The first night of the new plan. She had been working on this plan for two years. Gathering information about him. Working on her reputation as a medium, building up all that was required for her future.
And now it was the first day. A reception in the lecture hall, listening and pretending to be overjoyed in hearing his lecture on his fantasies. He was gathering grants to go on another expedition. There were people there with deep pockets, if they were willing to give Julian Smith money for this lunacy then she took notice.
She had tried the female angle on Mr. Smith, tried to seduce him but it was to no avail. He simply did not notice her. But that it was ok, she never could pretend to be a lover in love for an extended period. But he had good assets and stayed for a long time away from them. He had a wife which he met seldom and few of his socialites knew. She only needed his signatures, which could be forged, and access to his legal documents. He only needed to trust her a little and it could be done. She was sure of it.
So the evening was good. She memorized couple of names for a later date, an old habit. But she thought that his could be her last job, if this went successfully then she could retire, live on a stipend. Maybe buy few assets, shops and such that could support her lifestyle.
She woke up early. She knew the next couple of days were crucial, an early bird catches the worm. She was shocked when she read the newspaper. The house was gone. The house that she was sure she could sell underneath his nose. Gone. She thought long and hard about this dilemma. She needed more information. So she went to John Edgar, the naive academic. She needed information so she could get quickly ahead of the situation.
The day went fast, like a blur. She was in a shock. The house was totally destroyed and felt a panic rise in her chest. All her plans, gone. And then they got the note from Julian Smith. He was alive, but her hopes were dashed when she saw him. He was dying, she was sure of it. But more importantly when was more insane then she could have possibly believe. Talking about a mythical statue and some people attacking him because of it. She never could have imagined him going so completely of the rails. She had once swindled an insane man out of his meager savings but he had been unpredictable at times. These people should be taken behind a shed and out of their misery.
After the meeting she wanted to know the lay of the land. She what her opponent was up to. The Turkish was her adversary. It was easy to break into his shop. The youngling was a good accomplish. Very smart, street instinct but a little naive. A very good combination.
She was now on instinct and that was never comfortable. But she had invested in this. Invested a lot of time and hard earned money. She would try at least to get her money back. She had watched her compatriots closely on the meeting. John Edgar had no money and probably would never get any substantial assets. Completely useless. Melchett Fotheringay-Phipps was obviously a man of wealth but had never even glanced at her. Probably one of those old men that had lost interests in normal woman. Would probably only be excited if he had tied them down and whipped them bloody. Or maybe very young.. She did not know. And that frustrated her. He was to complicated.
But his cousin, if there was any money to be gathered in this situation it was through him. He coveted her, he was young, so it was unavoidable. He was easy on the eyes but his body spoke of sitting and easy living. He had pride and maybe a little gambling habit. Through him she would be able to get money. But he was smart, he would probably see through her medium persona. She probably needed another person instead of a shy, modest but beautiful medium.
She thought she could probably take an advantage of this crazy situation, use that as the smoke screen. She would visit the library first thing in the morning. She would have to get so much information to be able to pull this off.