06/09/2020 Snippet, MARIE AND THE CONTINENT.

This is gonna have to get so much revising, in the second draft. But the trick is to get the damned first draft down first.

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‘Captain’ Jonathan (perhaps it should be ‘Captain Jonathan,’ Dear Reader: even now I have no idea if that was his true name) went on. “This one’s political,” he said. “Though aren’t they all? Dead girl in a sitting-room, all very quiet and hush-hush. Penny dreadfuls haven’t sniffed it out, yet, and when they do they’ll be reminded of the Anti-Panic Act. That’ll buy you time, but not all the time in the world.” He passed over a slip of paper. “That’s the girl’s name,” he said. “You’ll get the full file when you meet the detective.”

I will confess it: I groaned. “It is one of those cases?” I asked, and groaned again when I saw his quick grin. Clearly it was, and Jonathan was congratulating himself for not being caught up in it.

Magda looked confused, so I explained. “Some cases can be investigated openly, and some covertly. And a few of them must be investigated without writing anything down, because of scrying magic. It is much easier to sorcerously read a paper file than it is to enter a human mind.” I looked at Jonathan. “I take it that the detective on the case is a mage? And who is he?” The name on the paper was simply ‘Florence Hambly,’ which rang no bells in my mind. And, truthfully, it is still somewhat rare to see a mortal woman among the police.