The Real MJH – #4 At the Club

Since the last episode of my journal, I disappeared off round bloody France for a month. Eating well, and drinking better, mostly. But, then the time came for one to face the daunting wall of duty once more, and so I returned to London in order to write the novel that I have been meaning to pen for some time. An unknown masterpiece that once committed to paper from its current ethereal home will undoubtedly be received as a modern day classic. Book tours etcetera will follow, and my life will once again take on the familiar journey it has taken for so many years.

I am a creature of habit and routine when the situation demands an output, and much like my other ninety-three books, I have retired to my club to concentrate my mind. The ‘Old Club’ is something of an institution nowadays. As is typical of such an establishment, it has been around for some two hundred or so years, and annually, another layer of reputation is added. Wars have been fought and won over its tables, introductions have been made that have led to revolutions, and prophecy has transferred to policy within its walls.

I use the club as my writing retreat because of the inspiration that oozes, from the very moment you walk up the stone steps and in through the double door. I am usually granted my privacy, and I can stay within its confines for days if necessary. On the odd occasion I am requested the audience of a visiting ambassador, or perhaps a leading thinker, but rarely am I interrupted by a fellow star of entertainment.

However, this is exactly what happened the other day when I was asked if I would meet Piers Morgan and his guest, someone Bieber. I granted the request gracefully, and pleasantly shared half an hour with the two of them, but in all that time the boy, Bieber, didn’t actually speak. So, unfortunately I have no idea what his opinions are on the subjects we covered, which leads me to a level of concern for the importance of the youthful generation. Instead he sat and played with his hair for the duration, much like a small girl playing with a toy pony.

After they had departed I returned to my private room and intended to continue with my work… that was until I heard a noise coming from behind the wall. The walls of my club are extraordinarily thick and it was incredibly rare to hear anything once I was secured within my chamber. But I could definitely hear a scratching sound coming from behind the landscape of Waterloo.

I put a glass to the wall and the scratching noise magnified in to more of a digging. I quickly turned my mind to the location of the room in the buildings layout, and what would be on the other side of this wall. It took less than a minute for me to calculate that the British Museum was on the other side, and judging from where my private chamber was, I reckoned that the Exhibition Room would be more precise.

I am amazed at times when I consider how quickly my mind can access information at crisis moments. For in absolute seconds I then deduced that the exhibit that was the talk of London on this very week was the Treasures of Calcutta, the centrepiece being the Akbar Shah, the largest diamond in the world.

I pulled on the bell cord in the corner of my room and a minute later Alfie, one of the discrete staff at the club, appeared at my door.

“I say, Alfie, my man, I believe there to be someone next door attempting to steal the largest diamond in the world.”

“Thank you, Sir, I will see to it,” and with a professional turn, Alfie spun round and closed the door gently.

I had no doubt that Alfie would call the authorities immediately, and I also knew about the direct line to Scotland Yard that the club had installed during the disappearance of Lord Lucan. So, I waited patiently, staring intently at my pocket watch and counting the seconds. After seventy-eight seconds exactly, the sound of digging stopped, and thankfully did not resume. I returned to the chapter, that I had been working on before meeting Morgan and Bieber, and finally set myself to completing it.

In the future I may have to reassess my use of the club, if interruptions of this sort become the norm, but for the time being I will persevere. Of course, this incident once again meant that I was placed on the front pages of the bloody tabloids again, this time with the headline Knight-Mare. Incredibly awkward.

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