Chaos reigned in Emile’s apartment. As he watched it unfold, Emile considered that whilst this was not a new phenomenon, the circumstances were somewhat unusual. There was a knock at door and Emile opened it a crack and looked out. Sabine glared back at him.
“Do you have a woman?” she said.
“No!” said Emile, “why would you say such a thing?”
“Then let me into the apartment!” she said.
Emile opened the door and Sabine breezed in dramatically. She went to speak then looked at the scene in front of her.
“What is happening here?” she said. “Are you having a party?”
“Well,” said Emile, “it’s like this: The two pale gentlemen over there are apparently vampires. One came from England, although I don’t think he’s English, and the other worked in Dinard’s shop. We have just worked out that the Clackprattle man and his pookah side-kick are in Paris, looking for a weapon, and probably killed Dinard.”
“Mon Dieu!” said Sabine, “Sir John I recognise, but the other lady and the dog…”
“The dog is called Morag and is the daughter of the alchemist Sir John told us about. For a set of reasons I have yet to grasp, she is in the body of a dog. The tall lady is their maid.”
“And she has supernatural powers?” said Sabine looking in awe at the group.
“No,” said Emile, “but she is an expert in Kung Fu and other martial arts. They went to the hotel of Sir John and interrupted Pook who had mesmerised Marie. Marie is having a little lie down after that.”
“Of course, of course” said Sabine absently, then walked into the room.
“Allo one and all,” she announced. “My name is Sabine Bellevoix and I am here to help.”
The assembled cast looked around and the flamboyantly dressed lady smiling broadly at them. Miss Henderson sniffed.
“Ah, you must be the maid,” said Sabine. “How fortunate that you happened to be at the right place at the right time.”
“I’m not sure I like your inspiration,” said Miss Henderson with a frown.
Sabine’s smile froze and she looked a little confused.
“As I’ve explained to your… gentlemen friend… I was showing Miss Henderson how to use alchemic powders for fortune telling,” said Morag. “We divined there was danger for the family and came as soon as we could. We were waiting in the lobby for Sir John when Pook arrived and so we followed him up.”
“Of course, of course,” said Sabine, “forgive me, I didn’t mean to sound critical.”
“I am uncomfortable when people cast excursions,” said Miss Henderson looking down.
“Oh dear,” said Sabine, “we seem to have got off on the wrong foot.”
Miss Henderson muttered something also that maybe included “off” and Sir John coughed.
“We do need to understand why Morag was unaffected by Pook’s influence,” said Sir John. “It may help us overcome his power. We should try some experiments, perhaps.”
Emile, Sir John and Phlebotomous all looked curiously over at Morag.
“Ye can get that idea right out of yon heads!” she said.
“If I may be so bold,” said Miss Henderson, “I would suggest that our biggest problem is one of location. Clearly Clackprattle and Pook know about the shop where Osvold lives and the hotel where Sir John and Mrs Jennings are.”
“Well you may stay here of course,” said Emile. “It will be a little cramped but…”
“Nonsense,” said Sabine. “I insist everyone stay in my rooms in Montparnasse. They are more than adequate.”
“You have rooms in Montparnasse?” said Emile incredulously.
“A girl has to have secrets,” said Sabine. “We are closer to the life here, it is too quiet there.”
Sir John stood up.
“I’ll go and wake Marie,” he said, “and let her know we are likely to be moving.”
“It is perhaps 20 minutes away!” said Emile. “I slept on the sofa… for weeks… to save you 20 minutes?”
“It was very noble of you,” said Sabine, “and quite unnecessary.”
Emile started to speak when Sir John ran back into the room.
“Marie!” he said. “She’s gone!”