Thursday 15 October 2020

The Witching Hour

 Midnight of the 21st. Wharf Street. Limehouse.

StJohn C Fisher stood in a dark corner watching The Oriental Trading Warehouse.
All was quiet. The footsteps of a patrolling policemen echoed in the silence.

Hearing them Fisher stepped deeper into the shadows, and a young lady, obviously waiting for a friend, gave up and turned for home.

As the last strokes of Midnight from St Geralds sounded a voice at his shoulder made him start and reach for his revolver.
"Good Evening your Lordship" said Greaves "Anything happened?"
"A lorry left, just as I arrived about eight o clock since then all has been far too quiet"
"OK your Lordship, The Colonel is at his club, meeting up with some people, if you would please phone him from the box by the docks, then wait and lead him here, I will take a quiet look around"

Whilst Lord Fisher did as requested, Greaves crossed the road and examined the gates.
The main double gates were secured by a hefty padlock but the Judas gate was a different matter, and a few seconds later the lock clicked open. Greaves paused for a second listening for any sign of alarm from within, before gently easing the gate open and peering in.

                The central courtyard was empty and well lit by the moonlight, to left and right were covered bays filled with stacks of crates, most tarpaulin covered. Ahead lay a loading bay with the body of the warehouse beyond, to the left of this shone a single light, obviously the watchman, a matching room to the right lay in darkness.

Somewhere in darkness the Professor Loft woke from his drugged sleep and gazed around him.
He appeared to be in a room about six foot square, but with no obvious door.
Uploading: 4398252 of 4398252 bytes uploaded.

Skirting to the left, Greaves briefly examined the crate piles, covered with dust and cobwebs they had obviously not been touched recently. He climbed quietly onto the loading bay and sensing movement from the watchman crept towards the darkened store room.

From outside came the measured tread of the local bobby, checking doors as he came closer.

The Colonel and his party managed to avoid his eye and approached the warehouse.

Professor Loft meanwhile was examining his cell. I appeared to be the inside of a packing crate.

Inside, Greaves was looking carefully for any clues, he was playing cat and mouse with the watchman, who was obviously suspicious of something.

The Colonels party arrived at the warehouse gate and gave the arranged signal.

The constable, suspicious of the sound of an owl hooting, moved towards the sound, when from the distance came another sound.
A police whistle, someone was in trouble and he set off at a run.

The intruders, hearing the sounds huddled anxiously by the gates.

Relieved that the footsteps were receding, the intruders entered the yard.

The policeman, racing past was briefly aware of a Police box standing on the corner.
"Don,t remember seeing that before." he thought 

Inside the warehouse, the watchman  aware that something was awry moved to check upstairs.

Greaves seized his chance and attacked the watchman from behind, the old man went down, and was quickly tied.

Leaving the watchman relatively comfortable in his office Greaves noticed a Bill of Lading on the desk.
Bearing todays date, it was for two large crates to be sent to Dr El Mahmoudhi at Shepherds Hotel, Cairo.        It seemed significant.

Unbeknown to anyone Clara had managed to remove her gag and was trying to untie her hands.
She made no noise. in case someone was around.

The rest of the party were searching the warehouse without success.
Nothing was found downstairs , so half crept upstairs to check the offices and storerooms on the mezzanine.

First room; nothing,

 second the same.

Third empty.

The Colonel checked the fourth, 

it was fortunate that it was him, anyone Clara had not recognised would have received an unpleasant reception. She had untied her legs and raised the chair high above her head waiting for whoever was approaching to open the door.

There was no sign of the Professor, so time to leave.

As they were approaching the gate  a small shape darted from the shadows, racing to escape.
Roger Cuddlesworth was the nearest and quickly caught the young boy, who was tied and left with his grandfather the watchman.

        "Well done Cuddles" bellowed the Colonel, forgetting the need for quiet. Fortunately there was no one near to hear.

They left quietly and returned to the dockside to head back to The Club.

The sound of a lorry, approaching sent them into the shadows. It parked and the sound of bottles clinking as a barge was being unloaded came to their ears.

The smugglers were bad news and the party turned away.

A voice from the darkness stopped them in their tracks.

Help was at hand.

The Colonel was suspicious.

Why did this youth and his companions keep appearing he wondered ?

[Note: Two extra Pics added, some whitespace removed - tidders 17/10]


  1. That was very enjoyable Douglas :)

  2. Glad to hear someone found at least a little pleasure in their visit.
    Makes the effort posting worthwhile.