Demon Quest part two - The Demon of Paris, by Paul Magrs

A BBC Audio Books Drama, released 7 October 2010

(The Story so Far recapped with excerpts from the previous story.)

DOCTOR: Here we are, Mrs Wibbsey, the Gare du Nord. Didn't I promise you we'd get here by suppertime?

WIBBSEY [narrating]: I'd never been to Paris before. I didn't tell the Doctor that. I didn't want him to go thinking I was pleased or anything, because I wasn't, being dragged along like this into another of his ridiculous adventures.

(Steam trains chugging and whistling in the background.)
DOCTOR: Welcome to the centre of the universe.
WIBBSEY: It's a bit busy.
DOCTOR: Well, we're slap bang in the middle of La Belle Époche. Everyone who's anyone wants to be here. Look over there, that man chewing on a chicken bone. I think it's the Prince of Wales, no, maybe Oscar Wilde.
WIBBSEY: I hope I can keep the food down. I'm not used to anything too exotic.
DOCTOR: Travel by rain and sea always gives me a hearty appetite. Come along, Mrs Wibbsey. Have you ever had frog's legs?
(Mrs Wibbsey makes a slightly nauseous sound.)

WIBBSEY [narrating]: I'd never have thought travelling in the eighteen hundreds could be so quick, but the Doctor had bundled us on board a series of trains and boats as if he was quite at home in the nineteenth century. That Tardis of his had brought us forward in Time almost nineteen hundred years from the Roman period, still depositing us in the Sussex landscape that would one day become the village. We'd had to make the rest of the journey ourselves, during the early stages of which, for reasons best not gone into here, we were lugging an elephant with us. Some funny looks we got as well.

DOCTOR: Mrs Wibbsey, come and see this.
WIBBSEY: Oh, there's always something. What's he gone and found now? He's like a little boy.
DOCTOR: What do you think of that, eh?
WIBBSEY: Well, they're just posters, aren't they? Oh no, hang on a minute. They're the same as the one that came in that bag from the bring and buy sale.
DOCTOR: Yes, given to you in return for the Tardis's spatial geometer. Exactly. Pass me our copy to compare, would you?

WIBBSEY [narrating]: It was a famous poster from the time, you've probably seen the picture, of a flamboyant looking cabaret singer, Aristide Bruant. He's got on this big hat, and a long scarf.

DOCTOR: Only ours has been tampered with. The original by Henri Toulouse-Lautrec is subtly different, see?
WIBBSEY: Hardly subtle. One's got your face and one hasn't.
DOCTOR: In the original, the scarf is short and orangey. In ours it's incredibly long and multi-coloured.
WIBBSEY: And look what he's holding in his hand.
DOCTOR: Yes, an element from the spatial geometer.
WIBBSEY: Why would someone make a version of his poster looking like you?
DOCTOR: Let's hope Lautrec has the answer to that when we meet him.

WIBBSEY [narrating]: I must admit it was quite exhilarating, being whisked through the noisy, smelly streets. The Doctor had flagged down a carriage for us, a Hansom cab I suppose they'd have called it in London, and we bowled along the cobbled boulevards seeing the sights at a tremendous clip. Soon enough we were galloping up the lanes, uphill to Montmartre. I turned to look at the Doctor and saw that he'd suddenly gone into one of his awful gloomy moods.

DOCTOR: I don't like people playing games with me. That's what this feels like. That business with the mosaic, and strange old Claudius, now this. Someone is toying with us, Mrs Wibbsey.

WIBBSEY [narrating]: I felt like telling him what he always tells me. Buck up, Doctor, just enjoy it for now and don't go moody. Oh, he was terrible. Luckily he seemed to come to life again when we alighted in the bustling square at the top of Montmartre. The air was thick with wonderful kitchen smells from all the bistros, and the crowd was colourful and boisterous. Lanterns hung from the trees and there was a feeling of revelry. The Doctor knew he couldn't stay sulky for long.

DOCTOR: I think we should soak up the atmosphere before going to see old Henri. Where first, Mrs Wibbsey?
WIBBSEY: I don't know. there's so much it's bewildering. Did you say about going to the Moulin Rouge?
DOCTOR: For a dance, yes, of course. I'm a marvellous dancer. But not yet. Not till after supper. And first perhaps, I think, an aperitif? Oh!
(People colliding.)
WIBBSEY: What the devil's this?
DOCTOR: You'd think the devil was on her heels.
CHARLOTTE: Oh, excuse me, Monsieur, Madame.
DOCTOR: It's all right, it's all right, calm down. I am the Doctor. Doctor.
CHARLOTTE: I must run. I must get away from him.
WIBBSEY: What's the matter with the girl?
CHARLOTTE: Please let me go. I was wrong to try to talk to him. He's not in his right mind.
DOCTOR: Who isn't?
WIBBSEY: Just let the wretched girl be on her way.
DOCTOR: She may need our help
CHARLOTTE: Who are you?
DOCTOR: You look like you could do with a drink. We were just about to have one. Will you come with us?
CHARLOTTE: L'absinthe.
DOCTOR: That will rot your insides away. You'll have something rather better than that. Come along.

WIBBSEY [narrating]: The girl was a painted drab who insisted on calling herself La Charlotte. It sounded to me like a music hall act. We tottered down the hill with the girl leaning on the Doctor as if she was about to collapse at any moment. I thought to myself, he's getting himself involved in a right situation here. I could tell she was trouble from the off, but the shrewd girl wouldn't answer any questions until we were installed inside a raucous and smoky café bar at the edge of Montmartre, La Nouvelle Athèns.

DOCTOR: You said that someone was not in his right mind.
CHARLOTTE: This is one of his favourite bars. I hope he will not come out tonight. But he has not been very sociable of late.

WIBBSEY [narrating]: The Doctor insisted on buying the girl a huge bowl of hot chocolate. Much more nourishing than the absinthe she'd asked for. I regarded her as she slurped her drink hungrily. There wasn't a picking on her. I can only describe her as a good time girl gone to the bad. She had on all this green eye shadow and a terrible satin frock.

CHARLOTTE: I shouldn't be here, but I can't, I can't leave Montmartre. Despite everything, the squalor and the fear, it is my home.
DOCTOR: Shh. Drink your chocolate, and then you can tell us who you were running away from.
WIBBSEY: They all look a bit rough in here. Drunk too, by the looks of it. Couldn't they dress up a bit smarter?
DOCTOR: Listen to them chatting away. They're all painters, you know, Wibbsey, rabbiting on about the current styles, the most outrageous, the newest ideas. They're Bohemians.
WIBBSEY: That's no excuse. My Aunt Maud was a published poetess, but you never saw her lounging about in public, swigging absinthe.
DOCTOR: (sotto) Not that you know about.
WIBBSEY: You seem to be attracting a fair amount of attention, Doctor.
CHARLOTTE: They think you are that singer, the one who has disappeared. Aristide Bruant. He said he was off to the Midi for a holiday, but that was two months ago and he hasn't returned yet. It is most strange. He lives for the cabaret, but he has vanished, and now here you are, looking just like him.
DOCTOR: You should see the poster in my pocket. I may resemble him slightly, well, only in the regions of my hat and scarf, actually.
CHARLOTTE: They will be asking you for a song.
WIBBSEY: Do you know any good numbers, Doctor?
DOCTOR: Several, but I don't do requests.
CHARLOTTE: You see, all of Paris thinks Aristide Bruant is dead. No one has seen him for weeks. You have dressed up in tribute to the murder victim, no? To the vanished clown?
WIBBSEY: Oh, lovely. We've arrived in the middle of the murder season.
CHARLOTTE: Bruant is not the only one. Many others have disappeared. At first it was just the dancers and the artist's models, like me, non? Victims that no one would even notice or care for. Some of the girls from the streets. But now the famous Bruant is missing or dead, and people start to notice. They start to speculate and circulate rumours and suspicions.
DOCTOR: I see. It seems we're arrived in the midst of a mystery, Wibbsey.
ARTIST: Monsieur, come on. Are you going to give us a song or what, eh?

