3. The Ball
Back at Cranleigh Hall, Ann stormed in with Billy at her heels. He was trying to explain something important to her but she wouldn’t listen.
“Look, I tell you,” Billy insisted, “those two men wouldn’t listen to me! They wouldn’t bother answering my questions! Now if you don’t see that as suspicious, I don’t know what is.”
“The only thing I find suspicious is you!” Ann retorted.
“Me?!” Billy replied, astounded.
“You go out of your way to stop the Doctor and Nyssa in their activities,” Ann went on. “The Doctor in his cricket match and Nyssa in her ballroom dancing. I consider that to be rude and unjust.”
“They were about to commit murder!”
“How could you be so sure?”
“They had their eyes shut! And they looked like they were in a trance!”
“That doesn’t mean a thing.”
“How can you be so ignorant of the facts when I’m trying to save the Doctor and Nyssa’s lives?”
Ann began to sob. “Because…because…I can’t take it all in!”
Billy was astonished by Ann’s behaviour as she moved away from him, seemingly upset.
“You’re supposed to help me, Lady Cranleigh,” Billy reminded her. “You’re supposed to help me save Nyssa and the Doctor.”
“But that’s all you seem to care about,” Ann cried. “The Doctor and Nyssa. You think of nothing else but them.”
“Well, why shouldn’t I?” Billy asked. “They’re my friends! Nyssa’s my girlfriend! Who else should I be caring about apart from the Doctor and Nyssa?”
“Me for instance!” Ann blurted out.
A moment of silence ensued. Billy couldn’t believe his ears.
“You? I…I don’t…I don’t understand. Why should I be caring about you?”
“Because…because you love me,” Ann said.
“Love you?” Billy said, astonished. “When did I say that I loved you?”
“When you kissed me,” Ann replied. “That night when I first met you. You kissed me!”
“Because I made a mistake,” Billy reminded her. “I made a mistake in thinking you were Nyssa! Surely you can understand that! This is the 1920s, not Regency Bath!”
“My marriage to Charles,” Ann interjected. “I’m not happy!”
“I don’t see what your marriage has to do with this,” Billy said.
“Don’t you?” Ann retorted. “I was meant to marry George. He was the man I truly loved. And I lost him when he went out into that Orinoco. That awful South American jungle. He never came back. The George I knew had died.”
“So you married his brother instead,” Billy surmised. “You married his lordship, Charles Cranleigh.”
“I told Charles I could never love him in the same way that I loved George,” Ann said. “He told me he understood. He told me that I would love him in time. That he would make me love him. But since we’ve been married, I’ve felt nothing for him. I can’t love him in the way he thinks I can. Life is not the same without George. I wish he never died in that terrible jungle. I wish George never found that black orchid!”
“Why are you telling me this, Lady Cranleigh?” Billy asked. “I don’t see where this is going.”
“You kissed me,” Ann reminded him. “You looked at me as someone who wanted to be with me! I know you want to!”
Billy stared at Ann astonished. He tried to take in what she’d been saying.
“This hasn’t been about me or about the Doctor and Nyssa,” Billy said to her. “It’s been about you, hasn’t it? It’s always been about you as far as you’re concerned. You’re a spoilt brat!”
“What?” Ann reacted, shocked.
“You depend on people,” Billy continued. “You want people to heed to your every need. You seek comfort from those when you’re upset or afraid.”
“Let me tell you why I’m so fond of the Doctor and Nyssa,” Billy went on, slightly agitated. “They care about others! They’re compassionate and considerate! Especially Nyssa! You’re too emotional and you think about yourself a lot!”
“That’s not true!” Ann defied. “How dare you suggest a thing…?”
“Nyssa’s stronger than you are and calmer,” Billy continued, ignoring Ann. “Sometimes that drives me crazy, but at least she doesn’t think badly of me! She understands and thinks about other people from their perspective!” He paused for a moment. “You’re quick to make judgements on people. You accused the Doctor for killing a footman and attacking you when you were all dressed up for a fancy dress ball! As a result, he was arrested on a charge of murder!”
“I had every right to accuse him,” Ann said. “I didn’t know he wasn’t the murderer! I was confused! The harlequin mask hid his face…”
“You think very little of me, Lady Cranleigh,” Billy interrupted. “You think I cause trouble and seem to take advantage of you.” He stopped for a moment before he said calmly, “Well, let you something. I care about the Doctor and Nyssa. Right now, I want my Nyssa back. And if you’re hoping to seek comfort from me in the mood you’re in, then you’re very much mistaken!”
With that, Billy started to walk away from Ann. He stopped before turning back to look at her.
“Nothing’s going to stop me rescuing the Doctor and Nyssa,” he said. “Nothing, you hear? I’m going to save them! Even if you won’t help me. Good day, your ladyship. It hasn’t been pleasant.”
Billy then stormed off up the stairs as he headed for his bedroom. Ann watched Billy go as she remained downstairs in the lobby. She began to realise the error of her words and became ashamed of herself.
At that moment Lord Cranleigh entered the lobby. He had just come from his study. He went over to join Ann.
“Ann my dear,” he began. “I thought I heard voices. Was there shouting I just heard? Where’s Mr. Billy Walker got to?”
Ann then burst into tears. She held her husband in an embrace.
“Oh Charles!” she sobbed. “Charles, I’m a very bad person. You should never have married me.”
Cranleigh held Ann in the embrace, tapping her gently on the shoulders.
