Chapter 9: Northward.   Posted by Artemis.Group: 0
Artemis
 GM, 1735 posts
Wed 17 Jan 2018
at 16:37
Chapter 9: Northward



It takes a few days to make it to the nearest train station. For Penny, the trip home is a hollow one. Kate's letter still folded in your purse, it's hard not to rip it out and read it over and over. Cas should have let you say goodbye. It was all so sudden, so unexpected, that no matter how touching the letter was it still left you feeling empty. She did promise to be back, and that was something. It would have to be. At least she left you her phone, with a laughing message that maybe she'd find a way to call you on it. It was a kind memento if nothing else.

When Ian had found out what happened, seen how upset you were, he was the epitome of kindness. He stayed by your side, comforting you better than most people could have. The man had his own losses after all and no one understood better than he.

For Alice, this is an uncomfortable group to be in. Emma glowers at you any chance she gets whilst Ian and Penny are haunted by losses too fresh to discuss. You feel suddenly alone no matter the people at your side, though you've been alone before and are made of such tough stuff that you'll wait out any somber brooding these folk can throw your way.

Getting on the train three days later is almost cathartic for everyone. A literal leaving behind of all the wretched partings you've just had. Ian tries to be cheerful for Penny's sake, laughing and joking in a pale imitation of his former self. Still, any display of happiness, false or not, is comforting from the man though as you board he sees a raven haired woman with two young boys that makes his face drain of color. Coira will haunt him for a while it seems.

Thanks to Penny's assets you are able to procure your own private sleeping car which has plush embroidered benches to ride during the day and fold out bunk beds at night. Ian takes one of the top ones, gesturing to Alice to take the other when Emma complains of her back not being able to climb up such a monstrous thing. The privacy is nice but with the tense silences you all find yourselves wandering the train frequently just to get a welcome distraction. Your car is shared by 3 other sleeping compartments, the aisle dividing them so that there's two on either side and each is closed off with fine wooden walls and a sliding pocket door. Your neighbors, so to speak, consist of a small family of four, a snobbish solitary gentleman with a great deal of money for his own arrangements, and a frail elderly woman who doesn't quite seem all there, accompanied by her young guardian, a friendly woman of about twenty.

There are several cars arranged like this, though the further up the train you go the cheaper the accommodations. Many have to sit in open seating, crammed together uncomfortably and once again you're grateful for Penny's money. Past these is the luxurious dining car and another that seems to be a lounge area and bar. Ian especially seems interested in this, the poor man has a lot to drink about though he stays mostly sober considering the company.

The first couple days of travel are spent with only a little polite chit chat, wounds too fresh for prolonged conversation. Emma seems to be dying inside, the socialite in her is loathing this silence but she hardly has anyone to talk to. She does chat a bit with the family sharing your car and even Alice is surprised how sweet she is with the two children, a boy and girl of about seven and five years of age. She seems almost grandmotherly and gives them peppermints and tells them stories. The actions are strangely natural on her and though you know she's a witch who was once in league with a demon, it's clear she has a capacity to love in spite of it. Yes, it's a jarring contradiction.

During this time the staff are very attentive, particularly to the passengers with money and most of all to the snobbish man who is extremely demanding and rude. Thankfully he stays in his car most of the time but when he does poke his mustached head out it's all you can do to keep from smacking it. When you do see the staff though, they are a bit skittish at times and they look strangely tired and when you go to the dining car you hear whispers from other passengers of how hard it is to sleep with so much thumping at night and that they fully plan to write the train-line to complain when they get home.

By now it's the second night and you're all crammed in your bunks. It's a bit surprising for Ian to be in with so many women but he easily accepts the pretense of being Penny's husband should she be concerned with propriety. The rumble and shaking of the train is oddly soothing and considering how much you've been up to as late it's not hard to fall asleep.

ooc: Listen checks please and let me know if you have anything in particular you want to have done during those two days.
Mary-Alice Reussoe Conner
 player, 188 posts
 HP 111/90
 Pretty but boy's clothes
Wed 17 Jan 2018
at 16:59
Chapter 9: Northward
Alice for her part accepts the truce with Emma. She was a part of the group, Penny had made that plain, and Alice would stop trying to get under her skin. It turns into a cool de'Tante, where they might scowl at each other, but that is as far as it goes.

Alice is restless. The sleeping car is new, she was used to being in coach. It is a comfort but it is also a trap. Too much comfort can lead to complacency. Alice walks the train, over and again. She pays attention to everything, looking for small things out of place. She is learning from Penny in that regard. The man with the mustache seemed a challenge and Alice decided to have a bit of fun with him.

