London Gazette

 

Reader’s Letter: Clocks are more Smarter than first assumed

November 2, 1906 ·

Mr Hardie,

My warmest congratulations my, dear dear friend. Whispers on the breeze inform me that not only have you managed to dupe the world into believing you to have set your disreputable past behind you, but that the Royal Society itself has extended an invitation to its ranks. I could not be prouder; though if it pleases you, I shall always remember you as the card-rigging back street alchemist, I had to doggedly pursue at some considerable cost, may I add. With all my heart, I hope that I shall be toasting your success with you personally in due course.

It has been weeks since I last walked the cobbled streets of Whitechapel, and I have come to miss the stench of the city, and the indecipherable accents that took almost forever to grow accustomed to. Since the multiple attempts on my life, or lives should I say, it was agreed that I should discretely sojourn with Lady Dawson at her country estate for a while.

The skies are blue’er here than I even remember from my childhood on the banks of the Forth. It is most liberating, uplifting even. Life with my god-grandmother is comfortable enough and I am kept adequately iup to date with official CBS and Division M activities; still, were it not for the company of the Lady’s curious wards, I would have fallen into the abyss of ennui some time ago.

Somehow a pair of not only jailbroken, but also rehoused Clocks found their way into her care where they have taken on the role of adopted offspring. It is plain that they have not been repurposed as, in my presence from time to time, they behave as my peers when they correctly deduce I am in need of adult company – once while I was imploring some of the domestic staff to join me in a round of cards, I was astounded to find that the clockwork two-some had already invited Summers, the valet, and that a bridge table had already been laid out in the parlour .

At all other times they actively choose to regress, for want of a better term, to a childlike state. It appears as if they find some sort of escape through their actions though whether their greatest desire is to live out an assumed childhood or make a bereaved old lady happy is beyond me. Perhaps it is a little of both.

Over the long autumnal months that they seem to have genuinely grown quite fond of Lady Dawson, who bitterly misses her departed great grandson, and do what they can to make her grief bearable. From what I can tell, pleasing the woman who has shown them such kindness, in turn brings them great joy. In all my years, I doubt I have seen such an act of charity and compassion from her own family and I find myself, once again, astounded and in awe of these controversial creations.

I must concede that I have my own suspicions concerning the duo’s origins; and if they are correct then these specimens need greater protection than I do at present and my instincts compel me to shield them from both The Watch and the MLF.

Speaking of whom, I was approached by a representative, presumably sent by Herakles, before I left the city though I am at a loss whether it was to deliver a threat or petition support. I only mention it now because it has only just begun to feel significant. I don’t know whether he has extended the same courtesy to many of London’s Proxies but be assured, if I have been scrutinised, then I guarantee that you will have been followed over the past few weeks. The rate at which they have stepped up their operation is as impressive is it is alarming; especially as I am currently at a loss over the stance the Division will eventually need to take as the nation prepares to unwittingly launch itself into war.. or whether indeed it will sit well with me – such complexities you must be wrestling with yourself as one of The Family, and for that I am deeply sorry.

Still. On the bright side: The Reaper still soars, Uncle R has become engaged, surly Stirling has started to show signs of possession of a sense of humour and you… you are about to become a Respected Fellow. Even the darkest skies must let a crack of sunlight through.

With fondness and in anticipation.

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