“There, there now, my dear,” he said reassuringly. “Don’t say such things. Of course you’re not a bad person. I wouldn’t have married anyone else in the world if you weren’t.”
“Do you mean that?” Ann asked, teary-eyed.
“Scout’s honour, my dear,” Cranleigh said cheerily.
“Oh, but I’ve been so nasty to poor young Mr. Walker – Billy,” Ann told him. “He’s so fond of the Doctor and Nyssa. I’ve judged him disgracefully.”
“Well my dear, we all mistakes,” said Cranleigh. “Perhaps you’d better redeem yourself before you upset Mr. Walker any further.”
Ann wiped the tears from her eyes and face as he looked up at Charles. She smiled at him and he smiled back reassuringly.
“I need to start preparing for the ball then, hadn’t I?” Ann said. “Do you think you could help me, Charles? Prepare a list of requirements for the ball, I mean?”
“I’ll see what I can do, my dear,” Cranleigh replied. “But I’ll have to think about the cricket match as well. Get Mr. Walker to help you out too. I’m sure he’ll appreciate what you’re doing to help him by helping you out too.”
“That’s exactly what I intend to do,” Ann replied. “But first, I’ll collect the books on the previous balls I’ve arranged in the past.”
Ann and Lord Cranleigh eventually went off to make preparations for the ball and the cricket match.
On the Cranleigh cricket field, the Cranleigh team had made a total of 166 runs for 4 wickets. The Doctor was pleased with the score. So was his current cricketing partner Chuffy. They had their turn batting on the field as they watched the cricket match whilst sitting in the pavilion.
“Jolly good show, hey what?” Chuffy said pleased. “We seem to be doing rather well.”
“Yes indeed,” the Doctor replied. “I’m glad I haven’t been late this season. We’ve certainly given the other team a terrible thrashing.”
“Yes,” Chuffy said. “Next time, we’d better make sure we’re not out for a duck.”
“Indeed not,” the Doctor agreed. “I’m confident we’ll get the bowling side out of the boundary when they bat next.”
A moment’s silence ensued.
“And now Doctor,” Chuffy began, “there is an even greater victory to talk about.”
“Really, what’s that?” the Doctor asked.
Chuffy looked squarely at the Doctor in the eyes. The Doctor couldn’t help but be transfixed by Chuffy’s stare. Chuffy held the Doctor in an hypnotic trance. The Doctor, even with his Time Lord strength, was quite unable to be break free from the trance.
“The power of the Zorbius crystal is getting stronger,” Chuffy said hypnotically. “Forming into being. All of the segments have been collected. We are soon to be triumphant. There is one final task you need to perform.”
“I understand,” the Doctor replied, entranced. “What must I do?”
“You must attend a function at Cranleigh Hall when you recieve an invite from Lord Cranleigh,” Chuffy instructed. “There you will find the last segment to be collected. The power of Zorbius will be complete. All of time and space will be ours. Do you understand?”
“I understand,” the Doctor answered, entranced.
“Good. That is all to be said.”
Eventually, Chuffy stopped hypnotising the Doctor. All resumed as normal. As if nothing ever happened.
“Well Doctor,” Chuffy said cheerfully, “do you think our next man in will have a fair chance?”
“Can’t really bank on it,” the Doctor replied cheerfully. “But even if we go down, there are still Jackson and Morris who will take us back up again!”
“That’s the spirit, Doctor,” Chuffy said happily. “Now, I think I’ll ask you to be our third bowler. Just for politeness sake. Don’t want to scare the opposition with your demon bowling first off, do we?”
“Of course not,” the Doctor concurred. “I wouldn’t like the losing side to have no runs so deliberately.”
In the ballroom of Cranleigh hotel, Nyssa danced with Freddie Highmore. He too held Nyssa in a hypnotic trance. She was transfixed by his gaze as he looked into her.
“You must remember this, Nyssa of Traken,” he commanded her. “The lady of the house will have the Zorbius crystal energy we need. But it is not in the form of jewel necklace. It is something deeply embedded in her. You’ve seen it before it.”
“Yes, Mr. Highmore,” Nyssa said, entranced. “I understand.”
“Once you realise where it is,” Freddie went on, “you are to focus your mind and steal the crystal energy from her. Then you are to dispose of her in the process. You know what to do. You have done it before. Take care as you do it.”
“Yes, Mr. Highmore,” Nyssa responded, entranced. “I understand.”
“Good,” said Freddie satisfied. “So long as we have that cleared up, we will say no more about it. Zorbius will become triumphant again.”
Eventually Freddie broke Nyssa out of her trance. All resumed to normal. Freddie smiled at Nyssa. She giggled as they danced, acting like nothing happened.
“So, you look forward to another ball then?” Freddie asked.
“Oh yes indeed,” Nyssa replied happily. “I’m hoping to buy a new dress when it comes to dancing at Cranleigh Hall. Have you got a suit of your own?”
“Oh yes,” Freddie answered. “Sent it off to the tailor’s to be cleaned. I hope you have the right dancer to attend to you at the ball.”
“Yes,” Nyssa then said sadly. “I suppose so.”
Freddie became concerned. “Nyssa, what’s wrong? Are you looking for someone?”
“No, it’s not that,” Nyssa replied. “It’s just…I feel as if I’ve lost something…someone. But I can’t imagine who it might be.”
“What you’re trying to say is that you need a dancing partner at this upcoming function,” Freddie suggested. “Don’t you, dear?”
“Yes,” Nyssa said happily. “That’s it! That’s what’s been bothering me!”
