Grand House

“What’s happening?” hissed Sabine at Miss Henderson. Miss Henderson continued to stare into the hedge surrounding the grand house they were standing outside.

“Mme Meurdrac and Morag are at the door,” said Miss Henderson. “They have rung the bell. Oh, someone’s opened the door now. A butler, I think.”

They heard Mme Meurdrac’s voice from across the imposing lawn.

“Oh, won’t you ‘elp a poor old lady in need of assistance?” she said, with all the acting skill she could muster. Sabine winced at the effort.

“She doesn’t seem very authentic,” said Sabine, “even dressed in those rags.”

There was some mumbled discussion between the butler and Mme Meurdrac and then a shout of “Hey, stop!”

“Morag is in,” said Miss Henderson. “The butler isn’t sure whether to keep Mme Meurdrac out or go in for the dog.”

“Oh, do come back, Foufou,” shouted Mme Meurdrac in an unconvincing manner.

“The butler’s gone in,” said Miss Henderson. “Mme Meurdrac is looking round the front door, Ah, Morag has come back out and the butler has appeared.”

There was more mumbled talk from the doorstep.

“Mme Meurdrac and Morag are coming now,” said Miss Henderson. “The butler looks red and is gesturing at them.”

Soon Mme Meurdrac and Morag appeared around the hedge. Mme Meurdrac also looked a little flushed.

“I could have been on stage at the Theatre du Chatelat,” said Mme Meurdrac proudly.

Sabine started to speak.

“That was excellently done,” said Miss Henderson quickly.

“They’re there” said Morag. “I could smell them. Pook and Clackprattle are in there. There is something else there as well. A scent of incense and… magic.”

All the women looked at Morag.

“So what do we do now?” said Mme Meurdrac.

“You come to the station with me,” said a voice. The women all turned round to see a policeman standing behind them.

“I had a complaint about a strange woman and a dog,” he said, “as well as two women loitering suspiciously. I guess I have found you all.”

“You must go into that house at once,” said Mme Meurdrac, “They are murders!”

“I don’t think so,” said the policeman, regarding the woman dressed in rags.

“Monsieur,” said Sabine, turning on all the charms she had, “I am afraid it is a simple misunderstanding. My… sister is a little derangée and we have come to find her and take her home.”

“Oh, it is a misunderstanding!” said the policeman. “Well, that is fine then, we can easily resolve it. At the station.”

“One of my very good friends is a policeman in London,” said Miss Henderson. “So I’m terribly sorry about this.”

Her first flew out and the policeman crumpled to the ground.

“You hit a policeman!” said Mme Meurdrac. “We will all go to jail.”

“No we won’t,” said Miss Henderson. “Morag, can we make some sort of potion to make him forget?”

“Yes,” said Morag, “but it’s not…”

“Then we take him with us,” said Miss Henderson.

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