Tea set

“A job?” said Sir John.

“Yes,” continued Miss Henderson, “they said I would be ideal for body guard duty for the diplomatic corpse. I wasn’t quite sure why they needed to guard dead bodies but I was flattened anyway. I did think it might help with a certain situation back home in London, but then I also thought it might cause some problems with the family and all. So in the end, whilst I did think about it, when they asked again, I reclined.”

“I see,” said Sir John, “I think. I suspect some of those powders may still be affecting me.”

“You should be okay now,” said Morag, “I’m afraid you’re now dealing with reality in all its glory. But you’ll feel out of it for a day or two due to the third side effect…”

“I see,” said Sir John, “I think. I suspect some of those powders may still be affecting me.”

“…which is extreme short-term memory loss,” finished Morag.

“So… they took you to the station?” said Sir John.

“Oh no,” said Miss Henderson. “They recognised those other gentlemen were frauds. So they just brought us back here. They were concerned for our safety. They suspected a plot most foul so posted a guard.”

“And when did they go?” said Sir John.

“They’re still here,” said Miss Henderson. 

She opened the front door and spoke to someone.

“Is everything alright, Clod?” she said.

“It’s Claude,” he said in a heavy accent.

“Then I shall bring you a nice warm cup of tea,” she said and closed the door. 

“That’s…” started Sir John.

“Clod the plod,” said Miss Henderson.

“OK, alright, so let me get things straight,” said Sir John. “We have found the gateway but were interrupted by some fake police and then rescued by some real police.”

“That’s about the long and short of it,” said Morag.

“So… we need to find out how to open this gate then,” said Sir John. “Quickly, by the sounds of it.”

“We were rather curious about that,” said Morag. “Did you perhaps encounter any mysterious entities when you were near the door? Something a little fiery maybe?”

“I… I don’t recall. I guess we should go back and see now we know the location,” said Sir John. “Wait, did you say those fake police were English?” 

Morag sighed.

“It’s the memory loss,” she said to Miss Henderson, “we’ll have to tell the story again.”

“No no,” said Sir John, “I remember the story. I mean… if they weren’t French does that mean… has Clackprattle sent for Draco Viridis? There could be a whole horde of miscreants out there.”

“I thought they learnt their lesson last time in London,” said Miss Henderson and cracked her knuckles.

“Well they are an order of incarnate evil,” said Sir John. “They’ve most likely taken all sorts of foul oaths.”

“They certainly were uttering some foul oaths last time we met,” said Miss Henderson. “I heard the most terrible language when I kicked one of them in the…”

“I mean,” said Sir John, “that they may be rather a fierce and persistent opposition.”

“It’ll be fine,” said Miss Henderson. “We’ll go in the evening when it’s busy, we’ll all go together and we’ll take Clod and his friend.”

She opened up the door again.

“Clod,” she said, “You may want to get Pee-air.”

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