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tshiggins
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« Reply #180 on: April 07, 2011, 08:55:36 PM »

Escalation

Sir Angus, Herr von Landau and Detective-Inspector Bloom watched in stunned horror as the Dogs stripped them quickly and disappeared. Taking a chance, the trio crept down Brook Street to the mouth of Blue Gate Alley, and saw a tall, dark figure silhouetted in the open door of the tavern at the end. They heard movement along the rooftops, and retreated hastily to Caroline Street, turned north, and didn’t stop until they’d reached the busy, well-lit Commercial Road East.

Thirty minutes later, they found themselves on a westbound train from Shadwell Station, bound for Scotland Yard.

The debriefing ended about midnight, and Sir Angus and Detective-Inspector Bloom reached the conclusion that they had to assume the Shad Thames Shiv lieutenant, Piper Hook, had likely been taken. Moreover, the Blue Gate Dogs may have taken some of the others alive, as well, and that opened up the real possibility that the gang would soon know the names of Sir Angus and Herr von Landau.

The pair contemplated that disturbing thought for a long moment. Sir Angus and Herr von Landau reluctantly concluded, and Bloom agreed, that they could not retire to their peaceful homes and cheerful hearths, anytime soon. The two men made arrangements to allow the detective-inspector to contact them and then departed.

They stopped at their homes briefly to pack up enough clothes and sundries to hold them for awhile, advised servants and landladies to exercise due caution, and then disappeared into the night. Sir Angus arrived at a quiet hotel, and Herr von Landau made his way to the flat in which he routinely met one of his mistresses.

Sleep, when it did come, didn’t last as long as they would have liked. Messages arrived at their doors shortly past dawn, with requests that they present themselves at Scotland Yard as soon as possible.

They arrived quickly enough that the sunlight still angled shallowly through the office window and threw into sharp relief the tired lines on Detective-Inspector Bloom’s face. A tall, handsome chap in a dapper, well-cut suit rose from one of the chairs in front of the desk, and he extended his hand to Sir Angus and Herr von Landau, in turn. He introduced himself as Mr. Charles Tailor, and said he represented Her Majesty’s government.

Mr. Tailor disclosed to the surprised investigators that his “office” had flagged reports of events in Blue Gate Fields for attention, some weeks back. That flag had suddenly turned an urgent red once Bloom’s report had arrived in the wee hours of the morning. The government man stated that the detective-inspector’s description of the superb tactics demonstrated by a mere street-gang had proven most disconcerting. Moreover, it left his office no choice but to conclude that a Mastermind lurked in the dark heart of Blue Gate Fields. Finally, Mr. Tailor announced, as those most familiar with the situation, the Scotland Yard man, plus Sir Angus and Herr von Landau (if he consented), now worked for him, for the duration of the "difficulties."
« Last Edit: April 07, 2011, 08:58:51 PM by tshiggins » Logged

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« Reply #181 on: April 07, 2011, 09:03:31 PM »

Session Quotes:

(Only Brian, who plays Sir Angus, and Christopher, who plays von Landau, made it to the session. That limited combat opportunities, but it meant both plot-lines advanced significantly. As always, quotes attributed to the character were said in-game, while those with the names of the players were said OOC.)

Christopher (comparing the 1868 map of east London to a modern map of the same area): Awww, Blue Anchor Alley is now “Radcliffe Orchard.” Isn’t that nice? I bet they named it after Daniel!

Herr von Landau: As an outstanding und upstanding member uff ze community, with an interest in ze law – und certain business interests – I’d be glad to put a sticker in ze window uff my carriage zat says I’m a supporter uff local law-enforcement!
Sir Angus: I’m always surprised at what passes for “outstanding and upstanding,” these days.

Herr von Landau (speaking about the engineer, Mr. Leonard): His invention soundly whupped its opponent!
Sir Angus: “Whupped”?

(Upon learning that Sir Angus had set up Lumper Joe to raid into Blue Gate Fields.)
Herr von Landau: Basically, ve vill hev ze brown rats kill ze black rats!

(Upon witnessing what actually happened in response to the raid by the Shad Thames Shivs, and facing the possibility they’d wind up arrested as suspects or witnesses.)
Christopher: If going to jail means we’re safe behind bars, we can always talk our way out of it, in the morning…

Brian: They found out who talked. And who talked? We did! Well, at least we have an expense account…

Christopher: Dying is not on my agenda…
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« Reply #182 on: April 09, 2011, 11:29:33 AM »

Hey, Chris and Brian. Did you guys see any mistakes in this?