WIBBSEY [narrating]: The Doctor was still talking to the girl, questioning her about these mysteries, so the drunken artist who'd come up behind him turned his attention to me.

ARTIST: You're his type, you are. You're just the kind a little fellow would paint. Bit past your best.
WIBBSEY: What little fellow? Who are you talking about?
ARTIST: Lautrec, of course. Where've you been, cheri? It's Lautrec doing all the killings. None of his subjects are seen again!

WIBBSEY: I glared at him and turned my back, hoping he'd just go away. I tried to earwig on the Doctor's huddled conference with the girl, and started to almost wish I wasn't abstinent.

CHARLOTTE: That drunken rabble over there don't know anything. They think they're all artists. There is only one true artist in Montmartre these days.
DOCTOR: Lautrec.
CHARLOTTE: Only he understands anything. He sees what our lives are like. He has empathy, understanding.
DOCTOR: You said earlier that someone wasn't in his right mind. Did you mean Lautrec? These killings
CHARLOTTE: No, I won't believe it. They say these terrible things, that he is a woman-hater.
DOCTOR: Tell me, La Charlotte, how many deaths have there been?
CHARLOTTE: The girls are so frightened, some of them will not leave their homes. They stay together and keep away from the cabaret, the dance halls. There is fear here, Doctor. Montmartre is terrified.
DOCTOR: And the police, what are they doing?
CHARLOTTE: What do they care for the street girls and a few ageing artist's models. They make a note of the disappearances and go back to their coffee. They make no effort to help us, not even to search for bodies. Only Henri cares for us, only Lautrec sees into our souls. He is a good man, Doctor.
DOCTOR: And yet you were fleeing from him when we found you.
CHARLOTTE: No, I was, I was running because
DOCTOR: Shh, shh. You can tell me the truth.
CHARLOTTE: He is not the same. Something has got into him. Henri's as frightened as anyone in Montmartre these days. He won't see his friends, even. He drinks away his days. He needs help from someone.
DOCTOR: Hmm. Perhaps it's time I made a house call.

WIBBSEY [narrating]: The girl looked up at the Doctor with such trust then, like she'd just wanted to hand over all of her problems to him. She suddenly seemed about twelve years old.

CHARLOTTE: Please, you must come with me. Come to his apartment, his studio. He is in a terrible state and will admit no one. He is terrifying. But I believe you. I believe you can help.
WIBBSEY: Er, maybe best stay out of it, Doctor.
DOCTOR: Nonsense, Mrs Wibbsey. Come along, both of you.

WIBBSEY [narrating]: We left that noisy booze-sodden crowd and found ourselves back out in the streets and cold winding alleyways of Montmartre. The skinny girl passed quickly through the crowds, and we had to struggle to keep up as she led us the way we'd come, towards Lautrec's home.

DOCTOR: Why do you think Henri doesn't to see anybody?
CHARLOTTE: He says he doesn't want to blight his old friends and compatriots. He won't even look at them. His gaze, his regard, it is cursed, he says. Only I was still close to him, but tonight he even turned against me. I had to get out of there.
DOCTOR: You're very scared, and you're very brave to bring us back here.
(A clock is chiming the hour.)
CHARLOTTE: This is the building. The concierge is a raddled old shrew. Lautrec lives at the very top. I must leave you. Au revoir!
DOCTOR: Wait, wait, don't go. Oh.

WIBBSEY [narrating]: But the wretched girl stumbled away into the night, and vanished into the swirling crowds.

DOCTOR: She was petrified.

WIBBSEY [narrating]: We were at the front door of the building where Lautrec lived and worked. The concierge was a tired, kindly old woman who fussed around us, but you could see that she wasn't keen on showing us to the artist's studio at the very top of the building.

CONCIERGE: Monsieur, you must not. He doesn't want any company.
DOCTOR: No time to argue. We're here on urgent business, aren't we, Wibbsey. Montmartre is teeming with demons.
CONCIERGE: No, no, Monsieur. No, no, do not please, s'il vous plaît, Madame. Monsieur, Monsieur. Oh dear.

WIBBSEY [narrating]: At the very top of the stone steps we came to a dead halt. The door of the studio was wide open. The night wind swirled through the smashed attic skylights. The place was in a terrible mess. Sheaves of sketches and notes were scattered everywhere or underfoot. Priceless, I suppose they  were, but we didn't even think about that as we entered the room and the Doctor lit the gas lamps. The concierge joined us soon afterwards, wheezing as she got her breath back from the climb.

DOCTOR: Henri! I say, Lautrec! Il y a ??17.22
WIBBSEY: He isn't hiding away up here after all, is he? He's gone.
DOCTOR: He must be out there somewhere on the streets.
WIBBSEY: Oh, look! The paintings.
DOCTOR: He's ruined his own work.

WIBBSEY [narrating]: The posters and prints, and the oil paintings, some of them famous in my time, had all been defaced.

DOCTOR: Oh dear, Lautrec, Lautrec, what have you done?

WIBBSEY [narrating]: There was carmine red splashed on each canvas. All the subject's throats and wrists had been slashed with a palette knife. Painted daggers had been thrust into the breasts of Lautrec's muses. It looked as if he'd murdered his entire gallery of models.

DOCTOR: This certainly doesn't look very promising for Henri, does it.
CONCIERGE: Oh, what has driven him to this? All his work. I thought he was merely drunk, just one of his little fits, but this is worse, is it not? This is madness.

WIBBSEY [narrating]: We left the shocked looking concierge still staring appalled at all the mess. I thought perhaps we ought to help her clear up, but the Doctor was in a distracted mood, storming off into the night. Outside, the drunken throng suddenly seemed less innocent. Evening in Paris had taken on a sinister tinge. The pale towers of Sacre Coeur glared down at us all in disapproval.

DOCTOR: Chop chop, Wibbsey.
WIBBSEY: Doctor, I hate to mention it at a time like this, but we haven't eaten a thing all day.
DOCTOR: (sighs) All right. We'll eat first, and then we'll hunt for Lautrec.

WIBBSEY [narrating]: We sat outside a bistro in the very heart of Montmartre. In other circumstances it would have been perfect, with the cool night breezes and the guttering candles. I ordered the plainest thing I could find on the menu. The Doctor said he didn't care what it was. An accordionist was playing as we were brought our food.

