little comfort from the meeting that
anyone had a strategy for avoiding calamity. . Sir Robert Walpole seemed
to be more interested in his own personal safety than that of the country.
Lady Salisbury couldn’t be trusted not to make her bed with the French,
but all in all iIt was as though everyone simply refused to believe that the
worst could happen. More reports were coming from France all the time
and to listen to the language, King Louis was preparing a veritable Armada
- but all George the King wanted to talk about was the chicken in
Aylesbury.
    “How can a bird have the two heads? Does it have two stomach? Can
we get an eggeegg?”
    Blackburne buried his head in hands.         .   He had an increasing
conviction that they were all doomed.




     [there is no mention of whether they have any belief in the rumour
 that the comet will hit etc – what is their feeling – do any of them think
  that perhaps they might die? There is no feeling of impending doom so
                          what is their position?]




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~




    199
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                        FLAMSTEED HOUSE, GREENWICH                             Formatted: Indent: First line: 0.3"




    To the rear of the White Palace, out through the Italian gardens and
up - up on the hill - stood Flamsteed House. . It was the official residence
of the Astronomer Royal[do we need to explain this position or have we
done so already?], Sir Robert Boyle, but he didn’t care for it much. .
Flamsteed was too far away from the fun of Soho and the sordid delights of
Seven Dials. . The air at Greenwich was altogether too fresh – and the
house itself was all dark wood and creaking floors. . But Captain Avery
had insisted that Flamsteed House would prove an easier environment for
his security team to work in. . It was easier to defend, and besides, the
house was not completely without attraction. . It contained the one thing
Sir Robert Boyle valued above any other - his telescope.
    Newton had designed the instrument as long ago as 1669, but it had
taken another forty years before the resources could be found to construct
and house it.   .   The end result of those efforts though was a truly
astonishing advance in the history of science.
    ‘Dear Captain Avery and the beautiful Eliza’ had been invited to spend
the week. . [have they been stationed here under the instruction of
Blackburne?]It was not a bad place to spend possibly their last week on
Earth. . He wouldn’t admit it, but Sir Robert Boyle, the big, bluff, cow-
punching Black Country Squire, was nervous.
    On the night of their arrival, they took their Madeira wine into the
west wing and sought out the telescope. . By day, the oak-panelled room
was light and airy, thanks to the glass-domed ceiling, but now the room




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                                                                          201




was filled with the soft blackness of a night sky. .
     The room contained only one object; a massive cedar-wood cylinder –
pointing up and out through the open ceiling. . The enormous body of the
telescope was held in place by what looked like a wooden staircase – but
with hydraulic pistons and tubes for raising and lowering. . This whole
construction, staircase and all, sat on a rotating platform in the form of a
massive metal wheel, and as soon as the party arrived, Sir Robert set to
with the hydraulic pumps. . He hurriedly ratcheted the telescope towards
the correct quarter of the Heavens.
     “This thing is like magic. . It uses a massive, concave mirror, bigger
’an me, to gather the starlight and focus it.” .”
     Boyle’s big hands moved about excitedly as he talked. . “The light’s
then reflected back up telescope where it hits a much smaller mirror – no
bigger than ha’penny coin.       .   This small mirror, angled at forty-five
degrees to the optical axis, bounces the light into a viewing lens at the
side.” .”
     Boyle indicated a small eyepiece poking out the side of the telescope,
about half way up. . It could be reached only via the small set of steps. .
     “The resolving power of this telescope is astonishin’ – on a summer’s
day, with a clear line of site, I can see the girls washing in river at
Woolwich.” .”
     Partly because it took him so long to fuss over the hydraulic controls,
and partly because of his appalling eye-sight (Boyle had studied optics in
his youth, and once copied Newton’s methods by pushing a sewing bodkin
into the back of his eye-socket) it took some time for the Comet to be
found. . But after much shouting of instruction, and some to-ing and fro-




                                                                          201
                                                                         202




ing of the giant apparatus, Eliza was finally presented with [her] first
opportunity to properly study the Comet.
    She placed her eye against the viewing piece and stood for some
moments transfixed by the sight. . “It is a remarkable thing,” she said
eventually, and then with some solemnity, “when viewed thus, at such
magnitude, it becomes clear that this object, beautiful though it be … is
fierce enough to destroy us all.”
    Avery’s face dropped, and Eliza had to smile, “Ben, I’m joking; it’s just
a comet. . The telescope is truly amazing, though.”
    She invited Avery to look through the viewing piece – and he pressed
his left eye to the lens. . His vision was filled with the sight of a big
burnt-orange ball, spewing off large clouds of vaporous heat. . The tail
was altogether less intense – a yellow smudge – the burning remnants of
the Comet’s destructive path as it made its way through the Heavens. .
    Avery had an immediate question.
    “If we can see the tail of the Comet, and therefore its path – clearly,
from left to right – then how could it possibly be heading towards us?
Surely if the Comet was headed straight at us – then its tail would be
behind it – and therefore unseen from our view.”
    Eliza considered this for some moments – she had studied
mathematicksmathematics and Newton’s mechanicks. .
    “Newton’s Principia Mathematica provides the principles of the
movement of objects in the Heavens. . The planets, the sun, the moon,
the stars even, all follow curved, elliptical paths dictated by the
gravitational attractions of the other heavenly bodies.”
    “You’re telling me that comets don’t move in straight lines because




                                                                         202
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they are pulled by the gravity of other planets – I understand that, but how
can WhistoneWhiston possibly have calculated the exact path of this
comet?”
    Boyle interjected, “That’s what I am strugglin’ to figure. . After two
and bit weeks I still don’t have enough to predict the Comet’s path to
within ten thousand mile - let alone stick it on the top of the Dome of St
Paul’s.”
    Eliza spoke as she made her way down the small staircase, “We’re only
assuming that WhistoneWhiston actually has calculated the course of the
Comet. . Maybe he hasn’t bothered with physicks at all.”
    “Then what has he done?” asked Avery.
    “Perhaps he has more information than we do.”
    “More information than the Astronomer Royal?”
    “Perhaps. . Maybe, WhistoneWhiston is relying on prophecy, and not
mathematicksmathematics.”
    Sir Robert scratched at the hairline beneath his wig. . “That would
certainly explain why he’s been so slow in coming forward with his
calculations. – The Royal Society asked for them over a week ago.”[, but
as far as I know, he is still lying low at the Henge…] down in Salisbury.”[it
would just explain a bit more of Whistone’s current wearabouts]
    Avery needed some time to think, so he had another look at the
Comet. . Still squinting into the viewing piece, he said, “Let’s just assume,
for a moment, that WhistoneWhiston is correct, and the Comet is due to
strike St Paul’s’ Cathedral on midsummer’s day. . What would we expect
to see?” Avery didn’t wait for an answer, “I’ll tell you - as the Comet
marks its curved passage through the Heavens – the yellow tail should




                                                                         203
                                                                          204




diminish in length – as we see it from London.”
    Eliza completed his sentence, to make sure she had understood,
“Because as it gets closer, and its path curves towards St Paul’s, the tail of
the Comet will increasingly lie behind the Comet itself. . Yes that would
be true.” .”
    Boyle interrupted, “I’ve been tracking the Comet know for a fortnight,
and the Comet does seem to be turning ... . turning towards us.”
    Avery nodded at that – happy to have resolved a thought that had
been nagging him since he had first seen the Comet. . He was indeed the
intellectual equal of a Sir William WhistoneWhiston.
    “Ben, I don’t think you understand.        .   Robert is telling us that
WhistoneWhiston’s calculations may be correct.”
    “Well it’s still too early to know for sure ... . a few more days
observation and I’ll know more.”
    They didn’t stay in the telescope room for long after that. . Avery was
anxious to carry out his security inspection. . Accompanied by both Boyle
and Eliza he insisted on going about every room of the house to make sure
the windows and doors had been effectively locked, barred and belled. .
Captain Avery had learned the lessons of the debacle at Monmouth Street
– in the dark, anything could happen. . So each window and every door -
inside and out – had a small hand bell hanging above it, like a shop bell,
ready to clang out a warning as soon as anyone, or anything, tried to pass.
. No matter how dark, Captain Avery would know the exact location of
any intruder. .
    They walked from room to room, and Avery took enjoyment from
displaying his thoroughness. . He had even guarded against intrusion via




                                                                          204
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the fireplaces - a local blacksmith had been employed to block each
chimney with a big iron cross. . Eliza delighted in the opportunity to
inspect the elaborate plasterwork of the newly designed interior but
eventually Boyle grew bored of the inspection. .
     “Unless you’re a child, or monkey, there’s no way in, and even a
monkey-child would set off dozen alarm bells before he reached a second
room.”
    With that comforting thought they retired to their bed chambers, and
slept soundly. .




                                     ~


    Jericho Quick lowered himself through the open glass dome. . They
had left some time before, and he was satisfied they would no’t return
now. . He hastily pulled out a small notebook and took up his position on
the wooden steps of the telescope. . The Comet was looked less reddarker,      Comment [l58]: doublecheck science of red-shift


redder, less orange than the night before, and hhe was sure of it. He jotted
down a detailed description along with the new co-ordinates and some
other scribbled notes.   W and other scribbled noteshen he was quite
satisfied that everything was documented, he put down his notebook and
pulled out a loose plank from the back of the great staircase, lowering
himself into the belly of the structure. He took great care to replace the
plank behind him and settled down into the comforts of his little [][hide-
away].
    Jericho didn’t mind small spaces, he found comfort in them; they gave




                                                                        205
                                                                          206




him security to think. Seeing Eliza again had crystallized some thoughts in
his mind. There was something about her that he found mesmerizing. It
wasn’t just that she was pretty, although she was decidedly pretty, and it
wasn’t just that they looked alike, it was something else - about her face.
It was a face he could understand – he could read it. Where other faces
seemed blank, her face was lit up with emotions, signs of what she was
thinking and feeling.
    She was out of the ordinary, and Jericho liked out of the ordinary,
after all he was pretty extraordinary himself. His grandfather had brought
him up to be exactly that, unique.      ‘A probabilistic impossibility’, his
grandfather had always called him.
    Jericho laid himself down on his makeshift bed of cushions. What
would his grandfather have suggested he [to][should] do next? William
WhistoneWhiston’s predictions for the path of the comet were gibberish,
Jericho was sure of that now. The question was, what should he do with
that information.   He could tell Eliza, but she wouldn’t believe him
without proof, and he didn’t exactly have that– he’d only made two days’
worth of observations. And besides, how would she react when she found
out that he was sneaking about the Flamsteed Observatory?.
    No he would bide his time. Present her with unequivocal proof. He
thought about the look of amazement on her face when she learned that
he had mastered Newton’s calculus.       If she wasn’t fascinated by him
already – then she soon would be. Soon she would be as fascinated by him
as he was with her. And with that satisfying thought, he went back to his
scribbled calculations, just to make certain he hadn’t missed anything.
    , and then pulled himself back through the glass roof.




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                       FLAMSTEED HOUSE, GREENWICH
                                                                                Comment [LH60]: [Change below so that it
                                                                                starts during the day – luncheon on the Italian
                                                                                Terrace. Sunny but a bit windy – they ignore the
    The days at Flamsteed began to merge one into one another. . For
                                                                                wind like good Englishmen, out and determined to
                                                                                enjoy a picnic. Then as the afternoon draws on,
Avery it was all highly frustrating, waiting for Boyle to make up his mind,     they retire to the house – Sir John Hooke to his
                                                                                Study – to work onthe calculus that has finally
watching him take new measurements at each dusk and dawn. . It all              been forced out of Whiston. Eliza – for an
                                                                                afternoon nap – her mother’s greatest beauty
seemed interminable. . Midsummer was less than a week away and he               secret except she would always be accompanied by
                                                                                a stout glass of Sherry. Avery to his security.
had allowed himself to be sidelined down at Greenwich, babysitting the
big scientist.   .   The Department was filled with ambitious officers,
someone else would get the glory for this campaign, he Avery was sure of
it. . His only solace was that he could spend time with Eliza, but even that
was problematic, - for shshe was always seemed to be busy. For. To her
Eliza, the chance to spend time with the England’s foremost great scientist,
to watch him at work in his laboratory, was priceless.[..for Avery it is a
romantic back drop – possible end to the earth he is full of heightened
passion for Eliza – he wants to finish off what he started to say whilst in
Vauxhall Gardens… will just set up his internal dialogue a bit more, man
of action but also struggling to express himself to |Eliza, who appears to
have affection for him, but not doey eyed – we need to get this right, just
so the reader understands a little more Eliza’s mixed feelings and Avery’s
determination to have Eliza as his wife – would he like her to be away
from the department and her experiments and be more of a homely wife
type?....perhaps we need to air his thoughts on her life and how he may
like it to change – he loves the excitemement that she brings to his life but
does he want to capture and constrain it/tame it? She is a challenge, unlike
any other woman…]
    They had taken to eating breakfast on the terrace. . It faced southeast,




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looking down over a grand sweep of lawn and onto the river. . Best of all,
it invited in the morning sun. . The room was supposed to be one of the
fashionable new Orangeries (now that everything architectural had to be
Italian, they’d become all the rage) but the citrus trees had all blackened
over the winter. . The Flamsteed’s gardener didn’t seem to have the
knack.
    The high levels of security did had done much to relax the trio, and
even Avery was happy to settle down to a long breakfast. . As ever, Eliza
was interested to learn more about Sir Robert’s latest experiments. . And
Sir Robert Boyle, like any good scientist, was desperate to talk about them.
    “Tell us about the chicken-mesmer, how is it easy is it to do?”
    Sir Robert pulled a face. . “Easy enough. . Most birds take next to no
effort to hypnotise. . Let’s get a chicken up from the kitchen and I can
show you.” .” He looked to one of the staffestaff, a black-coated agent,
and gave a nod.
    “You have to get the bird calm of course – but it works pretty much
every time.     .   I’ve actually been working on some new techniques
involving sound. . Certain chords from a pianoforte have a startling effect
on lower animals and even humans.” .”
        The scientist looked meaningfully over at Captain Avery, hidden
behind a copy of tThe London Gazette, “MAnd mMen are just as easy to           Formatted: Font: Italic
                                                                               Formatted: Font: Not Italic
hypnotise, you know.”
    Sir Robert beamed rakishly, Eliza raised a tolerant smile in reply, and
let him continue.
    .
    “IPerhaps would say, even easier. . Female beauty does it, if there’s




                                                                         209
                                                                        210




enough skin on show, and gold; I’ve seen a man lose his wits at the sight of
too much gold.”
    Avery looked over the top of his GazetteCourant. . “As a young cadet,
I spent time guarding the Royal Mint. . No solider was allowed to look
directly at the gold, in case he was driven mad by it.”
    “That's what they told you, I bet they were less concerned about your
mental health than they were about you stealing it.”
    “They say Newton was crazed by it in the end,” said Eliza, “but he
used to eat the stuff.”
    “Ah but that wasn’t any old gold – that was Solomon’s gold,”
interjected Sir Robert.
    “What’s the difference?” asked Avery.
    “About one twentieth of a Troy Ounce per two guinea coin.”
    Avery looked confused.
    “It’s heavier, it looks like normal gold but it’s a whole twentieth
heavier.”[explain a little more about this here – introduce the gold idea,
Solomon’s gold some more to the reader?]
    “Well that’s not possible ... gold is gold ... isn’t it?”
    “It’s certainly possible,” said Sir Robert, “just about anything is
possible. Look at Jacob Olger’s underwater dog. You would have said that
wasn’t possible until you saw it with your own eyes.”
    Breakfast arrived, assorted plates trays of grilled fish and egges and
sausages, served efficiently by one of Avery’s black-coated officers.
    Much to Boyle’s annoyance, a dozen intelligence officers from The
Department had replaced his normal household staffestaff.         . He had
fought particularly hard over the loss of his Irish cook, but when Avery




                                                                        210
                                                                           211




discovered that she hadn’t been vetted by the Department, and was a
suspected Catholic to boot, he had given Sir Robert no truck. . The cook
was packed off. .
    But the officers seemed to know their way round a kitchen, and this
morning, Sir Robert was sufficiently satisfied with his first mouthful that
he spoke through it. .
    “There’s one other method – though I’ve never seen it. . I read an
account by a German Jesuit scholar called Mirabile Experimentum de
Imaginatione Femineus.. Miraculous Experiment with a Woman’s Mind. .
The Jesuit brought great change in a woman through the use of
musicsounds – sounds so high-pitched that only dogs could hear them -
and yet somehow they had the ability to penetrate the woman’s mind.”
    “Do all you scholars think us women are weak minded?” asked Eliza.
    Sir Robert gruntedshrugged, and reached for more bread.
    The helpings came and went, until finally even the great belly of Sir
Robert Boyle was satisfied. . Avery accepted a second glass of water. .
Now breakfast was finished he wanted to discuss the Comet with Boyle,
before the scientist scurried off to his laboratory.
    “Sir Robert, do you feel you’re any closer to revealing the path of the
Shipton Comet?”
    The scientist picked at his tooth. . “It’s still too early I’m afraid. . By
tonight I should be much nearer an answer. . The Comet is now shifting
noticeably from night to night – which means it’s close.” .”
    Avery nodded, forcing himself but decided he could no longer be to be
patient. .
    “Sir Robert, the summer solstice is perilously close – I fear that the




                                                                           211
                                                                              212




time for certainty and guarantees is passed. We must tell the people the
truth and soon. If we are to avert full-scale pandemonium then we must
begin to win the over.       Our plan is for you to publish a rebuttal of
Whiston’s maths. Lord Blackburne is bringing him back to London and he
won’t be able to hold a candle to you in a public debate – you’ll show him
up as the opportunistic charlatan he is.” Avery declined to mention the
plan to dope Whiston’s food with a little mercury – he still didn’t feel quite
comfortable with that part of the strategy.
    Boyle seemed about to say something, but Eliza continued where
Avery had left off. “Sir Robert, after that I’m pretty sure the public mood
will be ours for the shaping. Our suggestion is for you to publically declare
that you intend to dine at St Paul’s on the 21st. You could invite some of           Formatted: Superscript


the country’s great and good - to a huge banquet. Can you imagine the
publicity we’ll get with that. Avery even wants to invite the K—”
    “Liza, Liza, slow down ... I’d love to do any of that, but first we need to
have the facts. It’s still too early ... I’ll need another day at the very least.”
    Eliza looked at Avery and raised her eyebrows.
    “I suppose we’ll just have to be patient then – but please Sir Robert
we’ve barely a week left. If you don’t have the full facts by tomorrow
night then we may have to proceed without them. The printing presses
will need time to do their work.
    He Avery had another question for the Royal Astronomer, and after
finishing his glass of water, he asked. ,. “dSir Robert, what do you know
much regarding of the latest scientist to be killed? Dr Denney.”
    Sir Robert paused, “I confess a great deal of ignorance. . Dr Denney
was either a charlatan or a fool, and probably both. . When I first heard




                                                                              212
                                                                         213




he was found dead in his bath, I assumed he'd slipped on some soap. .
Either that or one of his patients got tired of his quackery. . A different
man to Dr Olger altogether. . Olger only spoke when he had something
sensible to say - which is rare in the Royal Society.”
    “How advanced was Denney’s mathematicksmathematics?” asked
Eliza.
    Avery looked meaningfully, first at Eliza, then to Boyle. , “At the Lord
Chancellor's Department we have a theory that the murdered men may
have been killed because they possess a working knowledge of Newton’s
calculus—”
    “and could therefore prove WhistoneWhiston to be a fraud.” .” Eliza
completed the sentence.
    Sir Robert Boyle rubbed the palm of his hand on the thick wood at the
table's edge. . “Dr Olger's grasp of mathematicksmathematics is ... . was ...
. pretty advanced, Dr Denney claimed such knowledge, but no-one really
believed him. . Many understand the concept, but very few have actually
mastered the calculus. . Some say that only seven people in history have
ever truly been able to work it – and half of them are either dead or
mad.”[should he try to throw them and the reader off the scent at this
point?]
    Avery nodded forcefully, “Then it points to an outsider. . If everyone
in the Royal Society knew the man was an idiot – then the murderer must
have been an outsider.”
    “Or else the entire theory is wrong.” .” said Eliza.
    The wind whipped up at that point, and Boyle was on his feet in an
instant, closing the window. . He looked at both of their faces carefully,




                                                                         213
                                                                          214




his own suddenly grim in the bright light of the morning sun. . And who
do you suppose is behind it all?”
    “Well that’s a question we have for you,”             said Avery, “The
Department has discounted Dr Olger’s theory about the HellFyre Clubbe. .
But I’m not sure.”
    “I wouldn’t pay too much heed to that talk, I suspect Jacob Olger was a
little unhinged by the end – fear does strange things to a man.”
    “Then who sent him the letter?” asked Eliza
    Boyle shrugged. . “For all h’is genius, maybe bebe ‘cause of it, Dr
Olger wasn’t a popular man.”[this is a little difficult to understand
sometimes too Eck-e-thump]
    At that moment, the chicken appeared.         . It was squawking and
flapping loudly in the hands of a phlegmatic agent. . The agent, Symonds,
was one of Avery’s best men; he wore the standard Department uniform,
severe black coat and breeches, and no wig.
    Sir Robert Boyle was presented with the bird and the scientist took the
chicken in his great hands and held it down on the stone floor. .
    “Now, ’liza, take some charcol from the fireplace and draw a line on
the flagstones, start at the beak, right in front of its eyes, straight as you
can ... . for three paces or so.”
    Eliza did as she was bid. . The black line snaked a little, but was for
the most part straight.
    Sir Robert let go of the bird.
    It stood, static, silent, mesmerized, head to the ground in a waking
trance.
    “It can stay like that for up to a day. . Magic.” .” Sir Robert shook his




                                                                          214
                                                                             215




head, smiling. . He had performed the experiment a dozen times, but he
still felt joy at witnessing some puzzle he was yet to solve. . “The same
thing happens to me sometimes when I have to watch Italian Opera. .
Ha!”
    Avery allowed himself a relaxed smile before speaking. . “Eliza, I’ve
been thinking. . There might be one way for us to discover who killed Dr
Olger. . Symonds, would you bring the basketg from the hall[?].”
    Sir Robert looked agitated, excitedintrigued. . He sat back down at
the table and poured himself a glass of water.
    Avery continued in a serious tone., “[T]there’s something we’ve
overlooked. . There was a witness – to the murder itself. . I’m convinced
that this witness is the key to solving these crimes.”
    Eliza leaned forward. . “Who is it?”
    Avery didn’t answer, instead Symonds returned with a heavy wicker
picnic leather bagbasket and placed it on the table. . They waited as
Avery unbuckled the bag leather strapson the table, and in answer to
Eliza’s question, almost immediately, a head popped up. . The head and
brown-eyes of a Beagle pup. . It barked at the sight of Eliza. .
    Avery smiled[pleased with himself – had exactly the effect/reaction he
was hoping for – the dog represents settling down, a home life etc etc…],
lifted the dog out of the bag basket and sat him down on the table. . “He
likes you already.” .” The dog didn’t hesitate, it scampered, paws slipping
on the polished wood, and slid onto Eliza’s lap.                .   Eliza laughed
breathlessly as the little dog pressed itself into her chest.
    “Our men took him away from Olger’ laboratory – I thought he might
make a good guard dog.”




                                                                             215
                                                                         216




    The dog barked;, he was trying to lick Eliza’s face now, but she
distracted him with a piece of sausage. .
    “Is his ear always like that?”
    The dog was of the one-ear-up, one-ear-down variety. . So endearing
it guaranteed him life-long affection. . Eliza stroked down the dog’s
upstanding ear and it sprang back up immediately.
    “It gives him a look of action, don’t you think?”
    Eliza smiled. . She gave the dog a vigorous rub and it barked out a
friendly yelp.
    “Will you keep him Eliza? As a gift from me.”
    “Yes Avery, I think I will keep him, tho’ I have little faith that he’ll
protect me against so much as a tabby cat – let alone the minions of the
HellFyre Clubbe.”
    Sir Robert Boyle drained his glass of breakfast sherry, “He needs a
name. . Looks like a BenThomas – what about Big BenTom?” He looked
at BenTom Avery with a friendly smile.
    “No, he's too clever to be a BenTom,” said Eliza, unnot really aware of
what she was sayingthe insult, “I'll call him Newton.” .” She stroked the       Comment [LH61]: Leibnitz ????????


dog's left ear, the down ear, between her thumb and forefinger, feeling the
warmth of the dog's blood.
    “I hope you forgive my little joke, Sir Robert,” said Avery, “I doubt
we’ll get this witness to talk.” .” For a while, Sir Robert contented himself
with scratching his unshaven chin. . After a few moments of this, he
spoke. .
    “Yes, just a dumb animal. . In ancient Sumeria they used to cut out a
beast’s entrails in order to communicate with the souls of their dead. . I’ve




                                                                         216
                                                                         217




not seen it done, tho’ I once read an account ...’ performed on a cat, . I
could dig out a copy.”
    With that, Sir Robert Boyle’s breakfast was over. . He stood and left
in the direction of the library.
    Eliza, hugged Newton as he sat on her lap, and watched the scientist
leave and hugged Newton as he sat on her lap. . . She looked across at
BenTom, with clear eyes. . “You are not to harm him. . I’ll have your
word, BenjaminThomas Avery.”
    “Eliza ... . You have it. I’ll protect that dog with my life.” .” He gave
her a beaming gallant smile, then and went thought about going straight
back to his newspaper, but decided against. . “Eliza, we need to talk. If
Boyle’s testimony is to be useful we must have it soon.” Avery looked
around the bright white terrace. “I despair that we’ll spend the entire
crisis stuck down here while Robert fusses over his mathematicks.”
    “Don’t worry Thomas, Robert will come through. You’ll return to
London - the triumphant Hermes bearing the good news.”
    “But we still don’t have the first clue what’s going on. Have you
thought about Whiston’s coin? The inscriptions.”
    Eliza shook her head. “Resurgam means, I shall rise again. That’s all.
Christ said it when he was the on the cross. I can’t think of anything else
it could be referring to.”
    “And the cross? The Maltese cross?”
    “I looked that up in the library, but I didn’t make much progress. It’s
the cross of St John - John the Apostle who wrote the gospel. I can’t think
how it could be possibly relevant ... to any of this.”
    Avery pulled a face, he was feeling desperate and Eliza, usually so




                                                                         217
                                                                        218




dependable for her thinking, wasn’t coming up with the answers.
    “So we have God’s Holy One, Jeova Sanctus Unus probably Jesus,
possibly St John, rising again.
    “The Book of Revelations coming to pass ...” Eliza said it with a bright
ghoulish smile. “Come on Tom, stop worrying about things you can’t
control. We have a plan – we wait for Sir Robert to come good and then
we go into action. He’ll be ready by tomorrow night – he promised – and
we’ll have five days to turn things round.”
    Avery huffed, a little ungallantly, and immediately regretted it. “And
the HellFyre Clubbe? We still don’t know the first thing about them.”
    Eliza was losing patience “I still don’t know why you didn’t ask for the
file. He can’t have any reason to conceal it.” The thought of a further
payment of her father’s 900 guineas immediately flashed into her mind,
but she dismissed it.
    “There’s no way Sir Lancelot would have handed that file over. He
almost exploded when I even mentioned it.” Avery gave a final sigh and
returned wistfully to his newspaper.
    Watching him disappear behind his London Gazette, Eliza had a              Formatted: Font: Italic


sudden vision of what it would be like married to Captain BenTom. He
had tried to ask her at least twice, and on both occasions she had found a
means to divert him. . Not that she particularly disliked the idea, – in all
honesty, fact she was rather drawn to it.
    Life with Avery would be distinctly comfortable, and she’d be sure to
keep her many freedoms. She found herself imagining how [life] would
be. At first first, idyllic. They’d be the toast of Ssociety, and then they
would find a little estate out of town, somewhere to raise a family. That’s




                                                                        218
                                                                         219




when Eliza’s imaginings began to blacken. There could be no bright future
for her, and there would be no children.
    No children would see Eliza follow her mother’s path into madness.
Eliza’s mother, and her grand-mother before that, had both been
cursedstruck down by insanitythe madness. Each story was the same, a
bright and brilliant youth, shattered by a failing mind and a descent into
crippling madnessinsanity. Eliza vowed that the family curse would end
with her. There would be no more children.
    ElizaShe had been seven years old when her mother’s first attack had        Formatted: Space After: 0 pt


come. She could remember that first fit with crystal memory. Her mother
had recovered quickly, and the next morning the Doctors had declared she
would be her right as rain, but Eliza knew something was badly wrong
right from that first attack. She’d noticed changes, little things at first,
changes in her mother’s personality and temper. She would forget things,
words would come out in the wrong order. After the second seizure, a
year later, the recovery was much slower, but again the Doctors were
convinced all would be well. After that the disease spread fast, little
twitches in her hands soon became great convulsions that would leave her
writhing on the floor. Then the mental decline, the brilliant mind turning
in to a seething pit of confusion and terrible anger. Eliza thought back – to
the creature her mother had turned into by the end – and she found
herself holding her breath. There would be no more children. Eliza
would be the last to face the disease.
    Eliza looked at the back of Avery’s Daily CourantGazette.            She    Formatted: Font: Not Italic


wondered, not for the first time, why she allowed herself to be courted by      Formatted: Font: Not Italic
                                                                                Formatted: Font: Not Italic
the Captain. Ultimately it would have to end in disappointment, but for         Formatted: Font: Not Italic




                                                                         219
                                                                       220




know she finished her breakfast tea and looked at the back of Avery’s
broadsheet, enjoying the pretence of happy families.
    “Will you marry me, Eliza?”
    He said it from the behind the newspaper – as though he’d just asked
her to pass the marmalade. It wasn’t often that Avery surprised her, if
ever, but for once, Eliza Walpole was utterly bamboozled. Avery bent
down the top of his paper and looked over it with a timid smile.
    He looked like a little boy.
    “Oh BenTom,” she said his name with such kindness that he almost
winced, fearing the worst. “BenTom—...”
    “I adore you,” he interrupted, “ – I can make you happy – I can
provide everything you could ever possibly need or want ...”
    She tried to stop him but his speech flowed, undammed after months
of hesitancy. Eventually he drew to a pausehalt.
    “BenTom, I promise to think about it,” she said, sincerely. “I will
consider it, I promise ... Give me a few days”
    She tried to soften her words with a smile, but it couldn’t take the
sadness out of Avery’s face. He was about to reply when Sir Robert Boyle
burst onto the terrace.
    “Have you seen it?”
    He was staring down towards the river.In the past she had assumed
that life with Avery would be dull but comfortable, and in any event
relieved by large tours of duty overseas. For the first time she decided it
might also be quite pleasant.
    Her reverie was broken by a muttered curse from Ben. He had seen a
flotilla arrive at the Palace quay. Avery turned, and both he and Eliza




                                                                       220
                                                                        221




looked down across the sloping lawn, Out on the terrace, they could see
beyond the brick wall that bordered the lawns gardens of Flamsteed, they       Comment [LH62]: Beyond it was the river.
                                                                               from the terrace flattened nicely. It was large
                                                                               enough to host a cricket match – but rarely did,
could see beyond even Greenwich Palace – the White Palace -– beyond
                                                                               because the lawn was [ended] by a host of
                                                                               glasshouses, hot-houses for growing the kitchen’s
and onto the river. .                                                          exotic fruit and vegetables. The wide span of glass
                                                                               and ironwork was fixed against a tall brick wall –
     One hundred and fifty years before, Queen Elizabeth had enjoyed a         which formed the boundary between Flamsteed’s
                                                                               grounds and the Italian Gardens of Greenwich
sail to Greenwich, and had insisted that the improvements should provide       Palace. The White Palace, as it was called locally,
                                                                               fronted onto the river, Queen Elizabeth had
                                                                               enjoyed a sail to Greenwich, and had insisted that
a small quay for her royal barge to dock..                                     the improvements should provide a small quay, for
                                                                               her royal barge to dock. [More of this description
    The flotilla that arrived now had no barges. . Even without field          earlier!]

glasses, Avery could make out the line of sail. . The boats were all sailing
cutters, the new fashion, small racing yachts designed for speed and used
by gentlemen for leisure cruising across the channel.
    “It looks like the bloody King has turned up.”Blast,” said Sir Robert,
before rahe looked up mming a spoonful of kedgeree into his open
mouth.at Symonds.
    Avery looked up at the big scientist. “Don’t worry Sir Robert, Ask I’ll
send Symonds over to the palace to see what’s going on.”Sir Robert to get
back down here, then get yourself over to the Palace and see what’s going
on. It looks like the bloody King has turned up. ”


                             [~ time passes symbol]                            Formatted: Centered




    Sometime later Sir Robert reappeared, duly summoned. He blustered
slightly at the intrusion into his day, but was sufficiently alarmed by the
sight of the dockinged boats to pour himself a second reach for the bottle
glass of Sherry wine.
    . Symonds efficiency meant an answer was no more than half an hour




                                                                        221
                                                                         222




threetwo glasses in coming. .
    “It seems that Lady Salisbury has taken over the [White?] Palace, sir,
to conclude her negotiations with the French Embassy.”[where is Walpole
– perhaps we need to note that he is not involved in these negotiations
because the King does not wish it – I am unsure how th cogs of politics and
power worked at this point. We probably need to clarify the positions of
all these powers a little more throughout the book, the powers at each
person’s disposal, their specific duties and their rivalries…]
    Avery wasn’t in the habit of blaspheming, especially in front of Eliza,
and he half-swallowed a curse now. . “This changes everything. . We
will have to get you away from here, Sir Robert, immediately. . The
French Embassy will have two dozen diplomats and half of them could be
assassins.”
    Symonds coughed, surreptitiously, and interjected. . “Lady Salisbury
has sent an invitation, Captain.”
    “What?”
    “She intends to [‘provide some true proper British / English
entertainmenthospitality, sir.      She intends   and…?]to host a game of
cricket. . And she has asked if Sir Robert might be able to offer his lawn.”
    “Symonds, I asked you to find out what was going on, not to re-
arrange my social diary!”
    Boyle gave a cynical snort. “The World’s about to end, or the French
invade, or both, and Lady Margaret Salisbury wants to play cricket.”
    Avery ignored him and turned back to Symonds. ““Symonds, I asked
you to find out what was going on, not to re-arrange my social diary! She
wants us to play cricket against the French Embassy? What for?”




                                                                         222
                                                                  223




    “Gibraltar probably,” said Sir Robert Boyle with a grimace. . “She
always was a bit of a gambler.”


                                  ~




                                                                  223
224




224
                                                                             225




                             THE SALISBURY ROAD


    Sir William WhistoneWhiston was making his way to London. . To
Hatfield House, the London Residence of the Duchess of Salisbury. . She
was more than his patron, much more, she was his good sense.                    .
WhistoneWhiston was brilliant, but he was unworldly-wise, always had
been. . He had always been taken advantage of by others. . He sat
uncomfortably now, in his coach and six, as it hurtled along the Salisbury
Road and up to London. .
    WhistoneWhiston was troubled. . The symptoms of his illness were
getting worse. . The sudden visual blurring he could cope with, but the
seizures left him feeling dizzy and mentally unhinged. . Petit mal, the             Formatted: Font: Not Italic


doctors in Salisbury had called the seizures, ‘little evil’ it translated, yet he
felt as though his mind, his brilliant mind – the only thing over which he
held any pride – was beginning to disintegrate.[why is he feeling so ill? Is
he being poisoned a little under Blackburne’s orders? Confused slightly
here]
    WhistoneWhiston held the newspaper on his lap, the great puzzle that
drove him to London. . In his anxiety he had folded it into a tight square.
. The title on the uppermost page was easy to read in the midday light:
The Alleged Prophecies of Mother Shipton, and About the EndeEnd of the
World. . Why had The London Gazette falsely published an article under
his name? Who had written it? The HellFyre Clubbe? He regretted ever
getting involved with those madmen. Sir Francis Dashwood had been
emphatic that the end was coming – but And what possible purpose could
it serve to publish the fact? And why publish under Whiston’s name?




                                                                             225
                                                                          226




    He put the newspaper into a pocket, hoping to banish the questions
from his mind, but for every question he ignored, another five queued up
behind it – ready to jump in and fill its space. . Random doubts and
queries piling on top of each other until he felt that he couldn’t breathe. .
    At least he’d figured out the coin, if only partially. It was had been
Newton’s Sir Isaac’s coin, he was sure certain of that now.. T he phrase
along the milled edge, JEOVA SANCTUS UNUS, was virtually Newton’s               Formatted: Font: Not Italic, Small caps, Kern
                                                                                at 12 pt
signature. But why had Newton emptied the chamber and left a coin?
How could the coin be so heavy? He’d weighed it a dozen times. And The
other why the inscription,? RESURGAM, - I shall rise againhad stumped           Formatted: Not Small caps


him. for a while, but the giveaway was the date. The date on coin read,
MDCCVIII,   1708.                                                               Formatted: Small caps, Kern at 12 pt


    It was the date they had laid the final stone at St Paul’s Cathedral. It
had taken Whiston’s wavering genius a few days to make the link, but he
found a description of the new cathedral in a book at Lady Salisbury’s
library.
    Wren had laid the centre stone of the church, on the floor at the head
of the nave, beneath the cathedral dome. It had the same inscription,
RESURGAM – I Shall Rise Again - a salute to the fact that the new edifice
was built on the site of the burnt out wreckage of the previous the fifth in
a long line that went back to RomansCathedral.
    Why Newton had emptied the chamber beneath the henge, but felt
the need to leave a coin was still totally slightly bemusing.?         It was
obviously a clue, but why botherfor whom? Whiston had ignored that
question, but there were others he couldn’t ignore. Why put the Maltese
flag on the coin’s other side? And how could it be so heavy? He’d weighed




                                                                          226
                                                                       227




the coin a dozen times and every time it came out a whole twentieth
heavier than any gold he set in the scales against it.
    Whiston looked back down at the folded newspaper on his lap. The
coincidence hadn’t passed him by. The essay had referred to St Paul’s
twice. According to the impersonator, St Paul’s would be obliterated by
the comet. Was that why they had written the article? But to what
purpose? How had they convinced The London Gazette to publish such            Formatted: Font: Italic


rubbish?


    What did it mean?         WhistoneWhiston shook his head but the
questions kept pouring forth ... . How did noise travel in water? wWhy
did the human eye turn images upside down? How did noise travel in
water? Where was the land of Prester John? How did did giraffes manage
to stretch their necks? Who was the pale-faced man who that had stared
at him so intently at the last staging post?
    A chill ran into WhistoneWhiston’s stomach, and he looked out of the
carriage window to break his thoughts. . The countryside was flashing
past in a blur of speed. . More beetroot fields. . He liked beetroot. .
Everyone liked beetroot, . Bbut on this journey alone he had seen enough
beetroot fields to feed a dozen armies.        .   Why was every farmer in
southern England planting beetroot this year? The price wasn’t high.
Nothing made sense anymore. . None of his questions seemed to have
answers. . Before the seizures the questions had come just as fast, but he’
had been able to swat them away with his genius. . Now it was all turning
to dust.
    Eventually the coach began to slow. . There was a staging house at




                                                                       227
                                                                     228




Micheldever, a chance for some lunch while the horses were changed. .
The inn had the usual fare, and a bowl of stew seemed to revive
WhistoneWhiston’s spirits. He was almost feeling back to his old self
when looked up and , but then he saw the pale-faced man.
    WhistoneWhiston was sure his mind must had to be deceiving him;
the same pale-faced man? It wasn’t possible. . Nothing could keep up
with a coach and six – certainly not a mounted rider. . It just wasn’t      Comment [LH63]: [double check this!]


possible. T, this couldn’t be the same man he had seen fifteen miles back
in Andover. . Nothing could keep up with a coach and six – certainly not
a mounted rider. WhistoneWhiston choked swallowed down his cider. .         Comment [LH64]: [double check this!]


The man was looking at him; there was something terrible about the
insipid paleness of the man’s lips and eyes.
    As Whiston was lookeding at him, across, tAnd then the man stood        Comment [LH65]: Expand th is para – more of
                                                                            Whiston’s nervousness

up, and came walked over. H; he spoke quietly, but WhistoneWhiston
heard every word.
    “Would you care for another drink, William?”
    The man held out an earthenware jug of what was probably more
cider.   .   WhistoneWhiston shook his head, uncomfortable at being
addressed casually by one of the lower classes.
    “William, I will be taking you and your coach for the rest of the
journey. . There has been a change in your plans.”
    William heard the words clearly enough, but he didn’t understand. .
His head was pounding. . He called to his driver, and the coachman
scuttled inside the tavern. . “Is anything wrong, sir? The new horses are
almost ready; we can be go—”.
    The pale-faced man didn’t have the patience to hear out the sentence.




                                                                     228
                                                                          229




. Seemingly without effort, he swung the jug of cider upwards. . It lifted
in a perfect arc, and with Newtonian precision smashed into the jawbone
of the coachman. . The man didn’t even feel his head hit the flagstone.
    “Now William, if you would care to follow me, I’ll have the new set o’
six ready in no time.”                                                          Comment [l66]: SHould Whiston make a run for
                                                                                it?




                                    ~




                                                                          229
                                                                         230




                     THE WHITE PALACE, GREENWICH


     “The lovely Eliza Walpole, and the adorable Captain Avery, what a
delightful couple you make.”
     Their reception at Greenwich Palace was not exactly what they had
expected. . Sir Robert had made excuses, and so the two of themy had
gone alone. . Lady Salisbury, greeted them personally, in the Grand Salon.
. Once the most beautiful woman in the country, now a little reliant on
powder, but still energetic and utterly dominating. . She matched the
elaborate decoration of the drawing room perfectly. . Eliza had run across
Lady Salisbury socially of course and she now treated Eliza and Captain
Avery Ben like she was their favourite aunt.
     “Fellow Englanders, how wonderful.        .   The palace is [positively]
overrun by with the Frenchies. . I feel [positively][take care of this word
positively!]utterly invaded!   George won’t be bringing the government
down to Greenwich until it’s all agreed – and I’ve got to keep this lot
entertained ‘til then.   .     Pompadour has joined the Embassy; she’s
[positively] maddeningly pretty.”        .”    The Duchess gave Eliza a
conspiratorial pat on the knee, “and it’s playing havoc with my staffestaff.
.   This morning, the Hall Boy dropped a wassail bowl in one of the
staterooms - can you imagine the mess? Just because she smiled at him. .
I tell you, the whole lot of them are going to be at each other’s throats. .
Hopefully you’ll be able to provide them with some diversion, Eliza.”
     She paused then, with a mischievous smile, and it gave BenAvery a
chance to break into the conversation.
     “I understand you’ve arranged a cricket match, ma’am.”




                                                                         230
                                                                       231




    “Yes, you know what the French are like, always pompous. . I got
into a discussion with Madame Pompadour about cricket, God knows how.
. Can you believe it? S, she’s claiming they invented the game. . Utter
insanity. . She [positively] challenged us to a gamematch. . I hope Sir
Robert don’t mind, I thought we could play tomorrow if the weather
holds.”
    “I’m sure he don’t[doesn’t] ma’am. . He might even be persuaded to
play - he would be with us now, but he’s in the middle of some rather
important work.”
    “Of course, of course, the Comet. . Our Astronomer Royal must be
busy as a Dutchman.”
    Lady Salisbury paused then, to hold her spectacles up at the Captain. .
“You look a likely fellow Captain, do you bowl? We’re rather short of
bowlers.”
    “I won a blue for cricket up at Cambridge,” said the Captain, with no
sense of immodesty.
    “Good, that’s settled then. . I’m rather hoping Madame Pompadour
can be persuaded into a wager.”
    Avery laughed, forgetting himself. . “Sir Robert joked about that this
morning ma’am.” .”
    Lady Salisbury looked over her [demi-lunettes,?][glasses] and for a
moment, Avery [felt like feared he’d said something wrong][sensed,as
Mdme de Pompadour might say, a made a ‘faux pas’]. . She paused, as if
calculating, and then asked, “d[D]did Sir Robert have anything specific in
mind?”
    “Well ... . he joked that we could ...” .”        Captain Avery was




                                                                       231
                                                                          232




embarrassed for words.     .   Eliza coughed to tell him to hush, but he
finished anyway. . “Sir Robert joked that we could play for Gibraltar.”
    Lady Salisbury considered that, but for no more than the time it took
to weigh up the stature of the man in front of her. .
    “Were you successful with Cambridge, BenThomas?”
    “Never lost a game ma’am, in two seasons.”
    “Good, let’s start the game tomorrow at noon, we’ll take tea at three
o’clock. . We’ll have to play French rules, seven of a side, impolite not too
... . and besides, the French Embassy doesn’t have more than seven men
under forty-fivefifty.”
    Lady Salisbury went on, but both Eliza and BenAvery had stopped
listening. . Madame de Pompadour, dressed fit for a Royal Ball, had
entered the salon. . Eventually Lady Salisbury saw her.
    “Ah Marquise, what perfect timing. . May I introduce you to Lady
Eliza Walpole, daughter to Sir Robert, our Prime Minister, and Captain
Avery, one of our navy’s finest.”
    Madame de Pompadour seemed to glide into the room.              B [and],
behind her loped a servant, a midget, one of the ugliest men Eliza had ever
seen. . The contrast between them couldn’t have been more striking. .
Eliza wondered if it were deliberate.
    “The Captain has come up with a most excellent suggestion. . Why
don’t we raise some stakes on the outcome of the game. . I thought
perhaps we could settle the question of Gibraltar?”
    Eliza had to hand it to the Marquise – she didn’t even blink. . She
smiled an easy smile and said with a Gallic shake of the head. . “Bien sûr.”
    Their first meeting with Madame de Pompadour, the woman who had




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set Europe aflame with jealousy and passion, might have lasted little longer
than that..


     “J’espere que vous ne me pensez pas grossier, mais je dois parlez avec    Formatted: French (France)


la Duchesse,” she said, but the Duchess ignored her.
    “Madame, you really ought speak with Lady Elizabeth and the dear           Formatted: English (United Kingdom)
                                                                               Formatted: English (United Kingdom)
Captain ...” She waved her hand vaguely as if it would compensate for the
fact that she’d forgotten his name. “They were responsible for the capture     Formatted: English (United Kingdom)


of JerichoBenjamin Quick, that Death Cheater you’re so taken by.”
    Pompadour turned on a flared, Louis heel, like a mechanical doll and
suddenly they felt the full ferocity of her charm. Avery looked into the
honeyed eyes.
    “You must be tremendously brave, Capitaine, I hear the creature is in
league with the Devil.”
    “Oh it was really nothing, Madame.” Avery answered with just a hint
of pride, and Eliza felt herself stiffen.
    Pompadour ignored Eliza, and moved closer to the Captain. “And
after all that effort – however did you manage to let him go?.” She laughed
then, a rich, delicious, mocking laugh that seemed to take an inch from
Avery’s height.
    “Courage mon brave, you will capture him again, I am sure of it.”
Pompadour placed her hand on Avery’s arm as if to enforce the point. “I
need some air, you may escort me around the gardens, and tell me all
about this devilish JerichoBenjamin Quick. I find him most fascinating.”
    and With a nod of her head she delicately eased their departure,           Formatted: English (United Kingdom)
                                                                               Formatted: English (United Kingdom)
leaving a bemused Eliza looking at a smiling Lady Salisbury.                   Formatted: English (United Kingdom)
                                                                               Formatted: English (United Kingdom)




                                                                        233
                                                                     234




“I told you she was nightmare,” was all Lady Salisbury had to say.
                                                                           Formatted: English (United Kingdom)




                                 ~




                                                                     234
                                                                          235




                      FLAMSTEED HOUSE, GREENWICH


    The following afternoon was auspiciously hot. . Perfect for watching
a game of cricket; less perfect if you had to play. . Flamsteed’s makeshift
household staffestaff had risen to the occasion admirably. . Two cricket
bats had been found, and an old kitchen chair sawn down to make a half
dozen stumps. . The lawn had a slope to it, but would make a passable
pitch; there was an old lime tree which grew up somewhere near the
centre, but they decided they could play round it. . The biggest problem
was where to put the wicketwickets. . On one side was the house, which
had been designed with Italian flamboyance when it came to windows,. .
On the other, built against the brick wall, were two glasshouses, hot-
houses for growing Flamsteed’s salad vegetables and exotic fruit. . Avery
and Symonds couldn’t decide which to favour and eventually put the
wicket pitch bang in the middle.
    A dozen divan chairs were found from somewhere, and positioned in
front of the house. . The only other problem was the sun. . It looked set
fair for a brilliant June day, and it wouldn’t do for either Lady Salisbury or
the French Embassy to sit [sweating][uncomfortably in a stifling heat – get
rid of the word ‘sweating’]. . Symonds had a solution, something he’d
seen done in India, and two large sails of white canvas were strung up to
form a shade. .




