Monday 4th April, 1892Edit
For the last few days I have been seeking the Punch and Judy show once again. I have engaged the services of Mr. Garvin as my second in this endeavour, which required a trip to my tailor in order that he be dressed appropriately. If I am to be seen in public with the fellow, it does not do to have him dressed in such and unfashionable manner!
After much searching we finally tracked down the performance in question and ingratiated ourselves into the crowd to await the end of the performance. As we did so I noticed Mr, Garvin was paying an undue amount of attention to one of the young ladies in the area, and it appeared that his attentions were both unwarranted and unwanted. Being a Gentleman, I took it upon myself to chastise him for his poor conduct and made appropriate apologies to the young lady for the actions of 'my manservant'. It is my hope that he will learn from this experience a little of what it is to act appropriately in public.
As the performance approached it's midpoint Mr. Garvin kept a lookout as I stealthily made my way behind the tent and lifted the skirt to reveal that there was no-one within the tent running the show, though there was an open manhole within! I returned to Mr. Garvin and relayed to him what I had discovered when I saw the 'puppeteer' looking at me from within the crowd - had he seen me approach the back of the tent, and what was he doing in the crowd, rather than making the performance? I attempted to indicate the location of the puppetter to Mr. Garvin, but he was unable to see the fellow. As I looked again, I realised the reason for this was that he was no longer where I had seen him. In order to ascertain his location, or at least prove where he was not, I once again moved to the rear of the performance tent, but I was spied by a member of the crowd who called in a most uncouth manner that I should not disturb the performance. Realising that causing a scene would do no good, I retired until the performance had come to a full close.
After the performance I was able to speak with the puppetteer, but the scoundrel chose to defend himself by making a scene that, had I not chosen to acquiese swiftly would have certainly had a negative effect upon my good name. Another avenue of attack had to be divined, and so I retired a short distance in order to rethink the situation. Mr Garvin and I observed the fellow packing up his livelyhood from seperate vantage points. As he left the area we attempted to shadow him, but were unsuccessful in our endeavours. We returned to the rooms that Wilson Thomas had provided for those that had none of their own, and gave a report of our actions to Reverend Steele Mr Jenson and Mrs. MacTannon.
Mister Garvin was still somewhat skeptical of my findings, even though he had been present with me at the time, but the others were sufficiently intrigued by my tale that they wished to investigate further.
Yesterday I made an unrelated revelation - Mr Jensons hands no longer had the callouses that his profession should have given them. It transpired that Miss House is not only a trained physic, but also has a desire to become a renowned surgeon, and had provided Mr Jenson with a grafting of the fingers of the curious Frenchman, citing that this would give him some of the Frenchman's power over fate or somesuch. While I am aware that the fairer sex are capable of a great deal, I am unsure as to what I should think of this. Reverend Steele, when he was appraised of the situation declared that this was an "Abomination of God" - a phrase that I have noticed he uses quite often, and then swept away with all others bar Miss House, Mr Jenson and myself to a late morning service. Having attended the family chapel early this morning I saw no need to attend again, especially in such lowly company, so I remained in the rooms.
At a loss of anything particular to do Miss House suggested that Mr Jenson and I spar, to test his newly grafted fingers. I agreed, but perhaps, in retrospect, I should not have. The fellow became most inappropriately enraged when I landed a strike upon his chin that he lost all facade of a gentle spar and launched into a full brawl. It was all I could do to defend myself and I am ashamed to say that I was saved by Miss House breaking a vase over the head of Mr Jenson and rendering him insensible.
At that moment the churchgoers returned, and the first words from the mouth of Reverend Steele were the aforementioned "Abomination of God". Once more he swept from the room, stating loudly that he would pray for our souls.
Yesterday evening, I took the guise of my alter-ego and explored the sewers near the place we had seen the performance. In my haste to attend to the situation as swiftly as possible, I neglected to bring with me any form of illumination and so lost my footing in the darkness and ... needless to say that in such an undignified state the only place I could repair to in order to make myself presentable were the rooms in which the others were staying. As I entered, everyone present jumped up, on guard, and I was forced to explain my situation and at least some of the reason for my disguise.
This morning, as a group, we set out to find the puppetteer again, this time with appropriate equipments for exploring the sewers, including (at the suggestion of Miss House) a canary in a cage.
Reverend Steele and Mrs MacTannon mingled with the crowd, as Mr Jenson, Mr Garvin and I descended into the sewers a short distance from the performance, hoping to make our way to the tent from beneath. As we progressed along the damp and unpleasantly fragrant tunnels we heard noises up ahead that could not be attributed to the vermin that we had expected to encounter. Increasing our speed we soon discovered what had been making the noise. Puppets. Animated Puppets moving with a freakish parody of life. All too soon an melee began, Mr Garvin and I capturing one of the possessed marionettes and forcing it into the cage, to the vocal distress of the poor canary. With one captured, we turned our attentions to the others. I found my position in the first XI at Oxford to come to some use, as I batted the little blighters left and right.
