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PREVIEW: The Extraordinary Case of the Wicca Girl

Chronicled by Dr. John Watson

A Short Story From Hellfire Lounge 2

(Coming for October 2011)

It was a foggy, damp morning in London, on Sunday, November 11, 1888 when the alley across the street from celebrated Armoury Club was bathed for a few seconds in a brilliant, yellow-orange light. Not many people noticed the event. The few that did thought some street people were burning trash for heat in a barrel or some such thing. Wrong. Druscilla Marie d’Lambert stepped from the alley onto the street proper and adjusted her new Victorian costume appropriate for the period and custom-made by her Mayfair tailors just for this excursion. She wondered how women of this period survived in the mode which included red leather high button shoes, a corset, a brilliant red and black dress with bustle, gloves, parasol and a large brimmed hat! Just keeping the hat adjusted properly was a full-time chore. Across the street was the location for her objective, Mr. Mycroft Holmes, current Director of the British Secret Service.

This was a unexpected journey that had begun the moment that the classified documents found in one of Jocelyn Von Hagen’s former hideouts were brought to Dame Millicent MacKenzie at MI-6. It was at that time that the time-machine implant in Druscilla’s left hand started to glow. The information in these documents demanded that Special Agent Wicca Girl get involved in a long-past mystery. It took two days, a lot of sewing and research, and a short, secret phone conference with Dr. Hugo Hoffritzer, inventor of the time machine, to enable this adventure.
“Paper, Miss?” a shrill voice behind her blared.

Startled at first, Druscilla spun around to see a twelve year-old boy, a street urchin of the times, with an armful of morning editions of The London Times.

“Oh, yes, of course. How much?”

“Two pence, Miss.”
Druscilla flipped the coins to the lad and took her copy of the paper. It wasn’t what she was used to. It was cheap, flimsy newsprint with stinky ink that smeared easily. She gingerly leafed through it and found the item she sought. In the distance, she could hear the church bells of several steeples ringing in the faithful to worship. Today, those bells would not fall on the ears of one Mary Jane Kelly according to the headlines in the newspaper. Kelly’s mutilated body had been found the Friday before in her lodgings at 13 Miller’s Court, Dorset Street, Spitalfield. Her throat has been slashed back to the spine and her abdomen was ripped open and all the organs and heart had been removed. Her once pretty face had been slashed to ribbons. It was, perhaps, the most gruesome murder of the series of recent Whitechapel Murders, all credited to the maniac at large dubbed Jack the Ripper!

“Yes, this is the job,” Druscilla thought as she folded the messy mass of newsprint, tossed it into the trash bin on the corner and headed across the street for the doorway of the club. “This is the case and I have no doubt it’s what I am here for.”

Carleton, the paunchy,Scots doorman of The Armoury Club was somewhat gruff, it being Sunday and many of the notable politicians and nobles who were members of the club were recovering from their Saturday night revels and debauchery inside the staid building. In addition, it was a men’s club and this woman, albeit a well-dressed and obviously well-educated woman, was insisting – demanding - on seeing one of their most prestigious, if hung-over, members. Druscilla impressed on the doorman that she was an agent for British Intelligence and that Mr. Mycroft Holmes, one of the founders of The Armoury Club, had bade her meet him there. The doorman realized that he had a touchy situation on his hands that was not going to go away and asked her to wait. Fifteen minutes later, he returned with all apologies – and Mycroft Holmes at his heels.

“Carleton was most agitated,” Mycroft said as he led Druscilla to a small private anteroom. “Just who are you and what is this about you being an agent for my department?”

“I’m Druscilla Marie d’Lambert,” she said as she dug her 21st century MI-6 credentials from her purse. Holmes scanned the wallet and queried, “2010 A.D.? How is that possible?”

“Let’s just say that future technology would astound you and I am here to help you with these Ripper murders, more of which are rapidly approaching,” Druscilla replied. “Your department is the front line for defending our country in my time. We’ve coded it ‘MI-6’ and believe it or not, a distinguished Dame is now sitting in your office, Mr. Holmes. Like the song says, the times they are a-changing.”


“Never mind. This is about the Ripper.”

