Get You Back Home



1. Condottieri at the Microscope

When Nellie worked at the micro-level, she changed her usual artist's smock for a labcoat. It helped her to think small. She sat down in her swivel-chair and stared down the microscope at her current `sculpture'. Lunch had said her tiny sculptures made him feel like he'd got his balls in a vice - they were so viciously tiny they shrunk his vitals into grapepips. Her procedure was to cultivate various moulds and fungi that had been injected with powerful dyes. She'd learned their cell-structure and growth rates and `gardened' them, had them growing inside each other in fine layers. When she made an incision into one of the pellets, removing a sliver for a microscope slide, densely-woven, multi-coloured patterns were revealed.

She leant over and switched on a cassette player. OTL had recorded a poem to help her at her work. He'd taped himself with his mouth right next to the mic, removing the foam-rubber encasement that prevents sibillants drawing attention to themselves. The words came out thick and gummy, you could almost taste the wet saliva flecks on his lips. Disgusting, Nellie thought. It sounded like Iain Sinkle doing one of his absurdist Crowley-impersonations in some nomadic London art gallery installed in a vacant church.

Cleavage splits the thinking mind, augmenting fragment argument. Mitosis splits the nucleus, allowing the cell to replicate and the body to grow. As Philo of Alexandria said, The One is that which consists of two opposites, so that when cut into two the opposites are revealed. Philo attacked Heraclitus, saying that he had merely appended innumerable and laboriously worked-out examples to this essential mystical insight. Aim‚ C‚saire resurrected the same poetical doctrine: `Because the dialectic of the image transcends antinomies, modern science may be nothing but the ponderous verification of a few images preserved by poets.'

Lunch then went into one of his typical rants, where he tried to prove that Lenin was actually a Mystic Seer. Nellie's Leninism was too underdeveloped to find this of much interest. She ignored his patter and concentrated on her work.

After six months of cultivating her spores and moulds, Nellie had discovered many ways of controlling the results. At first she'd just produced exotic marblings - deliriously beautiful - which she'd dismissed as `high-tech wrapping paper'. Now she was achieving the effects she wanted. A colleague had ribbed her by suggesting that now she could get what she wanted, she'd better prove herself by reproducing something famous. Brian suggested `Liberty On The Barricades' by EugŠne Delacroix. Nellie replied that she wasn't going to start reproducing other people's images. She might as well do a clown, or a poodle, or an image of Elvis. She wasn't into knowing high-grade trash, knobble-grovel for the Saatchi lame-brain, she wanted to distil the colours and forms that luxuriated at the microscopic level, let the moulds and fungi find their way into their own perverted crevices, give their pseudopods room for manoeuvre. She liked John Cage's idea that the composer should allow nature to sound, she did not want to impose her a priori concepts on the livid muck, she wanted it to raise up on its own haunches, release its Qual, shoot alien suckers through the art-nouveau d‚cor and feast on the brain-fluids of its viewers. Her colleague cited the example of Zen Monks who would slip Boddhisatvas carved on a grain of sand into living oysters, then later extract tiny figurines of pearl. That still sounded hopelessly twee to her. They'd be asking her to carve birthday odes to their babies on grains of rice next.

However, when she'd mentioned the idea of doing Delacroix to Lunch, he'd waxed ecstatic. `You've got to! Muskets and breasts, it's so Sex Pistols - revolutionary Cleavage or what? Do it for me, Nellie, you can explore the Qual of the moulds later on - treat this as an exercise, like sketching the masters or figure drawing - all those Royal Academy procedures you're so fond of!'

She kept very still, working the lever that translated her finger-movements into the micro-moves needed for her probe. Her skills on automatic now, her attention returned to Lunch's tape. He was on about trodden sparks that required investigation by a hungry 'scope, of radical art needing to `prod the chromosomes of the dialectic with its imaginary forceps'. Nellie's porcelain spindle penetrated the pulsing nucleus. The tissue gave way, revealing a splotch of browns and creams, the microscopic violence of her probing registered in a criss-cross of small dark tears. In the upper portion was a patch of crimson straight out of Don't Look Now. The lymph-gland of strettococcus had reached into the common yeast mould and produced two uneven circular patches, a meniscoid overlap. Towards the edge there were folds of yellow that looked like billowing cloth. As she sliced, two veins filled with black fluid, iron spikes against a wispy sky. A clotted nest of phagocytes reproduced a fore-shortened arm. She felt her nipples tighten with anticipation. As she'd planned, `Liberty On The Barricades' was appearing before her eyes in broad strokes, a diagrammatic version that arrayed bayonets and muskets around the central breasts. `A Cleavage Stripped Bare By Her Microscopes, Even' she whispered. With a deft movement, she removed the slip of organic tissue and placed it in a phial of preserving fluid. She was going to blow this one up. It was going to be big!

A big girl, Nellie was happy with breasts as a concept. On top of that, she could draw them. She'd studied the way flesh hangs. Indeed, she had a sick sense of humour about representing flesh: the inevitable intimations of death and the pickle-jar. Whatever the poses of the latest art ideology - Futurist, Conceptual, Feminist, Smart, Slacker - she was convinced that human beings would always return to rigorous examinations of the human form. Her aesthetic wasn't really so far from Out To Lunch and his Cleavage, even if it lacked his Dada take on Lenin. She too wished to highlight the blush in the doctor's cheek as the icy stethoscope is placed on the nubile chest.

Doctor: Big breaths.

Patient: Yeth, and I'm only thixteen.

Nellie, too, could not deny the inspirational aspects of Carry On-style vulgarity. For her, quondam pleasures question the brain-clenched `objectivity' of the querulous nerd. The high-mindedness that relegates cheap thrills to the lower orders merely registered distaste for other people's subjectivity - one typical in a system based on private property. Following late-70s Zappa, she called her philosophy `Titties 'N' Beer'. The daze of half-arousal inflicted on the cultureless by Rupert Murdoch was not going to be broken by the disdain of those who deem their personalised high-class `erotics' superior. Tits must be folded into high culture in order to unfurl a critique of paper tokens. Here in her phial of embalming liquid were the tits of revolution - arraigned in the microcellular tissues of carefully cultivated moulds.

