Subsubsection: Tuesday 16 September 1930 Up Section: Stratford Subsection: 9 May 2018 (Hatton Garden) 

25 April 2018 (Sutton)

Gertrude and Millie talk with the staff who are standing around; “Sir Frederick” didn’t get out. (Sir Frederick Wall, Secretary of the Football Association, is one of the names on the list.) It looks as though the firemen have given up their attempt to put the fire out, and are concentrating on keeping it contained to the house; one of them pushes a car out of the attached garage.
There’s not much shine nearby, though some firemen’s boots have carried it out a little.
Gertrude tries mentally to suppress the fire spreading to the garage; she thinks she’s having some success, but a can of oil goes up and doesn’t help matters. She and Millie try on a back room and manage to hold off the fire, though they aren’t able to extinguish any further.
Two men from the GRO arrive in a closed car; they argue with the firemen, apparently about wanting to go into the house. There’s a sound of crashing from inside as the first floor burns through, which serves as a more effective discouragement. (Lin Tan thinks there might be a bit less shine after this, but it’s hard to be sure.)
Bessie overhears one of the GRO men saying to a fireman “that’s all right, I am a doctor”. She takes a look at their car, which is parked outside the hedge and out of immediate sight of the house. The body of the car contains nothing unexpected; in the boot, though, there’s a large and well-made wooden fishing-tackle box, and some of itscompartments contain fairly odd substances. She has this out, and heads back to central London with Millie.
Some time later, Audrey and Gertrude spot the GRO men working an effective distraction: one of them keeps the firemen occupied while another one sneaks into the burning building. He doesn’t seem concerned by the fire, goes out of sight, and comes back a few minutes later. Both of the GRO men go to wait in their car, taking turns to get some sleep. Andrey and Gertrude leave at this point, but Lin Tan settles in to wait a bit longer.
Bessie and Millie break into the bookshop, get some sleep, and prepare to take a look at the box later in the morning.
Audrey and Gertrude check the Army List; Boswell does not appear in it.
The box contains a variety of unusual substances, including gold shavings, some sort of crushed gemstone, feathers, a pungent-smelling yellow powder, a slimy green-white substance in a vial, and so on. The working theory is that this is supplies for a ritual magician, though the items are not themselves magical. There’s one empty compartment, with a scrap of paper reading “sang. drac.”. The overall theme seems to be natural rather than manufactured substances, but they’re still very wide-ranging.
Meanwhile in Sutton, Lin Tan spots the GRO men being relieved at about noon.
Miss Marsden arrives for the meeting, where they discuss the distortion and the possibility of passing through it. She thinks that the realm may be one of dream (“or what some people might call Hell”, which rather perturbs Bessie), though who or what might have such a potent dream is not something she knows about. She’s interested in the bugs and lobster, and accompanies the group to Millie’s house to meet it. (She gives it a friendly poke, and it doesn’t burn her.)
Discussion continues, but about 1.30 there’s a heavy knock on the door: three policeman, with a search warrant, following up a report of stolen property. They’re local and they know Millie, which gives Bessie plenty of time to abscond with the tackle box from a back window; she walks to Paddington Station and puts it in Left Luggage, concealing the ticket just in case it should be needed later. The search takes some hours, with Millie’s guests causing polite minor obstructions; the police eventually leave. At some point during this procedure Miss Marsden seems to have left without being noticed.
Around 4pm, Lin Tan goes in to take a look at the collapsing building; there’s some smoke and smouldering, and the structure is distinctly unsafe, but she’s willing to give it a try. The floor below the bedroom has collapsed; there’s a radiant body-shape in mid air, and shining dust all over the lower floor. She climbs to what’s left of the upper floor, edging out along a parlous joist, and manages to spot a very severe distortion (this one on a north wall, which doesn’t seem to make a pattern, and with the body’s side towards it rather than head or feet). She tests the space where the body was, and gets an impression similar to the one she’s had before. On her way back the joist collapses; she’s bashed about a bit, and gets out quickly before the GRO men come in to investigate. One of them goes to get a clearing crew with a mention of “bagging the whole place”.
Gertrude and Audrey arrive, patch up Lin Tan, and leave again as a group of labourers turns up in a small van. (They look a bit like the heavies who were working for Ramsey at the Monument.)
When Audrey gets home, she finds a telegram from the bank in Hatton Garden: its safe deposit boxes have been robbed that afternoon. (Checking the evening papers reveals confused witnesses, who thought the manager told them to get all the boxes out…)
 Subsubsection: Tuesday 16 September 1930 Up Section: Stratford Subsection: 9 May 2018 (Hatton Garden)