Saturday 4th September 1880 evening
At Wentley Manor, Jones spoke a tale of a fellow in London who learned of some mystic knowledge that may be using in finding where Babu has gone. According to Jones, the man pretends to be Italian and runs a Punchinello puppet show in Covent Garden. He claims he rescued his father when he was lost on a voyage, using a rite to find lost things, learned from his grandmother. A rite of crossing into limbo that any living person can perform but once.
The group took their new train to Waterloo and met Nancy Carter in an oyster bar. She is a friend of Jones and led the group across the Waterloo bridge (shut at night by police constables, they will let people northwards but not out again).
The street people around Strand leered close but the group kept them away and they entered Covent Garden around 10 pm in time to see the puppet show.
Typically Punchinello is scolded by his wife Joan and badly cares for the baby. Then a series of villains appear, first a Foreigner, then Jack Ketch the hangman, then a policeman (all booed by the crowd), lastly a Martian and Punchinello beats them all off with a stick.
Finally as Punchinello utters “That’s the way to do it,” finally, another character walks on, a solemn character in a long ragged robe and dark or wooden crown, and the crowd goes absolutely silent.
“I am your King,” says the last puppet. “And Punchinello you shall not die, but instead come to live with me in my lost kingdom, forever.”
Punchinello screams and the crowd departs in silence.
Afterwards, the collectors in the crowd show the group to the puppeteer, Gino. Once he understands the they come from Jones, he explains what he knows:
“You have to hide your face, in a mask, and it must be made from things that have been lost by their owner. I made mine from hair, and from the clothes of an orphan. I suspect many things would work, I just know you cannot use cats, because they are never lost.
Three times widdershins around the old Actors’ Church by moonlight, proceed in silence to Saint Martins in the Field – in silence I say, speak not to a soul. Pay in silver to enter the crypt and thence you will cross over. Deep under London in the Whisper Labyrinth you will find that which you have lost.”
Lead to Whitehall by George Hartley MP (through the dangerous street people of Trafalgar Square), the group passed the gates and entered the Reform Club, where they procured the lost property box of the club to cut up gentleman’s cloths and make their masks.
They circumvented the Square and returned via the Embankment and crossed Strand where they shot their way through unruly crowds and donned their masks to scare the local muggers.
Then they follow the directions, three times anti-clockwise around the St Peters Church in Covent garden (the Actor’s Church) then silently onwards. An old woman steps out of the mist and stops them, asking for money. Phineas gives her his silver coin and she asks him a question, he struggles but finally does not answer her and she disappears, having failed to trick him into speaking.
At Saint Martin’s in the Field Church, a stone statue stands guards to the cellar, a palm outstretched and the group add coins to it’s palm. The gate is unlocked and they go into a stone cellar lit with low-burning dripping candles. A dark archway leads onwards.