Dear readers, tonight with us are two people from a steam-powered London. They are here to tell us about dead-eyed assassins, murderous pirates, wingless flying machines, and perhaps even creatures from beyond this Earth.
Tell us a little about your early life.
Charlie: I was born in at the family estate in Lincolnshire, but we don’t go there very often. We mostly live at our townhouse in Pimlico. I went to Harrow School and Oxford, though they are both beastly insistent on making a chap study.
Gladys: I was born in a one-room shack in Sydney, just downwind of the Chippendale slaughter houses. It was hot – but only in the summer, autumn and winter. The spring floods would cool things down, but.
Charlie: My father is Third Lord of the Admiralty and I my mother is a lady detective. I expect this is why we lived in London so very much.
Gladys: My dad drank himself to death after mum died of consumption. My Auntie Madge looked after me, until I got onto the stage via singing on street corners for coins.
What do you do now?
Gladys: I’m on the stage. I sing, I dance. I was queen of the music halls back in Sydney — not that there was much competition. I came to London to seek my fortune, then found out there’d been a gold rush back home. Could have made a packet, without months in bloody steerage. I worked a while as a conjuror’s assistant – that’s how I got involved in all of this nonsense to begin with.
Charlie: I’m a reporter, now, but I used to do… What do you suppose one would call it?
Charlie: Yes, that’s right. Basically nothing.
What can you tell us about your latest adventure?
Charlie: The conjuror Gladys works for vanished. Not vanished into thin air — nothing surprising about a magician vanishing that way. Kidnapped. Gladys was looking for him. And I was hunting for a murderer…
Gladys: As you do…
Charlie: …and we decided to work together to solve our respective crimes.
Gladys: He helped me with money, transport and connections. I helped him by grabbing him by the lapels and pointing him in the direction of clues.
And did these mysteries connect in some way?
Charlie: Indeed. They turned out to involve a conspiracy concerning giant Bats from outer space.
Gladys: Thanks for being the one to say it, Charlie. It sounds less ridiculous when you say it in an Oxford accent.
Charlie: But the Bats were only part of the problem.
Gladys: Their human enemies were a handful, too. Cure worse than the disease, as my Aunty Madge always used to say.
Charlie: She said a rather lot, didn’t she? And not all of it helpful.
Gladys: I reckon you and her would of got along like a house on fire.Continue reading “Miss Gladys Dunchurch and the Hon. Edward ‘Charlie’ Decharles (of Champagne Charlie and the Amazing Gladys, by B.G. Hilton)”