“And so by the time we had gathered ourselves, pretty much all of the Draco Viridis people were gone,” said Sir John.

He, Marie, Frater Magnificus and Soror Beatitudinum were in the parlour. They were all were sitting and looking grave apart from Sir John, who had been talking and waving his arms about with a biscuit constantly in his hand. Frater Magnificus was brushing off some crumbs that had fallen on him whilst Sir John was talking about the two stones.

“There were a couple left that were still interested in meeting Phlebotomous, but we sent them away. Or rather Miss Henderson did,” finished Sir John, “rather forcibly.”

At that moment, Miss Henderson entered the room with tea and glanced at the diminished biscuit pile and the crumbs on the floor. She pulled a small face. The two members of FOLI looked nervously at the maid.

“Miss Henderson,” said Marie, “how is Morag?”

“I think she is starting to feel a little better,” said Miss Henderson, “although her spirits are understandably low and her nose is a little dry.”

“Thank you,” said Sir John and looked at the biscuit plate. “Perhaps we could get some more for our guests?”

Miss Henderson left then and Sir John continued.

“What happened to the other chap?” he said.

“Frater Lorem Ipsum has decided that he no longer wishes to follow the path of the true seeker,” said Frater Magnificus. “We believe he may have been a trifle overwhelmed by events. He has, though, taken a most severe oath to remain silent and never speak on what he has seen and learnt. But, Sir John, what of the lens of Mac Dubh, was it…”

“Destroyed,” said Sir John. “At least we believe so. The whole area for several feet around the two men was vaporized, including the apparatus to make the Summum Malorum.”

Frater Magnificus nodded.

“We have carried out some research into the building,” he said. “It was built by Lord Anglestone’s grandfather, we believe for the purpose of making the stone. We also believe that Draco Viridis was created primarily to support this aim, the creation of this Green Stone.”

“And we have traced the Anglestone tree,” said Soror Beatitudinum glumly. “The first Lord Anglestone achieved his peerage around 300 years ago, by paying the crown a large sum of money. The source of the money was unknown. We believe he may have been an associate of Mac Dubh who had taken some of the Red Stone for this purpose.”

“And so,” continued Frater Magnificus, “whilst you have not been able to recover the lens, we believe you have done a most excellent job. For you have certainly thwarted a most powerful foe and robbed it of its purpose and leader.”

Sir John sighed.

“I imagine now you’ll be giving us an honorary rank within your organization,” he said. “Something fitting for a servant of the seekers of the truth.”

Frater Magnificus and Soror Beatitudinum glanced at each other.

“Or some amulet that reflects your admiration of our deeds or possibly even a hand-carved wooden plate depicting the destruction of the Stones.”

Frater Magnificus looked nervous.

“I am embarrassed to say that we have nothing so spiritual,” said Frater Magnificus. “We are a humble order and we strive for such virtues, but in truth some of our power comes from the more earthly realm. We had intended to give you this, but if you would prefer these other things…”

Frater Magnificus indicated to a wooden chest which Sir John opened and peered in. His eyes widened and he looked in shock at his wife. He turned the chest so she could see the contents and she smiled warmly at him.

“Under the circumstances,” said Sir John, in a thin voice, “this will be more than acceptable.”

Frater Magnificus and Soror Beatitudinum both relaxed at those words. Just then Miss Henderson came in with a tray of biscuits. Sir John opened the chest filled with sparkling treasure to show her.

“Look at that, Miss Henderson!” he said.

“Bloody Nora!” said Miss Henderson and dropped the tray of biscuits on the floor.

aaepi“Bloody Nora!”

3 thoughts on “The Auld Alchemist: Epilogue

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