Chapter 3

While Amy had drifted off, the Doctor was intently perusing the news of the day. There were several articles about the recent murders. Pieces of newspaper were strewn about the floor, as the Doctor discarded pages. Rory keep reading over the Doctor's shoulder. He was curious as to why the Doctor thought these serial killings couldn't have ever happened.

Meanwhile, the newsboy was tugging on the Doctor's coat. He was anxious to get his two pence. The Doctor absently reached into a pocket. Trouble was, it wasn't the pocket with the money he'd gotten from the TARDIS. Instead, he gave the boy a yo-yo, telling him to keep the change. The boy was not amused. If anything, his complaints got even louder. Rory finally managed to placate the lad, by showing him a few yo-yo tricks.

What really got the Doctor to sit up and take notice, however, was one small article on the last page. It was a brief mention of a missing girl. A young woman named Maisie Wright was employed as a barmaid at a pub in the West End. She'd shown up for work as usual, on the previous Saturday. But then, she hadn't been seen again. Her purse and other belongings were still where she'd left them.

The Doctor read on. The article reported that police had no leads as to the whereabouts of the missing girl. They were seeking help from the public. Anyone with any information was to contact the police or the newspaper. The last line of the article quoted a Police Inspector named Welland Sloan. He stated that there was no indication that this case, was in any way related to any other disappearances in that part of the city.

"Amy! Come and look at this." The Doctor called from behind his newspaper.

Out of reflex, Amy turned her head at the sound of the Doctor's voice. She glared at Rory. Apparently, he still hadn't noticed her sitting on the pavement in front of the shop window. Amy transferred her glare back to the evil-looking man who'd knocked her down. However, he was gone. He had brusquely walked right over her, as if nothing untoward had happened. Amy caught a glimpse of his coat tails as he hurriedly turned the next corner.

That's when Rory finally noticed that something was amiss. He ran over to her. "Amy! Are you alright? What happened?" He asked guiltily, as he helped her up.

"What are you doing down there?" The Doctor frowned at her, dropping the newspaper and walking over to them. He suddenly seemed too preoccupied to be overly concerned with her, plight. His eyes shown with a bright eagerness, as he said, "Come along, Pond. This is no time for sitting down on the job. The game's in play! We've work to do."

"I'm fine, Rory." Amy nodded, brushing herself off. "What's the Doctor on about, now?"

"Something about serial murders and a missing girl, I gather. You know him." He shrugged.

"Yeah. Sometimes it's like traveling with a hyperactive child." She agreed.

"I heard that!" The Doctor shot at her over his shoulder. "Honestly, Amy. What's the point of being grown up, if I can't act childish sometimes?"

They went on down the road, passing shops and restaurants. Twenty minutes, and several turns later, they came upon a less affluent section of London. The posh shops dwindled to more practical businesses. Amy cast curious glances at the windows of a harness maker, a hardware store, a greengrocer, and a pawn shop. It was something in the window of the pawn shop, which made her stop cold.

"It's him!" She was pulling on Rory's arm, and pointing at the window. "That's the man who knocked me down!"

"Was he wearing fancy dress?" Rory asked quizzically, looking at the object which caught Amy's interest.

In the window of the pawn shop was a large, ornately framed oil painting. A sinister looking man was dressed in dark coloured 16th century clothing. In the portrait, he wore a red plumed, wide-brimmed black hat, and was standing erect, with a gleaming rapier in his hand. Staring at the man's face, Rory suddenly had to repress a shudder. It was the eyes. The painter must have been very good, he thought. That's because when he looked closely at the portrait, it felt like the eyes were alive, gleaming with malevolence.

Rory bent down to examine a small brass plate, which had been screwed into the bottom of the frame. "It says here, Sir James Masters. 1548. Couldn't have been your rude bloke, Amy."

"It is him, Rory." Amy asserted. "I know it sounds daft, but I swear to you, that's the same man. It has to be. I'm going in there. Maybe the shop owner can tell me something about that painting."

Before Rory could stop her, Amy plunged into the shop. He heard the bell on the door jangle, just before the door slammed shut behind her. He was about to follow, when a hand clamped him squarely on the shoulder. Startled, Rory jumped.

"Relax, it's only me. Is everything alright, Rory?" The Doctor asked, sensing a change of mood.

However, just at that moment, he saw the portrait in the window. "What! No way! It can't be. But, it is. It's him! How could it be him?" The Doctor rattled off, his hands pressed against the window. He was eyeball to eyeball with the painting. "Something tells me there's more going on here than meets the eye. Pun intended, Rory."

"Amy swears that's the bloke who ran her down on the street." Rory told him. He glanced at the Doctor with an odd expression. "You mean, you've seen him before?"

"Oh no! Tell me she didn't...where'd she go, Rory? Where's Amy?" The Doctor shouted in a panic, whirling around and looking about for her.

