The Temple Vampire, episode 4

Crabb con­ducts an inter­view; Marsh plays the mime.


1st Octo­ber 2009.

Dramatis Personae

  • Lady Ant­o­nia deVorea Heav­ily-armed Aris­to­crat.
  • Doc­tor Hil­ary Crabb – an Army Sur­geon.
  • Pro­fess­or Augus­tus Wyn­termere – a Back­room Boffin.
  • Rod­ney Marsha Par­tially-reformed Thief.
  • Mrs Ellen Hawkins – an Impov­er­ished Wid­ow.
  • Edie – a Lady of Ill-repute.
  • Peter Hawkins – a Pale Youth.
  • A small num­ber of oth­er Pale Youths.


Hav­ing beaten off a group of ruf­fi­ans, the invest­ig­a­tions team had made some pro­gess in their research.

Once again, the group decided to split up to fur­ther their invest­ig­a­tions. Marsh was to return to the dock­side tav­erns and attempt to identi­fy the mys­ter­i­ous onlook­er and the gang mem­bers; the rest of the team would head back to Barchester­’s crypt to look for more information.

Marsh’s enquir­ies proved to be suc­cess­ful. The gang-lead­er was iden­ti­fied as Jack “Nodger” Noakes, a former gang lieu­ten­ant from the Isle of Dogs, pos­sibly mov­ing into the crime scene in this area. Marsh also man­aged to get a lead on the woman, one Mrs Ellen Hawkins, an impov­er­ished wid­ow, now liv­ing on the roof of one of the loc­al warehouses.

The doc­tor, pro­fess­or and Lady Ant­o­nia headed back to Barchester­’s lodgings, but after much search­ing they had little suc­cess, even after attempt­ing to retrieve some inform­a­tion from the writ­ing pad and blot­ter. The pro­fess­or came to the con­clu­sion that he may have mem­or­ised all his busi­ness inform­a­tion (a com­mon skill amongst 16th cen­tury alchemists).

Marsh arrived at the base­ment and they exchanged inform­a­tion, before he returned to the tav­ern to talk to Edie and try to pick up more inform­a­tion. The oth­ers decided to look for the mys­ter­i­ous Mrs Hawkins, loc­at­ing her res­id­ence after a few minor enquir­ies. Approach­ing the rel­ev­ant door of the some­what ram­shackle row of back-to-back struc­tures, Lady Ant­o­nia rapped on the door and, when it opened, informed the tired-look­ing middle-aged woman who opened it, that they were agents of the crown and wanted to talk to her. She imme­di­ately slammed the door, break­ing the tip of Lady Ant­o­nia’s para­sol (with which she tried to wedge the door open). A moment later, they heard a door open, fol­lowed by run­ning steps, on the far side of the build­ing and Lady Ant­o­nia and the pro­fess­or set off in imme­di­ate pur­suit, leav­ing the par­tially lame doc­tor to wait for them.

A moment later, the door opened and Mrs Hawkins peered out, spot­ting the doc­tor almost imme­di­ately. He took a slightly less con­front­a­tion­al approach, assur­ing her that she was not in trouble and gained entry. Over the ensu­ing con­ver­sa­tion, he was able to determ­ine that she had a very low opin­ion of Simon Barchester, believ­ing he was respons­ible for the change in beha­viour of her son, Peter, who had been look­ing to become the stock­broker­’s appren­tice. She had lost con­tact with her son, who was asso­ci­at­ing with a strange group of people and sleep­ing through the day. She was unable to explain the prob­lem fur­ther than that, but poin­ted out that they might get a good look at him at the Dog & Duck by the docks.

The doc­tor left the house and met up with the oth­ers, who had been chas­ing an inno­cent stranger, and they decided to vis­it the tav­ern in ques­tion as it was near­ing sun­down. Once they had arrived, they spot­ted Marsh and his “friend” in one corner and took up a table at anoth­er near the door. It was not long before the gen­er­ally con­vivi­al, if uncouth, atmo­sphere changed com­pletely as a gang of loc­al youths arrived. Gen­er­ally pale, not very anim­ated and uni­formly dressed in dark clothes, they were led by a rather more spritely indi­vidu­al in fash­ion­able dress. A num­ber of people dis­ap­peared very quickly at this point, includ­ing Edie, leav­ing Marsh on his own.

As the gang approached Marsh’s corner, he decided to get out of their way, attempt­ing to sur­repti­tiously sig­nal to the oth­ers that he was mov­ing to anoth­er table. Unfor­tu­nately, he did this just as the gang lead­er (who matched Mrs Hawkins’ descrip­tion of her way­ward son) swung out into the middle of the room to announce some­thing, stop­ping right in front of him. Hawkins decided to make fun of him and asked the “mime” to per­form for the room at large. Marsh respon­ded by try­ing to get out of the room and his assail­ant grabbed him.

At this point, the pro­fess­or let fly with his entangling foam, catch­ing Hawkins with it, but the youth proved impossibly fast and strong. He broke free, appeared at the team’s table and attemp­ted to punch the pro­fess­or, miss­ing and sink­ing his fist into the brick wall. Lady Ant­o­nia pro­duced her revolvers and let fly with both shot bar­rels into his side, but although the shot pen­et­rated his skin, he did­n’t even flinch, turn­ing to grin at her. The group now decided dis­cre­tion was the bet­ter part of valour and fled.


At last, the team meet their nemes­is, the vam­pire Peter Hawkins, and find he’s a little tough­er than they imagined.

This ses­sion also marks the first occur­rence of Marsh’s now-clas­sic abil­ity to foul things up spec­tac­u­larly in social situ­ations. All it took was a simple roll of snake eyes…