Haddon Hall

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Post by Mrs Figg Fri Mar 16, 2012 10:39 pm

The Portrait.

A breeze blew down the gallery, it was July and the cool interior was a relief from the scorching heat of the garden. The breeze had been sudden and had probably come from someone opening a door in another part of the Hall. The breeze had smelt of old stone and damp, a peculiar thing on a hot day. I felt chilled as I had been feeling a bit sweaty outside and as there was nothing more irritating than a cold sweat I put my jacket back on. I seemed to spend my life like an onion and wondered vaguely what it would be like to go round totally naked instead of being a slave to layering and accessories. Then I realized nudity was probably even more uncomfortable and so the budding Naturist was pruned before any wild sproutings took hold, plus I didnt want to spend the rest of the day in a cell avoiding sarcastic quips from policemen about white bottoms and waxing moons. I had heard it all before.

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Post by Orwell Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:39 pm

Yes.... and then... Question

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Post by Mrs Figg Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:22 pm

The Portrait.

Haddon Hall is a perfectly preserved Medieval House once owned by the Peveril family in Derbyshire, it has a lovely Elizabethan knot garden and terraces looking over rolling green hills and a little sparkling river in the valley below. It was a beauty spot and tourists flocked there to take cream teas in the converted barn. I arrived in the morning hoping to avoid the hoards of shuffling families with whingeing kids and grumpy teenagers, I wanted to savour the atmosphere as alone as possible. The family still lived in the west tower and a gramophone record of some Jeeves and Woosterish music was softly playing in the distance. There were great pots of lavender smelling dried flowers and the air smelt of furniture polish and moth balled tapestry. Little motes of dust twirled in the sunbeams, the great stone walls kept the rooms cool and strangely silent, not even a twittering bird could be heard.
I walked along the carpeted centre of the Long Gallery, staring at the family portraits and hunting scenes, I wanted to climb over the rope and take a closer look, but the thought of getting caught and being told off stopped me, so I leaned over as far as I could without tipping over, and tried a sneaky photo. A painting had caught my eye, and it caught my breath, for there on the wall over the fluted chimney breast was a portrait of a lady in a ruff and panniers, and unless I was hallucinating, it was me.

[url=Haddon Hall Orangeelizabethan][IMG]


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Post by halfwise Sat Mar 17, 2012 3:12 pm

So you give us a panting glimpse of glory and then snatch it away. What a tease. One of us may have to insert missing details.

Those panniers would be a good place to hide escaping dwarves. the name of the painting wasn't "Tauriel" was it?

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Post by Turembar Sat Mar 17, 2012 5:31 pm

(I hope I do not err in joining uninvited in the story, as yet unsure of the rules and protocol. If so, please feel more then free to kick my butt out unceremoniously or worse yet just ignor the intrusion. Either way I'll get the message.)


Looking about, suddenly and irrationally nervous that any one else might see it was she in the painting, Mrs Figg saw she was quite alone. A sound now caught her attention, a faint but sharp tap, tap tapping, and seconds later her senses registered that she was feeling vibrations in sync with the tapping. Unfocusing her eyes and concentrating on her ears, the sound seemed to be coming from below the empty chimney hearth. Disregarding the sound, which seemed unimportant, she gazed up and stared at the painting questionally, as if to say to to her own image 'What is going on here?'. A louder single 'chink!' then came up from the ground, and after a short silence was repeated in slow and sharp blows, like the sound of a pickaxe on stone or concrete. 'Now what are they doing ?" Mrs Figg wondered. 'Replacing pipes or something ?' was her first thought, but it struct her as odd that they would be breaking up antique stonework. 'I hope it's not stupid workmen destroying the foundation!' she thought in some alarm. 'But what... what if it's not repairs ?' she thought. 'Whats if it's excavating?' she wondered. She had not heard of any ongoing excavation at Haddon Hall, and this made her inquisitive. She was reluctant to leave the painting, but somehow seeing herself in the picture encouraged her to investigate. So with a last wistful look, she turned and headed deeper into the house seeking a way down into the basement.

