Saturday, 14 March 1925.   Posted by The Keeper.Group: 0
Count Sigismund Bathony
 player, 24 posts
 Antiquarian Book Dealer
 Owner Abingdon Rare Books
Fri 16 Dec 2011
at 20:33
Re: Saturday, 14 March 1925


The Count doffed his hat when Mr Singh introduced him.

"Come, come Mrs Holloway Lets see what this fine English painter has and make our decisions then."

He removes a money clip from his inside jacket pocket and shows the woman the folded white ten pound notes.

"I believe everything should be in order...

He does not let on that what he holds in his hand represent the majority of his wealth and is used for this very purpose.

This message was last edited by the player at 20:34, Fri 16 Dec 2011.

The Keeper
 GM, 259 posts
 Tony Stroppa
Fri 16 Dec 2011
at 21:21
Re: Saturday, 14 March 1925
In reply to Count Sigismund Bathony (msg #54):

Her eyes lit up. "Yes, yes, yes. Well, follow me, follow me. Upstairs, he is. My Miles." As an afterthought. "Would you like some tea?"

"Miles! We have visitors! Someone to look at your paintings! Maybe buyers."


A young man came midway down the stairs to meet them, mumbling, "hullo." He was wild-looking, disheveled and in need of a shave, longish dark hair matted, dressed in a dark painter's smock splattered with dark stains that seemed to be paint. His voice changed to a loud piercing screech even though his face remained impassive and expressionless. "Are you friends of Aleister's? No matter, come in, come in!" He seemed to tremble slightly, stilling his shaking limbs with some effort.

They were let inside, Mrs. Shipley locking the front door with a click as she closed it. As a group they were led further into the dingy dark house (Miles and front and his mother following everyone) to a stairwell up to the first floor, then (making sure everyone was present) up a second, narrower set of stairs to the door to the garret, which Miles unlocked with a key.

It was dark inside the garret. Under the oddly dark skylight an easel was set, upon it rested a canvas marked with pencil lines of another barely-started painting. To the left of the easel was a closely cluttered bench table with palettes, jars and mugs with crusted paint, brushes carelessly strewn around, turpentine, etc. The reason for the gloom became clear: the skylight was painted over, the only light came from a half-dozen kerosene lamps hanging from the rafters and several candles on and around the easel. The room smelled strongly of paint, turpentine and canvas.

The walls of the long room were sloping (this being under the roof) and one side had unfinished paintings leaning against it. On the other four tiers of finished canvasses were hung for presentation. (From the bottom: a row of 7 along the bottom, then 6 and 4 in the middle, then another 7 near the roof.) The subjects were somewhat dark and hard to see, but seemed to be horrifying and gruesome in nature.

Holding pride of place in the middle of the finished canvasses was a landscape painting of a temple where some ceremony was taking place, with a large mountain in the background.
Phil Webley
 player, 33 posts
 Drifter - Good looking
 Weak, sickly and clumsy
Fri 16 Dec 2011
at 21:30
Re: Saturday, 14 March 1925
Phil remained in the cab, waiting, watching and listening.
Count Sigismund Bathony
 player, 25 posts
 Antiquarian Book Dealer
 Owner Abingdon Rare Books
Fri 16 Dec 2011
at 22:52
Re: Saturday, 14 March 1925

It would be hard for the Count to disguise his disinterest in the paintings so he engages the woman who he assumes is Miles mother.

"So my good lady do you have many visitors to see your sons fine work ?"
Mrs. Shipley
Fri 16 Dec 2011
at 23:22
Re: Saturday, 14 March 1925
In reply to Count Sigismund Bathony (msg #57):

"Of course, my word! Many people."
Count Sigismund Bathony
 player, 26 posts
 Antiquarian Book Dealer
 Owner Abingdon Rare Books
Sat 17 Dec 2011
at 00:52
Re: Saturday, 14 March 1925

"Well yes it is a very rare talent and so much press why the public does love him. I very much enjoyed the piece in the Scoop so insightful. But it must keep you busy with so much interest. All those visitors how do you keep up ?

