Red Earth

Saturday 4th September 1880 – morning

At the invitation of Sir Basil, a group travel on an 8am train to London Waterloo from Basingstoke. They decide to borrow clothes from Wentley Manor to make themselves look respectable.

At the Reform Club on Whitehall they are shown into a sitting room and introduced to George Hartley MP for Burnley.

After some conversation and exchange of ideas, Mr Hartley prises from Sir Basil the details of his afternoon trip over which Sir Basil has shown “great concern”. It seems that one of the missing agents has been found, apparently in some confusion and with no memory of the two weeks he was missing.
Since he has been declared absence from this post by the Army (he was a Royal Engineer – Signals, seconded to Sir Basil) he has been found guilty at court-martial and sentenced to execution for desertion.

Mr Hartley is most impassioned and volunteers to accompany Sir Basil to Salisbury camp (inside the secure zone), where Sir Basil was going to witness the execution.

The group travel there and are allowed to see Major Barnett with Sir Basil’s help. Mr Hartley expresses displeasure at the case, and the Major agrees it is less than satisfactory.
Since the Major recognises Elizabeth Trent as a famous medium he allows her to see what she can perceive of the man, Corporal Aldous Bartlebee.

The Corporal is in a stockade* by himself, under guard. Elizabeth Trent asks him questions and despite he reluctance, even absolute resistance to answer he finally bursts out with fearful cries, vomiting and ranting about Martians.

The Major agrees that the man is clearly insane and cannot be executed. Sir Basil agrees to take him into safe custody and have a physician to see him and brings a message that Jones has asked the group to return to Basingstoke, where the Red Weed has re-appeared.

2xp awarded

*the original “Glasshouse” was a military prison at Aldershot with a glazed roof from the 1850’s, over time all permanent military prisons gained this sobriquet.



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