                                                                          235
                                                                        236




    The party from the Palace arrived early, just after eleven. . Lady
Salisbury led the way, dressed for a hunt. . Next to her, Madame de
Pompadour had opted for a vibrant red riding outfit. . Following them
through the door in the garden wall was an entire retinue of diplomats,
aides and other hangers-on. . The French Embassy alone consisted of
twenty, and the English were almost double that number. .
    Eliza raised an eyebrow to Avery before addressing Symonds, “I think
we’ll be needing more eggnog.”
    Now that Pompadour could afford the time, she radiated charm, and.
Avery bore the brunt of it. H, and hee took Reinette’s flirtations with
studied English bewilderment. It took all his of willpower to control the
cough reflex that seemed to be triggered by her hair powder. . [sentence
or two for Avery inner dialogue – comparing her to Eliza etc a natural
instinct]
    “Margaret tells me that you have never been beaten, Captain Averee,
at anything – ce n’’est pas impossible, non?”
    BenAvery stuttered unconvincingly, awkward at appearing immodest.
. It was as if Pompadour had sensed one of Avery’s few weaknesses and
was having sport with it. .
     “Come Captain, you must have been beaten once?”
    “Truly, ma’am, without wishing to brag ... . but I don’t recall a single
occasion.”
    “Then you must be rather wonderful.” .” She looked at him with
rose-tinted eyes, ignoring Eliza. . Avery smiled awkwardly back, and
Pompadour fixed him with her honeyed-stare. . ““And I wager, Capitaine,
you must choose your opponents awfully carefully.” .” She laughed at




                                                                        236
                                                                        237




that. . Avery opened his mouth but nothing came out, Pompadour turned
to Eliza with a raised eyebrow. .
    “BenThomas has never shied away from a contest in all his life,            Comment [LH67]: pompadour evil insight –
                                                                               spoiled brat – Pompadour total crushing of any
                                                                               rival. Earlier with Avery she is more conquesting.
Madame.” .” Eliza felt her cheeks flushing with anger, but she didn’t care.    She is out to conquer hearts – will-nilly. Like cupid
                                                                               with a machine gun. She is “consuming” consuming
. “[And neither have I. ]He is just too modest to say it.” .”                  of affection, interest, adoration – everything. She
                                                                               just eats it up and moves on to the next person to
                                                                               conquer. Try to get this over in this section.
    “Ahh the English disease.       .   Modest- to- a- fault, you say, non?    Somehow.]

Capitaine, you disappoint me – in France, modesty is for weak men.” .”
                                                                               Formatted: Font: Italic
Pompadour’s eyes were suddenly cold and for a moment, Eliza forgot to
smile.
    “That may be why we find Frenchmen pompous and preening and
frankly a pain in the—”
    But Pompadour wasn’t listening, Newton had scampered across the
lawn with Lady Salisbury striding in pursuit. . He sat wagging at Eliza’s
skirts, and Pompadour was transfixed.
    “[Oh! How do you say in a English? .. A twin!] It’s a twin!” The
Duchess looked at Pompadour, then at Newton as he chewed the grass by
Eliza’s feet. . “Where did you get him?” She didn’t give Eliza a moment to
answer before barking an order at one of her aides. . He soon came
scurrying with a second dog.
    “Eliza this is Little Louis. . Look at his ear. . ‘On my soul they must
be twins.”
    Eliza and Avery were as perplexed as everyone else at the sight of the
two dogs together. . Each had one ear in the traditional Beagle style, large
and floppy - but each had a left ear that seemed to defy gravity. .
    “They must be from the same litter,” suggested Avery.
    Pompadour clapped her hands in excitement. . “But he is so adorable.




                                                                        237
                                                                        238




. Look at him.” .”
      The dog was beginning to retch now; in its greed and stupidity it had
eaten too much grass. . Its shoulders’ hunched and it gave up a small
stream of green-coloured froth and Pompadour clapped even louder. .
      “Oh I’ve never seen a little dog so greedy.” .” She looked at Lady
Salisbury with all the simple innocence of a child. . In that look was an
unspoken request. . Unspoken but entirely clear: she had given Little
Louis to the English Nation – now it was England’s turn to reciprocate. .
Pompadour smiled in expectant silence, and Lady Salisbury chose not to
resist. . With all the innate expectation of the landed gentry she said,
“t[T]then you must have him Madame; you simply must. . What is his
name Eliza?”
      Madame de Pompadour looked at Eliza with the same open simplicity,
but there was suddenly something new in the eyes. . The eyes spoke of
victory, and in that moment, Eliza realised that Pompadour was playing a
little power game. . And was about to win. .
      It was Eliza’s turn to stammer. . It was ridiculous;, she had only had
the dog for a matter of hours, but that wasn’t the point. . She’d already
imagined him scampering around her big empty house – filling it with a
bit of noise and life. . Avery had saved him for her. S, she thought
realised it was [childishly][but childish, but Avery had saved him for her,
and     that   meant    somethingimmediately      admonishing    her   own
childishness]. . He might only be a ten week old puppy, incapable of
anything more than pissing on the kitchen floor and gagging up grass, but
she was damned if she was going to give him up.
      But with Lady Margaret and the Marquise de Pompadour staring at




                                                                        238
                                                                         239




her intently, she couldn’t quite think how to avoid it.
    “You don’t mind do you Eliza? For the good relations of England and
France.”
    No words formed in Eliza’s brain. . She couldn’t think of a single
reason not to hand the dog over. [Other than Newton was hers.]                  Formatted: Font: Italic


    Avery came to her rescue – and she adored him for it.
    “Lady Margaret, I don’t think that would be wise.” .” He looked
severe. . Lady Salisbury didn’t hide a scowl of distaste at being rebuffed. .
Avery was fearless.
    “This dog ain’t[isn’t] a pet you see. . He is an experiment. . Sir
Robert is treating him with mercury to see if it will change his brains and
turn him rabid. . Wouldn’t be safe to have him as a pet after that.” .”
Avery looked down at the puppy and managed to keep his face stern. . “It
could be dangerous.”
    On cue, Newton, growing tired of Little Louis’ sniffing, gave a warning
growl.     .   It was a small thing, but Little Louis flinched along with
everybody else.
    “Oh,” said Lady Salisbury, plainly flustered, “I suggest you tie him up
then - and let us get on with the game.”


    England took the field first. . Sir Robert had been persuaded to play,
with much annoyance, and in his absence on the field,, Eliza did her best
at filling the role of hostess.     .      Fortunately, Lady Salisbury [just
seemed][natural instinct was] to take over, and soon she had the staffestaff
jumping through hoops. . The eggnog was brought out, but needed more
cinnamon, and then it needed some rum [replace the ‘to perk it up a bit’ -




                                                                         239
                                                                       240




in the opinion of Lady Salisbury – old lush]. . There was some interest in
the game and a little talk of the Comet, but in the main, the various
diplomats and aides seemed were totally consumed with with talking to
each other about discussing [arcane][inane? archaic?] matters of
international law. . Eliza decided halfway through the afternoon that she
would n’ot be missed, and found a quiet spot to one side of the main
thronghorde. . Besides, she wanted to keep well away from Madame de
Pompadour.
    A dozen applefruit trees offered some shade and Eliza found a deep
wicker chair to get comfortable in.     .   She usually slept in the early
afternoon, a habit she’d picked up from her mother. . The Countess had
repeatedly lectured the young Eliza that an afternoon sleep was the secret
to retaining “brilliance of both brain and beauty.” .” Despite a regular
siesta, her mother had managed to spectacularly lose both, but that didn’t
stop Eliza obsessively sticking to the habit. . She certainly treasured the
chance to think.
    With Newton sleeping on her lap, Eliza watched one long over after
another being hurled down by the English bowlers. . Sir Robert himself
was bowling with surprising speed for a man of thirty-seven, and Eliza
could see that he was utterly enjoying himself.      .   With the French
batsmen struggling, she decided it was the perfect opportunity to catch
forty winks. .
    The dragonflies hovered just above the grass; the swallows tumbled
about overhead,, darting after invisible insects; the sun was breaking
through the dappled shade of the apple tree and Eliza felt her head rock
forward as sleep descended...                                                 Comment [l68]: The smell of an English country
                                                                              garden




                                                                       240
                                                                         241




    “Eliza.”
    It was a whisper but Eliza was jolted awake. . He sat slumped in the
chair next to her, his face hidden by a wide-brimmed reed hat. . It was of
the kind fashionable in the colonies, and favoured by gentleman cricketers.
God alone knew where he’d found it. . She recognised him by his voice
and by the long thin legs that stretched out of his chair. .          It was
JerichoBenjamin Quick, and she was annoyed to have been so easily
startled. . It was just the sort of thing to encourage him.                     Comment [LH69]: describe quickened heart,
                                                                                slowed brain and flush of heat tupon being woken
                                                                                from a daytime sleep
    “How did you get in here?”
    “I’ve been living here speak French,” he said, as if an answer.
    “AndBut...?” she struggled to force her brain awake.
    “I’ve been using the telescope.”
    I[‘ve] just pretend[ed] [or… I’ve been pretending…]to be part of[the]
French Embassy - everyone was busy running about with bits of garden
furniture so I[ climbed down one of the greenhouses][I think you have
deleted these words in error] climbed down one of the greenhouses.” He
slid lower in the wicker chair. “Once I got in it was easy - if anyone asks
me anything in English, I answer in French – and if anyone talks in
French, I answer in English.”
    She turned to look at him. . It was hard to make understand him out
at the best of times, but with his face hidden beneath the wide-brimmed
hat it was almost next to impossible.
     “I see you’ve got a new sword,” she said looking down at his scabbard.
    He looked up. . “No, I snapped the blade off – it’s just another hilt - I
have to snapped the blade off.. A proper sword would just slows me
down.”[explain the idea of a whole sword being too heavy and sloing him




                                                                         241
                                                                         242




down concept again?]
     “You’ll need a sword if BenTom looks over.”
     “Yeah, I’ve been trying to stay away from Lady Pompadour – he can’t
keep his eyes off her.”
     Eliza couldn’t work out whether it was a jibe or just a statement of
fact. . She decided to givegave him a weary look, but he couldn’t see it
from under his hat.
     “JerichoBenjamin, what are you doing here? I thought you were going
back to your woods.”
     He shuffled in his chair. .
     “I see you saved the dog. ,.” he said, “I’m glad, I meant to do that,, I
should have done that.,” he said Tthe last was more to himself than Eliza.
     Eliza heard the annoyanceregret in his voice and took her eyes away
from the cricket and looked at him. . “Don’t worry, BenTom saved him.
H; he’s a gift.” .”
     Quick reached down to stroke the dog[a mild flash of annoyance that
he hadn’t saved the dog for her himself?]“I meant to come back for you,”
heBenjamin said to the dog, reaching down to stroke its head.
     There was a pause then, while JerichoBenjamin patted the dog and
Eliza looked around at the hustle and bustle of the garden party, utterly
bemused that no one seemed to be aware that England’s most wanted
criminal was sitting amongst them, petting a dog.
     . “You know this dog saw everything,” said JerichoBenjamin, “ –
everything that happened to the Doctor Olger.”
     Eliza smiled, “BenTom already came up with theat same joke this
morning.”




                                                                         242
                                                                           243




    JerichoBenjamin hesitated, but only for a fraction. . “No I’m serious;
it is some people think it’s supposed to be possible to speak with animals,
I’ve read about it. . Look it up in Flamsteed’s Library.”
    Eliza raised an eyebrow.
    “Serious. L – look for a book on Ouija.”
    “How do you know all this stuff?” Eliza paused, not expecting an
answer. .
    There was a long, slightly awkward pause; Eliza could tell he was
thinking hard to make conversation. Eventually he said, “I had a look in a
mirror, by the way. You were right, we do look a bit similar.”
    Eliza was lost for a reply to that, so she nodded and turned back to the
cricket. It soon became apparent that she would have to make the running
- she found Benjamin Quick’s conversational style a bit disconcerting, the       Formatted: Font: Not Italic
                                                                                 Formatted: Font: Not Italic
long silences weren’t normal.
    “Forget that, lLet’s start this again. . What are you doing here?”
    “I told you, I’ve been using the telescope.” .” He He lifted tilted the
brim of his hat and stole a look at Captain Avery as t[he] Captain ran up to
bowl. . “I’ve been taking measurements, tracking the Comet, every night
for a the last week.”
    Eliza looked at him, she wanted to ask how he’d managed to break
into the observatory, – but thought better of it and let him continue. .
    “Don’t you think it’s strange how everyone is carrying on as if
nothing’s going to happen.”
    He nodded towards the English cricketers, eagerly crouched around
the French batsmen, totally absorbed in the game. The spectators were
chattering and laughing in the sunshine, enjoying the drink.




                                                                           243
                                                                        244




    “They’re lacking in imagination that’s all,” said Eliza, “. Mmost people
are.”
        One can never really understand the truly horrendous – not until
you’ve seen it for yourself.”
    “So are you lacking in imagination too? And you’d know all about that
m’ladyship. You seem rather quite content yourself, happy to doze as the
lions comet thunders onapproach.”
    Eliza looked at him with her black eyes, – but he didn’t notice.
Instead he said, “Or maybe you just don’t think the comet is really
coming.”
    “Don’t be too quick to condemn Society’s little habits just because you
don’t understand them. Our empire is being built by young men who play
cricket on hot afternoons and by the women who watch them. All that
crouching in the field stiffens the backbone, and if you can survive Lady
Salisbury’s relentless hospitality you can survive just about anything. I
think you’ve mistaken the British stiff upper lip for ignorance, Master
Quick. The French often make the same mistake.”
    JerichoBenjamin laughed. “So you do think the comet’s coming but
you’re happy to put on a brave face and smileleep through it.”
    Eliza couldn’t keep all her the annoyance out of her voice. “Master
Quick, I know the future, my future at least, and it won’t be pleasant. My
life is going to end soon, and in abject and grinding misery, whether I try
to prevent it or not. enough,       Wwhether this comet comes or not.
Sometimes, knowing your destiny can help keep things in a little
perspective, don’t you think?” JerichoBenjamin felt a cold thrill at the
hardness of her voice as she continued. “My mother had a saying, an old




                                                                        244
                                                                             245




Cossack saying, Life always ends badly.”
    JerichoBenjamin nodded.        There was something wonderfully most
wonderfully barbaric abrasive about Eliza’s nature – the Russian blood
never seemed too far below the surface. He made a nervous cough.
    “Don’t get me wrong;. I’m not saying they’re ignorant. – I’m saying I
think they’re right. T. The comet’s not coming.”
    He paused for effeceffect,t – but Eliza had her face under control. She
watched the game impassively and let him continue. “I’ve made some
calculations. . I think you should see them. . I thought The Department
might be able to use them” .”
    “What makes you think the Department would trust anything you
said?”
    “Because I’m right.” He pulled out a shabby, notebook, leaned forward
and pushed it at her. . “The Comet isn’t coming anywhere near us. .
There’s no w—.”
    “JerichoBenjamin, you don’t know what you’re talking about. . Sir
Robert is increasingly convinced that the opposite is true. . With William
WhistoneWhiston, that puts two of the best mathematicians in the
country in one camp,” she handed the book back at him, “and you in the
other.”
    “But they have to be wrong, look., I have measurements for each of
the last six three nights. . Every day the Comet’s path shifts further north,
but only by about one degree of elevation, and the tail length and its
intensity is identical. . There is no a colour shift - it’s the colour shift that
tells us how far whether the Comet is getting closeraway the Comet is. .
Do you understand? A colour shift? The Comet should be getting less red,




                                                                             245
                                                                         246




more yellow-orangeder as it goes through the colours wavelengths of the
rainbow ... ., but—”
    “Colour-shift? Do you even know what mathematicksmathematics this
involves? You’re talking about rainbows – this needs proper calculus to
work out.”
    JerichoBenjamin was all hands, pointing out little scraps of calculation,
and in the centre of the page, a diagram of the Earth in relation to the
Comet. . “Look, the Comet returns every few hundred years, so it has to
travel in a parabola, we know that from Newton. . The only questions are,
what’s the speed? And what’s the exponential on the parabola? If you
assume the Earth rotates at one thousand miles per hour, then the Comet
must be travelling at more than 50 miles per sec—”
    “JerichoBenjamin, what makes you think you understand all this?.”
    He was almost out of breath from talking so quickly, and as Eliza
looked him square in the face he couldn’t help but laugh at himself. Her
expression told him everything he needed to know - she thought he was a
crazy deluded, or a liar, or bothlittle oik. Not in an unkind way, far from
it, the depressing thing was that Eliza’s overriding emotion seemed to be
compassionpity .
    [Jericho could question Eliza during this exchange with regard to her       Formatted: Font: Italic


personal position opinion on the comet end of the world subject – you
can’t be too bothered, having an afternoon doze while your boyfriend
plays bat and ball with a few playmates]“My grandfather was one of the
first scientific philosophers.   He taught me maths from when I was a
babysmall.”
    “And he taught you Newton’s calculus?”




                                                                         246
                                                                       247




    JerichoBenjamin nodded, painfully aware of her scepticism.
    “The calculus that only a dozen men in of all Christendom have
managed to master.”
    “You say that, but my grandfather said most of them were just
boasting.”
    Eliza laughed. There was something about JerichoBenjamin Quick
that made her believe he might actually be telling the truth. “Then why
doesn’t Sir Robert agree with you?” She asked.           “And what about
WhistoneWhiston?”
    “You shouldn’t trust Boyle,” said JerichoBenjamin, suddenly serious.
    [here – reflect earlier scene where Jericho spies on Sir Robert]          Formatted: Font: Italic


    “Why not?”
    “I’ve seen him”
    “Seen him do what?”
    “In the observatory. He comes there every night. First at dusk, then
an hour after midnight and then about an hour before dawn.”
    “So what did you expect him to do?”
    Benjamin raised his head so that she could see his face. His eyes were
bright.
    “I expected him to actually look through the telescope.”
    Eliza opened her mouth to speak, but nothing came out; she left it half
open as Benjamin continued.
    “Bit strange, don’t you think? A Royal Astronomer who doesn’t use
his telescope.”
    “Why would he do ...” Eliza’s sentence petered out as her brain
struggled to accommodate this new piece of information. Eventually she




                                                                       247
                                                                        248




said, “Maybe he doesn’t need to actually use it; maybe he just measures the
comet’s trajectory. After all, Whiston doesn’t have a gigantic telescope and
he’s managed to work out the maths.”
    “Why don’t you just ask him?”
    “Whiston?”
    “No, Boyle. Set him a trap; ask him what observations he makes during
the night. See what he says.”
    “So are you accusing Sir Robert of being in league with the French?
Or the HellFyre Clubbe?”
    “I’m not accusing anyone of anything. I’m just saying put him to the
test ... What’s the HellFyre Clubbe?”
    “Look it up next time you break into in Flamsteed’s Library.”
    There was a lull in the conversation then, while Eliza thought about
Sir Robert Boyle dozing by his telescope. She had known him since before
she could remember – her mother had made him her Godfather for
heaven’s sake. Without him, she would never have developed an interest
in scientific philosophy, let alone been invited to attend meetings of the
Royal Society. The thought that he might somehow be complicit in any
misdoings was laughable.     He was the Astronomer Royal, one of the
foremost Scientists of the age. She thought of his big, bluff, honest smile
and decided Benjamin’s suspicions were laughable.
    “If I can prove the Comet won’t hit London, will you help get me a
pardon?” Benjamin’s voice cut into her thoughts.
    “I doubt it. You could be the best mathematician in the world and no
one would believe you. You’re a criminal don’t forget – who may or may
not be in league with the Devil.”




                                                                        248
                                                                           249




    “Yeah, but I’ve decided to enter Society – so I kind of need a pardon.”
    Eliza laughed at that – a barking, rather superior laugh. “I think you
may be a long way from entering Society.           Your publicity is rather
working against you ... I can’t imagine many people extending an
invitation to a former highwayman.”
    “Why not? They’re all a bunch of crooks, that’s how they can afford
to live like they do.”
    “Maybe, but you won’t get a pardon by producing a few pages of
calculus. You’ll need a better plan than that.”
    Benjamin fell silent for a while, and Eliza turned her attentions back
to the sun as it filtered through the apple leaves. The thought occurred to
her that Benjamin Quick might prove very useful indeed to the likes of Sir
Lancelot Blackburne.     He was just the sort of bad penny that The
Department specialised in recruiting for its more unsavoury work.
    “So what did you really think about my escape?” asked Benjamin,
interrupting her thoughts once more.
    “What escape?” she asked, unable to keep up with the tangents of his
conversation.
    “From the Gibbet. What did you think?”
    Eliza, slightly at a loss as to what he expected her to say, said. “I don’t
know ... it sounded impressive, in The Gazette, but then most things do.”
    “You mean you weren’t joking before – you really didn’t come and see
me?”
    “To see you killed? No, why, should I have done?”
    “Yes, to see me escape – you knew I’d escape.”
    “No I didn’t.”




                                                                           249
                                                                        250




    It was Benjamin’s turn to open his mouth without forming a sentence.
Eliza was amused to see that he looked genuinely annoyed.
    “Well come on, up to that point you hadn’t got much else right.”
    library ... [Jericho shrugged. “If you don’t believe me then how do you    Formatted: Font: Italic
                                                                               Formatted: Font: Italic
think I was able to make the gunpowder I need to escape from the
gibbe?t.”                                                                      Formatted: Font: Italic


    Eliza was staring at him intently now, trying to read his face. “Is that   Formatted: Font: Italic


how you did it?”]                                                              Formatted: Font: Italic


    “Of course it was. It was your idea. You suggested I use the bat
guano.”
    “No I didn’t.”
    Jericho looked genuinely bemused. “I mixed it with the pyrite from
your earring which acted as the brimstone, and some charcoal to make up
a bag of powder and then wedged it into the lynch-pin on the gibbet. It
ignited from the heat of the grinding metal once I’d got the gibbet to start
spinning. The iron was pretty rusty and—”
    “I didn’t suggest any of that.”
    “Yes you did. You shouted out after you left.”
    “I was thinking you could use the bats as a distraction – maybe to scare
the guards in the corridor. They looked half asleep when I saw them.”
    “Oh, well I must be a genius then.” He JerichoBenjamin shook his
headlooked upsmiled, but Eliza wasn’t even looking at him. . She was
looking staring out at the cricket pitch. .
    “BenTom’s seen you.”
    Sure enough, Captain Avery was standing at on the wickets, in the
middle of his over, staring at them. .




                                                                        250
                                                                       251




    “You’d better go. . He’s under orders to arrest you for the murder of
Jacob Olger.” .” She looked back at JerichoBenjamin, to make sure he was
taking her seriously, but he was gone. She sat up and twisted in her chair
to look about, but he was nowhere to be seen.
    Barely a minute later Avery had called a break for drinks, and used the
opportunity to run over run over to Eliza.
    “Where did he go?” said Averyhe asked, still breathless from bowling.
    “I don’t know, one moment he was here and then ... . , well, you
know what he’s like.”
    Avery, looked at her, judging whether to risk an argument. . Instead
he asked, “What was he doing here?” ”
    “Relax, BenjaminThomas. . I really think he just wants to help.”
    Avery slumped into the chair that had recently been occupied by
Quick. . “And how in Heaven did he get in?
    “He didn’t say. Maybe he snuck in with the mob from next door. I
suspect Benjamin Quick is rather skilled at sneaking about.”
    “You know we have to arrest him? Sir Lancelot’s orders are explicit.”
    “You know he had nothing to do with Olger’s death.”[or…”He didn’t
have had noanything to do with Olger’s death. . I’m sure of itYou know
he didn’t.”]
    Avery sighed.    .   He wasn’t equipped for the subtleties of such
dilemmas. . He was used to a more simple, moral world. .
    “I won’t go against the Lord Chancellor.”
    “Even to do what’s right?”
    Avery was eager to changed the subject. . “So why was he here?”
    “Quick He thinks he’s calculated the path of the Comet.”




                                                                       251
                                                                         252




    “That little peasant[?], [I]it must be a joke ...[His intentions are
obvious.]     He’s just trying to impress you.”
    Eliza sat in silence for a moment. . She was about to describe Quick’s
observations of Robert Boyle at work in his observatory, but for some
reason, she decided against.       Instead she said, “I don’t know, there’s
something we don’t understand about JerichoBenjamin Quick. M ... .
maybe he did [makde] a pact with Devil.” .”
    She laughed at her own words, but there was little mirth in it, and
before he could trouble her with more questions, Avery was called back to
the game. .
                                                                                Formatted: Justified


                                        ~




    France made one hundred and two runs. . The dwarf came to the
stumps late in the innings and seemed possessed of unnatural strength. .
Grimaldi’s humped shoulders heaved boundary after boundary, and
Flamsteed’s glass-houses seemed to bear bore most of the brunt. . At one
point it was almost as if the little man was aiming for them. . Fittingly, it
was Sir Robert who claimed the midget’s wicket. . The big man had
played for Staffordshire in his youth, and even in middle age, and with the
eyesight of an eighty-year old, he was able to bend his back.
                                                                                Comment [LH70]: [1 Page insert tea ? – some
                                                                                chatter with Lady Salisbury and Madame de Pomp –
    Between innings they had tea. . The best bone china was brought out         Eliza – Avery – Robert. Dogs! Meeting for the first
                                                                                time – utterly bemused that both share the same odd
for the table, and Flamsteed’s silverware was passable. . The fidget pie        trait – one ear up one ear down – presaging the
                                                                                evolution storyline in book 2&3]
                                                                                [“If the oak before the ash,
seemed to keep even Lady Salisbury happy, and soon Captain Avery and            Then we'll only have a splash.
                                                                                If the ash before the oak,
                                                                                Then we'll surely have a soak”]]
Symonds were walking out to bat.
                                                                                Comment [LH71]: more descriptoon of the food
                                                                                tables outside etc linen table cloths etc




                                                                         252
                                                                            253




    The England innings was a disaster from the off. . Avery opened and
scored steadily, but at the other end, batsman after batsman succumbed to
Grimaldi. .    There was something unreadable in the flight - perhaps
because the ball was delivered from such a low height, or, as Avery and
Symonds later agreed, because the dwarf had a double jointed elbow or
wrist – maybe both. . Whatever the reason, after barely twenty overs,,
England were 68 with six down, and just the one wicket left. . Robert
Boyle strode to join Captain Avery at the wicket with Lady Salisbury’s            Comment [L72]: sentence structure


whispered words ringing in his ears: “For God’s sake Sir Robert, you must
win this, for the sake of the Empire.”
    Boyle was red-faced with anxiety by the time he reached the middle. .
“I’ve been speaking with the Duchess,” he whispered harshly to Avery. .
“I can scarcely believe you persuaded ‘er to make a wager. . The very
possibility idea of England losing this game didn’t even cross ’er mind.”
    “I swear I did not, sir. . I mentioned it ... . but only as a joke.” .”
Captain Avery was worried, he was beginning to realise that blame for the
loss of the colony might somehow attach to him. . Former Captain Avery
- the man who lost the Rock. . With Boyle’s bodkin-ravaged eyesight
they had hadn’t much hope.
    “Don’t try to score, Robert. . Just plant your legs firmly in front of the
stumps and see out the over. . I hope your trouser-wool is thick”
    Sir Robert faced his first ball will with some trepidation. . It was
ridiculous to watch – the giant versus the dwarf, the giant seemingly
terrified. . Avery watched the first ball go down, saw it skid off the green
wicket and thud into Sir Robert’s left leg. . The big man grunted in pain,
and the umpire called ‘over’.




                                                                            253
                                                                         254




    Avery faced every ball of the next over. . He picked up his scoring,
and took the score to 802 with three fine boundaries. . Then it was back
to David and Goliath.       .     The analogy was particularly apt, decided
BenAvery, as he watched the little Frenchman slingshot the cricket ball at
the big Englishman.     .       Miraculously, given his eyesight, or perhaps
because it prevented him playing any actual shots, Robert Boyle saw out
another over.. [we must mention the very British stiff upper lip spirit in
the upper classes as this point – playing cricket, the comet is coming – just
a comment – like we discussed when comparing to Carry On Up the
Kyber]
    In all, they saw off another four overs like that. . Steadily but surely,
Avery inched the score to ninety-eightseven, and he let Robert Boyle’s
shins bore bear the brunt of Grimaldi’s bowling. . Then the French
changed tactic. . It was unheard of, but there was nothing in the laws to
prevent it. . Grimaldi started bowling from both ends.
    Avery almost lasted the over, he even scored a two off the first ball. .
But it wasn’t enough. . With the last bowl of the over, Grimaldi sent his
slingshot delivery not downward but upwards – straight at the captain’s
head. . Avery ducked, just in time to avoid the missile, but slipped, and
fell, backwards, onto his stumps. .
    England were all out for one hundredninety-nine.


                                        ~


    Lady Salisbury refused to look at him afterwards. . She managed to
concede defeat to the Marquise de Pompadour with a semblance of good




                                                                         254
                                                                      255




grace, but for Captain Avery her words were cold and hard. . The friendly
aunt from the previous morning’s interview was gone.
    “Your confidence of this yesterday morning was misplaced, Captain.”
    Avery muttered an apology. . He was devastated. . In two seasons at
Trinity College, and then four with the Navy, at cricket, rowing, tug o’
war, he had never known defeat.
    “All actions have consequences, Captain Avery,” said Lady Salisbury
flatly, “I hope you are prepared for them.” .”
    For the first time, he understood why this woman had so many
enemies, and why they so uniformly feared her. .
    To his relief they didn’t remain for long after that. . Lady Salisbury
and her guests returned to the [White?]Palace through the door in the
wall. . Avery made sure to lock it, for more reasons than one.               Comment [LH73]: [change the above
                                                                             terminology to reflect 18th century village
                                                                             terminology for wicket/stump/etc.


                                      ~




                                                                      255
                                                                       256




                          FLAMSTEED HOUSE, GREENWICH


    Robert Boyle, did not linger after the match had finished; he seemed
preoccupied. . Eliza meant to join him in his laboratory – she was keen to
learn how to stitch together a dissected earthworm – but she lost sight of
him in the garden, and decided to defer the lesson. . She would leave
Boyle to his mathematicksmathematics and catch up on her missed sleep
instead.
    [ In the event, Eliza never did learn how to sew up an earthworm..        Comment [l74]: Delete?


][may need to put this sentence as a separate paragraph for emphasis as
otherwise it just jars slightly in reading]
    She went back to her rooms via a detour to the library. . It was a
massive room, overburdened with books, but Boyle’s predecessor had
introduced a special cataloguing system which meant books were easy to
find. . She went through the index cards in the cabinet until she found
what she was after, Ouija. . Five books in all, four were easy to find, and
one German text in particular looked promising: ‘Ouija –               Das
Gefährlichste Spiel’. .
    “Ouija – the Most Dangerous Game,” translated Eliza. . Time for a
late afternoon read and a light nap. .
    [She was about to leave when ... corroborative evidence to JQ’s           Formatted: Font: Italic
                                                                              Formatted: Font: Italic
theory.][might there be the waxing and waning moon symbol in one of the
books or some other clue??]
    Back in her bedchamber Eliza began reading the elaborate copperplate
in the introduction to the book. . The style was archaic and she struggled
to translate,




                                                                       256
                                                                          257




                   Ouija, begotten of Seth, a disciple of the disciples
              by the grace of thrice great Hermes, learning from the
              seat of knowledge, unto all who come after wisheth
              health and mercy. . I testify that my master, the wise
              and chief of the Prophets, had a greater gift of God
              and of Wisdom than was granted to any one after
              Hermes. .                                                         Comment [LH75]: More text from the book – get
                                                                                some text from a real Alchemist’s Book on Ouija!



    It didn’t take much of this before she found herself distracted by other
thoughts. . JerichoBenjamin Quick was preying on her mind.
    He should return to the countryside, he could live a quiet life, having
learned the lesson that the life of a Highwayman is a short one. . In her
head she mapped out a whole future for him; he would marry a local girl –
pretty but not beautiful – ready to bear him five children. . And using his
thievings he would buy the rights to a tavern or a country inn. . He
would live out his days in happiness, his skinny frame filling out with
home cooking and ale and lack of adventure - and when sufficient time
had passed for the memory of Justice to grow forgetful, he would tell tales
of his wayward former life, of how he escaped the King’s Justice, and of
the ladies’ from whom he had stolen purses and kisses. . But there would
be one secret story that he never told – the story of the most beautiful
woman of them all – the one who had trapped him with her lips – the
Lady Eliza.    .   To JerichoBenjamin Quick, she would now become a
enchanting memory – she had bested him, captured him, and then helped
him free. . But she would never be his - never his to kiss again…
    Eliza woke with a jolt, and realised with breathless unease that she
had been dreaming of Quickwas still sitting at her writing desk. . Saliva




                                                                          257
                                                                          258




had dribbled over her cheek and neck, and she hurried to wipe it with her
sleeve. The sudden bouts of sleep were coming more often, it was the
third in a weekmonth, and not for the first time did she wonder whether
they were a sign of the family disease.
    “Get ye behind me, Jericho Quick” she said aloud.             There was
something about the fool that was not a little disturbing.
    Eliza She dressed hurriedly and went down to supper. . Avery was
late, “checking his blasted bells” according to Sir Robert, and the two sat in
silence, each eager to catch up with some reading while they waited,
which seemed to put him in a foul humour. .
    She sat with the Royal Astronomer in silence and waited. [should she
quiz him about or discuss anything about what she has found in the
library? – they should have a little dialogue at this moment, without the
presence of Avery…]
    The dining room was old and panelled, its furniture, was masculine
and solid. . Portraits of the dead-and-gone gazed down, ready to watch
them eat. . In one corner there was a suit of armour, which it was Sir
Robert’s practice to tap smartly whenever he passed it. . This evening,
ominously, Sir Robert had stridden into the dining-room without so much
as glancing at it. .
    Without Flamsteed’s Irish cook, he seemed to be increasingly hungry,
and it did little for his temperThey sat in silence, Eliza was lost in her
thoughtsbook, translating the German steadily rather than fluently. She
had read a full two chapters by the time until Avery came crashinged
through the door. He had a broad smile, on his face -and a step behind
him followed, Symonds, carrying carried a heavy pot of Irish stew.




                                                                          258
                                                                            259




    “.
    [Once Avery finally arrived though, things began to improve.][this jars
slightly – improve perhaps] In honour of your departed Irish cookBoyle’s
departed chef, Sir Robert.” Avery waved Symonds through.
    The brought up a heavy stew.           Supper It took the edge off the
astronomer’s bad humour, but he still seemed to brood, even over the
plum-duff pudding that followed. . After a third glass of Madeira he
explained why.
    “Elizabeth ... . Captain ... . I have been visited today by a brace of
rather bad news.” .” Sir Robert scratched absent-mindedly at his belly. .
“Would you have the bad news first, or the worse?”
    Avery, already shaken by the triple blow of losing a game of cricket,
Gibraltar, all confidence in his security measures, and Gibraltar a game of
cricket, all in a single afternoon, asked for the worse.
    “I’ve    put    some     preliminary     calculations       together.      .
WhistoneWhiston, it seems, may be is correct.”             .”   Sir Boyle picked
something from his back tooth. . “I don’t yet have his levels of precision,
but sitting here at Greenwich it looks as tho’ the Comet is coming straight
at us.”
    There was silence at that. . Avery didn’t feel qualified to comment.
    After a while Eliza asked, “Robert, do you measure the colour shift?
To judge the comet’s distance.”
    “What does that mean?” asked Avery.
    Sir Robert reached forward for a bottle. . “Yes, that is right. . How
did you know that?”
    “Oh I must have read it somewhere. . It’s ju—”




                                                                            259
                                                                        260




    “Can someone please explain what a colour shift is?” asked Avery.
    Sir Robert leaned back, glass in hand. . He had all but emptied it in a
single swallow. .
    “As an object travels curves through the Heavens, either towards us or
away from us, – it changes colour. . So [Newton] believed. . If Take the
sun, for example. If it wwere further moving away, it would be appear
cooler, more reddishblue. . If it were moving closer, it would be appear a     Comment [l76]: redshift - doublecheck


palerhotter, an whiter orange-redcolour. . It’s like the light-waves get
bunched up if the objects is moving towards you.           Now, we don’t
necessarily [k]now what the original colour of this comet is, but we can
watch that colour change ... .- and so calculate whether the Comet is either
moving curving away ... . or closer towards us.”
    Sir Robert paused, “I think we can safely say from my measurements ...
. that the Comet is moving towards us ... . rapidly.”
    Avery looked as though he was aging by the minute. . “But the
Comet isn’t changing colour?”
    “Not to the untrained eye. . But you must trust me, we measure these
things subtlyy. . The Comet is changing..”
    “I suppose your telescope comes in very useful for measuring such
subtleties.” Eliza found herself catching her breath as she waited to see if
Sir Robert would fall into her trap. He looked at her with his bluff old
face, it always looked close to a smile and the thought that he might
somehow be complicit in the goings on at the HellFyre Clubbe seemed
utterly ridiculous. And yet Benjamin’s words were echoing around her
head, I expected him to actually use the telescope.                            Formatted: Font: Italic


    Sir Robert took another taste of his drink. . “Interesting you should




                                                                        260
                                                                           261




ask. The telescope’s all well an’ good for getting a close up look – useful
for tellin’ what stuff the thing is actually made of – but for plotting the
course, and for seeing the change in colour, well, it’s rather easier to do it
with the naked eye. Don’t tell the Exchequer – the telescope cost ‘im
upwards of eight thousand guineas.”
    Eliza broke into a broad grin and Boyle mistook it for bonhomie.
    “Eliza, I wouldn’t smile too much, pet, “I don’t think anyone you’ve
has truly understood what will passhappen.”
    “What do you mean?” asked Eliza
    “Do you know your Bible?” He stared into the middle distance. . “It
would seems that our next stop is we are to be cast into the the Bottomless
Pit.”
    Eliza didn’t push her questioning further and they sat in silence for a
few moments. . Avery spoke first. . “So what is the bad news?”
    “Ha!     Yes.     .    It seems ’s of little consequence in the
circumstancesimportance ... but. . I found this on the floor of my study
this after’noon. . It seems your security measures are to naught, Captain.”
    He drew a letter from his breast pocket, it was written on the same
waxy parchment that Jacob Olger had produced from his top pocket just
over a week before. . Avery received it solemnly, read quickly, examined
the seal, and passed the letter to Eliza. . She read the words slowly, noting
that the red ink had bled into the coarse paper, distorting the words. .
                                                                                 Formatted: Font: Not Italic
    “Dubium et misit eum in abyssum – the unbeliever is cast into the            Formatted: Font: Not Italic
                                                                                 Formatted: Font: Not Italic
bottomless pit”
                                                                                 Formatted: Font: Not Italic
    That was it, almost the same words as before.                                Formatted: Font: Not Italic
                                                                                 Formatted: Font: Not Italic
    “It’s written by a different hand.” .” noted Avery. . Boyle shrugged
                                                                                 Formatted: Font: Not Italic
                                                                                 Formatted: Font: Not Italic




                                                                           261
                                                                           262




his big shoulders.
    Eliza was intent on examining every facet of the parchment. . She
licked her finger and rubbed it against the final word, then held the paper
up to the light.
    She passed it to Avery. . “Look, they’ve used human blood for ink.”
She passed it to Avery.
    Avery instinctively dropped the parchment to the table. . “Human?”
    “How can you tell?” asked Boyle, reaching over to look at the ink
closely.
    “Do you not remember? Thomas Hooke’s experiments last Autumn. .
There’s a simple test, with spittle. . Add some human spittle to cloth           Comment [LH77]: saliva? anachronistic ?


stained with human blood, and some alchemical reaction between spit and
blood will cause the stain will to fade. . It works for any mammal – pig’s
spit for pig’s blood, sheep for sheep. . Hooke even tried it with a giraffe.”
    Sir Robert Boyle studied the ink closely. . “Yes, yes of course ‘liza, I’d
plumb forgotten.” .” He coughed loudly into his hand and Eliza turned to
Avery. .
    “BenTom, any human spittle will make the ink fade, but Thomas
Hooke discovered something else. . When he took some spit from the
actual person who gave up the blood, well, then the pigment would
disappear entirely.”
    Avery nodded. . “So whoever wrote this note has left their signature
on it,” he turned to Sir Robert who was still peering at the letter carefully.
. He seemed visibly shaken.
    “I can take that if you like,” said Eliza.
    [Loz, at this point in my written notes I have proposed a double             Formatted: Font: Italic




                                                                           262
                                                                          263




prophecy – the comet, not and end of day symbol, but a sign of something
else, like the Sar of Bethlehem, a sign of a second coming – angels coming
to Earth………. . Discuss with Joe]                                                 Formatted: Font: Italic


    A fire was lit. . Despite it being the height of June, Boyle felt a chill,   Comment [LH78]: Cut
                                                                                 [build tension re the assassinations]
                                                                                 [Dialogue - paint picture of snug little supper –
and Symonds made short work of getting the logs to blaze. . They sat for a       Madeira going down nicely –
                                                                                 Interesting conversation – scientific bent –
while in silence, each nursing a glass of Madeira, eventually it loosened Sir    speculation on the modes of death applied to the
                                                                                 previous victims. Gallows humour – talk of the
                                                                                 suffocation – talk of Sir Robert’s experiments – with
Robert’s tongue.                                                                 eyes – they do indeed invert images – Camera
                                                                                 Obscura. Worm experiment – cut on half and then
                                                                                 sew head to head.]
    “You know, I suppose I’m like most people – we only think about              a fire is lit even though the night isn’t cold – !!!!!
                                                                                 comment on typical 18th Century food/menu – table
death when it’s too late. You two are young, I suppose you’ve never even         conspicuously new gilt-and-white-enamel table in
                                                                                 the Baroque style. Describe the dining room in
                                                                                 detail and weave the concept of Baroque from
considered the thought of dying.”.                                               earlier/into later (baroque protocol 283 QS]

    Thomas muttered something, embarrassed by the turn of conversation,
                                                                                 [Beagle and the Ouija board! More resistance
                                                                                 from Boyle!]
but Eliza took up the question.
    “I’ve thought about it – but I’ve never feared it much. It’s funny, I was
just thinking about something our Boy Highwayman said after he’d been
sentenced to the Gibbet. He said, ‘I don’t suppose it matters much – it’s
only death’. I guess that’s the way I’ve always seen it – death is just an
end, no more than that – it’s how you die that you need to worry about.”
    She had another searing image of her mother at the end. She couldn’t
keep the pain from her face, but neither Thomas nor Sir Robert seemed to
notice.
    “When did you speak with him, Eliza?” asked Avery, suddenly
voluble.
    “Who?”
    “Quick,”
    “Oh, it must have been at the trial ... sometime,” Eliza lied smoothly
but was grateful for an interruption from Sir Robert.




                                                                          263
                                                                         264




    “It seems our Benjamin Quick has a predilection for cheap literature.”
He poured himself another glass Madeira.
    “What do you mean?” asked Eliza, surprised at how interested she was
in the answer.
    “I suspected as much after the accounts of his escape in The Gazette.
All that talk of Azrael and maidens windows ... it’s all straight out of        Formatted: Font: Not Italic


Sabatini.”
    “Sabatini?”
    “Yes the novelist. He wrote The Adventures of Captain T. Blood, it’s a      Formatted: Font: Not Italic


penny dreadful - lots of swashbuckling and heaving bosoms.”                     Formatted: Font: Not Italic


    Thomas Avery stiffened at the language, but Boyle ignored him. “It          Formatted: Font: Not Italic


seems our death-defying highwayman is something of a plagiarist. ‘It’s
Only Death’, is virtually Thomas Blood’s motto, his motif.         Benjamin
Quick may be a bit of a romantic.”                                              Formatted: Font: Italic


    “Oh,” was all Eliza could manage, her thoughts were racing to process
this latest insight into the character of Benjamin Quick. Avery helped
himself to a second glass of wine something he had resisted doing all week.
    “All this talk of death begins to focus the mind,” said Sir Robert,
moving the conversation on, “I’ve been thinking about what Jacob Olger
told us the night he died ... If he turned out to be right, if Fatty Dashwood
could promise immortality, would yer be interested?”
    “But you said Dashwood was a fool,” said Avery.
    “Aye, he is. I’m just asking hypothetical.”
    Eliza considered the question as it was intended, but only for a
moment, she knew her answer.
    “Not overly, there’s not much point to life if it never ends - like




                                                                         264
                                                                             265




playing a game where you can’t lose.”
    “But that’s exactly it – don’t you see - life’s a game you can’t win. We
all lose, every one of us. Even if this death threat turns out to be empty
words – we all die in the end.” Boyle had reddened, and he immediately
checked himself. “It just suddenly seems mighty short, that’s all.”
    “A life well lived,” Avery spoke up with all the moral certainty of a
vicar’s son. “That’s how we win the game, Sir Robert, by leading a life
well-lived.”
    “I’m sorry, I suppose that bloody letter’s put me in a blacker mood
than I realised.”


    “Well no need benefit in being to be so glum.” .” Eliza finally struck
up a pretty smile, and it helped lighten the mood. . “Desperate times and
all that ... .- why don’t we have a little amusement?” She picked up the
book she had found been reading before dinnerin the library. . “Despite
falling comets, and death threats and battered shins, Robert, I think you’ll
find this of interest.” .” She opened the volume aton a marked page, and
placed it on the table for Boyle and Avery to see.           . “I’ve found an
experiment that might help us ...”
    Avery read the title: “Ouija – Das Gefährlichste Spiel ... . Ouija?”            Formatted: German (Germany)


    “... . The Most Dangerous Game,” Eliza finished for him.
    Avery looked at her. . “I’ll let you translate - my German’s a little rusty.”
    Eliza began to read, slowly translating. . “What follows is a true and
accurate description of a most wondrous event, I swear before God to its
veracity. . What powers I invoked, I yet not know, but any who follow me in
this venture, I urge caution. . Once invoked, such forces are not readily
returned to their natural domain.” .”




                                                                             265
                                                                            266




    She looked at the serious faces of Avery and Boyle, “Oh come on, this
will be fun.”
    Boyle leaned forward, some of his previous weariness gone. . Eliza
skipped down the page and continued to read.                                       Comment [l79]: descfribe Newton somewhere
                                                                                   here as well as at the end of this passage
    “A board of young cedar-wood will suffice, but ash is for preference. .
The board must be fashioned half of one cubit by another half of one cubit. .
The board then be divided by a pentagram, and each point of the pentagram
divided with another – until the entire surface is divided thus into twenty five
parts. . In each part one letter is writ. . The order matters not, but in this I
am minded to follow the ordering of the Pythagorean School of Samos, and
thusly render the letters Q, U, E, R, and T—”
    The wind whipped up at that point, and the fire guttered noisily as air
was sucked through the chimney. . Boyle was on his feet in an instant –
he ignored the sleeping Beagle and stacked more wood, making certain
that the blaze was fully restored before he regained his seat. . He looked
at both of their faces carefully, his own severe in the strong light of the
fire, “Go on, ‘liza.”
    She skipped down the page to find the most next relevant instruction. .
“The beast took the graal with its forepaw.” .” She stopped herself to check
the translation, “is that graal as in grail?”                                      Comment [LH80]: [Latin not German]


    “As in any vessel, .. . a cup,” explained Boyle. . Eliza continued.
    “The beast took the cup with its forepaw, held in situation by the
hands of the four others present. . And the beast did, with shuffling to
and fro, from letter to letter, spell out its message.”


    Sir Robert held out his hand, eager to take the book. . He took over
the reading, impatient at the speed with which Eliza translated. . “The
beast spoke on matters over which only it ‘had knowledge. . Five times




                                                                            266
                                                                      267




they asked a question of it, and five times the creature answered. . Every
time correct.”                                                               Comment [l81]: Antiquate the language of
                                                                             this???

    Avery laughed. . “But this is nonsense, surely?” He looked at Boyle. .
“Surely?”
    Sir Robert smiled and shrugged. . He looked first at Newton, sleeping
by the fire, and then at Eliza.
    “Do you really think this might work, Robert?” she asked.
    Robert Boyle shook his head, “No, but then, what ‘ave we to lose?”
And with a pull on the bell chord, he summoned Symonds.




                                    ~




                                                                      267
                                                                       268




                      THE WHITE PALACE, GREENWICH


    Anglo-French relations at the White Palace were a little strained that
evening. . Lady Margaret Salisbury had never been a gracious loser, at
anything, and as the victor, Madame de Pompadour was positively
insufferable.
    For their second night in residence, supper was planned as a relatively
quiet affair. . The twenty or so French ambassadorial staffe attended of
course,, and but only another dozen from the home teamhalf the English
retinue. . The two ladies sat at either end of the great banqueting table,
and spent the evening exchanging bland diplomatic pleasantries banter         Comment [LH82]: ... over courses of pheasant


over courses of pheasant, venison and cod. . It was only when the time
came for the gentlemen to leave, to take a cigar over their port, that the
two had an opportunity to sit comfortably together. . In a role reversal
from just about every dinner party in the country, the gentlemen gossiped
and joked idly in the library, whilst the real business of the day was
decided in the drawing room. .
    Lady Salisbury’s humour had failed to recover, and she found it hard
to conceal her bitterness as sthey traded post dinner pleasantries. . She
looked across at the Marquise and decided it was time to dent the woman’s
composure. . It was time to raise the stakes.


                                     ~




                                                                       268
                                                                         269




                          FLAMSTEED HOUSE, GREENWICH


    Although it was night, Avery’s men took little time to find a suitable
piece of wood, and even less time to cut it into shape. . They brought the
timber to the dining room where Boyle measured it to his satisfaction. .
He drew out the pentagrams himself, with a charcoal stick. .
    Newton was woken from his comfortable spot by the fire, and when
all was set, Symonds looked sombrely down onto the dining table, his face
impassive, yet somehow disapproving.
    “That will be all Symonds,” said Avery, eager to get things over with. .
“Move into night mode now, check the outer alarme bells one last time. .
I will shut things down here.”
    The four of them were left. . Three humans, one dog. . Boyle stoked
the fire for a third time that evening, stacking the logs to give a strong
blaze. . Once he was satisfied, he snuffed the candles in the candelabrum
above the dining table.
    It was time to begin.
    Newton sat on the table in front of Eliza. . Avery and Boyle sat either
side. . Once Newton was settled, Eliza held out his paw and placed it on
top of the glass goblet they had chosen to serve as the graal. . Then came
BenTom’s hand, cool, and careful to be gentle. . Finally Boyle’s heavy fist,
hot and damp. . It pushed down, fixing everything in position. .
    “First we ask the dog a question,” Eliza said, looking at the back of the
dog’s head. . “Who - killed - Jacob - Olger?” She paused, as if expecting
an answer to appear instantly, but when none came, merely said, “Now,
we wait.”