“Then I shall be happy to oblige,” Freddie answered. “Would you care to accompany me to the ball when the time comes, Lady Nyssa?”
“Yes,” Nyssa replied. “I shall like that very much. I hope the Doctor will attend too.”
“Oh yes!” Freddie nodded. “The Doctor! How fond you must be of him.”
They continued dancing, swaying happily in the ballroom.
Back at Cranleigh Hall, in the guest bedroom, Billy was unhappy. He sat on the bed, staring at the mirror. He was anticipating the image of Nyssa to appear before him. But he knew that only Ann could provide the image of Nyssa, due to their connection in similarity.
“Nyssa?” he called out quietly. “Nyssa, can you hear me?”
No response. Billy became depressed. He never felt so helpless in all his life. He wondered what to do. He couldn’t approach Nyssa and the Doctor like before. Even if he tried to confront the two gentlemen Chuffy and Freddie, he was certain they wouldn’t listen to him. But why? Why wouldn’t they listen to him? What did they have to hide? That’s what he wanted to know.
“No!” Billy said determined. “I mustn’t sit here and be sorry for myself. I’ve got to go and find those gentlemen again. And if they won’t help me, I’ll force the answers out of them…somehow.”
With that, he stood up from the bed, feeling determined. He never felt like this before. Usually he’d let the Doctor confront the antagonists of this sort. But the Doctor wasn’t himself anymore. The only way to bring him back to his senses was for Billy to handle the situation himself. Billy looked to the mirror for a bit before he made to leave.
“Don’t worry, Nyssa darling,” he said to the mirror. “Don’t worry. I’ll sort this out. I’ll get you and the Doctor out of that mirror. I’ll find those gentlemen myself!”
Eventually, he made for the door and headed out of the guest bedroom.
As Billy headed off out of the guest bedroom, he bumped into Ann who was coming his way. He stopped; shrugged and tried to avoid her gaze.
“Sorry. Didn’t see you there.”
He began to move off, continuing on his way before Ann stopped him.
“Billy, wait! Please!”
At that, Billy stopped in his tracks. He gradually turned back to Ann, feeling uneasy.
“Yes, Lady Cranleigh?” he enquired.
Billy then saw Ann gradually step towards him. She took his hands and stroked them gently and reassuringly.
“Billy. Billy my dear,” she said. “I’m so sorry for being so mean to you. I didn’t mean to accuse you of anything. I’ve just…been so silly, tired and pig-headed.”
“I beg your pardon?” Billy asked.
“Since George died, I’ve been mourning him a lot,” Ann gradually went on. “When you came, you gave me a shining hope. Something to live for. I was being selfish and I shouldn’t have been. I should’ve realised that you wanted to see your friends again. I was thinking too much about myself. Please can you forgive me?”
Billy looked at Ann and took her in thoughtfully. He smiled contentedly as he placed his hand on Ann’s.
“It’s alright, your ladyship,” Billy said. “I’m sorry I accused you for being a spoilt brat. I didn’t mean it like that. It’s just…I’m so worried about Nyssa and the Doctor. I felt like you didn’t seem to care.”
Ann took a moment before she gradually said, “I want to help you in any way I can, Billy Walker. I’ve helped people before and I’m willing to help you now. If you’ll let me.”
“Of course,” Billy replied. “I would like nothing better.” He paused for a moment before going on, “Now, I’ve been thinking. Just before you came, I was going to go back and talk to those two men myself. I was going to put the questions straight to them.”
“I’ve got a better idea, Billy,” Ann suggested.
“Oh?” Billy said surprised. “What’s that?”
“I’d very much like you to help me out with arranging the ball,” Ann said. “Then we can sort out the invites to Mr. Chuffnell and Mr. Highmore as well as to the Doctor and Miss Nyssa.”
“Err, I should warn you,” Billy began to warn her wearingly, “that I don’t know a thing about arranging balls. Even though I said so myself I wanted to know what it’s like to arrange a ball. I don’t think I’d be much use to you.”
“Don’t worry about a thing, Billy,” Ann reassured him. “Just follow my guidance and I’ll tell you what to do. You can help me with sending messages to the servants as well as to Brewster. You can help out with writing the invitations. Just little things whilst Charles is busy arranging the cricket match with the Doctor.”
“That reminds me,” Billy laughed, “I used to help Nyssa with her scientific experiments. She always lets me do the little things for her.”
Billy couldn’t help notice that Ann looked away from him momentarily. She almost seemed sad. Eventually, she quickly recovered her senses and turned happily to Billy again.
“This is going to be the greatest ball we’ve ever had at Cranleigh Hall,” she said. “And with you helping me, it should be a cracker.”
“I’m sure it will,” Billy agreed. “Thank you, Lady Cranleigh. I really appreciate you helping me out this way.”
“Billy?” Ann interrupted. “May I call you Billy?”
“Yes of course, your ladyship,” Billy replied.
“Billy, you don’t have to keep calling me Lady Cranleigh,” she said. “From now on, I should very much like it if you called me Ann. If you please.”
Billy thought about this for a moment. He couldn’t believe it. Ann was being really friendly to him.
“As you wish…Ann,” he eventually said. “I’m happy to call you that.”
“Good,” Ann said happily. “Well, I suppose we’d better go downstairs and get ready for the ball. And as soon as possible.”
“Yes,” Billy equally said happily. “I’d like that.”
“Come on then,” Ann said encouraginly. “Let’s go downstairs and sort out everything.”
With that, Billy followed Ann as they made their way downstairs to head for the living room. They laughed and chatted with each other as they seemed to be the best of friends from now on.
