From our City Correspondent
Heinous plot foiled in Lambeth
Again it seems that forces of destruction and depravity are loose across the City of London. Although many readers will have experienced growing prosperity thanks to the wondrous properties of Infernium there are many, even amongst the higher echelons of society, who would corrupt its powers to serve their own ends.
In the last three days it has been your correspondent’s task to spend his waking hours with agents of the noble band of the Sons of the Empire. Many of the members of this most celebrated of gentlemen’s clubs have shown great courage and endeavour in serving Her Britannic Majesty and her Empire. Their current work, however, requires greater fortitude than even these great engineers, explorers and inventors have needed heretofore.
Whilst the official police force and agents of the Crown must show due regard to the statutes of the land, the gentlemen of the Sons are not constrained by such bureaucracy and rules. As many less well-regarded souls seek to prey upon the feckless and weak amongst us it is the Sons who provide the bastion of hope that many of us require in these desolate times.
It was two nights ago that your correspondent first had the opportunity to work with these fine agents in their business. For some time the good citizens of Lambeth have been in mortal fear as, for night after interminable night, the young and virile were snatched away as they returned home on streets once thought safe from such violence.
Young men, albeit those for whom the local hostelries are too frequent destinations, have been found brutally abused and eviscerated just a few steps from the main highways of this generally respectable quarter of London. As is too often the case, the official forces had been unable to make noticeable progress in resolving these horrific crimes. The Sons, unfettered by regulation, had despatched three of their leading agents into the area. It was these three, well-known and respected in their fields - but for the sake this journal anonymous to protect their work – who invited me to join them in their travails.
At ten minutes before eleven we four found ourselves in a dark alley behind the Red Lion Inn. A steady stream of unfortunates had already left deep in their cups but none had aroused our interest. Two men did however raise our senses. The first a young fellow clearly used to toil rather than the comforts of a more sedentary occupation was accompanied by a somewhat older gentleman dressed similarly but with the gait and demeanour of a man of more genteel background.
As these two swayed away from us my companions, their heads lowered, turned to follow at a discreet distance. Some fifty paces down the road we saw two dark shadows emerge in front of our two men. As swiftly as a cobra the older of the two straightened and grabbed his erstwhile companion. Pinning him to the wall the two new protagonists jumped forward. The flash of steel unmistakable they plunged towards the unfortunate victim.
With blurring speed my companions surged forward, in their hands the ugly bulge of revolver and bludgeon. Two shots rang out the flash of the muzzle illuminating the horror in the alley. One of the three shouted in alarm and pain his steel falling to the floor as he grasped at his side. Aware that their plot was unveiled all three felons turned and sprinted towards us barrelling through us and away.
The gentlemen of the Sons regained their footing sharply and turned in pursuit leaving me to tend to the much shaken erstwhile victim.
Some hours later close to the breaking of dawn, I was to rendezvous with my companions on the street close to Smithfields market, a meeting previously arranged. Their only response to my entreaties for information was a few terse words. ‘Smythe and the Darkfire Club have seen their plans foiled for now.’
My own deductions as to who Smythe may be will provide the subject of my next article in this great organ. For now though let us rejoice that the burghers of Lambeth may again go about their business in safety thanks to the heroic acts of the small band of Sons committed to service for their fellow man.