I slept awfully well last night, awoke aching, and made the rounds.
"How's about an Afghan?" the Thing in the Circle asked, having assumed that lovely, aristocratic form.
"Sorry. Too tired today," I responded.
It cursed and I departed.
The slitherers were all clustered, bluely, at one point, and I could not figure why. One of life's small mysteries. . . .
He goes outside, drags the body for a little while, but is disheartened by the slow rate of progress and drops it off in the next hidey hole.
Along the way, he finds a badly hung over Quicklime, and gives him some advice.
"I want to die. I want to die," came a small voice almost from underfoot.
"Quicklime, what's the matter?" I asked.
"The master was sick right here," he said. "I took advantage and got out. I want to die."
"Keep lying in the road and some cart will come along and give you your wish. Better get over to the side. Here, I'll help."
I carried the ailing reptile into the brush.
"What should I do, Snuff?" he asked.
"Lie in the sun and sweat it out," I told him. "Drink lots of liquids."
Jack arrives at the house, accompanied by Larry. They were discussing the inquest from which they had just returned. Conversation turns to Larry's role in all this. Jack's still not certain if he's a player or not, and warns him about the perils doing things halfway. Larry reassures him and then departs.
Snuff catches up with Gray, who tells him what transpired with the constable.
"The mistress did her crazy act and talked about him being carried off by fairies for a changeling. They had to ask her to be still. Rastov suddenly understood a lot less English than he used to. Morris and MacCab were very polite and said they knew nothing. Jack was quite urbane and seemed very sympathetic but also had nothing to add. The Good Doctor was indignant that the quiet hamlet he'd sought to do his research should suddenly be violated by things he'd wanted to get away from. Larry Talbot said he'd never seen the man. Owen said that they'd talked but he hadn't seen him again after that, and didn't know where he'd gone after he'd left him. He may have been the last to see him, though, according to a rough schedule the officer'd mentioned to the constable."I like this bit. Zelazny's great about keeping track of a large cast and making them all distinct and interesting. I'm not sure how sound Jill's tactic is however. It's my understanding that the mentally ill commit violent crimes at no greater frequency than the population at large. However, constables in Victorian London are unlikely to have such an enlightened view and acting crazy seems like it would attract greater scrutiny. Ah, well. That's a quibble. I do like the Good Doctor's reaction, particularly in light of later events.