She'd been at her work for two hours, hunched over the microscope. She got up a put on the kettle for a cup of coffee. Her studio overlooked a stretch of railway near Kentish Town - she liked the sound of the trains as they rattled by. As she waited for the water to boil, she flipped idly through a copy of Time Out. Usual tripe about restaurants and clothes shop. Nothing roused her interest; she ended up at the letters page at the back. A letter on schizophrenia attracted her attention. With friends like Lunch, you had to keep up an interest in mental disease - besides, wasn't his famous Cleavage really explained by the literal Greek reading of `schizophrenia' - `split mind'? The letter was from the pen of some self-righteous psychiatrist.

Presumably you would not describe an unco-ordinated dancer as `spastic'. It is therefore disappointing to see the term `schizophrenically' used as a synonym for `confused' (Time Out, no 1361). Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness. Sufferers have enough to put up with without such flippant usage from arts reviewers who should know better. Dr Matthew Hotopf, Lecturer in Psychiatry, Kings College.

Matthew Hotopf? Surely this was a put-on? They'd be printing letters by Malcolm Imhotep and Karen Elliot next! But, no it was all too likely, she reflected, as she made herself a coffee and opened up a carton of full-fat milk. Such ventriloquy for the oppressed has become the lingua franca of privileged professionals. Just change your language and the sick will take care of themselves!! The logopseudocracy of politically-correct flannel has become an epidemic, a veritable grand-canyon ooze of hypocrisy to rival the religious unction of yore. Anything to save the careerist from taking a stand on cuts and the widening gap between rich and poor.

Still, it made Nellie wonder why schizophrenia - rather than melancholy, hysteria or neurosis - had become synonymous with the dysfunctional psyche. She took the section of tissue from the preserving fluid and popped it into a slide. Once she'd focused her projecting microscope, she switched off the overhead light and threw the image on the wall. `Liberty At The Barricades' stared back at her, a revolutionary image wrought of cobwebs, cabbage leaves and septic pus. She had to admit, its livid sheen showed up Art & Language for the weedy puritans they were.

`Split, split, it's a raspberry split ...' she free-associated to herself as she wondered over to her easel. She picked up two tubes of paint, one scarlet and one acquamarine. Like Willem De Kooning, her knowledge of the body - derived from years of sketching castes of sculpture, figure-drawing, even some old-fashioned dissection - allowed her to lay down `abstracts' that seemed to make the paint visceral; the smears and spots writhed before the eye. She was going to wreak some horrible insignia, revenge for having spent two hours shaving micro-tissue for the gratification of Lunch - and his perverse craving to pun his political and sexual proclivities together.

_2. Cibachrome Fungi in The Half-Way House

Nellie met up with Lunch a few days later, a seedy pub just by Camden Town tube. After they'd settled down with their drinks, Lunch scoffing a packet of Worcester Sauce flavour crisps, Nellie unzipped her artist's flat-case, and pulled out the cibachrome she'd made of her micro-fungal Delacroix. OTL pored over it. His responses was - as she'd anticipated - rapturous.

`It's called "A Cleavage Stripped Bare By Her Microscopes, Even".'

`Nellie - this image is the dialectical epicentre of London Art!' He liked flattering her, but his voice was genuinely hoarse with excitement. `The Greek letter pi - ã - hovers over the declivity created by your two circles, combining the printer's "pie" - when the "forme" that secures the type breaks down, producing a mass of indiscriminately-mingled type - with slang for "cunt". The whole of what Dietzgen called "undivided reality" is here in your attempt to square the circle!' He went into a veritable psychosis of over-the-top art-critical interpretation. Visuals had never been his strong suit, but Nellie indulged him.

`The twin circles are round thighs revealing a deltic vagina - but they are also breasts! The mirrored triangles form a romboid lozenge: an abstract square squeezed between flesh globes. Your prescience is uncanny. You intimate the gathering storms of Cleavage, the bourgeoisie horned on the twin hooks of its face-ache dilemma. This is a post-Delacroix declaration of the active, sensuous part played by human beings in finding out about the world: sexual desire as the unconscious motor of intellectual curiosity, coitus as the cosmic model for the relation of thought to existence. Unlike the wizened, undialectical bad-boy phallicism of Damien Hirst, your aroused attention to the world is etiolate, vulnerable and speaks of vaginal intimacies. Your punned transparency crosses gender identity into a generative exchange of chromosomal parts.'

In anybody else, Nellie would have thought his speech was a come-on, but she knew he was dedicated to poetry and onanism (he hadn't yet told her about his discovery of Esther). OTL descended into Joycean babble.

`It's uterine alterance - the interplay of bones in the womb. It's your Vortex, a poetic spring-heeled jack vented from borrowings of bad verse. A Vertex worthy of Keston Sutherland! You've mastered the vegetable cell and its private properties, imprinted revolutionary hope inside the very interstices of fungal manipulation. Maya! Thaya!! Tamas, Rajaz, Sattvas! You've demonstrated the fundamental involvement of Hegel's Zwiespaltung in any attempt to represent, the fleshy boots we move in have been buffed, matriculated, shot into climes of aerated ozone. Your skills have spoken to Destiny, and Destiny's answer is soft and grand like molten marshmallow on a bed of barbed wire - fungibly glorious and simultaneously irascible!'

`Oh go on - you're taking the piss or what?'

`Not at all, Nellie. In our examination of your diagrammatic cleavage-vagina, we're staring at our literal biological origins, we're discovering the relationship of design to destiny, human will to human existence, consciousness to being. You pun together Wyndham Lewis's vortex, Indian deities, animal and vegetable cell reproduction, history as the struggle of classes - the havenots on the barricades who will be shafted by the bourgeois settlements of 1948. Cleavage, clutter, fungus, Zwiespaltung: you've drawn on the sexual-materialist dialectic that runs from Philo of Alexander through to Giordano Bruno and Jakob B"hme and on to Hegel and Marx and Joyce!'

Nellie felt that this time Lunch's exaggerations were leading him into farce. The guy was so much better on music. He had never really settled accounts with the materiality of the visual arts; he was all too likely to slip into championing rubbish art as a secret demolition of bourgeois values - when in fact, as Duchamp had proved, there was nothing the dealers and museum men couldn't recuperate, mollify with theory, pedestalize on stacks of high-flown discourse. However, she let him run on; no use arguing with Lunch when in full-on rant mode.

He could divine her scepticism. `I'm not joking, Nellie. I'm merely expressing, in general terms, the actual relations springing from your artwork, bearing witness to a historical moment we're lucky enough to be living through. Segui il tuo corso, e lascia dir le genti' The pretentious git was quoting Dante. `Follow your own lodestar, and tell the rest, Go fuck yourselves!' His translation seemed rather quaint.