She quickly found what she was looking for and came upon a narrow open stairwell leading down. It had steep stairs and stone walls and about 10 feet down turned to the left and out of view. Up from below, she heard the sounds much clearer, both lighter tapping and the heavy strike of metal on stone. She could also make out some talking from below, but it was faint and infrequent, not the loud chatter of workmen. Though open and without door, a metal chain stretched accross the stairwell with a dangling sign declaring "No Addmittance". Her curiousity was piqued though, and undoing the latch at one end of the chain, she lowered it carefully and arranging the sign so the words were not visable. 'An excuse' she thought, 'There was no chain accross the stairs...'. It was also a step of prudence, for she did not like the idea of the way blocked behind her. Her paranoia surprized her for there was nothing to fear in Haddon House. 'It must be seeing myself in the painting' she thought, 'which has me a little on edge'. Hesitating a moment, she waited, listening. When the noise became steadier, she began to go down the stairs slowly and quitely.

'Curiousity killed the cat' some say, but others say a 'Cat has nine lives'.
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Post by Mrs Figg Sat Mar 17, 2012 5:57 pm

cheers Hey Turembar I like the way this is going, I was thinking of something slightly spooky, but this is intriguing, its got a good flow, I dont know where you would have taken me but I am facinated to know. btw this is a true story of mine, something did happen to me at Haddon Hall, and I have mixed it with details from another Elizabethan house I visited called Gawsworth Hall, which by all accounts is one of the most haunted houses in England. I went with my grandparents when I was 6 years old and they told me I started shouting to be let out because I didnt like it, and then I went as an adult having forgotten my experience as a kid and the same thing happened only worse, much worse, I dont ever remember being so scared as going in that house, and in the grounds of the house was worse, by all accounts its haunted to the rafters. Also the portrait thing is a true story, even my mum who saw a copy I made of the portrait, thought it was me in fancy dress. weird huh? btw its not the one in the post above.


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Post by Amarië Sat Mar 17, 2012 6:32 pm

I am sure there will be a perfectly (in)sane explanation for that picture, seeing as you are the newest companion to the newest Dr. Who. Nod

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Post by Mirabella Sat Mar 17, 2012 9:48 pm

Mrs Figg wrote: cheers Hey Turembar I like the way this is going, I was thinking of something slightly spooky, but this is intriguing, its got a good flow, I dont know where you would have taken me but I am facinated to know. btw this is a true story of mine, something did happen to me at Haddon Hall, and I have mixed it with details from another Elizabethan house I visited called Gawsworth Hall, which by all accounts is one of the most haunted houses in England. I went with my grandparents when I was 6 years old and they told me I started shouting to be let out because I didnt like it, and then I went as an adult having forgotten my experience as a kid and the same thing happened only worse, much worse, I dont ever remember being so scared as going in that house, and in the grounds of the house was worse, by all accounts its haunted to the rafters. Also the portrait thing is a true story, even my mum who saw a copy I made of the portrait, thought it was me in fancy dress. weird huh? btw its not the one in the post above.

I want to see the 'actual' picture, Mrs Figg. I suspect the paranormal at work here. affraid

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Post by Mrs Figg Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:45 pm

The only paranormal thing here Mirabella are those boots with that skirt. pale hey you changed your boots, good idea.


