A small piece of metal sat in the middle of the table. It looked like a tiny smoking pipe, with a narrow cylinder ending at a bowl. Around the table sat Miss Henderson, Sabine, Phlebotomous, Osvold, Marie and Sir John. Morag lay next to the table, staring into space.
“Well, well done everyone,” said Phlebotomous and started to clap. The other faces at the table looked at him impassively so he slowed the clapping before coming to an awkward halt.
“You must all be pleased!” he added and looked around the table. Nobody looked very pleased.
Marie was playing absently with her moondial and necklace. Sir John kept glancing at her and back to the table. Miss Henderson had red eyes and was staring at the metal piece and Sabine kept glancing at the door. Phlebotomous looked down at Osvold who shrugged.
“How did you do it?” said Phlebotomous, trying to keep a cheerful tone in his voice. He felt that this was one of those moments where something was happening that he wasn’t fully aware of. This sort of thing had happened to him before. It put him slightly on edge as sometimes it ended up with people running at him with garlic and crosses. He actually didn’t mind the garlic and crosses, it was the people running at him that he didn’t like much. He had quite a pronounced personal space.
“How did we do it?” said Sir John, looking around the table. “Or rather, who did it?”
“It was me,” said Miss Henderson. “That walrus said some upsetting things that I won’t repeat and I sort of said something clever back. Although truth be told I didn’t mean it then and now it’s just sort of haunting me what he said.”
“Yes,” said Sir John, “Yes, I understand. I also… I also heard some things I’d rather not have heard and don’t care to relate now. Morag?”
“I dinnae wanna talk about it,” said Morag and went back to staring into space.
Sir John glanced at Marie who was now engrossed in her moondial and pendant, moving the pendant back and forth.
“How did we get back?” he said. “I don’t remember.”
“You were all a bit away with the fairies,” said Miss Henderson. “But since we’re in Paris no-one seemed to notice. No offence, Miss Be… Belle…”
“Sabine,” said Sabine, facing the door. “And no offence is taken. I am not originally from Paris for one and I am extremely hard to offend for another. I’d rather know what people thought.”
She turned back to the table.
“Where is Emile?” she said. “He said he would be here.”
“I’m sure he’ll be here presently, Miss… Sabine,” said Miss Henderson. “I’ve no doubt he’ll want to see you.”
Morag lifted her head and looked at Miss Henderson.
“You’ve changed your tune,” Morag whispered quietly.
“Sometimes it takes a dramatic moment to see people for who they are,” said Miss Henderson, to no-one in particular. Sir John looked at her and then at Marie.
“I have had enough waiting,” said Sabine, “I will find that idiot man and bring him here whether he wants to come or not.”
She stood up and left the church.
“I think we need to get some things ready,” said Phlebotomous to Osvold, “just in case.” At that, the two vampires left.
“How about a nice walk, Morag?” said Miss Henderson. “To lift our spirits. Mrs Jennings, Sir Jennings?”
“No thank you,” said Marie, absently.
The maid and the dog left the church too, leaving Sir John and Marie alone. Marie looked up at her husband.
“There’s something I have to say,” she said.