Giles' jaw worked as he stared down his friend, Vincent Wexley, in the lower level of Scotland Yard. He had so many questions but the look on his friend's face told him this was not the time.
“You heard the man. Grab your coats and hats. Move out. We'll alert the others as we pass them upstairs.” His voice was flat and nobody questioned him, though the look that Crothall shot him was piercing.
Vincent remained prone upon the ground, oblivious to the drama continuing but feet away. Clearly the man was used to being listened to. Emitting a low whistle, he quickly flipped his goggles up over his forehead then flipped them back. Carefully slithering sideways, he took up his tuneless whistle once more while his small audience filed out.
* * *
Outside, everyone spoke at once. Superintendent Blushton attempted to wrangle his officers, all the while shooting Ins. Newberry curious and anxious glances. Crothall demanded to know who the bloody heck this “Vincent” fellow was. Giles did his best to holler for attention from the throng—in the best, most gentlemanly way possible, of course.
And Miss Pemsley wanted to simply disappear.
“This is not your fault, my dear,” Giles appeared at Gertrude's elbow, passing the startled lady a handkerchief, before moving on to address the ousted Yard officers.
“Dear sirs, I thank you for your patience. We of the Majesterial Department of Protection for Gentlemen Inventors and Scientific Advancement apologize for the danger in which we momentarily found ourselves this morning,” Giles began, eyes shifting uncomfortably around the crowd to make sure no other ears were listening in on their small gathering. “But I assure you that the bomb found outside of our offices is being disarmed at this very moment by a most experienced gentleman by the name of Vincent Wexley.” He held up his hands to calm the small murmur that ran through the officers, “Yes. Yes, some of you have heard the name. But I can vouch for the man personally.” v“And what do we tell the public, Inspector?” Superintendent Blushton spoke up, his deep voice effectively shutting down the second round of chattering that had arisen.
“Tell them all is well. There was a threat to the Yard that turned out to be a false alarm,” a new voice entered the discussion. The small crowd turned to regard Mr. Vincent Wexley strolling unconcernedly into their midst, an unidentifiable hunk of mechanical guts—and what could have been part of a teapot—in his hands.
Superintendent Blushton recovered his poise first, “You heard the man. Everyone get back to work. Except for you, Newberry. I need you in my office.”
Blushton's ominous request interrupted the silent exchange happening between Giles and Vincent. Motioning that he'd go along with the rest of the MDOPFGIASA staff, Vincent moved to join his new contingent.