Our story begins with music. Lots and lots of German beer hall music. Never ending oom-pah music. The music has been coming from the basement…where the submarine is…and it’s been keeping Nigel up all night.
And it doesn’t stop during the day either.
Our booksellers delay the opening of their store to discuss this matter. Also, to discuss the crazy cat lady who sits outside the shop with a sign that says ‘The end is nigh!’, surrounded by cats.
At one point during the discussion the oom-pah stops, and the fiddle music starts up again. Petunia goes to the corner of the store where the fiddle playing ghost appears, and watches the young ghost as he tries to play a classical piece of music. She gets the impression that he desperately needs to complete this piece of music…correctly…and in tune. Sadly, his fiddle has been damaged, and no matter how well he plays, it will never sound the way it should.
The booksellers decide that they will hire some laborers to either cut down, or dig out the prow of the submarine. Petunia knows a couple of ex-pats who are musicians, and day laborers. They have all the equipment needed…oh…and turns out Andy “Blue Jacket” Barnes also has a fiddle he’s not currently using. Convenient!
Nigel heads off to the library to do some research on German submarines. What he finds out is rather shocking- there could be up to 30 corpses stuck under their store!
At some point during all of this they receive 3 separate visitors: Reginald Biggs- who would like to do some digging in their basement, as well as review the book they captured from the Nazis, Sir Anthony Whitechapel- who inquires about using the store after hours to host a meeting of his friends (Violet and Petunia send him on his way), and Miss Florence Hamilton Beech- who simply wants to know if they’ve noticed all the cats in the neighborhood.
Mr. Biggs reviews the mathematics book and discovers that there are also formulas in it related to the conversion of carbon dioxide to oxygen, and the recycling of waste to water. His efforts to dig around the prow get nowhere.
Petunia and the fiddler have another interaction. This time, she presents the fiddle from ‘Blue Jacket’ and when the ghost reaches out to it, the fiddle and the ghost both disappear. It appears the the Fiddler is at rest finally!
The group remembers that the other ghost they had seen was a clergyman and they deduce that he wants to perform last rites for his fellow sailors.
They also wonder if it’s possible anyone is alive down there. Taking a book of morse code, they rap on the hull of the ship. The conversation goes as follows:
Who are you?
Who are you?
British shop keepers
What are you doing in the ocean?
Is everything ok on your boat?
Where is Violet?
At that point, the ghost of Dr. Fassbender appears and becomes quite violent. Angus takes his cross from around his neck, and punches it through the apparition…causing his hand to cake over with frost!
They head back upstairs, and the old cat lady is still out there. Nigel starts to come unglued and confronts her.
“What do you know about all of this?”, he demands. The old lady simply sits there, but the cat that is rubbing against his leg begins to talk to him telepathically.
“Give them what they want, and they will go away.”
“But one of them wants Ms. McCourt dead!”
“Well, they won’t pass on until they get what they want.”
When Nigel again looks at the cat lady…she is indeed…a cat lady. Or rather, a bunch of cats in the shape of an old lady. This sends him off the edge and he runs back into the store.
They decide then and there, that they will perform the last rights for the sailors. Nigel is so shaken that they send him back to his room to recover. He won’t participate in the ritual.
As the ritual is performed, a sense of peace floods their basement. Right up to the point where Dr. Fassbenders ghost shows up and comes screaming towards them! The ghostly priest intercedes and there is a huge explosion of ectoplasmic energies!
Nigel…..awakens….in the broom closet where he had stashed Nessie, the store cat. Actually, he awakwes AS Nessie. The others awaken outside in the alley…also…in the form of cats!