The following night sees Brindleton, Kitson, Claspington, Foxworth and Hodgkiss turn up at a small, boutique theatre in Covent Garden, to watch Kshesinskaya's performance in La Sylphide. Those of you who know anything about ballet think it's a decent production. To those of you who don't know anything about ballet, it seems to involve a fairy, witches, and lots of prancing around.
Afterwards, as arranged, you gather at the performers' entrance to the rear of the building, down a cobbled alley. One of Kshesinskaya's men - a huge ox of man, built like a brick shit-house - who you recognise from the party meets you, and nods you inside. He leads you down a narrow corridor (ballerinas scampering by) and to Kshesinskaya's changing room.
The prima donna is sitting by her makeup table smoking a cigarillo. "Gentlemen," she says, her face as expressionlessly beautiful as ever. "Let us not waste time. You have an interest in Defernex. Tell me more."