                                                                         269
                                                                         270




    Nothing happened for what felt like a long time. . Eliza’s hand felt
crushed under the weight of the others. . Newton struggled to pull out his
little paw, but she held it firmly. . He barked intermittently, but no one
else spoke.
    Then, just as the fire was beginning to burn a little lower, and Eliza
was beginning to find the whole situation increasingly ridiculous - the
glass moved. .
    It started with a judder, then fell still. . The three looked at each
other with widening eyes, and waited. . This time they didn’t have to
wait long; the glass inched its way forward in little lurches that quickly
became slower, smoother. . The glass seemed to come to a halt over the
letter U. . It remained there for the length of a dozen breaths – and then
seemed to resume its journey - only for the glass to hesitate and return to
the U. . Eliza, instinctively started to withdraw her hand, but the pressure
from Robert Boyle fixed it in place.
    “Don’t break contact,” he said gravely.
    The glass restarted its journey across the Ouija board. . Its second halt
was at the ‘H’. . Eliza could feel Newton’s tail wagging on her lap. . His
tongue was lolling out the side of his mouth. . She just couldn’t believe
that this dog, who seemed as bemused as she was, was actually making the
glass move. . Avery looked from face to face, trying to understand what
was happening. . Boyle’s eyes bore into the little dog as if the great
scientist were trying to wrench the dog’s thoughts out of its head. . The
glass moved again.
    “I” said Eliza, when it was clear that the glass had arrived at another
haltstop. .




                                                                         270
                                                                         271




    “S”
    “T”
    “O”
    “N”
    Avery spoke the last letter, “EN” he said clearly, his rich Eton
schooling coming through in the sound of the vowel. . “Uhistone?”
    At that precise moment, before anyone could even correct him, the
first [security alarm] bell went off.
    A gentle ringing deep to the rear of the house. . It rang a half one full
cycle and then fell silent, as if a hand had snuffed out the noise.         .
Immediately, Avery was on his feet, reaching for a candelabrum, “Sir
Robert, stay here. . You will be safe with Eliza.”
    From the dining room Avery was quickly into the main hall. . He
cursed himself for accepting a second glass of Madeira. . Five doorways
and a grand double staircase led out of the hall and presented him with [a
]decision. . The bell had rung from the servant’s quarters, at the rear of
the house, but even so, there were two doors to choose from. . He decided
to wait. . If an assassin had penetrated the house they wouldn’t move five
yards without upsetting a second bell. . Avery cleared his mind, retreated
to the shadows of the stairwell, and listened.
    He waited almost a minute. . It took him that long to realise his
operation was compromised. . Slowly, subconsciously, his brain rang a
warning. . In the event of an incursion, the security team were drilled to
form a defence screen about Sir Robert. . They should have made a
formation on the Dining Room. . Within sixty seconds there should have
been at least five men joining him in the great hall. . But there was no




                                                                         271
                                                                         272




one. . Not even the sound of movement. . Avery made a calculation; he
hadn’t seen any of his agents for over an hour, not since Symonds had been
dismissed. . Where were they all?
    Eliza and Boyle were safe – he was sure of the that. . There was only
one unlocked door into the dining room, and that was the door he now
had sight of.    .   An uncomfortable image pressed into his head, the
Vampyre-Demon sketch from The London Gazette Illustrated News -
rendered terrible in flesh and fury.[ He smiled to himself and dismissed the
image, But he’s just a boy, and insipid, irritating boy – he tells himself –
thoughts racing – must focusfocussing his mind, adhere to his training..]. .
    A second bell rang, again from the rear of the house, but this time no
effort was made to kill the noise. .
    At least now Avery had a bearing. . Two doors led from the great hall
to the rear of the house – they stood on either side of the wide, wooden
stairway. . He chose the nearest.       and . Taking care to snuff out the
flames on his [candlestick][candelabra? If more than one flame?], but
keeping a firm grip on the heavy iron candelabra (it would be more use
than a sword in a confined struggle) Avery moved into position. . He shut
one eye for a count of seven, but even so, when he opened the door, the
passage was a wall of black.       .   He shut the door behind him, and
eventually his eyes began to form images. . With a vision of barely four
feet, he slowly inched along one wall of the passageway. . Avery was
trained to move quietly, and his large frame barely made a noise as he
worked his way slowly up the left-hand side of the passage. . He knew
the plan of the house intimately, and knew exactly where to head. .
Ignoring the doors on his left he made for the final door, at the end of the




                                                                         272
                                                                       273




passage. . It led immediately up a set of stairs and towards the servant’s
quarters. . The second bell had rung from the upper floor.
     Avery reached the door, and put his hand to the doorknob, but he
didn’t get any further. . A thump sounded on the floorboards above and
he froze. . The floor in the passage above creaked as the intruder shifted
its weight. . To Avery’s imagination, one thing was very clear, whatever it
was moving across the upstairs passageway, it didn’t move like a human.
     Avery let go of the door handle and inched backwards, keeping his
grip on the candlestick. . The ceiling continued to creak with the slow,
ponderous movement. . Whatever it was, it reached the head of the
staircase, and stopped. . Avery was breathing hard. . He took a step
forward, to see if he could hear any noise, but whatever it was, the thing
creature was seemed to be waiting at the top of the stairs. . Avery put his
hand back onto the door handle and was about to turn when with a series
of thumps it the thing hurled itself down the stairs[ towards him] with the
speed of an animal.
     Captain BenjaminThomas Avery, who had never shown fear in his
life, ran.


                                    ~




                                                                       273
                                                                         274




                      THE WHITE PALACE, GREENWICH


    They took chocolate in the drawing room, and Madame de Pompadour
insisted on keeping Grimaldi in attendance. . She took great delight in
showing him off.
    “Can you believe it, when I first found Grimaldi[note for plot line later
– has Grimaldi any relation to the triplet sisters? Is he Russian or Italian
or…?] he was in a circus. . Of course you can believe it – look at him. .
Where else would he be?!” Pompadour’s laughter was altogether too jolly
for Lady Salisbury’s mood, but the Duchess had achieved success not
without a large measure of patience. . Pompadour had taken on a little
more drink than was her custom, the alcohol shone brightly in her blue
eyes, and Lady Margaret was happy to listen and bide her time. .
    “He was from the Caucasus, but barely spoke a word of Russian, let
alone French. . Show Lady Margaret your arm Grimaldi – show her how
you were able to fell all those lofty Englishmen[ at the little cricket
game].”
    The dwarf stepped forward, and rolled up his sleeve to reveal a thick
forearm, hairy like an ape.
    “Show her your wrist.”
    Grimaldi took his right thumb in the other hand and wrenched it back
with a loud crack. . Lady Salisbury almost jumped with the sudden
violence of it, but she was drawn forward by the sight – Grimaldi’s hand
was completely dislocated from the rest of his arm. . His hand was
[positively][?completely?] bent double onto his forearm.
    Madame de Pompadour clapped with a little squeal of delight. . “See!




                                                                         274
                                                                         275




He is a monster, non?”                                                          Comment [LH83]: franglais


     [Lady] Margaret had to laugh, it was all too grotesque, and yet the
delight of the Marquise was enchanting – she was transformed into a joyful
little girl. .
     It was the time to strike.
     “I have been thinking – our little wager this afternoon, it seems such a
sensible way to settle negotiations, don’t you think?”
     The blue in Madame de Pompadour’s eyes turned to grey in an instant.
. “Are you suggesting double to nothing?”
     “Double to nothing? Why not?”
     “What shall we roll the dice upon now?
     “Why not settle the question of trading rights in India?”
     “Oh I don’t think we need to be so greedy just yet,” said the Marquise.
. “I’d be happy to settle the question of Stonehenge.”
     Lady Salisbury thought for a moment. . “Let’s resolve the bigger
issues first. . I insist. . India?”
     Pompadour looked to her servant. . “Grimaldi, why don’t you bring
some playing cards.”


                                      ~




                                                                         275
                                                                            276




                       FLAMSTEED HOUSE, GREENWICH


    Avery had been an Cambridge athletics blue in his student days. .
Before the Matriculation Dinner in ’312, he had run the circuit around
Trinity Court in less than forty-three seconds – less than the time it took
for the old clock to ring out the twenty four chimes of noon. . His run
had been the first to beat the gongs chimes since the time of King Henry,
two hundred years before.
    If anything, he ran the length of Flamsteed’s passage faster. .
    With bells ringing behind him, he sprinted through the far door and
back into the entrance hall without taking a breath. . Another moment
and he was kicking open the door to the dining room. . The candles
inside were still bright, but his eyes didn't need to adjust to see Eliza. .
She was crouched, half concealed by a chair, holding tightly onto her dog,
a flintlock resting firmly on her hip. . She pointed it straight into his
belly.
    “Shut the door and lock it. . You've got the key.” .” She spoke with
authority, and Avery instinctively obeyed. . Eliza pulled one of the heavy
chairs over, and together they wedged it against the door handle.
    “What happened out there?”
    “I don't know. . There's no one. . No one at all.” .” Another bell
rang; it, was close. . “Where the Hell is everyone?”
    Avery's normal composure was all gone, Eliza looked at him and said
clearly and slowly, “BenTom it's just us, the rest have gone. . I need you
to get us out of here, [you understand][maybe delete the ‘you understand’
as it is possibly a bit overused in all the dialogue]? It's down to you.”




                                                                            276
                                                                            277




    She looked at Boyle, and BenAvery noticed him for the first time. .
Sir Robert sat at the table, arms resting in front, eyes looking forward
peacefully. . “He's been like that since you left. . One moment he was
talking, the next he went quiet. . I can't get anything out of him.”
    Eliza went over to Sir Robert and shook him. . “Nothing.. He looks
just like one his chickens.”
    ”
    Avery looked blank. . The room felt very small.The room felt very
small.
    [the ‘mesmerised’ Sir Robert needs some more explanation – as we
discussed, I hadn’t linked this to his chicken experiment – and the idea
that maybe he is being finished off like the other scientists by one of his
own experiments – this needs to be made more obvious][“has he been
drugged?” they might ask…. And then speculate….]
    “BenTom, we need a plan, I need to know what's out there. . We
have two choices – stay here, barricade ourselves in and wait 'til dawn, or
run for it.” .” She struggled with Newton as he squirmed under her arm. .
“They'll expect us to run for one of the gardens – but if we can get to the
Observatory instead, we could climb out onto the roof - they might not
expect that.” .” She looked at Sir Robert. . “But first we need to wake him
... . I don’t know ... . it’s like he’s gone into a trance ... . we need to wake
him.”
    She was interrupted by a thump on the dining room door. . It was a
loud, confident, knock, but not violent. . Eliza flinched, BenAvery looked
blank. . They waited for a voice but none came.
    Avery stepped forward. . “Hold that chair. . I have to wake him.” .”




                                                                            277
                                                                          278




He slapped the scientist, hard, across the face. . Nothing.
    He hit Boyle again, harder.      .   Again, nothing, but then without
warning the big man’s eyes looked up. . He stood as if coming out of a
deep sleep, and then lunged at Avery's neck.           .   The sight was truly
terrifying. . He squeezed Avery's throat with both hands and within
seconds the Captain was gasping, falling to the ground. . Eliza didn’t
hesitate, she grabbed the first thing, a fork, a dining fork – and stabbed it
into Boyle's shoulder. .
    He bellowed like a shot bull, let go of Avery's throat and turned on
Eliza. . But she was too quick. . She was round the dining table in a
second, Boyle looked at her with red, blank eyes. . For one moment she
thought he was going to rip the table in half, the next, he slumped back
into a chair.
    Avery recovered quickly. . “Eliza, we have to get out of here.”
    There was a second knock on the door, this time louder, more
insistent.
    “Who's there?” shouted Avery. . “What do you want?”
    There was no reply.
    Avery looked at Eliza then down at Sir Robert, slumped nerveless. .
“We have to leave him; we can't save him.” .”
    “But they'll kill him.”
    “I won't see you hurt, Eliza.”
    The next knock at the door came from no hand. .
    First there was the trundling roll, like the sound a wheeled cannon
would make on a tiled floor, and then a smash. . The door splintered
immediately, about a third of the way up.          .       The chair was flung




                                                                          278
                                                                        279




backwards with the force and after a moment’s thought, the heavy door
capitulated to the force of the attack. . Its hinges ripped, the door tipped
backwards – smashing to the floor with a hollow bang.
    Avery didn't wait, his pistol flashed through the open doorway; he
took hold of Newton by the scruff of his neck, grabbed Eliza's hand and
was out into the hall in seconds. . Together they ran. . Avery led, pulling
Eliza. . He knew exactly where to go. . There was a brief moment of
resistance, when BenTom crashed shoulder first into a body in the
darkness. . The contact was brief, and the man, or woman,[or perhaps….
‘and the man, woman… or ‘thing,’] crashed to the floor. . Eliza almost fell
when her boot trod into soft flesh, but Avery pulled her on. .
    In all, they fired two pistols, that first when they exploded onto the
hallway, and then a second from Eliza's pocket-Beretta, shot wildly behind
her as she was dragged along in BenAvery's wake. . Not a single shot was
fired in return. . Beyond the Hhallway they were into an empty gallery
sprinting with fear, and then suddenly they were alone, door slammed and
bolted. . They were in the observatory. .
    The stars and moon filled it with enough light to see clearly. . Avery
handed Eliza the dog. . “Are you sound?”
    Eliza, struggling for breath, laughed [nervously?]at his nautical
language. . “Yes, I'm sound, Captain.” .” She looked around, sizing the
room. She followed the training manual to letter, but Avery couldn’t help
but notice the wild glint in her eye. She was positively enjoying herself,
and Avery felt a pang of adoration[following her training procedure –
sizing up her surroundings, looking for escape route etc]. .
    “What now?” she asked, suddenly looking at him.




                                                                        279
                                                                         280




    “We climb up the telescope and get on the roof. . The bolts on that
door will give us time. . Reload your Beretta while I test the climb. . If it
can take my weight then—”
    But Avery's planning got no further than that. . The voice that
interrupted him was young, and Eliza recognized it in an instant. .
    “Looks like they found a way in then.” .” JerichoBenjamin Quick
stepped to the front of the telescope's viewing platform and out into the
moonlight.
    Avery's square jaw slackened. . “You? ... . This is all you?”
    Quick laughed. . It was the laugh that Eliza remembered vividly from
the stagecoach on the road to Brighton, but seeing him in the same
moonlight now there was something a little older about the face. . He was
thinner, she hadn’t noticed in the bright afternoon sun. . Maybe it was
the light, giving strange shadows, but there was a hollow look ababout his
eyes that suggested JerichoBenjamin Quick [hadn’t been eating and
sleeping properly, or perhaps he] had indeed spent some time with the
Devil.
    “What are you doing here, Quick?” demanded Avery.
    “I’ve been using the telescope.” .” He held up a slim, leather-bound
volume.   .   “I've been here all week,” he waved vaguely at the huge
telescope next to him.
    Eliza rammed home the wadding into her Bpistolaeretta. ; . Sshe
hadn't paused in its reloading. . “BenTom, take this and give me yours.” .”
She immediately began filling Avery's much larger flintlock with powder.
. “He's not part of this, BenTom, just ignore him.”
    BenAvery made to challenge her” , but she stopped him with a look.




                                                                         280
                                                                           281




“[how does she know, how is she so sure?... “Trust me with this..., - I just
know it.” .” – but why is she so sure – we need to suggest why?]
    A heavy hand banged on the door. . It had all the foreboding of the
previous knock, in the dining room. .
    “Look, I can get you out of here.” .” JerichoBenjamin looked down at
Eliza, careful to ignore Captain Avery's stare. . “I can get you away.”
    Eliza didn't pause, she stuffed the half- loaded pistola flintlock into the
belt at her waist and grabbed up Newton, running up the creaking wooden
steps. . “Get us out of here and we'll get you a pardon.” .”
    “Eliza, we don't need him.” .” shouted Avery. .
    She looked down. . “Swallow your pride, BenTom.” .” She nodded to
JerichoBenjamin and he made a step with his hands so she could climb on
to the barrel of the telescope.
    There was another rap on the door. . Avery was stung into action. .
He ripped up a plank of wood from the bottom step and wedged it into
place – just as they’d done with the chair in the dining room. . Eliza was
reaching out and through the skylight, struggling to hold the puppy. .
JerichoBenjamin was already onto the telescope, chancing their combined
weight when Avery heard the ominous rumble of cannon wheels. . They
were going to ram the door. . He planted his foot on the plank, waiting
for the impact. .
    When it came, the force knocked him off his feet. . As if all the             Comment [LH84]: It was as if??


power and weight of the cannon transferred itself into the bottom of his
right foot. . The noise was horrific, but somehow, the door held. . It was
fractured, but the hinges held firm.
    The iron rim of a gun barrel pierced the splintered wood about three




                                                                           281
                                                                          282




foot up, and Avery heard a scuffling out in the hall. . The gun-barrel
started to withdraw, and Avery took the chance to push his muzzle-Eliza’s
pistola loader out through the gap. A – and as hHe sparked the flint he
and had the satisfaction of hearing a grunted cry. . The reality of that
shot, shredding human flesh on the other side of the door, quickened
Avery's brain. . He was up onto the telescope and being pulled out
through the roof before they could bring the cannon back for a second
crashing strike. . He didn't see the figures spilling into the observatory, he
just followed Quick's light footsteps across the rooftop and let himself be
ghosted away.




                                      ~




    Avery and JerichoBenjamin caught up with Eliza, hidden in the crook
of an oversized chimney, and stopped to rest. . JerichoBenjamin, dressed         Comment [LH85]: Reference to the time ball on
                                                                                 the roof - http://www.history-
                                                                                 tourist.com/V2/england/greenwich_S0394.html
completely in black, could barely be seen in the shadow of the
chimneybrick. . Despite the great height of Flamsteed's roof, Eliza was
sitting comfortably, clutching the Beagle puppy tightly, and looking out
across the river.                                                                Comment [LH86]: insert mention of comet - to
                                                                                 break the pace? beautfiul, silent, ominous...

    “They came by boat, look,” she whispered. . Avery followed her gaze
and was able to make out a yacht, upstream from Greenwich Palace,
anchored up in a sheltered channel.
    “But that's tiny, there can't be more than a dozen of them,” said
BenAvery, peering back towards the open skylight of the observatory – as




                                                                          282
                                                                         283




if wanting to rejoin the fight.
    “Stop posturing, and keep your head in.”           .”   JerichoBenjamin
whispered his words harshly. . “Reload your pistols. . If they risk the
roof we'll need them.”
    But they didn't risk the roof, perhaps they decided there was no need;
five minutes later the trio saw the first hooded figures leaving the front of
the house. . They were running in pickets of three two and fourthree,
moving forward like a troop of professional soldiers. . First securing an
area, then moving on. . But despite their precautions, they moved fast. .
There were twenty dark figures in all, including four men near the rear
middle who dragged a large, shrouded human figure.
    Avery bristled with frustration at the sight; he looked at Eliza. . “Sir
Robert’s still alive.” .” He gripped her arm. . “Stay here. . {You
understand.] [perhaps…. ‘PPlease . .’ instead of ‘You understand’] You          Formatted: Font: Not Italic
                                                                                Formatted: Font: Not Italic
have to stay safe.” .”
    Eliza nodded, shaken by the passion in BenAvery's voice. . And then
suddenly he was gone; he just let himself slide down the tiled roof. . It
was steep, and Eliza looked down in horror as he picked up speed. . Avery
reached the edge in seconds and Eliza was certain he would be dead in
seconds more, but with the agility and strength of a Royal Navy-man,
Captain BenTom flipped from the tiles and into the branches of a tree. .
He was hidden by the dense foliage for a moment, but the shaking of
branches told her that he was climbing down. .
    Then, low to the ground, there was a flash of gunpowder and a shout.
. Then silence. .
    Eliza craned forward, desperate to see more, but JerichoBenjamin




                                                                         283
                                                                          284




pulled her back.        .    She pushed him away, her face full of
confusionirritation.
    “He’s my fiancé,” was all she could say.
    “Your fiancé? That idiot[?] …” He scratched violently at his neck and
looked at Eliza, her face unsteady with fear. . He leaned forward to look
over the roof edge and said, “Just be careful; [iI]if you both die I won't get
my pardon.”
    In that moment, Eliza made a firm decision. . “I lied about the
pardon,” she said, handing him the dog, and began her own slide down the
roof.


                                       ~


    Avery had used his one charge of powder in haste, and now there was          Comment [LH87]: Clear?


no point trying to confront them unarmed. . His only hope was to get to
the boat before them. . He sprinted in an arc towards the river, desperate
to get ahead of the retreating force, but even as he arrived it was too late –
the advance was already boarding. . After moments more the shrouded
figure of Sir Robert Boyle was dragged onto the deck and dark figures
kicked away the boarding plank. .
    Avery only had seconds to make a decision. . He thought about
throwing a rock, but at such a distance even his fielding arm had no
chance of causing any damage. . Instead, with a brilliance of mind that he
would enjoy describing to Eliza later, he stripped off his shirt.
    The yacht was underway, but the crew still fought to with a spilling
sail. . Avery tied the cuff of his sleeve into a tight knot, emptied the last




                                                                          284
                                                                        285




of his powder into the arm; and followed it with a rock. . He only had
moments to test the weight, for the yacht had already reached the middle
of the channel. .
    Setting the shirt alight was easy. , e. Even though the wool was damp
from his physical exertions. T, the coarse fibres took a flame quickly. .
Even as he swung the shirt above his head, the gunpowder fizzed, reacting
to the heat of the flame, and for a moment Avery feared it would burn too
quickly.
    The yacht was in full flight, thirty yards downstream and moving fast
when he released the firebrand into the night sky. . Its path, comet-like
in both radiance and trajectory, overshadowed even the great Shipton
Comet for brilliance. . The missile flew out over the river with a sinister
whoosh and just as the curve of its flight drew back to Earth, it hit the
yacht foursquare in the middle of its giant sail.


                                       ~


    JerichoBenjamin was hurt. . He should never have tried to jump off
the roof while carrying a dog, but the desperate need to impress Eliza had
driven him on.      . Half way down his slide, he realised any hope of
catching onto the tree with one hand, while the other gripped the dog,
would be useless. . But there was nothing for it, if he let go of the pup,
Eliza would never forgive him, just when he was sure he was winning her
round.[although she’d handed him over easily enough!]
    With that single thought he left the relative solidity of the roof, flew
through the cool evening air, and thudded into the tree. . He hit a thick




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branch and it doubled him up, smacking his speeding body to a temporary
halt.     .   Then gravity took hold and Quick’s limp body began its
acceleration to the Earth.
       Luckily, as he hit branch after branch they seemed to get thinner,
many broke, and the brake on gravity saved him. . By the time he hit the
ground, he was even able to twist his body to avoid landing on the pup. .
Eliza’s face looked down at him. . Her perfect face and lips inches from
his.
       “What the Hell were you thinking?” she said, “He’s just a little puppy.
. You could have killed him.”


                                       ~


       The yacht burned and Avery sprinted to the riverbank. . He heard
rather than saw the mayhem on[board] the yacht; they were already fifty
yards downstream and he had no time to waste. . A crew of able seaman
could strip a sail, even a burning sail, and replace it in minutes. . He
looked around desperately, no plan in his head but to catch up with the
kidnappers. . There was a small boat, a rowing boat, tied up at the
shoreline, and Avery, heedless of his brilliance with knots, slashed through
the rope with a knife. . It was the only weapon he had, and he placed it,
pirate-like, between his teeth. . He began to row, the muscles of his torso
taking the strain as his oars bit into water and at that moment, the
phlegmatic Captain BenThomas Avery, the pride of His Majesty’s Royal
Navy, felt a surge of buccaneering blood lust as he went after the stricken
yacht.




                                                                          286
                                                                        287




      [flashing image of Blackburne as a buccaneer – hard to envisage that
feeble old man in that role – perhaps Avery, in spite of the matter at hand,
   has a fleeting thought like this…?][would serve to remind us of what
                  Blackburne was once about and capable of}
                                     ~


    By the time Quick and Eliza had reached the shore, Avery had
narrowed the gap to the yacht. . They looked down to see figures on the
boat strip the flaming sail, and hurl it into the water. . As the water
snuffed out the flames the whole scene was suddenly plunged into
blackness. . Captain Avery, one moment clearly seen, just seemed to melt
into the night.
    “The reason I’m marrying Captain Avery, Master Quick, and this is not
something I expect you to understand, is that he’s the only man I know
who would use a rowing boat to chase a yacht.”
    She primed her Beretta as she spoke, and fired off a load of shot, up
and out onto the river, desperate to help Avery in any way she possibly
could. .


                                     ~


    Given that the only light they had to work by was from their own
burning boat, or perhaps because of it, the figures on the yacht worked
well. . Even the night’s thin sliver of moon was hidden by cloud, and the
Comet, for all its ominous luminosity, offered no help in the darkness of
the river. . They didn’t waste time fitting a new sail. . The foresail, the




                                                                        287
                                                                         288




second sail, was intact, and though small it held enough of the wind’s force
to keep the boat moving forward. . Turning about, into the centre of the
channel, they picked up speed from the river’s current.
    Avery rowed with all his might. . A lesser man would never have
even tried to catch the yacht. . In the black of the river, BenjaminThomas
Avery, Captain of his little boat, went thundering past it. .
    The noise of the crew, and the boat’s creaking timbers echoed oddly         Comment [l88]: suggestion: strangely?


over the night waters, and Avery utterly misjudged his position. . He
stopped, lost of his target, focussing his mind to the confused noises of the
river. . For a moment he could make nothing out. . Then, with a sudden,
desperate, perspicacityrealization, he saw the stern of the yacht bearing
down, suddenly visible from the murk of the night. . His little rowboat
cracked like a walnut, smashing to splinters, and in a second he was
plunged into the river. . Struggling wildly beneath the water’s surface,
Avery reeled away from the yacht’s thundering bows, but its power sucked
at his legs, dragging him downwards. . The boat plunged on and the
heavy timber of its transom smacked against Avery’s skull. .
    Blood pouring unseen, his numb body floated gently to the bottom of
the Thames.


                                      ~


    They heard it clearly. . Knew exactly what had happened despite the
darkness. . Newton jumped out of Quick’s grasp and ran to the river. .
Quick stood blankly, completely at a loss, and Eliza didn’t take gently to
the discovery that JerichoBenjamin Quick, supernaturally able in most




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                                                                         289




departments, couldn’t swim. . She screamed at him, in panic as much as
anger. . He didn’t tell her about the death of his brother; it didn’t seem
the right time.
    Eliza tore at her skirts as much in fury as anything. . She ran down to
the bank and, and ran straight into the water. . She heard Newton, heard
his bark as he struggled to stay above the waves. . It gave her hope, and a
bearing to follow.
    Ordinarily, Beagles aren’t known for their love of the water.           .
Spaniels of course are pretty capable swimmers, and later, Labradors were
bred specifically for the sea, but not Beagles. . Newton wasn’t ordinary;
m; maybe it was the weeks days spent watching his sister swimming about
in a glass tank; maybe Newton had lost all fear of water in the laboratory at
Monmouth Street. . Or maybe he was just fearless - or brainlessstupid. .
    He’d run to the river while Eliza and Quick argued, swum to the spot
where Avery had gone down, and he barked into the night as he paddled
his legs. .
    For a while Eliza was able to use his barking to guide her. . But then
it seemed to get swallowed up in a wave, and the dog with it. . By the
time Eliza reached the middle of the channel there was nothing to see.[
She dived down time after time, fighting against the drag of her water-
logged clothing. She found some scraps of burned sailcloth, and some
shattered timber, but eventually the cold water extinguished any hope. SH
eneed to describe her looking a little more – her skirts billowing around
her weighing her down in the water – soaked through, diving in looking in
the mirky stirred up waters, bits of burned sail, etc, all time wild and
confused that Jericho is not there in the water with her – she really needs




                                                                         289
                                                                           290




to challenge him on this afterwards..just needs expanding slightly, not so
rushed]
    Any The other detritus from the rowing boat had swiftly sunk or been
swept downstream. . They spent a desperate hour looking for any signs of
life; they walked a mile downstream, but it was obvious from the start that
anything that hadn’t sunk was long gone. . Avery and his pup had been
taken by the river.
    In the early hours of the new day, JerichoBenjamin Quick helped the
damp Eliza back up the hill to Flamsteed.


                                         ~


    JerichoBenjamin Quick’s wounds, and he felt rather annoyed about
this, were a lot worse than they looked. . He couldn’t put much weight on
his right foot, and his shoulder felt as though something had snapped
inside. . By the time he and Eliza had walked back up to Flamsteed he
was ready to quit. . He found a quiet spot in the kitchen and some vinegar
for his bruises. .    To make it worse, Eliza seemed to be blaming him for
everything.
    Eliza’s mind was still reeling.          .   She tried to send a message to
Lambeth Palace by the usual means – but the pigeon hidden in her bodice           Comment [LH89]: “corsage” OR “bodice” =
                                                                                  more 18th Century typical

seemed to have drowned. . They had installed a plentiful supply of birds
in the Flamsteed attic, but something seemed to hold her back from
[venturinggong]going up there.       .       Without Avery, she realised, The
Department was somehow an irrelevance. .                                          Comment [LH90]: Check that there's enough
                                                                                  emotion - see Josh's notes

    Her second act was to find Symonds, and the rest of Avery’s staffe. .




                                                                           290
                                                                            291




She didn’t have to look far. . Every agent was in position. . They found
Symonds first, by the rear door, exactly where he had been billeted for the
night. . Eliza tried to rouse him, but barely managed to evoke a grunt. .
The agent’s eyes were glazed, and loose spittle spilled from the side of his
mouth. . He breathed steadily enough, but in shallow draughts. . Eliza
had seen the symptoms before, in her mother. T; they were the symptoms
of some kind of opiate. . She made him comfortable, ensured he was
warm, and began a search of the rest of the house.
    The other security agents were all the same.                     .    With
JerichoBenjamin’s help, Eliza found them all. . Only one was dead. . A
young man by the name of Harbinger. . Eliza found him sitting in the
OrangerieOrangery, where they had taken to having breakfast. . He sat,
blue with cold, on a marble seat and faced blankly out onto the lawn, as
though he had just decided to stop breathing for a while..               In the
candlelight the skin on his face and hands looked an unnatural bluish grey.
    “I hope you’re happy.” .” Eliza turned to Benjamin with a sudden flare
of temper. “Do
    “So you still think it was thought it best to just to let all this happen?”
    Said Eliza abruptly after they
    Benjamin opened his mouth to speak, but didn’t. . He looked at Eliza’s
face and read the anger. He had to fight fought the down a sudden desire
wanted to get away from her. .
    Eliza looked down at Harbinger’s corpse. “You thought you’d just look
the other way and let them kill.” innocent people.” She looked down at
Harbinger’s corpse and Jericho couldn’t help following her. To
    Benjamin followed her eyes and took another look at Harbinger’s face,




                                                                            291
                                                                          292




it looked tranquil, there was even a hint of contentednessthe static face
seemed utterly disinterested.
      “Why is it my fault all of a sudden?”
      “Because you could have stopped it. . Because the good people judge
themselves as much by what they fail to do. You knew they had broken
in, you could have raised the alarm, you could have followed Avery into
the river, you’re Benjamin Quick, the Death-cheating genius ...”
      His head was spinning with the unfairness, it was as though he was in
a dream where nothing and no one made sense.
      “That’s not fair,” he heard himself saying, and immediately realised
how pathetic it sounded. “.       You do know I can’t swim. What was I
supposed to do?”
“ And I didn’t realise they were in the house until after you did. That’s        Formatted: Indent: First line: 0"


why I didn’t do anything.”
      Eliza looked at him in silence – her faceeyes pinking with angeranger.
. “
      “And I didn’t realise know they were in the house until after you did,”
he finished lamely.
      She started at least two sentences before finally finishing one with a
heavy sigh. .
      “So, Benjamin Quick, it looks like you’re just as useless as the rest of
us. Fine.”
      There sense of disappointment was something about in Eliza’s anger
voice that made Benjamin’s brain brain itch flare with confusionthe the
sense of injustice. .    He thought about defending himself but decided
againsthis mind was blank. Captain T. Blood didn’t have to deal with




                                                                          292
                                                                         293




ungrateful heroines. He was just left with the sickening sense that no
matter what he did now, Eliza Walpole would never think he was
anything other than a useless little peasant.
    “I should probably get going – the othersy’ll start waking up soon,.” he
said instead.
    He wanted to get away from Eliza more than anything. Tthere was
something about her her sadness, and her disappointment - in him -
misery that made him want to run. He considered going go down to the
kitchen, grab to get some food and and then just disappearing into the
nightdisappear , bsomewhere to rest his leg, go anywhere that was away
from Eliza. He would only admit it to himself later, but something stopped
him. Some sense that he had to stay – if only to find out what would
happen next.there was something [unnerving] about her. He waited in
silence for a reply.
    [change so more JQ – Eliza interaction] [get rid of this sentence as it
jars - After that there was nothing really to do.] Jericho disappeared down
to the kitchen to rest his ankle, [he felt uncomfortable around Eliza,
uncomfortable with her unsuppressed emotion]. It was getting on for
dawn, and at barely four o’clock the sky to the East was already beginning
to lighten with purple. . Eliza looked across at the horizon, Iit just served
to remind Eliza her that the longest day was almost arrived. . For the first
time Eliza she looked up at the Comet and truly hated it. . Until today it
had just been a game, but now Avery was dead, and the game was lost. .
She thought about going to her bedroom down to the kitchen, to speak
with Jericho, but couldn’t bear to. . Instead she went to down to the
kitchen and shook turned back to JerichoBenjamin awake.




                                                                         293
                                                                        294




    “I need to go,” she said, to the blinking Jericho. “and you need to help
me steal me a boat.”
    Without waiting to see if he agreed, sheshe stepped out into the dark
morningher bed, and tried to forget that Avery was dead.


                                     ~




                                                                        294
                295




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        afore
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   And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the
sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the
third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was
darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it.

                                          Book of Revelation 8: 14




                                                                     Formatted: Indent: Left: 0", First line: 0"




                                                              296
                                                                          297




    The Old Mother of Shipton had came was brought to London on the
that Fridayvery day. . The following day sShe was brought before an             Comment [LH91]: AA
                                                                                Reportage: The Old Mother of Shipton visits the
                                                                                Queen [narrative description: 750 words the old
Ecclesiastical Court and a crowd gathered outside Lambeth Palace to see         actress does her bit, proclaims to the crowd from the
                                                                                balcony at Buck House that she’d got her years
the poisonous old hag brought forward in bondage. . Everyone who saw            wrong. It’s poorly executed, perhaps because Avery
                                                                                hasn’t been around to organise it properly. Thomas
                                                                                Hooke in hiding – scientists are suddenly rarer than
her said the same thing; she was an evil husk, [a disciple of the Devil...      hen’s teeth. [Diplomatic Negotiations 500 words. A
                                                                                little more strained. Lady Salisbury playing for time.
                                                                                Threats becomingly increasingly less veiled. ]
coercion… her sorcery bringing the comet into existence..] bent double by
years of wickedness, too ancient to live without the help of Lucifer.
    And In a sense they were right. . In an age when even the healthy
and wealthy dared not hope to reach three score and ten, she had no right
to be alive. . This woman was from the past. . She had first set down her
prophesy over three lifetimes ago, in the year [163671][this is a looong
time before and does make her lifetime pretty much impossible…, speak to
Joe] - before Cromwell, before the Civil War. . She had been born into a
world of Catholic without Kings and had lived beyond her time, she was
an affront to Nature, and to God.
    ‘To see her is to see the mark of the Beast’, wrote an essayist for The
Illustrated London News. . He was paid by the word and used ten dozen
just to describe her:
                        The Neck, so strangely distorted that her right
                shoulder is forced to be a supporter to her head, it
                being prop’t up by the help of her chin. . Her Head
                very long, with very great goggling, but sharp and
                fir’yfiery Eyes. . Her Nose of an incredible length,
                having in it many crooks and turnings, adorned
                with many strange Pimples of diverse colours, as
                Red, Blew, and mixt. . Her Cheeks were of a black
                swarthy Complexion, much like a mixture of black



                                                                          297
                                                                          298




                 and yellow jaundies; wrinckled, shrivelled, and very
                 hollow; insomuch, that as the Ribs of her Body, so
                 the impression of her Teeth were easily to be
                 discerned through both sides of her Face, excepting
                 only two of them which stood quite out of her
                 Mouth, in imitation of the Tuskes of a Wild Boar.


     The Old Mother’s confession was obtained on the first morning of the
trial.   .   The Comet had been predicted by others, she admitted, the
prophecy fabricated by the French King, England’s enduring enemy. .
     In the afternoon she was found guilty of treasonheresy, and three
counts of disturbing the peacetreason..
     At sunset, at her own request, she was executed by suffocation in front
of seven witnesses from the Church. . Her final words were set down, and
read to the crowd that had camped outside Lambeth Palace.
     “I ask not your forgiveness, for that only God can give. . I state my
words now by way of explanation, that you may sleep sound in your beds
in full knowledge that thou art safe.”
     That night the people should have slept well, possibly for the first time
in weeks. . IAnd indeed many would have done, save for one thing. .but
just as news of the hag’s confession had begun to spread through the city a
new story emerged to eclipse it.
     The Royal Astronomer, it was said, sitting in his Observatory at
Greenwich, had gazed upon the comet, had calculated its path and had
been driven mad by what he had foreseen.
     The crone’s forced repentance was small comfort after hearing that,
and besides, news was already reaching No one believed it was the true




                                                                          298
                                                                         299




prophetess. . The people of London had heard a rumour, from York. T,
that the true Mother of Shipton, it was said, had blocked herself in an
underground cave near Whitby, and there she would stay, to wait out the
coming storm.


    The bungling attempts by the His Majesty’s Government of King
George to quell the rising panic had only served to make things worse.




                                    ~




                                                                         299
                                                                        300




                               ST JAMES, MAYFAIR


    Eliza sighed[ a long and weary sigh – need to just emphasis the
complete exhaustion, emotional and physical]; she just wanted to be alone.
. Looking over at a particularly grand house adjoining the park she said,
“it’s there.”
    “I’ll say goodbye here then,” said JerichoBenjamin.
    After barely two hours sleep, Eliza had was glad to have gotten
decided she needed to get away from Flamsteed. . They had sailed back
up the river in a stolen boat.      . JerichoBenjamin had been strangely
reluctant to steal it from the quay at Greenwich Palace, but Eliza hadn’t
hesitated.      .   The return journey for Lady Salisbury and the French
Embassy would just have to be a little crowded, that was all, right now
Eliza Walpole wasn’t in a frame of mind to worry about such things.
    They made slow going of the journey, for almost an hour Eliza had
insisted they search the river in the daylight. But long before that hour
had passed it was painfully obvious that Avery and the little dog were
nowhere to be seen. Even when they had made the decision to head back,
the wind was light and the flow of the Thames seemed stronger than usual.
, . bBut after two of hours of patient sailing, largely in silence, they had
disembarked at Westminster with the morning still youngin the early
afternoon. . They left the boat for the next thief. .
    Now they were at the edge of St James Park, crossing over Pall Mall
and into St James proper. . Eliza finally stopped outside the columned
gates.
    “Who’s is this?” asked JerichoBenjamin, looking up at the imposing




                                                                        300
                                                                        301




front.
    “Mine,” said Eliza, and pulled out a small key. .
    The lock on the gates yielded, and soon they were through a front
door. . JerichoBenjamin hesitated at the threshold, but Eliza didn’t seem
to care whether he followed or not. . He decided to go after her into the
gloom of the house. .
    The entrance hall was large and grand, but strangely oddly empty. . It
had an oddstrange, unused quality, as if it were somehow receding into the
past. . Even the bare walls were somehow seemed faded – but for the
patches where paintings had once hung. . JerichoBenjamin followed Eliza
along a corridor on exposed floorboards, and noticed there wasn’t a mite of
dust anywhere, it was the only clue that anyone had ever lived in the
place. [maybe she has a cleaning OCD! ]
    A staircase some steps led off the end of the corridor, and then down
into a large basement kitchen, it looked out onto a small garden and was
filled with daylight. JerichoBenjamin was relieved to see that at least this   Comment [l92]: More description?


one room showed signs of life. . He was told to get his boot off and
elevate the foot, but beyond that, Eliza didn’t seem interested in playing
physician. .
    “Is it always this empty?” asked JerichoBenjamin looking around at a
kitchen clearly designed for a score of cooks.
    “The servants left seven years ago,” answered Eliza.
    “But h—,”
    Eliza interrupted to avoid the inevitable long list of questions, “The
house is closed off, the furniture sold, the rooms locked. . I live in three
rooms, this one, which is my kitchen and bathing room,” she pointed over




                                                                        301
                                                                             302




to an impressive copper tub, sitting between two of the ovens. . “Up on
the second floor is my bed chamber, which you won’t ever get to see, and
then I have a small laboratory at the top, which you might.”
       JerichoBenjamin went to say something but Eliza stifled him with,
“I’m just working on a few experiments ... .- mainly with light.”
       JerichoBenjamin nodded, despite her protestations, something told
him that Eliza was thawing towards him.
       “AAnd what about your family?” he asked.
       “My family? Well, she, my mother, she died.” .” Eliza looked at
JerichoBenjamin, only to see that he was distracted, prodding at his ankle.
. He seemed to have an infuriating habit of always not listening just at the
wrong moment. . It annoyed her into telling him the truth. .
       “My mother went mad when I was young.” .”
       JerichoBenjamin looked up from his ankle, and it prompted Eliza to
continue. .
       “Insanity runs in the blood. . Well, at least on my mother’s side.”
    “Oh.,” JerichoBenjamin went back to rubbing his ankle. . “So how
long have you got?”
       Eliza blinked, she had never knew the answer of course, knew it to the
day.       But she’d never had to share that knowledge, not with
anyone.thought about it in quite such black and white terms.[although she
has been thinking about it a bit]



       Quick repeated the question, “I mean, how old was your mother when
she went mad?”

       “Twenty fourive,” said Eliza, quietly, “and eighty two days”. .




                                                                             302
                                                                         303




    Even though she had only been seven years old, Eliza could remember
the day of the first attack as though it were yesterday. . The pain of it
swept across her face, but JerichoBenjamin didn’t seem to notice.

    “So you’ve still got seven three years then.”[the rate we are going with
Jericho’s age, she is now younger than him…!]

    Eliza nodded, bewildered by his lack of tact. . Sometimes it was as
though he was a bit simple.

    “And why did the servants leave?”

    “Because we didn’t ever pay them.”         .”   Eliza decided to sit.   .
JerichoBenjamin was always so disingenuous, it was disarming. . He
looked faintly ridiculous trying to rub his ankle with his foot on the table.
. She found it harder to dislike him when he stopped acting like he was
invincible. .
    “Look, if you really want to know the story, I’ll tell you, but in a
minute I’m going to bed, to lie down, I need to think.           .   So stop
interrupting with stupid questions.”
    “Right.” .” JerichoBenjamin made his face serious, he wanted to hear
this.   He wanted to know everything there was to know about Eliza
Walpolesmiled, now the weight was off his ankle, his humour was
instantly restored.
    “My mother came here from Russia, twenty odd years ago. . Mayfair
was fashionable even then, and this house cost half her fortune. . She
spent the other half improving it. . The parties she hosted, and the
champagne she drank was all bought with credit. . My father left her a
few years just after I was born, just when her credit started running out. .




                                                                         303
                                                                         304




That’s when she became ill.”        .”   Eliza paused, JerichoBenjamin was
looking at her, his a face intent, but impassive. .
     “Her first seizure was when I was seven, but she recovered, almost
completely. . It says a great deal about my mother’s beauty and wits that
she was able to keep this house afloat even when she was ill. . But then,
over time, the attacks came on more and more frequently. . By the end
her mind was gone completely. . I came back from school to find her in
the ....”
     Eliza stopped then, the pain of the memory too acute. . She wouldn’t
share that memory. .
     “What about your father?”
     “What about him?”
     “Well, he’s the Prime Minister. Can’t you get some money from him?”
     “Until this year, I only ever remember seeing him once.”
     “Once? When was that?”
     “I was sixteen.” Eliza hesitated.
     “What happened?”
     “I told him I had the pox, and then spat in his mouth. There wasn’t
much to say after that."
     “Oh. I guess you’re not close then.”
     Eliza laughed, she could never tell whether Benjamin was being
sincere or sarcastic.
     “So that’s why you were marrying the Captain – for money.”
     Eliza’s smile vanished felt a surge of anger, it was so powerful that it
scared her. . This boy had no right to talk of BenTom, not now he was
dead. . She controlled her anger before she spoke. . “No, that is not why




                                                                         304
                                                                        305




I engaged with BenThomas.” .” She said simply, and stood. . “I’m going
for some sleep. . There’s food somewhere if you’re hungry.”
    [more dialogue between them – Jericho apologising – more Jericho           Formatted: Font: Italic
                                                                               Formatted: Font: Italic
character insight – expressing his feelings? ELiza awkward Jericho
perspective. Eliza questions JQ? No earlier – at the cricket]                  Formatted: Font: Italic


    Before she could leave left though, JerichoBenjamin had one more
question.
    “I wanted to ask, did you try the Ouija? ... . with the dog.”
    “You’re all questions, JerichoBenjamin. . It’s either the mark of a
genius or the sign of a fool. . Yes we did try the Ouija, and yes it worked.
. Not that it matters now.”
    “What did it say?”
    “We asked who had killed Dr Olger – the glass spelled out
WhistoneWhiston.”
    “So you did it with I suppose was Boyle there then.”?.”
    [reference back to Boyle suspicions from before]                           Formatted: Font: Italic
                                                                               Formatted: Font: Italic
    Eliza paused before answering, as unsure as ever what was going on in
JerichoBenjamin’s brainhead. . “Yes, he was there.”
    Eliza assumed that Quick would explain his last comment, but he
didn’t. .
    “I asked Sir Robert about the telescope, you know – he didn’t bat an
eye, just said that it wasn’t much use for anything other than figuring out
what the comet is made of.”
    This latest piece of news seemed to leave Benjamin unperturbed. He
was He just went back to rubbing his ankle vigorously and she, [no longer
able to fight her weariness][suddenly overwhelmed with weariness], left




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him to it and went up to her bedroom. .
    She didn’t see it, but Jericho’s eyes followed her intently as she left.
Eliza Walpole had told him more about herself than she’d possibly told
anyone in her life, and something told him that was important.


                                     ~                                         Formatted: Font: Not Italic




                                                                        306
                                                                         307




                    LOWER WOOTON FARM, HAMPSHIRE


    The worlde might be about to ende, but that did not save Alfred and
his father the labour of getting the harvest in. . They had strict orders, no
matter how small the root tuber, he was to dig up the lot.

    “Waste of bloody good beetroot,” he said, but his father wasn’t
listening.



                                     ~




                                                                         307
                                                                         308




                          ST JAMES PLACE, MAYFAIR


    Up in her rooms, Eliza slumped onto the bed without even undressing.
.
    For Over the last two few monthsyears she had grown accustomed to
having BenTom around. . Slow on the uptake, but steady, and quick
when it came to action, above all he was utterly loyal. . Despite herself,
she had gotten become used to not being completely alone. . And now,
just as Hell was about to break loose, BenThomas Avery was gone. . She
imagined him sinking to the bottom of the river and found herself curling
into a ball on the bedmattress.
    The bird crashed into her bedroom window with a bang. ., a
    As if it hadn’t seen the glass. .
    She ran over to see what had happened, and it crsmashed into the glass
a second time. . She opened the window and at the third attempt the dove
flapped flew inside. . It took another minute to capture the birdthing, but
only a second to recognise it as a messenger.
    She eventually detached the parchment from the bird’s foot and began
to read. . Her hands shook as she read the fine script of Captain Avery’s
hand. . The letter was dated the 15th June, less than a week before.


    My Dearest Eliza,

    I have entrusted this messenger bird to Symonds in the sure knowledge
that he will make certain it finds you in the event that misfortune overtakes
me. . That you are reading this message means that I am dead, and no
longer able to protect you. .




                                                                         308
                                                                         309




    These are terrible times, Eliza, and come the solstice London will no
longer be safe. . I beg that you not attend the Lord Chancellery, for Sir
Lancelot will find work for you – and in these times any work will involve
great danger. .

    Eliza, I know that you are without family but as long as my soul
survives you will not be alone. . My parents keep a house in Gosport, along
the parade. . It is a humble house, and certainly has none of the grandeur
you are used to! But it is a happy place, and above all it will be safe. . My
parents are elderly but they will care for you. . At the Coach House in
Portsmouth ask for directions to the vicarage of Reverend BenjaminThomas
Avery. . My solicitor in Gosport holds the deeds to my Last Testament, be
sure to meet with him.

    You must obey me in this, I beg you. . Your safety is all that matters
now. . Would that I could set down properly how much I care for you –
but I am a humble soldier, not a poet, and do not possess words adequate to
describe my love.



