The Pyramids of Hertfordshire, episode 3

Ant­o­nia vis­its the Man­or; Cur­ruth­ers sends a telegram.


6th May 2010.

Dramatis Personae

  • Lady Ant­o­nia deVorea Heav­ily-armed Aris­to­crat.
  • Miss Con­stantina Spita Rebel­li­ous Debutante.
  • Cap­tain Ben­son Cur­ruth­ersa Mil­it­ary Police­man.
  • Jack Pren­tiss – a Dodgy Ped­es­tri­an.
  • Miss April Sharpea Self-taught Inventor.
  • Rod­ney Marsha Par­tially-reformed Thief.
  • Sir Upton Scudamore – a Self-made Eccent­ric.
  • Vil­li­ers – a But­ler of Few Words.
  • Madamois­elle Melissa D’Ar­qué – a Gov­erness.
  • Alice and Peter – Sir Upton’s Grand­chil­dren.
  • Assor­ted Cooks, Grooms, Grounds­men and Nav­vies.


While Miss Sharpe attemp­ted to fig­ure out what had gone wrong with her weapon, Pren­tiss began to poke through the remains of the formerly-anim­ated mummy. Upon receiv­ing a nasty acid burn, he began pok­ing more care­fully, uncovered four bronze statuettes and a num­ber of small clay tab­lets, all of which he pock­eted for later examination.

The group decided that they had done enough for one night and Cap­tain Cur­ruth­ers con­fid­ently led them back towards the Inn. They real­ised they were lost as they cres­ted a rise, emer­ging from the trees to gain a moon­lit view of their sur­round­ings. The vil­lage lay behind them, Avery Man­or and its pyr­am­id to their right, and a small, but brightly lit, clear­ing to the north. Using bin­ocu­lars, they could see signs of arc flood­lights, tem­por­ary build­ings and a tall mast of some descrip­tion. Tak­ing their bear­ings and not­ing the pos­i­tion of the clear­ing, they tried again to get back to their beds.

In the mean­time, Lady Ant­o­nia tried to wake the church ver­ger but had no suc­cess, des­pite pelt­ing his win­dow with gravel. Giv­ing up, she returned to the grave­yard and found the group had left. Fol­low­ing them, she dis­covered the remains of the mummy, then tracked the team up the hill, where they finally reunited.

They returned to the Inn at about four in the morn­ing and got some sleep, before dis­cuss­ing their next steps over break­fast. While Miss Sharpe began repair­ing her weapon, the remainder of the team set out to try and loc­ate the clear­ing in day­light. They had little trouble, but as they approached, they were con­fron­ted by a hunting-tweeds—clad game­keep­er, armed with a shot­gun, who informed them it was private land and asked them to leave imme­di­ately. Cur­ruth­ers noticed odd move­ments in loc­a­tions where he would have placed hid­den sentries; not­ing that the game­keep­er seemed famil­i­ar, he decided it was advis­able to leave. Sus­pect­ing some kind of secret gov­ern­ment research install­a­tion, Cur­ruth­ers sent a tele­gram to the Min­istry upon their return to ask if they were aware of any such thing.

In the mean­time, the team decided a vis­it to the Man­or to invest­ig­ate the pyr­am­id and its eccent­ric build­er was in order. Using their exist­ing dis­guise as a group of upper- and middle-class occult enthu­si­asts, they sent Pren­tiss, in the guise of a ser­vant, to request per­mis­sion to vis­it. Upon arrival, Pren­tiss encountered the but­ler, Vil­li­ers, then returned with an invit­a­tion. The vis­it­ing party con­sisted of Lady Ant­o­nia, Cur­ruth­ers and Miss Spit, with Pren­tiss as the driver and Miss Sharpe as maid to the ladies. Marsh was to sneak onto the grounds to explore the pyr­am­id build­ing site.

Sir Upton Scudamore turned out to be an aging rail­way tycoon, work­ing-class in ori­gin, but made a Bar­on­et for his ser­vices to the coun­try. He was very wel­com­ing and only too will­ing to give the ‘enthu­si­asts’ a per­son­al tour of his extens­ive Egyp­tian col­lec­tion, while describ­ing his interest. Remark­ing that he was now retired and that his son, Charles, ran the com­pany, Sir Upton explained that he was plan­ning his funer­al, hence the pyr­am­id; he did­n’t believe in any of this non­sense about mys­tic­al pyr­am­id powers, just liked the idea of being bur­ied in a pyr­am­id. He was some­what annoyed about the theft of his latest mummy from the out­build­ing where it was being stored while its dis­play case was com­pleted. Pren­tiss and Miss Sharpe were invited to wait below stairs and took the oppor­tun­ity to talk to the ser­vants; they found that they knew little more than any­one else about the goings-on in the area, main­tain­ing that Sir Upton was good boss, if a little eccentric.

The team eagerly accep­ted when their host offered them a tour of the pyr­am­id site and, giv­en the dis­tance, they trav­elled over by car­riage. On the way out through the front doors, they were intro­duced to Sir Upton’s grand­chil­dren and their French gov­erness, Madamois­elle D’Ar­qué. Marsh had suc­cess­fully infilt­rated the pyr­am­id site, skulk­ing betwen piles of build­ing mater­i­als and rubble, but was unable to dis­cov­er any­thing more unusu­al than a pyr­am­id being built on a 19th cen­tury Eng­lish estate. The rest of the team also came to the con­clu­sion that this was just an archi­tec­tur­al folly. Cas­u­al con­ver­sa­tion revealed that Sir Upton knew noth­ing of the facil­ity in the clear­ing, even though it was his land.

Dis­cuss­ing what they had learned as they returned to the Hang­man’s Dance, the group’s sus­pi­cions turned to Sir Upton’s son. They found an answer to their earli­er tele­gram to the Min­istry, say­ing there was no gov­ern­ment install­a­tion in the area, and sent a fur­ther enquiry for more inform­a­tion on Charles Scudamore.


With the miss­ing play­ers back in town, this ses­sion was mostly talk, con­cen­trat­ing on a hitherto ignored branch of the investigation.