The room was full of machinery and there was a low electrical hum. By a doorway on the left was a large device like an organ and in front of that sat a musician. He was completely immobile, his hands hovering over the keys. To the right was Arthur Clackprattle, standing next to a microphone.
“Pook, start the mass dialing,” he said into the microphone. “Make sure the Queen is on the list.”
Suddenly Sir John burst into the room wearing his hat and Marie’s earmuffs. He held a weapon of some kind which he pointed at Clackprattle.
“Give up, Clackprattle, it’s over,” said Sir John. “Surrender at once.”
“Surrender?” said Clackprattle laughing. “Why would I do that, you deluded fool.”
“I can’t hear you speak,” said Sir John. “I’m wearing ear muffs. Are you surrendering?”
“No, I’m not bloody surrendering!” roared Clackprattle.
“I’m not getting a single word, you’ll have to gesture,” said Sir John.
“Take off the ear muffs!” said Clackprattle, pointing to his ears.
“What?” said Sir John.
“Take. Off. The. Ear. Muffs,” said Clackprattle, miming removal of the earmuffs.
“Are you insane?” said Sir John. “Why would I do that? Look, if you want to surrender, hold up your arms.”
“Oh, this is useless,” said Clackprattle. “Pook, man, will you start the dialing.”
At that point, the organist sprang back to life and starting playing the Four Seasons by Vivaldi. A thin reedy sound came from the instrument.
“Are you surrendering?” said Sir John. “I can’t tell. Surrender or I’ll use this weapon.”
“Never!” roared Clackprattle.
Sir John press on the weapon and an arc of electricity spat out, ending a foot or so in front of him, several feet away from Clackprattle. Clackprattle laughed at the sight of it, but the arc bounced back up towards him. It shot up between his legs before climbing up his body to the Sphere. The Sphere shattered into dust and Clackprattle fell to the floor, groaning and holding onto his crotch.
“Good god man, are you all right,” said Sir John, taking off the ear muffs. “I was aiming for your pineal gland.”
“That’s in my head, you idiot!” Clackprattle cried out.
The organist stopped playing Vivaldi and played Beethoven’s Ninth instead. Marie came into the room.
“Mon cher, are you well?” she said to Sir John.
“It’s fine Marie, it’s over,” said Sir John. “The sphere has been destroyed, and Clackprattle can no longer influence us with mesmerism.”
“Don’t you call it that!” he said. “Mesmer was a fraud and an amateur! But for an accident of fate the world would be talking about Clackprattlism.”
“Whatever you would call it, it’s done,” said Sir John who turned to look at Marie. “Are you alright my dear you look a bit…”
Suddenly there was a bang and the room filled with smoke.
“You made a mistake turning your back on me,” said Clackprattle, through the smoke. “No one, but no-one, makes a fool out of Arthur Clackprattle!”
The air cleared and the Jennings could see the smoke bomb that had been set off by Clackprattle. He, however, was nowhere to be seen. The organist stopped playing.
“Oh well,” said Sir John, “at least we put a stop to his evil scheme. And I imagine we’ll never, ever see Mr Clackprattle again.”
“Excuse me,” said the organist, “did you want me to play anything else?”
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