A day or so later, Lord Cranleigh entered the lobby at Cranleigh Hotel. He saw the Doctor and Nyssa sitting on leather sofas. They were having coffee together. Cranleigh went over to greet them.
“Doctor,” he began abundantly. “How are you, old man?”
“Lord Cranleigh,” the Doctor replied, pleased. “What a delightful surprise!”
“And Lady Nyssa,” Cranleigh continued. “Good to see you too, what?”
“Hello, your lordship,” Nyssa replied. “I trust Ann is well.”
“Oh she’s very well, thank you very much,” Cranleigh answered. “In fact, I’m here in my role as her emissary to send you an invitation to our forthcoming ball at Cranleigh Hall.”
“Forthcoming ball?” the Doctor enquired. “What day?”
“Tomorrow,” Cranleigh replied.
“Oh in that case,” Nyssa said, “we can’t refuse. Can’t we, Doctor?”
“Absolutely not,” the Doctor agreed as he turned to Lord Cranleigh. “We’d be delighted to attend the ball, your lordship.”
“Splendid!” Cranleigh said happily. “Here we are. These are the invitations to the ball to you both.”
His lordship handed over the invitations to the Doctor and Nyssa. They were small sheets of paper. The Doctor and Nyssa took the invitations delightedly, checking out the details on them thoroughly.
“Oh this is superb,” Nyssa said. “Thank you so much, Lord Cranleigh.”
“It’s all there in the invitations for you,” Cranleigh said. “Friends to dance out on the terrace at Cranleigh Hall with a buffet of food and drink. Dress formally but smartly.”
“Thank you again, Lord Cranleigh,” the Doctor said. “This will do very nicely.”
“Your wife must have worked for days on end to prepare this special occasion,” Nyssa said. “And at short notice too no doubt.”
“Oh Ann works wonders arranging balls,” Cranleigh said. “She did a lot for charity, you know. And she had help this time. From a fine young man going by the name of Billy Walker. You know the lad, I take it.”
The mood changed suddenly then. The Doctor and Nyssa became glum once they heard that name.
“That young man,” the Doctor said. “He’s been at your house, has he?”
“I suppose he’ll be there at the ball as well,” Nyssa said, seemingly displeased.
“Yes,” Cranleigh replied, puzzled. “He thinks the world of you two, you know. Can’t stop talking about you two to me and Ann.”
“Yes,” the Doctor said glumly. “I’m sure he can’t.”
“How sad for him,” Nyssa said, equally glum.
Cranleigh was even more puzzled. “Are you sure you two can’t remember a thing about him? About the time you spent with him as he claims?”
“No, Lord Cranleigh,” the Doctor said fiercely. “We told that boy as we’re telling you now. We don’t know him!”
“We’ve never seen that boy in our lives,” Nyssa added, equally fierce. “Nor do we want to know him.”
“Righto,” Cranleigh said, suspicious. “No need to fret about it. Just checking with you two.”
At that moment, Chuffy and Freddie turned up. They greeted Lord Cranleigh as they approached.
“Whatho, your lordship!” Chuffy said cheerfully. “Good to see you again!”
“Hope all is well with you, Charles,” Freddie said. “All topping, is it?”
“Yes! Absolutely ripping, Chuffy; Freddie,” Cranleigh replied delightedly. “In fact, I was just about to find you both. You’ve saved me the trouble.”
“Oh indeed?” Freddie enquired. “How so?”
Cranleigh then handed out the ball invitations to Chuffy and Freddie. They took the invitations, delighted and intrigued.
“There’s ball tomorrow night at the hall,” Cranleigh explained. “I know it’s short notice, but please care to join us if you will. It’ll be spiffing, I assure you.”
“Why thank you, Charles,” Chuffy said delighted. “We shall certainly attend! Won’t we, Freddie my good fellow?”
“Absolutely,” Freddie said. “We can think of nothing better than enjoy a function at Cranleigh Hall. It fits in perfectly with our schedule.”
“Splendid,” Cranleigh said, pleased. “Well, can’t stand around all day. Got to get back to the hall. See how Ann’s doing with the arrangements.”
“Of course,” Chuffy agreed. “You go about your way, Charles. We shall see you tomorrow.”
“Yes! Tinkety-tonk, Charles,” Freddie said.
“Tinkety-tonk, Freddie; Chuffy,” Cranleigh said. He turned back to the Doctor and Nyssa who were still looking glum. “Goodbye Doctor; Miss Nyssa. See you tomorrow.”
The Doctor and Nyssa didn’t say anything. Lord Cranleigh felt uncomfortable about that.
He cleared his throat before saying, “Well err, I’ll be off then.” He paused and then, “Tally-ho!”
With that, Lord Cranleigh headed off out of the hotel. Freddie and Chuffy smiled as they watched Cranleigh go, who left through the lobby out through the entrance doors. Once Cranleigh had gone, Freddie and Chuffy turned to the Doctor and Nyssa.
“He gave you invitations, I presume,” Freddie enquired.
“Of course,” the Doctor replied. “As if he wouldn’t. We’ve got them here.”
The Doctor presented the invitations to Freddie and Chuffy as they were given to him and Nyssa by Lord Cranleigh earlier.
“Good, good,” Chuffy said, pleased. “That’s excellent! Now we can carry on with our plans for conquest!”
“They have that boy with them at the hall,” Nyssa told them. “The boy called Billy Walker.”