    Your Beloved,

    Captain BenjaminThomas Avery                                                Comment [LH93]: Double-check etiquette for
                                                                                love letters in 18th C

    &c


    Eliza read the letter over three times. . She was surprised by a the
tears that formed at the corner of her eye. . The bloody fool, as if she
could run off to Gosport when the world was about to tip into chaos. .
She sighed, BenTom was always so dependable and thoughtful and always




                                                                         309
                                                                        310




so thorough, even when he was dead.
    Any thought of sleep now was out the question, and besides, there
were decisions to make. . She had to be practical. . The first decision was
easy, she couldn’t leave London, wouldn’t go to Gosport, she would be
fearless. . She had to be; it was the only strategy she knew – and her
house was the only asset she had. . She couldn’t sell it, not with [the
supposed][ Armageddon][is this the first time we have used this word in
connection to the comet, end of world?] looming. . In the current chaos
it wasn’t worth tuppence. .
    No, she would to stick to the city, she was damned if she’d let the
looters in, – even if there wasn’t anything to loot. . The first thing to do
would be to prepare some defences in case the mob took over. . She still
had a few days, plenty of time. . She had fyrefire-arms enough, thanks to
her mother’s paranoia, but would need to check the powder and shot. .
She could strengthen the gates, maybe stick some broken glass on top of
the outer walls. . All she had to do was make her house less inviting to
the rioting mob than the next building. .
    Then there was food,, somehow she would have to buy in some salted
meats. . Or maybe get a cow. . She imagined a cow in her small garden at
the back and decided against. . She’d get chickens though, and could
grow her own vegetables though, the garden was perfect for that, and
maybe even the roof terrace on the top floor; it got plenty of sun. . She
just needed seeds. . She could grow all sorts of things, carrots, potatoes
anything – her mind filled with a vision of a garden, neat little rows of
beetroot plants, the leaves a vibrant reddish-green.
    Yes, she’d enjoy that – living off the soil – maybe the




                                                                        310
                                                                         311




apocalypseApocalypse wouldn’t be so bad after all. . She almost felt relief
at the thought of it. . The thought that she would be able to stop playing
the part of a society Lady.    .   That life was just so insufferably dull,
especially with no income to support it. . If she could just survive the
[‘Ende of Worlde’][cComet] she’d turn her back on that nonsense, might
be able to concentrate on her scientifickscientific experiments. . There
was so much she wanted to do, not just her studies on light, having seen
Sir Robert Boyle bumbling about his own laboratory her own ambition
had grown. Now she knew the design of the Leyden Jar Battery all sorts of
possibilities opened up. She liked the idea of using electricity to resurrect
a dead animal, but she wouldn’t stop at a frog like Hooke had done – she’d
try it with a mammal, a cat or dog, maybe even a person. Better still was
the chance to do something no one had thought of – she’d had an idea
down at Flamsteed. If she went out on a stormy night with a toy kite
attached to a Leyden Jar, she’d be able to capture the power of a
thunderstorm. With that sort of power anything was possible..[
    perhaps she muses on this for a           paragraph and we get her
interpretation/ theories of what is going on, about to happen etc…]
    There was one other thing thought flitting about her preying on her         Formatted: Style1, Left, Line spacing: single


mindhead,.    JerichoBenjamin Quick.      .   They were somehow in this
together now; he was the only ally she had left, but he was so maddeningly
unreliable. . The very moment she decided he might actually be rather
brilliant, he went and did something idiotic; last night he had even been
pathetic. . He was too young, just a boy, that was all. . She couldn’t rely
on him. , n. Not for a second. . He was no Avery. .
    She was about to make up her mind when something flickered in her




                                                                         311
                                                                   312




memory, the words JerichoBenjamin had spoken just before she had left
him in the kitchen: ‘I suppose was Boyle was there.’                      Formatted: Font: Not Italic
                                                                          Formatted: Font: Not Italic



    Eliza played the words over in the loop of her mind. . Why would he
say that? What was he thinking? Eliza jumped to her feet. .
    JerichoBenjamin Quick knew something.


                                     ~




                                                                   312
                                                                           313




                                                                                  Formatted: Centered


            THE TEMPERATE GARDEN, LAMBETH PALACE, LONDON


    Sir William WhistoneWhiston sat in the garden at Lambeth Palace. .
If anything the morning was even hotter than the previous. . Newton’s
heat engine was turned off, but even so, WhistoneWhiston was
uncomfortably warm. . Montrose had made a good job of lashing him to
the wheeled chair and he could barely move.
    Sir Lancelot Blackburne sat in a almost identical chair, and spoke in
sombre tones.     .   “How do you like my old conveyancing chair, Sir
William?”
    Sir William didn’t answer. . There was fear in his eyes, he was trying
to nod. . If he could have talked through the thick cloth that gagged is
mouth, he would have done. . But all he could do was listen.
    “I fear it might be less comfortable than my new chair,” Blackburne
shuffled against the soft leather of his chairseat. , “But you are young, and I
daresay you will be comfortable enough. . Montrose, push him a bit
closer, I’m not sure he can even hear me.”
    Montrose pushed the tall scientist out from under the shade of a tree
and left [him ]in the middle of the lawn, the full force of the sun on his
face. . When Blackburne was satisfied, he spoke again.
    “When it comes to the security of my country, Sir William, I must
warn you, I will not be thwarted.” .”
    Sir William answered with a high pitched groan from behind his gag.
    “Men are at their most ingenious when it comes to devising tortures




                                                                           313
                                                                      314




for their fellow man. . I’m not barbaric, but in my early life I travelled
extensively, and saw all types of culture, all forms of society. . The
Russians get the truth out with a knout – a whip as thick as your
thighwrist. . The Chinese are wonderfully devious.” .” Blackburne’s old
face lit up. . “The Emperor’s Chief Torturer keeps yards of wire; thin
copper for wrapping victims in a wire jacket. . They loop the copper tight
around naked skin - so tight that the flesh squeezes out in obscene lumps
about the size of your fingertipthumb-tip. . They cover the victim in this
jacket from head neck to knee, and believe me, Sir William, I’ve never
seen anything more [sickening][maybe – ‘mesmerisingenthralling ’ would
be a more wicked word?] than that trembling little criminal at the
Emperor’s Palace.” .” Blackburne paused to make sure his words were
having the desired effect. . “Do you know what they did to himo next Sir
William?”
    WhistoneWhiston shook his head and offered a high-pitched grunt
through the gag. .
    “Ha!” Blackburne slapped the arm of his chair, “b[B]ut I think you do
understand Sir William. . Those Oriental Devils take the sharpest of
blades and remove each little lump of protruding flesh. . Each little lump
turns to a tiny disc of blood.” .” Blackburne’s eyes were always moist,
now they were positively [positively][maybe a different word to
‘positively’ – or no word at all] streaming with his excitement. . “The
demonstration I had the honour to witness lasted an entire day. . Can you
believe that? An entire day. . A wearer of the wire jacket has been
known to receive as many as a thousand cuts ... . and still live. . Indeed
he might live for months, if the executioner is patient, and eventually he




                                                                      314
                                                                        315




will have no skin at all. . Still able to hear, to think, and to scream. ...
dDon’t ask me how it works. . As I say, human ingenuitygenius.”
    WhistoneWhiston’s eyes were wide as saucers, he was breathing
heavily through the wet cloth of his gag. .
    Sir Lancelot held WhistoneWhiston’s terrified gaze. . “Montrose, do
we have any copper wire?”
    “I could order some in, Sir.” .”
    “Very good, please do so, but something tells me we won’t have to
wait that long. . Untie Sir William’s choke, I think he wants to tell us
something.”


                                       ~                                       Comment [LH94]: [Have Cut : Some minutes
                                                                               later, he realised that he should have said, “But
                                                                               Eliza, you’ve got years of credit left,” but by then it
                                                                               was too late.
                                                                               He found himself calculating the cost of keeping up a
                                                                               house like this. Then translated it into units of
                                                                               robbery. On average a coach was worth about five
                                                                               guineas. By the time you’d sold any jewellery on for
                                                                               coin, that’s roughly what you ended up with. To keep
                                                                               a place like this he’d have to be on the road every
                                                                               night of the year, full moon and sickle. He would
                                                                               need a different plan. Highway robbery was small
                                                                               beer. Still calculating, and planning, he fell asleep in
                                                                               the chair.]




                                                                        315
                                                                          316




                            ST JAMES PLACE, MAYFAIR


        Eliza found him asleep on the kitchen table. . [At least Ss]he thought
he was asleep, but before she could wake him, JerichoBenjamin was sitting
up, agitated. .      She gave him a few moments before asking him the
question.
        “What did you mean when you said, I suppose was Boyle there?”
        Quick looked bemused, his face still groggy with sleep[with cheek
comically indented with the wood pattern from the almost a comical
indentation of the tabletop .impressed on his cheek?].
        “It’s just, well, for the Ouija to work someone must have been moving
it.””
        “Yes the dog, Newton was there, he had his paw on it, that was the
whole point.”
        Quick looked at her as if the family insanity had onset
earlyprematurely. . “Ouija doesn’t actually work, you do know that?” He
looked at her as though she were stupid.,
        “Then why did you suggest it?”
        “To see what happened. . Ouija works because people move the glass
without realising it.” .”
        “So why did you suggest it?”
        “No reason really. . Well, Well, I thought it might might tell us who
what Boyle unconsciously believed, either that or what he thought was
behind the murders wanted us to believe... . it don’t [doesn’t] make him
right. . It might be that he just hoped that WhistoneWhiston was behind          Formatted: Font: Italic


the killings. . After all, he was wrong about the cometMy guess.. Or




                                                                          316
                                                                          317




maybe is that he was trying to convince you that Whiston was is guilty.”
     “That’s ridiculous. . How do you know it wasn’t me moving the glass
or BenTom, he was there too? You said people move the glass without
realising it.”
     “Because Avery,” JerichoBenjamin hesitated, but decided not to hold
back, “is empty-headed ... .        sorry, was ... .   was emptied-headed.” .”
JerichoBenjamin hesitated, horrified at himself, but after another moment
got up the nerve to continue. , “ ... . aAnd you wouldn’t be so stupid. Y as
to move it without realising. . You didn’t move it did you?”
     “I am just saying it is a possibility.” .”
     There was a silence then, until finally Eliza spoke. . “I want you to
help me, JerichoBenjamin. . I want to find out who killed BenTom.”
     “What about the comet? And The Department ... . And England, don’t
you want need to save England the country from the evil French Kingat
the same time?”[if he knows the comet won’t strike..does her really think
England needs saving?][perhaps he should say instead – “…don’t you want
to solve the mystery?]
     “Sod [Stuff?] England, I want revenge want to find out who killed
Ben.”
     They both laughed at that, and for a moment, Eliza was sure she had
made the right decision in asking JerichoBenjamin to help her.
     “Do you drink coffee?”
     Quick had never touched the stuff, but he wasn’t going to admit it. .
“Yes. ....   PPlease.” .”
     “Right, let me get the stove going and we can work out a plan.” .”
     “My grandfather,” said JerichoBenjamin, “would insist we use the




                                                                          317
                                                                            318




scientific method – we look at the facts and generate a hypothesis, a
theory. . Then we put it to the test. . Have you got some paper?”
    With the fire in the stove heating up and some paper found, they
began the process of forming some a hypotheseis. . JerichoBenjamin
scrawled in his spidery handwriting, while Eliza spoke.
    “First fact, we know that WhistoneWhiston published an essay
predicting that a comet would strike St Paul’s and start the
ApocalypseApocalypse. . Either he believes it to be true, or he has a
reason to stir up trouble.”
    JerichoBenjamin nodded and wrote it down.


    “Second fact. . Just about every scientifickscientific philosopher in
the country has either been assassinated, kidnapped or simply terrorized
into hiding. . So nobody has been able to disprove WhistoneWhiston’s
calculations for the path of the Comet.”
    “Except me.”
    Eliza was going to say something, but changed her mind, “Except you.”
    JerichoBenjamin wrote that down too.
    [during this scene – does Eliza need to question who this’grandfather’
he keeps mentioning is – does she need to suppress/express any anger
about Jericho being useless with water and question why…?does she
question how he escaped the gibbet here or during the cricket scene? Why
is he a highwayman – does she ask this here or in the jail scene? He’s odd
but has some apparent intelligence (even if he isn’t as clever as he thinks
he is – couldn’t he put it to better use?][should Eliza question his abiltity to
write, his literacy – why is he so keen to solve the mystery – why hasn’t he




                                                                            318
                                                                        319




just buggered off back to the woods? Sould she query this at cricket scene?
    “What else?      We know the French canould use the panic and
confusion as an opportunity to invade. . We know the HellFyre Clubbe is
a cover for an end of the worlde cult, who actually take the Book of
Revelation literally.” .”
    JerichoBenjamin wrote feverishly to keep up. . “What else do we
actually know about the HellFyre Clubbe?”
    “Not much – Blackburne would never let Tom read the Department’s
files. He was always a bit suspicious like that – Blackburne likes to hoard
knowledge, like some people hoard gold.”
    “So we don’t really know anything.”
    “Well we’re pretty sure they’re behind the murders – but we don’t
know why.” She produced the letter that had been sent to Sir Robert
Boyle. “Boyle received this death threat yesterday. Olger had one just like
it the day he died. The seal is the double crescent – Olger said it was the
symbol of the Clubbe.”
    Quick read the letter. “Why is the ink faded on the first word?”           Formatted: Body Text


    “That was me. It’s not ink it’s blood. I used some spit to dissolve it –
to prove it.”
    “And what about the spots where the ink has gone completely.”
    “What do you mean?”
    He turned the letter to show her. “There are little specks where the
ink has dissolved away entirely.”
    It was Eliza’s turn to be puzzled. She sat for a while mulling over this
new piece of information.
    “Let’s get back to what we know. What do we know about Lady




                                                                        319
                                                                        320




Salisbury?” asked Quick.
     “Finally, wWe know the Duchess of Salisbury can’t be trusted, but has
been trusted to head up negotiations with the French. . [Trust Believe
me], she would sell her daughter for a decent set of pearls.”
     JerichoBenjamin decided not to write all that down – he just wrote
‘Lady Salisbury – bit evil.’
     “So what’s our hypothesis?” Eliza peered over at the piece of paper, as
if she were hoping it would have written itself.
     “Keep going,” he urged.
     But Eliza had nothing. . She sat next to Quick and together they tried
to decipher his handwriting. . “There’s somethingone thing I missed
outing,” she said. . “The excavations at Stonehenge. . We don’t know
what WhistoneWhiston was digging for. . All we know is that he didn’t
find it.”
     Quick scribbled something down, “What do we know about the dig?”
     “BenTom said there’s a legend, that the place is an ancient tomb. . He
didn’t know who was buried there, but according to the legend, the tomb
had fantastical powers ...- a protection against death, and the EndeEnd of
the World, whatever problem you want. You name it, the legend says it
will helpe. . It suggests WhistoneWhiston is taking things seriously..
Maybe he does believe the comet is going to hit.”
                                                                               Formatted: Font: Not Italic


[ Loz we may need to discuss more what WhistoneWhiston’s true position         Formatted: Indent: First line: 0"


is – and maybe resolve it more in the book – he is a member of the HFC –
how was he drawn into it even though head of Royal Society – are they
just using him? HFC know already that the tomb had been moved from




                                                                        320
                                                                         321




Henge and in St Paul’s – maybe they needed to know for sure? What is
their motive? Need to get this clear in our minds and in the writing]
    “I assume he didn’t find anything.”
    “Not quite, he didn’t find the tomb, but according to BenTom,
WhistoneWhiston found something ... - a gold coin.”
    “A coin?”
    “Yes. . BenTom had an agent on the dig and he saw it. . The coin was
It was Maltese, but had a word inscribed where you’d expect to see a head.
. The word It said Resurgam. . Which means I sh―”
    “―shall rise again.”
    Eliza smiled, “I guess your grandfather taught you Latin as well.”
    JerichoBenjamin nodded. . [does Jericho know that his grandfather is
Newton? When does this come out??]
    “Who is your grandfather? How does he know all this stuff?”
    “He’s just granddad – he brought me up when my mum died. He used
to be work up in the library at the BodleianTrinity, in OxfordCambridge.
Bringing the books back and forth from the cellars. I guess he used to read
them. He was always doing experiments and things. When we were little
kids he built us a boat that went underwater. I hated it b—”
    Eliza interrupted, “what’s his name?”
    JerichoBenjamin looked a bit bemused at that. , he pulled a bashful
grimace. “I don’t know ... I just call him granddad.”
    “You mean you know how to make gunpowder, use Newton’s
calculus, measure red-shift ... you know a thousand things but you don’t
know the name of the person who brought you up?”
    JerichoBenjamin shrugged. “He’s just granddad.”




                                                                         321
                                                                          322




    She put the coffee pot on then, carefully smashing the beans into a
pulp and adding them to the water when it started to warm.                   .
JerichoBenjamin had been staring at the paper throughout; at one point
Eliza thought he’d gone into some sort of trance, but she didn’t disturb
him. . Eventually he looked up.
    “Why St Paul’s?”
    “Well either that happens to ’s just be where WhistoneWhiston’s
calculations came up with or— else ...”
    “Or else WhistoneWhiston wants the cathedral to be empty of people
on the day of the Comet,” said JerichoBenjamin.
    “Or else it just added a bit of colour to his essay – and doesn’t have any
significance at all.”
    They paused at that, both needing to think. . Eliza spoke first. .
“Today is Saturunday, midsummer is on WednTuesday, we have a
[twothreethree] days, what can we do in that time?”
    JerichoBenjamin looked blank and Eliza was forced to make a
suggestion.
    “We still need to come up with a hypothesis, something we can test in
the [threehreewo] days left.”
    “Well let’s take each hypothesis in turn – and decide how we can test
it.” .” HYPOTHESIS 1, he wrote on the piece of paper. . “It is the HellFyre
Clubbe.    .   To test the hypothesis, we infiltrate the Clubbe, become
members and ...”
    “Problem 1,” Eliza answered back, “We don’t know where to join up. .
And even if we did, we have only got three days.”
    “Solution 1,” countered JerichoBenjamin, “We steal the file on the




                                                                          322
                                                                          323




Clubbe held at The Department and get all the facts the Lord Chancellor
has uncoveredearthed over the last few years.”
    Eliza nodded, “write that downIt would make my father happy.”                Formatted: Space After: 0 pt


    “What do you mean?”
    “He offered me a thousand guineas to steal that file.”

    “But you haven’t?”

    “I’d be an idiot to even try. Blackburne keeps all his files locked tight.
He has a cellar room somewhere in the basements under the palace – it’s
called the Map Room but it holds much more than that. Tom used to say it
contained every piece of intelligence ever gathered by The Department –
every map, every biography, every building plan, everything.”

Eliza poured two cups of coffee and brought them over to the kitchen             Formatted: Indent: First line: 0"


table. “There’s no way you’ll get into the Map Room now, so forget about
it. If we want to find the HellFyre Clubbe we’ll have to come up with
another way. They’re somewhere in Seven Dials – it can’t be that hard to
find them.”
                                                                                 Formatted: Space After: 6 pt


    “Well we haven’t managed it so far.”

    Eliza thought for a bit, but eventually shook her head and said, “forget
about them for the moment – what other theories do we have?”

    ‘‘HYPOTHESIS 2’, wrote JerichoBenjamin on his piece of paper. . “It is
the French.”

    “Problem 2, there’s no way of testing that. . Unless ...” .” Eliza
stopped, she had no end to her sentence.




                                                                          323
                                                                        324




    “Very well, we skip to Hypothesis 3. . Sir William WhistoneWhiston
is behind everything.”
    “Problem 3,” said Eliza wearily, “To test that we would have to go
down to Salisbury – it’s a three day round trip.”
    “Hypothesis 4. . Lady Salisbury?”
    “Do you really fancy going back down to Greenwich?”
    Quick shrugged.       .     “Al’right, how about this, Hypothesis 5.   .
Whoever it is, they want to clear London, especially East London, so they
can get access to St Paul’s.”
    “Prob—”
    She’s was interrupted by a sudden loud knocking - three loud thumps
that reverberated from the direction of her front door. The tone suggested
the use of a staff or the hilt of sword and she instinctively knew something
was wrong, casual visitors didn’t knock like that.          With Benjamin
following close behind, she walked the corridor and didn’t hesitate before
opening the door.
    Standing there was a Sergeant of the Royal Hussars, fully kitted out in
ceremonial uniform. He stood foursquare with his mace held out at chest
height. Behind him were a dozen of the same. Eliza didn’t have the
chance to open her mouth before he spoke.
    “Lady Elizabeth Walpole, I have here a warrant for your arrest, by
order of the Crown. I’d be obliged, Ma’am, if you’d accompany me to
Westminster.”


    “He’s very polite,” said Benjamin, from behind her. “Is that how they
usually arrest the gentry?”




                                                                        324
                                                                       325




    Eliza turned first to Benjamin, realized she had nothing to say to him,
and then turned back to the Sergeant.
    “Tell me, did my father order this arrest?”
    The guardsman stretched his neck uncomfortably against a stiff collar
and thought carefully about his reply before answering.
    “Yes ma’am, I’m to take you to him directly.”


                                        ~                                     Formatted: Centered




                                                                       325
                                                                        326




    Jericho interrupted her, “Don’t give me problems. . We just need a
plan.”
    “I know, that’s the problem, we don’t have a clue h[ow]—”
    “No, not that kind of a plan - we need an architect’s plan, drawings.”
    “You want Wren’s plans for St Paul’s Cathedral? Where do you think        Formatted: Space After: 0 pt


we’ll put our hands on those?”
    “That’s easy – they’re in the map room[do we need to make the map
room – ‘the Map Room’], at Lambeth Palace. . I’ve seen them before.”
    “You’ve been inside Sir Lancelot Blackburne’s map room? At The
Department?”
    “Yeah, well, he’s got plans of everything, every building in the city.”
.” Jericho hesitated before saying, “[L]last year I tried to get into the
Tower.”
    “Into the Tower? The Tower of London?”
    “Yeah – into the room where they keep the Crown Jewels.”
    Eliza looked at the familiar face in front of her, checked to see if
Jericho was joking; decided he wasn’t.
    “You’re a strange boy, Jericho Quick.”
    “That can be a good thing.”
    “Yes, it can be, but not often.”.”
    Eliza ignored his bravado. . “So we go need to go to If you can get
into the Map Room you can dig out the Lambeth Palace, and get the file on
the HellFyre Clubbe while your there.”
    “Why don’t you do it – you do still work there .”
    “You do know I can’t go back there. . If Blackburne sees me he’ will
find me the most horrendous job to do – and I’ll be stuck. . You don’t




                                                                        326
                                                                         327




know him, he’s the living Devil ... – and he [hates] [is this true – why does
he allow her to be there? Maybe he wants to use her] doesn’t completely
trust me, because of my father. . I was only able to work there because
Ben protected me, and because Blackburne thought he might be able to use
me to get at my father.[, and Blackburne believed he could play me against
my father]” [need to re-jig this little insight into her role at the
department]
    “That’s al’right, I can do it.. I’ve done it before don’t forget. . Lucky
for us today’s Sunday.”
    “Sunday?”
    “Yeah, Sunday, we should be just in time for Mass.”
    “Have some coffee,” said Eliza, “[W]we can sit in the garden and
work out the details.”
    “No, we’d better be going.” .” Jericho stood, as if suddenly agitated or
excited. . He was looking at the angle of the sun. . “We don’t have much
time.” .” He was all excitement at the prospect of some breaking and
entering. . […it had been at least two days since the last time!!]
                                                                                Formatted: Space After: 0 pt




                                      ~

                                                                                Formatted: Centered




                                                                         327
                                                                         328




                      THE WHITE PALACE, GREENWICH


    The deck was shuffled by Madame de Pompadour. . She passed it to
Lady Salisbury who cut once and placed the cards onto the table. . Lady
Salisbury brushed the green baize with her hand to remove some dust.
    “Red over black, aces high,” said the Lady Dowager for the hundredth
time in a dozen hours.
    Madame de Pompadour’s slender fingers hovered over the deck. . She
took a top slice of cards between her thumb and forefinger, twisted her
pale wrist and showed a card. . The seven diamonds. .
    Her face turned to a beautiful sulk. . “Pas beaucoup,” she said through
pouting lips, and then, just to prove she was not taking things too seriously
her pout broke out into a most radiant smile. .
    “With my run of luck, it may be enough,” said Lady Salisbury vaguely,
and reached for the deck herself.
    Except Save for the two women, and a small Beagle puppy at their
feet, the room was empty. . All night long and into the morning, they had
told their aides to leave them alone to negotiate. . The remaining terms of
the treaty would be settled femme á femme, woman to woman..
    The battle had swung back and forth. . India had changed hands a
dozen times. . But the tide had flowed inexorably in favour of France. .
Not only Gibraltar and India, but also St Lucia and Dominica, and most
important of all, support for King Louis’ marriage to Maria Theresa.
    It meant an end to the balance of power in Europe.           .   For two
hundred years France had been checked in its ambitions of for mastery
over the continent, Lady Salisbury had seemingly given it away on the




                                                                         328
                                                                          329




turn of a card. . She only had two cards left up her sleeve now, two terms
to the treaty undecided. . Fortunately for England, they seemed to possess
disproportionate significance for Madame de Pompadour and her King:
command of the excavations at Stonehenge, and custody over
JerichoBenjamin Quick, the Death Cheater. . [is this a personal interest of
hers or of France? Is it a part of her prophecy?]
     Pompadour had been persuaded into one final ‘double to nothing’, it
was now all down to a single turn of the cards. . Every term of the treaty
was in the balance. . If Lady Salisbury won, the French would tear up the
treaty and walk away, if she lost, England would acquiesce in everything.
     The green drawing room at the White Palace was altogether over-
large to be truly comfortable; the two ladies of state had pulled their chairs   Comment [LH95]: ann too carefully considered
                                                                                 in the minuatae of its decoration

into a tight embrace by the curve of the bay window. . It was sunny
outside and the river glistened in the sunlight; the air was so clear they
could see buildings on the distant shore.
     Lady Salisbury turned her hand to reveal a card.
     It was another seven, but it was black, the seven spades.
     Lady Salisbury settled back in her chair; Pompadour looked up with a
beaming smile – childish and uncomplicated. . “C’est tout,” was all she
needed to say.
     Lady Salisbury drained her Sherry glass. . She didn’t look defeated,
there were no signs of penitence or regret. . “Oh Madame, I wish it were
that simple, but you see, I never got round to settling a wager in my life.”
.”
     If anything, Pompadour’s smile grew broader, but she didn’t speak.          Formatted: Style2, Left, Indent: First line:
                                                                                 0.3", Line spacing: single
Instead, Lady Margaret Salisbury continued, “Yyou see Madame, the King




                                                                          329
                                                                           330




knows everything. The Old Hag’s Shipton prophecy, Sir William’s essay,
we know – it’s all just a ruse -, to cause panic - . Aand I’m sure it will be
most effective, but—e.”
    “Oh non, non, non.           No buts, M’lady.” Madame Pompadour
interrupted, but her voice was soft, almost soothing. “There will be no
buts. Come the solstice England will be a land of chaos and terror. Even
the Spanish could invade.”
    “If they could get past our Navy. But it won’t help you a jot - wWe’ve
been preparing our Navy for some time. Yours doesn’t really have a hope.”
    Pompadour clapped her hands together, excitedly. “I knew it from the         Formatted: Style2, Left, Indent: First line:
                                                                                 0.3", Line spacing: single
moment we met. I knew you had the stomach for war, Lady Margaret. It
will be such fun to see it play out.”
                                                                                 Formatted: Style2, Left, Indent: First line:
                                                                                 0.3", Line spacing: single
Pompadour looked positively radiant as sShe scooped up the puppy up              Formatted: Indent: First line: 0"


from the floor and settled him onto her lap. . Ignoring the Marquise, Lady
Salisbury, she turned to the dog, looked him in the eyes and spoke gently.
                                                                                 Formatted: Style2, Left, Indent: First line:
                                                                                 0.3", Line spacing: single
    “I suppose tThere’s nothing for it, Little Louis - but you and I - we        Formatted: Style2, Left, Indent: First line:
                                                                                 0.3", Line spacing: single
must go to war.”
                                                                                 Formatted: Style2, Indent: First line: 0.3",
                                                                                 Line spacing: single
                                        ~
    [should Lady Salisbury question directly if the French are trying to         Formatted: Left


dupe the English over the whole comet thing?]
                                                                                 Formatted: Style2, Left, Line spacing: single




                                                                           330
                                                                         331




            THE TEMPERATE GARDEN, LAMBETH PALACE, LONDON


    Sir William WhistoneWhiston was woken by a pail of cold water. .
His face was drenched and he found himself gasping in panic. .
    “It would seem that ye have a weak mind, Sir William,” said a voice
that he recognised. . It was the Scots brogue of the pale-faced man – a        Comment [LH96]: Scots Scot’s Brogue?


voice he had learned to dread. .
    Sir William opened his eyes hesitantly.          .    The last thing he
remembered were the eyes of Sir Lancelot Blackburne, moist with sticky
tears, staring at him like a madman. . Those eyes were staring at him still.
    “Now, if you have quite recovered, would you like to talk to us?”
Blackburne’s voice cut into him like [a] dagger. . The scientist could feel
himself hyperventilating, [and] his bowels felt as though like they were
dissolving; it was all he could do to stammer out a reply. .
    “I’ll tell you anything ... . everything ... . anything you want to
know.” .”
    “Good, I thought you might come round. . Montrose will be very
most disappointed. . Now, first tell me why you wrote the essay.”
    “I didn’t, I swear. .     That’s why I was coming to London.” .”
WhistoneWhiston spoke frantically. . “I only just found outdiscovered it,
someone must have ...”
    WhistoneWhiston’s voice petered as Blackburne looked over at the
impassive Montrose. . “Montrose, a little botanical assistance may still be
required, just to calm him down a bit. . Five Three drops to start with.”
    Montrose took a step over to the near wall and pinched off a large,
yellow flower from an exotic looking plant.           .   He strode over to




                                                                         331
                                                                           332




WhistoneWhiston and gripped the scientist’s jaw with his free hand. .
The grip felt like iron, and WhistoneWhiston opened his mouth with little
resistance.
    “Montrose is feeding you the nectar of a rather unusual flower. . You
may not be aware of it, but Jackson, your foreman, has been using it on
you for weeks. You see, in my position I can’t afford to take risks. We
hadd to know the truth of what hwas going on down at Salisbury. After
all, the security of the nation is at stake.”

    Whiston’s eyes seemed to swell in their sockets and Blackburne smiled
at the effect his words were having.

    “The Datura ArboreaInoxia is, more commonly known as the Angel’s
Trumpet, it’s native to Southern India. . The Maharajahs there use it for
all sorts of things. . One drop, in a cup of tea, acts as a wonderful relaxant;
two have a slight sedative effect. , any more than that, and the
hallucinations begin. I’m told the The Rani of Jhansi swears by it. . With
five drops of this stuff coursing through your blood you’ll find it next to       Comment [LH97]:
                                                                                  Comment [LH98]: Ratcheting through
impossible to conceal the truth from us. . If you do, we’ll give you a little     somnabulence – then hallucinations – turning to
                                                                                  terrible waking dreams – then the brain spasms – the
                                                                                  convulsions – the screams – and the death.
more and let the brain spasms take over. . More than tTen drops and your
brain will be a jabbering mush’ll stop bothering to breathe altogether.”[“]

    Montrose ignored the choking noises coming from WhistoneWhiston.
. “That’s five three drops, sir”                                                  Comment [LH99]: More Whiston thoughts ...
                                                                                  questions

    WhistoneWhiston felt the drug work almost instantly; it seemed to
leach into his brain, as fast as a thick slug of brandy on an empty stomach.
. ‘They’re lunatics,’ thought WhistoneWhiston, as the drug began to
overwhelm him. . ‘I was going to tell the truth anyway.’




                                                                           332
                                                                          333




    Montrose let go of his face and stepped back. . The scientist’s head
slumped onto his chest.
    Blackburne started again. .
    “I’ll start again, Sir William, I’ll ask you an easier question ... . what
were you looking for at Stonehenge? w Why were you at did you find
digging at Stonehengethere?”
    Whiston was drooling onto his shirt, his eyes half shut.         He was
motionless, but not for long.
    “It was a condition, tThey made me promise.”
    “Who they?” asked Blackburne with deliberate brevity.
    “The Clubbe, Sir Francis Dashwood”
    Blackburne exchanged a look with Montrose. “And what did they
promise you in return.”
    “Books...”   Whiston was virtually mumbling and Blackburne was
forced to lean forward.“WhistoneWhiston was drooling onto his shirt, his
eyes half shut. He managed to murmur a reply.
    “What books?”
     “Books...” Whiston repeated the word, his head limp on his chest.
    “Nothing.”
    Blackburne sat up in his chair. . “I can’t hear a bloody thing. Push
me forward, Montrose. Are you sure you only gave him proper-sized
three drops?”
    went to step forward, but Blackburne stayed him with a gesture. After
Montrose had inched the old man forward, Blackburne spoke again.
    “Sir William, what did you find beneath the henge?”
    “Nothing“Nothing ... much ... . j Just a coin,” said WhistoneWhiston,




                                                                          333
                                                                            334




after another long pause.
     “And where is this coin?”
     Whiston took a gulp of spit, he seemed to rouse himself slightly with
the effort. “In the [seam][lining] seam of my coat ... . It’s all we found ... .
I swear.”

     “I’ll get the coat, sir.” .” Montrose disappeared into the palace.
     “Sir William, can you still hear me?         This next question is very
important, do you understand?            What did you hope to find beneath
Stonehenge? What did you expect to find?”
     WhistoneWhiston’s energy seemed to have faded fast, his breathing
was slow. . Blackburne wheeled himself forward and gave the young
scientist a prod to rouse him. . “Sir William? What did you expect to find
at Stonehenge?”
     WhistoneWhiston raised up his head and opened his eyes. . The
pupil’s were dilated but he seemed to recognise Blackburne. . “The body.”
.”
     At that moment a cloud covered the sun, the sky was almost cloudless,
but this one white grey cloud had crept up from somewhere. . A shadow
descended on the courtyard and sucked in a gust of wind. . Blackburne
smiled at the sense of drama. . “What body? Sir William? Whose body?”
     “The body ... . to save us. ....”
     Blackburne looked up impatiently at Montrose as he re-entered the
garden. . “I found the coin, sir, just where he said it was.”
     Blackburne took the coin and examined it; he read the inscription
about the rim, Jeova Sanctus Unus and understood its meaning instantly. .
Jeova Sanctus Unus literally translated as God’s Holy One. . But it meant




                                                                            334
                                                                         335




more than that; it was an anagram, re-arranged it spelled the name Jsaacvs
Neuutonus, a direct Latin translation of the name, Isaac Newton. . God’s
Holy One. Blackburne laughed at the conceit of the manhis old enemy.

    Newton might have been the greatest genius since Plato and Socrates,
but he sure as hell knew it. . He had used the pseudonym all his life, right
from when he was a boy. . All his alchemical writings and works and
been signed with the Latin tag. . It was typical of the arrogance of the
man, thought Blackburne now, that [Newton]he should leave this coin
expecting it to confound the minds of those who found it.[should they ask
him about his involvement in the HFC? … although wouldn’t Blackburne
already know if he is ultimately going to come out as the head of the
HFC??? We need to get all this plot line clear in our minds]

    “WhistoneWhiston can you hear me?”              WhistoneWhiston had
slumped forward again. . Montrose took hold of his hair and lifted his
head, “Sir William, this is one of Newton’s coins, what was it doing under
Stonehenge?”
    “Newton found the body first ... and Wren.             They He knew
everything. . I think they Hhe took the body and reburied it. I think they
buried it ... under the Cathedral. . St Paul’s Cathedral.”[how does he
know this? Has this been learned from the HFC – how???? Does he know –
we may need to add a little of his thoughts about this earlier on in the
book????????? MUST DISCUSS]
    “I’ll ask you again, William, but only once. Wwhose body?”
    Montrose tightened his grip on the scientist’s hair, and it tugged at the
skin on his forehead and pulled his eyelids upwards. . Blackburne had a
view of white eyeballs rolled upwards. . After a moment, his eyes moved




                                                                         335
                                                                         336




down to look Blackburne in the face, and WhistoneWhiston’s gaze seemed
suddenly lucid.
    “It’s tIt’s the the body of Jesus Christ.”
    Blackburne smiled to reveal both rows of teeth.            They looked
incongruously healthy in the middle of his ancient face.
    Blackburne gave a nod to Montrose and the manservant let the head
slump to one side.
    “Thank you Sir William, that should be all. Iit’s highly fortunate for
you that I happen to know that everything you’ve told me is true.. There’s
just one more thing I need to know. Montrose, give him two more drops.
I don’t want to take any chances.”
    Still gripping him by the hair, Montrose tilted Whiston’s head
backward. The drops went in easily, the scientist didn’t even seem to
register what was happening. Blackburne waited for the drug to take
affect and then leaned forward to ask his question.
    “Sir William, Who have you told this to anyone else, Sir William?”
    Whiston’s faced was contorted by the grip, Montrose had on the back
of head.
    “Have you written No oneto Lady Margaret?.”
    He Whiston managed to shake nod his head.         in “Yes,” he said in
emphasis.
    “BlastYou’ve not written to Lady Salisbury?.           And anyone else?
Dashwood? Walpole? Anyone?”
    Whiston shookshook his head again, this time with greater vigour.
“No No ... - I swear.”      Blackburne gave a nod to Montrose and the
manservant let the head slump to one side.




                                                                         336
                                                                          337




    “Thank you, Sir William. You’ve been most helpful. I’ll ask Montrose
to give you a couple more drops – theyat will help you forget this
unfortunate little episode.”
    Blackburne turned to Montrose. “Try not to give him too much, we
don’t want to cause permanent too much damage.” Blackburne looked
back at Whiston and spoke loudly, as if talking to someone deaf or elderly.
“After all Sir William, you’ve been most helpful to us.”
    He tossed the gold coin to Montrose.         .   “When you’re finished,
Wweigh the coin; check it against normal gold .,... aAnd for God’s sake
don’t lose it.”                                                                  Comment [L100]: , [if I know Newton, that coin
                                                                                 might turn out to be rather extraordinary]

    Montrose took a careful look at the coin, turning it through his fingers
with the skill of a Drury Lane conjuror. .
    “What about the inscription, sir? Resurgam?” Montrose pronounced it
incorrectly, with a soft g. .
    “It i’s Latin,” corrected Blackburne, “you pronounce it with a hard g.,
Resurgam..        I It means, I sShall rRise aAgain.” .” He looked up at         Formatted: Font: Not Italic


Montrose with a loose smile. . “It all fits, even the year,. 1708. Do you
understand, Montrose, that was the year they topped out the dome ....”
      I’ve seen the inscription before – back in 1708 - at the opening of St
Paul’s.”
    He gave a sigh of pleasure and seemed to collapse down into his little
body. , “I remember it that summer so well;, we had a glorious summerit
was glorious, not dissimilar to this one. . Sir Isaac couldn’t bear the stench
of the Ccity, so he excused himself from his duties at the Royal Mint and
went down to the country. . I often wondered for years where he’d
disappeared to.” .” Blackburne smiled up at Montrose. . “He returned




                                                                          337
                                                                            338




came back to London for the great opening. . God but they were full of
themselves. . Sir Isaac Newton and Sir Christopher Wren, lording it over
the whole bloody worlde in their arrogance. . They were untouchable
then, in ’’08.. And they made such a fuss about that blasted flagstone and
it’s inscription. Everyone thought them terribly clever. The stone had
been part of the old cathedral before it burned down, part of a quote from
Matthew’s Gospel. Even you probably know it Montrose.”
      Montrose shook his head. “I’m not familiar with—”
      “Come on, Montrose, you remember your Sunday school lessons. ‘On            Formatted: Font: Italic


the third day, I shall rise again..’ The words of Christ as he hung from the      Formatted: Font: Italic


cross.”
      Blackstone grimaced involuntarily and rubbed his jaw.            [Do you
understand][repetition again of this turn of phrase – maybe it is just one of
the natural quirks of his speech?], Montrose, that was the year they laid
the final stone to the Cathedral. There was just the one word carved in the       Comment [LH101]: [the xx] stone


granite ... Resurgam.”                                                            Comment [L102]: [so Blackburne now knows
                                                                                  about St Paul’s … though if he is head of HFC
      “So you were correct all along, sir.”                                       surely h knew already – or did he just need to
                                                                                  make sure?? LH: He was just making sure. I’ve just
                                                                                  tweaked the above to make it clear this isn’t new
      “Yes Montrose, correct all along.”                                          knowledge but is just confirming things. The
                                                                                  question still arises – why doesn’t he do anything?
      “What should we do about Lady Salisbury, sir?”                              i.e. why doesn’t he surround the cathedral with
                                                                                  soldiers... that’s the clue that Blackburne is using
      “Do nothing. If she knows it’s already too late.”                           the HFC to his own ends. But it may look like an
                                                                                  oddity/mistake to anyone just reading this book.
      “And I could attend the cathedral, sir,. I could attend if that would       We may need to give some explanation either here
                                                                                  or at the end in the prologue]
                                                                                  He must make sure we have all this right so that
assist.”                                                                          the next two books make sense when it comes out
                                                                                  about Blackburne being true top dog of HFC… -
      “No, Montrose, that won’t be necessary. Let’s sit back and watchwait        why doesn’t Blackburne station guards around St
                                                                                  Pauls – we have discussed this – maybe like you
for    events take their course. It promises to be a rather interesting           said, it should appear that Blackburne is being
                                                                                  considerate and protecting his Dept by not sending
spectacle.”                                                                       them out to look over the cathedral – NOTE we
                                                                                  need to look at his dialogue with Avery at the
                                                                                  beginning of the book to make sure it all fits in….]
“Montrose, coughed to interrupt.        .     “Sir, take note the time.,”   HHe
                                                                                  Formatted: Indent: First line: 0"




                                                                            338
                                                                      339




nodded up at the sun “Time you were went to Church.” .”


    [so Blackburne now knows about St Paul’s … though if he is head of       Formatted: Font: Italic


HFC surely h knew already – or did he just need to make sure?? He must
make sure we have all this right so that the next two books make sense
when it comes out about Blackburne being true top dog of HFC… - why
doesn’t Blackburne station guards around St Pauls – we have discussed this
– maybe like you said, it should appear that Blackburne is being
considerate and protecting his Dept by not sending them out to look over
the cathedral – NOTE we need to look at his dialogue with Avery at the
beginning of the book to make sure it all fits in….]
                                     ~




                                                                      339
                                                                        340




                    10 DOWNING STREET, WESTMINSTER


    The Cabinet room on the morning of Saturday, 18th June, was frenetic       Formatted: Superscript


with the activity of a dozen government cronies. Permanent Secretaries
and Under Secretaries dancing in and out as they received orders. The
room was long, and almost filled by a large acacia-wood table. In his
fifteen years as First Lord of the Treasury, Sir Robert Walpole had made
the room his own. Three portraits looked down on the table, all of him, all
rather generously slim - but to show the world that he didn’t take himself
too seriously, he had installed a framed cartoon at the far end of the room,
a line drawing from The London Illustrated News, which showed Sir
Robert wolfing down a great pie filled with his enemies. It was black and
white and stood out against the dark baize-green of the wallpaper.
Secretly he thought of it as a gentle reminder to his enemies in the
Cabinet.
    The flesh and blood Walpole sat below it, and true to the picture, he
was eating a plate of lamb chops.
    “A light breakfast, father?”
    “Hah, an adequate one. We live in dangerous times, ‘Liza. Best get
your grub while you can.” He inspected the half-eaten bone in his hand,
decided he’d removed enough flesh and tossed it to the mastiff by his feet.
He wiped his mouth with a cloth napkin and pushed the plate away before
turning once more to the bespectacled man sitting to his right.
    “Tell the Tower they need to relocate everything, not just the crown,
everything. Either York or Warwick I don’t care which. No, scratch that,
tell them to go to York, if we give them decisions to make they’ll still be




                                                                        340
                                                                          341




prevaricating come July.”
    He turned to a second attendant sitting to his left, the first didn’t wait
to be dismissed, he slid away, replaced seconds later by a virtually
identical, grey-coated official. Walpole didn’t pause.
    “Get Harbinger to make absolutely certain he’s inside Lambeth Palace
on the twenty-first.”
    “Harbinger’s dead sir. We heard this morning, remember.”
    “Oh bloody hell. When did you tell me that?”
    “When I woke you sir—”
    “You know I can’t bloody well remember anything before breakfast.
Why didn’t you wait.” Walpole paused to process the new information.
“How did he die?”
    “During the kidnapping of Sir Robert Boyle, sir. He was the only one
they killed.”
    “The only one? For Christ’s sake how are they doing this!?”
    The last was at a shout, he turned properly to Eliza for the first time
and said, “every, single, bloody man I put in that department winds up
dead within a month. You’re the only one they haven’t killed.”
    “Maybe that’s because you didn’t ‘put me in’,” said Eliza.
    “I bloody well did. Who do you think persuaded your gallant Captain
Avery to take you under his wing all those months ago.” Walpole gave a
big fat smile, “didn’t cost me a penny either – good chap that Avery, first
man I’ve ever come across who didn’t take a bribe.”
    “He’s dead too sir, we think he drowned.” This last came from the
official sitting to Walpole’s right.   Eliza reddened at the words, and
Benjamin Quick, who had been trying to make himself inconspicuous ever




                                                                          341
                                                                        342




since he’d arrived in the Cabinet Room, shuffled his feet.
    “Let’s have coffee, shall we.”
    A butler entered bearing a silver coffee pot and three porcelain cups
on a tray. The timing was so perfect it was as if the elderly valet had been
listening at the door. “Come,” said Walpole, all affability, “let’s make
ourselves comfortable. We’ll sit by the fire.”
    The fireplace was empty, but they didn’t need its heat, the day was
already promising to be hot. Walpole dismissed his entourage and Eliza
and Benjamin found themselves sitting in uncomfortably deep leather
chairs while Sir Robert Walpole made a passing resemblance to a well-
mannered host. After pouring a generous measure of thick milky coffee,
he directed his conversation to Benjamin for the first time.
    “Benjamin Quick is it? I recognise your face from the news-sheets.
The sketch artist at The London Illustrated has you pat.”                      Formatted: Font: Not Italic


    Benjamin didn’t really know what to say to that. He said, “thank you,”
which felt vaguely appropriate.
    “You know you have the same colour hair as my Eliza – you could
practically be cousins or something.” He paused to think, but after some
moment dismissed his thoughts with a shake of heavy jowls. “Tell me,
how did you really escape the gibbet?”
    “Gunpowder, sir” answered Benjamin.
    “They let you have gunpowder in Newgate? Bloody idiots, it’s not
surprising the country’s gone dog.”
    Benjamin interrupted. “No, sir, I made my own.”
    Walpole paused at that, he looked the black-clad Benjamin up and
down, as if measuring him for a suit and said, “made your own, eh? Clever




                                                                        342
                                                                        343




boy. Deuced clever ...”
    Eliza had reddened during this little interlude. “Father, do I need to
remind you, you’ve had me bloody well arrested. What the —”
    “Quite right my dear, quite right. I suppose at times like these all the
little social niceties have to go along with everything else, eh? You’ve got
plenty of questions. Lucky for me I’ve plenty of answers.”
    He raised one hand in apparent surrender, the other held the small
china cup of hot coffee and he took a tentative first sip. “You know I’ve
been more than generous ‘Liza, more than fair. You’ve had ten days to get
me those bloody papers, and now I need them urgent. If we don’t stop the
Clubbe soon, the game’s up.”
    “You’re that sure they’re behind all this?” asked Eliza.
    “Absolutely positive – every single person we’ve recruited to uncover
their secrets has wound up either dead or disappeared. Even the ones who
declined – bloody ruthless that Clubbe is.”
    Walpole decided that his coffee was cool enough to drink and he
finished it in a single swallow. “All of them,” he continued, “the doctors,
Caradigan, Olger, Denny. Olger didn’t even reply to my letter and he still
ended up dead. Whiston actually joined, but Lady S has got something on
him - though even she can’t seem to find him now.”
    He laughed at that, he might be about to go down as the captain of a
sinking ship, but he could still get some pleasure from the fact that his
political rivals were as scuppered as he was. “Boyle was the last, we only
sent him the request on Tuesday.”
    “Did he agree? I mean, to join.” asked Benjamin, still nervous of his
first audience with the Prime Minister.