She unbuttoned her blouse and bent over in front of him, letting him have peaks. It was the kind of thing she found thrilling, especially with a man like this. She knew he was a hard nut to crack and thus cracking him became more intriguing. When she had the opportunity she would brush against him. In the tight corridors she would turn her back to him but push against him as he passed by. If he looked at her she would smile in a way that let him know she was both intentionally and flirtatious.

Otherwise she is just vigilant. She makes sure she sleeps when someone else is awake, wanting to always have someone awake.
Penny Dreadful
 player, 1144 posts
 HP 83/83
 Def 17/15/17+1
Thu 18 Jan 2018
at 13:50
Chapter 9: Northward
While riding on the train, Penny was more subdued, lost in her contemplations. She was remembering and missing Kate, her friend from the future, her long-lost and newly discovered mother. She lamented the loss of a life together as mother and daughter, stolen by Chronos and Belial, and regretted missing all that they still had to talk about and do together now, but for the all-consuming life of a hunter and Kate's abrupt return to the year 2013. As she admitted to Ian when he consoled her, it felt as though she'd lost her mother twice. She could only hope they would, in time, be reunited.

She also turned over her feelings for Ian. Alice had, in her brash American way, made their mutual affections known, made them a real matter between them. Yet it was an unspoken one, kept quiet by Penny's timid uncertainty and Ian's second grief for the figment of Coira, and this introduced a new and awkward element to their relationship. Certainly, there was more sensitivity and understanding. Still, Penny was not sure how to deal with it. It was not a good match as Father and her class would like it, met at a society ball, arranged for her benefit, to a man of high station and, better yet, great wealth, and worse, he was a Scotsman. Penny knew Father would veritably explode with rage, and the thought gave her a rebellious thrill. Not a good basis for a relationship, however. Nor was Ian a dashing, charming chivalrous gentleman as in the books and poems she'd read as a girl. He was not even like her doctors, clinical, controlled, and safe. No, he was a rough, low-born rogue, charming in his own way, brave and caring, a good friend and companion through hard times and hard battles, the sort she could always rely on and trust. She'd thought about suggesting Ian pose as her brother, but when it was assumed they were married, she couldn't bring herself to object. It seemed right, somehow.

So Penny mused as she relaxed in her seat on the train, while reading, studying, and working on her cross-stitch, or simply gazing out the window at the rugged, still-untamed American countryside rolling rapidly past.

But it wasn't long before her analytical brain ached for a problem to solve, if only to take her mind off the more complex matters of the heart. In the close confines of the train, she'd had ample opportunity to observe her fellow passengers and the train staff, to overhear what they said, and to wonder at odd incidents. Why were the servants so tired and furtive? Why did the train bump more at night than in the day?


OOC: Listen 17

I'll do my Sherlock Scan checks on the passengers and staff, but since there's so many people, I'll just make the one set of checks, for you to use as you like. Investigate 29, Sense Motive 28, Spot 15.

Find Clues: Search 31 to find a clue if I come within 5 ft of it (impossible not to on a train)

This message was last edited by the player at 07:56, Wed 31 Jan 2018.

Artemis
 GM, 1738 posts
Tue 23 Jan 2018
at 14:22
Chapter 9: Northward
Alice's flirtations do not go unnoticed, though the man seems laughably flustered about them. He still has the same air of snobbishness, the same haughty expressions but when you flirt he is clearly distracted and quite grumpy with himself for it, looking away quickly and then sneaking peeks again only to shoo you away in irritation. It is most fun. Ian notices your game and finds it hilarious, no doubt a welcome distraction from recent events.

Meanwhile Penny's investigations bring up much. The family of four are from Vermont and they are returning from a trip to California to clear up a mining dispute. It seems the father is newly rich and not quite sure how to handle it. It's plain in everything from their simple clothes to the way he uncertainly addresses the servants, self conscious about asking for things even now.

The mustached snob is a professor of some kind, but he's clearly from old money and used to getting what he wants. It's amusing though how shy he is with women and you gather it is a failing he tires of. He's much more comfortable ordering women around then talking to them and any attempts at conversation do not fare well.