The Count gives a jolly smile as he watches the woman.
Cynthia Jane Holloway
 player, 97 posts
 Dilettante
 Globetrotting Free Spirit
Sat 17 Dec 2011
at 02:19
Re: Saturday, 14 March 1925
Cynthia circles the 'gallery' slowly, taking in both the near-completed work, as well as anything in process. She also watches for sketches, models, or anything else that appears to be a reference.

"Your work is quite fantastic, Miles." She turns and smiles, trying to establish a sense of intimacy. "I've only seen things like this once or twice before. Tell me, what is your inspiration?" She steps closer to the newest painting, breathing it in, searching it for details that might place it, as well as the nature of the ceremony.
John-Marc Falcon
 player, 46 posts
 Former Flt. Lt., RAF
 Aeronautical Pioneer
Sat 17 Dec 2011
at 03:34
Re: Saturday, 14 March 1925
Making good use of his time on the train ride to Lympne, JM goes over his map to prepare a flight plan, making good excuse of landmarks to fly close to where he wishes.  Flight plans not being horribly important as a matter of record, but important that he has his navigation planned out to where he is heading.

If he has time left, he will nap!
The Keeper
 GM, 262 posts
 Tony Stroppa
Sat 17 Dec 2011
at 09:32
Re: Saturday, 14 March 1925
The Train

The private compartment was stuffy, so Major Storm cracked the window, letting in a cool but smoky breeze. John-Marc checked the maps and double-checked the route. He was planning on following the coast, the el Misr estate was near the ocean on an island in the river. It wouldn't be too hard to find!

He was easily able to let the rail car lull himself to sleep.

Shipley Residence

The paintings were horrifying, unnerving. Murder, sacrifice, sadistic cruelty, in living colour (as it were). Maidens ravished by unholy bestial lizard-man hybrids, screaming men with their innards pulled out. Done in exquisite detail, vivid colours. Cynthia had to fight an urge to vomit or run screaming from the loft. The painting with the mountain in the background appeared to be in Africa due to the negroid character of the head-dress wearing ritual members in the foreground and the dark tangled jungle all around. She was able to remember details, perhaps for future use.

From what little they could see, the Count and Imran were disturbed and unsettled as well.

Mrs. Shipley answered the Count, "the Scoop. Yessss. My son became very popular after that article, as he should. We manage as best we can."

Addressing Cynthia, Miles rambled on. "My work, my inspiration, my muse is in front of me and from beyond time, beyond belief, in my mind, transported through space and dimensions unknown to man...!" He continued on like that for a while, voice screeching, shaking with a kind of palsy.

"Oh dear!" cried his mother. "Now he's going on. Please. Excuse him. Tell me, did you see anything you like?"
Count Sigismund Bathony
 player, 27 posts
 Antiquarian Book Dealer
 Owner Abingdon Rare Books
Sat 17 Dec 2011
at 10:13
Re: Saturday, 14 March 1925


"Mrs Holloway is there anything that takes your fancy ? It is so very dark, hard to study the pieces. Do you mind if I open the door..."

The Count moves to open the door they entered by, hoping to cast some light into the room.
Imran Singh
 player, 56 posts
 Decorated Ex-Soldier
 Loyal Sikh Manservant
Sat 17 Dec 2011
at 11:23
Re: Saturday, 14 March 1925
Seeing how unsettled she has become (and how disturbed Shipley is), Singh steps closer to Cynthia. He struggles to keep his disgust at the works from showing on his face.