DOCTOR: Coq au vin. Do you like it?
WIBBSEY: Mmm. I didn't think I would, but it's just chicken stew really, isn't it. Aren't you touching yours?
DOCTOR: I'm not hungry, thanks.
WIBBSEY: You've not had anything since we were with that Celtic druid lot.
DOCTOR: My appetite's gone. I don't like hearing about wanton killings.
WIBBSEY: Mmm. So, what'd you think? That studio wrecked like that, the blood and wounds on the portraits.
DOCTOR: It was very disturbing, but I can't believe that Lautrec has anything to do with murders.
WIBBSEY: La Charlotte seemed terrified of him, and the concierge was talking about his drinking. Oh, drink's a wicked thing. It can drive people out of their minds.
DOCTOR: But it can't be Lautrec, can it?
WIBBSEY: At least have a little bread. It's delicious.
DOCTOR: Not now. I'm thinking.

WIBBSEY [narrating]: He was staring straight at one of those posters of Aristide Bruant that the bistro owner had put up. 

DOCTOR: Of course! I almost forgot about the Moulin Rouge. That's where we're going next. Lautrec's favourite haunt, I believe.

WIBBSEY [narrating]: We made our way back down the hill, through the winding streets and the shadowy Montmartre cemetery, towards the sleaziest part of town. The tall sails of the red windmill were turning on top of the dance hall. It was lit up like Great Yarmouth, and the crowds were streaming in the front entrance all dolled up in their best. The Doctor had a bit of a struggle at the door to find enough of the correct currency. Eventually we stepped into a vast hall with a sprung wooden floor. It was all gilt and gleaming mirrors, and extravagance and noise.

DOCTOR: What do you think, Mrs Wibbsey? Don't go saying I never take you anywhere.
WIBBSEY: I'm not very good in crowds. Can we sit down?
DOCTOR: Of course. Let's grab this banquette near the dance floor. We can see everyone from here.
WIBBSEY: Beats the Cromer Palais into a cocked hat, this does.
DOCTOR: This is something quite different. This is a moment in history.
WIBBSEY: Aren't they all, with you.
DOCTOR: Of course, Cromer's charming, in its own little way.

WIBBSEY [narrating]: The waiter came, and as we sipped our drinks, we watched the crowds dazzling by. We applauded when the girls came dashing out onto the floor, dressed up in flounces and ribbons, and ludicrous layers of silk and tulle. They danced the can-can and we all applauded wildly. All the while, the Doctor had been absorbed in checking the crowds. He might have looked like he was thoroughly enjoying the floor show, but he had been quiveringly alert.

DOCTOR: Ah, there he is. Look. Lautrec is seated at a table by himself. Look, directly across the hall. He's just come in.

WIBBSEY [narrating]: It was hard to see anything through the whirling dervishes on the floor, but then I clapped eyes on a melancholic little figure in a tall top hat, which he presently took off and set on the chair beside him. He was brought wine without asking for it, and he sat studying the dance like it was the most fascinating thing in the world.

DOCTOR: I'm going over.
WIBBSEY: Do you think you should?
DOCTOR: Stay here and don't get into trouble.

WIBBSEY: The diminutive artist pulled out a tin of wax crayons and suddenly he was drawing on the paper table cloth, his face bunched up in intense concentration. I turned to remark on this and how he didn't seem terrifying at all, but the Doctor was gone.

DOCTOR: Monsieur? Would you mind?
LAUTREC: What is it? What do you want?
DOCTOR: It's a great honour to meet you.
LAUTREC: Sit down. You're too tall.
DOCTOR: While you're sketching, perhaps you wouldn't mind adding my housekeeper. She's sitting across from us. Look, the one with the rather forbidding expression. Her name is Mrs Wibbsey. I'm sure she'd love to be in an original by Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa.
LAUTREC: Do I know you? Why are you dressed like Aristide? He wears a similar scarf and hat.
DOCTOR: I assure you it's mine. Fate and destiny are ravelled up in every stitch, but of course it was you who portrayed Aristide Bruant wearing my actual scarf. Why did you do that, Henri? And why did you paint him clutching a strange electronic device, hmm?
LAUTREC: You are being absurd. I did no such thing.
DOCTOR: Look, this poster was given to me. Slightly different from the ones all over Paris, eh? Aristide Bruant with a spatial geometer and sporting my very own scarf.
LAUTREC: This is inconceivable. I did not paint this. I have never seen it before. Look at the execution of the cylindrical object, the stripes on the scarf, they're so clumsy and ham-fisted. Someone has vandalised my original.
DOCTOR: I had a feeling you might say that. I don't like being lured, Henri.
LAUTREC: Why would I want to lure you?
DOCTOR: I'm not sure. I don't know what you're up to, yet.
LAUTREC: Whoever created this piratical edition of my poster clearly thought you were a better subject than Aristide Bruant.
DOCTOR: Who, I understand, has gone missing. What do you know about that?
LAUTREC: The man's a comedian, a law unto himself. He does what he wants.
DOCTOR: I'm running out of patience. I believe I was sent this poster as a lure to bring me here. I'm trying to find out why.
LAUTREC: So go and be a detective, but don't bother me with your games.
DOCTOR: I bumped into a very frightened friend of yours, La Charlotte. She's very worried about you.
LAUTREC: About me? She should look to herself and the other street girls. It is they who are in danger.
DOCTOR: Some of them are saying that those whom your eyes have gazed upon, your muses and models, are in the gravest danger.
LAUTREC: I will not discuss this with you, not here, not tonight.
DOCTOR: You know more about this than you're saying. You're frightened, aren't you, as well as tipsy.
LAUTREC: The world is a much less frightening with absinthe in it.
DOCTOR: That drink is a beautiful beguiling colour, but it will do you no good, Henri.
LAUTREC: What do you know?
DOCTOR: I have seen the future. That poison is very bad news for you.
LAUTREC: If you really had seen the future, then it would tell you I am no killer. In the aftermath of an artist's death, all his secrets are laid open to public knowledge.
DOCTOR: Your wisdom does you credit, but there's something wrong here, isn't there.
LAUTREC: Already Paris is talking. These killings, the girls. Paris looks at me and whispers, gossips. I am used to scandal, Doctor.
DOCTOR: But accusations of murder are something else, eh?
LAUTREC: Many think I am a monster anyway. They look at me and they see something freakish. They always did. Now, in this atmosphere of fear and death, they seek a scapegoat. Even here, at the Moulin Rouge, my favourite place in the world, I am looked at askance.
DOCTOR: I'm not looking at you askance, but I would like to find out what's going on here.
LAUTREC: The management is watching, Doctor. They think you are harassing me.
DOCTOR: They can think what they like. My friend and I have come a long way to see you. You know more about what's going on here, don't you, Henri? We went to your studio. We saw what you did to your canvasses. The destruction, Henri.
LAUTREC: Leave me alone. Hey, hey, everyone! He is here! That low comedian and balladeer.
DOCTOR: Lautrec, no!
LAUTREC: I have found him! I have found your precious entertainer for you. He's not dead or missing, he is here, at the Moulin Rouge, ready to sing for you!
DOCTOR: Don't push me away, Henri. I can help.
LAUTREC: I don't need your help. Leave me alone, Doctor. I'm warning you. Ha ha! The crowd is baying, Doctor. They will have a song from you.
DOCTOR: No, really, ladies and gentlemen, I'm not Bruant. I can't sing. Je ne suis pas Bruant. Je ne peux pas chanter, moi.

