The 'safe house' turned out to be the former village school, one of a very great number that closed not that long ago. Now converted into a pretty cottage, with a little dovecote outside, it was at that moment empty, awaiting a new occupier. The furniture was spartan but sufficient for the purposes of the crime gihters gathered there. Andrea was checking some guns, while the Green Man was making tea, and Ms. Madison, now wearing a blue evening gown, was on the 'phone to Samuelson, reviewing just exactly they did know about the Order of Cain. And that, she was fast finding out, was very little. Not even enough to cause concern, at least, if you didn't count the murders, which were now very definitely linked to them, and the events in the village pub, which certainly concerned Ms. Madison. Andrea seemed less bothered, but that might just have been a front. If she was honest, Ms. Madison had no idea how this sort of thing mught affect someone like Andrea. She had very little idea of what Andrea was like.
"From the little I've been able to extract from these papers," Samuelson informed the blonde, "it seems that some of the Order of Cain followed the crusaders back to Europe. Their dubious ideas were not appreciated, and they were persecuted. A few escaped to the darker corners of Christendom, and there are fragmentary records that the Order bought a hostelry at Ringstead, in the County of Norfolk."
"They still own that," Ms. Madison cut in. "We tried to take rooms there this morning."
"Oh dear." The cleric sounded worried.
"Oh, that's okay," Ms. Madison laughed," the Green Man found us, and then it was the Order who were in trouble. Anything else, Reverend?"
"Yes," the clergyman sounded excited. "The Order of Cain managed to 'turn' a local knight. He gave them money and other things, in the belief that they held the true secret of eternal life. A secret they will only share with a 'true believer'."
"And I'm betting that, over the years, there've been more suckers than that one knight," Ms. Madison shook her head.
"But it's impossible to know," Samuelson explained. "The membership of the Order is a deep dark secret, and only the leaders know about everyone."
"And that list could be the secret..." Ms. Madison sighed in realisation.
"Quite," Samuelson chuckled. "Apparently, the Order's people hold their meetings on consecrated ground."
"We'll check the Parish Church," Ms. Madison confirmed.
"But be careful," the retired cleric warned her. "There's evidence that the Order of Cain believe that the commission of serious, cosmic-scale crimes is the way towards illumination. Remember, they are named after Cain, the first murderer, and one of their heroes is Judas Iscariot, the man who betrayed Jesus Christ - a cosmic crime of the first water!"
"Okay," Ms. Madison agreed.
"News?" the Green Man asked her, as she put down the 'phone.
"There's every likelihood of there being something involving the Order of Cain at the Parish Church here," Ms. Madison announced.
"I'll get my gun," Andrea cut in.