The Disappearance of Sir Oliver Plumb
Chapter 4: The Game's Afoot
Copyright© 2012 by normist
The Governor-General was available and he granted us five minutes of his time. Sarah was very impressed with the Governor-General and I think her admiration was reciprocated.
By the time we left the White House, it was time for dinner. I took Sarah to my favorite French Restaurant. After dinner, I took Sarah back to my two-bedroom apartment, as I was still concerned for her safety.
A good night's sleep, I thought, and we'll be able to face the next stage in our quest. That night, I fell asleep dreaming of Sarah! I dreamed I felt a body climb into bed behind me and saying, "Please let me stay. I feel safer with you."
When I woke in the morning, I found my dream had not just been wishful thinking. Sarah was lying next to me. She opened one sleepy eye.
"Mmmm!" she murmured. "This is nice, Robert. You know, I've never slept with someone before!"
It took just a moment to understand what Sarah was saying.
Then, grinning, I replied, "Does this mean that I'll have to marry you?
Unfortunately, before she could answer, I saw the time. The job clicked in.
"Come on! Get up. We've got a long day ahead of us."
"Oh all right, Robert, You get dressed and I'll start breakfast."
She flowed out of bed and exited the bedroom for the kitchen, and I shouted after her.
"We haven't time for breakfast. Get dressed. We've a train to catch. We'll have breakfast on the train"
Twenty minutes later, we were at Union Station, waiting for the fast train to New Haven.
Once the train was underway, Sarah asked, "What happened after your Talent had been discovered?"
"Oh! I was apprenticed to my father's Forensic Sorcerer. I studied under him after school."
"What did you learn from him?"
"Well! To start with it was very simple magic, parlor tricks really; things like lighting and extinguishing candles. Then it was onto formulating spells like health and protective spells. Eventually he was teaching me his forensic skills, not all them dependent on the Talent. For example: how the average criminal's mind works, as well as odd skills like telekinesis, telepathy, precognition and the like."
We had an hour's wait at New Haven for our connection to Springfield. We used the time to get some lunch. Too many 'quick' meals were hazards of the job.
Four hours later we arrived in Springfield. As soon as we had booked in at an inn, we took a hansom to the local office of the NEBI. I felt we would be needing backup the following day. The Special Agent In Charge agreed to ask the Sheriff to put out Deputies to observe the perimeter of Anton Walsh's property overnight.
Sarah and I returned to the inn for dinner and an early night. The morrow would be trying. Very trying. In our room, Sarah asked, "May I sleep with you again, tonight? I'd feel much safer."
"Very well," I agreed.
During our train trips, she had questioned me about my life and I had also explained to her some of the principles of thaumaturgy. She had exhibited a remarkable grasp of the subject, almost as though she was reading my mind. I had explained more to her than I had originally intended. It passed through my mind that Sarah might have the Talent. I would have to explore this possibility when we had more time. I would soon be thankful for this teaching, as it would repay me a thousandfold.
Next morning, after breakfast, we took a hansom to the office of the NEBI to ensure that nothing new had happened overnight. The deputies on site had reported that the suspect had been observed and was apparently alone. The light had stayed on until after 2.00 am. This could mean that the suspect wouldn't be quite as alert as he might be othwise.
At this stage of the game, I considered leaving Sarah behind, while I tackled the suspect. Fortunately, the consideration didn't last. Instead, I reviewed the method of gaining access to Walsh's residence. The direct approach seemed the best, so we used an unmarked office hansom.
During the drive, I examined both of my psychic compasses and confirmed that both Sir Oliver and his captor were almost certainly together and roughly in the correct direction. The house was built in a half-timbered style. We alighted from the hansom and Sarah followed me to the front door where I knocked. After a moment, the door opened and immediately I recognized the face before me, though it lacked a pair of horns.
"Come in, and welcome, Agent MacLeod, and you dear! I trust you suffered no ill effects from your recent experiences."