`Mind the language, please,' said the landlady pleasantly, collecting empty glasses from a nearby table.

`Sure, I'm sorry,' replied Lunch, the soul of politeness.

`Lunch - you're mad. I was reading this letter in Time Out about schizophrenia - it made me think of you, actually.'

`Sweet heavens, let me not be mad!' OTL was suffering a citational attack. `You know, Marxism can be so fine an x-ray on the workings of the world that it can drive the thinker mad,' he said, trying to appear intensely sane - if such a thing is at all possible (which in Lunch's condition it was not). `If not cushioned by institutional presentation as objects of study - as they weren't for me in the late 70s, mind - Frankfurt School and Situationist texts can induce a radical dislocation with social reality. I'd say it's remarkably close to schizophrenia.' He warmed to his theme. `The revolutionary left recognise this by talk about the need for "comradeship" and political organisation to sustain progressive ideas in a hostile world. Leftwing agitators by definition propose solidarity - however illusory - rather than alienation - however true. Hence the warfare between Modern Art nihilism and Socialist positivism, a schism that produces dimwit goths on the one side, and cheerleader moralists on the other: a split our Materialist Esthetix - and our decomposed "Liberty At The Barricades"! - will supersede.'

A commotion reached them from outside the pub. Some Camden Town down-and-out had flipped. He was barracking the early-evening bus queue. They glanced through the window.

`What's he saying?' asked Lunch.

`Something like, You're all robots, I know you, you're all fucking robots!' replied Nellie. `Alienated madman - or simply a practising situationist? Why don't you recruit him to your Cleavage Party?' Nellie softened her sarcasm with a smile, her glass pausing before her lips.

`Hmm. Too much bother,' was Lunch's laconic reply. He chucked a few last discs of potato into his mouth. `But the poor guy is voicing something true about the emotional cost of wage labour. Before the tribunal of absolute reason, obedience to a system that starves a quarter of the world is, objectively, robotic. Schizophrenia wakes up to the concrete horror and beauty of the world, but its very absoluteness deprives the subject from intercourse with the one agency of historical change: the other human beings who are also victims of capital.'

`It's like the bloody goths,' said Nellie, `these paltry shock merchhants attempt to induce schizophrenia in order to spike up a dull existence; flogging outr‚ experience to the bourgeoisie.'

`We, on the other hand, attempt to wrest the absolute vision from catatonia and show its connections to concrete politics. The problem of schizophrenia is not one that can be turned over to professional medicine. Because it involves perceptions of social reality, it requires dialectical treatment. Schizophrenia is what Hegel called "bad infinity": the inability to relate the absolute to the relative. As C.L.R. James said, "socialism is not a vague, rosy-coloured picture of infinite beauty and truth and love, something beyond our miserable life; socialism, the beyond, is the concrete negation of what we have!"'

`Ah yes, C.L.R. James's "the concrete, the concrete, the despised concrete" - that quote you love so much. Did you know that Jojo's writing a book on it?'

`A book on the concrete? That Deleuzian metaphysician wouldn't know the concrete if it reared up and bit him on the ass.'

`No, no - on the stuff they make buildings and roads of. According to him, the 60s infrastructure is simply crumbling away. It's all falling to bits. Gloriously.'

The sound of an accordion, crazed and wistful, came at them from the street. Camden was alive with misfits and weirdos. That's why they drank there.

`Jojo's "molecular" schizoanalysis threatens to turn everything into a sinister, seamless homogeneity: a grey mush. Like harmony in a piano sonata by Michael Finnissy, his reduction of everything to the same trope actually threatens a nightmare. His Schizoanalysis isn't analysis at all - it's madness, tout simple.'

`The term schizophrenia was first coined to describe a split between thoughts and emotions,' said Nellie, `which means it's a modern disease, only possible in a society that has broken the religious Covenant between public holy text and private subjectivity. Think about it: if you haven't got an agreed fixed-point, a holy text, then the door of subjectivity opens on a complete void.'

`Empirical psychiatry today uses the term to describe a number of mental malfunctions: delusions, the sensation that thoughts are not one's own, hearing voices. However, that's a typical analytical list - not of much help in understanding the causes of schizophrenia, or its structural relationship to life in this society. Freudian psychoanalysis, in contrast, developes its theories as it explores individual cases: a therapeutic approach that, however rational and materialist, cannot be countenanced as "scientific" by the statistical overview of state psychiatry.'

`Back in the 1960s,' said Nellie, `R.D. Laing's radical psychiatry contested the official definition of schizophrenia, redefining it as social protest rather than a chemical or congenital defect.'

`That was a laudable attempt to devise a progressive psychiatry. However, like the left sociology of the time, was flawed by its acceptance of the premises of bourgeois social science: the idea that there can be an empirical, top-down view of the wrongs of society, that a solution can be found that does not speak from the point of view of the sufferer.'

`But Laing did! What was his Knots book except an attempt to speak from the schizo's point of view?'

`Yes, but the problem for Laing was that post-war existentialism - Sartre, Genet, Artaud, Beckett etc - had already told the bourgeoisie all this stuff, and with much greater finesse.'

`I know people who'll object to Beckett being in that list.'

`Indeed. That's why he's in there! Now the insights of 60s psychiatry have now become part of the jargon of the social worker.'

`Whilst the organised left declines to talk about schizophrenia at all!' said Nellie.

`Yet a left aesthetic that attempts to negotiate poetry and politics without exploring the deplorable glory of schizophrenia finishes up with the useless "political poetry" of W.H. Auden and Louis Aragon: poetry that fails to articulate the travails of the subject, politics with no idea of how to fight fascism. Mere superiority to schizophrenia leaves historical consciousness in a cleft stick. Paul Klee and Max Ernst made crucial blows against spectacular art-values by using techniques derived from artworks curated by the Freudian psychiatrist Hans Prinzborn. He exhibited "mad" artworks by the inmates of his asylum. The Nazis hated them. Indeed, they used the connections Prinzhorn established in order to vilify the whole of modernism as "degenerate". Schizophrenia can only be superseded by speaking its pain ... Which is why I love your `A Cleavage Stripped Bare By Her Microscopes, Even'!' Lunch had even remembered it title! `Can I have the cibachrome?'

`I printed it for you.'

`Thankyou!' In his enthusiasm he kissed her.

