Cathcart the Intrepid Part 11 by Michael Lloyd

.gestured to me to step forward into an entrance hall, a dimly lit space between two large and heavy doors, the one I had knocked on, and the one I was now faced with…presumably the entrance to the club.
I gave the oriental the card that Crispin Osborne had given me. He inspected it at length, and noted the hand written address of the club on the cards reverse. He gestured to me again to follow him. My theory about the second door was now confounded as he reached into the darkness, and pulled back a rather heavy drape, revealing a candle lit passageway. I followed the man through the half light, my eyes growing accustomed to the gloom, whilst my other senses now rallied from their temporary collective stupor.
I could hear the distant murmur of conversation, detected the odour of dampness and tobacco smoke and increasingly felt the prescence of others unseen.
The passageway emerged via a further heavy drape, in to a large, in fact enormous space. My disorientation was now complete, here was the source of the distant conversation, the smell of cigar smoke and brackish water. I was in a warehouse; a warehouse with what appeared to be a canal terminating in its midst. The canal had two “Butty” boats tied up on iron rings fixed to the granite slabs that made up the floor – a floor partially covered in stacked wooden packing boxes, all marked in stencilled lettering, Shanghai/Skipton Trading Co.
A voice rang shrill from my left.
“You Laddie….Yes you laddie, stand still laddie”
I turned to address the source, and immediately gave mental thanks that the semi darkness, had hopefully hidden, the reaction my face must have betrayed to the speaker of those words.
I walked towards the speaker in defiance of his demand. This area of the building, to which I now advanced,was furnished as any good club should be. The granite floor giving way to at first, a planked floor, and then deep rugs dotted with Chesterfield chairs, oriental screens and various potted palms and the like.
I gathered my courage and momentum and approached the man.
“Do I know you sir” he quizzed.
” I regret that we have never met sir, you mistake me for another”
I knew who he was though, and now the anxiety started to rise within me. Digby and Crispin would arrive shortly, how would I extricate myself from this situation.
“Well Sir since you are alone, please honour me, and my colleague and take a drop of cheer with us… This is Mr Cobain, an American associate
” ” well I am due to be meeting some colleagues of mine very shortly but….”
“Have some Whisky” Cobain snarled
I nodded in the affirmative, and gingerly sat on a small armchair. My host
proffered the glass.
“I apologise for shouting across the room at you, and for my colleagues somewhat brusque nature: he can be rather curt. I’m sorry, I did not hear your name “
I offered up the first crazed suggestion that entered my mind, ” Waters Sir, Roger Waters….”
and your name sir ?
“Dalglish…Kenneth Dalglish.”
I shook his hand, noting the signet ring bearing compasses on his small finger, and knowing within my heart that this man was none other than my fathers own arch nemesis, criminal mastermind Auberon St. John Pithivier. Would the next few minutes prove to be my final cut? I knew that underneath the facade of dignity these men were animals, relics of the dark side of society.
I really wish you were here Templeton, I thought to myself….. and then

Cathcart the Intrepid part 10 by John Linney

Digby was staring at me.
‘What on earth are you doing here Cathcart? I thought daddy was sending you abroad. Surely you should be heading to Southampton to get the ship to India?’
‘More importantly what are you doing here? didn’t have you down as working for a living especially not in commerce’ I replied
‘I am invited to a special club. I met my friend in Heckmondwike at the Sidebottom’s. He was up from London spending time with his Aunt Violet. Crispin is such a nice, kind friend. We share many interests. He is very big in the Foreign Office’ Digby said turning glossy eyed.
A tall well set man with an immaculate sense of dress walked briskly over to Digby and I.
‘Is he bothering you Dig? I can get a constable to move him on’ the gentleman said.
‘Crispin this is my brother Cathcart. He is going to work in India for father’ Digby said. I am glad that he did not ask me as I would absolutely refused to do so’ he added.
‘Delighted to meet you Cathcart. Your darling brother has told me much of you. We are going to the Oriental tonight. You would be most welcome to join us. I would politely suggest however that you dress more appropriately. The Wetherton is a very select club if you understand me’ Crispin said looking me up and down intently.
‘You referred to the Oriental. Is that another club?’ I said casually
‘No the Wetherton has a rather exotic clientèle from the East. It is in dockland as many of the far eastern members have business interests around here. It is known in social circles as the Oriental. You will have a very pleasant evening I assure you. Where are you staying?
I panicked. The plan would have to change rapidly. I needed to contact Templeton before tonight.
‘I am staying at the Northern Exiles in Aldwych. You give me the club address and I will meet you there instead’ I hastily replied.
‘If you insist. Here is the clubs address. When you arrive, mention you are a friend of Crispin Osborne. Till tonight Cathcart!’
‘What a pleasure Cathcart. We will have such fun. Its a fabulous evenings entertainment’ Digby added smiling and winking at the same time.
I hurried back to the warehouse and knocked on the door till Templeton opened up.
‘Why are you here Travers? Have you forgotten something or lost your bottle?’
‘Neither. I ran into my brother Digby and his friend Crispin Osborne . Osborne is a member at the Wetherton and he insisted I accompany them tonight’ I replied
‘Right, I will lend you some clothes. I will be 40 minutes tops’ Templeton said.
He left hurriedly. He returned as promised and I changed.
I left and made my way to Blackwater mews.
The club was unassuming on first glance. I knocked on the door. A large bald oriental man opened the door and then