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Post by Orwell Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:57 pm

I haven't seen too many Shirriff's who look like Mirabella at my work, I can tell ye! Very Happy But, I too, would like to see that painting.... Nod

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Post by Mrs Figg Sun Mar 18, 2012 12:05 am

cant find it ont hinternet. No
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Post by Mirabella Sun Mar 18, 2012 12:35 am

Oh Mrs Figg --- do you really expect a Lady of the Law to fall for that? Come on -- what are you hiding? Very Happy

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Post by Turembar Sun Mar 18, 2012 2:43 pm

Mrs Figg wrote: cheers Hey Turembar I like the way this is going, I was thinking of something slightly spooky, but this is intriguing, its got a good flow, I dont know where you would have taken me but I am facinated to know. btw this is a true story of mine, something did happen to me at Haddon Hall, and I have mixed it with details from another Elizabethan house I visited called Gawsworth Hall, which by all accounts is one of the most haunted houses in England. I went with my grandparents when I was 6 years old and they told me I started shouting to be let out because I didnt like it, and then I went as an adult having forgotten my experience as a kid and the same thing happened only worse, much worse, I dont ever remember being so scared as going in that house, and in the grounds of the house was worse, by all accounts its haunted to the rafters. Also the portrait thing is a true story, even my mum who saw a copy I made of the portrait, thought it was me in fancy dress. weird huh? btw its not the one in the post above.

(First, thankyou for letting me participate. Very sporting of you! Smile It always seems so much easier for me when I begin with things from real life and I am not surprised to find some basis for your experience. I have never encountered a ghost myself, but once for a few minutes I seriously thought I had & it was one of the strangest mental processes I have ever experienced. Anyway I have worked out the next bits in rough, and will put some down now with luck. Initially I am trying to develop two mysteries, One, which is yours, ties to the Elizabethian age roughly and is paranormal. Another is a modern mystery. Both revolve around Haddon House and become connected.)
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Post by Mrs Figg Sun Mar 18, 2012 2:45 pm

OH ALL RIGHT THEN, if you insist Mirabella, but any sarkytude and ill come over and moon in front of the station.. Suspect

[url=Haddon Hall 918S][IMG]
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Post by Mrs Figg Sun Mar 18, 2012 2:49 pm

Hey Turembar ,can't wait to read your story it sounds amazing. Very Happy
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Post by Turembar Sun Mar 18, 2012 3:18 pm

Going down and round the stairway bend, Mrs Figg found herself entering darkness. She stopped and was about to retreat back upstairs, when she heard more talking. The voices still came from some distance and were indistinct, but helped push back the errie feeling that threatened to overwhelm her. 'This is really odd' she thought, this digging in the dark. What are they up to?' And the image of hidden treasures flashed accross her mind. The darkness became more like a friend to hide cover her investigation. So now, mostly by feel she continued down the stairs.

The damp wall she followed with her left hand suddenly ended and expecting another step she almost stumbled, but not quite. Freezing for a moment she let her eyes and ears become accustomed to the dark and now echoing sounds. She thought she was now in a corridor that went both left and right. The echo made it confusing but she thought the sounds and voices came from the left. So with her left hand on the wall, and the right out in front of her face she started down the damp tunnel. As she went, she began to think she saw a faint light in the direction she went and the voices and sounds getting louder. Soon the light became more distinct and the dim outline of some walls and vaulting became visable ahead. From the hushed voices now a word here and there became almost recognizable, close enough to guess, but frustratingly uncertain. They seemed odd, like in a strange accent, and she wondered briefly if it was not even English. But then she heard something quite clear: " Duff man, move the light Brogley" and the light ahead briefly danced and became dimmer.

Unbeknownst to Mrs Figg, a pair of eyes was watching her. Hidden in a niche on the opposite side of the corridor a man saw her very clearly but she was all in the green tones of Night Vision glasses. He wondered what she was doing, but from her secrecy and expression he guessed she, like he, was not supposed to be here and was spying on the excavation.
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Post by Turembar Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:26 pm

(Really like the pictures you are putting up. It adds so much to it. Nothing like writing about places you have never seen and people you have never met! lol. But from your pic I would have said there is more then a little Kelt in your backround.)