`But I retain copyright, so don't go selling colour photocopies of it to Camden Market traders ...'

`Now that's a thought - infect the scummy world of alternative commerce with the contagion! Make a change from their disgusting pencil-sketches that make Jim Morrison and Che Guevara look like Elton John ...' Lunch rushed off to the bar for more drinks. On his return, he'd obviously been pondering something.

`But how can you hold copyright? Doesn't the image really belong to Delacroix, and he's been dead for over - what's it, 50, 70 years ...'

`I'm talking reproduction rights, Lunch. For a professed materialist, you're incredibly ignorant of legal property relations! If J.H. Prim writes you a letter, he retains copyright. If you quote him you need to ask his permission. However, as owner of the actual piece of paper, you've got rights to its mechanical reproduction in perpetuity - or until he dies, gets canonised as the new T.S. Eliot, and you decide to auction his letters at Sotheby's.'

`So the copyright Hegel theorised in Philosophy Of Right belongs to an era prior to photography - Prim owns the words, the pure stream of ASCII binaries, the data - but that's separate from reproducing a physical thing. You mean he keeps the essence, while the appearance belongs to the owner of the physical object?'

`How do you think museums work? If collectors had no rights over reproductions of the art-objects they invest in, why would they buy anything over 70 years old? The art market would collapse! Delacroix is old enough to be out of copyright, so I was able to copy it without permission, but if I'd photographed "Liberty At The Barricades" and put it on a T-shirt - or a microbe, come to that - I'd need permission from the Louvre.'

`So that explains the cover of Bow Wow Wow's "Go Wild In The Country"! By restaging Manet's D‚jeuner Sur L'Herbe as a photograph, McLaren could rip off Manet's image without paying a penny!'

`That's it - he was using an expired copyright, but he still couldn't have reproduced the actual painting in the Louvre.'

`He could have used the sketch in the Courthauld.'

`The same applies. All the galleries are in on the racket. His stroke of genius was to restage the image. That's why McLaren etched "Take the Manet and run" on the lead-out to the 7" single. It's what I've done with my micro-fungi - I've evaded any reproduction fee.'

`So it wasn't just an excuse to get Annabella to take her clothes of, get a bit of prepubescent titty on the cover? I remember her saying during the period when McLaren was trying to get her to take her clothes off at every opportunity that that photograph was okay, it was tasteful, she could show it to her mother ...'

`It all helps, doesn't it. Art, sex, property rights ... The fine-art buggers don't miss a trick. Of course, the idea that "art" transcends all this - the "tasteful" ploy - is the biggest scam of all, the one that really gets the punters reaching for their wallets. Just how many drinks were you going to buy me for that cibachrome, Lunch?'

Obedient as a poodle where alcohol was concerned, OTL was off to the bar again in an instant. Today he'd learned so flipping much about art and money, what he needed was vast quantities of top-strength lager.

_3. Ray Barretto's Funky Boner

Ray Barretto was not, as his name implies, a Latino. He did not even play congas - and he had once declared, in a squabble with a bass player of his acquaintance, that he `didn't have a funky bone in his body'. No, Ray Barretto composed music which had been dubbed by critics The New Complexity. This to distinguish his diabolically difficult scores from the C-Major infantilism of American Minimalism. He lived in a garrett studio overlooking a stretch of Thames at Richmond, and worked regularly on his music between the hours of nine and four. Neighbours said they could set their clocks by him. He broke for an hour at lunch, when he ate a fastidious Greek salad - Crespo black olives, imported fetta and finely chopped spring-onions - and drank a bottle of some alkaline Italian mineral water.

Occasionally he had to break his routine to call at his music publishers, or to attend a rehearsal. However, he was awkward with people - particularly musicians - and offended many by what was perceived as arrogance. He liked to read slim volumes issued by Faber and Faber with the name Samuel Beckett on the cover, and he had some of that author's scorn for the banalities of everyday life. Whether of not he had made a pact with the devil of musical `objectivity', I must leave it to my readers to judge.

We meet him on a sunny afternoon in late autumn. He's taken the District Line into the city in order to pick up some newly printed scores from his publishers - Unknown Misconstrual Publications - and exchange some politenesses with his publicist. He walks along the City Road with a distracted air, oblivious to the hubbub of the traffic. He's working out the possible effects of some square-root hemiolas. At one point he stops to examine some political grafitti - his only concession to the urban environment. When turns off the busy high street into the mews where his publishers is situated. To get to the front door, he needs to squeeze past a Rolls which has been arrogantly parked on the pavement. He pushes a plastic button screwed into the brickwork to the left of the doorway. He notices that one screw is missing, while the other three are rusty. Soon he hears the usual greeting.

`Hello, this is UMP. Who are you?'

`Barretto!' he says back into the grill.

The door is buzzed open, and he pushes his way inside, inhaling the curious mixture of floor-polish, old wood and silence that characterise a `classical-music' environment. Stella Cartwright comes to the door to greet him. She's over-effusive, but he weathers it. Publicists need plenty of front. `Come in, come in! D'you want a coffee?' Stella ushers him into her office. Bookshelves stacked with music-scores, box-files, a bust of Luigi Nono, Stella's neglected bassoon leaning in a corner.

While she makes him a coffee, Barretto quickly rifles through her in-tray, looking for any sources of funding that may be going to other composers on the roster. Extracting a Watermans fountain-pen from his top pocket, he jots down a few addresses on the back of one of Stella's calling cards, then wanders into the tiny kitchen where Stella is making the coffee. He passes one of the box-files in the `T' section; he notices the names Tchaikovsky, Takemitsu and Tomita. Though in conversation he'd deny any such vanity, he's actually rather proud of being in such company (though he smirks a little at the sight of Tomita).

Seated with his coffee in Stella's office, Barretto reflected on the bizarre conjuncture of boredom and promises-of-immortality intimated by music publishers. Copyright power reverberated in the air, a museal thrill like regarding a phial of orgone energy. He fends off Stella's enquiries about his personal life, particularly her pert remarks about a defunct relationship with a viola player called Nina. He asks about his royalties, and Stella switches on her PC in order to retrieve a print-out. While this is happening, there's a phone call. Stella looks suddenly animated, and cups her hand over the mouthpiece.

`It's Lunch! He's in the vicinity. Would you like to meet him?'

