Thursday, 1 November 2007

A stolen cog and a bolting horse

The Professor and I travelled to Wensleydale Priory on this glorious summer's day. England in May must be the most beautiful place in the world.

Travelled by train (first class -- Lord Worthing is a very generous man) and found ourselves in company with a vicar and man who transported goods all over the world. Both were kind enough to answer my questions about their callings.

We went into a tunnel and all the lights went out -- and when we emerged, the vicar's bible was upside down. I'm sure he didn't drop it (I'd certainly have heard, even over the roar of the train), and I know it was the right way up before because I looked over to see what he was reading (Deuteronomy).

Arriving at the tiny Priory Halt, we discovered that there was no-one to meet us. I was much dismayed by this, because the book is very heavy to carry and I did not fancy walking the seven miles. But a farmer taking an empty wagon back towards the priory offered us a lift. Professor Craine kindly allowed me to sit up with the farmer; but given what happened next, I'm not sure I was lucky in this.

The horse was startled by a black motorcar, and the farmer was thrown from his seat. I don't think I have ever been so scared in my life -- but then I was taken by a moment of calmness and I felt as if I could have made the horse stop if only... if only I could remember the canticle. I jumped from the wagon, and I am rather bruised, but I'll live.

At the priory, it turned out that the driver of the car had arrived before us, and was known to Professor Craine as one Charles de Whymper. There is some kind of quarrel betweent the two men. My mind is whirring frantically at this -- I'm sure it's very dull and connected with research, but I secretly imagine all sorts of intrigue and lost loves and ill deeds, all the same.

Mr de Whymper does not seem a very gentlemanly sort -- later I caught his manservant climbing in through the library window; and soon after that he stole a cog from the priory clock and disappeared. But perhaps I'm doing Mr de Whymper down -- he seemed as shocked and confused as 'my' professor and the prior at this development. Professor Craine was furious. He demanded that Mr de Whymper be locked up and interviewed.

I wish I knew more of what the professor is working on. It is hard to observe something that I do not understand. He is very tight with his information -- everytime I ask, it seems to be the wrong moment. As far as I can tell, he plans to turn back time to allow our employer to meet again with his dead wife.

I wish I could say that I am disappointed to see a brilliant man waste his abilities on a pointless endeavour. But I am afraid that the things I have seen in these last few hurried months make me wonder if such a thing might be possible.

1 comment:

The Acrobatic Flea said...

A fine recounting of our day's adventures, ma'am. I'm hoping that tiresome bounder De Whymper gets his just desserts and the cog is soon recovered - I do so feel for the monks and their loss, as though we are partly responsible (although clearly we are not!)
- Prof. R. Craine