Clockwork 1888 Date: Saturday, June 16, through Wednesday, July 11, 1888
Evgenia scheduled to get the new communication device, the telephone, installed and hooked up to the London Exchange. It also appeared that electric lights would soon replace the familiar gaslights. But, the time wasn’t right for that, just yet. For a moment she marveled at the conveniences of the modern world.
“Show him in,” Evgenia answered the butler. James brought Sir Marc du Locque into the parlor where Evgenia was waiting. “How is the Temple of Oriental Esoteric Wisdom,” she inquired. “It does well, thank you,” he answered, “but I’m here on behalf of somebody not from there. Do you know Lady Anca Catargiu?”
Evgenia thought a moment before answering, “No.” “She said she’d not met you before,” he informed. “Still, she wants to meet with you.” “About what,” Evgenia questioned. “I can’t be certain but she’d gotten permission to access the temple’s library. When she examined a book, one you’d used in researching that vengeance demon, she came to me and asked to see you, by name.” “Where and when did she want to meet me?”
Evgenia visited the Temple of Oriental Esoteric Wisdom. Sir Marc du Locque was waiting for her and they left to elsewhere in London. At a small place, he introduced her to Lady Anca Catargiu, who Marc said has ‘gifts.’ Once introductions were made, Marc made his leave and Evgenia talked with Anca.
A few days later, Mrs. Lynn Hynllek called at Yermak Investigations for a second check on her husband. The faint smell of alcohol was on her but she seemed lucid enough. She’d confronted him about his whoring but he seemed to be spending even more of his time away from home. He told her that he’s not cheating and that he’d do anything for her but she simply cannot believe him.
Investigating Dr. Hynllek found that he’s added others to his list of body part suppliers. That includes a woman known locally in Whitechapel as “the Ripper” that performs abortions for prostitutes, Mrs. Mary Pearcey. She apparently provides the doctor with aborted fetuses. The doctor still pays regular visits to prostitutes, though. Another striking man in his early 30s, named Mr. Deehee , has been seen at the doctor’s business on occasion and seems to also be in the employ of the doctor, possibly for picking up required parts.
Dracona, now boarding at the Yermak manor in London, received her usual morning caller, Don Marco. “I think the Duffy family is going to think twice about hitting us, again,” Don said pulling his usual compensation and handing it to Dracona as they rode along. “You’ve done some really tough jobs for us so I figured you’d need some light work.”
“There’s a dress shop on Savile Row in Mayfair that seems to think they don’t need our … fire insurance. They’ve refused to pay and it’s time to make an example of them, show them how dangerous it is to not have fire insurance, if you know what I mean.” “What if I get them to pay? How much is it?” Dracona questioned. “If you think they can be convinced to pay the 5 pounds they owe, do what you have to. But, we want it by this Wednesday. If they still refuse, pay them a late night visit and breathe on their fine establishment.”
Dracona visited the dress shop and tried to convince them to pay the insurance. The owner still refused, saying she wouldn’t submit to criminal threats and she’d tell the Yard. Dracona purchased a bolt of material and ordered some simple underclothes before she left. With the bolt of fabric, she scorched it with her breath and waited for a visit from Don Marco.
When he arrived, she handed him the money as she got in his carriage. “How did you convince them to pay?” he asked. Dracona produced a piece of the scorched fabric. “I just gave them a sample of how the insurance would protect their business and they paid,” she answered. “They can’t pay anything if they have no business to make the money to pay the insurance.” “Smart,” Don said. “I trust we won’t have any more problems collecting from them.” “I’ll collect the monthly insurance money,” Dracona replied. Don Marco smiled and patted her on the cheek. “A fine addition to the family,” he said as he let her out.
Fredryck spent the rest of Adoline’s weeklong visit showing her the sights of London and the surrounding areas, Priscilla tagging along as the chaperone. After Adoline and her mother left, Fredryck quickly made plans to visit France for the formal request to court Adoline. Upon his arrival, he was met at the train station by Adoline in a horseless carriage of some sort. She excitedly informed him that it was L’Obeissante, a steam vehicle from the Bollee company, that her father had acquired a few years ago.
She was seated in the driver’s seat and bade Fredryck sit next to her so she could show him how it operated. She told how her father was going to purchase her a new carriage, La Rapide, for her to take with on her studies in Britain. She had learned to drive on the L’Obeissante and drove them to the manor with the driver grumbling about his job.
After Fredryck’s formal request, both Mr. and Mrs. Clemenceau agreed to allow Fredryck to court Adoline. Mr. Clemenceau was jovial and accommodating and insisted Fredryck join him in a celebration of ‘the manly’ type that evening. As is common, Fredryck graciously accepted the offer and they soon departed the Clemenceau manor.
Moulin Rouge was their first stop where they took in the risqué show of ladies flashing their underthings or drawing their cleavage to view. After the main show, some of the showgirls offered ‘companionship’ for the rest of the show. Fredryck declined the show girl offers but bade Mr. Clemenceau to partake of what he cared. Fredryck understood, without offense, that the wealthy and nobility partake in such things but he’d decided different for himself.
Mr. Clemenceau apparently accepted Fredryck’s decision to not partake too vigorously of the evening’s events. But, when Fredryck arrived the next day, Adoline and Mrs. Clemenceau met Fredryck. “Adoline’s father told me where you two went last night,” Mary began sternly. “He grumbled about how you British just don’t know how to relax and have fun. I’d dare say he’ll not invite you again,” she bluntly informed.
“I pressed him for details of the evening and I must say, Monsieur Stanley, that in spite of your deeds last night, he’s still enamored with your British nobility. I, on the other hand,” her eyes narrowed at him, “must say that your behavior last night makes me think that Adoline has chosen wisely. Now, I’ll go get Adoline’s handmaid so you two can continue to see the other parts of Paris.” She smiled at Fredryck, turned and left.
