Today I was restless. There is still paraffin enough for at least another week before I will have to return to the surface. I’m sure Emerson and his friends are too corked with New Year’s libations to notice I have not come back yet. Somehow, it seems right not to mark the passage of time here. Next time I will, so I can make my trips more regular without having to take long absences from the Gangplank so my sojourns will not be noticed. Without my access to the Gangplank I would need to money to buy the things I need to live here, rather than covering my expenses with making larger orders of the regular things we need at the pub.
I’ve decided to take use the tools I’ve brought before to work on opening a passage that looks interesting. I’ve found a stone wall with a section of brick worked into it, so it must have been closed off later. Maybe it will lead somewhere. I left Father’s clothes and put on my own to work, as his are better than mine. Father. Grandfather. I never knew my father so it is easier to think of Dr. Foehammer as my father. Better than old Moonbeam.
The noise of my work attracted Levi and Morti. Levi said he had a message for me from Thomas, but rather than listen I bid help me with the lever to break the bricks out from the stonework, and to my astonishment he did! Morti gave me no trouble, he must remember how I beat him before, but Leviticus is strong, and has a more violent nature. Soon they were doing the heavy work and I was directing it. We broke down the wall and knocked loose the old mortar so only the old stoneworks remained before tiring ourselves. I said that was enough for the day and that we would bring lanterns and rope to explore tomorrow. I put on my shirt and waistcoat to go back to Dunsany, and they disappeared back the way they had come. It pleased me that Levi forgot to finish delivering Thomas’ message.
Thomas will come to me. I am certain of it.
Clockhaven is like a huge sponge with all its various tunnels! Who knows what lays beyond the reach of the old clockwork arc lamps that mark the seventh level…
“The warmth of the fire feels soothing against my skin. The flames have a deep and sibilant roar that lulls me with memories of my childhood Christmases living on the Rutherford Commons. It was a magic time, before the fire. The fire changed the world. Wouldn’t you agree?” Thomas smiled at Leviticus across the room, all the while stirring the contents of the pot upon the stove.
“Get on with it!” Leviticus hissed.
“I enjoy cooking,” Thomas continued to stir the pot. “Sadly, I do it so so rarely. But truly, Leviticus, it is like an art. And as with any art you can get lost in it. But you have never been very artistic, have you, little brother?”
“You were never one of us.”
“Look at at Mortimer,” Thomas smiled at Spurgan. “He’s quietly hoping this won’t hurt. But it will.”
Thomas stopped stirring and nodded to Spurgan who then brought Leviticus forward. “I need you to run a little errand for me and I can’t have you falling under the entrancement of a ghost. You will bring the boy, but be gentle. I wish him to be intact.”
Spurgan pushed Leviticus down onto the table and turned his head to the side. “Try not to struggle. It is most unbecoming. Besides, I am doing you a favour, little brother,” Thomas handed the pot of melted wax to Spurgan. “I know how you hate to fail.”
The caverns were quiet in the morning. Today I packed my wrecking bar and mortar hammer and three lanterns to explore yesterday’s excavation. It did not lead to anywhere, as I had hoped, but appeared to be a room that had been walled off. There was a lot of debris, but once the mould and filth was breached, I found barrels that were still full and piles of bottles that had fallen when the shelves they were on rotted away form the moisture of the caves. We are still very near the sea here. There must be a system that keeps these tunnels from flooding, but I have not found anything to explain that yet.
I so was intent on prying one of the larger crates open, it was made of good oak that was still solid, that I did not hear them come. I saw their shadows loom on the walls as they passed in front of the lanterns, framing me. I turned. It was Leviticus and Mortimer again. I told them to come help me open the crates so we could organize them.
They came forward, but instead of helping they took me by the arms and dragged me out of the room. I yelled at them to stop, using Father’s voice, but they kept on dragging me out. In the back of my head I heard Lapis’ voice, small and calm. A leader always keeps his dignity about him. All those nights fencing in the cathedral were coming in useful. I straightened up and stepped in pace with them, that relaxed them some, in a few more steps I shook off Mortimer and stared him down, he backed away but kept pace at my side. I said I could walk on my own by Leviticus ignored me and kept his grip.
I know where we are going.