The battle done, we returned to the rooms, and discussed how we should continue our investigation. It had been discovered that the Mr. Punch had been acquired by the puppetter (whom Reverend Steele told us he had 'dealt' with) in Oxford. And so we resolved to make a journey to examine the establishment from which it had been bought. This proved to be somewhat serendipitous, as Mrs MacTannon had recieved a most curious telegram requesting her prescence in Scotland, from a man she does not know.
Friday 8th April, 1892Edit
Have arrived in Blairgowrie after a most eventful journey. Our search of Oxford for the establishment in which the curious Mr. Punch puppet had been purchased proved fruitless. Perhaps some mysteries are destined to remain unsolved!
During our further journey, as I sat down to dine with Reverend Steele on the train, a poor fellow nearby suffered some kind of collapsing fit. A cry for the services of a Doctor soon spread along the train. Whilst she may not be qualified, and indeed, a woman, I knew Miss House to be an effective practitioner of the medical arts, and so I sent for her straightways. It transpired that the gentelman in question, an American by the name of Wilson, I believe, was quite well known, and as a result Miss House was able to persuade the conductor that all possible haste must be made to the next station in order that he be availed of proper medical facilities. Some of the time spent in fruitless search in Oxford was thus regained to us. Upon our eventual departure from the train I noted that Mr. Jenson was sporting several fresh bruises. Further enquiries led to the discovery that he had been engaging in fisticuffs for money in third class whilst the railway staff were elsewhere. It seems that his Ego is as prone to inflamation now as it was during my friendly encounter with his fighting abilities.
Have secured a Coach and Four to take us on to the village of 'Lair' in the morning. It is close by to St. Catherine's Glen, to which Mrs. MacTannon was summoned, and apparently sports a 'Good Inn'.
Saturday 9th April, 1892Edit
A most distressing journey this is proving to be!
Whilst enjoing a rather engaging conversation with Reverend Steele as we took the coach to Lair, our discourse was interrupted by a solid thump on the roof of the Carriage. Mr. Jenson opened the curtain and looked outside to find the cause of the noise, and whatever he saw caused him to use language that most certainly was not fit for the ears of the ladies who were present. Had he not been pulled bodily out of the window at that moment, I would have been forced to chastise him severely for his lack of decorum.
Before Mr Jenson made a full egress, Miss House made a grab for his legs, and seemed, for all the world, to be engaged in a tug-of-war with an unknown other, using Mr Jenson as a rope!
At this, the good Reverend drew a pistol from within his coat, and fired a shot through the roof of the carriage, and Mr. Garvin opened the opposite door, to reveal a most distressing sight. A beast in the shape of a man, full furred and with the head and muzzle of a Wolf! I fear I was somewhat unmanned by the horrific vision for a moment, but soon recovered my nerve, and, having no weapon of my own, took hold of the pistol in the hand of the Reverend. Without giving the good Reverend pause to release his hold of the firearm, I took aim at the furred fiend and gave fire, striking the beast squarely between the eyes and sending it flying from the carriage. At this the Reverend relinguished his control of the weapon wholly to me and turned his efforts to aiding Miss House in the recovery of Mr. Jenson.
For my part, I leant out of the door, past the reeling Mr Garvin, and discovered another beast on the roof. Another shot from the revolver did not prove as efficacious as the first, but I believe I still hit my mark. Even as I fired I heard a cry from Mr Jenson, indicating that the carriage no longer had a driver, I fear he must have been the first target of these Wolf-Men. The lack of control gave a sense of urgency to my actions, and, swiftly followed by Mr. Garvin, I climbed out onto the roof of the Carriage, intent on bringing it back under control. Whilst this sounds like the most easy of tasks, I can attest that with the added difficulty of the movement of the speeding carriage, pulled by a pair of terrified horses along a treacherous road with a cliff face on one side and a sheer drop on the other, it was no mean feat! Mr Garvin, being more used to climbing in unstable conditions than I, was able to engage the beast upon the roof first. As I joined him, I glanced around to notice that Mrs. MacTannon's horse was still somehow keeping pace with the carriage, tethered to the back as he was. As I completed my ascent, I heard the sound of our cases tumbling from the back of the carriage. Glancing that way again, I was saddened to see that the following horse was no longer there, poor creature. A screeching sound alterted me to the efforts of Miss House and Mr Jenson in applying the breaks to the carriage, and I became further aware that the drawing horses had broken free and the carriage was runing amok. I thought it wise that we not suffer a similar fate to Mrs MacTannon's horse and find a way to the bottom of the precipice by swifter methods than might be prudent, and aided Miss House in the application of the breaks.
With the last of the Wolf-Men dispatched and the forward motion of the carriage arrested before we were sent tumbling to our collective dooms, we took efforts to recover what luggage we could, before completing our journey afoot.
I have secured rooms that are, if not 'good' at least adequate, for the coming week and most assuredly desire that the rest of our visit to Scotland be less eventful than the journey that has brought us here.