“Good Lord! I don’t know exactly how I can help you,” Mycroft replied, “The case was originally firmly in the hands of Inspector Reid of the Metropolitan Police, but after the Nichols murder Scotland Yard got into the act and Detective Inspectors Abberline, Moore and Andrews were brought in. Officially, my department is now only working on international investigations.”

“I was hoping that Scotland Yard was on the case by now, Inspector Lestrade and your brother, Sherlock,” Druscilla said.

“Oh, him! Yes, I expect he is working on the case weather he was asked to or not. Or perhaps, he’s helping them on the sly. As for Lestrade, he’s in Scotland on another matter. It seems our old friend Col. Sebastian Moran was arrested in Edinburgh with some purloined jewels and the first night he’s in jail, a priest comes to the prison absolve the sinners. No one saw the priest leave, but apparently Moran left with him. We suspect the priest was….”

“Professor Moriarty?”

“Yes, quite. Hence, Lestrade was sent to investigate. Anyway, this Ripper business is a local matter. I handle the foreign cases, now. Oh, I said that already didn’t I ? Yes, this is a local matter, a few whores and a madman I fancy. It’s probably one of those new immigrants. I am sure The Yard will handle it shortly. But, what did you mean there are more murders coming imminently?” Mycroft queried with a nervous tremor in his voice.

“It’s complicated, Druscilla said. “Perhaps we can discuss it over breakfast.It’s early morning and I haven’t eaten anything yet.”

“Of course, forgive my manners. I’ve been working since 8pm last night,” Mycroft replied awkwardly as he guided the woman through the hallowed halls of the men’s club incurring wide stares from the hung-over inhabitants. “Some of these government members get in their cups and start discussing classified government business in front of our international members, consuls, ambassadors and so forth….”


“Well, could be. You understand. I have to keep a close eye on everybody.”

“Of course,” Druscilla replied with a wink as they finally arrived at a small meeting room where a generous continental breakfast was ordered and Druscilla continued her explanation.”

“Have you ever heard of Countess Jocelyn Von Hagen?”

“She’s one of our more notable citizens,” Mycroft commented.” She is a great supporter of women’s suffrage causes and many charities. I think she knows some of the royals. Why? How does she figure into the murder of these women?”

“I’m not sure, but if I could confer with your brother, he may have the facts that I need to put this whole matter in perspective. I would need an introduction, an official introduction.”

“I guess so,” replied Mycroft as the waiter returned with the breakfast cart. “By the way, I know why your name is familiar. Are you related to the famed 11th century Witch of Blackbridge by some chance? My cousin Arthur Holmes-Carter lives in Blackbridge and he often tells me of the yearly festival celebrating the day your ancestor fought off a Viking raider or some such thing which stopped the Norse raids on the East coast. The Blackbridge Witch is quite the celebrity in that town.”

Anxious to finish her muffins and tea and get on the next destination on her itinerary, Druscilla took the fast track and answered, “Yes, she’s a distant relative, er…my great, great so-forth aunt on my paternal grandfather’s side.”
Mycroft went to a small writing desk in the corner of the room and with the great precision of a true bureaucrat penned a note to his brother in two minutes, blotted and sealed it. It was a letter of introduction and short explanation of the situation. When Druscilla finished her breakfast such as it was, she took the note from Mycroft, who then tactfully directed her past the recovering club members in the Great Hall and other rooms and ushered her out a side door to one of the waiting Brown Line cabs that loitered the street anxious for high-class patrons with generous gratuities for snappy service.

The Chronicle Begins.

Baker Street is always a busy street on Sunday mornings mostly due to its location between two churches, one C. of E. and one R.C., which results in considerable traffic outside number 221-B where we reside. As I prepared myself for church, as is my custom since my wedding to Mary was approaching in two months, there was a sharp knock on the door. It was a firm knock unlike that of our housekeeper Mrs. Hudson, and I supposed it to be a person we did not know who had let themselves in as Mrs. Hudson had probably already left for her church services.

“Watson, let the lady in will you? I have no doubt her business with us is most urgent,” Sherlock yelled from the back room.

“How would you know it’s a lady or that her business is urgent?”