“What?!” Freddie said, dismayed. “They have that boy with them at the hall?! They let him stay with them at their residence?!”
“He’s helping Lady Cranleigh prepare for the ball,” the Doctor elaborated. “Something can go very wrong if he interferes and ruins our plans.”
“What are we to do?” Nyssa asked. “If he bothers us, we won’t be able to fulfil our task.”
“Just keep him out of the way, you two,” Chuffy told them. “With any luck, he won’t interfere with our plans.”
“We can’t be sure of that,” the Doctor said. “He’s determined to prove to us that we know him.”
“Do not trouble yourselves, you two,” Freddie said reassuringly to them. “Just do as we tell you. Everything will be alright.”
The Doctor and Nyssa became sceptical. They were anticipating what may happen to them at the special event taking place at Cranleigh Hall tomorrow evening.
Tomorrow evening, on the terrace of Cranleigh Hall, ragtime time was being played out on the gramophone. They couldn’t afford a proper band. Records of 1920s music from various composers were being played out, ranging from George Gershwin to Irving Berlin to Guy Lombardo to Cole Porter to Jerome Kern.
Those who attended the ball were enjoying themselves to the hilt. Couple danced waltzes and foxtrots whilst on the terrace. The gold evening sun shone brightly as it hit the terrace floor. Billy stood with Ann on the terrace. They were waiting, anticipating the arrival of the Doctor and Nyssa.
“They haven’t arrived yet,” Billy said. “I wonder if they’ll come.”
“They will come soon,” Ann reassured him. “Don’t you fret, Billy! Besides, Charles gave them the invitations yesterday. They said yes to coming.”
“Where is Lord Cranleigh by the way?” Billy asked. “Is he inside?”
“He’s welcoming guests, I believe,” Ann said. “Or perhaps he’s still getting himself dressed.”
At that moment, Brewster the butler arrived. He carried a tray of smoked salmon on a platter. Billy went over to him and gently lowered his voice.
“Brewster? Mr. Brewster? Have the Doctor and Nyssa arrived yet?”
“No, young man,” Brewster replied. “They haven’t yet arrived. You’ve asked me that question five times already.”
“Have I?” Billy asked before realising. “Oh. Sorry. Thank you, Brewster.”
Billy went back to rejoin Ann. Ann tapped Billy on the shoulder gently.
“They will come eventually, Billy,” she said. “I told you before. Don’t worry. Why not take your mind off things and have a dance with someone?”
“I’d like nothing better,” Billy replied. “But I don’t know who to dance with. There’s nobody here I know of.”
Gradually, Ann suggested to Billy, “You could ask me to dance with you.”
“Me?” Billy said surprised. “Ask you to dance with me?”
“Yes,” Ann replied. “Why not?”
Billy became nervous. “Well, I don’t think I should. I mean…since you’re…well, you know…married.”
“Oh I’m sure Charles wouldn’t mind,” Ann said. “I’m sure he’d be happy to let you dance with me if you ask. Ah! Here he is now!”
At that moment, Billy and Ann turned to see Charles Cranleigh come out to join them on the terrace.
“Ah, Ann!” he greeted. “There you are! And you Mr. Walker. How are things out here? All going well, I take it?”
“Everything’s going splendidly thank you, Charles,” Ann answered. “Everybody’s having a splendid time.”
“The Doctor and Nyssa haven’t arrived yet, Lord Cranleigh,” Billy told him. “I’m starting to wonder whether they’ll come.”
“Yes, they did seem peculiar after I left them,” Cranleigh admitted. “They were quite despondent when I mentioned you, young man. Almost as if they didn’t want to know you.”
“There you are, you see?” Billy said. “That’s not the Doctor and Nyssa I know. They would think about me. They wouldn’t push me out the way completely. Something’s wrong with them. I know it!”
“Look!” Ann realised. “There they are! There’s the Doctor and Nyssa!”
They turned to look as they saw the Doctor and Nyssa arrive on the terrace. They seemed to be cheerful.
“And top hoe!” Cranleigh declaired. “There’s Chuffy and Freddie! They’ve come too!”
“Oh no,” Billy said glumly. “Not them.”
“What’s wrong, Billy?” Ann asked, concerned. “I thought you wanted to see those two gentlemen.”
“Yes,” Billy replied, “but now I’ve seen them, I’m a little nervous about what I’ll say to them.”
They were interrupted as the Doctor and Nyssa came over to greet Lord Cranleigh.
“Lord Cranleigh!” the Doctor greeted cheerfully. “Thank you so much for inviting us both here!”
“We’re so glad to be back at Cranleigh Hall,” Nyssa added.
“My dear Doctor and Nyssa,” Cranleigh said delightedly. “I can’t think how a ball can be so ripping without you two. You know Ann of course.”
Nyssa went over to greet Ann as they shook each other’s hands.
“How do you do Ann?” said Nyssa to Ann.
“How do you do Nyssa?” said Ann to Nyssa.
“Still quite uncanny,” declared Cranleigh. “Isn’t it, Doctor?”
“Indeed,” the Doctor agreed. “Both their voices still sound alike.”
“And of course you know our new friend,” Ann said. “Billy Walker.”
Just as Ann was about to introduce Billy, the Doctor bore Nyssa away. They joined in with the dancing, ignoring Billy altogether. Billy watched as the Doctor and Nyssa left. He felt sad whilst Ann placed a comforting hand on his shoulder.
“Come now, Billy dear,” Ann said. “I’m sure everything will work out fine.”
Billy gradually smiled at Ann, enlightened by her reassurance. He then turned to her and bowed.
