Subsection: 18 April 2018 (Boswell’s correspondence) Up Subsection: 18 April 2018 (Boswell’s correspondence) Subsubsection: Tuesday 16 September 1930 

Monday 15 September 1930

The news is full of the German Federal election (the Nazi party is now the second-largest, and the communists have made gains too). Millie looks through recent newspapers to see if she can identify “poor old Blowers”, and comes up with two possible candidates who’ve recently died “after a short illness”.
There’s a short meeting with Miss Allen at the bookshop, and Audrey delivers a more detailed report; Miss Allen looks non-plussed, and says that this is rather more Miss Marsden’s sort of thing; she can arrange for a lunchtime meeting tomorrow.
Audrey and Bessie investigate the flat in Hertford Street; they’re dressed as charity collectors, along with Millie, who stays outside as a lookout. The front door lock poses no challenge to Bessie; the bureau is rather more complex, but she gets it open, to find that Boswell has an extensive correspondence. She packs away all of it. The only other notable thing there is a saucer (fairly common bakelite, the sort of thing you might put paper-clips in) containing five oak leaves, surprisingly green and fresh. Bessie re-locks the bureau and the pair have a quick look through the rest of the flat; they’re surprised to find nothing made of silver, even in the cutlery drawer and jewellery box. There’s no appointment-book. The wardrobe contains large amounts of good-quality clothing, and a cavalry dress-sword (ornamented but still practical).
The group goes to the bookshop to look over the letters. He seems to have twenty or so correspondents, most of them women being blackmailed (or not being blackmailed yet) over affairs, three of them fellow officers with significant gaming debts. After only a brief discussion the group determines that the letters will be returned to their writers as an earnest of good faith rather than as a negotiating point, though perhaps not immediately. The letters are tied in silk ribbons and silver chains, and Lin Tan and Bessie store them in a pair of bank deposit boxes in Hatton Garden.
Audrey is struck by the general tone of desperation in these letters; if Boswell is out for money, he’s asking for far too much.
Millie writes to Lady Waring, and she agrees to meet that evening. She’s hugely relieved to have the letters returned, and willing to talk about the affair; her horse got a stone in its hoof, and Boswell was kind enough to assist. As Millie asks her about just how things progressed from there, though, she seems confused and a little distressed; she can’t account for her actions.
Millie suggests that if Boswell should get back in touch with her she let the group know at once, and… does she have a female friend or relative who could come and stay? She’ll invite her sister.
In the evening, Millie, Lin Tan and Bessie call on Lieutenant Delagardie, who sounds like the most desperate of the three men. There’s a smell of whiskey about him, and Millie spots his service revolver where he hastily stuffed it behind a cushion when they arrived. He’s in a state of nervous exhaustion; while he’s very glad to receive the letters, there’s still the matter of debts. He doesn’t usually play deep (his club is the Cavalry), but against Boswell he won repeatedly at first… though he must have lost the guineas on the way home, since when he went to check them the next day he found oak leaves instead.
He shows a confusion similar to Lady Waring’s; someone when one repeats the amusing things Boswell said or did, they don’t seem so funny.
The group asks about his dining habits; he’s a fastidious eater, and usually wears cotton gloves at the table.
The group plans to contact Boswell, but the only places where they know he will be are the club (where they can’t go) and his flat.
Bessie plans to look him up in the Army List the next day. (He’s not in Who’s Who.)
Gertrude and Audrey have been thinking about possible defences against mental attack; there’s not much consistency, though repeating prayers seems to be mentioned a lot.
 Subsection: 18 April 2018 (Boswell’s correspondence) Up Subsection: 18 April 2018 (Boswell’s correspondence) Subsubsection: Tuesday 16 September 1930