“The knock is hesitant and light handed unlike that of a man who is impatient and somewhat familiar with his surrounds. She has a ring on her hand which makes a very distinct sound on the door. Her business is urgent because I just saw a Brown Line cab leave the front of the building. It’s one of the cabs that exclusively frequent the street where The Armoury Club is located. Hence, this is official business. I would guess my brother Mycroft has sent the lady here. Well, go to it, man!”

I answered the door and greeted a most genteel and attractive woman attired in a bright red dress trimmed in black. She was dressed in obvious high couture and had a distant look in her eyes. It was quite eerie, really. On her right hand index finger was a shiny ring of a bright, silvery metal with a pentagram inset in onyx. There was a soft greenish glow to her right hand and a yellowish glow on her left. I noted that as also extremely strange.

“Good morning, Madam, I’m Dr. John Watson. I assume you’re here to meet with Mr. Sherlock Holmes on a matter of some importance and urgency?”

“That’s correct, Dr. Watson. I’m Druscilla Marie d’Lambert. I have a letter for Mr. Homes from his brother Mycroft,” the lady replied as she entered the drawing room and withdrew an envelope bearing the imprint of The Armoury Club from her purse and handed it to Holmes as he re-entered the room and up his dressing gown.

“Oh, Holmes, this is Miss d’Lambert. You brother Mycroft has sent her here on some government business, I take it.”
I took the letter from the lady and transferred it to Holmes waiting hand. He managed a polite smile, which was usual for him when meeting a member of the opposite sex for the first time and had been his custom since he had the encounter with she who is referred to in this house as the woman.

“Pleased to meet you,” Holmes said. “I trust this matter is of the utmost urgency or Mycroft would not have sent you at this hour on a Sunday morning?”

“Yes, most urgent and timely,” Druscilla replied.

“Oh, Watson, look at the time! You’ll be late to meet Mary and her parents,” Homes reminded me. I quickly snatched up my coat and hat and bid our guest goodbye. I knew that Homes would bring me up to date on the new case upon my return later that evening as my usual Sunday routine was church with Mary and her parents followed by dinner at Saint Claire’s and then a short visit at their home.

As soon as the door closed and Homes heard Watson’s departing steps on the stairs followed by the front door closing with a bang, he began the meeting in earnest by ripping open the envelope and carefully scanning the note Mycroft had dashed off. His eyes widened as he hit the salient points.

“2010 A.D.! MI-6? Countess Jocelyn Von Hagen? Jack the Ripper! Perhaps we had better start at the beginning, Miss d’Lambert. By the way, are you related to the Blackbridge d’Lambert family? There was a witch back in the 11th Century who became something of a local heroine. I notice you wear the mark of a coven on your signet ring.”

“Sit down Mr. Homes,” Druscilla replied. “Time is fleeting and as you often say, the game is afoot. This ring is Divinium, the rarest element in the world and allows me to control the great power of the magnetic earth’s core. It was given to me by the Archangel Samiel….”


“Yes, he gave it to me in 1078 A.D. before I rid the country of Roggevand the Furious and, yes, I am related to the d’Lamberts of Blackbridge. I am the Queen of Witches and have been since 1091 A.D. In my current time, which is 2010 A.D., I am the only supernatural agent for that agency your brother created, the British Secret Service modeled after the agency started in the 17th Century by Queen Elizabeth. We have renamed it Military Intelligence 6, or M.I.-6. My code name is Wicca Girl and I didn’t come here to get your autograph. The fact is that there will be many more Ripper murders if we don’t act fast.”

“Goodness!!! What’s this about Jack the Ripper and Countess Von Hagen?” Holmes asked as he reached for his calabash and tobacco jar and started to prepare the first pipe of the day.

“In my time, agents of British Intelligence raided an abandoned lair of the Countess who also dates from the 11th century and was the banished mistress of the Dark Lord. She’s coveted his power and position ever since and has vowed to bring forth the Great Apocalypse in revenge. It was she who sent Roggevand to destroy Blackbridge and kill Satan so she could possess this very ring. Anyway, the MI-6 agents found a cache of documents that indicate that in 1887 Von Hagen founded The Sisters of UMBRA, a suffrage organization.”

“Yes, they’re a radical group of lower class women. Many of them are anarchists.”

“And all the Whitechapel murder victims of this Ripper were members of The Sisters of UMBRA.”