The man was tempted to make contact with this potential co-conspirator, but he was as yet unsure if she was in fact spying. And any attempt would more then like frighten the poor lady out of her wits. She did in fact already look very shakey, though he couldn't blame her, for even able to see, he himself was easily spooked in such places. He had heard the clear words also, coming from up the corridor, but inexplicably, they were quite different words. "Give me the Range finder Roger" he had heard, and then "I think we must be reaching under the crypt". The man had been actually on his way out, when he heard and then saw the woman coming down the corridor, and had ducked into the niche. He had already been ahead spying on the excavation. What he had found, was that up ahead, the corridor turned to the left and shortly entered a large vaulted ceiling room which a small plaque on the wall declared as the Haddon family crypt. This was empty of living people, but held five raised crypts in two rows and a single religious statue against the right wall. The statue, almost life-sized, was of a woman in hood and robes with upraised hand. But on the left of the room, a doorway had been recently cut into the wall and large piles of stones and dirt were banked against the walls and littered the floor. Accross the doorway was a rudely built door of reinforced plywood. Upon the door someone had spray-painted the words "No Admittance", which had given him a silent chuckle, as when he saw those words he always then mentally added '...except on party business'. But he hadn't needed admittance anyway. The door was not straightly mounted and there were gaps, which he could see through easily. Beyond the door a large tunnel had been dug, and expanded. New wood beams and uprights had been placed at intervals to support the roof. In the center a large hole had been dug and the end of a ladder protruded out of it. From down this hole he had heard digging and talking, and he knew there were at least two men at the work. Periodically one, a middle aged man with glasses, had come up the ladder to empty a bucket full of dirt and stones. The whole thing looked unprofessional as hell and the man was sure this was a secret and perhaps an illicit dig.
But at the moment he was trapped by this unexpected woman, for she blocked his retreat. He waited some minutes as she slowly she made her way down, and then after a pause made the turn towards the crypt. He then quickly retreated towards the stairs, and reaching the bottom stuffed his googles into the small knapsack he carried on one shoulder. He went up the uneven stairs slower, with a noticable limp.


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Post by Mrs Figg Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:30 pm

you know Turembar I have an idea as how we can do this, you know maybe we can weave our story together, past, present, future, maybe as some people think time and history is happening all at the same moment, but in alternate states, so that we only see our reality, our time moving 'normally', but Houses as old as Haddon have had many stories to tell, many histories, I like the idea that our stories could be happening simultaniously, but I only see my story whereas you can only see yours, maybe at some point our stories overlap or touch like two threads of the tapestry. I dont know if I am making any sense? I have a tendency to waffle on about my pet theories, I love popular science and all that Discovery Channel stuff. he he! viva Quantum Theory and all that Jazz!
I have called my bit of the story THE PORTRAIT, so that folk dont get confused, what do you think? Very Happy
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Post by Turembar Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:43 pm

Mrs Figg wrote:you know Turembar I have an idea as how we can do this, you know maybe we can weave our story together, past, present, future, maybe as some people think time and history is happening all at the same moment, but in alternate states, so that we only see our reality, our time moving 'normally', but Houses as old as Haddon have had many stories to tell, many histories, I like the idea that our stories could be happening simultaniously, but I only see my story whereas you can only see yours, maybe at some point our stories overlap or touch like two threads of the tapestry. I dont know if I am making any sense? I have a tendency to waffle on about my pet theories, I love popular science and all that Discovery Channel stuff. he he! viva Quantum Theory and all that Jazz!

Yes, exactly! That was along the lines I was also thinking. I have a bit more in my head, ready to write, but the difiicult part is freeing you up again. Maybe it is enough to say that when you advance down the corridor you are going into 1625 or some similiar past time. I had been thinking you witness two Blackguards secretly burying the portrait woman's body behind the statue. But really anything could be down ther waiting at this point. I gave some hint of that when we heard different words. The painting on the wall up in the main hall might be some indicator. For though you see the woman's portrait I see a portrait of yet another boorish Lord so-and-so. You might be able to tell when you return mentally to our time when you see the man's portrait. At any rate I thought we would meet later up in the barn cafe somehow and compare notes.
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Post by Mrs Figg Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:52 pm

The Portrait.