WIBBSEY [narrating]: I watched with horror as this tableau unfolded. After all, I'd heard the Doctor crooning to himself as he went about his business at Nest Cottage. Now all I could do was watch in dismay as he was hauled into the centre of the dance floor and the crowd applauded. And then the band struck up. (The Doctor singing something French.) Only a few bars were enough to bring the whole house down. As far as they were concerned, the Doctor was a huge hilarious success! Under cover of the hullabaloo, Lautrec got up from his table and swiftly packed away his belongings, rolling his drawing into a scroll which he shoved inside his frock coat, and then the little devil was tootling off out of there. In an instant, I decided to leave the Doctor to his on stage fate, and I hurried after the mysterious Toulouse-Lautrec. I felt compelled. It was probably foolish, but something drove me on that night into the labyrinthine streets on the heels of Lautrec. Luckily he moved very slowly, with a shambling gait. I didn't have to run too hard to catch up with him. I hung back as he made his way towards Montmartre, under arches and through dirty alleyways. We passed all sorts of unsavoury looking people as we went. Lautrec's cane tapping on the road led me ever onwards in the dark. Then, when we entered a deserted street, he paused under a gas lamp beside one of his very own peeling posters.

LAUTREC: I know you have followed me all the way from that palace of pleasure. Why don't you come into the light and let me look at you?

WIBBSEY [narrating]: What could I do? I slipped out of the shadowy doorway where I was hiding and went towards him.

LAUTREC: Ah, you are the Doctor's friend, aren't you. His special friend.
WIBBSEY: There's no need to go putting it like that. I'm his housekeeper. I resent your implication.
LAUTREC: Hush, Mrs Wibbsey.
WIBBSEY: Oh, how do you know my name?
LAUTREC: Why, when he disturbed me at my table, he pointed you out. He said look at that fine woman. Will you draw her for me? She's the most wonderful woman I have ever met.
WIBBSEY: I find that hard to believe.
LAUTREC: Ah, but he is a deep one, Mrs Wibbsey. He hides his feelings so well. Hardly any emotion or reaction he shows is the true one.

WIBBSEY [narrating]: It was true. He had the most incredible eyes. It was like staring into the glowing green of absinthe itself. It was just like being caught in the gaze of a genie from the lamp. I felt suddenly afraid, and so shabby in my work-a-day black dress. I'd been dragged into Roman times and all over the place. I was such a state. And now here I was in Paris, and I must have looked so terrible, and yet Lautrec stared into me as if I was the most fascinating and beautiful creature in the world.

LAUTREC: I would like to ask you to model for me, Mrs Wibbsey. I see much potential in you. You have deep secrets, eh?
WIBBSEY: Stop that. Stop staring.
LAUTREC: Do you fear me? Do you and the Doctor both suspect me of awful crimes?
WIBBSEY: It's what La Charlotte said. She said you were out of control. And the wreckage in your studio.
LAUTREC: I cannot deny I have been drinking more. I lose my temper sometimes. It is hard to be me, to wrestle with my talent and my, my demons. But I have never hurt a woman. I have hurt nobody ever in my life.
WIBBSEY: I'd like to believe you.
LAUTREC: Come with me, my dear. I mean it when I say I could draw you, I could immortalise you.
WIBBSEY: Tonight? Now?
LAUTREC: Yes, now. Why not? Please.

WIBBSEY [narrating]: I think I was half-hypnotised by his stare, but I also saw that here was an opportunity to learn more about this dreadful business. While the Doctor was preoccupied on the stage at the Moulin Rouge, I could be investigating on my own account, couldn't I? I didn't have to go running after the Doctor and needing his protection all the time. Oh, how foolish I was.

LAUTREC: It is not too far to my home.
WIBBSEY: Yes, I know. We were there earlier. I can trust you, Henri, can't I?
LAUTREC: Do you believe I could be a murderer? Really? If like the Doctor you can see into the future, you already know now I will make my mark upon history. I can only hope and pray that it is as the artist of dancers and strumpets and the twilight world of Paris. I am not so greedy as to want to be an renowned killer as well.

WIBBSEY [narrating]: Perhaps some of the Doctor's recklessness, some of his desire to uncover the truth had rubbed off on me, because I followed after Lautrec. He was at the heart of our mystery here in Paris, and so I had to follow him. But while Lautrec and I were walking back up the hill to Montmartre, down in the Rue de Clichy, the Moulin Rouge's gaudy sails were still lit up. At the main entrance the Doctor was waiting for me, fresh from having finished his performance with Show Me The Way To Go Home. He told me later how piqued he was that I'd vanished and left him at the mercy of the crowd, but then he grew concerned that I was nowhere to be found.

DOCTOR: Foolish woman. She could be murdered and I might never even know. I thought she'd have more sense than that.

WIBBSEY [narrating]: There he stood, in the noise of the traffic and the crowds, deciding where he ought to go next. Suddenly he was set upon by a vision in a lilac frock, much the worse for drink. It was La Charlotte, the girl from earlier that evening.

CHARLOTTE: You have seen him, haven't you. You have seen what he has become.
DOCTOR: Slow down. Where did you come from?
CHARLOTTE: Tell me you do not believe he has become a monster.
DOCTOR: You're bleeding. Let me help you.
CHARLOTTE: They are just scrapes. These wounds of mine are not mortal.
DOCTOR: You're covered in blood.
CHARLOTTE: I have seen him tonight as well.

WIBBSEY [narrating]: The poor girl slumped against the Doctor. A surprisingly heavy dead weight, so he said. For a moment, all life seemed to slither out of her and she almost collapsed onto the road. He moved her into a quieter side street.

DOCTOR: My dear, you've been stabbed.
CHARLOTTE: I managed to get away, from him.
DOCTOR: Who did this to you?
CHARLOTTE: I was in the graveyard, not far from here. I was coming to the Moulin Rouge. I was late. The cemetery is a short cut.
DOCTOR: Yes, I know. A dangerous one, by the sound of it.
CHARLOTTE: Someone grabbed me. He had this glittering knife, just like all the girls say. Oh, my God, Doctor, I can't believe it of him. He wouldn't do this. He couldn't, not to me.
DOCTOR: I take it you mean Lautrec. You saw him? Are you sure?
CHARLOTTE: I was his muse. He dragged me out of the gutter. Anything I am now, I am because of him. I thought he would never hurt me.
DOCTOR: Tell me, Charlotte, was it him? Did you see his face?
CHARLOTTE: I never saw his face.
CHARLOTTE: But when he attacked me, I knew the reek of l'absinthe.
DOCTOR: I see.
CHARLOTTE: All the slander and rumours, surely they cannot be right?
DOCTOR: He must have left me at the cabaret and gone straight out and attacked you. There was enough time, just. And I know something else, too.
DOCTOR: Mrs Wibbsey was following him. I saw her go. My housekeeper is in dreadful danger.
CHARLOTTE: I fear for her safety. Look, I can show you the place where he attacked me.
DOCTOR: You're hurt. Are you sure you can manage it?
CHARLOTTE: The graveyard. You must come with me.