“Yes, too curious not to be investigated. My theory is that Jocelyn Von Hagen enlists anarchist women into her coven under the guise that it’s a political activist group. She then entices them with promise of magic powers and seduces them to commit acts of terrorism. Her ambition is nothing less than to overthrow the government and place herself on the throne. She’s tried this before. I suspect our Ripper is far from the madman you suppose. He’s a calculating secret agent working for an opposition group headed by someone of considerable power, someone who knows who Jocelyn Von Hagen really is and that she is more or less invincible. So, he’s knocking off her agents, these women, one at a time, destroying The Sisters of UMBRA at the grass roots membership level.”

“Someone like our old friend Professor Moriarty, perhaps?”

“I am keeping my options open,” Druscilla continued. “I know you see Moriarty behind every shadow, but there are other viable theories. The government could be behind this, maybe. Perhaps, your brother’s office, or there are theories that the Freemasons are responsible, or the Knights Templar, or the security branches of either of the major churches.”

“Where would we start this investigation?”

“First, we’ll go across town to the Olde Hellfyre Pub where supernaturals hob-nob with politicians and royals who are into magic, and we ask Ray Molochi the bartender, a friend of mine, where the UMBRA coven meets. After that, we get someone, an actress perhaps, to attend a single coven meeting of The Sisters of UMBRA and report back to us the how, who and details of the organization.”

“An actress?” Homes queried. “Oh,no! Are you suggesting we enlist the services of…the woman?”

“Yes, Mr. Homes, we could use a reliable actress who happens to be in London on holiday after a successful theatrical run in the Americas. I am suggesting you send a communication to Miss Irene Adler at her lodgings at the Landmark Inn and tell her that the sum of fifty pounds sterling is hers if she attends one meeting of The Sisters of UMBRA disguised as a lower class, radical ‘lady of leisure’ and reports back to us immediately thereafter.”

“You ask too much, Miss d’Lambert,” said Holmes as he dropped his pipe, cleared his throat and grabbed a glass of water from the table to rinse his sudden dryness.

“It’s for Queen and country, Mr. Holmes, and I am sure Mycroft would have no such hesitations about doing it if I have to return this investigation to his office,” Druscilla replied in a firm tone of voice, reminiscent of that female that gave Sherlock shaky legs.

“Oh, very well,” Holmes snapped back as he briskly walked to his escritoire and, lighting his calabash again, sat and, like this brother had done earlier at Druscilla’s bidding, penned the requested document. While he did so, Druscilla slowly strolled about the room amusing herself by studying the various souvenirs of Holmes’ previous adventures which he displayed as trophies about the room.

“There! Done!” announced Holmes as he sealed the envelope with a dollop of molten red wax, pressed his seal into the gooey wax and addressed the envelope. “And now, on to the Olde Hellfyre Pub you said?”

“Yes, there’s one in every major capitol city in the world. The Dark Master uses them to entertain people and communicate easily with his minions. The London location is one of the oldest. It’s been on the same plot of land, with occasional name alterations, since the days of the Roman occupation. In 2010 A.D. it’s called The Hellfire Lounge.”

Druscilla and Holmes hailed a cab and soon they were bouncing along on the colorful cobblestone streets of Victorian London. The bumpy ride made Druscilla long for her fire engine red Rolls Royce Phantom III with the DeLuxe air suspension. Eventually, they arrived at the Olde Hellfyre Pub, an impressive looking establishment with solid walnut façade and stained glass windows. Yorga, the 24 hour, 3,000 year old doorman was also impressive; six and a half feet tall, slightly reptilian and dressed in a near-military uniform. What was unusual was that he instantly recognized the Witch Queen.

“Lady d’Lambert, welcome back,” he exclaimed as the duo exited the carriage. “It’s nice to see you back so soon.”

“It’s nice to be back,” Druscilla answered although she had no recollection of being in London in any time period past the French Revolution in the 1780’s. Yet when she entered the posh tavern and grill, there behind the bar was Ray Molochi, the same reptilian bartender she had encountered when she and Cheralyn were there in 1785…and in 2010! Ray had carved out his niche ages ago and he obviously was secure in his position.