"Can I help you" called a voice from the doorway. I turned round to see a Tourist Guide from the House trotting towards me, from the tone of her voice it was clear I wasnt supposed to be leaning precariously over the ropes, so I straightened up waiting for a lecture on museum policy, which never came. She looked at me, and then looked at the painting, did a double take and then stared at me over her spectacles her mouth slightly open. We both stared at each other, our eyes doing the invisible Two Step. "She looks like you doesnt she?" said the Guide, "erm Yes, its strange isnt it?, I said feeling a bit silly. "You know who she is? she said, I had to admit I hadnt a clue, I never normally bother with reading the guide bumf beforehand, I just walk into places and then if it grabs my interest I read up afterwards. But this time I wanted to know.
"This, said the guide "Is Lady Mary Fitton, who lived here in the Elizabethan era, she was a lady of the court, quite a scandalous lady, she eloped with the Queens favourite councellor, she came to a mysterious end, nobody knows if she eloped abroad with her lover, but she disappeared, quite suddenly it is said". "O" I said rather taken aback, it looked like history had a weird habit of repeating itself, maybe there was such a thing as Synchronicity.


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Post by Turembar Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:58 pm

(The Aztec two-step perhaps? Please do go on. Smile This is just for atmosphere.)

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Post by Mrs Figg Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:11 pm

This is fun. cheers Loving your story Turembar. I got my Lady in the portrait to disappear mysteriously in the elizabethan era. Razz
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Post by Turembar Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:13 pm

(Thankyou very much! Very Happy Your approval is the best encouragement to continue. I don't know if this scene will fit in, but will put it down, seeing as I had worked it out. Any scene can be disgarded or retro-fitted out anyway)

Mrs Figg was now getting very close to the digging, for clearly that was what it was. She pressed herself close to the damp wall as she advanced the last few yards towards the crypt. Absently she hoped not to disturb some fat lurking spider. The room ahead flickered in lamp-light and at last, one eye peering barely beyond the wall, she could see two men working. One stout man, was digging into a large hole he had made into the wall, swinging a pick-axe with rythmic strokes. Another man, thinner and grey haired was chipping away at bits of mortar clinging to a large statue of a Lady that seemed to have been pulled away from the wall. The ground about was strewn with dirt and stones...and lastly she spied a large long bundle wrapped in blankets. The men were dressed in very rough looking clothes unlike anything she had seen, except in pictures and at re-enactment fairs. They spoke with an accent that seemed archaic & totally baffled, she wondered what re-enactors were doing here.

'Aye, that will about do it Bogley' said the stout man stopping his swinging to survey his work.

'Now quit your chipp'in and help me with her Ladyship' he added dropping the pickaxe to the side.

The older man now laid his chisel and wooden hammer down and both men moved to the bundle on the ground.

'Oh my God!' thought Mrs Figg in as a wave of understanding and shock swept over her. She had thought by '...her Ladyship' the men had meant the statue. But now as the two went to the ends of the bundle and picked it up, she could see it was the body of some poor women. The wrestled it clumsily toward the hole in the wall, and a flap of the blanket came loose and fell, exposing a woman's face. It looked like Mrs Figg.

'Ere, set her down again ya clumsly fool' said the stout man.

And setting her down the older man grabbed the loose end of the blanket to cover the face again. But he hesitated and peered a moment at the face. It was composed and her eyes were closed and she seemed like she could just be asleep. 'Aye, such a shame, for she were a pretty lass..' the older man said sadly.

'God, you are a fool!' ejected the stout man in alarm. 'What do ye want to do, but be the first thing she see's when her spirit awakes!'

' Oh saint Mary & Joseph save me!' moaned the old man, covering the Ladies face quickly. And together they half carried, half dragged the body to the hole.

Mrs Figg, had seen enough, and more then enough. She began to back away slowly from the chamber, until a hand suddenly grabbed her shoulder from behind and a voice quite near said 'Lost Madam?".

