It was a brisk March morning in New Babbage. All of the snow had melted leaving the brown limestone streets exposed to the weather. The skies though was a little clearer than normal due to the annual oiling festival taking place.
It had been 4 months since Mr Dunstable, Mr Greeves and Ms Douglas had came to the city. Three of the Royal London Archaeological Society’s finest, called to New Babbage to answer a question which had been annoying Mornington since the excavation of Brunel Hall’s bar, just how did those 2 shipwrecks get there?
On the morning of the 18th, Dunstable, Greeves and Douglas all came running into Brunel’s bar, causing a fluster with the chef who hated people running around inside the hotel. They caught up with Mornington who was down in the cellar and produced three maps, one of them very, very old, and layed the maps infront of him.
Mornington looked at the maps and scratched his head. “Hmmmmm?”
“We have finally figured it out Mr Mornington! We know how those ships got here”
“About time, you three have been living rent free in my house for 4 months now…”
Mr Dunstable asked everyone to follow him, to the T Junction which joined the main road from port, to the main road in Academy.
Dunstable pointed to Port and asked Mornington what he saw.
“Hmmm… I see a lot of fog, and Port Babbage?”
Dunstable nodded, then pointed to Pallisade and asked the same question, again, mornington answered with the obvious.
Then Dunstable added …
“However Mr Mornington, the big clue here is that you are looking down to both port, and pallisade, if you look towards builder square from here, you are looking up…”
“Yes Mr Dunstable, Academy sits on a natural hill”
Mr Greeves shook his head…
“Tis not natural this hill sir!”
Mornington looked at Greeves with a shocked look…
All 4 of them then went back into the cellar to look at the 3 maps layed out.
“Here ya go Mr Morninton. This map, the first one, took us 3 months to find the thing, city hall is a mess right now and the archives are all over the place. This map shows the port area of New Babbage…”
Mornington looked at the map…
“Wait a minute…theres no docks?”
“Yes sir” said Ms Douglas. “You will also find that there is very limited dockage at the old villiage of Clockhaven as well.
It was then that Greeves produced an old Town Billing and layed it out on the table. It read…
“For The Attention of the Citizens of the Township of Babbage
Work will commence on the deepening of the sea bed in Port, along with the construction of two new docks for Port, as well as the deepening of the sea bed in the villiage of Clockhaven.
Due to concerns from the fisheries commision of Town Square, it has been decided that the silt and mud will not be dumped further out to sea, but be carriaged inland and be dumped in the disused farmlands inside the remains of the city wall to the north of Port Babbage. The north side of the villiage of Clockhaven will also be used for the settling of said silt and mud.”
Mornington looked at the billing and shook his head…
“You mean to tell me, that years before the great fire, the town hall decided to haul up thousands of long tonnes of soil and silt, and dump it where we are standing?”
Old Greeves nodded…
“Aye Sir! Why do you think that Academy sits so high up compared to the surrounding lands? There is also the unanswered question of the massivley steep land drop from north west clockhaven dropping down to central clockhaven. This aint a natural hill Mr Mornington, it never was. Also, if you look at the difference in land height from this side of the academy pallisade wall to the other side, we are talking a drop of almost 20 meters, and its not a sloping drop, like clockhaven it is a sudden drop, with the soil being held back by massive retaining walls…”
“Well, it does explain it… but hold on, how did those two shipwrecks get here?”
Ms Douglas pointed at the second map, the map showing the landscape after the first round of dredging has completed. A mark on the map in Port Babbage noted three shipwrecks laying offshore.
“This map here Mr Mornington takes note of three shipwrecks, raized galleons, laying off shore in port. Now one of those shipwrecks is still here, any diver in Port Babbage can see it, the other two however….”
Mornington burst out laughing…
“Hold it a second, you are telling me, that the workers of New Babbage transported two massive shipwrecks and dumped them here? Thats INSANE! They could have just demolished or dynamited them!”
Chef Thompson, who was listening to the conversation spoke up…
“Uhhhhhhh Mr Mornington Sir! It’s bad luck to destroy a shipwreck…especially in a shipping town such as New Babbage”
Douglas, Greeves and Dunstable nodded.
Mornington turned to the three archaeologists…
“So, you three are telling me, that this hotel is sitting on a man made hill, and the two shipwrecks down below was hauled here over a century ago, and then buried with the continuing dredging of Clockhaven and Port?”
All three of them nodded…
“So Brunel Hall is a real archaeological site?”
Ms Douglas held Mornington a framed certificate.
“It is with great pleasure, that we award Brunel Hall Hotel the category of a B listed Archaeological site”
Mornington grinned, and poured everyone a double shot of Chivas.
On the morning of the 19th of March, Mornington walked into Mr Dorchesters office with certificate in hand, and declared that Brunel Hall was an archaeological site, and therefore didn’t need to pay the full spread of land tax… Mornington walked out to the shouts and screams of Dorchester with a grin on his face…