A few gallons of kerosene and a match would improve the world considerably.
The Keeper
 GM, 263 posts
 Tony Stroppa
Sat 17 Dec 2011
at 11:32
Re: Saturday, 14 March 1925
In reply to Count Sigismund Bathony (msg #63):

No one moved to stop the Count. The dim glow from the floor below did nothing to illuminate the cramped and gloomy garret. It was probably a real mercy they couldn't see the paintings any clearer.
Cynthia Jane Holloway
 player, 98 posts
 Dilettante
 Globetrotting Free Spirit
Sat 17 Dec 2011
at 14:31
Re: Saturday, 14 March 1925
After inspecting them for any other details that might attach them to a particular location (she dares not search faces for a particular character), she turns away from the paintings and takes a few moments to regain her composure.

"They are intriguing, for certain. Yet I feel they are missing their stories. As I said earlier, so much is lent by context. You must have a name for these people you imagine, or a location you place them? They are so life-like and detailed, I can almost imagine them residing here in London!"
Count Sigismund Bathony
 player, 28 posts
 Antiquarian Book Dealer
 Owner Abingdon Rare Books
Sat 17 Dec 2011
at 21:59
Re: Saturday, 14 March 1925

Bathony hadn't really expected the dim light from the hallway to illuminate the paintings. He just thought it odd that a show room would be so shrouded in gloom.

Things did not look good for the missing girl, if indeed that was the case. An obviously insane artist and an odd mother, not a good combination.

"Could we have that tea now Mrs Shipley ? I think Mrs Holloway is getting ready to drain my purse."

He again flashed the woman his smile.
Miles Shipley
Sat 17 Dec 2011
at 23:20
Re: Saturday, 14 March 1925
In reply to Count Sigismund Bathony (msg #67):

"Mum! Tea! Mum! Tea for our guests! Some tea for our guests! Yes! Mum."

"No, no, no, nothing happening like that here in London. In my head. In my head. In my head. In my head... in... It all happened, long ago. Sometimes, not here. No, never here. It never happened. It's all gone, gone, gone. Never happened at all. In my mind, it happened, but not here in London. You see? Through time and space. Travelling in my mind. That's how artists work, you know, abstract art, we don't need the, er, subject in front of us to see them, we see it all in our minds. Don't you know how abstract art works? It doesn't need to be real, you know!"


He began scratching his arm furiously, then moved on this his sides before stopping. "Sorry, sorry, sorry."

"So, um, I have to get back to work. Have to work to eat, you know! Are you interested in any painting in particular? Mum will handle the details. Must get back."

Mrs. Shipley
Sat 17 Dec 2011
at 23:33
Re: Saturday, 14 March 1925
In reply to Count Sigismund Bathony (msg #67):

"Of course, one moment."

While Miles babbled on, she descended the stairs. Within a minute or two she returned.

"The kettle is on. My poor boy, darling boy, he has to return to work now. Must strike while the iron is hot! Let's go downstairs now and let him be. I can handle whatever questions you have, yesss? To the parlour where we can discuss any business. Filthy money. Not something we need to bother an artist with!"

She moved to the top of the stairs, plainly expecting that the group would follow her down.

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:34, Sat 17 Dec 2011.

Count Sigismund Bathony
 player, 29 posts
 Antiquarian Book Dealer
 Owner Abingdon Rare Books
Sat 17 Dec 2011
at 23:49
Re: Saturday, 14 March 1925


The Count look around the room one last time. No wonder the work is vile how could he produce anything of note in this room, he thought.

"Yes down we go Madam, lead on I am quite parched."

He follows her down the stairs quite unaware of how this would play out. He doubted direct questioning about the missing girl would amount to anything.

Once in the parlour he took a seat closest to the door.
Cynthia Jane Holloway
 player, 99 posts
 Dilettante
 Globetrotting Free Spirit
Sun 18 Dec 2011
at 00:21
Re: Saturday, 14 March 1925
"A moment, please. I was wondering, Miles, before you came down to see us, where were you? I ask because this room was locked."

Cynthia gives him a moment to answer, then presses her second question.

