Thursday, June 19, 2008

No Rest for the Wicked: Part Nine

Lady Sylvia rose from her seat, still upset, looking at the Green Man incredulously.

"Just when I needed you..." she held out a hand. "How did you know?"

"It is enough that I knew. " The Green Man took her hand. "Now, the time has come for you to know, Lady Sylvia Vaughan. Some fifty years ago, the richest man in this area, Lord St. Martyn, decided that wealth was not enough. Through diabolic arts, he sought immortality and power. To obtain that, he kidnapped people for human sacrifice. He was stopped and his house, Tolholme Priory, destroyed. He was not the only member of this diabolic cult, however. The late MP was also implicated, although nothing was ever proved. And so was the mayor. Your brother was approached by a group of local people who believe that those fifty years have seen the members of that diabolic group take all the positions of power in the locality. What he does not know is that those people have also approached me. I need your help, Lady Sylvia, to destroy this evil. "

"You've got it," Lady Sylvia nodded soberly. "How come these people were allowed to remain in power, if their leader was exposed?"

"Long story," the Green Man walked on, Lady Sylvia at his side. "But the Government at the time mad a very slim majority. That may have played a part, and the Police were unable to produce the one witness who would have proved the case against the others beyond all doubt."

"Why?" Lady Sylvia looked up at the Green Man with big eyes. "Did they kill him?"

"No killing, no intimidation," the Green Man shook his head. "It was simply that she could not appear in court. There were conditions attached to her appearance that the witness would not accept. And they said that they would not accept anonymous evidence, given by a person in a mask."

"So who was it?" Lady Sylvia leaned forward, eyes aglow.

"The person was Sparrowhawk," the Green Man shook his head. "I had not heard this before the approach to Lord Ambrose, but apparently there was a Sparrowhawk there then. She led the group that broke up the coven at Tolholme, but they wouldn't accept her evidence. And it wasn't just the fact she wore a mask..."
"It was the psychiatric assessment." A new voice broke in on the conversation, as the trim figure of Sparrowhawk dropped over the wall. "They said I was dangerous, erratic, maybe even psychotic. So I was ignored."
"Ms. Madison brought you..." the Green Man drew back.
"She wasn't supposed to, was she?" Sparrowhawk drew closer, her blue eyes burning with anger. "This is the tail end of one of my old cases, and you want to keep me out of it..."
"Yes." The Green Man spoke firmly.

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