A large number of gargoyles approached the group. They were perhaps fifty feet away. Sir John gulped and turned to Phlebotomous.
“I don’t suppose you have any anti-gargoyle devices in that coat of yours,” he said.
“I wasn’t really anticipating an attack by gargoyles,” said Phlebotomous.
“Fair enough,” said Sir John. “Well, it’s been a pleasure then Phlebotomous.”
“What has?” said Phlebotomous, looking perplexed.
“Knowing you,” said Sir John. “I’m pretty sure these creatures are here for me. I have a message I want you to pass to…”
“Somethings happening!” said Phlebotomous, “The one at the front, look.”
Sir John looked and indeed the gargoyle at the front seemed to have turned back to face the approaching horde. He seemed to be addressing them. Sir John squinted to see what was happening.
“That’s Albrecht!” he said. “That’s Marie’s friend! I wonder what he’s saying?”
The sack next to Phlebotomous started to rustle and Phlebotomous leaned in.
“Why don’t you let him out?” said Sir John.
“I don’t have a spare day suit,” said Phlebotomous. “But Osvold can understand that gargoyle.”
“What is he saying,” said Sir John.
“He’s saying, even though like you I want nothing more than to tear that human limb from limb as we are instructed, I must ask you to pause,” said Phlebotomous.
“I must have made a good impression then,” said Sir John ruefully.
“He’s now telling them you are married to a powerful witch who will surely hunt them down,” said Phlebotomous. “So they must call off the attack.”
There was a pause, a moment of silence and suddenly the gargoyle horde shouted as one and ran toward Sir John. Phlebotomous leaned in and spoke with Osvold.
“They don’t agree,” said Phlebotomous
“I rather gathered that,” said Sir John. “Can you please pass a message…”
He was interrupted by an old woman jumping in front of him as the gargoyles were within a few feet away.
“EMPECHER!” shouted the woman and the gargoyles all stopped.
There was another moment of silence. The woman stared intently at the gargoyles, her head moving around to catch all of their eyes. The gargoyles were paused but seemed to strain as they stood, trying to push forward.
“What just happened there?” said Phlebotomous.
“I don’t know,” said Sir John. He leaned forward toward the woman.
“Madame?” he said. “Madame?”
She muttered something in French without turning back.
“Do you speak English, peut etre?” said Sir John. There was something familiar about her, but it was hard to tell from behind. He couldn’t think where he might have seen her.
Then the woman muttered again and Osvold said something. Phlebotomous leaned in and then turned to Sir John.
“The woman politely requests that we don’t interrupt her while she is trying to hold a one thousand year old magical army at bay.”
“Ah!” said Sir John and decided his curiosity could wait. He fell silent as Phlebotomous looked puzzled and started to open his mouth, but Sir John put his fingers to his lips. Phlebotomous nodded sagely.