                                                                        343
                                                                        344




    Walpole turned his big face towards Benjamin and said, “he asked for
more time to think about it ... I guess more time is the one thing Robert
Boyle ain’t got.”
    Walpole poured himself more coffee.              “I must have promised a
hundred thou’ to that lot – and I haven’t had to pay out a penny.”
    “So you thought you’d give your daughter a chance to get herself
killed instead, how thoughtful of you father.”
    “Eliza this is more important than life and death – this Clubbe that you
seem so intent on ignoring have stumbled upon something really worth
having,” he paused for effect, “life everlasting.”
    Walpole turned to Benjamin, whose thin legs looked awkward,
angling out from the low, deep-set armchair. “You know my lad, it may
not seem very much at your age, but to anyone over thirty, the prospect of
immortality is the greatest temptation of them all.”
    Walpole stretched out then, his right knee seemed to be troubling him
and he rubbed it absently. “Eliza, it’s time you learned a little more about
the HellFyre Clubbe, something of its history. It might help explain how
they’ve come to exert so much power. More coffee?”
    Benjamin declined, his first experience of the stuff hadn’t been
agreeable, but Eliza accepted – she was tired and if she knew her father,
she’d need her wits about her to get out of this situation.
    “You have to go rather a long way back – to the crucifixion.”
    “As in the crucifixion of Jesus?” asked Benjamin, and immediately
regretted it. Walpole ignored him and continued.
    “According to the Gospels, the first to reach Christ’s tomb were the
disciples, Peter and John. What the Bible don’t tell you is what happened




                                                                        344
                                                                           345




next. They knew the body of Christ held power, even if it were just over
people’s minds it still had power, and so they took it.”
    Eliza wasn’t overly impressed. “You‘re saying Peter and John, the
Apostles, were grave robbers? The resurrection didn’t happen, they just
stuffed Our Lord in a sack with a pile of rocks and slung him in the Sea of
Galilee.”
    “Not exactly, they weren’t in any hurry to get rid of the body – they
kept it hid. No-one knew anything of this, not until the two conspirators
fell out, which they did spectacularly some thirty years later. It’s all in the
historic record – at the Council of Jerusalem in 64 AD they argued tooth
and nail. By then Peter had founded his Catholic Church, in Rome, but
he’d left John to take care of the body, and something strange seemed to be
happening. While the other Apostles grew older, John, living the life of a
hermit in the wilderness, hadn’t aged a day.”
    The mastiff came lumbering over at that point. Benjamin, who had
started nursing his ankle again, looked slightly uneasy at the sight of the
big dog, but it soon settled by Sir Robert’s feet, and the Prime Minister
resumed his story.
    “John tried to wrest control of the church from Peter, but he lost the
battle and was exiled to the island of Patmos. He obviously had some
supporters, and the legend has it that they smuggled the body onto the
island. He’d written his gospel already by then, but on the island John
wrote the more important of his two books – the Book of Revelation.”
    “John the disciple, the Gospel writer, also wrote the Book of
Revelation?” Eliza showed an interest for the first time and was annoyed
with herself for it.




                                                                           345
                                                                        346




    “Of course, who did you think wrote it? And in it, he took care to
write down his instructions to what he called the True Believers – the
little church of followers who stayed loyal to him on Patmos. They were
no more than a cult of course, a small holy order that was scattered across
Europe some twenty odd years later when the Romans went to Patmos in
search of the tomb. A small group of John’s followers, including John
himself, who must have been almost a hundred years old by this time, fled
from Patmos and came here, to England. They’ve been guarding the body
of Christ ever since, all the time reading their Bibles and the instructions
set down in the Book of Revelation – biding their time before the second
coming, before the Apocalypse and the end of the world.”
    The Prime Minister finished his second coffee with a flourish and used
the time to recall a quote, word for word. “There shall be no more death,
neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for safe in
the body of Christ all such things are passed away ... to you and me they’re
pretty, poetic words – to the followers of John they’re literal truth. They
think that time is now, and they are ready for it. You know them as the
HellFyre Clubbe.”
    “So everything in the Book of Revelation is about to come true?” asked
Benjamin, “even the bit about the Dragon with seven heads?”
    Walpole looked across at him and decided not to pay his question any
regard. “Somehow they’re making all this happen, the comet, the hysteria,
maybe even the end of the world. And all we know is their name, and
their origin. The Lord Chancellor knows more, but he’s too damned thick
to do anything about it, or more likely he’s in league with them. That’s
why I need his files. Lady Salisbury has some idea what’s happening, we




                                                                        346
                                                                           347




know she’s been communicating with Sir William Whiston, but no one
ever knows what side she’s bloody well on. And that just leaves me, the
so-called Prime Minister, the last bastion of the Crown – hah. And the
only person I’ve got is you, dear Eliza.”
    He ended with a theatrical flurry that Benjamin felt was sincere, but
Eliza found cloying with deceit.
    “So you thought you‘d bring me to the clutch of your bosom with nine
guardsman and an arrest warrant.”
    Walpole did his best to look contrite. He even wrung his hands.
“Elizabeth, I’m a man of the carrot not the stick. If you’d help me in this
endeavour, if you help me preserve the sanctity of our nation, and some
hundred thousand Londoners’ lives, then I’ll make it worth your while.”
    “What, you’ll offer me two thousand guineas? I don’t think so, not
even for a hundred thousand. I can’t get it, the file’s locked away – it’s in
the Chancellor’s Map Room, and no-one gets in there.”
    Sir Robert breathed in a big belly of air. He had a look of distaste, as if
the thing he was about to say displeased him. “Eliza, don’t be proud.
Don’t be like your mother. She died poor because she was proud. You
don’t want to die poor – not like your mother – not demented. Take the
money, I’ll give you a hundred thousand if you get me those papers. You’ll
live like a Queen, and even at the end you’ll be looked after.”
    Eliza looked at her father with a face suddenly devoid of emotion.
“Sorry, it can’t be done. I wasn’t negotiating. I’d do it if I could – for a
hundred thousand guineas - but I can’t.”
    The lack of emotion surprised Walpole more than anything. He’d
anticipated that she might refuse, but not like that.




                                                                           347
                                                                           348




    “Eliza, when I said ‘the only person I’ve got is you’, I meant it. I prefer
the carrot, but I do always carry a stick - for insurance. If you’d bothered
to read that arrest warrant you’d have realised it wasn’t a fake.”
    He turned and spoke to Benjamin, adding insult to the injury he was
about to inflict. “She’s been arrested for witchcraft, that dear daughter of
mine. She’s due for execution without trial on Monday.”
    Eliza’s face found a smile. “Oh, dearest father, you never cease to
surprise me. Mother would be so proud to hear how the family has turned
out.”
    Walpole’s face was suddenly hard, he turned to Eliza with desperation
scourged across the lines of his face. “Your mother was no more than a
demented animal, the sooner you realise that the better. If she’s anywhere
it’s at the red end of Hell, where she belongs. And you’re headed right
there alongside her, Lady Elizabeth Walpole. Killin’ you is probably the
kindest thing.”
    Eliza looked as though he’d slapped her across the face. She felt numb,
as though she’d just heard that a loved one had died. She tried to summon
up some anger, but she couldn’t. Perhaps the reality of Avery’s death was
only now hitting home, perhaps it was lack of sleep, or maybe the final
irrefutable proof that her father was a monster – and she was utterly alone.
    “Sorry to disappoint you father,” she said blandly, “but you will have
to send me to the gallows. I can’t get you those papers. There’s no way
into that room. It looks like we’ve both lost.”
    There was a brittle silence at that, Sir Robert Walpole sat staring,
working his jaw. His eyes had a haunted look about them, as though his
soul was being dragged down to Hell. The lines on face, usually plumped




                                                                           348
                                                                         349




out with fat flesh, seemed to be deepening with every passing thought.
    “I can do it ... if you want.” Benjamin said it to Eliza rather than
Walpole.     He’d been listening to the conversation with increasing
disbelief.
    “What do you mean you can do it?”                                          Formatted: Space After: 6 pt


    “I’ve done it before.”                                                     Formatted: Font: Not Italic


    “Done what before?”

    “Last year, I had a plan to break into the Tower, but I needed the
building plans, so first I had to break into the Lord Chancellor’s
Department to get them.”

    “You were trying to break into the Tower? The Tower of London?”

    “Into the room where they keep the Crown Jewels.” Benjamin turned
to the Prime Minister, “sorry, that was before I knew you.”

    Eliza looked at the familiar face in front of her, checked to see if
Benjamin was joking; decided he wasn’t.

    “I’ll need paying.” Benjamin said, turning to the Prime Minister.

    “Of course. If you deliver, the hundred thousand is yours.”

    “I don’t mean money. I want a pardon ... and a knighthood”

    Walpole laughed, a soft, ripe laugh, and his whole demeanour was
transformed by it.

    “Sir Benjamin Quick ... you have yourself a deal.”

    Benjamin lips formed a flat smile. “And I want to set up a lottery. I
want exclusive rights from the Crown to run a lottery in London. For




                                                                         349
                                                                  350




twenty years.”

     “Five.”

     “Fifteen.”

     “Five.”

     “Al’right, five.”

     The shadows had fallen away Sir Robert Walpole’s face. He smiled
triumphantly, as if he’d just produced a much needed belch. “Well that
settles it.”

     He turned to his daughter, with a benevolent grin.   “You can go
together.”



                                    ~                                    Formatted: Centered




                                                                  350
                                                                         351




                            SHOEBURYNESS, KENT


    Cockling was dangerous work, but up in London cockles sold for a
penny a pound and you could make a good wage on the mudflats. . The
Cockler was careful of the water, the low tide had turned and the sea was
coming in. . The estuary waters could be treacherous once the tide had
turned, and he kept a close eye on the as waves swept across the
sandbanks. . Seawater was sweeping inwards at an accelerating rate, and
would soon hit the pebbled shoreline; it was almost time to call it a day.
    Another ten minutes and he would never have seen it. . Just a lump
of driftwood, he thought at first, brought in by the tide, he thought at
first,. Bbut then another wave broke across the mud and the thing was
jostled and turned. .
    It was a body. .
    The Cockler wentwalked over with some trepidation, but forced
himself to get close. . It was the body of a man, a gentleman judging by
the boots, but stripped of his shirt. . He The man clutched a wooden
plank under his arm, and in the other was a dog, sodden wet and small. .
The Cockler crept forward and gave the body a prod with his rake.
    It grunted with perfect enunciation.

                                                                               Comment [LH103]: [Have Cut : Some minutes
                                                                               later, he realised that he should have said, “But
                                      ~                                        Eliza, you’ve got years of credit left,” but by then it
                                                                               was too late.
                                                                               He found himself calculating the cost of keeping up a
                                                                               house like this. Then translated it into units of
                                                                               robbery. On average a coach was worth about five
                                                                               guineas. By the time you’d sold any jewellery on for
                                                                               coin, that’s roughly what you ended up with. To keep
                                                                               a place like this he’d have to be on the road every
                                                                               night of the year, full moon and sickle. He would
                                                                               need a different plan. Highway robbery was small
                                                                               beer. Still calculating, and planning, he fell asleep in
                                                                               the chair.]




                                                                         351
                                                                        352




                               LAMBETH PALACE




    Eliza spent an unhappy day locked in a suite of rooms at Downing St.
Her father didn’t trust her much, and she had been separated from
Benjamin Quick pretty much as soon as the interview with the Prime
Minister was over. Almost 24 hours passed before she was summoned – by
the Sergeant she recognised from the previous day.
    Benjamin Quick was waiting for her by the time she had been brought
down to the carriage, and they had a rather animated conversation on the
short ride from Downing St to the north bank of the Thames, opposite
Lambeth Palace. Benjamin was all excitement at the prospect of some            Formatted: Font: Not Italic


breaking and entering.
    They walked to Lambeth Palace together, it was no’t far, just across
the park and then through Westminster to catch a river-boat. . There
were still a few watermen willing to trade, even on a Sunday, and the
Sergeant hailed a river-boat. Sshe sat in a that boat now, waiting for
JerichoBenjamin to return from the palace - ready to escape back down the
river as soon as he reappeared. Benjamin , had persuaded her that he’d be
better off alone and so she sat there, ready to escape back across the river
as soon as he reappearedunder the vigilant supervision of the Sergeant who
sat in the boat with her.. .
    It was another warm day but that didn’t stop her giving an involuntary
shiver. . Eliza pulled her coat tighter to guard against the breeze off the
river. . He’d only been gone a moment, still hobbled by his injured ankle.
She but she had a sense of foreboding about JerichoBenjamin Quick’s plan




                                                                        352
                                                                         353




– a feeling that something was about to go badly wrong.


                                      ~                                         Comment [LH104]: [Have Cut : Some minutes
                                                                                later, he realised that he should have said, “But
                                                                                Eliza, you’ve got years of credit left,” but by then it
                                                                                was too late.
                                                                                He found himself calculating the cost of keeping up a
    Sir Lancelot Blackburne was a deeply religious man – as befitted his        house like this. Then translated it into units of
                                                                                robbery. On average a coach was worth about five
                                                                                guineas. By the time you’d sold any jewellery on for
position as the Archbishop of York. . Every Sunday he held a service at         coin, that’s roughly what you ended up with. To keep
                                                                                a place like this he’d have to be on the road every
                                                                                night of the year, full moon and sickle. He would
Westminster Abbey, just over the river from Lambeth Palace. . It was this       need a different plan. Highway robbery was small
                                                                                beer. Still calculating, and planning, he fell asleep in
knowledge that gave JerichoBenjamin Quick the confidence to climb over          the chair.]


the walled garden and enter the Palace through the great portico door. .
Getting in was as easy as that. . After all, he’d done it once before.
    The strength of Blackburne’s Department was also its greatest
weakness. . Blackburne hoarded knowledge, and doled it out like a miser
– offering little titbits here and there, never fully sharing what he knew or
suspected. . Every team of officers in The Department was isolated within
their own little compartment. . It meant that the great organ of state was
impervious to infiltration – but it also meant nobody knew for sure who
anybody else was. . And it meant that JerichoBenjamin Quick, could
dressed in the black, the standard uniform of the Lord Chancellery, could
hop over the wall, and stroll around as though he had worked there for
years.   .    For just as long as the Lord Blackburne remained at
prayers.[where does he get the uniform? Does Eliza have one? Is it one of
Avery’s???? does it fit properly??]
    But already things were beginning to go wrong.            .   The garden,
Blackburne’s private garden, hadn’t been empty. . JerichoBenjamin Quick
had felt a jolt of panic when he landed and saw Blackburne’s chair, half-
hidden under a pomegranate tree. . Fortunately, Blackburne wasn’t in it,




                                                                         353
                                                                      354




and the man who was seemed to be asleep, or unconscious, and in any
event knotted firmly into the chair. .
    JerichoBenjamin landed softly, gave thanksful the man didn’t wake,
and was soon inside the palace, walking purposefully down the length of a
long hall. . Behind closed doors he could hear busy activity, but only
occasionally did a black-coated official emerge into the great hall,
scurrying to another office. . A sense of controlled anxiety seemed to
pervade the palace. .
    Quick paused at an arched window and looked over the Thames. .
One entire side of the hall was made up of these huge windows, and
JerichoBenjamin took a moment to enjoy the view. . Beyond the river he
could see Westminster Abbey, its Gothic towers thrusting to the Heavens.
.   The distance was worryingly disturbingly short and the new
Westminster Bridge meant the trip back from the Abbey would barely
take ten minutes. . JerichoBenjamin tapped his fingers gently on the stone
window ledge, and hurried on.
    The stairs down into the basements of the Palace were concealed
behind a wall tapestry, but JerichoBenjamin found them at the second
attempt. . Rumours told that the Palace basement had six levels below
ground – and that subterranean tunnels crossed under the river to other
palaces and hideaways across London. . If they did exist, Quick had[n’t
manage to find them during his one other visit][he’d manage if he had
more time] never found them the last time he was there, and he didn’t
intend to hang around now for any longer than he needed to. they held
no interest for him now – tThe Map Room was only one floor down.
    [He had been to the room before] [we need to explain when why etc




                                                                      354
                                                                         355




here a bit more to give the history – was this to do with the Tower of
London??], and he located it easily now. . The door was locked, but he’d
brought along a carefully bent percussion-pin, and even though the
mechanism was complex, the lock didn’t hold him up for long. . Once
inside he relocked the door and took a breath of satisfaction in the dark. .
So far so good. .
    He’d brought a candle, which was just as well, for there was no lamp
in the room. . In the faint light the stacked shelves disappeared into the
upper shadows, the shelves so high he’d need hours to search them all. .
The scrolls didn’t seem to be organized in accordance with any particular
logic, and working with candlelight it took him time to find his way about;
it was as though the only people who used the room knew it intimately. .
He scratched around for several minutes, peering at labels and lost more
time distracted by a collection of old maps. . If the label on one was to be
believed, it was the fabled a Mappa Mundi, one of the the Arabian atlases
that contained all the locations of the ancient world – cities consumed by
desert, islands that had vanished,, that sort of thing.and nations long since
crushed. . Jericho took note of one particular location, the ‘iIslande of       Formatted: Font: Italic


Prester John’ sat just off West Africa. . As a boy, stories of the warrior      Formatted: Font: Not Italic


priest’s magical kingdom had gripped his imagination. . He put the map
carefully back in place, but then hHis instincts took over and he pulled the
vellum back down, folded it loosely and stuffed it into the front of his
shirt.
    He got lucky after twenty minutes, when he found the engineering
plan of for St Paul’s amongst a raft of other architectural drawings. . He
didn’t waste time studying the page, even come the End of the Worlde




                                                                         355
                                                                       356




there was only so much time Sir Lancelot Blackburne could spend at
prayer. . The main purpose of his visit, the file on the HellFyre Clubbe
was found more easily. . A wooden cabinet seemed to contain a number
of leather folders – each marked with a text-filled ribbon. .
    He found himself practising the look of confident disdain he would
use when he handed it over to the Prime Minister. Things were at last
going his way. Eliza would adore him for this. Sir Benjamin Quick -
knight of the realm, young and fabulously wealthy ... a rather attractive
proposition. He still couldn’t believe how easily he’d negotiated the deal.
After all those years of planning his future, it was all turning out to be
rather easy.
    Quick Quick stuffed it the folder in a large coat pocket and was
quickly back out into the dark basement passage. , climbing. He climbed
the stairwell two steps at a time. He and paused behind the tapestry,
ready to make the walk to freedom. . The hall was empty and he strode
the length of it with apparent confidence, on through the high-vaulted
chamber and then to the iron-studded door. .
    He peered through into the garden, checking to see if the bound man
was still unconscious. . He didn’t have to wait long. . A loud voice came
from the other side of the open door. [should the Map Room be guarded?
Surely? Maybe it wasn’t the first time he went but it is now – brief scene
where he performs a chicken mesmer on the guard – or does some clever-
                                                                              Comment [L105]: Need to discuss - [should the
dick trick – we need to maintain this aspect of his character – the power/    Map Room be guarded? Surely? Maybe it wasn’t
                                                                              the first time he went but it is now – brief scene
skill to divert the attention, like a magician..]                             where he performs a chicken mesmer on the guard
                                                                              – or does some clever-dick trick – we need to
    The voice was rambling, a mad tirade of juxtaposed words, spoken          maintain this aspect of his character – the power/
                                                                              skill to divert the attention, like a magician..]
with the conviction and tone of someone reciting a prayer. . It took          could do - come back to this later - agree we
                                                                              should factor in more Benjamin trickery brilliance
                                                                              but not a priority...




                                                                       356
                                                                            357




Quick several moments to realise the man wasn’t making sense. . Only
one word stood out from the babble, possibly because Jericho had heard
[isn’tit] so recently, [possiblyand] because the madman seemed to end
every sentence with it. . The word was ‘[‘]resurgam’[‘].
    The novelty of listening to the madman held some fascination, and
JerichoBenjamin found himself drawn into peering round the edge of the
door. . Two long legs stretched out awkwardly from the front of a chair. .
It was the tied man he’d seen earlier. . He was still tied, but was now
awake, and struggled ing against the ropes as he babbled. .
    Then JerichoBenjamin heard a second voice and it made him jerk
backwards. . “That will do, William.. No need to over- excite yourself.”
    [It’s time for your rest now.??]” The second voice held a strong hint of
Scots brogue and came from a pale-faced haired man standing in front of
the tied manchair. . There was something about the man that made
JerichoBenjamin     hesitate,     he   took   a   moment      to   think,   and
compulsivelyimpulsively tapped the [bent nail][percussion pin?] gently
against the stone wall.
    “I said that will do, William.” .”
    The man still continued to babble,ed and . JerichoBenjamin heard the
pale-faced man take one quick step forward and smack his fist into the
other man’s face.    .       The tied man’s head whiplashed backwards and
cracked into the wood of the high-backed chair. . The babbling stopped
instantly. . It was more of a jab than a punch, and for some reason that
made it all the more terrifying - the power was was generated by the
tiniest movement.        .    JerichoBenjamin was off and walking without
another thought. . He’d crossed the Chamber and was soon back in the




                                                                            357
                                                                         358




great hall, desperate to project a sense of professional purpose as he began
to walk the length of it. .
    The hall seemed even longer now, but the tapestry covering the far
door was getting closer. . He’d almost reached more than halfway when
the Scots brogue caught up with him. .
    “And who might you be, laddie?”
    JerichoBenjamin turned, making sure not to give a nervous smile. .
“Second Lieutenant Black.” .” He tried to look distracted. . “And you
are?”
    The pale-faced man was pushing the wheeled, conveyancing chair. .
The tall madman sat slumped and unconscious. . The whole thing was
strangely comic.
    The Scot smiled to reveal a row of small teeth. . “I’m the man you
really didn't want to run into.” .” He pushed the chair, steadily, swiftly
narrowing the gap between them. . As the man closed, JerichoBenjamin
instinctively gripped the hilt of his sword. . His mind was whirring. .
Nobody was to know his sword had been snapped off at the base. . The
Scotsman didn’t even wear a scabbard and the thought gave
JerichoBenjamin a jolt of confidence. . He would bluff it out. .
    “I’ll wait here while you get a sword if you like,” he said, eager to win
some time.
     “Oh I won’t be needing one of them, laddie, I like to use me hands.”
    The man left the chair, but kept moving forward, stoppinged pushing
the chair and stepped forward. He was only when he was comfortably
with[in] range of JerichoBenjamin’s sword. If there’d been a blade on the
end of histhe sword hilt – if only he’d had one. Oone swipe and Jericho




                                                                         358
                                                                         359




c[could have would have] taken the man’s head off, but that didn’t seem
much comfort now.
    “You should have drawn your sword when you had the chance.”
    The man shifted his balance forward and ’s a fist shot out with such
speed that it hit JerichoBenjamin’s cheekbone      before he’d even had time
to blink. . His legs collapsed with the shock and he hit the floor hard. .
The pale faced man didn’t waste time or words, he jabbed the heel of his
boot down onto JerichoBenjamin’s exposed side.
    The sound of his own ribs breaking seemed to bring JerichoBenjamin’s
mind back into focus. . The pain in his face receded for just long enough
for him to react.          .   He [reacted][did this] oOn instinct, twisting
indiscriminately, he slithered like a landed trout, desperate to get away
from the crazed, pale-faced man. . He ignored the pain and [As much as it
hurt him…] He slithered like a landed salmon, retreated desperatelying
across the smooth stone, and lurching back up onto his feet. . The speed
and energy of his JerichoBenjamin’s retreat had clearly took the pale-
facedtaken the man by surprise, but he was still smiling, fists clenched and
ready to strike again. .
    The man was a killer,[ there was no doubt][,.] JerichoBenjamin took a
step back,ward [gripping ??], he gripped onto his empty-bladed sword hilt,
desperately frantically wishing it wasn’t a fake, b. – b[B]ut knowing that
the man could probably kill him even if it weren’t. . The man stood
motionless and smiled, he seemed to have enjoyed JerichoBenjamin’s
desperate lurch of self-preservation.[the last desperate moments of a man
about to die] JerichoBenjamin could feel the blood pumping in the tight
vessels of his throat, his instincts screameed at him to run, not to turn his




                                                                         359
                                                                         360




backbut somehow he knew that , if he turned and ran, something told him
he’d be dead before he reached the top of the stairs. . He glanced at the
windows. . The river, and Eliza,, and the boat, were so close - but the
window looked solid, the glass was held fixed in place with thick bands of
lead.
    The man took a step forward, enjoying JerichoBenjamin’s uncertainty.
. JerichoBenjamin had never been in a fight in his life, not a proper fight,
he’d always found somewhere to run. . The bone in his cheek felt as
though it had been smashed shattered by the man’s first blow, and the
brutal prospect of being bludgeoned to death by those fists made
JerichoBenjamin’s lips quiver with adrenalin. . He tried to smile but his
lips were too dry, they just wouldn’t move. . The man was closing, one
gentle step at a time; he flexed his hands as though he was pumping power
into muscles. .
    JerichoBenjamin was still gripping furiously onto the hilt of his non-
existent sword, he had to do something, the man was closing in, suddenly
swifter. . His head was a jumbled mass of noise and pain, the man was
close, too close, and in his panic, JerichoBenjamin did the only thing he
could do, he pulled the hilt out of its scabbard. . It made a pathetic sight,
the blade snapped off into a short stub, but.
    T it made the pale-faced man pausepaused. . The light was good, the
man could see there was no blade, but hehe paused anyway, circumspect.
. It gave Quick JerichoBenjamin hopethe idea.
    Jericho He raised up the sword hilt, as though the blade was invisible,
he even gave it a couple of test swipes through the air. . That action alone
gave him confidence; he forced himself to believe the blade was real. .




                                                                         360
                                                                          361




The pale-faced man subtly changed his balance, he was uncertain, ready to
take a step back. . Montrose, who had never feared anyone, with any
weapon, was ready to take a backward step.
    JerichoBenjamin’s instincts took over; he took guard, and with knees
flexed began to circle about the Scotsman.          .   It was only a rough
approximation of a fencer’s footwork but it kept the Scotsman at a
distance, wary of moving forward until he worked things through in his
mind. . JerichoBenjamin moved lightly, circling, working his way to one
of the doors in the inner wall. . Suddenly his lips felt like they could
move, and he risked a taunt, anything to keep the killer from thinking.
    “You’ve won’t see many blades like this.” .”
    The pale-faced man was silent, eyes fixed; he turned slowly, keeping
face on. . The other man, the tall man, the man called Sir William, was
still slumped and unconscious.
    JerichoBenjamin looked over at him. . “Sir William? Are you ready?”
JerichoBenjamin looked meaningfully over the Scotsman’s shoulder.           .
“William. . Quickly, come closer.” .” The pale-faced man didn’t even
blink, his breathing was slow and controlled, and both hands continued to
flex gently at his side.
    JerichoBenjamin continued to talk as he crabbed sideways. . “When I
throw the sword – don’t hesitate., don’t even hesitate.”
    The door was close A dozen shields hung decoratively on the wall and
JerichoBenjamin knew exactly what he had to do. . It took him time to
reach themit, he didn’t want his goal to be obvious and all the while he
held his rapier hilt as though it were a finely balanced blade. .
    “William? Are you ready?”




                                                                          361
                                                                        362




    To JerichoBenjamin’s surprise the man he answered. . It was rambling
nonsense just as [be] before, but he answered. . The pale-faced Scotsman
almost looked back, almost gave JerichoBenjamin the chance to run, but at
the last second, the Scotsman rememberedresisted. . The man in the chair
was no danger, he was bound tight[and] . The man in the chair looked
straight into JerichoBenjamin’s eyes as he babbledspoke[. .     and fFor a
moment JerichoBenjamin hesitated, but no more than a moment.] [think
that reads better]                                                             Formatted: Font color: Black


    “Catch it, William.” He lobbed the sword-hilt over the Scotsman’s
head and it span, end over end. , . Aand finally the pale-faced man turned
his head, it gave JerichoBenjamin the time he needed. . He ran to the
nearest door, it was stiff but he heaved it open with both hands and was
inside in seconds. His heart leaped as the thick bolt shot home and he
turned frantically to look for the next exit.
    But there were none. The smell of urine made him catch his breath –
as much as the realisation that he was trapped. He had chosen the wrong
door.
    A Scottish voice from outside came taunting through the door.
    “It looks like you’ve found the lavvy, little boy. I thought ye looked a
wee bit nervous.”
                                                                               Formatted: Centered


                                         ~




    The waterman used his oar to keep the tied boat facing upstream.
Eliza saw a mounted escort, and then a heavy carriage as the horses




                                                                        362
                                                                            363




cantered up the rise to Westminster Bridge. She pointed them out to the
Sergeant with a look and a nod of her head.
    “He’s back,” she said, without needing to say more.
    If Benjamin didn’t get out of the Palace very soon then things would
not go well. She breathed in the morning summer air and tried to quieten
her fraying nerves.
                                                                                  Formatted: Centered


                                        ~




    Benjamin’s arteries were pumping so hard he could barely strike a
flint. The bolt on the inside of the door wouldn’t hold for long and the
searing pain from his face and ribs was a warning as to what he could
expect when it gave out.
    He tried to breathe the shakes out of his hands but eventually he had
to give up and grab hold of his left ear. It was another of his grandfather’s
tricks and like all the others it worked, his heart began to slow, and as it
did his mind began to clear.
    The toilet had a seat and the first thing he did was to peer down into
the depths of it. The light couldn’t penetrate far, but he didn’t need to see
to realise it was a way out. Straight out onto the river if he was lucky.
    The hole wasn’t big enough – even for his narrow frame and he
reached under the seat rim and pulled, thinking to widen the opening. But
with the pain in his ribs the only force he could apply was weak. He
brought the heel of his boot onto it, but the wood was solid oak and nailed
fast. He could feel his heart starting to race with this new setback, there’d




                                                                            363
                                                                          364




be an axe or a hammer on the door within moments, and he knew once
that started the game would be up. Desperately he looked around for
something, anything he could use to smash open the lavatory – there was a
metal chamber pot, brass, and he grabbed it only to slosh day old urine
onto his clothes. A final ignominy to add to his injuries. He could have
wept then – the tears of pain and frustration were close, the fear of what
would happen when the Scotsman came smashing through the doorway
was threatening to spin his head to the point he couldn’t think. But he did
think. The smell of the piss-pot – the disgust he felt as its contents came
slopping over the side – gave him an idea.
    The lamp had plenty of oil and he extended the wick to brighten the
flame. He placed the metal pot onto it, and let it start to heat. The smell it
gave off was enough to make someone gag, but Benjamin was too busy. He
found a water bucket and thanked an unspecified god that it was half full.
Next he needed, somehow, to bubble the urine through the water. After
that he’d be home and dry.
    A voice from the other side of the door came crashing into the little
room. It had the hard, precise diction of the Lord Chancellor.           He’d
returned from his worship at the Abbey.
    “Master Benjamin Quick, is it?”
    Quick was momentarily at a loss. After some seconds he decided there
was nothing to be gained in denying it.
    “That’s right. And who might you be?”
    “I’m Sir Lancelot Blackburne, the Lord Chancellor, you’re in my
privy.” The voice wasn’t unkind.
    “Sorry about that – is there another you could use – I’m rather busy.”




                                                                          364
                                                                        365




Benjamin hadn’t paused in his preparations. The heat of the lamp was
already beginning to agitate the urine. He wedged the bottom of the water
bucket into the top to seal in the precious liquid, all he needed now was
some way to bubble the contents of the pot through those of the bucket. A
laboratory would be filled glass tubes for such a purpose, but he was in a
lavatory.
    “There’s no point you staying in there, Montrose will have this door
open in a trice, but I’m rather fond of it.”
    Benjamin didn’t respond, he was reaching behind the back of the
toilet seat. God bless him, Sir Lancelot Blackburne’s privy had been fitted
with pipe-work. The old bugger had a flushing toilet. Benjamin kicked at
the pipe and it broke open at the first attempt. The noise seemed to agitate
the Lord Chancellor on the other side of the door, and he spoke with a
little more edge to his voice.
    “If you come out now I promise you’ll come to no immediate harm.
I’ve heard a lot about you Master Quick, and I have a feeling we could be
of great use to each other. Don’t worry about Montrose - just open the
door and we can have a little chat in the garden.”
    “I’ll come. Give me a minute. I don’t want trouble.”
    The copper pipe was in Benjamin’s hands and he didn’t hesitate. The
bucket was tar-lined but the wood half rotten, and it only took a moment
to push a hole in its bottom using the copper. The tar formed a natural seal
around the pipe and with a little effort he was able to wedge the bucket
back into the chamber pot.        The urine was bubbling furiously on its
makeshift stove and for a moment he was sure it would work. Some water
was lost, but it soon found a level, the seal of the wedged bucket held.




                                                                        365
                                                                      366




And gradually, as the urine vapour began to bubble through the copper
pipe, the vapour formed small, waxy beads.
    Heating urine through water to make phosphorus is an old trick. The
Athenians used it to make Greek Fire and dominate the East
Mediterranean seaboard. The Byzantines used the same recipe to repel the
barbarians from the walls of Constantinople. Benjamin’s small supply of
evaporated piss would barely make enough to fill a pickle-spoon – but with
any luck it would be enough. Get it hot, up to blood temperature and it
would continue to burn even in water. Benjamin thought about what it
would do to Montrose’s face – and it gave him courage. Even Montrose
wouldn’t be able to fight with phosphor burning into his skull.
    “Your time is out, Master Quick.” The voice still remained calm, but
something about its tone had changed.        There was something about
Blackburne’s voice that told him time was indeed up.
    “I’m coming out. Stand back.”
    Benjamin scooped the yellow wax with the corner of his sleeve, taking
care not to let it warm. And then with even greater care he emptied them
into the oil lamp. The oil was warm and the phosphor sparked instantly.
Its thick smoke threatened to overwhelm him and he reached for the bolt
instantly. Seconds confined with the smoke and he’d be dead from the
inhalation.
    The door opened onto the bright daylight of the hall. Sir Lancelot
Blackburne sat at a comfortable distance, he registered a look of amused
anticipation at the sight of smoke billowing from Benjamin’s lamp.
Montrose immediately registered that something up, he was close and
Benjamin instinctively threw the lamp in his face. He didn’t see what it




                                                                      366
                                                                          367




did, he heard the Scotsman cry but he was already turning. There were
shields on the wall next to him and he He grabbed at the lowest shield. I,
it resisted, but with the strength of his desperation came free[, and s. , and
sShield held rigid, JerichoBenjamin Quick ran full speed pelt at the leaded
window.


                                       ~




    Eliza sat patiently in the prow of the boat. . It was warmer now that
the sun was shining directly onto her, but the sunshine had done little to
alleviate ease her sense of foreboding. . TJericho had been gone thirty
minutes, and she had no way of telling when the Lord Chancellor’s coach
had been returned almost a quarter of an hour. There was every chance
that Benjamin Quick, even if he hadn’t been caught, was well and truly
trapped.would come clattering over Westminster Bridge.           .   She took
picked at her hand a deep breath and smiled politely, first at the waterman
then at the Sergeant. . He looked uncomfortable, and then down at his
feet.
    The sight and sound of JerichoBenjamin Quick crashing through the
Palace window should have been terrifying. . He’d obviously run into the
window at speed, and the lead and glass had done little to slow him. . His
legs cycled as he flew through yards of empty space and with a whoosh,
smacked into the river. . He must have gone down deep because he was
under for a count of twentyteneight. . The waterman grunted and took up
his oar as if this sort of thing happened every day. .




                                                                          367
                                                                         368




    [new paragraph] Only one musket shot came from the palace, it fizzed
harmlessly into the water yards away, but it made certain the waterman
didn’t tarry.   .   With Quick JerichoBenjamin dragged on board, the
waterman rowed the boat to the middle of the watercourse and let the
current sweep them downstream. .
    Eliza let him gather his senses. . He coughed up what seemed like a
pint quart of water, all the time groaning and holding the side of his
chestclutching his ribs. . His hands were shaking when finally he looked
up at her. .
    “Jesus Christ wept.”” [does he need to blaspheme?!]He was clutching
in his ribs as though they were about to collapse.
    “What happened?” She asked.
    In response, all he could do was widen his eyes and vomit over the
side of the boat. . He managed to turn just in time to get most of it into
the river.
    “Ah bloody hell,” said the waterman [dis]wasn’t pleased[or
‘unimpressed][. .    , iI]n the last few weeks he‘d had enough [comet-
fearing?]drunks in his boat to last a lifetime. .
    “Shut up and row,” said Eliza without much sympathy. .
    Only after they had turned the bend in the river at the Lambeth
marshes, did JerichoBenjamin gather himself.
    “There was a man.” .” He JerichoBenjamin was still holding his chest,
and needed to pause stop for breath. . “He almost tried to killed me.”
    “Who was he?” Eliza noticed for the first time that JerichoBenjamin’s
cheek was swelling a black purple.
    “He’s Aa bloody lunatic. . If I hadn’t jumped out the window he’d a




                                                                         368
                                                                         369




have bloody killed me with his bare hands. .
    “So what happened?”
    JerichoBenjamin looked momentarily confused. . “I jumped out the
window ... . -you saw me.?”
    “No, I mean, what else happenedbefore that. .            Did you find
anythingfind it?”
    “Without answeringI got everything.” .”         HurriedlyCarefully,, he
pulled out the leather folder out of his coat. She snatched it to lay a sheet
from inside his shirt and offered it to Eliza. . She laid it flat on the mid-
plank. to dry, the leather was waxy and that seemed to have protected the
ink markings from the river water. . Eliza could see the designs clearly
enough, the single sheet seemed to contain almost every conceivable
architectural projection of the cathedral.
    Eliza held the sheet down against the breeze while Jericho reached
into his coat pocket and pulled out a leather folder. .
    “That’s what we really want.” .” said Eliza taking the folder. .     The
ink on the pink ribbon had bled from the river water, but she Eliza could
still read the script clearly: . .                                              Formatted: Font: Italic

                                                                                Formatted: Justified

    The TheHE HellFyre Clubbe,
    2 EarlHam Street.                                                           Formatted: Font: Italic

                                                                                Formatted: Indent: First line: 0"


    Eliza She grabbed the folder and untied the ribbon, careful [ delete
‘when’] to open the water-sodden leather delicatelycarefully. .
    With a downturned smile she looked at Jericho Quickthe Sergeant. .
    []“It seems you’ve we had a wasted trip,” she said, withsounding
almost pleased. some sympathy. . The paper inside was a blue-black



                                                                         369
                                                                         370




mush. . She tried to peel apart a few of the sheets, but it was useless. . E.
And eventually, and with some ill-temper, she tossed it into the river.over
to the Sergeant.
    “You can tell the Prime Minister, we did our best. If he still wants an
execution then so be it.”
    The Sergeant scratched vaguely at the back of his head. “You can tell
him yourself,” he said.
    The waterman didn’t strain himself and they made their way gently
down the short stretch of river, but it wasn’t long before the Blackfriars
jetty St Paul’s came into view and with it, another score of Walpole’s
guardsmen. Tand he Sergeant Eliza called the waterman to pull over and
they steadily made for land.
    at the back of Paternoster Row. . JerichoBenjamin was virtually silent
in the boat. Eliza had thought of using the comparative freedom of the
river to make an escape, but he looked a mess. It was hard to tell because
he wouldn’t leave it alone, but his jaw seemed to be dislocated and his
mouth wouldn’t stop bleeding.
    “Try not to swallow it,” she said helpfully, “it will make you sick
again.”
    They climbed up onto the quayside with difficulty. He was forced to
lean heavily on her and she felt a strong twinge of gratitude as they
clambered up to street level.     But any emotions she had were soon
displaced by the sight of her father – he had made the trip to meet them in
his coach.
    “It’s useless, sire,” was all the Sergeant had to say as he handed the
sodden leather file to the Prime Minister.




                                                                         370
                                                                        371




    The black lacquered carriage was rigged for a long journey, and there
was a large trunk strapped to the back.
    “I see you didn’t have much hope in our success, father. Seems you’ve
packed for a long trip.”
    The familiar, stout face looked down at them out of the carriage
window. With this latest setback, the fight and the energy seemed to have
gone out of him. The shaded eyes she was used to seeing in political
cartoons looked careworn and defeated.
    “Always have a Plan B, Eliza. Your mother should have taught you
that. I’ve tried everything, and you were my last throw. But the game is
gone, the end is up.” He turned to Benjamin Quick as the boy continued
to clutch his ribs. “Looks like you lucked out on your lottery. A pardon is
out of the question, but get yourself a doctor - if we survive the cataclysm
you might be useful – we can discuss some options then.”
    “Just give him the pardon, father. He got you the papers.”
    Sir Robert Walpole looked down at the mush of paper on his lap and
then at Eliza; his eyes were old with fatigue. “My dear, I’m letting you
both go – isn’t that enough?”
    Her mouth opened angrily.
    “I’m leaving for Oxford,” he said before she could reply. “If you take
my advice you’ll get out of this place. God has forsaken this city, the
winds of Hell are blowing through these streets.” He looked up at the
bright blue sky as if great black clouds were forming. “Get out while you
can, Elizabeth. Nothing can stop them now.”
    He ordered the coachman to make haste, and with a clatter of hooves
Sir Robert Walpole and his dragoons were gone.




                                                                        371
                                                                           372




    for the rest of the trip, moving his jaw about to see if it still worked. .   Formatted: Font: Italic


He seemed less unsettled once they’d disembarked, and Eliza was grateful
for it. . She found him disconcerting when he was agitated, the long
silences weren’t normal.


    When he designed his cathedral, Sir Christopher Wren took great care
over the riverside aspect. . Eliza had the benefit of that view now, and she
looked up Peter’s Hill in appreciation. . Jericho didn’t even seem to notice
and it annoyed her into saying, “T]they call it one of the seven modern
wonders of the world, you know.”
    “Yeah, but what a waste o[f?]’ money.”
    Eliza still had the vellum plans and she held them out, part-unfolded,
to compare her view with the architect’[‘?]s drawings. .
    “The plans match the drawings exactly. . It’s phenomenal.” .” She
said it more to herself and looked up to find Jericho looking at her, not at
the cathedral.
    “I had a look at myself in a mirror,” he said. . “You were right; our
eyes do look a bit similar.”
    Eliza was lost for [an?] answer to that, and so she just nodded and
[returned her attention back?] looked up [atto] the cathedral. . “Shall we
take a look? We may as well ... . we’re here ... . and it might not be for
very much longer...”
    They entered the cathedral by the large double doors at the front. .
The church was always open to the public, day and night, and Eliza half
expected to see it filled with repentant sinners. . But the Sunday mass had
run its course and save for a few old widows sitting in prayer at the front,




                                                                           372
                                                                            373




the church was empty. . They walked up the central aisle, coming to a
stop in the great circle beneath the dome itself. . Eliza looked up into the
great, fan-vaulted dome and wondered at the genius of Wren. . “To build
a dome block by block out of these huge slabs of stone seems impossible,”
she began to lecture. . “Only after every block is in place do they actually
support each other.[ , uU]ntil then Wren must have used engineering
tricks the pharaohs would have been proud of.”
    Jericho shrugged. . “It’s easy enough if you have enough scaffolding.”
    “Over three thousand men died making this cathedral, Jericho.”
    “Then why admire it?”
    Eliza looked at him, bemused, and decided to change the subject. .
“Did you know this is the fifth cathedral they’ve built here? The first was
built on the site of an old stone circle, it was a temple dedicated to the
goddess Diana. .    People have been worshipping here for thousands of
years.”
    Jericho didn’t look particularly impressed. . Eliza’s neck was getting stiff
from looking up, and she let it rest, seeing the flagstone beneath them for
the first time. . She took a step back, the better to see the large symbol
that had been engraved on there. . Two large, crescent moons, one
waxing, one waning. . Between the two crescents, written in a heavy serif
text, was just one word, it was Latin,[. . iI]t said simply, [‘]Resurgam[,‘]. .
She felt a flush of recognition and looked at Jericho with a triumphant
smile.
    [“What?” He said.

    “Do you know, the stone you’re standing on, it’s the centre-stone for the
whole cathedral.”




                                                                            373
                                                                          374




    Jericho looked down.

    “Jericho, do you know what Resurgam means? It means I— ”[is this
scene a repeat of this conversation earlier?]

    “―shall Rise Again” finished Jericho. . The bored look on his face
was [suddenly gone with a sudden realistaion]. . “[Of course…]This is
where WhistoneWhiston thinks they buried it.”
    “Buried what?”
    “Whatever it is everyone is looking for?”
    “Wait a moment, what are you talking about? How do you know Sir
William WhistoneWhiston thinks―”
    “Oh, I forgot to say, I just saw him at the Palace, he’s gone mad.”
    “WhistoneWhiston? WhistoneWhiston’s there?”
    “Yeah mad. . He kept saying that word ... . Resurgam.”
    Eliza looked around, suddenly aware that they were talking loudly. .
The church was still near-empty but her next sentence was practically a
whisper. . “Tell me what he said, exactly what he said.”
    “I don’t know, he was just mumbling. . He’s gone mad.” .” Jericho
looked into Eliza’s face for the first time since they had entered the
church. . “He was tied to a chair,” he said vaguely.
    “So they [caught] [or another word? ‘have captured’ ‘have
apprehended ’?] him.” .” Eliza flicked some hair away from her face. .
“Ben had a plan to discredit WhistoneWhiston by sending him crazy with
mercury.”
    “Mercury? That kills your brains. . I guess Captain Ben had a bit
more backbone than I realised.”
    “Actually the mercury was my idea.” .” Eliza felt uncomfortable
admitting it, but for some reason she felt it was important to Captain



                                                                          374
                                                                            375




Avery’s memory. . “Ben was too much of a gentleman to come up with
anything like that.” .”
    Eliza had a sudden vision of Ben’s elderly parents, sitting at the
breakfast table in their home in Gosport, happily discussing their perfect
son, waiting for his next letter to arrive, waiting to hear his news, blissfully
unaware that he was dead. . Tears spiked her eyes, but the nervous look
on Jericho’s face was enough to convince her to hold her tongue.. [perhaps
she needs to think for a momengt about letting them know, or wondering
whether the Dept would let them know that he is missing in action?]
Jericho Quick didn’t do well with emotion.              .   [He couldn’t really
understand it – the facial expression – part of his autism?] She looked
down at the floor. . The inscription looked old; the chisel marks were
long smoothed by time and feet. . But it was clear enough. . “Resurgam,”
she said to herself, enjoying the sound of the Latin.
    “Well that all seems clear,” said Jericho.
    Eliza looked at him and laughed. . “For once be honest. . Nothing’s
clear. . Do you see the two crescent moons. . Step back and you’ll see
them.”
    Jericho did as he was told and Eliza explained. . “Before he died Jacob
Olger was convinced that the symbol of the twin moons represented
eternal life – the waxing moon reborn after the death of the waning
moon.” .” Eliza looked around the empty cathedral, suddenly aware that
they might be overheard. . She lowered her voice to a whisper. “Jacob
was convinced that this is the [secret] symbol of the HellFyre Clubbe.”
     [“Then“When then it’ is] all pretty clear ... . There’s only one thing
left to do.” .” The pain in his cheek, and in his ribs, seemed to have




                                                                            375
                                                                             376




lessened. . Either that or he’d decided to stop feeling sorry for himself.
    “And what’s that exactly?”
    “I’ll break into the Hell-Fyre Clubbe.”
    “You can’t.”
    “Why not.”
    “You don’t know where it is.”
    “Yes I do. . Princes Circus, on the corner of EndeEarlHam Streetll
Street.” .” He gave her a half-smile. . “I read the first page of the dossier
before I put it in my coat pocket.”
    “You still can’t break in.” .” It was Eliza’s turn to give a half-smile. .
“You’ve got a set of broken ribs remember. . You couldn’t even climb out
of the boat.”
    “Give me a couple of days and I’ll be fine.”
    “With a couple of days I could get invited in,” said Eliza.
    Don’t be stupid, it’s men only. . The only women invited into the
HellFyre Clubbe are harlots.
    Eliza made her voice an half an octave deeper. . “Don’t worry little
boy – I can play Jezebel.” .”
    She laughed to see Jericho looking round nervously. . “Keep your
voice down,” he said.
    “Don’t worry,” she whispered, “it’s the perfect plan. . I can cake on
the powder, change my hair, a few beauty spots and even my own father
won’t recognise me, not that that’s saying much.” .” She smiled at the look
of horror on Jericho’s face. . “And if I show enough cleavage nobody will
be looking at my face.”
    “No, yYou can’t” said Jericho baldly. . He looked lost. .




                                                                             376
                                                                       377




    “Why the Hell not? The world’s going to endeend on Wednesday, so
what’s the worst thing that can happen ... . besides, I can take care of
myself. And you can’t go in there, look at the state of you, you can barely
stand up.”
    Jericho Quick seemed to shrink. . Eventually he managed a sentence.
    “You can’t.”
    Eliza was amused at this new side to Jericho Quick. . “Why can’t I?”
    “What would Avery say[?],” he said, and the smile fell away from
Eliza’s face.
    “Avery’s dead,.” Sshe said, suddenly cold. . She turned and walked
out the cathedral.


