“It’s definitely here?” said Sir John looking at the large door. “Only my memory is a little vague.”
“Yes,” said Mrs Henderson. “This is the only door without a building I’ve seen. Is it the only one in Paris, Pee-air?”
“That’s Pierre,” said the man in police uniform accompanying them. “And yes, this is indeed where we met after the unfortunate incident.”
“Sounds rather like a fortunate incident to me,” said Sir John absently. He looked puzzled but then something caught his eye. He crouched down to look at the wall next to the door closer up.
“It’s curious there is, uh, no-one to greet us,” he said, staring intently at the wall.
He squinted at the wall and Morag came up and sniffed.
“Poodle,” she whispered to Sir John.
“What is the monsieur talking about may I h’ask.” said Pierre.
“You may h’ask but I may not necessarily h’answer,” said Miss Henderson haughtily. She was quite enjoying having the police at her beck and call for a change.
“It’s a tiny painting of a lizard,” said Sir John, still crouching. “You know they say that if you look at a flame with the right eyes you can see a salamander at the heart of it.”
“Are the powders still affecting him?” said Miss Henderson to Morag in a botched sotto voce.
“No I feel fine,” said Sir John standing up rapidly before holding on to the wall. “I think I know why there isn’t some creature to meet us here. And I think we may be in trouble.”
“How so,” said Pierre, brow furrowing.
Sir John looked at the policeman, then glanced behind him.
“I think maybe something untoward is happening over there,” he said.
The policeman looked puzzled and turned around.
“They’ve just gone round the corner,” said Sir John and the policeman went off.
“I didn’t see anything?” said Miss Henderson.
“I want him out of earshot,” said Sir John. “I think I’ve found the avatar.”
“I don’t see anything there either,” said Miss Henderson.
“I think there is one, but we can’t see it with our eyes,” said Sir John.
“Told you,” said Miss Henderson to Morag.
“We need to be able, or need someone who can use the eyes of imagination,” said Sir John.
“I see,” said Miss Henderson.
“No you don’t,” said Sir John. “That’s precisely the problem. And neither do I, I’m not the artistic type.”
“If only Sabine were here,” said Miss Henderson wistfully. Morag looked up at her, head tilted to one side.
“Indeed,” said Sir John and looked down.
“But you’re very creative, Sir John,” said Miss Henderson. “You made all those devices and whatnots. Like that ecto-whatsit that lets you see ghosts. And that thanatomata… ta ta… thing”
“Yes but that’s to see things that normal eyesight can’t see, whereas this is….” he trailed off and looked into the middle distance. His eyes flicked back and forth and his lips moved. He swiveled to the group, stared at Miss Henderson.
“My God, you’re right!” he said and started running back towards the artists’ church.
Morag sighed and looked at Miss Henderson.
“You may have a point,” she said.