The elderly woman, named Mrs. Turning, is a widow of some years, the younger woman, Tabitha, is her granddaughter and she easily explains that she's brought the woman to live with her and her parents now that her mind is going. Mrs. Turning herself seems quite out of it most times but on occasion her eyes clear and they seem to see everything with alarming sharpness. She will from time to time make incredibly perceptive remarks out of nowhere that stun you. There is more to this woman than most realize, you can feel it in your bones. A particular remark about you and Ian runs through your mind. Upon introducing yourselves as a married couple she gives a little smirk and says, Perhaps in time my dears. Perhaps in time. When Tabitha asks what she means though her eyes glaze over and she's silent again.  Yes, this woman is clearly complicated. Even Emma watches her with a frown over her knitting on the occasions both sleeping car doors are open.

As for the literal bumps in the night, it's not hard to get more information. It seems that things are being moved around without anyone supposedly doing it. Passengers complain of being incredibly cold at times despite the fact that the train is quite warm. Some even have nightmares, waking others with their fitful sleep and wandering the train in an effort to shake off whatever it was they saw. Most of the trouble seems to stem a few cars up and you overhear some servants complaining about the dining car in particular. Your money is that's where it all comes from.
Mary-Alice Reussoe Conner
 player, 189 posts
 HP 111/90
 Pretty but boy's clothes
Tue 23 Jan 2018
at 14:32
Chapter 9: Northward
Alice continues to flirt, bordering on shamelessly, but she is careful not to cross that line. She simply pushes him, a little at a time, daring him to do something. If he does she will enjoy herself, after all she is the one who is trying to get the attention. If he does nothing she will push just a little harder. She will even go so far as to "stumble" into his room on "accident" just to see if she can prod him to action.

Of course if Penny needs her help, she will drop her game. It is just a game, after all, a way of passing the time and keeping her mind active.
Penny Dreadful
 player, 1145 posts
 HP 83/83
 Def 17/15/17+1
Wed 24 Jan 2018
at 06:55
Chapter 9: Northward
Penny had been discreetly disapproving of Alice's antics with Professor Delapore, feeling they were wanton and unnecessary. She looked sniffily away whenever she happened upon them in the aisle, yet still watched when she thought she wouldn't be noticed. She paid more attention to Alice, curious and bemused. Was this courtship among the lower classes and Americans? She took notes.

Ignoring the professor otherwise, Penny spoke more with Tabitha and Mrs Turning, whom she suspected to be psychic, perhaps even a genuine one like Victoria. Her current senility made it a sadly lost talent. She also talked with the family from Vermont, proving herself not too bad with children, and subtly tried to coach their parents in matters of wealth, the importance of remaining grateful, generous, and humble.

When she felt the sudden cold chill, her breath misting in the air despite the desert heat outside, Penny knew exactly what unknown passenger was on this train. With it, an excited thrill ran up her spine. A ghost! Just the thing she needed. The dining car was surely the centre of the activity, but the ghost's anchor to this world was a mystery. Surely there were no bones on board the train. A familiar possession, perhaps? She'd tried asking about the strange occurrences and any unusual cargo or history the train might have.

Glancing out the window, she glimpsed Alice, no doubt returning from teasing Professor Delapore, her blouse brazenly unbuttoned. Unconsciously, Penny closed a hand to her neck, and slipped free two buttons to reveal her collarbone. Well, it was rather warm, and she'd seen far more revealed on the television in 2013. She leaned over toward Ian, failing to achieve whatever Alice was doing, and asked 'Mr Shaw, would you like to join me for dinner in the dining car this evening?'


OOC: A general Gather Information check, 18.
14:32, Today: Penny Dreadful rolled 18 using 1d20+9. gather information.

I gave the professor a name, if that's okay? Delapore is from the American branch of the family in H.P. Lovecraft's "The Rats in the Walls".

Mary-Alice Reussoe Conner
 player, 192 posts
 HP 111/90
 Pretty but boy's clothes
Wed 24 Jan 2018
at 13:01
Chapter 9: Northward
Alice is shocked but mirthfully so at the sudden change in Penny. Unbuttoning her blouse? Leaning over to tease Iam? This would be interesting if it weren't so...difficult for Penny.
Alice stood leaning against the doorway smirking. Being the take charge kind of person she was she gave Ian a look and a head motion that meant Penny would catch up. She ignored Emma completely, sitting across from Penny.