If not, I'll post it to the GURPS boards, Sunday.
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« Reply #183 on: May 04, 2011, 06:03:40 PM »

New Session posted in the calendar!

Look forward to seeing everyone!
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« Reply #184 on: May 13, 2011, 05:53:59 PM »

Canceling this, for now. No RSVPs by now means everybody's lives must be pretty busy.

I'll try again, another day.
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« Reply #185 on: July 08, 2011, 06:26:15 PM »

Okay, I've posted the next session for July 23. Chris and Brian need some help to continue the current plot -- the investigation of the dark deeds in the slum of Blue Gate Fields has to move into a more active phase.
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« Reply #186 on: July 10, 2011, 12:56:14 PM »


Okay, I've posted the next session for July 23. Chris and Brian need some help to continue the current plot -- the investigation of the dark deeds in the slum of Blue Gate Fields has to move into a more active phase.

What kind of character(s) would be most helpful in the investigation? Matthew mentioned that he "guest starred" in an NPC role and had a lot of fun ... are there any NPCs that could use a player in the driver's seat?

Here's the thing: To be honest, I was a bit put off when I didn't end up having much to do in the session I sat in on ... hence my feeling that Herr Wieser didn't really "fit" into the game you were running. I don't expect to leap right into the spotlight, especially when the existing PCs have storylines-in-progress to play out, but I'd like to have some more-than-peripheral part in the action.

So I'd be delighted to join the game, but I'd like to play a character that fits well with what you have planned. I'd much rather play a character that you tailor-made to have a role in the adventure, than to make my own who sounds fun, but ends up twiddling his thumbs for most of the session (while I surf the web...).
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« Reply #187 on: July 11, 2011, 06:36:51 PM »



(SNIP)

So I'd be delighted to join the game, but I'd like to play a character that fits well with what you have planned. I'd much rather play a character that you tailor-made to have a role in the adventure, than to make my own who sounds fun, but ends up twiddling his thumbs for most of the session (while I surf the web...).


Yeah, I had to devote some of the first session to integrating you with the group, which was in the early part of two different plot-lines. That said, Herr Weiser's character is uniquely well-suited to the current situation in Blue Gate Fields. At this point, the group needs to engage in pro-active intelligence gathering, and that's what the Illuminati do, better than anybody.
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« Reply #188 on: July 12, 2011, 10:02:22 AM »

Yeah, I had to devote some of the first session to integrating you with the group, which was in the early part of two different plot-lines. That said, Herr Weiser's character is uniquely well-suited to the current situation in Blue Gate Fields. At this point, the group needs to engage in pro-active intelligence gathering, and that's what the Illuminati do, better than anybody.

Excellent! I'm in!

Er, I mean ... what are you talking about? I know nothing of this "Prussian Illuminations" group of which you speak. Herr Weiser is just a regular, utterly unremarkable Bavarian businessman....
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« Reply #189 on: September 05, 2011, 11:33:55 PM »

Posted the next session. Nearly done with the campaign write-up, too. I'll have that up by Tuesday. Dammit.

Everybody who attended last time gets four EPs. Each journal entry posted in this thread earns an additonal EP for the poster. Smiley
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« Reply #190 on: September 22, 2011, 08:51:24 PM »

(Cutting from the daily police blotter, Europa Gazette, Saturday, June 4, 1870)

“The body of a young woman was found late last evening, washed up on the banks of the Thames, at the Deptford Docks, just shy of the Stearn Navigation Company Shipyards. Constables reported that the body had been taken in for investigation as to possible foul play. As is usual in such cases, Scotland Yard declined to release the name of the young woman, but did say she hailed from an address in Blue Gate Fields....”

(Cutting from the daily police blotter, Europa Gazette, Monday, June 6, 1870)

“The Metropolitan Police Service reported a rash of burglaries at several warehouses located in Whitechapel, last evening. Reportedly taken in the daring thefts were nearly 100 large casks of inexpensive wine recently arrived from Bordeaux. In a seperate incident, the robbers made off with a large supply of cotton cloth of various patterns. Constables said an investigation would begin forthwith, and warned other merchants to increase vigilance at their places of business....”
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« Reply #191 on: September 22, 2011, 08:53:25 PM »

Plans and Consultations

Mr. Tailor's revelation of the likely presence of a criminal mastermind at the heart of the difficulties in Blue Gate Fields took the trio by surprise, but only momentarily. After a short pause to digest the notion, they began to plot their next move.

