Subsection: 13 December 2017 (Bryant and May) Up Subsection: 13 December 2017 (Bryant and May) Subsection: 3 January 2018 () 

Tuesday 9 September 1930

At one in the morning (or a few seconds before), there’s another flare. They’ve got the routine by now, and gather at the burning building in Portland Place, home of Sir George Paton, retired Chairman and Managing Director of Bryant and May. There’s shine beaming out of the burning second floor; the fire brigade is on the scene and containing the blaze.
A middle-aged man in a blanket is standing on the pavement talking with the firemen; this seems to be Sir George himself. Lin Tan observes that he has slightly less shine on him than the dead victims, but there’s not much in it. Bessie observes that he seems to be in pyjamas and slippers under the blanket; he looks slightly burned, but it’s nothing very serious. Gertrude leaves a telephone message for Ramsey at the GRO.
Millie and Gertrude move in with a thermos of tea, and manage to overhear Paton talking with the firemen; it’s the expected story of being woken by a sudden fire, but Gertrude in particular gets the impression he’s consciously leaving things out.
Bessie keeps an eye on the other onlookers – who seem to be neighbours and a few passers-by – but doesn’t see anyone behaving oddly.
Millie retrieves her thermos-lid and manages to brush Paton; she gets the impression of a scaly snout, as before, but with a flaming sword held up in front of it.
Lin Tan and Bessie get round to the back of the house via a mews, and see no sign of shine. The back door is unlocked, but jammed; they climb the back wall and let themselves in on the second-floor window. There are still a couple of firemen in the front room, finishing off the job of damping things down, and they wait for them to leave.
Millie chats with the three servants; everyone got out, and while it’s a bit of a large house for one person Sir George didn’t want to move after his wife died some years ago.
Bessie and Lin Tan get into the front room once the firemen leave. There’s a spray of shine across bed and wall, but no sign of a body; instead it’s a two-lobed pattern, broadly circular but with a vertical void in the middle. They both test the intense shine, and get the vision of the flaming sword. There’s no sign of occult or Masonic paraphernalia. The only thing that really seems out of place in the room is a burned stick lying across the foot of the bedframe; it’s perhaps 3-4 feet long, 2” square section, and heavily charred. Lin Tan speculates that it might be a giant commemorative match. Bessie takes a sample of the ash, since the thing’s pretty fragile and would probably crumble if moved far.
They get out again (Audrey distracting Sir George as he’s about to re-enter the house); Ramsey arrives with a colleague, and pauses to talk with Millie. He’s grateful for her information, and as they talk about the timing mutters something about “Eneuth”. Lin Tan notices that the timing of each attack is just about on local solar midnight, and Audrey confirms it.
Looking at other potential victims, Sir Archibald Page, Chairman and Chief Engineer of the Central Electricity Board seems like the sort of person who might have a hazardous life. His home is in Surrey, though.
The group gets some more sleep, then splits up later in the morning. Millie visits the courts to find Sir Edward Hansell, the other KC; he’s involved in some technical discussions, but they’re open to the public and she gets a look at him. There’s no obvious shine, and nothing following him as he leaves.
Bessie visits the offices of the Central Electricity Board on Victoria Street, trying to look like a tea-lady or other generic office worker as she tries to find Sir Archibald’s office. She overhears the supercilious man arguing with someone with an educated Scots accent, and listens in; the Scot is saying that he has no time for insinuations and trumpery, and if the fellow has any evidence he’d do best to show it. The supercilious man leaves in something of a high dudgeon, and doesn’t appear to notice Bessie.
She goes in and tries a different tack with Sir Archibald, explaining what’s been happening and what the group has observed. Sir Archibald does seem to have a small workshop at home, and mentions oil-filled transformers as the most likely source of fire. Bessie advises that he be careful and keep fire extinguishers to hand, particularly at about one in the morning, and while he’s clearly not convinced he looks as though he will at least think about what she’s said. She leaves the bookshop’s contact number.
Lin Tan goes back to the Stratford settlement, which is gradually collapsing; it’s been cordoned off, and there’s a workman looking at it apparently evaluating how it might best be pulled down. The shine has faded somewhat, but it hasn’t spread; the outline of the body is still the same shape and size that it was, though it’s harder to see. She spots one fire-bug dashing from one crack in the wall to another.
Audrey does research into flaming swords, most of which seem to be the biblical reference.
 Subsection: 13 December 2017 (Bryant and May) Up Subsection: 13 December 2017 (Bryant and May) Subsection: 3 January 2018 ()