“Druscilla, this is a surprise,” Ray greeting the couple as he whipped out coasters and anticipated the drink orders. He slid the bowl of crushed cashews over to their side of the bar as Druscilla motioned to him with her finger that this was a private chat.

“Ray, I’d like you to meet Sherlock Holmes…”

“The great Sherlock Holmes, the private investigator? I am much honored,” Ray interrupted. “Drinks are on the house.”

“A pint then,” Holmes replied.

“Red wine,” Druscilla ordered. “Red wine and the location of the meeting place of the next Sisters of UMBRA meeting.”

“Oh, you know about that den of evil,” Ray came back. “The rumor is that Countess Jocelyn Von Hagen holds court at their meetings. Street scum all of them. Not a true sister of the pentagram in the lot. Not a single one of your followers there, but all political miscreants, anarchists … and the Irish.”

“I know, just tell me if you hear anything.”

“I have heard already. They always meet at the same place, The Burning Barn, it’s a small pub in the basement of the Seven Dials Mission House run by the Lutherans. The coven wanted a room here to hold their meetings, but Nick forbade it. Jocelyn could not come here, of course, and they sent one of their senior members, the late Ms. Nichols I believe. I threw her out on her arse.”

“Nick?” queried Holmes.

“Nick Nussbaum,” replied Druscilla. “It’s the Dark One’s social name.”

“Good heavens!” Homes exclaimed. “I’m always getting invitations to events from him to social events at the Albert Hall.”

“It wouldn’t surprise me. Nick is a real mixer when it comes to society events. Anyway, we know now where to send our agent, your Miss Irene…”

“I know her name, Miss d’Lambert. You need not bombard me with it in one day and why did that fellow address you as Lady d’Lambert?”

“There’s a point in the future where I am knighted for service to the crown. I thought it improper to use the title ante-period so to speak.”

Druscilla and Holmes munched on the nuts and sipped their drinks while Ray told them an off-color story that embarrassed Holmes and sent Druscilla into a flurry of sniggers. It was the Victorian version of the famed Farmer’s Daughter joke. That done, the couple strolled down the streets until they came to the Landmark Inn where they delivered the note to Irene Adler to clerk on the front desk, where they were told she was out for the day. A black cab with an exquisite dapple grey hailed in front of the inn quickly spirited them back to 221 B Baker Street to await the return of Watson.

I returned to 221B Baker Street about eight in the evening and found Holmes and Miss d’Lambert playing chess in the drawing room. I was astonished to hear of their activities that day and especially the fact that they anticipated the woman coming to aid them in this matter. I nursed an excellent aged brandy for an hour and was ready to retire to my room and leave the warriors to engage in repeated battles of white and black when there was a knock on the door. It was the familiar knock of Mrs. Hudson and could only be for one reason. Holmes dropped his white queen and his posture stiffened noticeably as he downed the remaining brandy in his glass with one swallow.

“There’s a Miss Adler here to see Mr. Holmes,” Mrs. Hudson announced as I opened the door. Standing behind our housekeeper was the only person I have ever known to bring beads of sweat to Holmes’ brow. I opened the door wide and bid her enter.

“Thank you, Dr. Watson. I apologize for the late hour, but this message I received but a half hour ago seemed to be of the most urgent nature.”

Homes gathered his wits and stood up, wiped his brow with his handkerchief, assumed a formal pose and tried to keep it all business.

“I’d like to introduce Miss Druscilla Marie d’Lambert. She’s working a special assignment for my brother Mycroft and, as my communication stated, we are in need of a performer of impeccable credentials for this part of our investigation into the Ripper murders.”

Miss. D’Lambert arose and offered her hand to Miss Adler. “Pleased to meet you,” the two women said at the same instant. Then, they giggled as women do for some reason. I have never understood it, but, then, it is a feminine quirk.

“The Ripper murders you say?” Miss Adler said as she peeled her white kidskin gloves off her hands.

