“Not your Anderson?” Alberts says suddenly stepping forwards into the room, his back rod straight and eyes alert.
“Yes do explain gents.” Alfred adds.
There follows a long account of the groups journey through the cave of beasts, they tell of the sudden and almost unexpected death of Mr Anderson and the sudden re emergence if this new one. It’s then and only then the group realizes the subtle but innumerable changes in temperament and attitude of their good friend.
After much discussion around the topic of betrayal and motives Tom suddenly stops the conversation in its tracks. “This is pointless going around and around in circles, I’ve no doubt that we can find many actions that seem suspicious in this Anderson. Its damn likely that we could find such faults in each of us given enough time and speculation.” Stopping the clear his throat he continues. “I think what we need to do now is formulate a plan to find and capture our man and then perhaps we can start to unravel this strange hum that pervades our fair city.”
“You don’t suppose Anderson has something to do with this phenomenon do you?” Henry asks his friend.
“He may not have when we emerged from the cave,” Gestalt butts in from the doorway, “but it’s a certainty that he will sooner or later.”
“I say! That’s an awful lot of speculation on all your parts.” Albert adds.
“Yes right-o old chap, it does sound like a fools fantasy.” Alfred chimes in as a waft of Alberts pie smoke drifts before him, the mans hand flaps wildly to disperse the phantasm of smoke.
“Multiverse! Harrumph.” Albert exclaims around his smoking.
“Is it so unusual after all we have seen? None of what we have told you has been fabricated, none of it!” Henry barks out, “Surely you must believe us.”
“Oh I think what you saw is true enough I just don’t like the idea of there being other versions of myself out,” waving with his pipe in the air, “there. Goodness knows what devilish things their up to, its not, not…”
“Proper Albert, that’s what it isn’t. If this Anderson is an uncivilized heathen as you claim then imagine the unsavoury acts the other me’s might be up to.”
“Here, here chap.”
Sliding forwards on the lounge Athena interrupts, “As interesting as all this is,” She says with a sidelong glance to Elisabeth, “how do you suppose we might find and apprehend Mr Anderson, or whoever he is?”
“That’s a good questions my lady.” Gestalt says moving beside the girl.
Sitting for a moment Tom ponders the question before raising a finger to the air, “Well we know that he is still the same basic fellow as our Anderson, right?”
The room agrees.
“And we know, at least think, that he may have shared some of the same experiences as our Anderson, right?”
Again they all agree.
“Then wouldn’t it stand to reason that he might head to a place of safety, somewhere familiar, an old stomping ground, or safe haven?”
“But where would that be Tom?” Henry quickly asks as the question fades into the dense air of the room.
“Perhaps his school or college?” Tom asks.
“His parents home?” Elisabeth adds.
“He didn’t have them.” Albert coughs out.
“Well not in the normal sense chap.” Alfred corrects his friend.
“Quite so, he was adopted at age thirteen and went to boarding school soon after. Don’t know why people would do such a thing; adopt a child then ship ‘em off. Better to leave them in the care of nuns I say.”
“Quite so Albert.”
Looking sideways across the room, almost mirroring the slanting rays of light streaming through the windowpane and filtered pipe smoke, “An orphanage?”
“Yes all boys home I believe, Saint Jerome’s Home for boys wasn’t it Chap?”
“No, no, no you’ve got it wrong Alfred, it was Saint Bethany’s Asylum for wayward boys.”
“Asylum?” Both the girls exclaim in unison, Gestalt steps forwards on one foot.
“Its just a name lass.” Albert offers while his friend nods on.
Leaning heavily on the arm of his chair Tom asks, “And where would this place be gentlemen?”