But Mrs Figg didn't hear it because she had passed right out.
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Post by Mrs Figg Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:29 pm

cor blimey thats spooky! pale can't wait to see what happens next. Very Happy
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Post by Turembar Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:13 pm

Mrs Figg wrote:cor blimey thats spooky! pale can't wait to see what happens next. Very Happy

(I don't believe I have ever done 'spooky' before! Laughing P.S. Do you have a first name for Mrs. Figg ? I am not accustomed to addressing people by titles all the time, though I suppose I could get used to it. I have come up with a name for 'The Man', not liking 'Turembar' in the context, but it may only be an alias. I am not sure yet )

Mrs Figg woke up blinking. She was lying on her back & an old wood beamed ceiling was the first thing she saw. A face intruded from the right causing Mrs Figg to flinch. It was the spectacled woman she had spoken to by the painting.

"Oh dearie, she's awake now." the spectacled woman said. "Here, take a sip of water" she added handing Mrs Figg a plastic water bottle.

Mrs Figg took the bottle thrust at her and then looked around. She was lying on a couch in one of the rooms of Haddon House and for as moment didn't know why. "What happened?" Mrs Figg said after taking a sip.

"You've had a fright, poor dear, and fainted." the spectacled woman said with some sympathy. "Lord knows I've had a fright or two in this house myself. Especially with that clumsy ox Mr Wilkins sneaking up on you like that. I shouldn't wonder!"

"I did not sneak up on her" protested a man's voice coming from somewhere behind Mrs Figg. "She was in the private area and I almost stumbled upon her unexpectedly".

"Well no harm done I suppose." the spectacled lady continued. "So how are you now dearie...?" she asked, "...do you think you can get up?"

"Umm... I think so." said Mrs Figg swinging her legs around and sitting up. And then she remembered. "Downstairs!" Mrs Figg cried. "There was a body!... and two men were burying her! You have to call the Police!"

"What's this?" said Mr Wilkins in a startled voice, as he came round to stand behind the spectacled woman. He then continued on in a confident professional voice. "Madam, I myself and the two workmen downstairs just carried you up, not 5 minutes ago, and I can assure you there was no body."

"Dearie, I think maybe your mind was playing tricks on you." said the spectacled woman. "You know you'd just seen that painting and it probably put you in a fright."

"What painting was that Mrs Clavenly?" Mr. Wilkins asked the spectacled woman.

"The one above the Mantle, Mr Figg. This lady thought she saw herself in the painting, and I must say she has a remarkable resemblence to our Lady Litton." said Mrs Clavenly.

"Oh yes, there was!" Mrs Figg insisted, ignorring the painting incident. I wasn't seeing things in the dark. I watched them digging behind the Statue for several minutes before they picked up the body."

Mr Wilkins now looked deeply puzzled, and studied Mrs Figgs features intently. Finally he said, 'Behind the Statue... ? But that couldn't be. The only Statue downstairs is in the Crypt & no one is digging there. The workmen are on the other side, and thru the wall shoring up the foundations."

"Look...I know what I saw" said Mrs Figg, "...and you must call the Police. Oh bother, let me do it!", and she looked around frantically for her bag. "Where's my bag? I had a bag ?"

"You must of dropped it downstairs, Madam." Mr Wilkins said, changing to a consoling tone of voice. "But see, I will go call the Police right now, and then we will investigate your sighting and locate your bag. Will that be satisfactory?"

"Very" said Mrs Figg.

"Mrs Clavenly, will you stay with with madam, while I go ring up the Police?"

"Of course, Mr Wilkins." Mrs Clavenly replied.

Mr Wilkins then turned and headed for a corridor, steering himself past a chair and picking up a ladies handbag secretly as he went.

(btw, Please forgive first draft disease if you will Mrs Figg! Wink )







[i]
Turembar
Turembar
Ringwinner

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Join date : 2012-03-12

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