`No.' Barretto's last CD had been reviewed by Lunch. Not only had he resurrected the dreaded `New Complexity' tag - something that was essential to shake off if one were going to receive grants in the current funding climate - he had also compared the guitar-player's contribution to the weak-minded scrabble of a doped rat in a psychiatric maze. Since the musician (under the ludicrous alias `P. Obermensch') had actually been Barretto himself, he'd been pretty pissed off.

Stella put the phone down with a smirk. `Too late - he's already in the pub opposite. He says he saw you go in - and that if you don't come over and let him buy you a drink, he's going to accuse you of cowardice!' Why should Stella be so keen for him to meet this demented Leninist and penpusher for the Punkjazz Posse? Lunch's pretentions to criticise classical music were all part of some kind of overweening game-plan. The guy wanted to transgress every boundary, broach every genre. The hubris of it all made him irritable. It was like Loyd Grossoutman wanting to interview J.H. Prim. Preposterous! Why couldn't people stick to something they were good at; why must everything pick up on everything, roll every cultural manifestation into a single, monstrous, velcrose snowball?

Stella had spent years second-guessing Barretto's prejudices. `I know, it's like Loyd Grossoutman wanting to interview J.H. Prim.' Barretto looked shocked. How had she read his mind? `But so what?' she added, `isn't misapprehension the very stuff of modern life? Who wants the ersatz clarities of Vivaldi? "Living through structures we don't understand" is one if your own descriptions of your art, Ray. Let's go stir some shit - and drink some beer.' The demure-looking Stella could come out with some pretty blunt phraseology. Nice legs too, come to think of it.

`Okay,' he said, `But I'm not staying long.'

Lunch was sitting at the far side of the pub by the window. He was wearing the inevitable mac, a pint of Adnams on the table in front of him. He was scratching words in a notebook, though he quickly stowed it away when he saw the two approach. He declined Stella's offer of a drink. While Stella went to the bar, Barretto sat down. He didn't like small talk. If people met under the auspices of an interest in modern music, they should get down to business. Politeness dictated that he wait for Stella to get back with the drinks before launching into Lunch, but the composer found he simply couldn't wait. He started telling him how much he disliked the magazines Lunch wrote for, their pretence at radicalism, their consumerist hypocrisy.

Lunch was staring, hypnotised, at the blinking lights of the one-arm bandit over Barretto's shoulder. `It goes, twirly-twirly three times in a horizontal 8-shape, then flashes twice, before alternating the hearts with the diamonds in a wave, then everything goes on for five seconds, and you hear that ridiculous jingle, before everything goes off - then twirly-twirly, it's off again ...'

Was OTL describing the monthly cycle of commercial magazine production - or some new graphic chart by Anthony Braxton? Barretto was non-plussed. Luckily, Stella returned with the drinks. She held a white wine and soda spritzer in one hand and Ray's pint in the other. She set down the glasses, slopping some of the beer on the table. Barretto picked up his pint and drank some beer, to find he was dripping beer on his lap.

`Whatever happened to the honest beer mat? The brewers have got so stingy lately,' said Lunch, ` - yet more evidence of the crisis of capitalism, if you ask me.'

`I think it's fashion,' Stella said, `everyone wants the bare-wood table look, the open-air Swiss-chalet aprŠs-ski ambience. Beer mats go with red plush and horse brasses - they're d‚cor for lonely old men nursing half pints of mild. Here's to Vanity, Contagion and Otiosity!'

`That's quite a toast!' said Lunch, raising his own half-drunk pint. `I'll drink to all three!'

`It's the name of Ray's new composition,' said Stella.

Barretto allowed himself a regal smile.

`I like it!' said Lunch, `only Great Art dare be otiose - everything else is so functional it makes you want to puke. Arbitrariness is one of the necessities of life.'

The guy was coming on like a downsized version of Dr Johnson. Barretto decided to trap him in some Hegel. `Surely, it was by introducing the idea of the possible into the antinomy between chance and necessity, that Hegel put actuality back under the microscope.'

Today, after Nellie's fungal masterpiece, microscopes were a good thing. Lunch nodded his agreement.

Barretto ran with the argument. `The real possibility of something is therefore the existing multiplicity of circumstances which are connected with it. Common sense cordons off the possible in a purely mental realm marked "unreal", but Hegel sees it in its actuality, as a scattering of elements that could combine. This is like planning a musical event: there are scattered people or forces who are capable of this or that, action can make the potential real.'

`Yes!' said Lunch, Barretto's recent guitar wimp-out forgotten in his enthusiasm, `the human potential for action is the revolutionary attribute which the metaphysical opposition between subjective freedom and objective determination cannot grasp. We cleave the world and thereby expose its contradictions!'

`But you've left no room for necessity,' said Stella, `you're talking pure voluntarism. Reminds me of, oh, George Simmel - you know, Sid Vicious playing with his Action Man. Ungrounded phallic Will - whereas isn't necessity the mother of invention?'

Barretto laughed. It was a blow below the belt, to spring a Zapparism on Lunch. `You'll find it argued in John Mogg's The Algebra Of Revolution that Hegel's adage - "freedom is the recognition of necessity" - is a conservative formula. Mogg says that it implies that humans must adapt to existing conditions and not seek to change them. However, that is a superficial reading. It implies that our Will is not a social necessity too, that it floats in some realm of abstract freedom. Engels himself tells his readers to look up Hegel's pages on chance and necessity in the Greater Logic.'

`Where does Engels do that?'

`In Dialectics of Nature - a posthumous publication, but it indicates where Engels' thoughts were headed - and Mogg is elsewhere super-respectful of Engels. And interestingly enough, if you do look up the Greater Logic,' continued Lunch, `you'll find that the post-structuralist contention that Hegel's thought is teleological and linear is simply libel. The charge derives from Alexandre KojŠve, the Stalinist and vilifier of Trotsky who taught both Althusser and Lacan. Though it pretends to have somersaulted over Marxism into the Liberal Sublime, Postmodernism is a tepid teepee built on the sinking ship of Russia's betrayal of the working class! Hegel actually said that the really necessary is any limited actuality. In other words, the three of us sitting here in this pub are really necessary!'

`That's a cheering thought,' said Stella. She stripped the cellophane from a pack of menthol cigarettes and offered them round, knowing the men would refuse. She lit one with a Watermans lighter.