“I’ll be brief,” Miss d’Lambert began. “We have reason to believe that these most recent five victims of the Ripper were more than just prostitutes and/or anarchists. We know for a fact that they belonged to a secret society called The Sisters of UMBRA controlled by a European noble woman of some social standing, an activist to the public, but a dangerous political threat to the crown in reality. That is why we have to be careful. I will pay you fifty pounds sterling to disguise yourself as a lady of the streets and a radical, and attend one meeting of this organization tomorrow night. Then, report back to Mr. Holmes and myself as soon as the meeting ends. That’s all we ask. This would be for tomorrow evening at six pm at the Lutheran Mission where the group has secured a regular room for their meetings.”

“I accept the job, Miss d’Lambert,” Miss Adler said as she cast a glance at Holmes, who swayed somewhat in his stance on the other side of the room. “But, I suspect the case is more complicated than you have stated.”

“Yes, well, I will fill you in when you return tomorrow night if Mr. Holmes deems it safe and proper. You understand that Mr. Mycroft Holmes’ office is involved and where I come from we have a saying, ‘Loose lips sink ships’. That is, we have to cautious who knows what until the case is solved.”

“Loose lips sink ships? A curious expression,” Miss Adler replied as she turned to Holmes.

“Sherlock, are you going to stand there like a beefeater at Tower Gate or am I going to be offered a brandy, too?”

“I am so sorry,” Holmes stammered, as he turned, got a glass and decanter from the breakfront and poured Miss Adler’s a generous libation. “This whole Ripper matter has consumed my total attention. I am getting more forgetful each day.” He then sat on his calabash.

The rest of the evening, perhaps until ten p.m., was taken with small talk and Miss’ d’Lambert and Adler casting various expressions at each other. Suddenly, Holmes stood up and announced, “Miss d’Lambert, I was quite impressed with your chess skills earlier. Do you know Watson that we played eight matches with five draws and two wins for our guest. I was wondering if Miss d’Lambert and Miss Adler would care to have a go at it. Just one match. I have known Miss Adler’s formidable strategies at the game and I’m curious how they would fare against one another. Just one match, please, if the ladies would consider….”

“Of course,” Miss d’Lambert consented.

Miss Adler finished her drink and moved to the chess table, one of Holmes’ acquisitions from one of Moriarty’s captured townhouse lairs. It was a fine solid mahogany table with marble inlaid board and hand carved quartz chessmen. Miss Adler won the right of the first move. “By the way,” she inquired of our other guest, “Are you related to……”

“Yes, yes, the Blackbridge Witch. A distant relative,” Miss d’Lambert came back swiftly as she deftly moved her piece into position, G4 to E5. “Does everyone in London know of my ancestor?”

“I don’t know about all the people, but the literate ones probably do,” Miss Adler replied as she moved her next piece, “There was an item in the Sunday Times today on page fifteen. It seems that Baron Henry Thomas Griswold holds a village-wide celebration of the day the witch defeated the Vikings and saved the country from further Norse invasions. His ancestor…..”


“Yes, Baron Frederick was supposedly engaged to the…to your ancestor,” Miss Adler continued. “There was a description of the festivities and a historical account of how the Blackbridge Witch fought off Roggevand the Furious and saved Frederick’s life. You must remember?”

“Like it was yesterday,” Miss d’Lambert replied with a sly smile as she moved her next piece, F3 to QH4++ and added, “I believe that’s checkmate, Miss Adler!”

“Good Lord!” exclaimed Holmes. “Two moves! Why did our eight games go so slowly?”

“The conversation was most stimulating,” Miss d’Lambert replied coyly.

“It’s late,” Miss Adler, interjected with a muffled yawn as she arose, “and I have to create this radical whore character I am to assume tomorrow. Dr. Watson, would you escort me to the street and hail a cab for me? Good night Sherlock. It was a pleasure meeting you Miss d’Lambert.”

I escorted Miss Adler to the street and found a cab for her in a few minutes time, then returned to find Miss d’Lambert descending the stairs, also heading for the comfort of a cab to her lodgings to rest and anticipate the excitement of the day to follow. Personally, I got no rest at all that night, as the moment I re-entered the apartment, Holmes told me the whole Satanic truth about our Miss d’Lambert.

Bright and early Monday morning, ..............................

"Hellfire Lounge 2: Rat Pack Redux " will be released October 20th 2011 and will be available in print and for all electronic readers with the full, exciting story of the unpublished true events of the mystery of Jack the Ripper and Druscilla

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