Subsubsection: Saturday, 28 June 1930 Up Section: Soho

15 March 2017 (Felicity Lanson and pressure from above)

Lin Tan reports on her experience at the film club on Friday night: about thirty people, two other women, meeting in a parish hall south of the river. A decent screen, gramophone records for accompaniment, but nothing magical happening for the duration of the film. The first they knew about the riot was when they couldn’t get taxis afterwards.
Milly and Gertrude visit Felicity Lanson, who’s living in a second-floor flat in a large house in the borderlands between Islington and Kentish Town (fairly cheap, not too rough). She’s left a door open to a room with a typewriter and shelves of books.
She seems somewhat distracted, and agrees that she’s been having dreams – of the scenes from the films, but from different angles, and transposed into modern London. She too has been finding she falls asleep around dawn and dusk, without the option. There’s some little shine around her. She dismisses Gertrude’s suggestion of observing her during one of these sleep episodes, but agrees that she’ll talk with the other two, Kidlington and Talbot, probably this evening. Bessie’s been hanging around outside the house, but sees no shine, or any sign of anyone else watching.
Gertrude visits a chemist to get the makings of strong smelling-salts. Audrey scans the society pages to try to determine which women are suddenly absent (though not overtly named); she extracts six likely candidates, all of whom live (when in London) in the same general area of Mayfair and Belgravia – not that far from the Aubrey house, but that’s not surprising.
Milly has been waiting for a message from Aubrey, and receiving none writes a note to him: two riots and it’s getting worse, and if anyone else dies it’s on you. Meet for tea. She’s willing to make a scene; Bessie carries the note to the house to make sure it gets there in time, but finds the place shuttered. She talks with the neighbour’s housekeeper, who “isn’t one for gossip” but heard arguments that morning, and something about St John’s friends “knowing what was best for him”. After all, poor St John didn’t have a good war…
A maid on the other side (who notes that St John always tips his hat to her when he sees her scrubbing the steps) mentions three well-dressed men, doctors or lawyers perhaps, as well as the family. Bessie suspects St John has been taken either to the Aubreys’ country residence or to a nice quiet private sanatorium.
Audrey goes to see Inspector Jameson to offer information – and to suggest strongly that several cases are connected, the well-born ladies and the riots and the original murder with following muggings. Jameson mentions that the original murder case has been “closed for lack of evidence”, and hints that he’s not at all happy about this; on the other hand, these other matters are completely separate cases for which he can quite legitimately be involved with the investigations, and anything he might happen to find on his own time…
Audrey tells him about Maria and the riots, and gives him the names and addresses of her candidates for vampirism. She also mentions the amulet on the golem, and the effect that its removal had, as well as giving descriptions of the four film characters. Jameson mentions in return that the closure of the murder case was “on the square”.
The group considers: if they got themselves up as cleaners, they might well be able to spend several hours in the Aubrey town house without being regarded as suspicious. And it would be really useful to watch Felicity while she slept…