                                       ~




                                                                       377
                                                                          378




                                  LONDON


    As the last days that followed progressed, what sense of normalcy that
still remained in the capital, rapidly began to unravel. . There were even
rumours circulating that the Devil’s Dyke Morris Men were on the march.
. Though who they were, and where they were marching,, was only
vaguely understood.
    The French Embassy left promptly. . There was none of the Sstate
pomp with which they had been greeted all those weeks before.                .
Madame de Pompadour and her stony-faced aides just upped and left on
the next available transport. . King George was much vexed when he
heard of Lady Salisbury’s failure in appeasing the French. .              He
immediately dispatched her with a small delegation to follow Pompadour
to Paris, there to appeal to ‘her good graces and merciful disposition and
make plea for lasting peace’. . The Duchess of Salisbury didn’t exactly
relish the prospect, but when the King gave order, her Ladyship must
oblige. .
    Of course there was much talk in the newspapers of war, essayists like
nothing better than piling misery on misery, but it said a lot about the state   Comment [L106]: improve? natate confusion...


of the nation’s [state of][state and state? – doesn’t read so well] mind
psyche that nobody seemed overly concerned by the prospect of an
invasion. . People were too busy [watching][gawpizing , staring?] at the
Comet. . It had changed noticeably over the last week. . The orange-
yellow tail was darker, redder. . And the Comet itself was brighter, and
bigger.
    On the Saturday, the King excused himself from matters of state in




                                                                          378
                                                                         379




order to retire to Sandringham for some hunting. . His Court was not far
behind in escaping the capital. . . Robert Walpole, the Prime Minister,
finding ound himself with a depleted cabinet, and decided to relocate the
government to Oxford – just as King Charles had done a hundred years
before. . Sir Lancelot Blackburne, The Lord Chancellor,, was the only           Comment [LH107]: Check the history


minister to remain in the city. . He refused to leave his palace at Lambeth,
and insisted that every agent under his command be recalled there, ready
for the conflagration.
    The army moved in, but morale was low and discipline worse. . Soon
the commanders did what every officer had done in the history of warfare
– and gave their orders their men orders that wouldn’t be refused. . They
made a partial withdrawal to the fringes of the city, ready to march in at
the first sign of difficulty. . In reality, they were ready to run.
    By the TuesMonday, London felt like a plague town. . The churches
were doing business, but just about nobody else was. . Half the buildings
were boarded up, the other half filled with terrified families, armed with
whatever make-shift weaponry they could lay their hands upon. . The
people had braced themselves, had made their peace pact with God, or
Satan, or whoever they happened to worship. . All that was left was to
wait.
    And yet despite the fear, near the EndeEnd a curious mood seemed to
settle on the City. . Deserted by the King, and his government, left to die
by their wealthier neighbours, in the last days those who remained in the
city seemed to be overtaken by a strange euphoria. . It was as if the weeks
of waiting for doomsday had been so bleak that the actual Armageddon,
when it did finally come, wouldn’t be so bad after all. . lLike a trip to the




                                                                         379
                                                                        380




butcher after a long toothache.
    There was something else as well. . People looked about at their
miserable grime-laden lives and realised that all the toil, the and struggle
they faced every day, each day was all about to end. . No matter how bad
things would be at the EndeEnd, at least they wouldn’t have to clean out
the privy, or settle their debts. . Even Eliza was looking forward to a new
set of problems.
    She’d brought Benjamin back to her Mayfair house. He hadn’t been           Formatted: Font: Not Italic
                                                                               Formatted: Font: Not Italic
up to the walk, but a passing wagon had been heading in the right              Formatted: Font: Not Italic

direction and she’d managed to sling him on the back. Despite her earlier      Formatted: Font: Not Italic
                                                                               Formatted: Font: Not Italic
declaration, she put him to bed in her bedchamber and he seemed                Formatted: Font: Not Italic

comfortable enough there. There was some vinegar for his breaks and
bruises but that was about it, Eliza had never possessed much talent for
nursing and besides, he seemed to sleep for most of the next day and half.
    had expected Jericho to follow her when she left the Cathedral, but he     Formatted: Font: Italic


hadn’t. . It was typical of him. She had made her way back to Mayfair
alone, grateful for the chance to think. . Despite her apparent confidence,
she didn’t really have any idea how to get herself invited into the Clubbe.
. It wasn’t as though she could hang around on a street corner and wait to
be picked up. . She thought briefly about visiting one of the theatres in
Shaftesbury, but a visit the next morning confirmed that they’d all been
boarded up.
    She spent much of thosee last two days trying to find food. . At times
of crisis people tend to hoard, and even though everyone thought they
wouldn’t need to eat beyond TueWednesday, that didn’t stop the panic-
buying. . Coupled to that, most of the local merchants had upped and




                                                                        380
                                                                           381




left. . A few were braving the ApocalypseApocalypse, though, in search of
a bit of profit, and fortunately for Eliza, she had something they valued. .
    Her mother had always insisted on being well-stocked with
armaments; something to do with her Cossack upbringing. . She even had
a cannon somewhere, down in the basement. . And tThose merchants
who did remain in the city, fell over themselves to trade flour, oats and
other foodstuffs for an old musket, or an harquebus.
    Eliza had been forced to make the preparations on her own. . Jericho
didn’t reappear in those few days. . The mysterious Jericho Quick had just
vanished. . It annoyed her for some reason. . He could easily have moved
in, it was n’ot as though she was short of room. . In normal circumstances
it would have caused a scandal, but these weren’t normal circumstances.
    By the TuesMonday night evening she’d had enough was all set. She
had food for a month, and seed for beyond that. As long as it rained the
roof would collect enough water for drinking and cooking, and if it didn’t
she’d always be able to risk a trip to the river – assuming it was still there,
of course. .
    It was the night before midsummer, it was hot and she was angry. .
The Worlde was about to endeend and she didn’t have the first faintest
idea why. . The HellFyre Clubbe, if it was them, seemed to be pulling
strings so effectively that the entire country was dancing – and yet she
didn’t have the first understanding why. Not truly. They were sitting
there, a mile down the road at Seven Dials, probably having another party
- drinking the last of their champagne, celebrating the imminent arrival of
their big day. It was that thought that stung her anger – the thought that
as everyone else was engulfed in misery, they were celebrating.




                                                                           381
                                                                         382




    At nine o’clock, the sun was only just beginning to set, and the sight of
it turning orange it stung set her into action - it might be the last sunset
she’d ever see, and Eliza couldn’t just sit .there and watch it go down. Not
without a fight. She went to her bedchamber and found Benjamin trying
to prop himself up on the bolster.
    “Save your strength, boy. You’ll need it come tomorrow.”
    “What time is it?”
    “Nine o’clock. Monday, evening, you’ve been asleep for over a day.”
    He nodded at that, but seemed more interested in what Eliza was up to
in her closet. She had pulled out one of her gaudiest robes à l’anglaise, and
without much grace was ripping the lace fichu from the front of the
bodice.
    “What are you doing?” He asked eventually.
    “Turn away, I need to put this on.”
    Perhaps he didn’t trust himself, but he ducked his head under the
blanket.
    “I’m going to find out what’s going on. I’m breaking into the HellFyre      Formatted: Font: Not Italic


Clubbe.”                                                                        Formatted: Font: Not Italic


    Benjamin’s head almost popped up from the beneath the blanket, but
he managed to check himself. “You can’t. We don’t know where it is.”
    “Yes we do. EarlHam Street.” She had thrown on the dress and was            Formatted: Font: Not Italic


tightening the laces at the back. Over the years she’d had to develop a
system for doing this without a Lady’s maid. Finished with her dress, she       Formatted: Font: Not Italic


said, “you can look again,” and his head immediately came out. The pain         Formatted: Font: Not Italic


in his cheek, and in his ribs, seemed to have lessened. Either that or he’d
decided to stop feeling sorry for himself.




                                                                         382
                                                                         383




    “But where on Earlham Street?”
    “It has to be at the Seven Dials end, near Princes Circus.”                 Formatted: Font: Not Italic
                                                                                Formatted: Font: Not Italic
    “You can’t just break in. I’ll do it.” He watched as Eliza applied          Formatted: Font: Not Italic

powder and rouge, the speed of the transformation was astonishing.
    “You’ve got a set of broken ribs remember. You can’t even get down          Formatted: Font: Not Italic


the stairs. Besides, I’m not going to break in – they’re going invite me in.”
The powder and rouge took no time at all, she even added some kohl to
change the shape of her eyes. . She put her hair up à la Pompadour, and
caked it with more powder. . The dress was easy. . She ripped the lace
fichu out the front of a bodice and put on her gaudiest robe à l’anglaiseAll    Formatted: Font: Not Italic
                                                                                Formatted: Font: Not Italic
the while Benjamin looked on, mesmerized – as if he’d never seen a lady
dressing.
    “Don’t be stupid – it’s men only. The only women invited into the           Formatted: Font: Not Italic
                                                                                Formatted: Font: Not Italic
HellFyre Clubbe are harlots.”                                                   Formatted: Font: Not Italic

    Still working on her hair, Eliza made her voice half an octave deeper.      Formatted: Font: Not Italic


“Don’t worry little boy – I can play Jezebel.”
                                                                                Formatted: Font: Not Italic
    “Just wait, Eliza. Give me a couple of hours and I’ll be back on my feet    Formatted: Font: Not Italic

– I can do it easily.”                                                          Formatted: Font: Not Italic
                                                                                Formatted: Font: Not Italic
    “Don’t be stupid.”                                                          Formatted: Font: Not Italic
                                                                                Formatted: Font: Not Italic
    She laughed to see Benjamin’s worried face.
                                                                                Formatted: Font: Not Italic
    “Stop worrying, the plan’s perfect. Look, with this much powder even        Formatted: Font: Not Italic
                                                                                Formatted: Font: Not Italic
my own father wouldn’t recognise me. Not that that’s saying much.”
                                                                                Formatted: Font: Not Italic
    She smiled at the look of horror on Benjamin’s face as he watched her       Formatted: Font: Not Italic
                                                                                Formatted: Font: Not Italic
dust her cleavage with the remaining carmine. “And if I show enough of
                                                                                Formatted: Font: Not Italic

this nobody will even look at my face.”                                         Formatted: Font: Not Italic
                                                                                Formatted: Font: Not Italic
    Benjamin practically turned his head. “You can’t.”                          Formatted: Font: Not Italic
                                                                                Formatted: Font: Not Italic




                                                                         383
                                                                       384




    “Why not? The world’s going to end tomorrow, what’s the worst that        Formatted: Font: Not Italic


can happen?”                                                                  Formatted: Font: Not Italic


    Benjamin Quick seemed to shrink into the bedclothes.                      Formatted: Font: Not Italic
                                                                              Formatted: Font: Not Italic
    “But.”                                                                    Formatted: Font: Not Italic

    “What’s wrong, Benjamin, doesn’t The Adventures of Captain T. Blood
have any lines for a situation like this.” Eliza was vaguely amused by this   Formatted: Font: Not Italic
                                                                              Formatted: Font: Not Italic
new side to Benjamin Quick, and she couldn’t resist taunting him.             Formatted: Font: Not Italic

    “What would Avery say?” he said abruptly, and the smile fell away         Formatted: Font: Not Italic
                                                                              Formatted: Font: Not Italic
from Eliza’s face.                                                            Formatted: Font: Not Italic
                                                                              Formatted: Font: Not Italic
    “Avery’s dead,” she said, suddenly cold, and stopping only to retrieve
                                                                              Formatted: Font: Not Italic
her pocket Beretta, left the room.                                            Formatted: Font: Not Italic
                                                                              Formatted: Font: Not Italic
    W, making sure to dust her cleavage with the remaining carmine. .
                                                                              Formatted: Font: Not Italic
That was it. . She was ready, and without risking another moment time to
think, she Eliza made her way down the stairs and out onon to the Street.
Night was coming on fast, and she headed for Seven Dials on foot.


                                     ~




                                                                       384
                                                                       385




    Benjamin Quick sat on the edge of the mattress feeling his ribs. The
pain was an agony if he moved as much as an inch, and it kept him rooted
to the bed.   The thought of Eliza tangled up in the vices of the HellFyre
Clubbe made him feel sick, and taking a breath against the pain he reached
down for his shirt where it had been thrown on the floor.
    With a whimper that Captain Blood would have been ashamed of,
Quick pulled the shirt over his head and heard a thick fold of vellum hit
the floor. With a rush he remembered the cathedral plans stolen from the
palace, and the pain in his side was momentarily ignored as he retrieved
them.
    The calfskin parchment seemed to have been largely unharmed by its
dunking in the Thames. It unfolded to reveal the fine, blue-black penwork
of Sir Christopher Wren, striking in its precision. Even from just the
drawings, he could tell the building was a modern wonder.
    Then he saw it, right in the centre of the ground floor plan, a single
word, written in Wren’s elegant lettering.
    RESURGAM                                                                  Formatted: Small caps, Kern at 12 pt


    He took a breath. This changed everything.
    There was nothing for it, he had to find Eliza before she did something
stupid.
                                                                              Formatted: Kern at 12 pt
                                                                              Formatted: Indent: First line: 0"



                                     ~




                                                                       385
                386




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The Night
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        afore
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  The   ENDE          Bold
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WorldeO
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                386
   387




RLDE




   387
388




388
                                                                            389




                                 SEVEN DIALS


    By the time Eliza reached Seven Dials, it was dark. . For once she
ignored the Comet, and instead looked to the moon. . It had almost
reached its endeend, and on thise final night was just a thin slash across
the sky. . Jacob Olger had called the dying moon an old crone, but that
image didn’t seem to fit with the pearlescent beauty that Eliza could see
looked at now.
    She reached Prince’s circus in the heart of Seven Dials and found
[EndeEarlHamll] Street easily. . Despite the oncoming night, the street,
and the open square that she stood in, were still busy. . There were two
buildings on the corner [of] EndeEarlHamll as it fed into Prince’s circus,
one was the end of a long terrace, but the other stood alone[., aA]s soon as
she saw it, she knew it had to be the one. . The thin frontage was
deceiving because its [length? Width? Confused]depth was double that of
the neighbouring buildings; and it seemed to flare out at the back to form a
thick wedge. . Similar in age to the terrace next to it, and built with the
same yellow, London brick, there was nothing ostentatious about the                Comment [LH 27Jan108]: check London
                                                                                   Brick

place. . The roof was even lower than those that surrounded it, as though
the building was ducked down and hiding. . What gave Eliza her certainty
was the lack of a door. . Her carriage had probably driven past it a
hundred times, but only now that she studied it did the lack of a front door
bec[o]ame apparent. . No matter which way you looked there was no way
in, and no way out. . [shouldwe mention some drunks giving her the wolf-
whistle / proposition as she is in her hussy garb?]
    It was only then that Eliza realized the futility of trying to get inside. .




                                                                            389
                                                                         390




She couldn’t exactly go up and knock on the brick wall, and on the ground
floor there weren’t even any windows. . She shwould have been slightly
relieved at the excuse to give up, to scurry back home, but she was
determined[and overcomewhelmed by with curiosity]. .            There was a
tavern in the building adjacent. . The freshly painted sign declared it to be
The Cradle and Coffin and she briefly considered going in, but the sound        Formatted: Font: Italic
                                                                                Formatted: Font: Italic
of angry shouting was enough to persuade her that probably wasn’t a good        Formatted: Font: Italic

idea. - n. ot dressed as a coquette.
    A mule-cart clattered into the small square, heaving under the weight
of eight young lads. . They were drunk and she ignored the inevitable
shouts and whistles. . For a moment she thought it might stop, but the
driver was obviously more sober than the rest and he whipped the mule
across into Monmouth Street. .
    Eliza took , and took a circuit about the small square to give herself
time to think. . That circuit was the first of many, and as the night wore
[on], the throng crowds began to gradually disappear. . For a period she
made herself comfortable on the earth of an alley. . She just bunched up
her thick skirts, sat on the ground, and pretended to be drunk and asleep –
all the while keeping her reflexes ready and her eyes fixed on the squat, p.
wedge-shaped building on the corner. . [whilst keeping one eye open for
some clue / some member of the HFC to appear – part of her Dept training]
But eEventually, even that sitting grew uncomfortable; even in despite the
warmth of summer, the night chill started seepinged into her bones. .
    It was about midnight, and Eliza was walking some warmth back into
her legs, when a heavy carriage rattled down Monmouth sStreet, crossed
the circus and came to a stop outside the tavern next door. .




                                                                         390
                                                                        391




    Eliza instinctively shrank back into the shadows and watched as the
coach coughed up its passengers, eight women, all heavily rouged on lead-
white faces, all wearing full-skirted robes à la ffrancaise. . On the street   Formatted: Font: Not Italic
                                                                               Formatted: Font: Not Italic
they paused stopped to preen and plump, and then laughed like little girls
as they made their way into the smoke-filled stench of the Cradle and
Coffin.
    Eliza didn’t have much time to think, she plumped her cleavage, took
a breath, and followed them inside.
                                                                               Formatted: Centered




    The girls didn’t stay long inside the tap-room. . As soon as he saw
them, the barman was out from behind his beer taps and ushering them
through into a back room. . It was obvious to Eliza that everyone had
been through the routine before. . The girls made their way up a narrow
set of wooden stairs and after several flights, Eliza found herself stopped
[short?], looking at the fulsome bodice of the girl in front of her. . The
silk was cheap and the perfume nauseating, but Eliza was glad to be
queuing in the anonymous darkness of the stair well. . They inched their
way up the stairs and when she arrived in the attic room the reason
became obvious. . A sash window was propped’t open, and one of the
girls was awkwardly twisting herself out onto the roof. . When it came to
Eliza’s turn she got through the window easily and had no problem
working her way across a wooden plank that had been set up to span the
gap to the neighbouring roof. . The view was spectacular impressive but
she didn’t waste time on it, the other girls were already descending into
the building next door. . They queued again, this time on a downward set




                                                                        391
                                                                           392




of stairs, and Eliza had the chance to look down onto the [violentdirty-red
blonde hair ][do we need to change this now that they are red heads?] of
the girl in front of her. . One by one they disappeared through a set of
doubles doors into a noisy, well-lit room, and when it came to Eliza’s turn
she was surprised to hear a male voice directly ahead of her.
    “Name?” said the voice with a claret-rich vowel.
    Eliza thought for a second before answering., “Emmanuel” she said,
liking the sound of it, and the man announced her as she was ushered out
of the dark and into the brilliant candlelight of a ballroom. .


    It was packed with people, two hundredfifty at least, gentlemen
mainly, but no-one seemed to pay the slightest attention as her name was
called and she squeezed her way into the assembly. . The ballroom was
the equal of anything in London, and possibly anywhere.            .      Rich,
polished- oak parquet, delicate pastel plasterwork between enormous silk-
curtained windows, the artwork on the ceiling was extravagant rather than
quality, but the effect of the whole was one of unexpected opulence. . For
Seven Dials it was nothing less than astonishing. . Eliza had the chance to
admire it, because all other eyes were fixed on the centre of the room.
    Sir Francis Dashwood was balancing his stout frame on a small chair. .
He waved a fat cigar, as he struggled to get some sense of order. . After
much shouting, the mass began to quieten, and Eliza heard his indolent
drawl over the mumbling of the crowd.
    “Gentl’men, time is short and we have to get on with the race. .
There’ll be time for tuppin’ the ladies later.”
    At this, the [flame-haired?]bleach-blonde Irish girl who Eliza had




                                                                           392
                                                                             393




immediately followed into the ballroom gave out a great howl of
disappointment. . Relishing some attention, she stood up on a chair of her
own and shouted, “awwh but what about these? They’ll get a chill,” and
with perfect timing tipped shook two her heavy creamy-white bubbies
cleavage, threatening to tip out the front of her dress completely. out the
front of her dress.{may need to re-write this slightly!]
    The men went wild, several of the other girls did the same and Eliza
was glad for the anonymity of being in a squash of people at the back. . It
took Dashwood another five minutes to regain any sense of order. . When
he finally did, he didn’t waste time. .
    “Gentl’men ..., everyone ..., take five steps back and give us some
room. . Five steps. . I need to introduce you to the runners and riders.”
    The crowd responded and Eliza shuffled backwards until pressed tight
against the double doors. . It took many minutes more shouting before a
space was cleared in the centre of the ballroom, but eventually Sir Francis
was able to ask for volunteers. . “First up, Jacqueline. .      . Who wi‘ll
volunteer for the firm hand of the lovely Jacqueline?” There was another
wave of shouting and waving of hands but Dashwood was quick to choose
a young buck from near the front. . Eliza wasn’t short, and she wore
thick-heeled boots, but it was a struggle to see over the mass of heads. .
    “And who wants to be ridden by the exquisite Chantilly?” The Irish
[red-head?]blonde squealed and jumped down from her chair to another
wave of shouting. .     Dashwood asked for more volunteers, each time
calling forward another female, and Eliza realised that her heart was
beating fast at the prospect of “Emmanuelle” being be called on. . Behind
her back she placed her hand on the curved handle of the double doors,




                                                                             393
                                                                          394




ready to run.
    Dashwood called for quiet with an flamboyant “shhh,” and with his
fore-finger still to his lips, he spoke a heavy whisper that rose to a
crescendo, “And who amongst you gentl’men has the courage for my final
filly, who amongst you is brave enough, fierce enough ... . nay, fool
enough to carry the abundant, the bountiful, not to say the back-breaking
... . Francoise-Athenais!”
    To a man they roared they’reir approval. . Dashwood clearly had a
sense of humour; he chose Canon Adlington. .               The spindle-backed
clergyman took off his spectacles and handed the[m]n to another, before
stepping forward, both arms aloft in apparent surrender.
    “Now pick your colours, gentl’man, and make your wagers, you’ve five
minutes to place yer bets. . Five minutes ‘til we race.”
    To a man, their pocketbooks came out. . Eliza’s instincts told her to
get out, cut her losses, but it just wasn’t possible, not without drawing
attention, and suddenly it was all too late.
    “And what will you wager m’lady?” His breath was sickly from
champagne, and he pressed his face close.         .   Eliza arched her head
backwards, but managed a smile. . “I’ve nuffin’ to wager,” she remembered
to giggle and used it as an excuse to put her hand over her face. . The man
was old, fifty at least, and his face was red enough to call athe doctor. . Hs
eyes bulged freakishly as though they were about to burst, and the
capillariesveins in them suggested he’d taken on plenty of drink.
    “Sure ye have. . Tell you what ... . let’s wager my virtue,” at this he
pulled out a fat golden sovereign, “against yours.” .” He looked down at
Eliza’s chest to make his point, and suddenly swayed so much that Eliza




                                                                          394
                                                                              395




was worried he’d land face down in her cleavage.
    She took his fleshy chin in her hand and propped up his head so that
she could look him directly in the eyes. . “Yer on, y’Lordship, i’llI’ll take
Chantilly,” she said, and taking the gold sovereign from his fist she tucked
it neatly down the front of her dress. . “You can collect it if Francoise-
Athenais wins,” she said with a wink. .
    “That’s hardly fair me dear. . she must be three stone heavier than her
mount.”
    “Then I’ll take her ... . but ye’ll need to give me fives ... . at the very
least. . “ Eliza held out her slender hand, right up at the old man’s face.
    He laughed at her bravado, and was sober enough to find four more
gold sovereigns. . They disappeared after the first, and with no sense of
shame, Eliza took pleasure in the profit. . There was no time for further
discussion, Sir Francis was back up on his chair. . This time he spoke with
the a Spanish [cigar[I’m guessing cigars were fairly common at that time?]
clamped between his molars.
    “Ok Very well ladies, mount your chargers. . Three laps of the track. .
If a lady so much as touches the floor she’s disqualified.” .” Eliza couldn’t
see what was happening, but she could guess easily enough. . The men
seemed to have disappeared onto all fours, and the ladies now mounted
them. . She dreaded to imagine of the sight. . Dashwood pulled a long-
barrelled pistol out from his waistband, and held it aloft. .
    “Are you ready ladies?”
    They collectively squealed.
    “Then steady yourselves gentlemen ... . for we’re off!” The pistol fired
into the ceiling and a lump of plaster came crashing to the floor, but the




                                                                              395
                                                                        396




sound of it was muffled by the roar that went up from the spectators.
    Under the cover of the shouting, Eliza whispered into the ear of the
bulging-eyed man to her left. . “Shall we find somewhere quiet, for you to
collect your wager?” she sniggered affectedly and the old letch couldn’t
help but copy. . “Where can we go?” She asked, and turned the handle on
the door behind them. . It gently swung open onto the cool of the corridor
and with his brows furrowed in apparent concentration, the man staggered
into the hall. . Eliza closed the door behind them.


                                          ~
                                                                              Formatted: Font: Not Italic


    [Jericho suddenly being there is a bit of a jolt…][do we need to add      Formatted: Font: Italic


something in at the point where they separate at St Pauls …. . I need to
look back and check…note for Joe][how did JQ get in???]
    JerichoBenjamin Quick stood behind one of the blue silk curtains that
made up almost one entire side of the ballroom. . The silk was thick, and
comfortably reached the floor,, so Quick had no concerns that he would be
discovered. . But he was hot, and he’d had been standing for the best part
of an hour;, and first his ribs and now his feet were killing him. He’d
broken in easily, despite his injuries the climb had been straightforward
and he’d taken it steadily. The greater time had been wasted searching for
Eliza beforehand, but after thirty minutes of wandering about Seven Dials
he’d given up. That was hours ago, he’d entered through a window only to
be stuck behind the curtain ever since.
    He could hear the race on the other side of thate curtain now, and
dreaded to think where Eliza had got to. . There was much laughter and




                                                                        396
                                                                         397




some desperate shouting, and all the while Sir Francis Dashwood’s staccato
commentary gave bursts of nonsensical information.          .   Finally, to a
crescendo of noise, he Dashwood shouted out the name of the winner. .
    “Chantilly! Chantilly! Chantilly has won!”
    There was near hysteria amongst the throng, and JerichoBenjamin
yawned ached at the prospect of another few hours stuck behind the
curtain. . He decided to sit down, and taking care not to make a bulge in
the curtain, he sat cross-legged and to make made himself more
comfortable. .
    The gunshot came as a complete surprise.,         and tThe room was
silenced so instantly that JerichoBenjamin Quick even heard [Sir Francis
Dashwood’s][‘a’ body instead of naming Sir F D) a body hit the ground. .
The tThick flesh made a dull thud as it crashed onto the wood.
    Jericho’s His first instinct was to look, but he managed to hold himself
back, and instead, he found himself listening listened to the a deep voice
on the other side of the curtain. . Jericho didn’t recognise the man’s
identity, but tThe message was clear enough. , t. The voice said simply,
“And any who know it shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, for He          Formatted: Font: Italic


shall rise again and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor
crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for safe in the body of Christ
all such things are passed away”.                                               Formatted: Font: Not Italic


    The room was silent, but JerichoBenjamin could feel the prickling
tension. The same voice came again, with sudden force. “Pray silence,
tThe time for playin’ be over, gentl’men, Sir Francis’ usefulness ‘as come to
an end. . It’s time we attended the true cause of the Clubbe. . Leave the
girls and come through to the library; it’s time all of ye truly




                                                                         397
                                                                          398




understood[understand?] why we [descend upon]go to St Paul’s on t’[the
morrow?]morrow ....”
    The crowd were all silence[d?], but then aA wail went up from one of
the girls. . It was visceral and filled with fear. . JerichoBenjamin heard a
slapping blow, like a heavy slap, hit the woman across the face. . The
wailing increased, punctuated by another pistol shot. . It echoed back
down from the high ceiling, but and when the echo ceased there was
nothing but utter silencequiet. . That dread silence seemed to fill the
room – and After a few moments, Jericho only the scraping of a heard
some doors as it opened, far to his right ended it. He put a hand onto his
sore ribs, tapping his fingers anxiously to soothe the tender bone. Eliza
was in there somewhere and that thought drove him back to his feet, but
as the crowd; Tthe crowd began to murmur, and the tread of feet told him
that the room was emptying. , all he could do was wait.. He put a hand
onto his sore ribs, made himself a little more comfortable, and waited.




                                       ~                                        Formatted: Centered




    Eliza had thought to escape to some little anteroom before dealing
with her would-be suitor, but the boggled-eyed, old man was impatient. .
As soon as he felt the fresh air of the small corridor, his passions were
aroused. .
    Eliza dealt with him efficientlyefficiently; her training had been pretty
thorough. [and according to her trainng?]; tTwo knuckles were driven
into his throat to trigger a wind reflex, and while he was gasping for air,




                                                                          398
                                                                          399




she head-butted him to the floor. .       She paused only to brush some
incriminating white powder away from the bridge of his nose, before
dragging his unconscious body to one side. . A quick search of his purse
produced another dozen coins and she found room for them in her bodice.
. Gold was always useful, especially in days like these.
    In the event, there were no rooms off the corridor anyway. . The only
choice was to either return back up the stairs to the roof and the Cradle
and Coffin, or to return back to the jollity of the ballroom. . She didn’t
fancy the latter but something held her back from complete retreat, and
besides, she was confident the unconscious body wouldn’t stir yet awhile.
. So she stepped back to the double doors and composed herself, ready to
listen.
    The volume of shouting was immense, but even in the corridor she
could just make out Sir Francis Dashwood’s voice ringing out the result
“Chantilly! Chantilly!” Eliza would have looked down in commiseration at
the comatose unconscious old lecher, but a pistol shot rang out over the
noise of the crowd, and Eliza jerked back at the sound of it. . There were
more voices, shouting but she couldn’t understand, [although one voice
familiar…]and another pistol shot. . And then came the unmistakeable
sound of the room emptying.
    Eliza waited a long time. . The ballroom was utterly silent for a full
ten minutes before she was ready to risk action. . The door was well used,
but still gave off a little creak as she turned the handle and pulled the door
backwards.
    The ballroom seemed strangely smaller know that it was empty. . The
candles were still lit and the smell of smoke and liquor and sweat hung in




                                                                          399
                                                                           400




the air. . To Eliza, peering in, it felt as though the assembly had simply
been vaporized in the middle of the carousing. . She was about to step
forward when she saw Sir Francis Dashwood, crashed to the ground in the
middle of the room, part-hidden by his overturned chair. . His great fat
body seemed to be deflating as the blood leached onto the floor.
    A voice came at her from the near corner, and she jumped with a
fright. . It came as a hushed whisper, but was no less venomous for its lack
of volume.


    “You again ... . who the Hell [in the Devil’s name]the feck are you?”
    The [flame-haired] Irishwoman had aged in the minutes since Eliza
had last seen her. . ThHe white powder and rouge had streaked with the
passing of tears and the kohl around her eyes was a smudged with misery.
. Her ivory dress was covered in blood, and Eliza looked over at the other
women. . They were a dishevelled huddle, sitting on the floor in a tight
crush, clutching one of their number in tormented grief. T. . he one they
had called Jacqueline earlier lay amongst them, bleeding onto the polished
wood. One by one they left her, and got rose to their feet.
    “I said, who the [?]feck Hell are you?”
    Eliza didn’t have an answer, and she just stood with her mouth open. .
The woman strode forward, she seemed unhinged. .              “We wan’ some
answers, d’you understand, bitch?” She looked as though she were about
wanted to dig her fingers into Eliza’s eyes, and Eliza took a step back.
    “Don’t worry, she’s with me,” said a new, male voice from the other
end of the room. . Everyone looked over in unison. . One of the long
curtains twitched and then with a flurry was flipped back. .




                                                                           400
                                                                        401




JerichoBenjamin Quick stepped forward with a benign benevolent smile
on his face.
    Eliza could tell his ribs were still troubling him, but despite them, he
walked with a gentle swagger. As he reached her, he gave a curt, military
nod and said, “Good work, agent. Which way did they go?”


    [The red-head ]woman stiffened her back. . “And who the feckin’ hell       Comment [LH 27Jan109]: The other girls
                                                                               didn’t seem to have wasted any time from what Eliza
                                                                               could see. The flame-haired Irish girl she had
are might you beyou?”                                                          followed into the ballroom was up on a chair,
                                                                               already dancing. Everywhere she looked, one of the
    Benjamin inclined his head. “Worry not, street-harlot, I’m here to         harlots was sitting astride a lap or pushing her
                                                                               cleavage under the face of a would be admirer. Eliza
                                                                               spotted the odd face that she recognised, and her
help.” His voice was a half octave lower than Eliza was used to, and he        confidence in the power of her disguise evaporated.
                                                                               Henry de Cheyney, the youngest son of the Earl, was
                                                                               busy arguing with his father, she’d kissed him once
sounded uncannily like Thomas Avery.                                           at a Ball in Buckinghamshire. She steered carefully
                                                                               away from him but suddenly didn’t have to worry.
    “My name is Captain Avery,” he continued, “from the Lord
                                                                               For the most part the men were strangers to her, but
                                                                               with a start she almost walked into the back
Chancellor’s Department. You’ll be safe now.”                                  Dashwood, a stalwart of the Royal Society.
                                                                               Fortunately he was so fat that he barely noticed and
    He waited for their brain processes to catch up and before they quite      she strode on. It wasn’t possible to be completely
                                                                               anonymous, she was as likely to attract more
                                                                               attention if she tried hide, so instead she decided to
had, said, “we have reason to believe that this building has become a          stick to her character - find an easy target and raise
                                                                               his blood pressure. Her victim was easily found
Church of Satan. Have you seen or been involved in any such behaviour?”
    The blonde, who seemed to be the dominant personality, answered.
“We ain’t done nuthing.” She looked round to get confirmation from the
others and they nodded vigorously.
    “Are you quite certain? There seems to be an awful lot of blood here
abouts.”
    “That weren’t us – we didn’t do nuthing.”
    “We’ll see. Now, where did they go?”
    The Irish woman was confused and subdued. She pointed towards the
far doors. “Through them.”
    He turned to Eliza. “Come, we must eradicate this den of vipers. Wait




                                                                        401
                                                                         402




here ladies – and when my men from the Department arrive, be sure to co-
operate with them.” He looked at them from under a heavy brow. “Be
sure to do so.”
    Benjamin and Eliza had made a half step when the thick Irish accent
came after them. “Oy, wait a minute. Ain’t you a bit young to be a
Captain.”
    “Mary, be careful, I’ve seen ‘im before.” The buxom Francois-Athenais
spoke with an accent more Pimlico than Paris, and she was virtually
shouting. “He’s the one they tried to kill – the Vampyre. He’s come to
suck our brains out.”
    She almost shouted the last, and JerichoEliza and Quick           turned
instinctively.didn’t answer that. . He strode forward, Eliza could tell his
ribs were still troubling him, but despite them, he walked with a gentle
swagger. . As he reached her, he offered the crook of his elbow, and said,
“Ddon’t worry,[Ma’am] [Eliza], i’ll see you al’right.” .” Eliza was only too
happy to link arms.


    “We’ll haven’t time for just get out of your waythis,” said Eliza with an
attempt at finality, but the Irishwoman had fire in her eyesand together
they turned towards the exit.
    “NNo you don’t. ,. Nellie’s dead,” she looked over at the dead woman,
the girl they’d called Jacqueline earlier, “and we wan’ some bloody
answers.”
    “I don’t know, I’m sorry,” Eliza looked across at Dashwood’s corpse in
the middle of the floor. . “Sorry.”
    “[A]and wWhat are you really doin’ here? What were you doin’




                                                                         402
                                                                          403




behind thate curtain.” ?.”
    The [red-head’s]woman instinct [werewas] clearly to violence. . She
picked up a chair, and held it like a weapon, striding forward..
     Eliza looked at JerichoBenjamin as if he might have an answer, but
he just looked back and shrugged. .
    The chair smashed over his left shoulder and he went to the ground
like a lead-filled pheasanthe was made of matchwood. . He tried to block
the woman’s next attack but she was kicking and lashing in her madness.
    JerichoBenjamin scrabbled backwards, but suddenly all seven five of
the women were joining coming forwardthe fight. . Eliza felt nails rake
across her face, terrifyingly close to her eye and she Eliza felt nails rake
across her face, terrifyingly close to her eye. . She didn’t hesitate, she
didn’t even think, she just fought back as viciously as she could. . A
thumb to the eye of the Irish blonde had her shrieking in pain and Eliza
used the chance to jab her boot down on the woman’s knee. She heard it
break and the woman collapsed under the pain of it. Eliza’s fury made the
others hesitate. She turned to Benjamin, still scrambling on the floor.
    “Get out Benjamin, just bloody run.”
    He looked up at her, looked at the furies, and without seeming overly
hampered by his broken ribs, clambered to his feet and ran. He ran fast to
the far doors, sliding on the thick blood as he overtook the corpse of Sir
Francis Dashwood.
    They were a wild bunch, used to violence, and they circled Eliza like a
pack of dogs. She stepped back slowly, the Irish blonde was shrieking
from the floor, clutching her knee. The others looked ready to fling
themselves forward, but calmly, and slowly,         She Eliza ran crabbed




                                                                          403
                                                                           404




sideways to the near double-doors. She and was went through them at
speed, in seconds, but one of the women the Irishwoman was right behind
and her , but Eliza slammed the door on her a chubby white arm as it came
lunging after her.
    T. . The woman howled in rage, and Eliza released the pressure on the
door, expecting the woman to pull back, but . . Iinstead the long-nailsed
hand came lunging thrusting forward. . More bodies seemed to be pressing
and for a moment she Eliza was sure it the door would [come] crashing
open, but Eliza she had wedged her boot between the floor and door, and
friction seemed to resisted force.
     Jericho’s voice came shouting out of the room. . He shouted at her to
run, he shouted it twice, and she took his advice.            .   She bit the
Irishwoman’s forearmwrist, had the satisfaction of another howl, and then
sprinted off up at the stairs at a gallop. . Even with her skirts half tripping
her, she bounded up the stairs in half a tenth of the time it had taken to
come down them. . She was out the skylight quickly and She ran across
the plank, flinging and was able to fling it down the tiled roof as soon as
she’d reached the safety of the far window. .
     Eliza didn’t [wait][trouble to look back after her persuers], [though,
even when she was safe, ]andbut [she] went took the stairs downwards at
a steadier pace,down the stairs at a steadier pace[. .   and bB, and b]y the
time she emerged into the Cradle and Coffin tap-room she was barely out
of breath. . Studiously ignoring any looks from the drinkers, she strode out
into Prince’s square. . Back onto the open streets of Seven Dials, she took a
guilty look back at the building. . God alone knew what would happen to
Jericho. .




                                                                           404
                                                                       405




    But she didn’t have to wait long. . The sound of shattering glass was
virtually his motif. . It came from somewhere at the back of the house,
she looked up with a wide smile as she saw his silhouette dancing its way
across the roof. . For a moment she thought he was about to look down,
and she found herself giving a pathetic half-wave. .
    [But he didn’t look down, once he was on the roof he was off and
running without a look back. . There was no point waiting and it wasn’t
safe to. God alone knew what would happen to Benjamin. She turned
down into hurried across the square and into Monmouth St, and headinged       Formatted: Font: Not Italic
                                                                              Formatted: Font: Not Italic
for the safety of home.
    It was time to give up, the world was going to end and there was
nothing she, nor anyone, could do about it., somehow ready to take on the
endeend of the worlde – extend or re-jig a bit this final para].


                                        ~


    As soon as Benjamin had slammed the doors behind him, he regretted        Formatted: Justified


it. He’d left Eliza, he’d run away. The doors were back open in an instant,
but he looked back to see that Eliza was through the opposite doors, and
was slamming them behind her. She’d be safe. Safe as long she kept
running. And with that thought Quick swallowed his shame and was
closing the doors a second time.
    He used his belt to lash the handles together on the far side of the
doors, it wouldn’t resist a concerted effort, but it would give him some
time.
    The room he found was empty. It had the same polished wood floor




                                                                       405
                                                                        406




and elaborate decor of the larger hall but the candles were few and their
light dim. He looked around, but there were no other doors. The only
exit for the few dozen members of the Clubbe had been downwards –
through a hole in the floor at the centre of the room. The brass-edged
wood gave way to bare stone, and a set of steps that led downwards.
    He took a single candlestick and peered into the hole. The solitary
candle was ill-equipped to light the space below, but he could tell it was
large even without seeing it. The steps were carved into solid rock, and he
stepped onto them tentatively - centuries of use had worn the stone
unevenly and they sloped treacherously. The staircase was open sided and
he used hands as much as his feet on the way down, the pain in his ribs
made him cautious. All the while, despite the lack of any noise, the
emptiness of the chamber seemed to echo around him.
    The descent took several minutes, but eventually he reached bottom;
he felt more than saw it, and as he pushed his foot about to find the next
downward step, he kicked against the one thing in the world he needed - a
lamp.
    It was lit in moments and he held the light to look upwards. It’s glass-
magnified rays shone out; they couldn’t touch the far recesses but they
showed just how large the cavern was. It was gigantic. Looking up into
the void it was almost impossible to believe that such a huge space could
exist beneath the weight of the London terraces above. It felt like he was
inside some giant underground cathedral. The natural arches of sandstone,
formed by aeons of water erosion, could have inspired the masons of
Canterbury and York.
    His natural instinct was to shout out – to test the echo – but fear




                                                                        406
                                                                     407




stopped his tongue, the chamber might be silent, but the vanished crowd
had to be somewhere. So instead he looked about for an exit. There were
multiple doorways leading out of the cavern, with a sweep of his lantern
he counted seven, realising the number wasn’t insignificant. He chose the
nearest, nervous that he would be found at any moment.
    The smell struck him first, a cloying, sickly odour that filled the
confines of the underground passage. The soles of his boots were sticking
to the floor and he looked down to see that it was wet with slime. He
instinctively bent down to touch it and when his fingers came up they
showed blood red in the light of the lamp. Benjamin shut his mouth – the
floor and the walls were slick with the same moisture. He would have
retched at the thought of it, but something in the odour told him the
moisture was vegetable, not animal in origin. He put a damp finger to his
tongue and tasted.
    “Beetroot,” he said in a whisper, “it’s bloody beetroot.”
    The sound of voices came from deep within the passageway, and he
felt the lurching fear of true terror. Without turning, he blew out his
lamp, and backed into the dark.


                                        ~




                                                                     407
                                                                       408




                                   LONDON
                                                                              Formatted: Font: Bold


    On the morning of the longest day, the city was blessed with a clear
blue summer sky. . At noon, with the sun at its zenith, the rays shone
down onto the great window of Gresham College, ready to fill the
chamber with a rainbow. . But the glass was all shattered, and the iron
frame, just like the college, was empty. . SeagGulls perched in the open
windows. . [ready to take up residence. They blinked at the empty London
before them…]
    Those Londoners who had remained in the capital went tentatively
about their business. . At first they stayed close to home, ready to scurry
indoors at the first sign of trouble, but as the day wore on they grew
bolder. . On a warm June day with the barometers set to fair it seemed
unthinkable that it was all about to EndeEnd. .
    But then the rivers turned bloody [red?][I know we want to fool the
reader into thinking it is happening but we need to be careful how far we
push it – don’t want to fool them to the point of total confusion]to blood,
and everybody panicked.
    The words of the Book of Revelation, straight out of the King James
Bible were coming to pass, a Biblical prophecy playing out in modern
London. . The unimaginable had begun.
    The city was built over a web of underground rivers, then as it is
today. . It was in these lesser tributaries that people saw the sign of the
First Angel. . River water bubbled up from the soil, blood red in the light
of the sun. . Not just one stream, every single tributary that fed into the
Thames was stricken, until finally, even London’s great watercourse itself




                                                                       408
                                                                         409




turned red. . Priests prayed over the water, mother’s wept into it. .
Nobody drank it. . . If they had done they might have tasted a glimpse
at the truth.
    Instead, the crimson bloody water was a catalyst, the tipping point for
a city that had been yoked under a prophecy of doome for too long. . The
bells of the churches of London rang out – and the city, quite literally,
went insane.
    There was chaos in the streets. . No-one was willing to wait out the
storm now. . Without water the Ccity would become a place only of
death. . People just upped and ran. . Men killed each other over a horse,
or a pony, or a boat. . Several barges sank under the burden of their
human cargo. . Most were on foot, great processions of terrified people
scrambling over each other to get out the city gates, onto the marshes of
Essex and Kent, and the hills of Surrey and Middlesex.                          Comment [LH110]: check essex marshes


    To the fleeing people it was hard to imagine how the EndeEnd could
be any worse; after a day of the panic and death they spent the day on a
long trudge, desperately looking for food, fearful of finding water.
    But then the EndeEnd truly came. .
    London shuddered with the force of the explosionimpactThe Comet
Hit.[same note for here about confusing the reader – I guess it is ok as long
as the truth is properly explained later… ]
    It hit London just after three in the afternoon, the time many should
have been taking tea. . The force of the explosion shook the entire city.
The Trumpet of the Second Angel sounded and the people heard. . Even
as far as Hampshire and Hertfordshire, they heard. . Sir Robert Walpole
and his Cabinet, sitting in the Bodleian staterooms in Oxford, felt the old




                                                                         409
                                                                        410




building shudder shake and looked nervously into each other’s eyes. .
    The worst damage was in East London, at the epicentre near the
docks., where the [Comet hit][again potentially confusing – a very fine line
we tread – we don’t want the book to almost seem like a nonsense, must be
very careful – we know the truth, but it might be too much for the reader
– discuss with Joe].   WhistoneWhiston’s calculations, it seemed, hadn’t
been completely accurate – but if Sir Christopher Wren’s great cathedral
still stood, no-one was able to see it. . The Comet[explosion?] force of the
impact threw up a huge cloud of ash, a black cloud that filled the air and
covered the sun. . The city was plunged into darkness and the church
bells stilled – even the men of God were running now.
    The Third Angel had sounded, and the sky become black as a
sackcloth of hair.




                                                                        410
        411




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              Formatted: Font: Blackadder ITC, 48 pt, Not



  The         Bold
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              Formatted: Font: Blackadder ITC, Not Bold




ENDE
              Formatted: Font: Blackadder ITC




              Formatted: Font: Blackadder ITC, Not Italic



  Of
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  The         Bold
              Formatted: Line spacing: single
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              Bold, Not Italic
              Formatted: Font: 100 pt




WorldeW
              Formatted: Font: Blackadder ITC, 140 pt, Not
              Bold




        411
    412




ORLDE     Formatted: Font: Blackadder ITC




    412
                                                            413




   And I beheld an Angel flying through the midst of
heaven, and God said unto him, “The ende of all flesh is
come before me, for the Earth is filled with sin. . Behold,
I will destroy them.” .”                                           Comment [l111]: And I beheld an Angel flying
                                                                   through the midst of heaven, saying with a loude
                                                                   voice, thrice woe to the inhabiters of the Earth, for
                                                                   now is thy ende.
                                        Book of Revelation 8: 15




                                                            413
                                                                        414




                              ST JAMES, MAYFAIR


    Eliza had decided to spend the day in her laboratory. . It was large
and had windows on two sides, perfect for her experiments on light. . It
would also be ideal for watching the Armageddon, and she had determined
that if she couldn’t prevent it, she would at least do her best to
scientifically chronicle the day’s events. .
    The room was on the fourth floor and gave an unhindered view across
the park and onto the river. . In the distance she could even see as far as
the Cathedral. . It stood resilient, almost proud, seemingly undaunted by      Comment [LH112]: CHECK!!! view


the prospect of God’s fury.
    Eliza had brought up a small kettle. . She had an oil burner, and it
meant she could make a cup of tea without going down to the kitchen. .
She sat, and drank cup after cup, all the while making her scientific
observation,s, and watched with increasing disbelief as the events of the
day transpired. .
    At first, all seemed well. . The day was much like any other. P,
people were on the streets, scurrying back and forth, quiet, focussed, but
going about their business. . As the morning wore on, Eliza had begun to
relax into the day. S, she could feel the fear begin to lessen, as though
people were daring to believe the prophecy was a hoax. . More than once
did she think of JerichoBenjamin Quick. S, she looked across the roofs of
the great city and wondered where he had got to, what had he was up
tohappened to him. .
    Then, just after noon, something just seemed to happen. . It was like
an electrical charge prickling across the ether, a silent bomb that spread a




                                                                        414
                                                                        415




shockwave of panic. . And the whole Wworld lost sense. .
    From her fourth floor window she couldn’t understand. . Eliza went
out onto the narrow balcony and shouted down to people, but nobody
heard. . Every last man, woman and child had, for no apparent reason,
decided to run. .
    People were trampling over each other in their haste, boats on the
river unfurled their sails. . A sudden surge of anxiety flooded into her
limbs, her immediate sense was to join them, to run, an almost
overwhelming compulsion to run with the herd as it screamed and fought
its way out of the city.
    The sound of the boiling kettle brought her to her senses. . It was time
for another pot of tea.
    She forced herself to make the tea properly, first warming the pot
then, very deliberately, measuring out a spoonful of leaves. . It was only
once the tea was brewing that she looked back out onto the world. .
Already the streets around were emptying. S, she looked further and for
the first time saw what had happened to the river.
    For a while she couldn’t be sure, the bright sunlight seemed to be
playing tricks on her eyes, but as the minutes passed it became clearer. .
The river was changing colour, a pinkish tint turning dark, vibrant
burgundy.
    “The rivers became as blood,” she said out loud, and hurried back to
the comfort of her tea
    Now she had identified the cause, the panic seemed less ominous. .
For hours she watched, determined to stand fast, just as she’d decided. .
There was nothing she could do to help anyone, a mass hysteria had




                                                                        415
                                                                            416




gripped the whole [worldof London?] , and it seemed as though it was her
role to sit and watch – to study the unique event, like a scientist studying
the chaos of a bee hive flung onto a bonfire. . She sat high in her loft and
watched.
    The events on the streets and on the river continued to unfold over
the afternoon. . After a time, the volume of human traffic began to
dwindle, but Eliza sat watching throughout, mesmerized, fascinated to see
what would happen next..[is she waiting for Jericho – hoping he will show
up again from nowhere?]
    She was on her fourth pot of tea when the East End exploded.
    A geyser of filth erupted, spewing forth out a great cloud of smoke. .
She saw it before she heard it, and before her mind could respond, she felt
the force of its blast. . A hot gust of air rushed in at her straight from Hell,
and she instinctively shrank from the force. . Then the air turned black,
and as the wave of soot and ash crashed over London, she moved quickly
to close the window and shut out the worst of the foul air. . It was lucky
she did, for after moments more her bright sunny room sank beneath
darkness. . All over the city the black fog descended, and she covered her
mouth against the stench of it.
    Then there was silence, a silence the like of which London hadn’t
known in a thousand years. . Eliza pressed her forehead to the cool glass
of the window, her eyes narrowed against the thick air, ears ringing from
the violence of the explosion. . At first she thought she’d gone deaf, but as
the ringing subsided she began to hear the emptiness – the streets were
silent, the church bells utterly still, even the birdsong had gone.
    Tentatively, Eliza squinted through the glass. . The air on the other




                                                                            416
                                                                               417




side was still sodden with black soot, but it was beginning to clear. . She
wiped at the pane, and peered into the black abyss, desperate to
understand what had happened. .
        Without any warning a face loomed forward out of the gloom, right in
front of her.        .   Eliza’s heart almost burst through her chest.            .
JerichoBenjamin Quick, his faced pressed tight to the window, was looking
in at her. . She opened the window without thinking, letting in another
gust of dirty air, and JerichoBenjamin tumbled into the room. .
        He looked at her expectantly, and seemed confused when she didn’t
speak. . “Come on, wWe’ve got to get to the Cathedral,” he said finally, his
face grimed with soot, “we’ve got to see what they’re about.” .”
                                                                                      Formatted: Font: Italic


        “Are you mad?” even as she spoke her mouth filled with the acrid tang
of foul air. . “The comet Why? The comet....” .” She stuttered to a halt,
exasperated that she couldn’t form a sensible sentence. . Finally she let off
chewing her lip cheek and blurted out, “JerichoBenjamin, where in hell
have you been?”
        He laughed at that. . The Comet had struck, the day turned night and
the endeend of the worlde was nigh, and JerichoBenjamin Quick, still
clutching his battered ribs, squandered wasted his energy on laughter.
        “Don’t you get it?” He said, excited as a little boy. , “Look at it ...” .”
He pointed at the black-filled window. . “It’s all just an illusion -. . O
one great, big, fantastical illusion. . Even Moses couldn’t have pulled this
off.”



