“And this is where the exhibit was,” said the curator to Sir John and Marie. “It had recently been moved to this more prominent location to commemorate the 300th anniversary of Mac Dubh’s death.”
They were all in a large room in the British Museum, roped off from the general public. It contained glass cases on every wall and several display cabinets in the middle. They were all filled with a myriad of religious artefacts from around the world. It was one of the cabinets that the curator was indicating.
“May we…?” asked Sir John.
The curator indicated assent and Sir John and Marie went over to the cabinet.
“I must admit, I thought it would be harder to convince them to show us,” whispered Sir John to Marie. “Especially as we were vague about who we were investigating for.”
They arrived at the cabinet. The glass had been broken and there was a noticeable gap where some objects had been.
“I’ll look with the ectoscopic glasses. And see if you can, er, sense any magical activity,” said Sir John. “You can do something like that can’t you?”
“A little, when the magic is active,” said Marie. “This may be too long ago.”
Sir John donned a pair of unusual glasses then peered into the cabinet. He looked carefully over the edges of the broken glass.
“I don’t see anything,” he said. “Have you found any evidence.”
“I suspect a goddess was involved,” said Marie.
“Oh?” said Sir John. “Who?”
“Her, I think,” said Marie indicating a statue of Athena. “She has been used to break the glass. You can see she has been moved and she has glass on her ‘elmet.”
“Fascinating,” said Sir John. “So, I don’t think we’re dealing with a master of the paranormal. Or indeed a connoisseur of art. It’s a pity we don’t know what these artefacts look like. I’ll ask the curator chap.”
Sir John wandered over and spoke to the curator who left the room. Marie looked at all the statues and icons and images, at all the varieties of human belief. The curator returned and Sir John gestured her over.
“This is the book on Mac Dubh by Lord Anglestone. But you know him of course,” the curator was saying, “as he is our patron. And here is a picture of the artefacts.”
Sir John and Marie looked at a collection of glass and metal objects, which looked like the chemistry set of a deranged scientist.
“Where did these come from?” asked Sir John. The curator looked bemused.
“Well, these artefacts are all that was found at the site of the conflagration that killed Mac Dubh,” he said.
“Marie, come with me I have an idea,” said Sir John and walked back towards the cabinet. Once there he explained.
“What if we try and use magic to find them?” said Sir John.
“I’m not sure,” said Marie. “What do you have in mind?”
“I want you to concentrate strongly on the image we just saw and then do some … magic thing … to make the objects become found,” said Sir John.
Marie looked dubious but closed her eyes. After a couple of moments she said “trouver”. At that moment the curator threw the book at her. Both she and Sir John jumped out of the way.
“I’m terribly sorry,” said the curator, turning red. “I have no idea what came over me.”
Sir John picked up the book and looked at Marie.
“Partially successful,” he said.
At that point another man came and spoke to the curator who looked shocked and walked over to them.
“I’m terribly sorry, there has been a misunderstanding. We thought you were associates of … someone else,” he said. “I’m afraid you really shouldn’t be here and I must escort you back to the public areas.”
One thought on “The Auld Alchemist: Chapter 2”