Subsection: 21 June 2017 (More at Coldbridge House) Up Subsection: 21 June 2017 (More at Coldbridge House) Subsection: 5 July 2017 (An Inordinate Fondness for Beetles) 

Saturday 12 July 1930

They spend the morning walking round the house, along the edges of fields and various footpaths. After two circuits (and some curious farmers) it still looks the same as when they started. They’ve seen a cart arrive, presumably for milk delivery.
Birds mostly seem to avoid the funnel cloud; a wood-pigeon flies straight through, and vanishes (to non-magical sight, it blinks out in mid-air when it reaches roughly where the centre of the cloud would be).
Audrey and Gertrude take the car up the drive, stop outside the house, and start a loud argument about map-reading, dragging in the nurse who comes out to see what’s going on. This provides a distraction while Lin Tan and Bessie sneak up to the back of the house; the back door opens directly into the kitchen, where two people are preparing food, so they look at windows, finding a study/office and getting in there. Lin Tan blocks the door with a chair while Bessie rifles the filing cabinet: she finds some purchase records, and patient files, including Aubrey’s. There are some older records too, presumably of patients who’ve left or died, but eight that seem to be current, and that would be consistent with the barred windows upstairs; Bessie takes those current files, and one more that’s unlabelled. Lin Tan goes through the desk drawers and finds some un-sent correspondence, potentially useful for blackmail, and takes that. There’s also a bottle of whiskey with about an inch left in the bottom They pack up and leave, running away from the dog.
Audrey and Gertude let the argument run its course, and go; they both notice that the nurse is very much on edge, trying not to think about something, and may indeed have taken their intrusion as a welcome distraction from it.
The group gets back together and reads the files. The last one is a hand-written journal starting about ten days ago, mentioning odd sounds in the night, animals behaving strangely, and a general feeling of unease. One attendant and one nurse have completely vanished. The writer, who appears on the basis of handwriting to be the matron who’s in charge here, has asked the owners (in London) for help, but heard nothing. The patients have been at Coldbridge House for between ten years and two weeks (Aubrey); Aubrey was examined by the visiting doctor when he arrived, but nobody’s receiving any substantial medical treatment.
The group talks it over, then they all drive back to Coldbridge House. An older woman in nurse’s uniform, presumably the matron, comes out to them and asks them for the files; they give them back, and (when prompted) the letters as well. With this unpromising start, the matron is clearly not happy with them, or with their story of knowing about strange mystical stuff; at the same time she’s clearly getting desperate for some sort of answer and is prepared to clutch at straws. She takes them upstairs and points at the staircase leading up another floor; to non-magical vision, this is an oddity that catches disturbingly at the corner of the eye. There’s turbulent, flowing shine all over the place upstairs; it’s not unlike what the team saw at Aubrey’s town house, though it’s much more active. They go to the room where Lin Tan saw the insectile figure; it’s occupied by an elderly man who looks glad for the company. Looking out of the window, while Lin Tan is on the ground outside, produces odd effects; they can only see each other magically, and even then distances seem to be distorted.
They crowd into the office and explain roughly how the group has come to be here. The matron confirms that things are worst around dusk and dawn, and that Aubrey does consistently fall asleep at those times. All the staff have been having bad dreams. Gertrude and Audrey both realise that the matron is still doing her best to deny the existence of oddness, and try to down-play that in their conversation.
Gertrude and Millie talk with Aubrey, who’s clearly very bored and glad to see them. He mentions dreams, of chasing and biting woodland animals (when he was still in London “it wasn’t animals”). He found himself driven to study magic after a disturbing experience during the War, but has had very little success since a few promising results in the earliest days; he tries hard to conceal his jealousy of these people for whom it just happens. He misses his library.
The group goes up the stairs; the matron can’t see them once they’ve taken a few steps. The staircase opens out as it reaches the next floor; the general layout is the same, a long landing lit by windows at both ends, but the light is rather brighter and whiter. Another staircase leads up. Bessie goes back to report to the matron, then rejoins the group.
 Subsection: 21 June 2017 (More at Coldbridge House) Up Subsection: 21 June 2017 (More at Coldbridge House) Subsection: 5 July 2017 (An Inordinate Fondness for Beetles)