WIBBSEY [narrating]: The dishevelled and bleeding girl led him into a series of twisting, turning alleyways until they came to the high iron gates of a side entrance to that sprawling cemetery.

DOCTOR: Whatever were you doing running through this place at night?
CHARLOTTE: Oh, I am used to the dangers of Paris.
DOCTOR: Hmm. Mrs Wibbsey isn't. And she's in there somewhere, inside that necropolis with him. Allez bien. (gate creaks open)

WIBBSEY [narrating]: But the Doctor was wrong. Lautrec and I were not in the graveyard. At that very moment, we were at the other end of Montmartre, ascending all those stairs back up to his ruined studio. He staggered drunkenly into his rooms and his face went slack at the sight of the slashed and seemingly bloody paintings. I could see that he was genuinely shocked.

LAUTREC: All my best work, the work of months, destroyed.
WIBBSEY: So you didn't do this yourself?
LAUTREC: Why? Why would I do such a thing?
WIBBSEY: You said you were drunk. La Charlotte said you were terrifying. She was scared of you tonight. She came running out of here, she bumped into us. It was as if the hounds of hell were on her heels.
LAUTREC: Terrified of me? La Charlotte? No, she is everything to me. I would never, never
WIBBSEY: Steady now. Sit down.
LAUTREC: Don't touch me. I don't need your help.

WIBBSEY [narrating] I thought he was unhinged. The way his face contorted then, I felt he was capable of anything. It was a relief when a knock came at his studio door and the worried face of the elderly concierge appeared.

(Door opens.)
CONCIERGE: Monsieur, are you all right?
LAUTREC: Madame Concierge, someone has been in here, in my rooms!
CONCIERGE: Yes, this lady and gentleman called on you earlier. I could not stop them, Monsieur.
LAUTREC: Someone has vandalised my paintings. They have slashed the portraits.
WIBBSEY: Well, it wasn't us. Tell him, Madame. We found them like this.
CONCIERGE: She speaks the truth, Monsieur. We came upon the scene together, and we were so shocked. Whoever did this, they were a woman-hater, eh? So terrible, so frightening.
LAUTREC: Leave us now. I will let you know if I need anything.
CONCIERGE: Very good, Monsieur.
LAUTREC: You are a fine concierge. You look after me well, like a mother.
CONCIERGE: Goodnight, Monsieur, Madame.

WIBBSEY [narrating]: I drained of all feeling just then, mortified that the woman thought that I was spending the night with Lautrec, and also I was starting to feel fearful. I was shut in here with him.

LAUTREC: Am I going mad, Mrs Wibbsey? Could I be doing these things and then forgetting about it? And in my blackouts, could I be attacking both my paintings and the real women? Is such a thing possible?
WIBBSEY: I don't know.
LAUTREC: It's true I have had blackouts. I have such rage inside of me. Oh God.

WIBBSEY [narrating]: Meanwhile, in Montmartre cemetery, the Doctor was starting to doubt Lautrec's sanity too.

DOCTOR: They say drink addled his mind in the end. That's well known. He used to lead a cormorant around on a piece of string and say it was his best friend or something. Ha, imagine.
CHARLOTTE: At the end? Who are you to know such things? Is he at the end?
DOCTOR: Oh, he has a few years left, just a few.
CHARLOTTE: You know a lot about him.
DOCTOR: Only what I've read. Meeting people in the flesh can turn out quite differently.
CHARLOTTE: Do you think he could be a murderer?
DOCTOR: People can hide many secrets within them, like this part of town. Gaudy on the outside and rotten within.
CHARLOTTE: This part of town is a lawless place. Who knows what goes on here better than we girls of the streets? I thought Henri had saved me from all the danger.
DOCTOR: But now you believe he has turned on you.
CHARLOTTE: I truly hope not. I know he is a good man.
DOCTOR: Are we lost?
CHARLOTTE: No. It was here, in this part of the graveyard. This is the short cut down the hill.
DOCTOR: And you were walking where, when he jumped out at you?
CHARLOTTE: Here. Just here.
DOCTOR: Well, there doesn't appear to be anyone or anything here now.
CHARLOTTE: That silence, in the heart of Paris, it is very unsettling.
DOCTOR: I could do with a bit of quiet after that rowdy cabaret.
CHARLOTTE: I, I'm scared of being here.
DOCTOR: Perhaps we'd better leave. We're accomplishing nothing here. You need those wounds dressing.
CHARLOTTE: They are nothing.
DOCTOR: Shh. Look.
CHARLOTTE: What is it, Doctor?
DOCTOR: A greenish glow up ahead, do you see? It seems to be coming from one of those tombs.
(Footsteps on gravel.)
CHARLOTTE: Someone is coming.
CONCIERGE: What are you two doing here?
DOCTOR: We could ask you precisely the same thing.
CHARLOTTE: Madame, I fear we must prepare ourselves for the worst. Earlier tonight, after he left the Moulin Rouge, Henri himself attacked me, here, in the cemetery. Look, I am still bleeding.
DOCTOR: Hold on. You said you weren't absolutely sure it was he.
CHARLOTTE: Who else can it be, Doctor? Ask anyone in his circle. They all think it is him. I myself have hardly dared believe in what he has become. But we can care for him and cover up for his sins no longer.
CONCIERGE: No! You mustn't say these things. You little monster, you guttersnipe, you have brought Henri nothing but misfortune. Leave this place and do not let me set eyes upon you again.
CHARLOTTE: Oh, Madame! Oh!
(Runs off.)
DOCTOR: No, no. Charlotte, don't go. Ah.
CONCIERGE: Good riddance to her. She never cared for Henri, not like I do. No one cares like I do.
DOCTOR: You wretched woman, you've sent her away.
CONCIERGE: Into the night where she belongs.
DOCTOR: She's hurt.
CONCIERGE: She'll lick her wounds, she'll survive. Besides, Henri has a new muse in your Mrs Wibbsey.
DOCTOR: You've seen her?
CONCIERGE: She came back to my building not so long ago.
DOCTOR: By herself?
CONCIERGE: Henri brought her.
DOCTOR: Take me there, at once. Tout de suite.
CONCIERGE: I have business to attend to.
DOCTOR: Well, what are you doing, anyway, gadding about in the middle of the night?
CONCIERGE: A widow's business, Monsieur. Would you come with me to my husband's grave? Afterwards I will escort you back to
DOCTOR: Madame, I must see Lautrec at once. I have to make sure that Mrs Wibbsey is safe. We must go now.
CONCIERGE: Very well, Doctor. The graveyard can wait.

WIBBSEY [narrating]: And as they hurried through the streets together, the Doctor seemed almost to have forgotten about what he'd seen in the cemetery. Meanwhile, I was safe enough. I didn't feel at any risk, not just at that moment. Lautrec was feverish, and intent, but it was art his mind was fixed upon. He had perched me upon a tatty old sofa. He put a shawl about my shoulders and posed me just so. I could hardly believe what was happening. I was alone in Paris in the nineteenth century, and this man, I didn't even know if I could trust him, he was setting up an easel and staring at me, studying me. Me! Then he was rooting through cupboards and drawers full of well-used artist's materials. Boxes of pastels and squeezed tubes of paint were scattered about his feet, rolls of heavy paper were cast aside. I watched as the diminutive artist found just what he needed. He produced sticks of charcoal and looked set to seek solace in his art, but as he turned away from his emptied cupboards, something caught his eye, as it did mine. A strange, glowing, futuristic device.

