Cat and Mouse


New member
Trousers, check! Freshly ironed new shirt, check! Stylish new coat from the finest Italian designers, check! Shoes shined, check! Cane, check! Alright, its showtime!

I open the door of my apartment and a brisk jolt of air rushes through. I step out into downtown London and take in a deep breath. 1890, a fine year. Mid November, no! Its late December! And a nice patch of snow has already fallen over the city. I always loved the way the city looks covered in snow. It reminds me of a faraway land to the north or some nonsense I read as a child. The bustle of the city quickly shook me out of that wonder and I started on my way. I reached into my pocket for the priceless heirloom I "inherited" from some old cod who forgot to keep it locked up. I pulled out a solid gold pocket watch by Longines. It could fetch a good price, but I liked it too much to part with it.

"8:45, is it that late in the morning already? Bugger!" I shouted aloud and almost broke into a run.

I made two, no, three turns, scuttled down a few alleys, until I finally stood outside the address I had been given. The door happened to be made of wrought iron, as if the owner was afraid of an attack of sorts. The only attack it had to endure was the pounding of my first. I heard footsteps and a rather large man appeared after the door opened. When I say large, I mean this man is built like a horse!

"Password, sir?" Is all he said.

He stood at least five heads taller than made and had a face only his mother could love, if she still loved him after smacking him a few times with a brick. He crossed his arms as I fumbled through my coat for the paper I packed. Or did I pack it? Bugger if I remember. I'm surprised I made it on time!

"Password?" He said again as I searched my person.

"A minute, sir!" I politely replied. "Bloody Hell, I must have dropped the damn thing."

"Ut Umbras dirige nos." The doorman and I looked up to see a young woman standing behind me. I didn't even hear the lady approach. "It is the password, no?" A french accent to go with her pale skin and thin visage. I must admit, I had not expected to see a woman this lovely, or at this hour at least. She wore a heavy black coat and light scarlet scarf made of fox fur.

"You may enter," the man said as he stepped aside.

"Merci," she said as she strode towards the door. I managed to follow her inside but I felt the doorman's massive hand slam onto my shoulder.

"Come now, watch the coat!" I shouted as he turned me around.

"Password." She said in the same tone as before.

"You can't be bloody serious." He nodded and I sighed. This one isn't letting anyone get by easily. "Ut Umbras dirige nos. Might I go now?" He released my shoulder and closed the door. The wind chill died down as I looked around. Whoever wanted to meet must not have cared about the elegance of said meeting place. The woman walked to an empty table of the old pub we entered. Only a few candles kept the place lit, but oh so barely. I heard a match light as the french woman lit a cigar. I turned and the door keeper just stood there like a statue. I'm not exaggerating, he stood there motionless with his hands behind his back. I walked over to the french woman's table but did not sit down.

"So, my dear, what are you here for?" I asked her as she puffed a smoke ring at me. I blinked a couple times as the ring made contact.

"I should ask you the same thing, monsieur." I laughed and tapped my cane a few times.

"Might I sit?"

"You may." I slid into the seat across from her. Its not often I speak to a french woman outside of an art gallery or parties thrown for the rich and wealthy. I looked closer at her, studying her.

"Are you a resident of London?" I asked.


"Here on business?"


"What kind?"

"Same as you."

"Same as me?"

"Oui." She reached into her coat and pulled out a gold pocket watch. I felt my heart jump as I felt for it but found it lost. She set it on the table and smiled as I snatched it up. I quickly stored it back on my person. I looked around the pub once more and leaned in closer.

"How the bloody hell did you do that?" She smiled, smudging out the last of her cigar on the table.

"It is a gift, monsieur. Something I assume you possess as well?" I leaned back and crossed my arms.

"How could you trust someone with this kind of information when you have just met them?" She smiled that sinister french smile at me again.

"I have a feeling we will find out when our employer arrives."