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
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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
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
“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 witch..er…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
“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
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