05/25/2020 Snippet, MARIE AND THE CONTINENT.

And this isn’t even the big reveal here. Also: this is a more ambitious project than I first considered. I am going to get so many people complaining that I got the details of London wrong: guess I’m just going to have to burn down the entire city in the backstory and redraw the map…


I decided to start. “Doctor Bell, let me congratulate you. I read of your exploits in ferreting out the Whitechapel Demon. Well done!”
Bell smiled, crookedly. “My fame proceeds me. I blame young Doyle, here: our investigation was not quite the grand adventure his stories make it out to be.”

“Grand adventures never are. But you and he did apprehend the Demon, yes?”

“Oh, we did, but it was so much more a confused mess in real life. A lot of investigation and some good fortune, and almost no fighting on rooftops or polished scalpels in the dark.”

I noted that ‘almost.’ “Nonetheless, doctor,” I said, “you are to be commended. How many more poor women would he have murdered if you had not moved so quickly?”

“I just wish we had moved more quickly still,” said Bell. “After reading your file, well, I wouldn’t have minded having you on that case too, Miss Knight. You’d have been a help.”

“I don’t disagree,” I said. “But it was pointed out to me that someone in my condition is often a distraction for those on the hunt for a monstrous killer. Eventually someone gets the clever idea of deciding to blame the monster actually on the case.”

Bell snorted laughter. “I believe you! Some fool of a politician even accused Doyle, and curse me if I could follow his reasons why.” He looked grim. “And this time the monster was one of us. A mortal, I mean. After we caught him, the Demon told me he wasn’t one. He was looking for demons, and when he found one, he’d slice her right out of her body. He seemed to mind more the name the papers gave him than getting caught, even. ‘Call me Ripper,’ he’d say. Even on the gallows.”

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