I have enjoyed some spirited conversations with Aaron about what should happen yet. And I have decided that Aaron needs to write his own book! He has a lot of ideas, convoluted plot lines and intricate character interactions. It was hard to keep up with all the twists and turns of the the tale as we walked through the grocery store yesterday.
Here is an excerpt from one of the Time Bender trips ... enjoy!
Case No. 216
Location: London, England
Time: July 11, 1859
G & T Team: Charlotte, Charlie, Espi, X
We were deposited by the TB in the early morning hours in an unknown alley in central London. We deduced our location by investigating our surroundings. The cobblestone streets, the lamplighters working their way down the street to extinguish the street lights, the English accent of those walking by.
Our first course of action was to attempt to disguise ourselves adequately so as to not draw unwanted attention. In the alley, Charlotte was able to crawl through a small hole in the wall of one of the buildings. In spite of the hole being 10 feet off the ground, the twins were able to work together acrobatically to get Charlotte safely inside. After squeezing through the hole, she discovered that it was a grocer. As the store was still not open for business, Charlotte was able to smuggle out a bolt of dark fabric that we used to make capes to cover our clothing. She also found two bonnets and two bowler hats for us to wear to cover our heads.
Now that we could chance being out among the Londoners, we braved the opportunity to leave the alley and get our bearings. Once we were out among the public, we noticed that there was steady stream of people walking toward our right. We joined the crowd, but we linked arms so as to not get separated. We each were listening intently to the conversations around us in an attempt to discern what was happening with the hopes that we could pinpoint our location and time period.
The destination of the crowd, as it turned out, was Parliament Square, which was already quite full when we arrived. We worked our way to the front of the crowd and that was when Espi deduced our whereabouts. The crowd was gathered to hear the Great Bell’s strike for the first time on the Elizabeth Tower, better known to us as Big Ben. Espi informed us that this historic even took place on July 11, 1859.
The excitement in the Square was palatable. There was a steady hum of cockney accents on every side of us. We only had to wait approximately fifteen minutes before the Great Bell began to chime. In contrast to the previous noise, the bells signaled several moments of complete silence in the Square. At the sixth and final bell, the crowd erupted in applause and shouts of, “Long live the Queen!” Espi was quick to remind us that Queen Victoria was reigning during this time period.
The crowd began to dissipate, Londoners disappearing into the streets and alleyways surrounding the Parliament Square in within a few minutes, we were left almost entirely alone. We took this time to conference, trusting that we would not be overheard. Now that we were secure in our surroundings, it was decided that we would travel back down Queen Street toward the alley from which we emerged, seeing as in previous assignments, most missions are completed near the original drop spot.
As a group, we headed back they way we had come. But before we had gotten far, Charlie became aware of a woman, some 50 feet behind us, who was crying. We slowed our walk and allowed her to catch up with us. We stood off to one side, while Charlotte cautiously approached the woman under the guise of asking for directions.
Within a few moments, Charlotte had managed (as she always does!) to befriend the woman and fish out her story. She was Miss Rachel Ermin and she was the ward to a Lady Mockton, her own parents dying many years earlier in a plague epidemic. She was only a young child at the time and was taken in by Lady Mockton as a distant relative. Her twenty years spent in the care of Lady Mockton had been favorable. She had joined Lady Mockton’s own small children in their lessons and their play and had grown up among society, at least as an observer. Lady Mockton’s daughter, Harriet, and Miss Ermin were very close and spent most of their growing up years together. That is until Harriet married earlier that spring. Now Miss Ermin spent most of her days alone and lonely.
This new isolation had driven Miss Ermin to the library of the Mockton Victorian house. During one afternoon the previous week, Miss Ermin had come across a small leather ledger. Upon opening it, she soon discovered that at the death of her parents she had been gifted a large sum of money, enough for her to live on quite comfortably the rest of her life. It was then that she realized that her parents had not left her penniless as she had been brought up to believe, but that in fact she was quite well off.
Being a spirited girl, she had pocketed the ledger and immediately requested an audience with Lady Mockton. That very afternoon, she confronted her guardian. Lady Mockton was surprised at the discovery of the ledger, but made a quick recovery and created a concrete case against Miss Ermin and the possibilities of her being independent, one that she claimed would hold up in court. Miss Ermin had no defense and fled the room. She had spent the remainder of the week, back in the library, searching among the books of law for some way to seize her financial independence and escape Lady Mockton’s grasp.
On the morning of our encounter with Miss Ermin, she had given up all hope, hence her tearful walk. With a promise to help, Miss Ermin invited us to the house with the hopes of us scouring the library and discovering some means of Lady Mockton releasing her inheritance to her. The Mockton House was just a few blocks from the alley where we were deposited earlier. She informed us that Lady Mockton was out of the house for the day, the society ladies having seized the first chimes of the Elizabeth Tower clock as an opportunity to have a luncheon. Miss Ermin managed to sneak us into the house using the servants entrance. She snuck us down the hall to the library and secured the door.