`On account of this limitation, our real necessity is also only a contingent in some other respect,' Lunch continued. `Hegel imagines a multi-tasking universe where particular phenomena may be determined from one point of view, but accidental from another. He says wonderful things about chance and necessity, scotching the idea that they are options you can "choose" between. It's this revolutionary refusal of gun-barrel choices that Analytical Pea-brains and Paralysis-contributors like Jarvis-features find so impossible to grasp.'

Who was Jarvis-features, the other two wondered. `Any relation to Janus-face?' thought Stella. `But Janus looks two ways, and that seems to be a good thing in Lunch's Hegelian dementia nervosa ...'

`Hey Girl, Don't Bother Me ...' sang Barretto, eliding the first two words of the song to reproduce the name of the German philosopher.

`Oh honestly, Ray, that's as old as the hills, Mark Sinkle is always cracking that one.' Stella was embarrassed at Barretto's puerile joke. Half a pint and the composer was capable of anything. She relaxed. The idea of a puerile joke upsetting Out To Lunch was a contradiction in terms. Besides, a drunk Barretto offered sexual possibilities. He could be a prig and a square, but there was something in his fine-boned features that dialled 007 in Stella's loins.

`Mark Sinkle? Brother of Iain?'

`The same.'

`What a pair they'd make in the pram!'

`Hegel said "Contingency is absolute necessity", and it's true. Actually - Barretto - umm, can I call you Ray?'

`Sure.' Barretto thought the O.T. Loon might just be worth another pint's worth of conversation.

`Ray, it's something I wanted to ask you. Don't you think that the course of twentieth-century music shows precisely this dialectical interpenetration you're talking about? As serialism became "total", and notes were determined with less and less opportunity for composer choice, John Cage discovered that the same aural effect could be achieved by specifying notes at random. Hadn't absolute necessity therefore become exactly what Hegel said it would - equivalent to pure chance?'

`You might say so. It's uncanny the way the two competing ideologies converge in the musical result.'

`But isn't there always something sparser in Cage, more static, less motivated?' said Stella.

`It can sound like that,' said Barretto, `but I think that is maybe the result of the different rhetorics that surround the music - whether you're considered a European Modernist or a Zen-Buddhist Yankee. When you totally serialise every parameter you can end up with scattered sounds that are very like random compositions. That's why Xenakis invented a system of calculating where the chance elements would tend to fall. That's the dialectical solution as far as I'm concerned - it gets back to the acoustic actuality.'

`But don't you sometimes feel that Xenakis is just knocking about within the classical orchestra like a bull in a china shop? Mightn't you just as well point the baton and say "you lot!"'

Barretto looked defensive. He was, after all, on the editorial board of an arts journal that was named after a Xenakis composition. `What do you mean?'

`I mean, yes, something like Kraanerg is amazing - an alien saucer of writhing sonics - but surely the limitations of Xenakis's approach has been borne out by his later work. He's drifted back to tonality. Some of it now just sounds like Brahms written by a dyslexic oaf!'

`Well, I'll admit that there is something of a falling off ...'

`My argument is that the contradiction between necessity and chance cannot be solved within the existing institutions of music. I think Xenakis is deeply conservative - he's a non-dialectical materialist, a metaphysician. Hence the archaism, the fantasy that we all need to return to the primal truths of Ancient Greece. He's as tainted by KojŠve's Heideggerianism as everyone else in the Parisian post-war avantgarde!'

`Xenakis is a man of the Left, Lunch!'

`I know about his contribution to the Greek Resistance in the war - and that his injury was sustained when the British suppressed the post-war revolution and set Greece up for monarchism and fascism - but I still think he winds up accepting social constraints as natural. That's why he writes symphony orchestras and string quartets. He ignores social mediation - the possibility of new means of realising music - and hence emerges as someone who blesses the current order. I mean, when he was working at Le Corbusier's studio, he built a frigging monastery! How's that for a materialist! He staged a huge event in Iran under the Shah.'

Over Barretto's shoulder, the image of Iannis Xenakis - one side of his face a black hole in time - appeared inside the winking lights of the fruit machine. `I think if you want a criticism,' it said in a calm, clear tone, `you have to be critical about the music you are doing, and not about the political aspect that is surrounding it - otherwise you are lost, you are not an interesting musician, nor a politician at all.' Bearing this remonstrance in mind, Lunch attempted to explain how it wasn't simply personal political blunders he was talking about, but the immanent tendency of Xenakis's brand of materialism. At bottom, Xenakis was a Platonist, and Plato's Republic banned guitars in favour of flutes.

`What d'you mean - they didn't have guitars in Ancient Athens! They're an African invention, brought to fruition in Islamic Spain,' said Stella.

`During the same period as the Kaballah, interestingly enough ...' said Lunch, `well, if you want to be pedantic, what Plato actually wanted to ban was the lyre - but it's the same principle, wires stretched over wood.'

`Tortoise shell, actually,' said Barretto.

`What's the diff - Plato banned instruments that twang! He wouldn't have had time for Duane Eddy either. Think about it! And I think I can divine a similar authoritarian idealism in Xenakis. His materialism is undialectical, it's a way of accepting the status quo, and this attitude is manifest at the level of musical production itself. You admit that his late work is inferior, less radical - well, that's because his "stochastics", however much they anticipated the vogue for Chaos Theory, did not solve the antinomy between chance and necessity. Or rather the solution was purely formal. We need to apply Hegel. The only way out of the Darmstadt impasse comes from shifting artistic attention from this limited actuality of "freedom" - the rule-defying modernist composer in front of the score-paper - to what had previously seemed to be contingent: the social situation in which such serialist and aleatoric "autonomy" - this state-funded post-war modernism - actually operated. I'd argue that in providing the objective measure of the freedoms claimed in the commercial sphere, modernist music finds a critical role denied to it in the "limited actuality" of the academy. The "debate" between chance and determinacy can be left behind as a parlour game for those still locked in metaphysical abstractions.'

`You mean, like Ahmet Hamitlon, who still campaigns in the Journal of Hidebound Aesthetics against the chance elements in Cage's oeuvre?' said Stella

`Exactly! Hamitlon's campaign becomes more and more absurd as the musical sounds Cage pioneered are absorbed into a wide variety of thoroughly "purposive" film, improvised and studio musics,' Lunch said, `attention to the real history of the music requires an application of Hegel: seeing how absolute determinism becomes contingency, and looking at the result in conjunction with its actual circumstances. In other words, Hegel's critique implies that what is important about modern music is not whether the music was the fruit of the necessity of serialism or the freedom of chance, but its radical difference from the musics in the rest of society. The supersession of traditional parameters achieved by Stockhausen, Boulez and Cage (pitch versus rhythm; note versus colouration; interpretation versus score) provides the perfect measure of the achievements of James Brown, John Coltrane and Jimi Hendrix!'