"I saw a piece done by another artist while I was at the gallery, but it wasn't attributed. I was hoping perhaps you might recognize his work. Do you mind if I sketch out what I saw?" She'll take a scrap of paper and some charcoal, and sketch out the etching she got from the mirror, as closely as she can approximate it. "Have you seen it before? Does it have a name?"
Miles Shipley
Sun 18 Dec 2011
at 00:34
Re: Saturday, 14 March 1925
In reply to Cynthia Jane Holloway (msg #71):

Immediately, Miles became suspicious at the question.

"My paintings are valuable, they are! Popular. I'm not stupid, you know." He glanced disdainfully at the tracing, brightening when he recognised his own work. "A commission for a friend, Aleister. It was a frame of some kind. Now, out with you. Talk with mother. I've wasted enough time."
Count Sigismund Bathony
 player, 30 posts
 Antiquarian Book Dealer
 Owner Abingdon Rare Books
Sun 18 Dec 2011
at 02:46
Re: Saturday, 14 March 1925

Once he is seated in the parlour Bathony asks the old lady:

"It's funny but I was speaking to the editor of the scoop last week and he said that he was going to do another piece. Sending someone over soon. Have they done it already ?"
Mrs. Shipley
Sun 18 Dec 2011
at 09:15
Re: Saturday, 14 March 1925
In reply to Count Sigismund Bathony (msg #73):

Miles' mum bustled about, fixing tea.

"Hm? Yes, yes, no, no new article yet in the paper. Miles wouldn't come down. Starting a new painting, you see. I said to her to come back during the week when Miles was feeling better."

She poured a steaming cup of tea for the Count. It was mediocre as she let the leaves steep for only 30-45 seconds and the water was too hot. She set out cups and saucers for Cynthia and Imran if they wanted some, too.
Count Sigismund Bathony
 player, 31 posts
 Antiquarian Book Dealer
 Owner Abingdon Rare Books
Sun 18 Dec 2011
at 09:24
Re: Saturday, 14 March 1925

The count listen with interest to the woman's account of the journalist's visit.

"Well I am sure she will be back, circulation of the magazine must go up whenever you son appears in its pages."


"Your son has mention a man named Aleister, is that his agent ?"

He makes a motion to slip his tea but does not drink.

This message was last edited by the player at 09:27, Sun 18 Dec 2011.

Mrs. Shipley
Sun 18 Dec 2011
at 09:34
Re: Saturday, 14 March 1925
In reply to Count Sigismund Bathony (msg #75):

"Aleister? I don't... yes, no, he's a wealthy man, a patron, you might say. He and his friends buy paintings off Miles."

Picking up her knitting basket she stepped to the door of the kitchen and craned her head to look up the stairs to the first floor. "Is everything all right up there?"

OOC: to clarify, you're down on the ground floor now, Cynthia and Imran are with Shipley in the Garret, 2 floors above.

This message was last edited by the GM at 09:36, Sun 18 Dec 2011.

Count Sigismund Bathony
 player, 32 posts
 Antiquarian Book Dealer
 Owner Abingdon Rare Books
Sun 18 Dec 2011
at 09:51
Re: Saturday, 14 March 1925


"Oh I am sure they are fine.. Mrs Holloway does like the back story to any of the pieces she buys. I hope your son has no secrets he may just spill them all."

He gives a little laugh at his own joke and then goes on:

"Books are my thing really, I don't suppose you have any old or interesting books you may wish to part with... for the right price of course ?"

This message was last edited by the player at 10:09, Sun 18 Dec 2011.

Imran Singh
 player, 57 posts
 Decorated Ex-Soldier
 Loyal Sikh Manservant
Sun 18 Dec 2011
at 11:30
Re: Saturday, 14 March 1925
While Cynthia engages Miles and Bathory occupies Mrs Shipley, Imran goes down the stairs to the first floor. He doesn't like leaving Cynthia alone with the artist. What the Devil us Phil about, sitting in the cab?

He slips into the first floor corridor, moving quietly. He opens each door he comes to, stepping inside and looking around for Miss Fuller, including looking into any closets, wardrobes or cupboards where she might be concealed. He is also watching for anything that seems out of place.