“Ann? May I have the first dance?”
“Of course, dear boy,” Ann said delightedly. “I’m happy to accept.”
Billy turned to Lord Cranleigh. “You don’t mind do you, your lordship?”
“No of course not, dear fellow,” Cranleigh replied. “By all means.”
With that, Billy began to dance Ann away with him whilst Cranleigh went over to greet Chuffy and Freddie.
Ann gazed into Billy’s eyes and said, “May I say how smart you look, Billy Walker. You’re absolutely dashing.”
“Thank you, Ann,” Billy replied. “You look lovely too. In that silk dress of yours.”
Bearing her away with him on the terrace, Billy and Ace danced nimbly, improvising as they went. Whilst they danced, Billy kept a watchful eye on the Doctor and Nyssa as they danced on the terrace too.
A while later on the terrace, the Doctor and Nyssa were still dancing together. They ignored Billy who was dancing with Ann in close proximity to them.
“They’re ignoring us,” Billy whispered to Ann. “Or rather ignoring me.”
“They’re probably upset that I’m dancing with you,” Ann suggested.
Billy and Ann giggled as they continued dancing together. They danced a little closer to the Doctor and Nyssa who were, by this point, fed up.
“Hey Doctor,” Billy called out. “Just to say if it hadn’t been for you, my life wouldn’t have been a bore. I want to say thank you for that. Even if you don’t want me to.”
Through gritted teeth, the Doctor said, “Lady Cranleigh! Please keep this upstart away from me!”
Billy then called out to Nyssa “And Nyssa dear! I’m so glad you and I met. You made me the happiest man in the world! You know that, don’t you?”
Nyssa ignored Billy as she turned to the Doctor while dancing. “Doctor, can we dance somewhere else? Away from this boy?”
The Doctor obliged as he danced Nyssa off away to the far left of the terrace. Billy and Ann watched as they danced away. The music eventually stopped as well as the dancing. Everyone gave a round of applause once the music had stopped.
“Do you remember the Doctor and Nyssa being like that?” Billy asked Ann.
“I just don’t understand it,” Ann replied. “Your Nyssa and the Doctor used to be such nice people.”
Another lively tune began to play from the gramaphone. Billy recognised it all too well. He knew the dance to accompany it.
“Oh no!” he groaned. “Not the Charleston! I’m not good at that one.”
“I am,” Ann said happily. “Watch me!”
Ann then swung into the dance with the others. Her nimble knees went and her heels kicked to the dance. Billy watched her, feeling embarrassed.
“Come on, Billy!” Ann said encouragingly. “You try!”
Reluctantly, but determined not to be afraid, Billy swung into the dance like she did. He kicked his heels together and matched to the jaunty tune with his dancing.
“That’s it!” Ann cheered. “That’s the way!”
Yes! Billy was doing it! He was doing it and felt wonderful!
Five minutes later, the Charleston came to an end. Billy was so happy to have danced with Ann in that dance. They joined in with the other dancers who clapped in applause to the music.
“Feel better?” Ann asked.
“Yes!” Billy replied. “I feel much better! I didn’t think I would be able to do that dance.”
“You’re the finest dancer I’ve ever met,” Ann said. “You can dance with any girl off her feet.”
“Really?” Billy glowed. “That’s very kind of you to say so, Ann.”
The two stared at each other for a moment. Billy then snapped out of it as he turned to look at the Doctor and Nyssa. They were glowing with happiness, unaware that sadness crept over Billy again. How long must he endure this? Ann touched his arm for support.
“You know Billy,” she said, “there’s always a place for you here at Cranleigh Hall.”
Billy was stunned. “Really?” he asked.
“Yes,” Ann assured him. “I’m sure Charles will be able to…”
Suddenly, without warning, Ann groaned in pain. She felt something ache in her shoulder. Billy noticed this and became concerned.
“What is it, Ann?” he asked. “What’s the matter?”
“My shoulder!” she cried. “It’s hurting me! I don’t know why, but it’s hurting me!”
“What?” Billy said, surprised. “Let me see!”
“Charles!” Ann cried. “Where’s Charles? I want Charles here!”
Billy looked to see where it was hurting on Ann’s shoulder. He saw what was underneath the shoulder strap of her dress – a small mole. Billy became curious about it as he turned to Ann.
“How long have you had that mole there, Ann?” he asked.
“How long? Ever since I was a baby,” she replied. “Why? Does it upset you seeing it?”
“That mole of yours,” Billy began to explain. “It’s glowing!”
“What?” Ann reacted shocked. “No, it can’t be! I’d know if it was…”
But as Ann looked, she saw that the mole on her left shoulder was glowing a bright blue. She was astounded to see it like that.
Ann started to faint. Billy caught her as he tried to keep her awake.
“No!” he cried. “Don’t faint, Ann! We must find out why that mole of yours is glowing all of a sudden!”
“It’s never glowed before,” Ann said wearily. “It’s just an ordinary mole!”
“This was all strange from the start,” Billy stated. “Unless…”
It was then Billy realised. He couldn’t believe that he’d forgotten. He turned to see Nyssa and the Doctor. They had their eyes shut and were concentrating hard in a deep trance. Billy realised what was happening. He lay Ann down to the ground gently before running desperately towards the Doctor and Nyssa.
“No!!!” Billy shouted. “Doctor; Nyssa, no! Don’t do it! You’ll kill Ann!”
Billy pushed his way through the many guests that were dancing on the terrace. He reached for the Doctor and Nyssa. He immediately pushed them to the terrace floor, falling with them as he broke the connection.
