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Author's Chapter Notes:
This letter was written by Finn

Somewhere in the mountains
Europe somewhere
5th December 192*

Dear all,

I am aware that these things are generally intended to bring festive cheer, but I must beg to vary from that tradition a little. Please send help immediately. The last remaining member of the Wilson family has been taken prisoner by a shady organisation working out of a secret location known as "The Chalet". I think they may be affiliated to the Mafia. I have written down all the information I have managed to gather, so that you can find me and rescue me or, failing that, at least send me the money I need to pay off my ransom.

The head of the "family" is known only as "Madame", and I am convinced she's a very dangerous woman. I mean, no-one is that nice! She is married to a doctor, but no-one is interested in him; he's just window-dressing. Far more dangerous are those known as "the staff". Madame has a shadowy second-in-command, whom they call "Mademoiselle" even though she's older than Madame. She pretends to be French, but I don't believe it for a minute - like with Madame, it's just not possible to be that French.

Then there is a Moll called Maynard - she's pretty and practical - ties a mean carrick bend and does all the accounts on the side. The family's confessor is referred to as "The Abbess" - she labours for the good of their souls and corrects they're grammar in her spare time. (Yes, Abbess, that one was for you, even if you can't see it!).

Among their other prisoners is a young pretender to the Scottish throne, heavily disguised as a woman, and something that seems to be a half-tame bear, whom I think is generally controlled by two mysterious individuals who make regular trips to look in on "The Chalet". One of them speaks Italian, which I'm sure suggests the Mafia. The other one is so heavily disguised as an buffoon that he must be someone extremely important. He's mostly pretty quiet, perhaps having taken in the philosopher's advice that "it is better to remain silent and be thought an idiot…" but I know exactly what to think - I've seen his suit.

The locals are all in thrall to Madame, who is presumably using the bear to help set up her protection racket - that, or intimidating them with threats of her sister's piano playing. Whatever it is, they can't speak highly enough of her - actually, they can't speak because they're falling over themselves to speak highly of her, which only proves there's something fishy going on. But I need help. They've got me in the science lab messing about with HCl, but I know that one day soon they'll be asking me to make something more like C17H21NO4…so folks, if you love your old Bill, send me money, weapons, cake, anything to dig myself out of this place and get myself safely home to England…

In anxious anticipation of your /money/response, I remain ever,

Most sincerely yours,

Nell Wilson

P.S. Enclosed is a pinch of salt for you to take along with this letter. I am well, the Alps are lovely, and I'm looking forward to seeing you all for Christmas!

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