Nonfiction 4

The Vesuvius Club (Lucifer Box 1) by Mark Gatiss

By Mark Gatiss

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Additional info for The Vesuvius Club (Lucifer Box 1)

Sample text

Oh yes. The burgundy was deadly and the partridge a trifle high. ’ Delilah nodded her massive head. ’ Delilah thrust both mitt-like hands under the armpits of the Honourable Everard Supple and dragged the one-eyed corpse with apparent effortlessness towards the doors. I hopped athletically over the dead man’s legs, sweeping up my cloak and topper from a chair. ’ I asked, clapping the hat to my head. ‘Very good, thankyou for hasking, sir. No doubt be seeing you soon, sir,’ grunted Delilah. ‘No doubt,’ I replied.

The business has been taken over. ’ She sighed. ‘Well, whatever good-will they inherited has been squandered, I can tell you. ’ Mrs Sash crossed to a small bureau and produced a black-edged card. ‘I’m not saying it’s necessarily worthy of a newspaper investigation,’ she said, handing it over. ‘But I found their attitude most peculiar. ’ For the first time, she smiled. I held up the card. TOM BOWLER. SUPERIOR FUNERALS. 188 ENGLAND’S LANE. W. I had changed and was stretching a canvas in my studio that afternoon, wondering how to infiltrate an undertakers without a cadaver to present, when I heard a knock at the door.

The hollowed shadows enveloped me in grimy red plush, Nelly Best’s canary-yellow crinolines flaring before my grinning phiz like sunbursts. After several choruses too many of ‘Oh What a Silly Place to Kiss a Girl’, I tottered out into the balmy night and a cab. ‘Piccadilly,’ I cried, banging my cane rather unnecessarily against the roof. Shortly afterwards, I was deposited in front of the Royal Academy of Art. By day I am naturally used to entering premises by the front door but, that night, I took care descending the treacherously corkscrew steps down to the tradesmen’s entrance.

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