Approaching the church, the Green Man and his associates notes at once that this was a very strange building. A tall chimney stuck up from the rear of the vestry, which was attached to a side aisle so vast as to be almost another nave. With tall windows, a soft light glowing within, the church seemed the very image of mystery.
"It might be a week-evening service," Ms. Madison observed, voice soft.
"It might," the Green Man confessed. "But I don't think so. And nor, my dear Ms. Madison, do you?"
"I was trying to reassure myself," she confessed. "After what Samuelson said, I'm a bit worried about what they're up to."
"Crime of a cosmic scale." The Green Man looked across at the brooding gothic bulk of the church. "If this is the headquarters of the Order of Cain, this is where we should be. Andrea?"
"Ready," the red-head checked her gun.
"If you just mean your gun's loaded," the Green Man replied, "that is not enough. Ms. Madison, check the lane."
The blonde hurried across the churchyard, damp grass brushing her ankles, glad that she'd chosen sensible shoes. Looking down a country lane, she waited, containing a whistle as she realised she was looking for members of a secret order, Perhaps a secret order of super-criminals.
At long last, Ms. Madison saw three men in robes walking down the lane. She ducked behind a gravestone. As they drew nearer, she gave a bird call. Deep in conversation, the three men did not notice her. She breathed a sigh of relief, as they passed her position, her little heart beating fit to burst.
They did not notice her, and she was heartily glad for that. As they approached the church porch, they passed out of her sight. When she could be sure that they had not been seen, the blonde rose slowly to her feet, turning elegantly. The three dark monks would be easy to spot, she reasoned.
But there was nothing there, only a ladder resting against the tower. Ms. Madison hurried back to where Andrea and the Green Man were waiting.
She explained what had happened, and the Green Man shook his head, approaching the porch.
"They didn't use the door," he explained. "We would have heard it, and we'd have seen the light."
"If they just used the door," Andrea added, "there'd be no fun at all. But you should try the door, Lynnette."
"Okay," Ms. Madison made to enter the porch.
"Quietly," Anette looked down at the blonde's shoes.
Ms. Madison slipped off her shoes and crossed to the door, the tiles cold on her feet. She found the door thoroughly locked. There was rust on the padlock, and a spider's web across the door. It had ckearly not been opened recently. The footprints she'd left in the dust established it without a doubt. Looking back, she shook her head.
"Then where," Andrea rolled her eyes, did they go?"
The great gothic bulk of the church glowered down on them, its windows glowing, as the sun began to decline in the heavens.