Sir Angus and Herr von Landau quickly determined they needed additional intelligence about the situation in the slum. They asked Detective-Inspector Bloom to reveal everything he knew about the Blue Gate Dogs and their activities. They needed to know if he had a loose thread for them to pull.

The lawman replied that, other than Paul LeMat, the owner of the Sun Tavern, and Carl Mooney, proprietor of the Blue Anchor, he suspected that a local fence, one Vincent “Vinnie” Boater might have some association. A medium-sized operator who worked out of a warehouse at Shadwell New Basin, Bloom said Boater had seen a sudden upsurge in business, in the past year. Given that Shadwell New Basin lay immediately west of Blue Gate Fields, and had some ties with the criminal element in the area, he thought a connection likely.

Asked why he had not acted on the hunch thus far, Bloom explained that he had not wished to tip his hand, just yet. As soon as he began to ask about Vinnie Boater's new business, Bloom said, the fact that the constabulary had an interest would become valuable information. Snitches worked both ways, he added, and the person who sold him information about Boater could then turn around and sell the information about the inquiry to Boater, and to anybody else who might have an interest.

Secondly, Bloom said, the recent violence had left most of the normal sources of information in Blue Gate Fields (always problematic, even at the best of times) terrified into silence. Under the circumstances, a “business-as-usual” inquiry would likely tell the criminals in the neighborhood more about his investigation than he'd learn about the Blue Gate Dogs' activities. Unfortunately, he had no way to conceal any active investigation, which forced him into more discrete methods, Bloom said.

The detective-inspector's explanation came as no surprise to Sir Angus, who had encountered similar situations in the past, though never one that involved a situation quite so dangerous. For his part, Herr von Landau said the two men had recently made the acquaintance of someone who could provide tremendous assistance in these circumstances. The two adventurers politely declined to provide more details to the government man, who seemed somewhat discomfited, but given that he'd more or less conscripted them, Mr. Tailor declined to push the matter and departed for the Home Office.

As soon as he'd departed, Herr von Landau used the Scotland Yard telegraphy office to dispatch a note to his countryman, Herr Heinrich Weiser. The response came back quickly, and the three agreed to meet Herr Weiser to discuss the matter further. No sooner said than done, the quartet found themselves in a quiet parlor at Herr Weiser's lodging house, where they quickly described the investigation. Herr Weiser listened with interest, and readily agreed to help.

The four investigators quickly determined they had two courses of action: they could interrogate either LeMat or Mooney, or jump straight to Boater. Bloom revealed that Boater likely would be quite busy early in the day, arranging disposal of “inventory” he'd received in the pre-dawn hours. However, both LeMat and Mooney, as tavern-owners, likely slept quite late and, moreover, he knew that LeMat lived in the tenement building above his garden-level establishment.

Sir Angus, Herr von Landau and Herr Weiser determined that a visit to LeMat was likely in order, and asked more about him. Bloom had long-since memorized the Yard's intelligence on the man, and filled them in.

Paul LeMat had been born in Blue Gate Fields, worked on the docks as a younger man, and had even wound up on a few merchant voyages – mostly single-vessel traders who moved a mix of consignment and adventure cargo. During that time, he'd apparently made the acquaintance of a number of opium sources in the Far East, and had begun to carry it as personal cargo for import.

Unlike most opium dealers, who quickly succumbed to the lure of their own product, LeMat had managed to resist addiction. Moreover, his large size meant low-end dealers steered clear of him, and he didn't try to compete with the more organized members who sold in Whitechapel – and gave a cut to the local World Crime League affiliate, the Whitechapel Gentleman's Association. He cut his opium with anything he could get, and restricted his trade to squalid dens in Blue Gate Fields and Limehouse. He'd purchased the Sun Tavern some years ago, and then moved into the tenement above shortly thereafter, Bloom said.

LeMat remained active in the opium trade, always careful to restrict his activities to Blue Gate Fields and Limehouse. All that started to change about 10 years ago, when Celestial coolies from China began to collect there. Within a few years, the chinese established contact with kinsmen back in the old country, and in the past five years or so, Bloom said, they'd begun to seriously cut into LeMat's business.