Lunch had got there. He'd broken through to the music he considered to be the Great Music of the twentieth century. The fruits of serialism chimed over Barretto's shoulder in an answering jingle. `By a stunning coincidence' - such coincidences were forever stunning Lunch - `this Music of concrete, rather than purely formal, Freedom was produced by the exploited and oppressed during capitalism's near-fatal paroxysm in the 60s; the musical foundations for the summits of Brown, Hendrix and Coltrane was laid by those whose back-breaking, genocidal labour provided the raw materials for the mills of the industrial revolution - the cotton-picking blues, man! However much exploited by capitalist entrepreneurs and travestied by racial interpretations, this music is actually the sound of the international proletariat!'

`Okay,' said Barretto. Lunch had appealed past his lack of funky-bones directly to his politics. Intellectually, this was like grabbing the man by the bollocks. The composer was, after all, a Red. `It's a thesis. But how come no-one else puts it like that? Could you possibly be slightly touched by "everything-is-everything"-itis - the dreaded Dialectical Esemplasm?'

`Fast 'n' bulbous jelly! Slime oozing out from TV set! UnDifferentiated tissue in a pornographic fantasy by William Burroughs!' shrieked Stella. The spritzer was doing its job.

`Why does no-one else point this out?' said Lunch,

`- because most treatments of popular music rely on sociological generalities rather than aesthetic analysis. These musico-philosophical facts - about black music solving Darmstadt antinomies - are therefore completely ignored. The ideology of "Youth Culture" ...' he practically spat when he pronounced the term (he was thinking of Semen Froth, but also Jon Tame) `... and I'm referring to both the pop press and so-called academic "research" into pop - "Youth Culture" posits rock music as an initial expression of freedom that encounters the necessity of the market - and then succumbs. This places the "good" on the side of the unincorporated subject, the amateur, the individual, the private self; whilst what is "bad" is the music industry, the professional collective, the social and productive. This forgets that class struggle is endemic to the whole and merely echoes the "leisure is better than work" propaganda of the adverts.'

`"Neither work nor leisure!" as it is written on the viaduct that takes the choo-choo over Kirkstall Road ...' said Stella. She'd studied music in Leeds. She was now drunk.

`The Revolutionary Marxist,' said Barretto, `looks for the significant Cleavage in the Totality riven with contradiction - and resists the reduction of specific conflicts to a generalised, defeatist cycle of "individual" versus "society"'.

`Yes, it's bare breasts on the barricades, or nothing!' quoth Lunch.

`The abstractions you're both using,' said Stella, also entering a Red phase, `they're the historical products of the same material dynamic: Hegel's logic points to their mutual dependence and inter-relation.'

Over Ray Barretto's shoulder, the myriad, multi-coloured lights of the fruit-machine formed an image of France's top composer, Pierre Boulez, his fork poised as he prepared to pop a piece of nez-de-boeuf into his mouth.

`I was in the taxi the other day,' said the fruity illusion in a stage French accent worthy of Peter Sellers, `on the way to the airport, for one and a half hours - traffic jams - and the man, the driver, had the radio on, for being informed on traffic jams, and this radio has a mixture of pop music, jazz and classical music without announcement. At one point there was a pop record with all these artificial sounds and you thought, Oh my god, it's like plastic, and then suddenly after that there was a string orchestra and suddenly the sound was so rich in comparison!'

Out To Lunch leapt to his feet like a ham doing Macbeth's `is this a dagger?' routine. He not only saw visions, this Out To maniac, he spoke to them: `As a traditional composer, you're restricted to the procedural model of sounds made in real space following written instructions. Your critique is therefore accurate as a description of pop music which is a degraded version of the European classicism. Since the Broadway Musical derives from Viennese operetta, I concede to you all those who adhere to that lineage - Paul McCartney, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Madonna's ballad writers, Elton John. You're right, such people do indeed write music that forever recycles a few bars of Brahms. How those scores got passed around in the Brill Building! However, there is a different dialectic at work in pop, one sourced from the untempered scales and polyrhythms of Africa: John Lee Hooker does not simply play degraded Puccini.'

`You've got a point,' said Stella, `when Stevie Wonder invented his clavinet bass riff for "Superstition", one that seems to scratch at the inside of the transistor's speaker - or Dr. Dre mixes a Gangsta track with a bass boom designed to use a whole car interior as a loudspeaker, we're dealing with a Materialism of Sound that exceeds M. Boulez's parameters.'

`Although the ideology of Youth Culture is deaf to the musical evidence,' explained Lunch, helping himself to one of Stella's menthol cigarettes, `the development of black music shows a parallel resort to timbral actuality to pre-war modernism in Europe. Wonder and Dr. Dre - blues, jazz and rap - are best understood in terms of the situational noise-composition of the Futurists and Edgard VarŠse!'

`I see what you're getting at,' said Barretto. `In accepting the booby-prize of artistic freedom in a commodity society, postwar composers had to ride impossible contradictions: despite Adorno's efforts to point out the paradoxes, relapse into Kantian antinomies was inevitable.'

`That's right.' Said Lunch, sounding for all the world like Captain Beefherat in dialogue with The Maskara Snake. `In the 1920s, revolutionary modernism broke through the metaphysical antinomies - form versus content, discipline versus freedom, necessity versus chance. They conceived them in dialectical interpenetration. This was possible in an era of working-class revolution, when mass political movements showed that individual economic interest need not be pitched in opposition to society. Economic struggles were revealed as containing a social content. As part of the revolutionary working class, artists could wake up to the universal contained in the particular.'

Stella lit a cigarette and waved it about. Lunch blew out lungfuls of minty smoke. The grey-green fumes brought tears to Barretto's eyes. `Edgard VarŠse used what he called "blocks of sound". In his system, a high, shrill note from a piccolo could be set against a passage of pummelling kettle-drums in the way that Kandinsky might set a thin line of lime-green against a large black square.'

`That's correct,' said Barretto, wiping his eyes with a kleenex and noting a thin green line appearing on the tissue. `Rather than allotting instrumental colour to preconceived patterns of notes, VarŠse constructed music by weighing the timbral actuality of his sounds. In doing this he produced a music which sounds totally `non-classical', yet is nonetheless rigorously ordered.'

