How lonely Christchurch Cathedral seems-save for the body of Monsieur Planchette soon to be carted off to the coroner in a Black Mariah – a bleak place of sinister import, its presence looms oppressively over St Giles, exuding a dark, malevolent influence, that draws devotees to it still. The cathedral has stood on this spot for nigh on a decade, but the churchyard has been here for centuries. It is not comforting to see (on a closer inspection) the decaying, mouldering aspects of the marble mausoleum that lurks close by. Nor the gnarled and twisted silhouettes of the cherry trees extruding the cold morning light. Crumbling tombstones engraved with strange symbols nestle amongst the withered pastures whose sickly green hue attracts only the snarling rats and feral dogs of the Seven Dials.
Tis a bleak and desolate place frequented only by those churchgoers naive as to the true purpose of that sinister house of worship, or those eager to redeem their faltering aristocratic lineages in the dead of night!
” Well a fine time we’ve had of it I must say! Carting off dead murderers and fending off half the lunaticks of St Giles! What did I a-do-thin to wind up on guard here, outside this accursed chapel of the ruling classes?”
“Could not agree more sarge, I’ve taken more peaceful strolls through the worst rookeries in London!”
“But look you at the respectable Hardy Ethelbert-Smythe, him now clinging to that spire” he jerked his thumb up towards the cathedral’s peak, where the unfortunate politician might be dimly observed clinging on for dear life.
Sergeant Slaughter sneered, “Cock a snook at im, the infant-kidnapping-ingrate! Starving the poor what ave turned to the workhouse for succour and shelter, then turning em owt-a doors in Winter if they can’t find work! Who voted him into parliament?”
“MP for Richmond and Sitterworth ain’t he? That’s fourteen houses with 23 voters living in em, voters whose landlord is The Reverend Unctuous, Archbishop of The Parish of St-Mary-Profundis, Hardy Ethelbert-Smythe’s patron and his Uncle”
“Why the man has less wit than a country yokel! Clutching at that church spire thinking he can dodge a spell at Newgate! That may well be the case in Southwark, but not ere mate!”
“Why, when thy uncle is a lord who rides to hounds in the House of Commons you may call yourself Jack the Ripper and still receive a knighthood!” both officers laughed heartily at this, afore absorbing the gloom of their surroundings afresh and falling silent. Silence, all is morose silence, save for the savage trilling of the Whipporwills those harbingers of death, the insane titterings of a gravedigger, and the despairing shrieks of a dissolute politician…..