"It seems I am a bad influence. If you are going to do this experiment, you should at least get the variables right." This experiment is a cover, a way to let Penny remain comfortable and so that she won't think she is being teased. She buttoned her own collar back up. "I am your friend, right? You want Ian's attention, and I can help you. Now watch me." She sat up, shoulders back, breast thrust out but she turned her body slightly at the waist. "Note the lines here," she drew her finger across her shoulders, "and here," another from chin to bellybutton., "are straight but I am slightly off center. Now buttons, no less than three, my dear. If our experiment is to be successful you must show at least the hint of cleavage. Men LOVE cleavage, they cannot help it, the mere sight of the line between a woman's breasts makes a man's mouth water."

She allowed Penny the opportunity to copy her. "Now when you are at dinner, the experiment will need to focus on your subject, in this case Ian. Ian is indeed a man who appreciates a comely woman, and you Penny are comely. You have pretty features, and a nice figure. You must maintain eye contact, even when his eyes drift downward, and they will drift, he cannot help it, men are like that. This experiment is not to judge his reactions but your own. If you enjoy his attentions, then you know what you like. If not, then the experiment is still a success as you will be able to alter your behavior accordingly. I believe, though, that Ian's attention in particular with make you feel warm, here" she put her hand on her belly, "and here," lower to her pelvis, "which is natural. Your body will be responding to him like...it does for the doctors. Don't be afraid Penny, you are taking a wonderful step. I am glad I am here to help you." Especially since Kate cannot be here to help you with this.

"At dinner, do something innocuous, like drop your napkin or a spoon. When you go to pick it up make sure yo are watching him because he will be watching you. Now git girl, and have fun. I know your ... I know Kate would approve, she is a master at this."
Penny Dreadful
 player, 1147 posts
 HP 83/83
 Def 17/15/17+1
Wed 24 Jan 2018
at 14:52
Chapter 9: Northward
Throughout all this, Penny had of course grown increasingly embarrassed and flustered.

Mary-Alice Reussoe Conner:
"It seems I am a bad influence. If you are going to do this experiment, you should at least get the variables right."


'Variables?' How many times and in how many ways did such an experiment need to be performed?

Mary-Alice Reussoe Conner:
"I am your friend, right? You want Ian's attention, and I can help you. Now watch me." She sat up, shoulders back, breast thrust out but she turned her body slightly at the waist. "Note the lines here," she drew her finger across her shoulders, "and here," another from chin to bellybutton., "are straight but I am slightly off center."


Penny was growing a little confused and warm by Alice's demonstrations, but, regardless, perhaps unthinkingly, she'd shifted ever so slightly to imitate her movements. It was not unlike fencing training.

Mary-Alice Reussoe Conner:
"Now buttons, no less than three, my dear. If our experiment is to be successful you must show at least the hint of cleavage. Men LOVE cleavage, they cannot help it, the mere sight of the line between a woman's breasts makes a man's mouth water."


'I've been to a ball, I am aware.' Penny managed to mutter testily, aware how fashions in the ballroom could be rather more... French. Not her fashions, of course, but others. 'I know of décolletage and the... elevating effects of corsets.'

Mary-Alice Reussoe Conner:
"Now when you are at dinner, the experiment will need to focus on your subject, in this case Ian. Ian is indeed a man who appreciates a comely woman, and you Penny are comely. You have pretty features, and a nice figure."


'I do? But—'

Mary-Alice Reussoe Conner:
"You must maintain eye contact, even when his eyes drift downward, and they will drift, he cannot help it, men are like that. This experiment is not to judge his reactions but your own. If you enjoy his attentions, then you know what you like. If not, then the experiment is still a success as you will be able to alter your behavior accordingly. I believe, though, that Ian's attention in particular with make you feel warm, here" she put her hand on her belly, "and here," lower to her pelvis, "which is natural. Your body will be responding to him like...it does for the doctors. Don't be afraid Penny, you are taking a wonderful step. I am glad I am here to help you."


Penny had by now turned as red as a tomato, but her widening eyes and mouth, slowly opening and closing in protest, rather more resembled a fish suffocating in air. 'But—'

Mary-Alice Reussoe Conner:
"At dinner, do something innocuous, like drop your napkin or a spoon. When you go to pick it up make sure yo are watching him because he will be watching you. Now git girl, and have fun. I know your ... I know Kate would approve, she is a master at this."


Since Penny had been born out of wedlock and a hundred years too early, the Victorian-raised woman wasn't so sure this was a compliment.

