Chapter 1: A Telegram from an Old Friend

During a sweltering August in 1881, one of the members of the Seekers of Enlightenment receives a letter from an old friend, requesting help in solving a family mystery. It will soon become a matter of life or death…

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Chapter 1: A Telegram from an Old Friend

Postby HoneyDog » Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:04 pm

Saturday 6th August, 1881. 11am

Fleming’s Tavern, Half Moon Street, Mayfair


Flemings.jpg


It is a sweltering August day. This summer has been particularly leading to a prolonged drought, taking a toll on patience, temper, and even sanity among the people of South-East England. Collars and corsets feel tight and heavy, and the stiff upper lip is beginning to tremble for some of the stalwarts who inhabit this great imperial city.

The streets of Mayfair are crowded with shoppers despite the temperature, which doesn’t help the general mood. Despite these adverse conditions, the Seekers of Enlightenment meet at their regular rendezvous, summoned by their Treasurer, Dr. Alexander Campbell.

The society has grown since its inception, mainly as a result of its role in the investigation of the death of Lord Bargrove the year before, which has led to an aura of mystique. Although the society welcomes those from any walk of life, they now tend to exercise more discretion with recruiting new members.

Today’s meeting reflects this policy, being a mixture of older and newer members. In attendance are:

Miss Isolde Beauchant, Chairperson
Mr. Percy Stringer
Dr. Alexander Campbell, Treasurer
Miss Victoria Miller
and
Mr. Harry Brown

Once the members are seated and have quenched their thirst, Dr. Campbell reveals the reason for his summons, unfolding a telegram which he lays on the table. Edging closer, the companions can see the following message:

REQUEST YOUR ATTENDANCE AT FORBY HOUSE GRANTONS BRIDGE MIDDLESEX STOP INFANTILE BRAIN FEVER RELAPSE COULD BE FATAL WITHOUT YOUR AID STOP PLEASE COME STOP MRS HAROLD FORBY
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Re: Chapter 1: A Telegram from an Old Friend

Postby Philulhu » Wed Jan 22, 2020 7:44 pm

Vic looked around at her fellow Seekers, who seemed to be silently musing upon the message. ”I don’t understand. Is this not something for which a medical doctor would be better suited?” she asked.
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Re: Chapter 1: A Telegram from an Old Friend

Postby aine » Wed Jan 22, 2020 7:55 pm

Isolde looks at the newest member with some distain,
"Well, obviously; if it was just a medical case." She pauses for effect, "This will be far less mundane. Maybe even a possession by an evil spirit." She looks at the other new member. "You are not a priest, by any chance?"
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Re: Chapter 1: A Telegram from an Old Friend

Postby Mephistophilis » Wed Jan 22, 2020 7:58 pm

Harry had long ago learned that he was better off listening than speaking when in the company of his social superiors. He kept his hands folded in his lap and observed his new associates, silently appraising who might be most receptive to his professional services.

He wasn't quite sure he was following the relevance of these medical issues. Although he knew a little about the society and their work he had to admit he had been secretly hoping for a seance. Harry liked a good seance.
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Re: Chapter 1: A Telegram from an Old Friend

Postby Philulhu » Wed Jan 22, 2020 8:05 pm

Not easily cowed, Vic returned Isolde’s look with a look of her own. ”Do you know who this Mrs Forby is? There’s no information here as to why she might want you to visit. If I had an infant with a brain condition, a medical doctor would be my first port of call...”
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Re: Chapter 1: A Telegram from an Old Friend

Postby Mephistophilis » Wed Jan 22, 2020 9:55 pm

Slightly taken aback at being addressed directly by Isolde, Harry shakes his head, 'no mam'.
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Re: Chapter 1: A Telegram from an Old Friend

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu Jan 23, 2020 2:55 am

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"I imagine she did call on a medical doctor first," says Alexander, "and that was no help. Mrs. Forby is the wife of Harry Forby, an old chum of mine from school. I havena seen him in years, though I just got a letter from him last month. He's had brain fever before, and it was coming back. It must be him that's ill, not a bairn. He's just had it on occasion since he was one. He also mentioned something about a family treasure that nobody's been able to find as yet."
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Re: Chapter 1: A Telegram from an Old Friend

Postby Philulhu » Thu Jan 23, 2020 7:37 am

”Oh, well, that explains it,” said Vic, with a smile. “Do please carry on.”
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Re: Chapter 1: A Telegram from an Old Friend

Postby HoneyDog » Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:53 am

"Treasure, eh?" says Percy to Alexander, thoughtfully. "Will you be going to help, then?"
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Re: Chapter 1: A Telegram from an Old Friend

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:25 am

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"Oh, aye," says Alexander. "You're all welcome to come along as well."
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Re: Chapter 1: A Telegram from an Old Friend

Postby Philulhu » Fri Jan 24, 2020 1:34 pm

”How long will it take us to get there?” asked Vic. “Are we going today?”
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Re: Chapter 1: A Telegram from an Old Friend

Postby HoneyDog » Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:39 pm

Percy scratches his chin, setting down his water glass.

“As I recall, Granton’s Bridge is a fairly small place. It has a station which you can reach on the branch line from Staines. You’re probably best setting off in the morning as I don’t think the trains run too frequently out that way.”

He frowns.

“I’d like to accompany you, but I have an assignment to follow up on. Let’s hope that this invitation won’t be as… eventful as last time.”

He casts a meaningful look at both Alexander and Isolde.
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Re: Chapter 1: A Telegram from an Old Friend

Postby aine » Fri Jan 24, 2020 7:23 pm

"At least we won't be dieing of cold this time! I for one would be glad to get out of town; it's hard to stay sane on this heat. A trip to the countryside would be very welcome whatever the reason." Says Isolde, fanning herself. "Although I can't imagine much happens in Staines; it's rather different to the wilds of Dartmoor!"
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Re: Chapter 1: A Telegram from an Old Friend

Postby Mephistophilis » Fri Jan 24, 2020 7:44 pm

'I'd like to offer my services if I can be of use' says Harry, the talk of 'treasure' piquing his interest. 'May I ask, did your friend approach you personally or the society itself?'
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Re: Chapter 1: A Telegram from an Old Friend

Postby Philulhu » Sat Jan 25, 2020 1:13 am

Vic had sat quietly while the more established members of the society were talking. When Percy mentioned their previous adventures, she couldn’t help but interject.

”Eventful?” she asked. “What happened? Do tell!”
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Re: Chapter 1: A Telegram from an Old Friend

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Jan 25, 2020 5:54 am

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"The telegram came to me personally from his wife," says Alexander. "Mr. Forby was evidently in no condition to send it." To Vic he adds. "Well, that's rather a long story. Perhaps we can tell it on the journey, if you decide to join us."
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Re: Chapter 1: A Telegram from an Old Friend

Postby Philulhu » Sat Jan 25, 2020 10:04 am

”Why not?” replied Vic with a smile. ”I don’t have any plans for the next few days.”
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Re: Chapter 1: A Telegram from an Old Friend

Postby HoneyDog » Sat Jan 25, 2020 3:24 pm

Spoiler:
I will move the story on to the next day, if no-one objects. I'll leave it up to the veterans how much they want to relate about the Bargrove mystery!
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Re: Chapter 1: A Telegram from an Old Friend

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Jan 25, 2020 4:30 pm

Spoiler:
I'm fine with moving forward.
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Re: Chapter 1: A Telegram from an Old Friend

Postby Philulhu » Sat Jan 25, 2020 6:04 pm

Spoiler:
I’m also ok with moving on.
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