Seymour was feeling nearly like his old self by morning, although his memory of the previous night was a bit blurry, and he wasn’t quite sure why he wasn’t waking up on the floor in the corridor.  He had a vague recollection of waking there and speaking to Henry, but he was not certain whether or not he had dreamed the conversation.  He had had a few very strange dreams that past night, so it wouldn’t have been out of place.

                The sun had already risen by the time he opened his eyes and sat up in bed.  He fumbled for his pocket watch but couldn’t find it.  Where could it have been?  He was sure he had glanced at it during dinner.  And he had thought he had noticed it when he had pulled out the key that had not fit any of the locks.  Perhaps he had left it in the corridor.

                He changed into fresh clothing and glanced around the room, locating and gathering up his possessions.  There were, he noticed, bloodstains on his pillow.  He ran hid fingertips lightly along his scalp, finding a large scab just above his right ear, thankfully hidden by his thick black hair.  He glanced in the looking glass to be sure.  It wasn’t visible, but there was, however, dried blood smudged all over the right half of his face.  He grimaced, wrinkling his nose at his reflection.  This would have to be remedied.  He wasn’t about to go out looking as if he had some peculiar dermatological disease.  Anyway, the MacQuarries might ask questions, and that could lead to rough seas.

                Finding the washbasin, he splashed water onto his face and scrubbed away the evidence.  Vanity had its advantages, especially for a detective.

                Once ready, he decided that he wasn’t particularly eager to interact with anyone just yet—especially the person who had put a sword to his neck.  So he stalled for a while, sitting on the edge of the bed and making faces at himself in the mirror, telling himself that he was rehearsing for later that day.  He would, after all, need his disguise to be perfect.

                Outside, the city bells rang, informing him that it was ten o’ clock.  He growled wordlessly, formed his face into the most hideous grimace that he could manage, directed his glare in the direction of the bell tower, and stood up to go downstairs.

The End

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