Subsection: 13 September 2017 (Fire at the Settlement) Up Subsection: 13 September 2017 (Fire at the Settlement) Subsection: 27 September 2017 (More investigations) 

Tuesday 2 September 1930

All of the group is woken at about one in the morning by a magical flare; they take rough bearings, and Bessie sends telegrams to the others (except Gertrude) suggesting a lunchtime meeting at the bookshop. Audrey gets another telegram: “British Museum. 11am. Jameson.”
She goes (with Milly and Gertrude trailing her in case of trouble), and even with her relative lack of interest in people’s emotions can see that Jameson is angry. He mentions that he doesn’t like having investigations interfered with, particularly when a clear case of arson and murder is suddenly turned into nothing at all; he casually mentions the Docklands Mission, Settlement Number Four in Stratford, and the name of Reginald Kennedy-Cox (of whom Audrey has heard, though only as a minor playwright of a few years ago). Audrey agrees to meet him tomorrow evening.
The Docklands Settlements are charitable institutions to improve the lot of the poor of the East End. Kennedy-Cox has been one of the major forces behind them for some two decades, both with his own money and time and as a fund-raiser, and indeed was knighted for this work in this year’s New Year’s Honours.
The group goes to the site; Stratford is an industrial area, and there’s a constant din of metalwork. The building has burned thoroughly, apparently more upstairs than down, but the whole place is clearly unsafe and cordoned off. There’s very strong shine near one end upstairs. Milly talks with onlookers, and with the constable who’s on patrol nearby; he saw it happen, apparently, one moment nothing, the next the whole upper floor was on fire (“foosh”). He called in the fire brigade and more policemen; one inspector turned up, then another after they found the body (and later an ambulance took it away), then the super said it was all dealt with and he needn’t worry about it any more.
Meanwhile, Bessie finds a fire escape to climb on a nearby factory, and takes a look from a different angle. The shape and size of the intense shine is consistent with a body, horizontal; that end of the building is thoroughly burned, but it might have been lying on furniture of some sort.
The nearest hospital is Queen Mary’s Hospital for the East End, quite close by, and the group moves over there. One of the ambulances still has a strong shine on it. Bessie brazens her way into the mortuary and gets a good look at the body before one of the attendants queries her, takes her for a reporter and throws her out; it’s been entirely carbonised, and there’s a melted belt-buckle, but (as Gertrude later confirms) no sign of the “pugilistic attitude” normally caused by muscular contraction when someone burns to death. There’s no sign of an autopsy having been performed; trying to cut might well shatter what’s left.
The group heads for the Canning Town settlement, the first to be set up, and Milly and Audrey talk to the nice young man who’s keeping an eye on things, with hints about donations and volunteering. He’s heard about the fire, and is somewhat concerned that nobody’s heard from Sir Reginald today; well, yes, he has an office in the Stratford settlement, and does sometimes work late and sleep there, and oh dear…
 Subsection: 13 September 2017 (Fire at the Settlement) Up Subsection: 13 September 2017 (Fire at the Settlement) Subsection: 27 September 2017 (More investigations)