                                          ~




                                                                               417
418




418
                                                                      419




                               SEVEN DIALS



    The holy order was clothed in black, and anyone who noticed assumed
them to be Dominican. . But nobody was paying much attention. . The
Comet had struck only moments before and the fog of ash had turned
London into an underworld. . The holy men covered their faces with
hoods as protection against the foul air, and they moved quickly in silent
procession. . They headed east, out of Seven Dials to the river, and on
towards the Cathedral of St Paul. . They sang a sacred motet as they
walked, a protection against the wrath of God.


                                    ~




                                                                      419
                                                                         420




                             LAMBETH PALACE


    Sir Lancelot Blackburne looked out onto the Thames and clawed at the
velvet arm rest on his chair. . The cloud of soot billowed up the Thames
and seemed to consume everything in its path. . Blackburne watched as
the cloud first overran St Paul’s, then consumed Gresham College,
Southwark, Blackfriars, the Inns of Chancery and finally as it
overwhelmed Westminster and Lambeth Palace itself.
    The windows of the palace were shut tight and the air within stayed
clean. . The big candelabrum at the heart of the Great Hall was ready lit,
but even so the sudden onset of night flung a gloom over the assembly.
    Blackburne looked to Montrose. The manservant’s neck was covered
in bandage where the lamp oil had burned into his flesh, and he held his
head stiffly.
     and asked, “Iis everyone accounted for?”
    “Every officer in London is safe within the Palace, siree.”
    Blackburne looked only half-satisfied. . “And Avery?”
    “Not a trace sire, Dead sire, we are now certain of ithe’s dead.”
    [why are they certain – because there is no trace? We need to just
clarify this]
    Blackburne nodded grimly. . The view out onto the river was now all
but obliterated, the Palace cocooned within the black fog. . The only
thing left to do was sit out the tempest and wait for the dawn.


                                      ~




                                                                         420
                                                                            421




                             ST PAUL’S CATHEDRAL
                                                                                  Formatted: Font: Italic

    It was a simple thing to get inside the Cathedral. . The hardest part
had been getting there. .
    From    the   West      of   the   city,   through   the   chaos   of   the
ApocalypseApocalypse, the usual modes of transport were no longer an
option. . The river was the obvious method, but what boats that had
remained in the capital on that final morning had left at the first sign of
catastrophe. . Some had sailed up river to the relative safety of Richmond
and Kingston, but most had gone with the current, flung along the Thames
towards the estuary and the greeny waters of the North Sea. . What craft
remained were testament to the panic that had overwhelmed the city,
upturned and shattered boats, destroyed by the sheer numbers of people
trying to get onto them. .       JerichoBenjamin thought they might be able
to salvage one, and they had gone down to the river, but one look at a
bloated corpse, as it bobbed against the Westminster jetty, was enough to
persuade Eliza that they should walk.
    And so they did. . Benjamin Quick, still nursing his broken ribs and
twisted ankle, made slow work of the journey. They could barely see more
than two yards ahead, and it was hard to believe, at times, that they were
in the middle of a city. .         The overwhelming sensation was one of
silence,; even the waters of the Thames seemed subdued as they lapped
quietly against the embankment. .
    It took them the best part of an hour, but they reached Paternoster
Square at around four in the afternoon. . The air was still thick, but as
they approached the cathedral its inner light shone out at them. . Not the




                                                                            421
                                                                       422




light of the church’s candles, even the hundred candelabras of St Paul’s
couldn’t produce this much light. . No, it was sunlight, the clear summer
sun that still shone somewhere high above the fog. . The sunlight shone
into the domed roof that as it stood above the black fog, and beamed down
into the Cathedral’s great interior. . The world was turned upside down. .
The shafts of sunlight shone out of the church’s windows and into the
murk of the day with such brilliance it made Eliza hesitate,hesitate; there
was something supernatural about it.
    JerichoBenjamin pointed up into the black sky with one hand as he
held a neckerchief over his mouth with the other. . “The top of the dome
must be sitting above the ash – the cathedral must is be funnelling the
daylight downwards.” .”
    Eliza felt him push her onwards in the dark and after some searching
found an iron grate that covered steps down into the basements. . It was
locked, but JerichoBenjamin wasn’t held up for long, and they were soon
through a door and inside one of the Cathedral crypts. .
    Inside, the air was cleaner. . The crypt was dark, but JerichoBenjamin
didn’t hesitate. . Despite his injuries, hHe guided Eliza confidently and
they worked their way up a stairway, until their heads emerged from the
floor of the Nnorth Ttransept. . They looked into the clear light of the
Cathedral’s main chamber, it was and found it empty. . They didn’t
linger until they’d crossed halfway under the great dome.                 .
JerichoBenjamin nodded down at the floor and Eliza felt a shiver of
excitement as she re-read the word carved onto the stone slab. .
                                  RESURGAM                                    Formatted: Small caps, Kern at 12 pt
                                                                              Formatted: Centered




                                                                       422
                                                                        423




    If anybody or anything was going to rise again, then surely today
would be the day.
    “How did you know?” She asked him.
    “It’s all in the plan,” he said cryptically, and continued to the far
staircase.
    They quickly made their way up into the dome[via some spiralled
stone steps]. . They had agreed that the lowest gallery, the whispering
gallery, would be the perfect place to hide. . The whispering gallery was a
walkway around the base of the great dome, designed by Christopher
Wren for sharing secrets. . The sort of secrets that should never be spoken
face to face. .
    Geometric perfection gave the gallery its peculiar acoustic quality –
Wren had created the perfect echo chamber. It was said that if a pin were
to drop on one side of the gallery, its noise would echo round an entire lap
of the dome. The faintest whisper against its walls locked onto the cold
stone and orbited the 1500 yards to the other side of the dome before
crashing back around as an echo. The round trip took almost one second,
and it was said that when the Cathedral was being built, Newton had lived
in the gallery for four months, dedicating himself to measuringement of
the speed of sound.
    For Eliza and JerichoBenjamin, the view through the masonry
balustrade gave a perfect a bird’s eye view onto the nave below. Looking
up, Eliza was granted the sight of the [perfectflawless] geometric dome –
designed by Wren to mathematical perfection, built by the masons of
London with God-fearing fervour. Newton had said that to see the dome
was to know the mind of God. It was just the sort of clever-Dick remark




                                                                        423
                                                                          424




that he always came up with, but as Eliza saw rays of daylight beaming
into the void, she had to admit the description wasn’t a bad one.
    It was Quick’s idea to split up. With him on one side of the gallery,
and Eliza on the other, it doubled their chances of spotting activity below
– and yet in the whispering gallery they could communicate as easily as if
they were side by side.
    Eliza sat and peered into the empty church. Immediately below, she
could see the floor of the nave, what they called the Great Circle. The
central flagstone was surrounded by a [many-pointed star], alternating
black and white marble made the image. She strained her eyes to make
out the word ‘Resurgam’ inscription that had been carved into the central
stone, but this far up, her eyes were too weak. To the right of the nave,
the church disappeared up to the high altar, but the altar itself was out of
view. Her sight to the left was also cut off, she knew that beyond the rows
of wooden seats was the main door, but she couldn’t see it. She crouched
back into the shadow, made herself as comfortable as possible, and readied
herself for a long wait.
    “Can you hear me?” JerichoBenjamin whispered more loudly than he
needed to. The acoustics of the gallery whisked the words from his lips
and drew them along the circular wall for a turn of one eighty degrees.
    “Shush. You’re too loud.” Eliza’s softer whisper careened back around
the gallery. “Just be quiet.”
    But for some reason, JerichoBenjamin Quick was in no mood to be
quiet. Perhaps he found it easier to talk like this - in the dark – separated
by a hundred feet of empty space.
    “When do you think they’ll come?” t The words flew round the




                                                                          424
                                                                         425




gallery.
    Eliza sighed, she knew that the acoustics of the gallery drew the sound
specifically to her, but it was so loud that she couldn’t help thinking the
whole cathedral could hear.
    “Stop ... shouting ... and remember they might not come at all,” she
said just to annoy him.
    “No, they’re sure to come.” tThis time he was quieter.
    Eliza sighed, but not without a smile. “Go on,” she said
    “I heard them.” [boyle??]
    Quick was silent for a while, but after a few minutes his voice came
bouncing round the echo chamber, loud as ever.
    “Why didn’t Blackburne send Whiston round Hyde Park ... to show
the world he’s mad?”
    “Probably left it too late ... or maybe he did, but there was no-one left
in London to notice.”
    “If the French invade will your father stay on as Prime Minister?”
    “Why should I care?”
    “Maybe because he’s your father?”
    “Until this year, I only ever met him once.”
    “Once? When was that?”
    “I was sixteen.” Eliza hesitated before saying, “Don’t forget he did
leave my mother as soon as her money ran out.”
    “What happened?”
    “I told him I had the pox, and then spat in his mouth. There wasn’t
much to say after that."
    “Oh. I guess you’re not close then.”




                                                                         425
                                                                            426




    Eliza laughed, she could never tell whether Jericho was being sincere
or sarcastic. Her laugh echoed round the inside of the dome, a happy
laugh that seemed to defy the doom.
    “We have to be quiet.” she said, as much to herself as to Jericho.
    Another few minutes silence, and his voice came again.
    “You know the letter they sent to Boyle. I had a look at it again last
night.”
    “And?”
    “And there’s something strange about it, something I don’t get. The
ink is faded on the first word.”
    “That was me. It’s not ink it’s blood. I used some spit to dissolve it –
to prove it.”
    “Oh. But there are speckles where the ink has disappeared entirely.”
    “What do you mean?”
    “There are little spots where the ink has disappeared entirely.”
     It was Eliza’s turn to be puzzled. She sat for a while mulling over this
new piece of information. After some minutes more Quick’s voice came
again.
    “If the whole Clubbe turns up you know there’s not much we can do.”
    Eliza thought of him hobbling up the Cathedral steps on his bad ankle,
and instinctively felt for the Beretta in her pocket.
    “”I’m sure you’ll think of something ...- you usually do,.” she said.
    Benjamin smiled quietly. Something told him that now was the time
to tell her what he felt - how much he cared for her. He played half a
dozen sentences over in his head before choosing one, and he whispered it
onto the cold granite.




                                                                            426
                                                                      427




    “Eliza ... you know whatever happens, I’ll always make sure you’re
al’right.”
    Her laugh echoed back round the inside of the dome, a happy laugh
that seemed to defy the doom.
    “We have to be quiet.” she said, as much to herself as to Benjamin. He
sat silent, glad that he hadn’t said more.
    Without warning, t
    At that moment, the wWest dDoorway was flung came crashing open
with a deadening clang. Eliza felt the blood surge through her arms and
head; she cursed herself for the noise of their chatter. A loud, “Shush,
they’re coming” came bouncing round the gallery from JerichoBenjamin,
and she looked to the heavens in despair.
    Great gusts of black muck came billowing into the nave but even
through the murk, Eliza could make out several figures. They wore black      Comment [LH113]: Barring of doors? See later


cloaks, hoods down low as protection from the foul air, and as they walked
into the church they sang. They sang a lament to the end of the world,
and as the repeating musical phrases built up on each other, the wall of
sound soared up to fill every curve of the cathedral dome.
    Fors seulement l’actente que je meure,
    Ex expect resurrectionem mortuorum,
    Et vitam verturi saeculi.                                                Comment [L114]: check spelling


    Eliza felt the symptoms of fear, tight chest, light head, heavy arms.
Remembering her training, she slowed her breathing to six breaths per
minute, and after a count of six peered into the gloom.
    There were barely a dozen figures in all. Two Four separated from the
rest and disappeared up the stairway into the West Tower.




                                                                      427
                                                                       428




    “They’ve gone to the bell tower.” JerichoBenjamin’s whisper came
mercifully hushed.
    The rest of the group made their way up the nave and formed a small
semi-circle in the middle of the church, directly beneath the centre of the
dome, their backs to the High Altar. They were intent on the stone floor.
    Eliza heard some rustling – and she just knew it was JerichoBenjamin
unfolding the Cathedral plans. After some moments, his voice came
reverberating along the gallery wall.
    “The only thing in the West Tower is a bell. It don’t lead anywhere at
all,” said JerichoBenjamin, in a voice that rebounded round the wall of the
dome. The loudness of him made her instinctively flinch back into the
shadows, of the wall, but she needn’t have worried, moments later, when
she looked back down onto the cathedral floor once more, the figures were
still hunched, bent over the stone floor.
    After moments more, two of the figures left the others and
disappeared into the Dome stairway.
    “They’re coming!” came Quick’s harsh whisper.


                                        ~




                                                                       428
                                                                          429




                          THE RIVER THAMES, WAPPING


    Captain BenjaminThomas Avery Esquire, formerly of His Majesty’s
Britannic Navy, stood at the prow of his vessel. One arm was in a sling,
the other held a small dog, tight against his hip. Beneath the bruises and
cuts, Avery’s face was pale, but the eyes shone a clear, crucible-steel grey.
    Despite the size of the little rowboat, and the buffeting of the currents,
he held his stance with natural balance. The tide was rising and even this
far up the estuary the river flowed backwards, helping them make
headway upriver. Avery looked at the black sky above London and
ordered the oarsman onto greater efforts.
    “For the love of God, harder man. The fires are growing fast and the
sea is miles away yet. Row for your life.”
    The blind oarsman sat at the stern of the little rowboat and bunched
his muscles. He was a huge man, blinded two summers before in a fight,
and now he needed Avery as much as Avery needed him. Avery had
promised to be his eyes, had promised to help him escape from the
ApocalypseApocalypse.      And so the blind man rowed, the stench of
Armageddon in his nostrils, oblivious to the fact that with every stroke he
hauled the boat further into the nightmare.
    Avery couldn’t bring himself to feel guilty; he would willingly accept
a thousand such black marks on his soul. If Eliza were still in London,
amidst this chaos, she would need him. She might not know it yet, but
once the looters and the vagabonds took over the streets she would need
him. BenThomas Avery felt a delicious thrill. She didn’t know it yet, but
he was coming to save her.




                                                                          429
    430




~




    430
                                                                         431




                             ST PAUL’S CATHEDRAL


    Eliza was moving in an instant, as soon as she heard a boot hitting the
first step she was on her feet. Crouching tight to the wall she worked her
way round the gallery, putting more yards between her and the stairwell.
The footsteps came closer and Eliza froze, but the steps continued on, on
and up, rising high into the recesses of the dome. Eliza pausedstopped to
think, there were another two galleries above them. The stone gallery,
fifty yards above, and then the golden gallery, another hundred yards
above that.   Neither gallery gave a view down onto the Whispering
gallery, so to that extent they were safe. The figures below continued to
sing, and under the cover of their noise, Eliza risked a whisper.
    “They’ve gone up to the golden gallery.”
    “But why?”
    As if in answer, they heard a shuffling from above, and then through
the space between them fell the soft unravelling of a rope. It held a sheen
and had a lightness about it, as if made from silk. Then came a second
rope, or perhaps the other end of the first rope, looped over and fed back
down.
    “They’re pulling something up.” JerichoBenjamin whispered the
obvious.
    “Shush!” Eliza hissed in return.
    Their stunted conversation was obliterated by a sombre metallic thud
against the west doors. Eliza peered uselessly into the shadows. It was as if
the giant fist of some metal ogre was knocking on the wooden doors. The
figures below ran quickly, unbarred the doors and were met with another




                                                                         431
                                                                           432




great cloud of black soot and dirt. It consumed them for a moment, but
then they emerged, dragging the metal fist into the church. Except it
wasn’t a fist it was a giant bell, the Eucharist bBell of St Paul’s, the treble
bell that rang out the morning mass.                                              Comment [L115]: ????
                                                                                  Comment [LH116]: check
    It’s metal ground angrily against the stone as they dragged it,t one
heave at a time towards the Altar. They paused stopped only when the
bell had come to rest in the centrepiece of the Cathedral, and then the
purpose of the silken cord became apparent. One of the robed figures
carefully tied a knot around one end, and then joined the others as they
pulled at the other. They heaved, and the bell lifted. Six men in all were
needed to raise the bell. They would stop occasionally, but for the most
part they pulled with a steady rhythm and sang their sacred song.
    Eliza was half certain the rope would break, it seemed too long and
light to hold the weight of the bronze, but the cord was uncommonly
strong and soon the bell had reached level with them as they watched
from their gallery. It carried on upwards, and steadily the bell disappeared
into the heights of the dome.
    “They’re smashing through the stone.”         JerichoBenjamin’s whisper
came rebounding round the cold wall. Eliza didn’t risk a reply, she knew
it had to be true. They didn’t have to wait long to find out. When the
figures below decided they had pulled enough, they walked the end of the
rope a safe distance and then secured it about the base of granite column.
Five of the figures retired to safety, but one, the tallest, stayed close. He
pausedstopped, but only for a moment, then pulled a short knife from
within his robe. He sliced through the silk, and ran.
    The massive immense metal mass, made a muted quaver as it began its           Comment [L117]: better??




                                                                           432
                                                                         433




descent.   Newton had once used the height of the cathedral dome to
calculate the acceleration of gravity to an accuracy of thirty two foot and
two inches per second per second. He had dropped an old gold coin into a
great oak barrel stationed at the floor of the cathedral, and timed the sound   Comment [L118]: Note in book 3 - this turns out
                                                                                that he was measure the 'alchemical' vibration of the
                                                                                gold by listening to the noise it made through the air.
of the splash. The bell now sped through two hundred and thirteen feet at       I.e. a means of measuring wch gold isotope ...
                                                                                Comment [L119]: like an old fashioned particle
the same impossible speed as that coin.     . It flashed past Eliza, and she    accelerator

could hear the bell’s tone as its velocity through the air made the metal
vibrate. There was no barrel of water to catch it.
    Three tons of [copper and tin] accelerated for over two hundred feet,
and crashed into the granite with enough force to smash through fnhmfoot
thick slab]. The slab in question was only two foot thick, and it shattered
into a dozen pieces. A cloud of rock dust spewed up and Eliza leaned
forward to see what remained after the impact. The cloud was quick to
settle, and the figures weren’t slow to come forward. She could see quite
clearly by the time they’d begun to lift away the pieces of granite, and as
the slabs of stone were removed it became evident that they had smashed
their way into some kind of chamber.
    “They’re coming up ....”
    JerichoBenjamin’s voice came rattling round the stone wall of the
gallery at almost a shout. She jumped back into the shadows – nervous to
make a reply. Instead, she pulled the crossbow out from under her coat,
and slotted a bolt into its [homegroove]. Laying the bow carefully on the
floor, she took out a second weapon, her pistola, and with aching care not
to make a noise, she pulled back the hammer and positioned the flint.
Then she waited, ready to act, crouched small in case she should be seen.
The next whisper, when it came, was so faint she barely made out the




                                                                         433
                                                                          434




words.
    “To your left ... ten foot ... two of them ....”
    The almost silent sound of a footstep, much closer than ten foot,
persuaded Eliza to action. She fumbled with the crossbow, almost caught it
in her coat, but managed to stand, and fire off the bolt into the thick of the
two figures. She didn’t wait to see it strike, she didn’t need to, the thud
into flesh and the pig-squeal cry were enough to tell her she’d hit. A
musket fired overhead and she knew the second man had spent his shot.
Eliza rose again, this time her pistol flashed, and in its flare she saw the
man’s face beneath the hood. With more time she would have noted the
man’s stature, and it would have confirmed it; he was a whole hand over
six foot, and big enough to punch a cow to the ground. Despite his height
the lead ball fizzed over his right shoulder, she stood, temporarily
mesmerized.     Sir Robert Boyle was alive and well, and he took the
opportunity to fire his second pistol.
    The lead hit her in the waist, just above her hip. The pain seared from
her belly and seemed to slice up into her brain. She clung on to the stone
parapet, for some reason she was determined not to fall. JerichoBenjamin
was on his feet, and she heard him on the other side of the gallery. She
tried to shout but her mouth was empty of sound. JerichoBenjamin looked
at her, fierce eyed, and in that moment Eliza was sure he would save her,
was sure that somehow he would solve everything.
    But instead the brilliant JerichoBenjamin Quick took one look at the
figure in Black towering behind her, turned, and ran.          Eliza felt the
strength in her arms disappear. The stone felt wet and she felt her hand
slip. She lost sense as she hit the floor.




                                                                          434
    435




~




    435
                                                                       436




                      THE RIVER THAMES, SOUTHWARK


       Avery’s face was muffled by a scarf against the foul air. He wore a
tricorn hat pushed down low and peered out, slit-eyed, out into the gloom
of the river. Gresham College suddenly loomed large on his left, it’s great
shattered window like a giant fencing mask, only to disappear as quickly
into the black shadows. And then he caught a glimpse of the dome, the
dome of St Paul’s.
       The dog under Avery’s left arm barked as the pale stone emerged
from the smog, but Avery ignored him. The blind man continued to pull
on the oars, urged on by Avery’s words. “Not long now,” Avery said
calmly, “we’ll be out of this hell soon enough.”
       Eliza’s house was just two more bends round the river. With luck
she wouldn’t be there. With luck she would have heeded his note, and be
safe on the road to Gosport, but in his heart he knew she would have
stayed. The Furies couldn’t have dragged Eliza Walpole away from
witnessing the apocalypseApocalypse first hand. Avery knew she’d be in
London, and it was his duty to reach her, and to protect her.
       The blind man rowed on towards Westminster, and behind them,
the Cathedral of St Paul receded into the fog.


                                      ~




                                                                       436
                                                                         437




                         PALAIS DES TUILERIES, PARIS                            Comment [L120]: [more reference to “as
                                                                                London burned?”]




    The end of the world was rather a British affair. It focussed almost
entirely on London. Paris, by contrast, was enjoying a gentle summer’s
day. The comet was regarded by most Parisians as an omen for a good
harvest. The garden at the Tuileries, set next to the River Seine, benefitted
from a cooling breeze off the water and Lady Margaret Salisbury, a little
warm after her ride up the hill, was glad of it.
    Her old mare had struggled to keep up with the Marquise de
Pompadour’s gelding on the gallop up to the top of the mound. The
Marquise never sat side-saddle and it gave her more speed, it was a point of
principle, she just rucked up her skirts and got on with it. Pompadour sat
comfortably astride her horse and looked along the river.
    “La vue est jolie, non?”
    Lady Salisbury nodded, she was still breathless and made a great show
of scrutinizing the view to hide the fact. Paris was massive, twice the size
of London. The Duchess looked along the snaking River Seine, at the jam
of river traffic and the long shadows of the grand, river-fronted properties.
The monstrous Notre Dame on its river-island, the endless columns of the
Palais du Louvre – a palace that could fit the whole of Buckingham House
into its cellar. Everything about Paris seemed to make London look small
and parochial. Eventually, Lady Margaret risked her voice.

    “So Madame, what is your decision?             What course will you
recommend to Louis?”

    “Oh, Yyour Ladyship, what’s to decide?” Pompadour leaned forward,




                                                                         437
                                                                         438




patting her horse vigorously. “You have shown your hand, shown England
to be Godless, its honour is forsaken. Only through the cleansing of war
can England achieve salvation.”

    Lady Salisbury thought of England, on its knees, a land of refugees,
the capital city all but deserted. If the comet didn’t strike then hunger and
disease would finish the job of destruction. Once the French got past the
English Navy, the country wouldn’t have a chance. She thought of George
– asking her so sincerely to save his country, offering to go on his knees if
only she would keep the French at bay. It was time to do her Monarch’s
bidding.

    First, she made sure to manoeuvre her horse such that Pompadour was
forced to look south west, directly into the glare of the afternoon sun. In
the harsh light of midsummer even Reinette’s face couldn’t completely
conceal the advance of time - small creases at the corner of her eyes,
laughter lines that no longer quite disappeared once the laughter stopped.
The sight of them emboldened the Englishwoman.

    “Then my next news will be of little interest. Sir William, would you
believe it, found something at the bottom of all that digging.”

    Pompadour smiled at the theatrical pause from Lady Margaret that
followed, deepening the lines at her eyes. She waited for the Duchess to
continue. .

    “It seems there may be some truth to that story of yours; Sir William
found a burial chamber at the bottom of his hole.”

    Pompadour was still facing the sun, and her eyes were flushed with a
fiery pink. Lady Salisbury took her time in telling her story. “The burial




                                                                         438
                                                                              439




chamber was empty, but it had been emptied ... only recently. It seems
someone has beaten us all to it. Sir William wrote me straight away.” She
reached into the cuff of her pelisse and pulled out a folded letter. “Do you
want to read it? Sir William is jolly clever, the chamber may have been
empty of bones, but there was something there, a coin, think of it as a
clue.”

    The joyous smile on Lady Margaret’s face, as she looked at the letter,
was almost genuine. “Sir William has it all figured out, from one tiny little
coin. He’s figured out everything – who stole the sarcophagus ... and
when. He even knows where they moved it to. We just need to go and
pick it up”.

    Lady Margaret held the letter delicately. For a moment, Pompadour
was tempted to make a grab for it, but then she remembered her station,
remembered she was Consort to the King of France. Besides, she could
always have one of the guards steal it later. “And what do you want in
return for this – piece of paper?”

    “Piece of paper – paper of peace ... yes, very droll, Madame. Quite so,
quite that in fact. After all, it’s a little price to pay for everlasting life ...
safe in the body of Christ.”

    Pompadour’s horse fought its bridle, spooked by an invisible shadow,
or perhaps by the sudden tension that filled the air. After some moments
to think, she answered as matter-of-factly as she was able.

    “You make an interesting offer, Lady Margaret, but I must insist on a
further condition. Your death-cheating highwayman, we are still curious
to put him to the test.”




                                                                              439
                                                              440




“Then you shall have him,” said Lady Salisbury.

“Good, alive mark you, he’s no good to us dead.”

“But of course, a dead Death-cheater is no good to anyone.”




                                ~




                                                              440
                                                                           441




                              ST PAUL’S CATHEDRAL


    Eliza woke as the chanting stopped – replaced by the sound of a bell.
The treble bell, large as it was, was the smallest of the Cathedral’s carillon.
The bigger, tenor bell, at eleven tons, was truly colossal. It had been cast
in the furnaces of Bristol and two dozen oxen had been needed to pull it
along the old Roman road to London. And it had taken every ounce of               Comment [LH121]: inscription


Newton’s ingenuity to figure out how to get it up into the south east
tower. The A flat of the tenor bell rang across the deserted streets of
London.
    The bell rang as Eliza bled. The noise inside her head was astonishing.
She had been slung face down on the floor, and as the stone reverberated
to the frequency of the bell, its vibration passed right through her
cheekbone and into her skull.
    Her mind felt strangely cut off from the rest of her body, as though
she were somehow just a head. The lack of pain was a mercy, but she
cursed her inability to move. The robed men were busy working at the
open hole they’d smashed in the Cathedral floor. They were using the
church’s giant candlesticks as levers, and Eliza could see the wooden shafts
disappearing into the hole. With perfect organisation the figures pushed
the levers down in synchrony and as they pushed down, a coffin-like box
of marble rose out of the ground. To Eliza’s feeble mind the green marble
swirls of the box seemed to be moving – her eyes felt unbearably dry and
she shut them against the sight of the levitatingemerging coffin.
    She knew she had to get away, knew they wouldn’t just leave her, and
so with eyes rested shut she tried to summon up her senses, and her sinew




                                                                           441
                                                                         442




and blood - but her limbs just didn’t answer – as though the nerve fibres
were all severed.
    “Come now lass, I’ve something that’ll make you feel an ‘ole load           Formatted: Tab stops: Not at 4.04"


better.” The Black Country accent was unmistakeable. Eliza opened her
eyes and looked into the face of Sir Robert Boyle. The face was fleshed out
with genuine sympathy, and Eliza had to struggle to remember that he was
the reason she was dying. Sir Robert lifted her up and suddenly the agony
in Eliza’s body came raking back. She wheezed with the pain and was
soothed by Sir Robert’s soft words. “You’ll be right lass, you’ll be safe in
the body of Christ,” he laughed, and with his hands under her shoulders
dragged her across to the stone sarcophagus. He held her there for some
moments, seemingly without effort, as others worked on the stone coffin
itself. Eliza was barely able to keep her head from sagging forward, but
somehow, driven by her fascination, she managed to keep focus on the
green marble as the men worked to cut through the wax and release the
seal.Geometric perfection gave the gallery its peculiar acoustic quality –
Wren had created the perfect echo chamber. It was said that if a pin were
to drop on one side of the gallery, it’s noise would echo round an entire lap
of the dome. The faintest whisper against its walls locked onto the cold
stone and orbited the 100 feet to the other side of the dome before
crashing back around as an echo. The round trip took almost one second,
and it was said that when the Cathedral was being built Newton had lived
in the gallery for four months, dedicating himself to measurement of the
speed of sound.


    For Eliza and Jericho the view through the masonry balustrade gave




                                                                         442
                                                                       443




perfect [sight][bird’s eye view] onto the nave below. Looking up, Eliza
was granted the sight of the perfect geometric dome – designed by Wren
to mathematical perfection, built by the masons of London with God-
fearing fervour. Newton had said that to see the dome was to know the
mind of God. It was just the sort of clever-Dick remark that he always
came up with, but as Eliza saw rays of daylight beaming into the void, she
had to admit the description wasn;t a bad one.
    It was Quick’s idea to split up. With him on one side of the gallery,
and Eliza on the other, it doubled their chances of spotting activity below
– and yet in the whispering gallery they could communicate as easily as if
they were side by side.
    Eliza sat and peered into the empty church. Immediately below, she
could see the floor of the nave, what they called the Great Circle. The
central flagstone was surrounded by a many-pointed star, alternating black
and white marble made the image. She strained her eyes to make out the
word “Resurgam” that had been carved into the central stone, but this far
up her eyes were too weak. To the right of the nave, the church
disappeared up to the high altar, but the altar itself was out of view.
Equally, her sight to the left was cut off. She knew that beyond the rows
of wooden seats was the main door, but she couldn’t see it. She crouched
back into the shadow, made herself as comfortable as possible, and readied
herself for a long wait.
    “Can you hear me?” Jericho whispered more loudly than he needed to.
The acoustics of the gallery whisked the words from his lips and drew
them along the circular wall for a turn of one eighty degrees.
    “Shush. You’re too loud.” Eliza’s softer whisper careened back around




                                                                       443
                                                                         444




the gallery. “Just be quiet.”
    But for some reason, Jericho Quick was in no mood to be quiet.
Perhaps for some reason he found it easier to talk like this - in the dark –
separated by a hundred feet of empty space.
    “When do you think they’ll come?” the words flew round the gallery.
    Eliza sighed, she knew that the acoustics of the gallery drew the sound
specifically to her, but it was so loud that she couldn’t help thinking that
the whole cathedral could hear. “Stop shouting. And they might not
come at all.” She said just to annoy him.
    “No, they’re certain to come” this time he was quieter.
    Eliza sighed, but not without a smile. “Go on,” she said
    “I heard them.”
    Quick was silent for a while, but after a few minutes his voice came
bouncing round the echo chamber, loud as ever.
    “Why didn’t Blackburne send WhistoneWhiston round Hyde
Park[stripped to his breeches][?].””
    “Probably left it too late ... maybe he did, but there was no-one left in
London to notice.”
    “If the French invade will your father stay on as Prime Minister?”
    “Why should I care?”
    “Maybe because he’s your father?”
    “I only ever met him once.”[we may need to change this bit - has she
really only met hime once? I think perhaps the altered plot means that this
is not the case]
    “Once? When was that?”
    “I was sixteen.” Eliza hesitated before saying, “Don’t forget he did




                                                                         444
                                                                         445




leave my mother as soon as her money ran out.”
    “What happened?”
    “I told him I had the pox, and then spat in his mouth. There wasn’t
much to say after that."
    “Oh. I guess you’re not close then.”
    Eliza laughed, she could never tell whether Jericho was being sincere
or sarcastic. Her laugh echoed round the inside of the dome, a happy
laugh that seemed to defy the doom.
    “We have to be quiet.” she said, as much to herself as to Jericho.
    Another few minutes silence, and his voice came again.
    “You know the letter they sent to Boyle. I had a look at it again last
night.”
    “And?”
    “And there’s something strange about it, something I don’t get. The
ink is faded on the first word.”
    “That was me. It’s not ink it’s blood. I used some spit to dissolve it –
to prove it.”
    “Oh. But there are speckles where the ink has disappeared entirely.”
    “What do you mean?”
    “There are little spots where the ink has disappeared entirely.”
    It was Eliza’s turn to be puzzled. She sat for a while mulling over this
new piece of information. After some minutes more Quick’s voice came
again.
    “If the whole Clubbe turns up you know there’s not much we can do.”
    ”I’m sure you’ll think of something ... you usually do.”
    At that moment, the West Doorway was flung open with a deadening




                                                                         445
                                                                         446




clang. Eliza felt the blood surge through her arms and head; she cursed
herself for the noise of their chatter. A loud, “Shush, they’re coming”
came bouncing round the gallery from Jericho, and she looked to the
heavens in despair.
    Great gusts of black muck came billowing into the nave but even
through the murk, Eliza could make out several figures. They wore black         Comment [LH122]: Barring of doors? See later


cloaks, hoods down low as protection from the foul air, and as they walked
into the church they sang. They sang a lament to the end of the world,
and as the repeating musical phrases built up on each other, the wall of
sound soared up to fill every curve of the cathedral dome.
    Fors seulement l’actente que je meure,                                      Formatted: English (United Kingdom)


    Ex expect resurrectionem mortuorum,
    Et vitam verturi saeculi.                                                   Comment [L123]: check spelling
                                                                                Formatted: English (United Kingdom)
    Eliza felt the symptoms of fear, a shortness of breath, light head, heavy
arms. She peered into the gloom. There were barely a dozen figures in all.
Two separated from the rest and disappeared up the stairway into the West
Tower.
    “They’ve gone to the bell tower.” Jericho’s whisper came mercifully
hushed.
    The rest of the group made their way up the nave and formed a small
semi-circle in the middle of the church, directly beneath the centre of the
dome, their backs to the High Altar. They were intent on the stone floor.
    Eliza heard some rustling – and she just knew it was Jericho unfolding
the Cathedral plans. After some moments, his voice came reverberating
along the gallery wall.
    “The only thing in the West Tower is a bell. It don’t lead anywhere at




                                                                         446
                                                                     447




all,” said Jericho, in a voice that rebounded round the wall of the dome.
The loudness of him made her instinctively flinch back into the shadows
of the wall, but she needn’t have worried, moments later, when she looked
down on the cathedral floor once more, the figures were still hunched,
bent over the stone floor.
    After moments more, two of the figures left the others and
disappeared into the Dome stairway.
    “They’re coming!” came Quick’s harsh whisper.


                                      ~




                                                                     447
                                                                          448




                         THE RIVER THAMES, WAPPING


    Captain Benjamin Avery Esquire, formerly of His Majesty’s Britannic
Navy, stood at the prow of his vessel. One arm was in a sling, the other
held a small dog, tight against his hip. Beneath the bruises and cuts,
Avery’s face was pale, but the eyes shone a clear crucible-steel grey.
    Despite the size of the little rowboat, and the buffeting of the currents,
he held his stance with natural balance. The tide was rising and even this
far up the estuary, the river flowed backwards, helping them make
headway upriver. Avery looked at the black sky above London and
ordered the oarsman onto greater efforts.
    “For the love of God, harder man. The fires are growing fast and the
sea is miles away yet. Row for your life.”
    The blind oarsman sat at the stern of the little rowboat and bunched
his muscles. He was a huge man, blinded two summers before in a fight,
and now he needed Avery as much as Avery needed him. Avery had
promised to be his eyes, had promised to help his escape from the
Apocalypse. And so the blind man rowed, the stench of Armageddon in
his nostrils, oblivious to the fact that with every stroke he hauled the boat
further into the nightmare.
    Avery couldn’t bring himself to feel guilty; he would willingly accept
a thousand such black marks on his soul. He just felt a delicious thrill.
Eliza was in danger.[how does he know? …] She might not know it yet,
but he was coming to save her.


                                        ~




                                                                          448
                                                                         449




                              ST PAUL’S CATHEDRAL


    Eliza was moving in an instant, as soon as she heard a boot hitting the
first step she was on her feet. Crouching tight to the wall she worked her
way round the gallery, putting more yards between her and the stairwell.
The footsteps came closer and Eliza froze, but the steps continued on, on
and up, rising high into the recesses of the dome. Eliza paused to think,
there were another two galleries above them. The stone gallery, fifty yards
above, and then the golden gallery, another hundred yards above that.
Neither gallery gave a view down onto the Whispering gallery, so to that
extent they were safe. The figures below continued to sing, and under the
cover of their noise, Eliza risked a whisper.
    “They’ve gone up to the golden gallery.”
    “But why?”
    As if in answer, they heard a shuffling from above, and then through
the space between them fell the soft unravelling of a rope. It held a sheen
and had a lightness about it, as if made from silk. Then came a second
rope, or perhaps the other end of the first rope, looped over and fed back
down.
    “They’re pulling something up.” Jericho whispered the obvious.
    “Shhh!” Eliza hissed in return.
    Their stunted conversation was obliterated by a sombre metallic thud
against the west doors. Eliza peered uselessly into the shadows. It was as if
the giant fist of some metal ogre was knocking on the wooden doors. The
figures below ran quickly, unbarred the doors and were met with another
great cloud of black soot and dirt. It consumed them for a moment, but




                                                                         449
                                                                           450




then they emerged, dragging the metal fist into the church. Except it
wasn’t a fist, it was a giant bell, the Eucharist bell of St Paul’s, the treble
bell that rang out the morning mass.                                              Comment [L124]: ????
                                                                                  Comment [LH125]: check
      It’s metal ground angrily against the stone as they dragged it, one
heave at a time towards the Altar. They paused only when the bell had
come to rest in the centrepiece of the Cathedral, and then the purpose of
the     silken   cord   became     apparent.        One     of    the   robed
figures[conscientiously] tied a firm knot around one end, and then joined
the others as they pulled at the other. They heaved, and the bell lifted.
Six men in all were needed to raise the bell. They would stop occasionally,
but for the most part they pulled with a steady rhythm and sang their
sacred song.
      Eliza was half certain the rope would break, it seemed too long and
light to hold the weight of the metal, but the cord was uncommonly strong
and soon the bell had reached level with them as they watched from their
gallery. It carried on upwards, and steadily the bell disappeared into the
heights of the dome.
      “They’re smashing through the stone.” Jericho’s whisper came
rebounding round the cold wall. Eliza didn’t risk a reply, she knew it had
to be true. They didn’t have to wait long to find out. When the figures
below decided they had pulled enough, they walked the end of the rope a
safe distance and the secured it about the base of granite column. Five of
the figures retired to safety, but one, the tallest, stayed close. He pulled a
short knife from within his robe, sliced through the silk, and ran.
      The massive metal mass, made a muted quaver as it began its descent.        Comment [L126]: better??


Newton had once used the height of the cathedral dome to calculate the




                                                                           450
                                                                          451




acceleration of gravity to an accuracy of thirty two foot and two inches per
second per second. He had dropped an old gold coin into a great oak barrel       Comment [L127]: Note in book 3 - this turns out
                                                                                 that he was measure the 'alchemical' vibration of the
                                                                                 gold by listening to the noise it made through the air.
stationed at the floor of the cathedral, and timed the sound of the splash.      I.e. a means of measuring wch gold isotope ...
                                                                                 Comment [L128]: like an old fashioned particle
The bell now sped through two hundred and thirteen feet at the same              accelerator

impossible speed as that coin. It flashed past Eliza, and she could hear the
bell’s tone as its velocity through the air made the iron vibrate. There was
no barrel of water to catch the bell safely.
    Three tons of copper and tin, accelerated for over two hundred feet by
gravity, smashed into the granite with enough force to smash through a six
foot thick slab.    The slab in question was only two foot thick, and it
shattered into a dozen pieces. A cloud of rock dust spewed up and Eliza
leaned forward to see what remained after the impact. The cloud was
quick to settle, and the figures weren’t slow to come forward. She could
see quite clearly by the time they’d begun to lift away the pieces of granite,
and as the slabs of stone were removed it became evident that they had
smashed their way into some kind of chamber.
    “They’re coming up ....”
    Jericho’s voice came rattling round the stone wall of the gallery at
almost a shout. She jumped back into the shadows – nervous to make a
reply. Instead, she pulled the crossbow out from under her coat, and
slotted a bolt into its home. Laying the bow carefully on the floor, she
took out a second weapon, [a] [her] pistol, and with aching care not to
make noise, she pulled back the hammer and positioned the flint. Then
she waited, ready to act, crouched small in case she should be seen. The
next whisper, when it came was so faint she barely made out the words.
    “To your left ... ten foot ... two of them ....”




                                                                          451
                                                                            452




    The almost silent sound of a footstep, much closer than ten foot,
persuaded Eliza to action. She fumbled with the crossbow, almost caught it
in her coat, but managed to stand, and fire off the bolt into the thick of the
two figures. She didn’t wait to see it strike, she didn’t need to, the thud
into flesh and the pig-squeal cries were enough to tell her she’d hit. A
musket fired overhead and she knew the second man had spent his shot.
Eliza rose again, this time her pistol flashed, and in its flare she saw the
man’s face. [The light flared and she saw his face beneath the hood.][the
last 2 sentences kind of say the same thing – jars] With more time she
would have noted the man’s stature, and it would have confirmed it; he
was a whole hand over six foot, and big enough to punch a cow to the
ground. Despite his height the lead ball fizzed over his right shoulder, she
stood, temporarily mesmerized. Sir Robert Boyle was alive and well and
he took the opportunity to blast away with his second pistol.
    The lead hit her above the waist. The pain seared up from her belly
and seemed to slice up into her brain. She clung on to the stone parapet;
for some reason she was determined not to fall. Jericho was on his feet,
and she heard him on the other side of the gallery.              She [tried to
shout][shouted] across but her mouth was empty of sound. Jericho looked
at her, fierce eyed, and in that moment Eliza was sure he would save her,
was sure that somehow he would solve everything.
    But [instead Jericho Quick, Vampyre Demon, Death Cheater, …etc
etc][he] took one look at the figure in Black, towering behind her, and he
turned, and ran. Eliza felt the strength in her arms disappear. The stone
felt wet and she felt her hand slip. She lost sense as she hit the floor.




                                                                            452
    453




~




    453
                                                                      454




                      THE RIVER THAMES, SOUTHWARK


       Avery’s face was muffled by a scarf against the foul air. He wore a
tricorn hat pushed down low and peered, slit-eyed out into the gloom of
the river. Gresham College suddenly loomed large on his left, it’s great
shattered window like a giant fencing mask, only to disappear as quickly
into the black shadows. And then he caught a glimpse of the dome, the
dome of St Paul’s.
       The dog under Avery’s left arm barked as the pale stone emerged
from the smog, but Avery ignored it. The blind man continued to pull on
the oars, urged on by Avery’s words. “Not long now,” Avery said calmly,
“we’ll be out of this hell soon enough.”
       Eliza’s house was just two more bends round the river. With luck
she wouldn’t be there. With luck she would have heeded his note, and be
safe on the road to Gosport, but in his hear the knew she had stayed in
London. The Furies couldn’t have dragged Eliza Walpole away from
witnessing the apocalypse first hand. Avery knew she’d be in London, and
it was his duty to reach her, and to protect her.
       The blind man rowed on, on towards Westminster, and behind
them, the Cathedral of St Paul receded into the fog.


                                      ~




                                                                      454
                                                                         455




                         PALAIS DES TUILERIES, PARIS                            Comment [L129]: [more reference to “as
                                                                                London burned?”]




    The ende of the worlde was rather a British affair. It focussed almost
entirely on London. Paris, by contrast, was enjoying a gentle summer’s
day. The comet was regarded by most Parisians as an omen for a good
harvest. The garden at the Tuileries, set next to the River Seine, benefitted
from a cooling breeze off the water and Lady Margaret Salisbury, a little
warm after her ride up the hill, was glad of it.
    Her old mare had struggled to keep up with the Marquise de
Pompadour’s gelding on the gallop up to the top of the mound. The
Marquise never sat side-saddle and it gave her more speed, it was a point of
principle, she just rucked up her skirts and got on with it. Pompadour sat
comfortably astride her horse and looked along the river.
    “La vue est jolie, non?”                                                    Formatted: English (United Kingdom)


    Lady Salisbury nodded, she was still breathless and made a great show
of scrutinizing the view to hide the fact. Paris was massive, twice the size
of London. The Duchess looked along the snaking River Seine, at the jam
of river traffic and the long shadows of the grand, river-fronting
properties. The monstrous Notre Dame on its river-island, the endless
columns of the Palais du Louvre – a palace that could fit the whole of
Buckingham House into its cellar. Everything about Paris seemed to make
London look small and parochial. Eventually, Lady Margaret risked her
voice.

    “So Madame, what is your decision?             What course will you
recommend to Louis?”




                                                                         455
                                                                         456




    “Oh, Your Ladyship, what’s to decide?” Pompadour leaned forward,
patting her horse vigorously. “You have shown your hand, shown England
to be Godless, its honour is forsaken. Only through the cleansing of war
can England achieve salvation.”

    Lady Salisbury thought of England, on its knees, a land of refugees,
the capital city all but deserted. If the comet didn’t strike then hunger and
disease would finish the job of destruction. Once the French got past the
English Navy, the country wouldn’t have a chance. She thought of George
– asking her so sincerely to save his country, offering to go on his knees if
only she would keep the French at bay. It was time to do her Monarch’s
bidding.

    First, she made sure to manoeuvre her horse such that Pompadour was
forced to look south west, directly in[] to the glare of the afternoon sun.
In the harsh light of midsummer even Reinette’s face couldn’t completely
conceal the advance of time - small creases at the corner of her eyes,
laughter lines that no longer quite disappeared after the laughter stopped.
The sight of them emboldened the Englishwoman.

    “Then my next news will be of little interest. Sir William, would you
believe it, found something at the bottom of all that digging.”

    Pompadour smiled at the theatrical pause from Lady Margaret that
followed, deepening the lines at her eyes. She waited for the Duchess to
continue.

    “It seems there may be some truth to that story of yours; Sir William
found a burial chamber at the bottom of his hole.”

    Pompadour was still facing the sun, and her eyes were flushed with a




                                                                         456
                                                                                   457




fir’y pink. Lady Salisbury took her time in telling her story. “The burial
chamber was empty, but it had been emptied ... only recently. It seems
someone has beaten us all to it. Sir William wrote me straight away.” She
reached into the cuff of her pelisse and pulled out a folded letter. “Do you
want to read it? Sir William is jolly clever, the chamber may have been
empty of bones, but there was something there, a coin, think of it as a
clue.” The joyous smile on Lady Margaret’s face, as she looked at the
letter, was almost genuine. “Sir William has it all figured out, from one
tiny little coin.       He’s figured out everything – who stole the
sarcophagus[and], when[. H, ]ehe even knows where they moved it to.
We just need to go and pick it up”.

    Lady Margaret held the letter delicately. For a moment, Pompadour
was tempted to make a grab for it, but then she remembered her station,
remembered she was Consort to the King of France. Besides, she could
always have one of the guards steal it later. “And what do you want in
return for this – piece of paper?”

    “Piece of paper – paper of peace ... yes, very droll, Madame. Quite so,
quite that in fact. After all, it’s a little price to pay for everlasting life.”