LAUTREC: What is this thing?
WIBBSEY: You've got it! You had it the whole time!
LAUTREC: But I don't even know what it is.
WIBBSEY: I'm not surprised. It belongs to the Doctor, from his Tardis.
LAUTREC: How did it get here?
WIBBSEY: I hoped I was wrong. I hoped they were all wrong about you.
(Footsteps on stone stairs.)
DOCTOR [OC]: Wibbsey! Wibbsey!
LAUTREC: I don't understand.
WIBBSEY: You're mixed up with that Claudius fellow, aren't you?
DOCTOR [OC]: Where are you, woman?
WIBBSEY: I'm here, Doctor, with Lautrec. He's
(Door opens.)
DOCTOR: Step away from her, Lautrec.
WIBBSEY: It's all right, Doctor, he hasn't harmed me.
LAUTREC: I never would. What is going on?
DOCTOR: Mrs Wibbsey, what are you doing coming here with him?
LAUTREC: I was drawing her.
WIBBSEY: It's true, he was. But look. I've found this.
DOCTOR: Oh! Another piece of the geometer. Well done, Wibbsey.
(Footsteps on stone stairs.)
DOCTOR: You're getting good at finding these.
WIBBSEY: It's nice to get some credit, I must say.
CONCIERGE: Henri! (breathless) Henri, are you all right?
LAUTREC: My privacy is invaded.
CONCIERGE: Oh, Henri, I am so sorry, but I have been so scared for you. I believe this man can help.
DOCTOR: Henri, I saw that girl again tonight. La Charlotte. She believes she was attacked in the graveyard, by you.
LAUTREC: What? But when? When could I have done that? And why would I? I would never hurt her.
DOCTOR: She was covered in blood and she swore you attacked her.
WIBBSEY: But hang on a minute. I've been with Henri the whole time. He hasn't had a chance to do anything like that.
DOCTOR: Really, Wibbsey?
CONCIERGE: These street girls will say anything and betray anyone for a few francs.
LAUTREC: But why would La Charlotte lie about me like that? I've been good to her. She was almost dead when I took her in.
CONCIERGE: She has turned against you, my boy.
LAUTREC: Doctor, am I losing my mind? Could I really be responsible for all these terrible things?
DOCTOR: I don't know. Yet.
CONCIERGE: Oh, my boy, my poor boy. I have done my best for you. I have tried. You do not know what I do. I have covered up for you.
LAUTREC: Madame, what are you saying?
CONCIERGE: The evidence. The evidence of your activities. I can hide it no longer.
LAUTREC: Oh, no. No, please, not you as well.

WIBBSEY [narrating]: The concierge was shaking, on the brink of violent tears. She led us out of the studio and onto the landing. As we watched, she went to the wooden stairs leading to the attic hatchway.

DOCTOR: Interesting. What's up there, I wonder?
LAUTREC: But I have never been up there, have I?

WIBBSEY [narrating]: Grimly, the concierge lit a candle and led the way up those creaking steps. We followed silently, dreading what we were about to see. We found ourselves inside the narrow attics high above the Paris streets. There was an awful smell of must and dust, and something else. Something horrible.

CONCIERGE: This is what I have been hiding for him.
DOCTOR: I see.

WIBBSEY [narrating]: We all did. The dessicated remains of at least a dozen girls, in their shabby finery, slumped in a heap like broken dolls, looking as if they'd been up here for decades. They seemed to be crumbling into dust even as we stood there watching..

DOCTOR: These are not ordinary killings. Something has sapped every drop of living energy out of these human beings.
LAUTREC: But this is impossible. All this time, going on above my head.
WIBBSEY: It's horrible.
CONCIERGE: They won't take you away, Henri, I promise you. No one will tell the world about your little secret.
LAUTREC: My little secret?
DOCTOR: There's something wrong here.

WIBBSEY [narrating]: We should have seen it coming, the way that the concierge was babbling about keeping Lautrec's secret safe and protecting him. She'd taken hold of Henri and was backing towards the attic hatchway.

CONCIERGE: Henri, come with me.
LAUTREC: What have I done?
CONCIERGE: You cannot help yourself.
DOCTOR: No, wait!

WIBBSEY [narrating]: In a flash, the concierge and Lautrec were gone. She'd bundled him out and slammed the attic hatchway shut.

DOCTOR: She's locked us in.
WIBBSEY: With those remains.
DOCTOR: We may be the next victims.
WIBBSEY: Don't say that.
DOCTOR: Well, think about it. They can't let us go after what we've seen.
WIBBSEY: So she's been covering up for him the whole time. He's been responsible for the killings, and it must have been him who painted the fake poster to lure us here. He had the piece of the Tardis. He must be working alongside Claudius.
DOCTOR: If he is, then he may have a dematerialisation chamber nearby.
WIBBSEY: We can't just let them get away.
DOCTOR: Mrs Wibbsey, we can't go anywhere just at the moment, can we.
WIBBSEY: Well, I'm not bedding down with a bunch of dead bodies up here. Can't we try smashing through the hatchway or the ceiling?
DOCTOR: The door feels pretty solid to me.
WIBBSEY: You're not just going to give up?
DOCTOR: Correct. Look at this. I've been thinking about what this might mean.

WIBBSEY [narrating]: From his pocket he produced the third item from the bag of artefacts I'd been given at the jumble sale. The leather-bound volume of fairy tales.

DOCTOR: Take a look at the illustration on page four hundred and seven. Half way down.

WIBBSEY [narrating]: He tossed the beautiful old book at me like it was the latest edition of the local rag. I flipped through the pages till I came to the coloured plate. It was an illustration of a monster made from snow and ice. It was a creepy picture, like an Arthur Rackham drawing, if Arthur Rackham had completely lost his mind.