She straightened her skirt over her wobbly knees, and finally found voice enough to respond fully to Alice, however irritably. 'While I am sure your advice will be useful if ever I need to... make a pretence in a case,' she conceded, yet remaining doubtful it would ever really occur. Back-pedalling frantically, she was back to being a prim and proper Victorian lady. 'Such is not my plan with Ian tonight. In any case, the poor man still mourns Coira... No, I believe there is a haunting in the dining car, and I wish for us to hunt the ghost together.'

That was, after all, a Hunter's idea of a date.

She rose and efficiently collected her weapons from the overhead luggage compartment, and bravely lifted her skirt to slip her pistol into her garter holster, which held up a weapon as well as lacing stockings on shapely legs. She put her EMF meter in her purse. 'Wish me luck.' She strode out the door...

...then back in again to declare 'For your information, the angel Castiel appeared to me when I was in the shower. I have felt warm.' That, that was entirely for the sake of competition. She marched out again, a woman on a mission, just not the one expected of her. Outside, she hastily rebuttoned her shirt, then undid three buttons, then shook her head and rebuttoned them all. Madness.

This message was last edited by the player at 06:36, Fri 26 Jan 2018.

Mary-Alice Reussoe Conner
 player, 194 posts
 HP 111/90
 Pretty but boy's clothes
Wed 24 Jan 2018
at 15:08
Chapter 9: Northward
Alice nodded, "Luck then," she indicated. In her mind, But not the kind you are asking for, my dear.

She spoke to no one in particular, "If that girl were any more up tight she wouldn't be able to take a squat."
Artemis
 GM, 1743 posts
Thu 25 Jan 2018
at 14:50
Chapter 9: Northward
ooc: Hahahaha! You guys are hilarious!

Alice's attempts with Professor Delapore yield increasingly animated results. The man is terrified of women and when you "accidentally" enter his car he actually squawks in shock, blushing scarlet and shooing you out in a hurry. It gets so bad that he's taken to looking around corners, trying to scout you out ahead of time and on the occasions he sees you he heads the other direction. It is marvelous fun.

Meanwhile Penny's investigation into the dining car yield vague results. Most staffers dismiss any questions you have but one woman, a plump thing in her fifties, is eager to gossip with you. Apparently a few years ago a young woman bound for her wedding, choked to death in front of everyone, much to the scandal of the rail line. It was covered up as best it could but there are many staff members who remember her and what's more, some claim they still see her from time to time when the car is empty and they go to pass through in the night. Some see a lone woman bent over a table in the darkness but as soon as the lights flick on she is gone. Of course lately something is making her angry they think she confides with the air of a woman excited over gossip. Things keep getting moved around and tossed about, all over the train too! Though don't you worry none miss, I'm sure it's just one of the staffers pullin a prank! My bet is on Jaffers. He runs the bar at the dining car ya see. She was friendliest with him

Later, as Penny approaches Ian:

Ian doesn't seem to notice Penny's two undone buttons, but then the man is used to far more exposed on a woman than collarbones. It only serves to make Alice's instruction that much more...intriguing, if horrifying.

As for the invitation, he readily accepts with a grin and heads off to get a
pre-dinner drink at the bar, fortunately leaving you both semi alone with only the witch for company. She busily works on her cross stitch, seemingly ignoring the two of you until Penny leaves and Alice's last comment earns a surprised laugh from the woman. Poor dear has been a spinster too long I think she chuckles, seemingly forgetting your frosty little feud in her mirth. If anyone could coax those legs apart though it's the Scotsman. He could convince mine if I were twenty years younger she goes back to her cross stitch again, innocent as the world.
Mary-Alice Reussoe Conner
 player, 195 posts
 HP 111/90
 Pretty but boy's clothes
Thu 25 Jan 2018
at 15:09
Chapter 9: Northward
Alice refused the bait from the witch. The D'tante was working, there was no reason to upset things. She spoke without looking, "If you are planning on being awake, I could use a few hours sleep. Wake me if I am needed." She tipped her hat forward to cover her eyes and was asleep in moments.
Penny Dreadful
 player, 1148 posts
 HP 83/83
 Def 17/15/17+1
Fri 26 Jan 2018
at 06:37
Chapter 9: Northward
Walking away from the compartment and down the aisle, trying to forget all the recent awkwardness, Penny realised she was taking a risk leaving Alice Conner and Emma Bently alone together. She contemplated returning, inviting them to accompany her, but finally elected to trust them. She'd spoken to them both, Alice had accepted the need to keep Emma on their side, and a clear détente between them had begun. It should be helpful to not have her watching over them constantly.