Once he had pushed them to the floor, the Doctor and Nyssa woke up and recovered. They saw what had happened and were far from happy.
“How dare you push me to the ground, young man!” the Doctor said outraged to Billy.
“What do you think you’re doing, boy?!” Nyssa said accusingly to Billy. “Have you lost your mind?!”
“This has gone on long enough, Doctor; Nyssa,” Billy said to them. “You’re coming with me now! To look in the mirror in my room! Right this instant!”
Billy tried to pull the Doctor and Nyssa up to their feet from the terrace floor. They resisted as he pulled them up. It was at that moment Chuffy and Freddie arrived. Chuffy took Billy by the shoulder very forcefully, speaking with such venom.
“Leave these two alone, young man,” Chuffy said. “Can’t you see they don’t want to know you…”
WHAM!!! Billy struck a blow with his fist at Chuffy’s face, throwing him off to the ground. Chuffy fell to the floor, knocked out unconscious.
“Back off, you!” Billy shouted. “I knew you’d try and stop me!”
Billy turned to face Freddie. He looked at him with menacing intent.
“Don’t think that punch of yours is going to sort me out!” Freddie said. “I have ten times your strength! I can crush you down to size! It’ll be a pleasure for me to enjoy!”
Freddie began to advance on Billy, before he got knocked on the head by a vase which smashed into pieces as it hit him. Freddie fell to the floor unconscious. Billy saw that it was Ann who saved him. Ann seemed embarrased once she hit Freddie with a vase.
“It was the only thing I could think of,” she said.
“Well done, Ann,” Billy said encouragingly. “That was very sporting of you!”
Lord Cranleigh then appeared, surprised by the scene that happened.
“I say,” he declared, “what in bally Moses is going on here?!”
“Lord Cranleigh,” Billy turned to him, “help me get the Doctor and Nyssa to my room inside the house. We’ve got to get them to look in the mirror before these two goons wake up.”
“I don’t understand…” Cranleigh started before Ann interrupted him.
“Charles, please just do it,” she insisted.
“Very well,” Cranleigh said reluctantly. He then turned to the Doctor and Nyssa. “Doctor; Miss Nyssa…”
The Doctor and Nyssa backed away from him.
“No! I’m not going anywhere!” the Doctor said defiantly. “Not with that boy! This is outrageous!”
“Come on, Doctor,” Cranleigh insisted. “Let’s not be difficult…”
“No! We utterly refuse!” the Doctor continued to be defiant. “Don’t we, Nyssa?”
“Absolutely!” Nyssa joined in. “We’ve never heard of such a thing!”
“We’ll have to drag them, Lord Cranleigh,” Billy suggested. “You take the Doctor, I’ll take Nyssa”
At that, Cranleigh grabbed the Doctor whilst Billy grabbed Nyssa. They began to drag them away with everyone on the terrance – servants and guests – watching them with shock. The Doctor and Nyssa struggled, shouting protests whilst they were being dragged by Billy and Lord Cranleigh into the house.
Ann called out, “Brewster! Help my husband and Billy with getting the Doctor and Nyssa inside the house! Help them to get them to the guest bedroom upstairs! Come on, quickly now!”
Brewster complied as he called for two footmen to accompany him and help him with his lordship and Billy dragging the Doctor and Nyssa into the house and upstairs. Ann followed behind as Billy, Cranleigh, Brewster and the two footmen brought the rebellious Doctor and Nyssa into the house through the French windows. Nobody realised that Chuffy and Freddie were beginning to stir and wake up from unconsciousness on the terrace floor.
Inside the house, Billy; Lord Cranleigh; Brewster and the two footmen dragged the Doctor and Nyssa into the guest bedroom where the mirror was. Ann tagged on behind them whilst the Doctor and Nyssa were still struggling and protesting as they were being brought in.
“I demand you release us at once!” the Doctor protested. “I won’t be treated this way!”
“You’re ruining my dress!” Nyssa equally protested. “Unhand me and my dress at once!”
“Don’t worry, Doctor; Nyssa,” Billy reassured them. “Once this is over, everything will be back to normal.”
“So, what do we do with them?” Cranleigh asked Billy. “Force them to look into the mirror like you say and they’ll get their memories back?”
“That’s what Nyssa told me,” Billy replied “The real Nyssa, I mean. The one who told me in the mirror.”
“It’s not going to be easy,” Ann said. “The Doctor and Nyssa are like wild animals.”
“That’s why we’ve got Brewster and these footmen of yours with us,” Billy said. “To stop them escaping so easily.”
“Good luck, old boy,” Cranleigh said encouragingly. “I hope you’ll be able to convince your friends to look into the mirror.”
Nyssa and the Doctor continued to struggle and resist in the grip of Brewster, the two footmen and Lord Cranleigh whilst Billy approached them.
“This dress cost me five pounds on purchase,” Nyssa protested.
“I’ll phone my solicitor!” the Doctor said threateningly. “I shall call for the police!”
“Nyssa; Doctor!” Billy commanded them. “Look in the mirror!”
“I will not!” Nyssa protested.
“You can’t make us, boy!” the Doctor said defiantly.
“We haven’t got time for this!” Billy said anxiously. “Look in the mirror, you two!”
With all his strength, Billy dragged Nyssa and the Doctor into the centre of the guest bedroom where they stood in front of the mirror. Brewster; the two footmen and Lord Cranleigh still held onto them.