Under the circumstances, the group decided the owner of the Sun Tavern would likely have the greatest personal interest in the destruction of the Red Sash gang, in Limehouse. With that in mind, the group donned attire more appropriate to a stevedores and dockworkers, picked a beat-up delivery lorry from one of Herr von Landau's stables, and hooked it up to a decent, though not fancy, horse. They set off for Blue Gate Fields, and arrived slightly more than a hour later.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2011, 08:55:11 PM by tshiggins » Logged

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« Reply #192 on: September 22, 2011, 08:57:30 PM »

An Early Delivery

The watery light of the early-morning sun of Friday, June 3, 1870, showed the tattered decay of Blue Gate Fields in all its squalor. The few with jobs had already left for them, which left the filthy streets to toothless old ladies dressed in rags, vomiting out the remains of cheap gin into storm-drains, painfully thin children sitting in any bright patch of sun they could find in the narrow street, and old men with noses cauliflowered from drink shambling painfully out of the way of the wagon.

No feral young men could be seen, so early, nor any woman or girl between the ages of 12 and 40. Von Landau's driver, the giant Jack Lowe, pulled up the lorry down the block a bit from the door of the tenement above the Sun Tavern, and the old gossips who'd leaned out the windows to watch with dull curiosity quickly pulled themselves inside when they saw the four men alight from the back of the wagon. Old derelicts cleared the streets as quickly as they could, as the Sir Angus, Herr von Landau, Herr Weiser and Detective-Inspector Bloom, approached the door of the tenement.

The battered door proved unlocked and the quartet stepped into the gloom of the interior. They heard the occasional wail of a distant child, and quietly-frightened voices of the mothers who tried to shush them, but no other sounds. They made their way to down the hall to LeMat's rooms, and found a heavy oak door, stained dark, bolted in an equally sturdy frame.

Bloom and Sir Angus quickly determined they couldn't take the door down quickly without axes, and that would undoubtedly alarm any occupants. Lacking an engineer with adqueate tools, or anybody else with skill at quietly removing or bypassing obstacles, they determined upon a ruse.

Sir Angus reached out and knocked on the door repeatedly, until he heard stirring from within. The other three stepped to either side of the door, as a groggy voice he recognized demanded to know his business.

With his best working-class accent, Sir Angus said he had a deliver for the Sun Tavern's proprietor, Paul LeMat, and was told to make inquiries at this location. LeMat told him to come back later, Sir Angus complained bitterly about having to make a second trip, and LeMat eventually relented. The Scottish detective heard a lock undone, and a heavy bolt shoot back, and the door opened a crack through which LeMat's bloodshot eyes peered suspiciously.

Sir Angus immediately put his shoulder to the door and gave a shove, as Bloom swung around the corner and began to push. The Bavarians piled on and door burst inward and LeMat stumbled back into the center of a suprisingly well-appointed room with a large cast-iron parlor stove in the back corner. LeMat reached for a heavy cudgel, Sir Angus delivered a body-blow, and Bloom and Von Landau tackled the tavern-owner as Herr Weiser slammed the door shut and shot the bolt.

The burly LeMat, though clearly a brawler of some experience, nonetheless couldn't stand up against three attackers (no slouches themselves) and they quickly beat him down. Herr Weiser, with his ear pressed against the door, reported the tenement remained silent.

Weiser cleared a small table and dragged it to the center of the room from one wall, as Sir Angus, Herr von Landau and Bloom hastily withdrew to the corners. Reaching into a pack, Weiser pulled out a wooden wand, a silver-pewter chalice and a bronze athame. Reaching around the back of his neck, he pulled an amulet out from beneath his shirt, and then quickly filled the chalice with wine from a flask. He raised his arms and began to chant.

Sir Angus, nervous in the presence of the practice of the thaumick arts, decided to check the rest of the flat. He found a young woman cowering in terror in the bedroom, noted that the windows were heavily barred, and ordered her to remain silent and forget everything she saw and heard. She fearfully nodded her head, and he withdrew, closing the door behind.

In the main room, Herr Weiser entered his trance and immediately felt nearly two-dozen other sorcerors attempting to draw power from the region. He also sensed the thamick energy of London, bound and constrained by the iron that laced the city, reacting only sluggishly to those efforts. As he tried to draw power from a font more constrained than any he'd ever tried in the past, he felt it slip from his grasp.

Frowning, he resettled himself, and began his ritual anew. Herr Weiser decided to pull any sort of thaumick power he could – spiritual, elemental, material, and not just the desired mental-emotional energies. It would result in harmonics, but the Bavarian sorceror felt he had little choice.

The energy flowed in and, once he felt he had enough, Herr Weiser held it in stasis as he began to cast the spell to channel it, which would allow him to command LeMat's obedience. However, the mad mixture of magics escaped his control, and the air filled with shooting sparks that coalesced into a bright orange lizard about 20 cm long, with glowing green eyes, in one corner of the room.