Adoline waited until her mother had left the room and then approached Fredryck. Running a finger through his hair and looking into his eyes she whispered, “I think Mother is really getting to like you. Today, we stop at a tailor and go to the tour Eiffel,” she promised. “It’s a bit farther along than the last time you were here and I’m bringing a Kodak to capture us there.”
On his last full day in Paris, Fredryck again met with Adoline and her parents. “You’re in the British Grenadier Guards,” Mr. Clemenceau began, “an infantry regiment.” Fredryck acknowledged the correctness of the statement. “Infantry is dangerous work and it would please my daughter if you had the highest possible chance of surviving in such a position.” With a motion of his hand, a servant brought in a large box and placed it in front of Fredryck. “Two years ago a Frenchman, Paul Héroult, discovered how to separate a special material from others. Open it,” he instructed.
Fredryck opened the box to reveal a shining breastplate. “_Aluminium_,” Clemenceau announced. “It’s one-and-a-half times thicker than your steel breastplate but it’s half the weight and just as strong. You can consider it part of Adoline’s dowry but it’s merely an investment in her happiness and in your survival. Wear it for good health, sir.” Fredryck properly thanked them for the gift. After his week cementing his courtship with Adoline in Paris, Fredryck returned to London, the memory of her parting embrace and kiss still fresh in his mind.
Upon his return to the Grenadier Guards, his commanding officer called him into his office. “As your C.O. all your leave requests go through me. You’ve been taking a lot of leave, of late. I might question that but I’ve gotten orders,” he holds a paper up to show Fredryck, “from higher up than I care to acknowledge, to approve any leave you request. He wants to see you, the Commander–in-Chief of the Forces, so you need to go to his office, now.”
Fredryck made haste to the commander’s office and the assistant ushered him into the office. His Royal Highness Prince George, 2nd Duke of Cambridge, with all the medals on his sash and chest, was sitting behind the desk. “Grenadier Guardsman Fredryck Stanley reporting as ordered, sir.” The Duke of Cambridge didn’t look up from the papers he was reviewing. “Sit down, guardsman,” he instructed, still not looking up. Fredryck obeyed as he continued.
“You’ve been doing a few things about the world,” he noted as he paged through the file, “discovering the St. Andrew tomb in Greece,” he said as he examined a newspaper story in the file. “I was awarded the Knight of the Order of St. Andrew, the Apostle the First-Called, for outstanding service to the Russian Federation in 1874,” he informed putting his hand to a medal on his sash before continuing to page through the file. “You recovered stolen artifacts in Crete and stopped the anarchist’s attempt to destroy the Acropolis.”
“Yes, sir,” Fredryck answered although he didn’t know that the Greek government had informed his commander of the anarchist’s attack. After all, the Greek government had requested it remain a secret. “Your actions reflect well on the Grenadier Guards and on Britain. I’ve instructed your commanding officer to approve any leave requests you may have. You’re to follow up on any such incidents that you deem. The guard can cover related expenses and the only requirement is that you report the events and results directly to me.” “Yes, sir,” Fredryck answered.
Prince George studied a paper for a moment. “Adoline Clemenceau,” he announced as he finally looked at Fredryck, “daughter of a powerful French politician. You’re courting this young lady?” “Yes, sir,” Fredryck answered. “You’re from a noble family. Did your parents arrange this pairing or did this young lady and you choose this?” “We decided, sir,” he responded, “although we have the permission and blessing of both our families.” “Good,” the commander huffed, “arranged marriages are doomed to failure. Well, it seems like things are in order. I’ll be talking to you Sir Stanley. You’re dismissed.” “Thank you, sir,” Fredryck replied as he rose saluted and left.
Archibald had gotten the Sensuous Sophia a job in the chorus line at St. Clement’s Theatre, showing the latest Rupert and Finnegan production about the life of a woman in prison. She decided to use Debbie Silvers as her new stage name, a variation of her real name (Deborah Silberstein), to distance herself from the Amazing Anthony.
It was July 11th when Archibald and Priscilla stopped at Evgenia’s. Fredryck had returned from France and they were all anxious to hear of his visit. It was that night when James came with a calling card. Chief Detective Norrington was in the parlor, hoping to talk with them. “What is going o at the Yard,” Evgenia asked. “Nothing that requires your talents. I’m here on personal business,” he informed. Evgenia looked at the others.
“I have an associate in France, Remy Loisel, and they missed an important meeting. All attempts to contact them have gone unanswered and it’s most unlike them. I fear something has happened and I’d like you to investigate as quickly as possible. Remy Loisel has an investigation business at 41 Monsieur le Prince in Paris, France. If you’ll take this, I can have transportation arranged for arrival tomorrow, July 12th." “I’ll wire Adoline that I’ll be seeing her sooner than anticipated,” Fredryck answered.
They agreed to find Remy and Norrington continued. “Thank you. I’ll pay any expenses and fees, not the Yard. Telegraph me when you find Remy, dead or alive. You’ll recognize Remy in various ways.” He turned his lapel over to reveal a white, star-shaped pin. “They’ll usually have this pin somewhere on their person,” he instructed. Fredryck had seen that pin before. Prince George, the Commander-in-Chief of the Forces, had one near his St. Andrew medal, mixed in with all the other medals on his chest. But, Fredryck kept that information to himself.
“The other way to recognize Remy is through a passphrase,” Norrington continued. He gave them the passphrase they should use and the required response to make sure it was Remy. “The third way is via handshake, in case verbal communication is unwise or you want to make absolutely sure,” he explained showing the intricate required routine. “Your ship to Calais leaves before first light. Godspeed and good luck,” he concluded.