DOCTOR: Look closely, Mrs Wibbsey. Look at the victims that the snow beast is crushing them against its body. Look at the two men it has locked in its deadly embrace.
WIBBSEY: Oh, my word. It's you and Mister Yates!
DOCTOR: So it seems that Mike is part of this tangled web too.
WIBBSEY: But he's back in the future.
DOCTOR: Quite. So if we're to follow this through to its conclusion, we have to nip forward and fetch him, and somehow he and I have to become embroiled in a fairy tale.
WIBBSEY: It's a good job he's coming for Christmas. So this thing isn't over yet.
DOCTOR: Nor does it end with Toulouse-Lautrec. Henri is just one part of this, a tiny part. He's a murderer's guise for our unknown enemy. There are further places and times we must visit before we get to the bottom of this.
WIBBSEY: But we have another bit of the spatial geometer at least.
DOCTOR: We certainly have.
WIBBSEY: And we're not dead either, are we, unlike this poor lot.
DOCTOR: Yes, we should thank our lucky stars. Merci, les étoiles.
(Sounds at the door.)
WIBBSEY: They must have come back.
(Door opens.)
CHARLOTTE: Doctor? Are you up here?
DOCTOR: Charlotte! How did you know where to find us?
CHARLOTTE: I have been watching the whole time. After I left the graveyard, I followed you and then them. I know everything now. I met the concierge in the street just now. She is in a terrible state.
WIBBSEY: So you know that Lautrec is the killer. I'm sorry. Don't look. You mustn't see the bodies.
CHARLOTTE: Is this the evidence, the truth of his filthy activities?
DOCTOR: Yes. But it's very strange, isn't it, don't you think? How could a little chap like that carry up all these bodies?
WIBBSEY: Perhaps the concierge helped him? She has kept his secrets.
DOCTOR: Perhaps. Come on, let's get out of this charnel house. Charlotte, where did he go?
CHARLOTTE: Henri has gone to ground, Doctor. La concierge saw him disappearing into the night in a carriage. Oh, by now he will be miles away.
DOCTOR: And the concierge?
CHARLOTTE: She was heading for the graveyard just now.
WIBBSEY: What? What for?
CHARLOTTE: It is where she spends a lot of time. She will have gone there to atone for what she has done. She practically worships at the tomb of her husband.
DOCTOR: That explains why she was there earlier. I thought it was a bit peculiar.
CHARLOTTE: She is a very strange woman, but I think she can tell you more about what has been going on here, and about Henri's true nature. She knows she has been a fool to cover up for him all this time.
DOCTOR: Wait a minute. Wait a minute! The graveyard. When you and I were there, Charlotte. That green glow. I should have realised. I should have thought straight away. My friends, that old woman could be in grave danger.

WIBBSEY [narrating]: The Doctor had become manic and excitable. He'd obviously made some kind of breakthrough but wasn't stopping to tell us about it. What did he mean by green glow? He hurried out of the attic and I followed gladly, keen to be out of that awful place. He thundered down the several flights of steps and out of the apartment building, La Charlotte and me hurrying at his heels, hurtling towards Montmartre's cemetery, and whatever secrets it was keeping.

(Creak of gate.)
DOCTOR: Come on, quickly.
CHARLOTTE: You suspect another murder?
DOCTOR: I hope not. Wait a minute.

WIBBSEY [narrating]: Suddenly he stopped in his tracks, peering intently at the troubled girl.

DOCTOR: What about your wounds?
DOCTOR: You were bleeding, just about keeling over. You said Lautrec had stabbed you.
CHARLOTTE: Oh, I am all right now. We must hurry. We must follow them to the tomb. Come on!
WIBBSEY: Ghoulish turn of phrase the girl's got.
DOCTOR: Hasn't she just.
WIBBSEY: You're suspicious about something.
DOCTOR: There's more to this than meets the eye. I didn't actually examine her wounds last night. Is it possible she was faking the whole thing?

WIBBSEY [narrating]: It was almost dawn. Mist was rising out of tangled, overgrown grass, and the sloping monuments. We wove our way between graves in pursuit of La Charlotte, who seemed to know her way very well. In the encroaching daylight the place looked like a great pale labyrinth of stones and angels.

DOCTOR: That spectral green glow, there it is again.

WIBBSEY [narrating]: Suddenly a horrible cry went up. A murder of crows came flapping from between the tombs, lifting up into the morning air as if they'd been disturbed. When I turned to look, I saw a squared-off mausoleum behind them. It was the source of the eerie green light the Doctor had seen the night before.

DOCTOR: Bingo.
CHARLOTTE: This is where she will be.

WIBBSEY [narrating]: We set off at a stumbling run between the stones, making for the tomb. But then the Doctor came to a dead halt and started waving at us furiously.

DOCTOR: Mrs Wibbsey.

WIBBSEY [narrating]: Fearfully, I inched forward, then I too stopped in my tracks, the breath caught in my throat. There was a small figure lying on the ground.

DOCTOR: It's the concierge. Madame, what's happened here?
CONCIERGE: Henri came back. He followed me here, tried to kill me. He drew a knife on me, my own poor boy.
DOCTOR: Are you hurt?
CONCIERGE: I would have done anything for him, anything, and he, he
CHARLOTTE: Where is he now? We must find him before he sets off on a killing spree.
(A clock chimes the hour.)
DOCTOR: Yes, you're both very lucky to be alive.
CONCIERGE: He couldn't kill me. He came to his senses just in time. I am like a mother to him.
WIBBSEY: Oh, quickly, where is he? Tell us.
CONCIERGE: There, in that tomb. The glowing light. He went inside.
DOCTOR: Inside, you say? Hmm.

WIBBSEY [narrating]: We made our way to the grand black marble tomb. The entrance stone was ajar, emitting that horrible greenish light from within. The two women came with us, both of them apparently terrified at what they were seeing.

CONCIERGE: He only killed when he had to, when he needed energy to survive.
WIBBSEY: How can a human being get energy from people?
DOCTOR: Perhaps he isn't human.
CONCIERGE: He is my boy, my poor boy.

WIBBSEY [narrating]: All this time, the crows were circling us in the night sky. They seemed to be responding to a trembling in the air, something strange and unnatural, emanating from that mausoleum. There was a square door in the stone which pushed inwards. I started to peer in through the green glow.

DOCTOR: Mrs Wibbsey, keep back! I have a nasty feeling about this.

WIBBSEY [narrating]: Just then, a familiar voice drifted out from inside.

LAUTREC [OC]: Doctor! Mrs Wibbsey! Help!

WIBBSEY [narrating]: I didn't care what the Doctor said, I'd grown fond of old Henri, and I was in there like a shot. The interior of the tomb was quite unexpected and strangely familiar. A mosaic tiled floor, pieces of art on the walls, even flaming torches. And there, tied up in the middle of the floor, was Lautrec. I tried to free him, but the restraints were made of flexible metal fastened with electrical gadgetry. I called for the Doctor, and within seconds he'd nipped in and used his sonic screwdriver to unfasten the bonds, and together we started to help Lautrec outside. But as we reached the threshold of the chamber, the tiny figure of the concierge came hurtling in towards us.

CONCIERGE: Back inside, Doctor. Back!

WIBBSEY [narrating]: She threw herself at the Doctor with what must have been terrific strength, because it knocked him right back into the room. She had the element of surprise on her side.

DOCTOR: Mrs Wibbsey, that elderly concierge is possessed of unusual strength and tenacity. We've got to get out of here.
CONCIERGE: (laughs) It's too late for that.

WIBBSEY [narrating]: She crossed to the wall and pressed an inset row of buttons. In response, the tomb door started to close and the background noise changed in tone to a rising pitch. I knew immediately what was happening, and in desperation I ran to stop the door closing just as La Charlotte ran in from outside. As the Doctor and I struggled to stop the huge door shutting us inside, the concierge came over and put her hands around La Charlotte's neck. She was throttling her, choking her. Powerless to help, I was horrified to see that La Charlotte was uncomplainingly surrendering to that awful embrace. Soon she crumbled to the floor, lifeless.