                                         ~




                                                                                   457
                                                                           458




                              ST PAUL’S CATHEDRAL
    [note – can be a bit confusing when we have repetition of events but
seen from different view points]
    Eliza woke as the chanting stopped – replaced by the sound of a bell.
The treble bell, large as it was, was the smallest of the Cathedral’s carillon.
The bigger, tenor bell, at eleven tons, was truly colossal. It had been cast
in the furnaces of Bristol and two dozen oxen had been needed to pull it
along the old Roman road to London. And it had taken every ounce of               Comment [LH130]: inscription


Newton’s ingenuity to figure out how to get it up into the south east
tower. The A flat of the tenor bell clamoured across the deserted streets of
London.
    The bell rang as Eliza bled. The noise inside her head was astonishing.
She had been slung face down on the floor, and as the stone reverberated
to the frequency of the bell, its vibration passed right through her
cheekbone and into her skull.
    Her mind felt strangely cut off from the rest of her body, as though
she were somehow just a head. The lack of pain was a mercy, but she
cursed her inability to move. The robed men were busy working at the
open hole they’d smashed in the Cathedral floor. They were using the
church’s giant candlesticks as levers, and Eliza could see the wooden shafts
disappearing into the hole. With perfect organisation the figures pushed
the levers down in synchrony and as they pushed down, a coffin-like box
of marble rose out of the ground. To Eliza’s feeble mind the green marble
swirls of the box seemed to be moving – her eyes felt unbearably dry and
she shut them against the sight of the levitating coffin.
    She knew she had to get away, knew they wouldn’t just leave her, and




                                                                           458
                                                                        459




so with eyes rested shut she tried to summon up her senses, and her sinew
and blood - but her limbs just didn’t answer – as though the nerve fibres
were all severed.
    “Come now lass, I’ve something that’ll make you feel an ‘ole load
better.” The Black Country accent was unmistakeable. Eliza opened her
eyes and looked into the face of Sir Robert Boyle. The face was fleshed out
with genuine sympathy, and Eliza had to struggle to remember that he was
the reason she was dying. Sir Robert lifted her up and suddenly the agony
in Eliza’s body came raking back. She wheezed with the pain and was
soothed by Sir Robert’s soft words. “You’ll be right lass, you’ll be safe in
the body of the Lord,” he laughed, and with his hands under her shoulders
dragged her across to the stone sarcophagus. He held her there for some
moments, seemingly without effort, as others worked on the stone coffin
itself. Eliza was barely able to keep her head from sagging forward, but
somehow, driven by her fascination, she managed to keep focus on the
green marble as the men worked to cut through the wax and release the
seal.
    Robert Boyle still held her, and his voice was wheezing with
excitement as he spoke. . “The Bible ain’t the whole storyJohn the Divine
saw it all, do you see ‘liza? The The Book of Revelation of John tells us
everythingain’t the last book. . D’you seeunderstand? We don’t have to
lose. Life doesn’t have to end in pain and misery.”
    Eliza didn’t have the breath to respond and it seemed that Boyle didn’t
expect her to. . The men were cutting through the wax easily and Boyle
could barely contain his agitation. .     “There’s another Book, an older
book – a book that tells the full Ttruth. . And it The world don’t end like




                                                                        459
                                                                          460




this – this is just the beginning.” .”
    To Eliza it seemed as though he was just rambling, but there was some
comfort in hearing his voice, hearing any voice, as long as she could hear a
voice, she was still alive. .
    The wax seal was all but cut through and Boyle continued at the same
breathless pace, “He who succours the body of the Nazarene shall inherit
the Earth. . For that’s what this is ‘Liza, it’s the body of the Nazarene, the
ravaged body of Jesus Christ cut down from the cross. . They buried him
deep to protect his bones from the likes of us. . Then that bloody fool,
Isaac dug ‘em up and didn’t know what he’d found – so the idiot buried
‘em again. . It’s taken mye entire life to find this ‘Liza. . And you’ll soon
know why. . The body of Jesus Christ wi’ll rip the lead from thine belly
in a moment. . You’ll be runnin’ and jumpin’ like a five ten year old. .
Safe in the body of the Lord – that’s what it means ‘Liza. . Safe in the
body of the Lord we can ... ., well ... ., we can live forever.”
    The lid was heavy. . She could tell by the way it slid. . But slowly
and with the effort of six men it began to move. . Eliza could feel the
tension in Sir Robert’s body as he held her, leaning forward to catch a first
glimpse of the contents of the sarcophagus. .
    And then the wooden shaft of one of the candlesticks snapped. .
    They It was were wooden and old, and the marble must have weighed
more than five two tonns. . The wood splintered with a loud crack, and
the figures leaped back as the great box first tilted then tipped. . Sir
Robert was as quick as the rest, and Eliza felt another jolt of pain from her
belly as he dragged her backwards with him. . The marble coffin smashed
onto the floor and the force of it sent a shudder through the Earth. . The




                                                                          460
                                                                             461




lid flew forward and the coffin spewed up its contents onto the floor - a
long deadlinen wrapped corpse that rolled one turn before coming to a
stop. . Eliza looked down to see the face of the Lord, but even as she tried
to focus, she felt Sir Robert’s arms go limp in horror at the sight of it.
    The carcass was half-shrivelled and impossibly old, yet somehow
conpreserved by thick linen strips and smears of ancient preservatives. .
Its head was exposed, and, as the cadaver came to a rest, the face looked up
at her. . Desiccated with age, the skin like soil-buried leather. . Long
simian fangs, as long as the final knuckle on a thumb, jutted out from the
heavy jaw. T, the entire face was set in a contortion of fear and hate, as
though the creature had died whilst killing or feeding. . A creature it was,
it had the face of an ape. . The grimacing shrunken face of a long-dead,
giant ape.
    Sir Robert Boyle let go and Eliza didn’t have the strength to hold
herself upright. . She slid down to her knees, and there, as if in prayer,
she saw the first aAngel smash into the ground.




                                       ~




                                                                             461
                                                                         462




                            ST JAMES, MAYFAIR




    Avery had been banging on the front door for barely a minute before
his patience gave out. . The lower windows were barred and with his
injured arm there was little chance of climbing up to the first floor. .
Instead he decided to try getting in at the back. . Like all the houses in St
James it was comfortably detached and surrounded by an imposing wall. .
Even with his arm in a sling BenAvery had the agility to hitch himself
over the eight foot of brick and into the small garden. . There were
double doors into a kitchen and he didn’t hesitate before smashing his way
in. . He didn’t stop to imagine Eliza’s cook, busy over one of the big stoves
– instead, he was out of the kitchen in seconds and running down the
corridor, looking for the stairway. . Only at the foot of the grand staircase
did he pause.
    The house was empty, even the floors and the walls had been stripped
bare. . God bless her, Eliza had taken everything, she’d upped and gone. .
He could have shouted with relief, but he kept his dignity. . Eliza was
safe, hopefully a hundred miles out of London. . God alone knew how she
had managed to get transport for her entire household furnishings.          .
Avery sat on the bottom step, suddenly weary. . A smile lit across his face
and he leaned back against the wall, with any luck she’d be safe in
Gosport, having tea with his mother. .
    A dog barked on the other side of the front door and BenAvery
remembered that he’d left Newton on the street. . He opened the door
and let in a waft of grubby air, Newton stood there – barking.




                                                                         462
                                                                       463




    “Come on fella[fellow], get in quick. . Eliza [wi’ll] be mad if we make
the place filthy.” .”[his speech is very clipped and may
    be should stay consistently so…?]


    But the dog was having none of it. . He turned and set off at a run, ,
then but pause[edstoppeding]d to once to see if he was being followed. .
Avery was curious and he stood to follow. . The Beagle gave a final bark
and then ran as if the Four Horseman of the ApocalypseApocalypse had
blown a hunting horn.
    Which in many ways they had.


                                      ~




                                                                       463
                                                                         464




                           ST PAUL’S CATHEDRAL



    Sir Christopher Wren’s last act in the creation of the cathedral was to
commission five statues. . The winning sculptor was Genoese and happily
took part payment on the ninety guineas due from the English Treasury. .
When the statues arrived, barely five months later, Sir Christopher was no
little surprised at the speed with which the young Genoan had delivered          Comment [L131]: check


on his promise, but the statues were good quality, and to the prescribed
design. . [perhaps he had a studio and ‘assistants’ not all completely by his
own hand but still of a quality – just how things would be
undertaken]They soon made their way into the cathedral, five nameless
angels, each over two a yards high, each praying in supplication to God.
    They were nameless but known, for they were the five angels of the
ApocalypseApocalypse, the angels of St John’s Revelation.            .     Sir
Christopher had them placed inside his great dome, looking down over the
main body of the church, silent guardians against the EndeEnd.
    Eliza was kneeling, she couldn’t quite remember why, but she knew it
was important to get away. . A second statue crashed down and she saw it
crush a man to obliteration. . The noise of it was truly terrifying, stone
smashing on stone with feeble chunks of human bone and meat to mask
the impact. . Eliza held her fist into her belly and crawled. . She crawled
despite the pain, she’d seen a grown man pulverised to a maush, and the
fear drove her on. .
    She looked up only once and instantly regretted it. . Right above her
she saw a statue move, it leaned forward as if about to take flight, but its




                                                                         464
                                                                         465




wings were folded,, and [anyway][bit awkward sentence] they were made
of the stone. . The statue tilted forward and at one moment it seemed
suspended in mid-air, as if flight might indeed be a possibility, but then it
began its descent and Eliza was sure she’d be killed. .
    The angel though, wasn’t destined for her, though.           .   It came
swooping to the ground in a parabola, physicks guided its path, and the last
thing Eliza remembered was the sight of Sir Robert Boyle’s huge bulk – his
huge chest and shoulders that looked like they could withstand a thousand
blows - snuffed out in a moment. . The sound of exploding flesh should
have made her retch, but she didn’t have the energy. . Instead, she lay
face down, and prayed. .


                                      ~



    The Cathedral was empty by the time JerichoBenjamin reached her,
the sight of Sir Robert Boyle’s annihilation had persuaded everyone with
legs to run. . Eliza was barely conscious and he Benjamin didn’t waste
time with talk. . Along with everything else, his grandfather had taught
him something of surgical techniques. . He knew the main thing was to
dig out the lead shot and stop the bleeding. .
    JerichoBenjamin was shaking, he looked down at Eliza’s blood-sprayed
body and felt his chest tighten with fear. . She looked tiny, like a little
dead bird, and his eyes started to leak tears as he looked for the bullet’s
entry point. . He ripped her bodice to widen his access to the wound, and
then he went to work with his knife. . There was no time to clean the
blade properly so he covered it with gunpowder from a pistol and struck a




                                                                         465
                                                                            466




flint. . The explosion almost took his eyebrows, but the steel was scorched
black and he was satisfied with it. . JerichoBenjamin had never prayed in
his life, but he felt himself mumbling now. . He was talking to Eliza,
urging her to live, begging her. .
    “I’ll see you al’right, Eliza. . I’ll see you al’right.” .” He repeated it
like a mantra, as if by saying the words it would come true, but only he
could hear, Eliza was fading away. . With every pulse of blood her
endeend was coming. .
    [“I’ll see you al’right,”][re-read this bit – jars a bit] hHe chattered to
himself, and pushed the tip of the blade into her flesh..       She groaned, but
Quick JerichoBenjamin ignored her and worked his knife into the wound,
desperately feeling for the shot. . He found it easily, but it was impossibly
slippery, and by the time he‘d finished there was blood everywhere. .
Eliza’s breathing was shallow, the skin on her face and hands almost
translucent white. . It was hard to believe that she still had a pulse, but
she did, just. .
    He needed to cauterize the wound fast. . His grandfather had always
said that sealing the wound with fire was the most important part of the
operation, but building a fire would take too long.         .    He decided to
improvise. . He’d use more powder, blast the wound clean and seal it up
at the same time. . JerichoBenjamin found another musket horn and was
pouring the black powder onto Eliza’s wound when the doors of the
Cathedral came crashing open. .
    JerichoBenjamin looked up to see Captain Avery. . He came through
the great double doors, the air outside was still filth-strewn and the black
muck almost consumed him as he stepped inside. . The Captain didn’t




                                                                            466
                                                                         467




speak, but he didn’t need to. . He lifted a pistol and pointed it dead ahead.
. JerichoBenjamin could almost feel the barrel stabbing into his chest. .
His first instinct was to smile, but he forced himself not to. . Instead he
got to his feet, all the time letting the powder pour. . First over Eliza’s
bodice and then onto the floor as he took a step backwards. . He looked a
sight, smothered from hand to head in the blood of his patient.
    “I think she’ll be al’right,” he said, “but I only ever practiced on a
squirrel.”
    Avery was only twenty yards away, his hand was steady as it held the
pistol, but JerichoBenjamin knew he‘d never risk a shot above Eliza.
    “This will help.” .”
    JerichoBenjamin finished tapping his fingers on the horn and let it
drop to the floor. . It was cow horn but with copper ornamentation at
both the rim and the point. . That point hit granite, and the spark it
generated was enough to ignite the grains of gunpowder by his foot. . The
black powder blazed into life and the short trail fizzled as the spark made
its way back towards Eliza.      .   The mound of powder on her flesh
combusted into a flare of bright light and white black smoke.
    JerichoBenjamin didn’t wait to see what happened next. . He took
advantage of the distraction to ghost himself back down into the cathedral
crypt.


                                     ~




                                                                         467
                                                                           468




                               LONDONEPILOGUE



    It took some time after the Comet strike for Londoners to accept the
fact that the world continued to turn. . That night, Ppeople looked up
into the sky, half expecting to see the Comet still up there. , Bbut it was
gone..     The comet sailed on into a new quarter of the heavens, and the
night sky above London was filled only with stars and the thin crescent of
a newborn moon.

    By the following day even the river had returned to a more normal,
muddy brown. By the following day even the river had returned to a
more normal, muddy brown. [need more explanation – where has the
comet gone? – maybe need to re-work…. Discuss with Joe]

    Some sense of euphoria might have been expected, but running
alongside that was instead there was a different emotion, a sense of
anticlimax.    .   Besides, the gin barrels had all been emptied over the
previous weeks, and the English found it hard to experience strong
emotion without a little of the juniper coursing through their veins. . No,
Londoners returned sulkily to their city. . Desperate to get away from the
boredom of the rural slums, they nonetheless dreaded the return. . It was
as though everyone was suffering the mother of all hangovers. .

                               [~time passes symbol]                             Formatted: Centered


         The authorities investigated the site of the so-called Comet strike
 thoroughly. . The Lord Chancellor’s Department was first on the scene,
and they closed off the whole of St. . Catherine’s Docks to prevent looters
  from filching bits of meteor. . But when they inspected the decimated          Comment [LH132]: /moonrockmore brimstome
                                                                                 language




                                                                           468
                                                                             469




 demolished dockyard they were quickly disabused of any astral cause. .
The explosion blast zone centred on what had been one of the warehouses,
  Warehouse 518. . It was clear, even after all the destruction, that the           Comment [LH133]: ref to America “hanger”
                                                                                    alien thing

              explosion had been the work of man, not God. .



    A great pit had been excavated in the floor of the warehouse, and
judging by the debris, several tonnes of gunpowder packed into the space.
. The roof of the warehouse had been blown clean off, and splints of barrel
oak had been flung out as far as the Tower of London on the other side of
the river. . One mystery was understanding how the explosion had failed
to start a fire; London, even after the great fire of 1666, was still filled with
wooden buildings, but not a single one had been ignited by the
explosionblast.

    An explanation, put forward by Thomas Hooke, now the leading light
of the embattled Royal Society, was the prevalence of soot. . The barrels
of powder had clearly been covered by great mounds of coal dust and ash.
. The day after the endeend of the worlde the sky above London had a dull
coal-gray aspect; it was filled with tiny particles of sooty ash. . Even a
week later, the sunset over the river had an odd, purple tinge. . The
Borough of Wapping, and several beyond it were covered in a thick layer
of grime. . Downwind to the west, even as far as the royal palaces at
Windsor and Hampton, housekeepers were cursing the explosion for
months. .

    [Everyone assumed thatThat the French were to blame. was in little
doubt.][again, we need to careful about this apparent ‘facts’ as they




                                                                             469
                                                                         470




potentially confuse the reader] What puzzled most was that they failed to
declare war. . Even on the ThursdayWednesday, the day after the attack,
it would have been the simplest thing in the world to sail up the Thames
and deposit an army on the banks of Westminster. .

    Sir Lancelot Blackburne seemed genuinely puzzled when he made his
report to the King a week after the devastation. .

    The Lord Chancellor had also attended the warehouse itselfhimself,
interested to witness the desolation first hand. He, and told the King was
how astonished by he was by the the audacity of the plan. , told him that
French agents couldn’t have executed the plan it alone, and that l – local
collaborators, at all levels of society, were implicated. . Nobody was in
any doubt that Tthere was need of an inquisition, to root out the traitors to
the English Crown, and later that day, in the Lord’s debating chamber at        Comment [L134]: check


the Palace of Westminster, Blackburne vowed to cut away the treachery           Comment [L135]: Palace of Westminster


root and branch.



    Much to the annoyance of Sir Robert Walpole, the supposed Prime
Minister, the Lord Chancellor’s Department was given full emergency
powers to deal with the crisis.



                                     ~




                                                                         470
                                                                           471




                                  EPILOGUE



                                                                                 Formatted: Centered




    Sir Lancelot Blackburne, former pirate, now Archbishop of York, Lord
Keeper of the Great Seal, and High Chancellor of England and Wales, sat
in his wheeled conveyancing chair and allowed himself to be pushed by
the young Captain Avery. . He listened whilst the Captain gave his report.
    “It is almost impossible to comment, Ssir, unless you give me access to
the sarcophagus ... . and the ape.”
    “The sarcophagus has been taken up to Oxford. . Sir Thomas Hooke,
the new President of The Royal Society, has offered to help us discover its
secret. . That’s all you need to know”
    “But, sir, I must be allowed access if I’m to properly investigate―”
    “Do not concern yourself with this ... . simian, Avery. . We have
thinkers enough to deal with that. . What England needs now, Captain,
are fighterswarriors. . Do have you any better idea why the French failed
to invade?”
    Avery took a breath to assuage hide his ill-concealed frustration. .
“Well, sir, it does seem that the Duchess of Salisbury persuaded ‘em not to.
. You know how persuasive she can be.”
    “Poppycock, the woman’s a traitor. . There must be something else.”
    “Well, maybe they never intended to invade at all, sSir. . We still
have no idea who the culprits actually were. . We can’t find any evidence
of French involvement at all. . It seems that the Hell Fyre Clubbe acted




                                                                           471
                                                                        472




alone.”
    “What makes you so certain, Captain? We’ve nothing to confirm the
Clubbe’s involvement in any of this.         The corpses you found at the
Cathedral were rather ...” Blackburne searched for the right word to
describe the shattered state of the three bodies they had recovered from
the wreckage of St Paul’s. “ ... rather ragged.”
    “Their clothes sir, they were English gentlemen, and their robes bore
the sign of the twin crescents. It’s the sign of the Clubbe. Add to that the
fact that Sir Francis Dashwood is has disappeared dead and it’s obvious—”
    “Nothing about this is obvious at all, Captain. What are you saying,
that Sir Francis Dashwood and the Hell Fyre Clubbe concocted this entire
ridiculous charade, destroyed half of the east end, polluted the Thames,
spread panic and alarm in order to do what exactly? Break into a Cathedral
floor and dig up an ape?”
    “Yes sir, that’s why I need to see the ape.         There’s something
important about it, or maybe they were expecting to find something else.
The doings at St Paul’s are connected with the excavations at Stonehenge.
I believe they thought the contents of the tomb beneath the henge had
been relocated to the Cathedral.”
    “This is pure conjecture, Avery.        You’re giving the Clubbe more
significance than it deserves. Dashwood couldn’t have organised this—”
    “But Dashwood may not even be the half of it.” Avery interrupted his
superior and immediately hesitated when he realised what he’d done.”
    “Go on, Avery, tell me your theories about the other half.”
    “Well ... if Jacob Olger was correct, the Clubbe is a secret cult,
dedicated to surviving the Armageddon. I think they were expecting to




                                                                        472
                                                                            473




find answers to their quest for everlasting life ... I know it sounds daft, sir,
but I think they were expecting to find the sepulchre of Christ.”
    “And instead they found the carcass of dead ape.”
    Avery hesitated, there was really only one thing on his mind, after a
moment’s pause he blurted it out. “If I could only interview Lady Eliza,
she saw everything—”
    “The girl is sick,” interrupted Blackburne forcefully. . “You entrusted
her to my care and the doctors are most alarmed. . She seems to be
recovering from her wounds ... . but her mind,... it’s loose ...”
    “If I could just see her for a moment; I’m sure know I could help, sir.”
.” The frustration in Avery’s voice was raw.
    “Nothing doing, Avery. . You’ll see her soon enough. . Just give the
physicians time. . Trust me, Captain, no one wants to hear Lady Eliza’s
version of events more than I do, but her mind is fragile ... . If we force
her to remember the happenings inside that Cathedral, then heaven knows
what will happen. . You know about her mother, I suppose? [perhaps this
is the point at which Avery finds out the full extent of Eliza’s mother’s
madness?]
    Avery hesitated, unsure how to answer. “I am aware that she suffered
from some kind of delirium ...”
    “Delirium’s not the half of it ... she was psychoticdemented.           She
wasn’t human by the end - by the time she died she was a rabin animald
beast.”
    Blackstone paused to make sure his words were hitting home. “The
same bloods runs in young Eliza Walpole. If Lady Eliza she even so much
as sees you it could push her mind over the edge, and then it might never




                                                                            473
                                                                        474




come back.”
    Avery was silent and Sir Lancelot took it as acquiescence.
    “Very good, Avery. . Now, push me into the garden.”
    AveryBenAvery’s head churned with the image contained his
frustration with another deep breath that Blackburne had placed there.
Not just Eliza’s mother, – but Eliza herself ,- something not human, a
degenerate, rabid demented beastanimal., and pushed on in silence The
same blood runs in young Eliza Walpole. An acrid nausea squirted into his
throat, . and he pushed the chair on in silence.
    He Avery hadn’t seen Eliza since that terrible day. . In his desperation
he’d carried her body to Lambeth Palace, at a loss where else to take her. .
Sir Lancelot had consented without hesitation, had [promising]ed his own
personal doctor. . And iIf anyone could keep her alive it was Sir Lancelot
Blackburne’s personal physician,[. . Tthe man had ]to be a miracle worker.
.
    Hour by hour, Dday by day, Avery would receive reports. , At first,
Eliza was winning, by day three she was sitting up, but then, just as it
seemed possible for him to visit, came the setback. . Her mind wasn’t
altogether there. . The physicians called it dementia. . That was a week
ago, and still Avery was refused access.
    “Captain, my usual spot over by the pomegranate tree.” .” Avery used
his good hand to manoeuvre the chair, the other was still in a sling.
    “Tell me, What of the other witness?h Have you got anywhere with
the Boy?” asked Blackburne.
    “No sir, JerichoBenjamin Quick has gone to ground.” .”
    “Well then you must dig him out, Captain. . If a fox goes to ground




                                                                        474
                                                                            475




you dig him out. . He’ll have gone down to his woods at Shefford. . I
want him brought back, at all costs ... . and I want you to get him. .
You’re to devote yourself to it, Captain, ... . understand? Go back down to
Shefford, and dig him out. Ttake as many men as you need.””
    “I cannot, sir. . I really must insist that I see Lady Eliza soon, if she is
deteriorating then―”
    “Enough, Captain. . Stick to your duty ... . let others perform theirs. .
Go down to Shefford, dig out the pup and bring him here, to me. . If we
are to help Lady Eliza, it is of the utmost importance that I interrogate the
only competent witness to the events in the cathedral.When you’re back,
we can see about Lady Walpole.” ” Blackburne took a wheezing intake of
air. , “Now, let me be, call Montrose, I need some rest.”
    Sometime later, after Avery had left, Montrose silently joined his
master in the garden.
    “Montrose, what news from Sir Robert Hooke?”
    “A little, sir. . His preliminary conclusion is that the creature is indeed
some kind of ape. . He has named it ...” .” he paused to pull out a scraip of      Comment [LH136]: hominid]


paper and some copper-framed reading glasses, “troglodytes erectus ... . It’s
an ape that walked upright, like a man.
    Blackburne looked up at Montrose and sucked at his teeth. . “What
else?”
    “That’s it, sir. . Hooke is trying to discover how old the thing is. . He
said he’ll have more to report, next week.” .” Montrose paused before
offering an opinion. . “Sir, might this whole thing be Newton’s idea of
some kind of a joke?”
    “Did you ever meet Sir Isaac?”




                                                                            475
                                                                       476




    “No, sir”
    “The one thing you should know about Sir Isaac Newton is that he
never joked about anything ... ... in his life.”
    “Right, sir.”
    “If Hooke hasn’t discovered anything more by next week, then have
him bring the ape back here ... ... I’ll work on it myself.”
    ““Very good, sir.” Blackburne sucked at his lips, thinking. “What is
the status of the Clubbe, Montrose?”
    “The Clubbe is currently leaderless. We recovered Dashwood’s body;
Sir Robert Boyle shot him through the heart. And of the three dead in the
Cathedral, we’re certain Sir Robert is one.”
    “Shame, well, he served his purpose. He excavated the tomb for us - it
wasn’t his fault that Newton has played sill buggers.”
    “All in all the plan worked rather well, I thought sir. Would you like
me to bring you a celebratory glass of lemonade?”
     “Yes that would be most welcome. But until we solve this new
mystery - I fear any celebration is a little premature. The ape must be
some sort of clue,” Blackburne slapped his palm onto the soft arm of his
chair in a small show of annoyance. “Bloody Newton and his clues.”
    “Do you suppose the real body is buried elsewhere, sir?”
    “Well I don’t think Jesus Christ was a bloody ape, Montrose.”
Blackburne snapped with a sudden turn of temper.
    “So we’re back to where we started.”
    “Not quite, Newton wouldn’t have gone to all this trouble just to bury
a dead ape.         That ape may not hold the secret to everlasting
lifeimmortality, but it does hold some secret ... and according to Newton’s




                                                                       476
                                                                          477




diaries he figured that something out. Bring Sir Isaac’s papers up to my
office will you. I will go through them again – see if I can find reference
to this troglodytes erectus.”                                                    Formatted: Font: Italic


    “Of course, sir. What will we do with the Clubbe? Should we appoint
a new leader? Sir Robert’s tenure as the official leader was rather short-
lived.”
    “The Clubbe is still useful to us, even without Sir Robert to organise it.
We’ll choose someone over the coming week – someone in the mould of
Sir Francis Dashwood will do for now – a figurehead who will be easy to
manipulate when the time comes. They’ll have to keep a rather lower
profile for the moment.”
    “And Lady Walpole? Should I increase her dosage?”
    Blackburne’s eyes gave a sudden flash of anger. “Eliza Walpole is to be
kept sedated, that is all. We may have need use for of her. Avery has
guessed rather too much for my liking and we may need Lady Elizabeth
Walpole to keep him in check.”
    “Yes sir, I’ll make sure Lady Eliza is kept most comfortable.”
    “I’ll take my drink in an hour; how much of the Maltese coin do we
have left?”
    “Still well over three quarters. If we go down to a maintenance dose,
it should last ‘til Christmas.”[need to explain more what he is talking
about]                                                                           Comment [L137]: Tincture in the next
                                                                                 book:“I’ll take my drink in an hour; how much of
                                                                                 the Maltese coin do we have left?”
    “Good, now push me away from this wall. . I’m over-hot today.                “Still well over three quarters. If we go down to a
                                                                                 maintenance dose, it should last ‘til Christmas.”
Collect me when Newton’s papers are ready to be examined.”
    Montrose repositioned the chair, and pausing only to loosen the
blanket around Sir Lancelot’s feet, he disappeared silently into the gloom




                                                                          477
                                                                         478




of the medieval palace.


 ~[NEED TO EXPLAIN MORE OF WHO DONE IT AT THE END OF THE BOOK, HOW,            Formatted: Centered, Indent: First line: 0"


 WHY, BLACKBURNE NEEDS TO KNOW – PERHAPS HAVE HIM GO IN TO TALK TO

   ELIZA – IS SHE OK AFTER-ALL, WOUNDED BUT MIND IS SOUND – IS HE JUST

FOBBING OFF AVERY? DO WE GET A GLIMPSE OF JERICHO WATCHING ON AT THIS

 END SCENE – HE NEDS TO BE EVER PRESENT, EVR SNEAKY AND EVER IN ELIZA’S

LIFE…..] THE LAST 50 PAGES MAY NEED TO BE EXPANDED UPON AT POINTS SO IT

  ISN’T OVER AND WRAPPED UP TO QUICKLY   - DISCUSS WITH JOE – YOU KNOW
HOW FRUSTRATING IT IS WHEN SOMETHING IS OVER ALL TOO SOON – WE NEED

  TO MAKE SURE ENOUGH IS EXPLAINED TO WRAP THIS ONE UP – BUT NOT TOO

MUCH AND INTRODUCE ENOUGH FOR THE NEXT BOOK BUT NOT TOO MUCH 9THIS

               ONE NEEDS TO STAND ALONE IF NECESSARY….]




                                                                         478
                                                                                  479




                                                                                          Formatted: Font: Book Antiqua, 11 pt
                                    Appendix 1
                                                                                          Formatted: Font: Book Antiqua, 7 pt
                                                                                          Formatted: Font: Book Antiqua, 11 pt
                         ScientifickScientific Footnotes
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i    Gunpowder                                                                            Numbered + Level: 1 + Numbering Style: i, ii,
                                                                                          iii, … + Start at: 1 + Alignment: Left + Aligned
                                                                                          at: 0" + Indent at: 0.25"
     Benjamin Quick’s escape from the gibbet has been widely accredited to the use
                                                                                          Formatted: Font: Bold
of gunpowder. Although it is most likely that black powder was smuggled into
                                                                                          Comment [l138]: Gunpowder is one of the
Newgate, there is some possibility that he manufactured his own.                          four great inventions of ancient China, and
                                                                                          came to Europe as early as the 13th Century.
     Gunpowder is a granular mixture of saltpetre (which supplies oxygen for the          One of the earliest European references to
                                                                                          gunpowder is found in Roger Bacon's Epistola de
reaction), sulfur (which lowers the temperature of ignition and increases the speed of    secretis operibus artiis et naturae from 1267.

combustion) and charcoal (which provides the fuel).
                                                                                          Formatted: Font: Book Antiqua, 10 pt, Not
     Saltpetre (potassium nitrate) is the critical oxidizing component, and was           Bold, English (United Kingdom)
                                                                                          Formatted: Font: Book Antiqua, 10 pt, English
traditionally made using niter-beds, prepared by mixing manure with either mortar
                                                                                          (United Kingdom)
or wood ashes. It would also be possible to create saltpetre from bat or bird guano.      Formatted: Font: Book Antiqua, 10 pt, English
                                                                                          (United Kingdom)
Decomposition of nitrogen through bacterial oxidation would produce potassium
                                                                                          Formatted: Font: Book Antiqua, 10 pt, English
and calcium nitrates. The latter could be converted to potassium nitrate by the           (United Kingdom)
                                                                                          Formatted: Font: Book Antiqua, 10 pt, English
addition of potash from wood ashes.
                                                                                          (United Kingdom)
     The mineral marcasite (iron sulfide, FeS2) is often confused with pyrite or Fool’s   Formatted: Font: Book Antiqua, 10 pt, English
                                                                                          (United Kingdom)
Gold. It was used for jewellery in ancient times, and archaeologists have discovered
                                                                                          Formatted: Font: Book Antiqua, 10 pt, English
examples in Incan burial places in Peru. Ancient Greeks were also known to use it to      (United Kingdom), Not Superscript/ Subscript

adorn themselves. Marcasite was popular in Europe during the 18th century and             Formatted: Font: Book Antiqua, 10 pt, English
                                                                                          (United Kingdom)
was frequently seen in lockets, brooches, and cameos. The extraction of sulfur from       Formatted: Font: (Default) Book Antiqua, 10
                                                                                          pt, Font color: Auto, English (United Kingdom)
the marcasite would not have been a simple process, buta desperate criminal could
                                                                                          Formatted: Font: (Default) Book Antiqua, 10
have used both manual grinding and the stomach acid in vomit to break down the            pt, Font color: Auto, English (United Kingdom)

compound.                                                                                 Formatted: Font: (Default) Book Antiqua, 10
                                                                                          pt, Font color: Auto, English (United Kingdom)
                                                                                          Formatted: Indent: First line: 0.3", Space
                                                                                          After: 0 pt, No bullets or numbering
ii   Underwater Dog Experiment                                                            Formatted: Font: (Default) Book Antiqua, 10
                                                                                          pt
        Liquid-breathing, the ventilation of the lungs with an oxygenated fluid, has      Formatted: Font: (Default) Book Antiqua, 10
                                                                                          pt
a history dating back to the 1920s. Although there is no evidence of earlier scientific
                                                                                          Formatted: Font: (Default) Book Antiqua, 10
exploration of this phenomenon, the technology adopted in the early experiments           pt

involved the use of a heavily oxygenated saline-solution heated to 18 degrees             Formatted: Font: (Default) Book Antiqua, 10
                                                                                          pt




                                                                                  479
                                                                                    480




Celsius, and would have been available to an 18th Century scientific philosopher.           Formatted: Font: (Default) Book Antiqua, 10
                                                                                            pt
        The first experiments were conducted on rodents, however the studies soon
shifted to larger animals, such as dogs, for whom carbon dioxide elimination was
                                                                                            Formatted: Font: Not Bold
less problematic.
                                                                                            Formatted: Indent: Left: 0.25", No bullets or
                                                                                            numbering
                                                                                            Formatted: Font: Book Antiqua, 10 pt, English
iii Red-Shift                                                                               (United Kingdom)
                                                                                            Formatted: Body Text, Justified, Indent: First
        In physics and astronomy, redshift occurs when electromagnetic radiation            line: 0.3", Line spacing: 1.5 lines, No bullets
                                                                                            or numbering, Pattern: Clear
(usually visible light) emitted or reflected by an object is shifted towards the less
                                                                                            Formatted: Font: Book Antiqua, 10 pt, Not
energetic ("red") end of the electromagnetic spectrum due to the Doppler effect.            Bold, English (United Kingdom)

More generally, redshift is defined as an increase in the wavelength of                     Formatted: Font: Book Antiqua, 10 pt, English
                                                                                            (United Kingdom)
electromagnetic radiation received by a detector compared with the wavelength               Formatted: Font: Book Antiqua, 10 pt, English
                                                                                            (United Kingdom)
emitted by the source. This increase in wavelength corresponds to a drop in the
                                                                                            Formatted: Font: Book Antiqua, 10 pt, English
frequency of the electromagnetic radiation. Conversely, a decrease in wavelength is         (United Kingdom)

called blue shift.                                                                          Formatted: Font: Book Antiqua, 10 pt, English
                                                                                            (United Kingdom)
        Any increase in wavelength is called "redshift", even if it occurs   in             Formatted: Font: Book Antiqua, 10 pt, Not
                                                                                            Italic, English (United Kingdom)
electromagnetic radiation of non-optical wavelengths, such as gamma rays, x-rays
                                                                                            Formatted: Font: Book Antiqua, 10 pt, English
and ultraviolet. This nomenclature might be confusing since, at wavelengths longer          (United Kingdom)

than red visible light (e.g., infrared, microwaves, and radio waves), redshifts shift the   Formatted: Font: Book Antiqua, 10 pt, Not
                                                                                            Italic, English (United Kingdom)
radiation away from the red wavelengths.                                                    Formatted: Font: Book Antiqua, 10 pt, English
                                                                                            (United Kingdom)
        An observed redshift due to the Doppler effect occurs whenever a light
                                                                                            Formatted: Font: Book Antiqua, 10 pt, English
source moves away from the observer, corresponding to the Doppler shift that                (United Kingdom)

changes the perceived frequency of sound waves. Although observing such                     Formatted: Font: Book Antiqua, 10 pt, Not
                                                                                            Italic, English (United Kingdom)
redshifts, or complementary blue shifts, has several terrestrial applications (e.g.,        Formatted: Font: Book Antiqua, 10 pt, English
                                                                                            (United Kingdom)
Doppler radar and radar guns),[1] spectroscopic astrophysics uses Doppler redshifts
                                                                                            Formatted: Font: Book Antiqua, 10 pt, English
to determine the movement of distant astronomical objects.[2]                               (United Kingdom), Not Superscript/ Subscript
                                                                                            Formatted: Font: Book Antiqua, 10 pt, English
                                                                                            (United Kingdom)
iv Ouija – Ideomotor Effect                                                                 Formatted: Font: Book Antiqua, 10 pt, English
                                                                                            (United Kingdom), Not Superscript/ Subscript
        The first historical mention of something resembling an Ouija board is found        Formatted: Font: Book Antiqua, 10 pt, English
                                                                                            (United Kingdom)
in China around 1100 BC, a divination method known as fuji "planchette writing".
                                                                                            Formatted: Indent: First line: 0.3", Space
Other sources claim that according to an historical account by the philosopher              After: 0 pt, No bullets or numbering

Pythagoras, in 540 BC, his sect would conduct séances at "a mystic table, moving on         Formatted: Font: Bold
                                                                                            Formatted                                     ...
wheels, moved towards signs, which the philosopher and his pupil, Philolaus,
                                                                                            Formatted: Indent: First line: 0.3", Space
interpreted to the audience as being revelations supposedly from an unseen world."          After: 0 pt, No bullets or numbering




                                                                                    480
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     The ideomotor effect provides a possible explanation for many paranormal                Formatted: Body Text, Justified, Indent: First
                                                                                             line: 0.3", Line spacing: 1.5 lines
phenomena such as dowsing, scrying with pendulums and Ouija boards. [In essence
it says that people are subconsciously deluding themselves and creating the                  Formatted: Body Text, Justified, Line spacing:
                                                                                              1.5 lines
supposed psychic effects themselves.        The ideomotor effect - also known as             Formatted: List Paragraph, Left, Line spacing:
                                                                                              single, No bullets or numbering
automatism - was first proposed in 1852 by William B. Carpenter as a psychological
                                                                                             Formatted: Font: Bold
phenomenon whereby the body produces tiny, involuntary muscular movements in
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response to unconscious desires.]                                                            numbering
                                                                                             Formatted: Font: Book Antiqua, 10 pt
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                                                                                             Formatted: Numbered + Level: 1 +
v   Salivary Enzymes and Blood                                                               Numbering Style: i, ii, iii, … + Start at: 1 +
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vi Isotopes of Gold                                                                          Bold
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vii Datura Inoxia – The Angel’s Trumpet                                                      Formatted: Font: Book Antiqua, 10 pt, English
                                                                                             (United Kingdom)

          Datura have been known for centuries as the Angel’s Trumpet because of the         Formatted: Font: Book Antiqua, 10 pt, Not
                                                                                             Italic, English (United Kingdom)
size and shape of their exotic flowers. These fragrant plants were popular during the        Formatted: Font: Book Antiqua, 10 pt, English
                                                                                             (United Kingdom)
Edwardian era when they became a mainstay of a well-stocked conservatory.
                                                                                             Formatted: Font: Book Antiqua, 10 pt, English
Although no record exists of their cultivation in England in 1736, they would                (United Kingdom)

certainly have been known in the Indian colonies at that time.                               Formatted: Font: Book Antiqua, 10 pt, English
                                                                                             (United Kingdom)
          All Datura plants contain tropane alkaloids such as scopolamine,                   Formatted: Font: Book Antiqua, 10 pt, English
                                                                                             (United Kingdom)
hyoscyamine, and atropine, primarily in their seeds and flowers but also in their
                                                                                             Formatted: Font: Book Antiqua, 10 pt, English
nectar.    Because of the presence of these substances, Datura has been used for             (United Kingdom)

centuries in some cultures as a poison and hallucinogen. The Aztecs called the plant         Formatted: Font: Book Antiqua, 10 pt, English
                                                                                             (United Kingdom)
toloatzin, and used the plant for therapeutic purposes – however they warned                 Formatted: Font: Book Antiqua, 10 pt, English
                                                                                             (United Kingdom)
against madness and "various and vain imaginings". The alkaloids of these plants
                                                                                             Formatted: Font: Book Antiqua, 10 pt, English
are very similar to those of mandrake, deadly nightshade, and henbane, which are             (United Kingdom)

also highly poisonous plants used cautiously for effective pain relief in antiquity.         Formatted: Indent: Left: 0.25", No bullets or
                                                                                             numbering
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                                                                                             Formatted                                        ...
viii Phosphorus
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                                                                                       481
                                                                                 482




     Due to its high reactivity, phosphorus is never found as a free element in nature   Formatted: Body Text, Justified, Indent: First
                                                                                         line: 0.3", Line spacing: 1.5 lines
on Earth. The first form of phosphorus to be discovered in the modern age (white
phosphorus) emits a faint glow upon exposure to oxygen — hence its name given
from Greek mythology meaning "light-bearer" or in the Latin, Lucifer.
     The method of producing Phosphorus by evaporating urine was generally               Formatted: Space After: 0 pt

adopted until 1775, having been discovered over a hundred years before by the
German merchant and amateur-alchemist Henning Brand. He was heating
concentrated urine and preventing the admittance of air. There was a snow-white
substance at the bottom of a retord. It burned out immediately with a dark and
choking smoke.
     As was typical in alchemy at the time, the details of the method were kept
secret. Brand sold his secret to the German physician Johannes Daniel Krafft, who
showed off the new wonder substance around the courts of Europe. The secret that it
was made from urine leaked out and first Johann Kunckel von Löwenstern in
Sweden and later Robert Boyle also managed to make Phosphorus.
     It is doubtful that Benjamin Quick would have been able to manufacture a
material quantity of phosphorus, using the described technique, in the time allowed
to him.
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ix   Beetroot Dye                                                                        Formatted: Indent: Left: 0.25", First line: 0"
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     Beets, botanically-known as Beta vulgaris, are native to the Mediterranean.
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Although the leaves have been eaten since before written history, the beet root was      Numbering Style: i, ii, iii, … + Start at: 1 +
                                                                                         Alignment: Left + Aligned at: 0" + Indent at:
generally used medicinally and did not become a popular food until French chefs          0.25"
                                                                                         Formatted: Font: Bold
recognized their potential in the 1700's.
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x    Cauterization of wounds                                                             Formatted: Font: Book Antiqua
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xi   EAR                                                                                 Formatted: Indent: Left: 0.25", No bullets or
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                                                                                 482
483




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483
                             484




Being A Study

of the
                                   Comment [L139]: [Footnotes amount to
                                   speculations on Benjamin Quick and his seemingly
Artefacts and Techniques           supernatural prowess – based on historical and
                                   scientific insights. Much being informed
                                   speculation and conjecture.
                                   We can only speculate, but chemical historians

of                                 suggest ….
                                   Referencing the following bibliography:
                                   Marco Polo’s Discovery and Use of Gunpowder,
                                   role of Left/Right Brain Hemispheres.
                                   On Human Blood and Spittle
Jericho Quick                      Treatise on Illusionists Techniques : From Moses
                                   to the Modern Day the invisible bed? Apparation?
                                   On The Ouija Board – and communicating
                                   Animal Spirits – Ideomotor Theory
And                                On Cheating Death – monatomic gold
                                   Thomas Hooke’s Treatise on Bats,
                                   Leonardo Da Vinci’s Experiments: on Vacuums,
                                   Sound and the Absence of God,
Others                             The Datura Aborea in Modern Pharmacobiology
                                   The velocity of a musket ball in Water
                                   Coal Tar – and Phosphor – fire in water
                                   One Hundred and One uses for Beetroot –
                                   Natures Wonder Tonic [1880’s? with a foreward
By an Historical Scientist         by Mrs Beaton] Beta Vulgaris
                                   
                                   but leave many mysteries – Solomonic Gold etc
                                   etc. Levitation, Stonehenge.]
                                                        Page Break
                                                        Page Break
                                                        Page Break
                                   When the stone was laid for the centre of the new
                                   building, stones from the old St Pauls were used.
                                   Wren noticed that one of the stones was marked with
                                   the Latin inscription, “resurgam,” I shall rise again.
                                   He had the word inscribed on the pediment of the
                                   south door, beneath a carved phoenix.

                                   Pais de cocaigne – an imaginary land of idleness and
                                   luxury lit. Land of Sugar Cake

                                   Came to an unparlourlike end when he relieved
                                   himself in the grand piano.




                             484
                        485




[INSERT G3 FOOTNOTES]

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                        485
                   486




   Book Two
     of the
HellFyre Trilogy
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                   486
                                            487




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        TThehe                                    Formatted: Font: 90 pt, Not Bold
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  Death
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              Of                                  Comment [L140]: GENERALEE:
                                                  1Eliza, introduce history earlier – Gypsy Countess
                                                  mother. Father spat in is face – bring into final
                                                  scene.
                                                  2Eliza – Quick lookalike – more reference later in
                                                  the book




Malachialachi
                                                  3Quick – how much should we understandabot his
                                                  inner workings in Book1
                                                  4relationship development between hm and Eliza.
                                                  5relationship development between Eliza and
                                                  Avery?
                                                  6Intro Eliza’s house earlier
                                                  7Devil’s Dyke Morris Men – are the only people to
                                                  come ‘into’ the city at the End!mentioned in
                                                  reportage earlier
                                                  8Appendix stuff! Cunning escape plan?
                                                  9There’s a fire in the middle of June at Flamsteed -
                                                  change!
                                                  10Bring in the concept of Jesus Christ’s bones
                                                  earlier ....

                                                                      Page Break
     Faithfully translated out of Dr Dees         Book two :
                                                                                                    ...
   own Copy, by J.H and L.H. . and never          Formatted: Font: Blackadder ITC, 120 pt, Not
                                                  Bold, Not Small caps
             before in English. .                 Formatted: Not Small caps
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                                                  Formatted: Font: Blackadder ITC, 14 pt
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                   V                              Formatted: Font: 12 pt
              L O N D O N,                        Formatted: Font: Blackadder ITC
  Printed for Simon Miller at the Starre          Formatted: Normal, Line spacing: single




                                            487
                               488




in St Pauls Churchyard, 1742




                               488
                                                                            489




                                                                                   Comment [l141]: When he designed his
                                                                                   cathedral, Sir Christopher Wren took great care
                                                                                   over the riverside aspect. Eliza had the benefit of
     Eliza looked around, suddenly aware that they were talking loudly.            that view now, and she looked up Peter’s Hill in
                                                                                   appreciation. Benjamin didn’t even seem to notice
The church was still near-empty but her next sentence was practically a            and it annoyed her into saying, “They call it one of
                                                                                   the seven modern wonders of the world, you
whisper. “Tell me what he said, exactly what he said.”                             know.”
                                                                                   “Yeah, but what a waste of money.”
    “I don’t know, he was just mumbling. He’s gone mad.” Benjamin                  Eliza still had the vellum plans and she held them
                                                                                   out, part-unfolded, to compare her view with the
                                                                                   architect’s drawings.
looked into Eliza’s face for the first time since they had entered the             “The plans match the drawings exactly. It’s
                                                                                   phenomenal.” She said it more to herself and
church. “He was tied to a chair,” he said vaguely.                                 looked up to find Benjamin looking at her, not at
                                                                                   the cathedral.
    “So they apprehended him.” Eliza flicked some hair away from her               up to the cathedral. “Shall we take a look? We
                                                                                   may as well ... we’re here ... and it might not be
face. “Thomas had a plan to discredit Whiston by sending him crazy with            for very much longer...”
                                                                                   They entered the cathedral by the large double
                                                                                   doors at the front. The church was always open to
mercury.”                                                                          the public, day and night, and Eliza half expected
                                                                                   to see it filled with repentant sinners. But the
    “Mercury? That kills your brains. I guess Captain Tom had a bit more           Sunday mass had run its course and save for a few
                                                                                   old widows sitting in prayer at the front, the
backbone than I realised.”                                                         church was empty. They walked up the central
                                                                                   aisle, coming to a stop in the great circle beneath
    “Actually the mercury was my idea.”             Eliza felt uncomfortable       the dome itself. Eliza looked up into the great,
                                                                                   fan-vaulted dome and wondered at the genius of
                                                                                   Wren. “To build a dome block by block out of
admitting it, but for some reason she felt it was important to Captain             these huge slabs of stone seems impossible,” she
                                                                                   began to lecture. “Only after every block is in
Avery’s memory. “Tom was too much of a gentleman to come up with                   place do they actually support each other. Until
                                                                                   then Wren must have used engineering tricks the
anything like that.”                                                               pharaohs would have been proud of.”
                                                                                   Benjamin shrugged. “It’s easy enough if you have
    Eliza had a sudden vision of Tom’s elderly parents, sitting at the             enough scaffolding.”
                                                                                   “Over three thousand men died making this
                                                                                   cathedral, Benjamin.”
breakfast table in their home in Gosport, happily discussing their perfect         “Then why admire it?”
                                                                                   Eliza looked at him, bemused, and decided to
son, waiting for his next letter to arrive, waiting to hear his news, blissfully   change the subject. “Did you know this is the fifth
                                                                                   cathedral they’ve built here? The first was built on
unaware that he was dead. Tears spiked her eyes, but the nervous look on           the site of an old stone circle, it was a temple
                                                                                   dedicated to the goddess Diana. People have been
                                                                                   worshipping here for thousands of years.”
Benjamin’s face was enough to convince her to hold her tongue. [perhaps            Benjamin didn’t look particularly impressed. Eliza’s
                                                                                   neck was getting stiff from looking up, and she let it
she needs to think for a moment about letting them know, or wondering              rest, seeing the flagstone beneath them for the first
                                                                                   time. She took a step back, the better to see the
whether the Dept would let them know that he is missing in action?]                large symbol that had been engraved on there.
                                                                                   Two large, crescent moons, one waxing, one
Benjamin Quick didn’t do well with emotion.              [He couldn’t really       waning. Between the two crescents, written in a
                                                                                   heavy serif text, was just one word, it was Latin. It
                                                                                   said simply, ‘Resurgam,. She felt a flush of
understand it – the facial expression – part of his autism?] She looked            recognition and looked at Benjamin with a
                                                                                   triumphant smile.
down at the floor. The inscription looked old; the chisel marks were long          [“What?” He said.
                                                                                   “Do you know, the stone you’re standing on, it’s the
                                                                                   centre-stone for the whole cathedral.”             ...




                                                                            489
                                                                     490




smoothed by time and feet. But it was clear enough. “Resurgam,” she said
to herself, enjoying the sound of the Latin.
    “Well that all seems clear,” said Benjamin.
    Eliza looked at him and laughed. “For once be honest. Nothing’s
clear. Do you see the two crescent moons. Step back and you’ll see them.”


                                      .
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                                                                     490

				
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