Subsection: 9 May 2018 (Hatton Garden) Up Subsection: 9 May 2018 (Hatton Garden)

Wednesday 17 September 1930

Audrey and the others visit the bank, where there’s a small crowd of depositors; they’re reasonably calm and well-organised, and the manager is seeing them one at a time. A plain-clothes policeman is keeping an eye on the scene, and there are occasional gawkers, but there’s not much to see. There’s no shine visible outside. When Audrey and Lin Tan get inside, they see a small strongroom with two arrays of deposit boxes, one of which has been completely emptied; on the corner pillar between the two, there’s a shiny patch a bit over a foot across, which Lin Tan immediately notices is conveniently just a bit larger than the smallest cross-section of a box.
While Audrey distracts the manager, Lin Tan pushes into the patch with a concerted effort of will; it feels like a sponge, and she doesn’t get far. She cuts it with her silver fish-knife; it bubbles and starts to ooze a greenish clear sap-like substance, which runs down the pillar. Some of the sap forms disconnected eyes, teeth, and fingers, which then dissolve.
The manager is clearly startled when he spies this; Lin Tan cuts again, more sap flows with more body parts and organs briefly visible, and the manager rushes out, nauseated.
The bubbling and formation of organs seems to happen most where the silver has touched the sap. It continues to flow, forming a puddle about two feet across. There’s some agitation among the staff, and Audrey is able to get the other three in. Pouring a little alcohol onto the sap produces no reaction.
Gertrude checks outside to see if there’s any sign of shine there now; there isn’t. Millie summons Horatio the fire-lobster, and encourages him to burn the sap; it goes up with a sooty flame, filling the strong-room with smoke.
Gertrude can see no magical links; the sap has a distinctive smell, but it’s not of any tree she knows. Bessie looks around for more shine, finding nothing on the outside of the strong-room, while Gertrude prevents the clerks from fighting the fire, at least until it’s burned itself out.
The group leaves before the fire brigade turns up, and they arrange to meet Jameson in St James’s Park. They recommend silver to him, and ask his opinion on blackmailers (unsurprisingly, unfavourable). Most of the recorded contents of the missing boxes are property deeds and such like, since any working jeweller needs safe storage on site for his stock of precious metals and such; descriptions have been circulated, but he doesn’t hold out much hope. The group gives him the name of Boswell, and hints that parts of the GRO know more about this sort of thing than they’re telling.
There’s no smoke visible in the parks near Boswell’s flat, and no sign of any changes to the flat itself. The group visits Delagardie, who’s reluctant to let them in; overnight, he seems to have aged about thirty years, and there’s a shadow over him that seems to be the result of less shine than people normally have. Boswell came to see him this morning, to explain that he was forgiving the debt. He didn’t seem to do anything odd, offer a drink, or anything like that… there is an oak leaf on the mantelpiece above the fire, which Delagardie hasn’t noticed. The group burns this, and when Delagardie says that Boswell said he planned to call on a lady, hurries to the Warings’ house.
The butler explains that Lady Waring has gone out of town, and tries to put Audrey off; Audrey leaves her card (seeing another oak leaf in the tray), but Millie dodges past the butler and runs upstairs… to find an older lady, presumably the cook, guarding one of the guest bedrooms. After a minimum of explanations, it transpires that someone answering Boswell’s description came here, refused to believe that Lady Waring was not present, and forced his way into the house. The butler, Jones, landed a solid punch on him, but didn’t seem to phase him; there’s a shining fist-print below Jones’s sternum. The cook is looking after two of the maids, each with a hand-print on her shoulder; apparently Boswell flung them aside on his way to Lady Waring’s room. Gertrude takes a look at them, and diagnoses something like magical shock or flash-blindness; some herbal teas seem to help a little, but she ends up agreeing with the doctor who was called earlier that the best thing for now is just to let them rest.
There’s some sign of shine in Lady Waring’s fireplace, though it’s been cleaned since it was last used. Perhaps it’s where the letters were burned?
Millie and Audrey write a note to Jameson, confirming that Boswell has now attacked four people.