Rory was surprised to see something almost akin to fear in his eyes. He stammered, confused as to the Doctor's sudden anxiety.

"Am-Amy's fine, Doctor. She's just nipped into the shop. She was going to inquire about the man in the portrait. "Why? What's going—"

That's when they both heard Amy give a startled, shrill cry of fear. The sound came from somewhere inside the shop. As one, the Doctor and Rory tore open the door and bolted inside. The gray haired shop keeper tried to stop them, querulously shouting protests. Another scream from Amy came from the rear of the premises. They forcefully pushed their way past the elderly man, and burst into a store room.

The Doctor and Rory arrived at the open back door, just in time to see two burly men shoving Amy into the back of a delivery van. One of the men banged the door shut, and shot the bolt home. Then, they ran forward. Scrambling onto the seat of the wagon, one of them cracked a whip. The sturdy bay horse immediately broke into a rapid trot down the narrow alleyway. Another crack of the whip had it breaking into a swift canter. It's iron-shod hooves sent up sparks from the cobblestones.

"Amy!" Rory shouted, as he and the Doctor ran after the wagon.

There was the sound of a police whistle close by. A booming male voice gave a sharp command to stop. What Rory and the Doctor didn't realize at first, was that the order was meant for them. It wasn't until a policeman stepped in front of them, from out of an adjacent alley, that they realized it.

"You can run lads, but I can always call up more officers. So why don't you give yourselves up now, and save us all the fuss and bother." A red-faced, portly, helmeted policeman asked them. He was carrying a truncheon, slapping his palm with it.

"What? No! You don't understand, officer. My wife's..." Rory tried to explain.

"Waiting dinner for you at home with the kiddies? I've heard that one before, mate. Won't work on me." The policeman said smugly, rocking on his heels.

"Look, he's trying to tell you that his wife's just been kidnapped. Out of that shop, back there." The Doctor indicated the direction they'd just run from, by pointing his thumb over his shoulder. "So if you don't mind, we'd like to get on with rescuing her."

"Well I must say sir, that's new to me. Very creative. I'll give you nine marks out of ten for that one. However, I'm afraid your fictitious damsel in distress will have to wait. I'm placing both under arrest."

"Arrest? What for?' Rory gasped in dismay.

"I believe the charge is taking property that rightly belongs to Lord Dunsmore." The constable told them.

"Not the Lord Dunsmore?" The Doctor asked, seemingly taken aback.

"The very same, sir." The constable replied.

"Never heard of him." The Doctor sniffed.

"What!" The policeman exclaimed. "Never 'eard of 'im? Where you been livin' then? Timbuctooland?"

"Not recently, but I do travel a lot." The Doctor shrugged. "Why? Is he someone important?"

"Yes, sir. You might say that." The constable pulled himself upright, full of self-importance. "Has ties to the royal family, he does. A true hero of the Boer War. Serves in the House of Lords, best mates with Disraeli himself. Helped to draft a lot of those so-called 'social reforms' a while back . He's the fella' them in the know says might be our next prime minister." He shook his head in disgust. "And 'ere you lot had to go and nick his personal transport." He clicked his tongue. "Tsk-tsk-tsk. That sort of think just 'hain't cricket, me lads."

"Did you just 'tsk' us?" Rory asked, looking squint-eyed at the man. "I don't think anyone's ever actually done that to me, before."

"Quiet, Rory. Now look officer, I can explain everything..." The Doctor began.

"No, you look, sir. Besides the two coachmen, we have a third witness. You were seen stealing Lord Dunsmore's carriage. In broad daylight. That's a very serious charge, you know. Now, are you two coming along quietly, or shall I have to call for reinforcements?" The policeman put the whistle in his mouth. Next, he pulled out two pairs of handcuffs. He held them up to show the Doctor that he meant what he said.

"Oh, that's great. We're being nabbed for grand theft carriage. While Amy's being kidnapped. Nice going, Doctor." Rory muttered bitterly.

The Doctor visibly winced. His eyes seemed suddenly old. "I know, I know. I'm so sorry, Rory." He chided himself softly. "Amy's in terrible danger, and it's all my fault."

For the first time in a very long while, Rory felt genuinely angry with the Doctor. He had to go and purloin some stupid carriage, just for a lark. Now, Amy was being taken to some unknown location, for purposes he didn't even want to guess at. In a London which existed a hundred years before her own time. And, here he was, unable to do a damn thing about it. Amy desperately needed him. Uunfortunately, he was busy being taken away to the nearest gaol. Rory wondered out loud if he should allow his wife to travel in the TARDIS any longer.

The Doctor shot him a wounded look. For once though, he had nothing to say. Sighing with resignation, the Doctor watched the policeman click the handcuffs over his wrists.

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