“Thank you for coming at such short notice,” said Lord Anglestone. He was sitting with Sir John in a large room. They were both in comfortable arm chairs near a roaring fire.

“My pleasure,” said Sir John. “You said you had some news?”

“Indeed,” said Lord Anglestone, “I believe I have a significant lead on the robbery. In fact, I think I may be very close to recovering the items. I was hoping you would have a drink with me to celebrate.”

“I, er…” said Sir John, “I’m a little off the drink right now.”

“Temperance pledge?” said Lord Anglestone.

“I’m close to that,” said Sir John.

“Well, will you take some lemon tea at least? I would be offended if I couldn’t offer you something,” said Lord Anglestone.

“That would be very refreshing,” said Sir John.

Lord Anglestone clicked his fingers and a butler appeared. The Lord ordered some drinks then sat back.

aa-ch-11“Later, Clackprattle”

“So tell me,” said Sir John, “what have you learnt?”

“Well, it seems there has been a most remarkable chain of events,” said Lord Anglestone. “I can tell you I have tracked down and spoken to the miscreant who broke into the Museum. It transpires that shortly after robbing that august institution, he was himself robbed, by a person he struggled to describe.”

The lemon tea arrived and they both drank.

“I think I may have an idea who that person is, but do go on,” said Sir John. The fire and the comfortable chair were starting to make him sleepy, despite the excitement of the meeting.

“Ah, I have the advantage there,” said Lord Anglestone, “for I know for sure. The person was none other than Diarmuid Mac Dubh himself. The old fool had somehow managed to find out about the theft and stopped it.”

“I … er … what,” said Sir John, who could barely keep his eyes open.

“Yes, the old failure thought he could stand between me and my rightful heritage. He stole again the lens, made by my ancestor, my family, to make another pointless attempt at leaving this mortal coil. But I fashioned, with the help of my order, a golem to steal it. Right now it is being prepared and moved to the building my family has had constructed for the very purpose of housing it.”

There was a clink as a cup and saucer were dropped.

“You see Sir John, I am the heir to an analchemical process that has been operating for 99 years and 364 days. It has all been planned to complete on this night, on the lunar eclipse. I will channel the dark light of the moon into the lens, into the alchemical workings I have inherited from my grandfather, and I will make the Summum Malorum, the Dark Stone. And then, Sir John, the power of life and death, the power of poverty and riches, will be mine!”

Lord Anglestone stood up triumphantly but Sir John ignored him as he was fast asleep and snoring a little.

“Do we kill him now?” said Frater Gravitas Maximas as he came out the shadows.

“Later, Clackprattle,” said Lord Anglestone. “Later, when we have the Stone.”

The Auld Alchemist: Chapter 12

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