Subsubsection: Thursday 7 August 1930 Up Subsection: 2 August 2017 (following Peters, and into the cellar)

Friday 8 August 1930

Gertrude, Audrey and Lin Tan conduct a day-time break-in. Upstairs are a study and a bedroom; the study contains a lot of books on plant breeding, and quite a few on Hindu mysticism, particularly focusing on Vishnu (several of them are written in an Indian language). There are also hand-written journals, the more recent ones having some remnant shine; these are also partly in the same Indian language, but are a combination of philosophical speculation and experimental log. There’s a fair bit on plant breeding, on Vishnu, and on drug recipes (both poisons and therapeutic substances). These journals go back to 1916 and are mostly philosophical at first; the plant work seems to come in around 1918 when Peters’ wife appears to have died in childbed. The last book is full, and the last entry is dated a few weeks ago, so presumably there’s another somewhere. There are some shipping records around, but they don’t seem to indicate any pattern of imports.
There’s a loft hatch, but no obvious ladder, and if the attic space is unused then opening it might well lead to a soot-fall.
As Lin Tan heads first down the cellar stairs, the snuffling starts when the lights come on, and stops when someone calls “hello”. She’s the first to see a creature, clearly magical, walking across the floor: its body seems to be a human leg, with four disparate arms and a head somehow attached, and it growls at her and eventually leaps. It tries to bit her; she tries to head-butt it; Audrey, having fired a warning shot, hits at it with pistol-butt, and Gertrude stabs it. It’s quite a strong beast, and it seems remarkably flexible, but eventually Lin Tan throws it into a wall, Gertrude stabs it again, and it loses consciousness. Lin Tan ties it up while the rest of the group takes a quick look round: gas-powered refrigerators hold a variety of human limbs and organs next to a well-appointed operating setup, while on the other side of the room there are clearly plant grafting experiments going on. The last volume of the journal is here. And at the back of a store cupboard, Lin Tan spots a movable panel…