It was at that moment the bedroom door burst open and Chuffy and Freddie entered. Their eyes were filled with fire and anger.
“Enough of this!” Chuffy said, enraged. “Stop this tomfoolery!”
“We command it!” Freddie added. “Zorbius commands it!”
Ann gasped, “Charles! Those two men! Chuffy and Freddie!”
“Quick, Mr Walker!” Cranleigh urged Billy. “Do what you must! Ann and I will hold these two charlatans off!”
Lord Cranleigh left Brewster and the two footmen to hold onto the Doctor and Nyssa, who were still struggling to break free, as he and Ann held Chuffy and Freddie back. But even as they tried to block their path, Cranleigh and Ann were pushed aside and out of the way rather forcefully by Chuffy and Freddie. Cranleigh and Ann ended up on the floor. Chuffy and Freddie advanced slowly forwards into the guest bedroom.
“Doctor; Nyssa! Hear us!” Chuffy commanded.
“Don’t look in the mirror!” Freddie added. “Or our powers will be diminished!”
Billy couldn’t bear to lose his chance on saving the Doctor and Nyssa any longer. Just as the Doctor and Nyssa were on the verge of adhering to Chuffy and Freddie’s command, Billy went forward and immediately grabbed the heads of hs two dear friends. He lifted them up to make them look as he shouted out loud, “Doctor; Nyssa! Look in the mirror!”
As Billy made them look into the mirror, the Doctor and Nyssa eventually saw their reflections. They looked into the mirror and slowly came to stop fighting, struggling and resisting. Brewster and the two footmen eased their hold off the Doctor and Nyssa as a sudden calmness came over them. Realisation dawned upon them. They stared hard at themselves. They seemed to be remembering. They focused and concentrated as they looked into the mirror.
“Doctor! My reflection!” Nyssa recalled as she realised. “My homeworld! Traken…was destroyed. The Master…killed my father! Billy! Where’s my Billy?”
“We arrived here…in the TARDIS,” the Doctor recalled. “We were diverted…off course. We found a mirror…” The Doctor paused. “I…remember…”
“I…remember…” Nyssa said.
“NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” screamed Chuffy and Freddie in unison.
A bright light filled the room, exploding all over. Chuffy and Freddie’s scream of rage caused the mirror to shudder. Their corporal forms suddenly diminished. They were being sucked into the mirror itself. At the same time, something flooded back into the Doctor and Nyssa.
Once Chuffy and Freddie had been absorbed, the bright light faded. Everyone, including the Doctor; Nyssa; Billy; Lord Cranleigh; Ann; Brewster and the two footmen, fell to the floor unconscious. All were knocked out. A sudden calmness filled the air. Peace had been restored…for now.
Billy woke up to find himself lying on the floor. As he woke up, he looked into the eyes of a beautiful woman looking down at him. Calling to him.
“Billy? Billy dear, are you alright?” Nyssa asked, concerned.
Billy stared at the pretty face looking down at him. He started to feel relieved.
“Nyssa? Nyssa, is that you?” he asked. “Or is it Ann?”
“Guess!” Nyssa teased.
Billy smiled weakly as he then turned his face to the left. He saw Lord Cranleigh was being attended to by another girl, similar to Nyssa. Lord Cranleigh groaned as he woke up, looking up into the face of the girl looking down at him.
“Ann?” Cranleigh enquired. “Ann my dear, is that you? Or are you Nyssa?”
“Guess!” Ann teased.
Cranleigh chortled, as he leaned up to touch Ann’s face and kiss her on the cheek. Billy saw now that both girls were similar, except the one Lord Cranleigh had had bobbed hair. The one looking down at him had shoulder length hair with curls. Billy clearly saw who it was. He gradually raised himself up to give the woman he knew to be his girlfriend a big hug. Both he and Nyssa embraced each other. They were both pleased to see each other. Both sobbed, especially Billy.
“Nyssa! Nyssa, is it really you?” Billy asked. “I mean…you are the Nyssa who loves me, aren’t you?”
“It’s alright Billy,” Nyssa said reassuringly. “I’m really here! You saved our lives! The Doctor’s and mine.”
Nyssa kissed Billy gently on the lips. Billy was so relieved to have Nyssa back with him at last as they embraced each other again. Ann watched what was happening between Nyssa and Billy as did Lord Cranleigh.
“By Jove!” Cranleigh declared. “That boy really is in love with that girl, isn’t he?”
“Yes,” Ann replied softly. “Yes, I suppose he is.”
Once Nyssa and Billy stopped embracing each other, Billy turned to see another reassuring face nearby. A man in cricketing clothes and a cream-coloured jacket.
“Yes Billy, I’m here,” the Doctor reassured him. “We’re all here, thanks to you.”
“And there was me thinking you wouldn’t be able to save our lives,” Nyssa admitted before she embraced Billy again.
The Doctor took Billy’s free hand and shook it. “Well done, Billy,” he said. “You did a grand job!”
“Thanks, Doctor,” Billy replied. “So, you and Nyssa have got your memories back, right?”
“And those horrid gentlemen, Mr Chuffnell and Mr Highmore,” Nyssa added. “They’re currently inside the mirror. They were the real Zorbius entities. They were using us to do their dirty work.”
“And I’m afraid it’s going to get more difficult from now on,” the Doctor said grimly. “We now have two culprits. Culprits who want to do murder. And they’re not very happy.”
Everyone in the room looked to the mirror. Some felt dread as the evil presence emanated from the mirror whilst it was trapped inside.
© Tim Bradley, 2020
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