The rug on the wooden floor beneath the beast began to smolder, as the unnerved adventurers prepared for the worst. Herr von Landau, no stranger to magicks gone awry, pulled from beneath his tunic an amulet of star-metal, the meteoric iron so lethal to the fae. For his part, Sir Angus hastily drew his pistol and fired a shot at the beast, and Bloom dove behind a divan.

The fae creature reacted strangely to the heat and sulphur-stench of the discharged powder. It leapt at Sir Angus and put its claws into his right fist, its tail around his upper arm. It opened its mouth to bite at the pistol, and then hesitated, confused at the presence of the steel in the weapon.

Thinking quickly, Sir Angus wheeled about and tried to smash the body of the salamander into the iron stove. Sensing the presence of such a large amount of the lethal metal, the fae creature leapt free, leaving only minor scratches and burns on the hands of Sir Angus.

Herr von Landau tagged it with a thrust from his cane-sword and Sir Angus nailed it with a shot as it streaked back toward the smoldering corner. It expired as it arrived and the floor burst into flames, quickly doused through the liberal use of the contents of a vase of flowers and a pitcher next to a wash-basin. Bloom peeked cautiously over the back of the divan.

Rather unnerved, but still determined to succeed, Herr Weiser began his ritual for a third time, as LeMat began to thrash in terror and the rest of the group kept their weapons at the ready. Within about 30 minutes, however, Herr Weiser's face betrayed his triumph as he released the spell, once again contructed with any thaumick energy at-hand.

This time, the spell proved efficacious and even the harmonics contributed to it success. LeMat's clothes knotted about him painfully and a few smoldering sparks shot up from the corner, and streaked across his flesh, leaving painful burns. Herr Weiser commanded the opium-dealer to tell them everything he knew about the Blue Gate Dogs.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2011, 09:04:30 PM by tshiggins » Logged

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« Reply #193 on: September 22, 2011, 09:07:45 PM »

The Waking Lion

Groaning in fear and pain, LeMat began to talk. He said the gang had started out as little more than a particularly violent group of young thugs in the city's worst slum. However, a couple of years back, a man arrived who called himself the “Lion.” The Lion had promised the Dogs they could grow strong and wealthy, never to worry about hunger, cold, or even the constabulary, if they would listen to him and do as he commanded. He'd secured the loyalty of the leader of the Blue Gate Dogs, and 18 months later the violence began.

Initially, LeMat reported, the Dogs had devoted themselves to the elimination of rivals in Blue Gate Fields, itself. After that, they'd turned their attention to Limehouse, and began to terrorize the Celestials. He'd joined at that time, when the Lion approached him and offered him control of the opium trade in both neighborhoods, in exchange for a bit less than half the profits.

LeMat said he'd seized the chance, figuring that half of three times the business offered a much brighter future than a constant fight against the Red Sashes, on his own. Besides, he hadn't felt that he had much choice, really. Even now, he said the Lion would likely murder him for saying as much as he had, despite the duress.

Once he signed on, his business improved. The suddenly well-fed and dangerous Blue Gate Dogs began to frequent his establishment, and the violence had dropped off considerably. His opium business had picked up, and he'd learned that both his neighborhood competitor, Carl Mooney, had made the Blue Tavern into a haven for the Dogs, as well, and the nearest local fence, Vinnie the Boater, had put his services at the disposal of the Lion.

The tavern-owner said he never knew where to find the Lion, and had no way to contact him other than through the Blue Gate Dogs. He did know the mastermind seemed to rely on the sewers beneath the streets of Blue Gate Fields as means to send message without alerting the constabulary. Much of what went on in the neighborhood actually took place beneath it, LeMat said.

When asked about the mastermind, himself, LeMat said he knew little. The Lion had somehow won the enthusiastic loyalty of the Blue Gate Dogs, but used terror to leash the rest of the people in Blue Gate Fields. The man behaved with cold, ruthless efficiency, kept his fingers on the pulse of the neighborhood, and seemed to appear everywhere at once. Any who dared cross him either wound up face down in a gutter, or simply disappeared forever – a fate LeMat said undoubtedly awaited him.

Sir Angus replied that might not be so, slugged LeMat to put him out, and gave a nod to Herr Weiser. The Bavarian began another ritual, and this one went off without a hitch. Herr Weiser said LeMatt would wake bruised, burned and in pain, but with absolutely no memory of anything that transpired in the previous hour.

