Doctor Who BBCN16 - Forever Autumn

Doctor Who BBCN16 - Forever Autumn by Doctor Who Read Free Book Online

Book: Doctor Who BBCN16 - Forever Autumn by Doctor Who Read Free Book Online
Authors: Doctor Who
doing something. She, however, was a mere mortal and, however much she loved being with him, she was glad of the occasional rest, the chance to recharge her batteries.
    ‘Back to Rick’s first thing in the morning, speak to his brother, see if he’s got this book,’ he said. He rocked forward until his head hit the 33

    window with a thump that made Martha wince. ‘It’s a jigsaw piece,’
    he muttered.
    ‘The book?’
    He nodded. It looked as though he was cleaning the window with his fringe. ‘It’s a stonking great jigsaw piece. It’s probably the piece that sits right in the middle, and I bet it’s got an eye or a hat on it or something.’
    ‘OK,’ she said, thinking about the analogy, ‘but even if we had that piece we still wouldn’t have the box with the picture on it, would we?’
    ‘Nah, but we could probably work the picture out from the other pieces – the energy splurge, the tree, the defence thingies, this mist. . . ’
    He rocked himself back again and started pacing up and down like a caged animal. ‘Even with the pieces we’ve got, it should mean something.’ He whapped his forehead three times with the flat of his hand.
    ‘Come on, think, think, think.’
    He stopped again by the window, looked out, and suddenly became very still.
    ‘What is it?’ asked Martha.
    ‘Look at this,’ he said quietly.
    She jumped to her feet and joined him at the window. In the greenish murk below was an old man. He was staggering around in circles, one hand clamped over the lower half of his face, the other waving blindly about in front of him.
    ‘Someone’s had one too many,’ Martha said.
    ‘I don’t think he’s drunk,’ murmured the Doctor.
    As they watched, the old man spun in a final clumsy pirouette and crumpled to the ground. Suddenly the Doctor was running for the door.
    ‘Come on.’
    He thundered down the stairs, Martha in hot pursuit. Despite its name, the Falls Palace was only a small hotel, family-run, less than a dozen rooms. The owner, Eloise Walsh, a grey-haired, no-nonsense woman who wore half-moon spectacles, attached to a chain, perched on the end of her nose, was manning the front desk, and looked up in indignation as the Doctor swept past.
    34

    ‘Hey, what’s the –’
    ‘Man down!’ yelled the Doctor, yanking open the main door without even breaking stride.
    The old man was sitting in the street, hunched forward, rocking back and forth like a distressed toddler.
    Martha saw immediately that the Doctor had been right. The man wasn’t merely drunk. It was evident from his panicky eyes that he was scared out of his wits. He still had a hand clamped over the lower half of his face, as if whatever he had seen was too terrible to speak of.
    The Doctor dropped to one knee beside him. ‘Hey there, feller,’ he said softly, reaching out. The old man flinched back and the Doctor murmured, ‘It’s all right, I’m not going to hurt you.’
    ‘That’s Earl Clayton,’ said a voice from behind Martha. She looked round to see Eloise Walsh standing at her shoulder. ‘What’s wrong with him – aside from the usual?’
    The Doctor ignored her. He was speaking directly into Clayton’s ear, his voice so low that Martha couldn’t make out what he was saying.
    His words didn’t appear to have any effect, however, until he touched the centre of Clayton’s forehead with the tip of his right index finger.
    Instantly the old man relaxed, the tension leaving his shoulders, his hand dropping away from his face.
    When she saw what had been done to him, Martha gasped.
    ‘Merciful Father!’ blurted Eloise Walsh and swiftly crossed herself.
    The Doctor looked grimly appalled. He placed a hand on the old man’s shoulder and murmured, ‘I’m so sorry. We’ll find who did this, I promise.’
    Clayton gazed up at them and made no attempt to speak. Martha wondered whether that was simply because he couldn’t, or because he had actually realised that he no longer had a mouth.
    35

    I

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