`His approach has parallels with Kurt Schwitters,' said Lunch. He pointed at the fruit-machine. Stella and Barretto turned to look, half-expecting another appereance of the mighty M. Boulez. Instead, a hallucinatory 1920s manifesto hung over it, the words picked out in arsnic yellows, smellonous greens and strawberry reds.

The word Merz denotes the combination of all conceivable materials for artistic purposes, and the equal evaluation of the individual materials. A perambulator wheel, wire netting, string and cotton wool are factors having equal rights with paint. The artist creates through the choice, distribution and metamorphosis of the materials.

`Yes!' shouted Lunch, banging his fist on the table. There was a sound like massed kettle drums, followed by weird electronic rustles and pipping. The fruit-machine blinked, and another manifesto appeared in the air before them. Wine-gum reds and furious yellows spangled through the grey-green haze.

The role of colour or timbre would be completely changed from being incidental, anecdotal, sensual or picturesque; it would become an agent of delineation like the different colours on a map separating different areas, and the hitherto unobtainable non-blending would become possible. In the moving masses you would be conscious of their transmutations when they pass over different layers, when they penetrate certain opacities, or are dilated in certain rarefactions.

`Rarefactions! Dig the verbiage, cats and kittens, the rare-meat of superfaction fructates another irreversible enzyme! VarŠse and Schwitters broke through the abstract opposition of form and content. They proposed an intuitive handling responsive to the specific needs of the materials. Their judgements about placement and contrast are devoid of the rhetorics of system that characterises the competitive individualism of postwar modernism - your professionals like Stockhausen and Boulez.' This implied a sneer at Barretto, which Lunch followed up by a wicked - yet somehow disarming - grin. `In Merz, artistic discipline is conceived as an articulation of necessity within the materials, not an imposition of order from without. The moving masses become conscious of themselves. This is like revolution for Marx, where the mass refuses to be shaped as object, but rises up as the subject of history.'

There was something sexual in Lunch's excitement, as if the `mass' rising up was phallic - but, contradicting facile sexual separatism, the elevating principle also appeared to all three as material, maternal. It was like witnessing Iggy Pop's naked torso being drawn into the seething mel‚e; the subordinate and speechless were exchanging positions with the penetrant, a ring of darkness sucking on a pale tether of finitude and itself emerging as proud flesh. Stella again felt a wave of hots for Barretto and his tall, prick-like stiffness. Tonight she wanted to find the funky bone that Barretto denied, make his knees tremble to the marrow. Her impulses prompted a sudden flow of eloquence; her line of argument came to her like a familiar bannister beneath the hand of a sleep-walker: `The practical, undogmatic modernism of VarŠse and Schwitters was eclipsed by the academic modernism of postwar Europe.'

`Yes, you got it!' shouted Lunch.

`I agree,' said Barretto, `yet Materialist Esthetix persists as a heretical current among radical poets and free improvisors today. Although mistaken for "mysticism" and "art-irrationalism" by champions of instrumental reason, even those who claim to be socialist, it actually provides the critique of art transcendentalism Socialist Realism failed to make. Its involvement with the artistic materials remains undistracted by the idealist aridity of structuralism. It directs attention to the material mediations of the idea. This is the contagion that I'm attempting to inject into the straight world of classical composition.'

`I read you, Ray,' said Stella, `and count me in.'

`Indeed!' Lunch was ready to launch himself into a political rhapsody. `The interpenetration of opposites is the logic required for a world in flux. Hegel's actuality is not the linear narrative of the realist novel, but the multi-branching parallel-worlds of sci-fi speculation about time travel and freedom. The shifting frame of reference that can accept a single phenomemon as necessary and contingent at the same instant is the opposite of the uniform, "totalising" world-picture he was castigated for by KojŠve's pupils. The glib postmodernist dismissal of both Hegel and Marx as "teleological" - originally Marx's own critique of Hegel's consecration of the Prussian state as the culmination of world history - has no inkling of the wrestle between concept and world in the world - that drives dialectical thought. Hegel's challenge to fixed oppositions - between freedom and necessity, between the individual and society - requires a scientific grasp of the specifics of human history. It includes the thinking mind and its categories in its purview. If socialism abandons this dialectic (which entails the subject-positioning of the world working-class), it falls into various bourgeois errors, of which trust in the inevitability of the triumph of socialism - the `determinism' of the Second International - and the ideology of the possibility of socialism in one country - Stalinism - are two of the more tragic.'

They had set the world to rights. At Stella's suggestion, they retired to the offices of Unknown Misconstrual to polish off the office vodka. Selecting a tape to play, she paused between a Ferneyhough string quartet - bootlegged at the BBC's Maida Vale studio a fortnight before - and a Crystal Waters cassette given her by a friend. In a fantastic gesture of interpenetrating antinomies, she put one in the office deck and the other in her desk machine - and switched on both at full volume. The automatic house beats of the Basement Boys smashed into Ferneyhough's Viennese etiolations with a matchless elegance all found ravishing. Crystal Water's wayward intonation and cracked tone on `Gypsy Woman (She's Homeless)' found perfect complement in Ferneyhough's scrupulous micro-tones. Satin sheets of funky bliss. Ignoring the composer's weak protests, Stella finally located Barretto's funky boner. As she'd whispered to Lunch in the pub earlier, she had `resolved to ream this uptight asshole'. While Cartwright and Barretto shagged on the carpet, Lunch frigged himself, poured vodka down his neck - and booted up Stella's PC. He hacked into the office database and discovered Brain End's private phone number. He dialed up the Professor of Deafpost-Modernity in order to give him an earful of UMP's office ambience: Extended String Technique Meets Crystal Waters Over Rampant Sexsounds. The Synthetic Avantist was not amused. Tonight, the Authentic Avantgarde was having a righteous riot!

OTL gazed at the writhing bodies and raised his arm in a blessing, a quotation from Wilhelm Reich's The Mass Psychology of Fascism (1946): `Mysticism is nothing other than unconscious longing for orgasm (cosmic plasmatic sensations).' Since the two seemed to be bringing their longings to consciousness in the most practical manner, he felt that his materialist observation was otiose. Gathering up a generous mittenful of publicity brochures, composer glamour-shots, newsletters and discographies from the front-desk, he wished them adieu and disappeared into the London night.


On To Chapter Seven

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