LAUTREC: You have killed La Charlotte. What kind of monster are you?
DOCTOR: She's an alien, Henri. An inhuman shape-shifting life force sapping alien.
CONCIERGE: (strong deep voice) You understand, Doctor, yes, but too late to save the life of this wretched girl. She's no more use to me any more, besides the sustenance her life energy gives.
LAUTREC: Oh, Charlotte, my dear.
DOCTOR: (sotto) I have been so stupid.
LAUTREC: You, you perfidious hag! You made me feel like I was losing my mind. You made me think I was turning into a monster, slashing my paintings, hiding that device of the Doctor's in my room, setting me up as the murderer, framing me.
CONCIERGE: Wasn't it delicious? You call yourself an artist, Lautrec, with your pathetic daubs. But witness the pure artistry here, the way I control the wills and thoughts of my subjects, La Charlotte, you, and all to lure our visitors from the future here. How I have enjoyed being human and learning to manipulate your tiny lives. And now I have you all here at last, we can depart for our destination.

WIBBSEY [narrating]: The Doctor and I were still struggling with the door of the tomb. The concierge came over and tried to prise us away so that it would close. She was much stronger than either of us, and for a moment it looked as if she would win.

LAUTREC: You demon! You want to drag us to hell with you, and I will not allow it!

WIBBSEY [narrating]: Suddenly the small man displayed his own surprising, almost superhuman strength. He lurched forward and gave the concierge an almighty shove to the floor. In that instant, we pushed against the door with all our might, levering open enough of a gap for us all to slip through. (Different voices screaming and laughing, dematerialisation.)

LAUTREC: It's vanished. That's not possible.
DOCTOR: But it is. Mrs Wibbsey and I have seen the demon, as you call her, pull that same trick before quite recently. I believe that our tormentor has evaded us again.
WIBBSEY: You mean, Claudius and the concierge are one and the same?
DOCTOR: Somehow, yes.
WIBBSEY: They both wanted to take you off somewhere.
DOCTOR: Yes, I wonder where?
LAUTREC: La pauvre Charlotte.
DOCTOR: I'm sorry, Henri. It seems she had been under the demon's control for some time. Unlike the poor souls in the attic, she was kept alive as a useful servant.
LAUTREC: But why pose as my concierge for all these years? Why try to implicate me as the murderer?
DOCTOR: I'm afraid it's all been a trap to lure me here. I feel terribly responsible. (clock strikes the hour - again) But you are free of the demon's torments now. There's a lot for you to take in and a lot of clearing up for you to do. Henri, those husks in the attic will disintegrate without a trace soon. And there's your actual Aristide Bruant to find as well.
LAUTREC: Won't you help me?
DOCTOR: Mrs Wibbsey and I must continue our investigations elsewhere.
LAUTREC: I see. You will leave me to deal with this horror alone.
WIBBSEY: But it's over now, Henri. There won't be any more killings.
LAUTREC: My concierge, that dear old soul.
DOCTOR: A ruthless killer, I'm afraid. A ghastly shape-shifting being. A soul-stealer. Think yourself lucky you survived.
LAUTREC: I can hardly believe what has happened here tonight.
DOCTOR: Then forget it all. Pretend it's a delirium tremens. Plead innocence of all knowledge when they ask you where the concierge and Charlotte are. Tell them it must be the work of the Demon of Paris.

WIBBSEY [narrating]: And so we left him there, and began our journey back to the Tardis. All the way on the train to England I dozed and had the most awful strange dreams. The Doctor remarked later on how much I'd slept, and the way I'd cried out every now and then. He said I'd made the other passengers jump. When I woke at last, he was grinning at me over the top of his Illustrated Newspaper. But I felt very disturbed by my nightmares. Later, on the ferry across the Channel, he tried to cheer me up with talk of Christmas festivities and Mister Yates's visit. I tried to rally, and even made out a shopping list to show I was keen for things to get back to normal, but I was haunted by the things I'd seen in Paris. Those husks in the attic, La Charlotte lying submissive and dead at the feet of the evil concierge.

DOCTOR: This life style of mine can be rather grisly, Mrs Wibbsey. Quite often I encounter very dark forces. They do some terrible things.
WIBBSEY: I'm beginning to appreciate that.
DOCTOR: All one can do is remain cheerful and resolute.
WIBBSEY: But you know you're going to have to face this demon again.
DOCTOR: Yes, somewhere, somewhen. This story book will show us how.

WIBBSEY [narrating]: Soon we were back on home turf, albeit still in the nineteenth century. As we crossed London to catch another train, I realised we were in my parent's time, and wondered briefly what it would be like to visit them up in Cromer. I imagined spying on them, on the life they had in better times when I was a babe in arms, before it all went wrong and they died and I was sent to live with my Aunt. What would it be like to catch a glimpse of that life now? The Doctor noticed my wistful glance at the departures board.

DOCTOR: Dreaming of Norfolk again, Mrs Wibbsey?
DOCTOR: Oh, remember I told you, there's nothing in Cromer for you now.
WIBBSEY: I know.
DOCTOR: I wonder if we'll make it back before Mike gets there?

WIBBSEY [narrating]: By evening, we were in our Sussex village, but a century or more too early. We found the land where Nest Cottage would one day be situated.

DOCTOR: Good, no one's disturbed the Tardis.
WIBBSEY: At least we don't have an elephant with us this time.
DOCTOR: I rather miss Nellie. I wish we'd hung on to her.
WIBBSEY: Oh really, Doctor. You can't hold on to everything.
DOCTOR: Ah, it was that kind of thinking which got us into this pickle in the first place.
WIBBSEY: What do you mean by that?
DOCTOR: I'm talking about you
(The Tardis dematerialises over the rest of the dialogue.)

(The Tardis materialises.)
WIBBSEY [narrating]: We arrived home on the day we left, December the twenty third. We just had time to make the place welcoming as the sun went down and the frost started to glisten on hedgerows. The Doctor was just bringing a fir tree in from the woods when

(Knocking on door.)
MIKE: Hello?
(Captain barks.)
MIKE: I say, hello?
WIBBSEY: Oh, you're here. Welcome back, Mister Yates.
DOCTOR: Yes, yes, yes.
MIKE: Mrs Wibbsey, Happy Christmas! I have to say, I didn't know whether to expect a warm welcome or not. No one answered the message I left on the telephone.
DOCTOR: Oh, we've been very busy. Frantic. And of course we're glad to see you.
MIKE: Doctor, Happy Christmas.
DOCTOR: Oh, Captain, my Captain. How's he been treating you?
MIKE: Is he talking to me or the dog?
WIBBSEY: Who knows? I've got some mince pies in the oven. How about a nice cup of tea first?
MIKE: Sounds wonderful. I must say, it's nice to have a quiet Christmas coming up, with no deadly menaces or anything, unlike last year.
DOCTOR: Oh dear.
WIBBSEY: Never mind.
MIKE: What's that?
DOCTOR: Oh, nothing, nothing. Come along in, Mind you wipe your feet. Come and sit by the fire, Mike.

MIKE: Is there something wrong?
WIBBSEY: You'd better tell him, Doctor.
DOCTOR: This Christmas is quite different to last year, Mike, you're right about that, but only because this Christmas we are facing a completely different kind of foe.
MIKE: Oh, no.
WIBBSEY: He's right. I've seen for myself what's going on.
DOCTOR: We need your help, Mike. Are you in?
MIKE: Well, of course. I think.
DOCTOR: Good man. Mrs Wibbsey? You prepare supper, and I'll bring Mister Yates up to date with our adventures so far, and then.
MIKE: And then?
DOCTOR: And then you and I have to set forth into a land of snow and ice and monsters.

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