*

Passing through the door, surveying the dining car, Penny was mildly irritated to see Ian at the bar... Actually, after her encounter with Alice, she could do with a drink herself. She joined him there, calling for a white wine from Jaffers. Whatever she'd wished to say to Ian had been quite chased out of her head by Alice's advice. 'Forgive me, Miss Conner wished to share some, mm, observations.' she began, then gave him a more careful, inquisitive look, in the manner of testing him. 'What do you observe?' She cocked her head, indicating the dining car.
Artemis
 GM, 1746 posts
Tue 30 Jan 2018
at 13:38
Chapter 9: Northward
Alice: The witch does indeed take watch, though she looks a bit grumpy that her wonderful joke fell on deaf ears.

Penny: Ian finishes his drink and orders another but answers you with deceptive nonchalance. Well, I definitely felt a cold spot but it could have been a draft. Over by that table there he nods his head to indicate a window table that is currently empty. Most folk are talking about the usual things. Who's marryin who, which of them is richer than the other, that sort of thing, but a couple of them are on edge. I think they may have seen somethin he again nods to indicate, this time a young man of about twenty or so sitting, speaking to another, similar in age. Judging by their appearances you would peg them as brothers though it's hard to say for sure. They keep eyein that empty table and they look jumpy as a whore in confession. I caught a few words here and there about 'the woman' but it's getting kinda loud in here he makes a face.
Penny Dreadful
 player, 1149 posts
 HP 83/83
 Def 17/15/17+1
Wed 31 Jan 2018
at 08:10
Chapter 9: Northward
'Indeed.' Penny began, trying not to remark upon Ian's particular choice of idiom. She followed his gaze to the empty table and the two men watching it. How peculiar. She had a couple of guesses on what their interest might be, but Penny wasn't in the business of guessing. She needed more information. Looking back to Ian, she murmured 'Given how many people died in the construction of this great railway, I shan't be surprised if there's a ghost every few hundred miles, trapped between the cold iron tracks. Imagine those poor souls, forever riding the rails...'

'But in this case...'
She leaned her head closer to him, in the manner of wife and husband speaking discreetly perhaps, and said softly 'I heard from Mrs Arkwright, the cook, a rumour of a young woman travelling on this very train a few years back, bound for her wedding to a man she hadn't met. It seems she choked on an oyster in the middle of dinner, and died in agony in front of a dozen witness. The rail company was scandalised, of course, covered it up as best they could. Yet, the servants whisper, from time to time, late at night when the car is empty and the passengers are asleep, they catch a glimpse of a woman leaning over a table. That table, I shan't wonder. Then in the light, she is gone. And now, they say, things are being hurled about. It seems she is angered.' Penny had a good voice for ghost stories, florid, enticing, and mysterious, as if imparting a secret, drawing the tale out, bringing the listener along with her.

Now leaving Ian hanging, she waved over the bartender, raising her voice 'Oh, Jaffers. My husband and I heard a rumour of a bride-to-be dying in this very car. I must say, it sounds very ominous. Do you know what happened?'
Artemis
 GM, 1750 posts
Fri 2 Feb 2018
at 14:36
Chapter 9: Northward
Jaffers, an aging man of some mixed ethnicity judging by his light brown skin and dark hair, looks at you in surprise. Arkwright's been at it again eh? he grumbles, drying a champagne flute. It's not wise to gossip over the dead. Needless to say the poor young thing choked to death years ago. There's not much more to say and if Arkwright is telling you tales about all this ruckus that's been going on being because of her, well she's pulling a fast one on you. It's a prankster, nothing more. His face is polite but there's a steel in his eyes that says the subject is a sensitive one for him. Even in death, the man is obviously protective of the woman.

Ian finishes his drink, eying the man thoughtfully. It's nice to see the Scotsman distracted by work. He's almost his old self as he frowns contemplatively, trying to figure out the rest of the puzzle. Meanwhile Mrs. Turning and Tabitha enter the dining cart, the former led by her granddaughter as she is shaky and unsteady on her feet. They seat themselves at the infamous table of all places, at the old woman's insistence, and Tabitha looks uncomfortable as she sits down stiffly. Likely Arkwright has spoken to her too...

For a long stretch the pair sit pleasantly enough, Tabitha helping her grandmother figure out the menu, but suddenly the old woman stiffens and with a look of alarm clutches at her throat, mouth open as if gasping for air but unable to breathe. Her eyes widen and she starts slapping her gloved hand on the table, the other still at her neck as poor Tabitha wails for help.