Bloom commented that, as terrifying as the magick had been, it had resulted in little more harm to LeMat than he would have received in an interrogation room at Scotland Yard, and considerably less than he would have endured at the hands of the guards at Newgate Prison. The quartet removed LeMat's bonds and departed the flat, shutting the door firmly behind. They moved quickly outside, mounted the lorry still guarded by the relieved Jack Lowe, and quickly clattered away.
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« Reply #194 on: September 22, 2011, 09:12:57 PM »

Business prospects

LeMat's interrogation had confirmed Detective-Inspector Bloom's suspicion that the Shadwell Basin fence, Vincent Boater. had gotten involved with the man they now knew as “the Lion.” Sir Angus and the Bavarian herren quickly decided they needed to pay their next visit to the fence.

Bloom said that would likely prove considerably more difficult than than the morning's “delivery” to Paul LeMat. “Vinnie the Boater” had always paid enough to keep some muscle around, and the increase in business in the past year had resulted in an increase in staff.

Sir Angus and Herr von Landau decided the presence of rowdies in the pay of the fence likely required a more subtle approach. Herr Landau said he could arrange for the use of a ship, likely within a couple of days, and they could present themselves as potential buyers.

Bloom said that could work quite well, as Vinnie the Boater made most of his money moving illicit goods out of the country. As a port of free trade, with import duties on few goods and little in the way of items defined as illegal contraband, smuggling items into the country offered little in the way of profitable prospects. However, since almost anything could be found on the various docks of London, many of the goods forbidden by other countries started as cargoes, in the city.

Unfortunately, the detective-inspector said, that made it quite simple to mix stolen items with legitimate cargo bound for points abroad. Much of the silver and jewelry that disappeared from the homes of the gentry, or the items that fell from the back of a delivery lorry, wound up at sea within a few days.

Under the circumstances, Bloom said, he thought the Home Section of the Secret Service Bureau would likely provide legal cover, should the group wind up in the possession of stolen goods. Moreover, he said, Her Majesty's Government would want to shut down Vinnie's operation, anyway, once they'd run the Lion to ground. However, the plan would likely require some arrangements, and Bloom went off to consult with their contact, Mr. Tailor, and advise him of their plans and progress.

Meanwhile, Herr von Landau, Sir Angus and Herr von Weiser decided to pay a call that  very Friday afternoon, to the establishment of Vincent Boater Exports, Shadwell, London, to set up the next phase of the investigation. The trio hopped in one of Herr von Landau's nicer carriages, and made their way to the establishment's warehouse off New Gravel and Elbow lanes.

There, they discovered that Detective-Inspector Bloom's assessment proved quite accurate. At least a dozen burly stevedores bustled around the warehouse, as they loaded heavy cargoes on the back of freight lorries for the short trip to the nearby docks. On familiar ground, Herr von Landau quickly identified the foreman who, at a glance, appraised the quality of the carriage in which the trio had arrived and willingly ushered them into the warehouse's small office.

A clark greeted them amiably enough, identified himself as Reginald Williams and, upon learning of their business (and lack of appointment), scratched his head and asked them to “wait a tick.” He went through an inner door to the warehouse's main floor, and returned about five minutes later with a rather harassed-looking older man in a somewhat dusty suit, who introduced himself as the proprietor of the establishment.

Herr von Landau made introductions all 'round and spun the story of his desire for a low-cost, lucrative cargo for a ship that planned to depart London within the week. Mr. Boater listened carefully, cautiously noted that he might perhaps be able to arrange something, and invited the group to his office. There, they discussed the route of the “voyage” (von Landau stated his vessel carried mixed consignment cargo bound for several ports along the Inner Sea, with a final destination in Bavaria. Mr. Boater thought for a moment, and then remarked that while he knew of some a readily-available cargo of beer, the concept of taking English beer to Germany made about as much sense as shipping coal to Newcastle. However, he said he might be able to put together a mixed cargo of “duty-free” French and Spanish wine, as well as bolts of cloth of various sorts.

Herr von Landau replied that he likely could find a market for those items, discussed quantities, declared himself pleased with the potential deal, and asked about terms. Mr. Boater responded with a firm declaration that, since they'd never before done business, he couldn't extend credit of any sort, and wanted pound-notes upon the ship's arrival, before a single cargo rose above the planks of the pier. The Bavarian put on a show of reluctance, but then agreed, and Mr. Boater said he would have the cargo available three days hence.
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