Subsubsection: Tuesday 9 September 1930 Up Section: Stratford Subsubsection: Wednesday 10 September 1930 

3 January 2018 ()

After some discussion, Audrey and Gertrude visit Kennedy-Cox’s valet, who’s keeping up the pretence that he’s on a foreign trip. Whatever it is he’s expecting to be quizzed about, the briefcase isn’t it; he confirms that Sir Reginald had a black pigskin briefcase that he generally took with him.
Bessie and Millie go to see Paton; the house is being repaired, and he’s staying at the Savoy. They leave a message for him describing something of what they know to have been his experience, and note that they’ll call for any reply in 24 hours. Bessie looks around for signs of General Register Office tailoring in the lobby, and doesn’t see any.
Bessie gets hold of some prop swords, since symbology seems to be important. Millie calls Thomas Ramsey, and leaves a message to meet the next afternoon at a Lyon’s Corner Shop.
Gertrude finally manages to get in touch with Mrs Smith, and they talk about the situation. She appears to recognise some aspect of the faerie host (as “rude boys”), and agrees that there’s more magic in the world than there was; and it still seems to be increasing. She recognises the fire bugs as something that sometimes happens in very hot weather, such as is going on at the moment. When Gertrude mentions Bryant & May, she says that a fair few people aren’t fond of the company: yes, it’s an employer in Bow, but an awful lot of girls ended up with phossy jaw before white phosphorus was banned. She doesn’t know about dragons, but pictures them as some sort of fire spirit, and hands Gertrude a leather bag which “might help a bit”.
Bessie experiments with the ash she collected. Writing with it produces a message visible in shine as well as ash. Blowing it away leaves the shine, but not the ash; washing it removes the shine before it removes the ash. The others try without ash, just with an effort of will; Gertrude manages it (and this one isn’t as easily washed away), but the others fail.
 Subsubsection: Tuesday 9 September 1930 Up Section: Stratford Subsubsection: Wednesday 10 September 1930