Inferno News 1876

(with thanks to the London Times and various other worthy publications)

*** ALBERT CURED   The nation breathed a sigh of relief and tore up its
poems of mourning, as Buckingham Palace announced that our beloved Prince
Consort was completely cured of his typhoid fever. The woman responsible
was Miss Lilith Fair, who was immediately dubbed Dame of the British Empire
by the grateful Queen. 'It was God's power working through me,' said the
modest healer, giving the lie to those who have sought to portray her as

A LETTER TO THE EDITOR   of The Times, from Mr Charles Darwin; "Dear Sir,
the expansion of human knowledge is, in our time, proceeding swiftly. It is
only natural that we, who have for so long looked for our future in the
patterns of the stars, seek to explore space at such a moment.
Nevertheless, those courageous scientists and engineers drawn to the stars
by curiosity may be misdirecting their brave efforts. There are mysteries
enough remaining unexplored on our planet, some of which may enlighten us
as to our own true nature and that of all things living on the Earth. Would
the energies of our great minds not be better directed towards discovery in
those realms, such as the depths of the sea bed, which promise to disclose
answers to many of our most fundamental spiritual and philosophical
questions? Is not the disclosure of the true nature and destiny of man a
higher calling, though directed towards more lowly regions, than expensive
exploration for its own sake? I am striving, within my field, towards this
knowledge and I would urge all men of science and intellect to join me in
this pursuit. Outside our atmosphere, enthusiasts confess, are millions of
miles of emptiness, with the odd scattered spinning rock or fire but  knows
precisely what riches may be yielded by mining the deeps? Yours sincerely,
Mr C. Darwin."

A PRESS RELEASE   in all newspapers, from Henri Giffard; "Today, I launch
the Giffine Gun, a one-man portable version of the Giffard Gun. It will
enable the owner to carry it into combat. It is an essential home owner
tool to provide protection against the criminal elemental which is taking
hold in the major cities around the world. Sleep easier with a Giffine Gun
under your pillow. Don't leave home without one, either. The Giffine Gun =
the ultimate deterrent. Scared of the Slasher, carry a Giffine Gun. Sales
enquiries should be directed to Henri Giffard."

A LETTER   from Miss Julianne Fulbright, published in the Literary Review;
"Sirs, Lord Tennyson's poetry of 'note, merit and meaning' is, I fear,
beyond the appreciation of most of this island's population. The readers of
this Review might have the wit and intelligence to marvel at his lengthy
odes crammed with classical allusion; however, the man and woman on the
Clapham belt-conveyor doubtless find his collections lengthy and with
little relevance to their everyday lives. Even those works of his written
for his Laureate duties are couched in language no worker would use or,
perhaps, even understand. "And let the fair white-winged peacemaker fly/To
happy havens under all the sky", indeed. Perhaps Lord Tennyson would care
to tell us which of the stands at the International Exhibition involved
doves? Let the poetry for the people be written in a style that they can
understand, and then perhaps it will be brought into a more central
position in their lives. Let the little people construct their own rhymes
and thus let us bring poetry to flourish in the light where Lord Tennyson
and his ilk would have it buried in the deepest closet, with admission
granted only to a select few. Yours faithfully, Julianne Fulbright."

IS THE TRUTH OUT THERE?   Recently set up in London is the Committee to
Welcome our Alien Friends, a group which believes mankind was helped in the
past by creatures from space, and that they are due to return to help us
again. Spokesman Mr Wolfgang Shrewda said "Even if we're wrong, what have
you got to lose?" Self-respect, The Times would venture to suggest.

AN ADVERTISEMENT   in The Times, placed anonymously; "Memorabilia of
Slasher's Victims sought. Best prices paid - Contact the Scorpions for more

RED CROSS SPLASHES OUT   The Red Cross's asylum for the mentally deranged,
near Epsom, has been greatly expanded lately, with the addition of a large
pool for hydrotherapy, and a chapel dedicated to St Michael, among other
treats for those unfortunate enough to be blighted in the mind.

NEW CORRESPONDENT APPOINTED   The post of Religious Affairs correspondent
to The Times has been given to His Reverence Montague Summers, Bishop of
Exeter, a learned and holy gentleman who will need no introduction to our

COMIC CUTS   Europe has been swamped by the launch of the new Teen Angels
comic, distributed free to the young by such a wide variety of means that
not even the most reclusive of youngsters could have missed seeing it. It
tells of the deeds of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel, Raphael and Uriel,
as well as other members of the Host, engaged in stirring tales from the
Bible and Milton, usually involving themes such as the power of prayer,
helping those less fortunate, and from time to time giving unsightly demons
a good old smiting. While The Times heartily supports any attempt to help
the youth of today grow up as God-fearing Christians, this correspondent
cannot but feel that the inclusion of modern-day figures such as the Head
of the British Red Cross in the stories tends rather to detract from their
worth. (by our Religious Affairs correspondent)

AN ADVERTISEMENT   in The Times, placed by William Stone; "Science and
Technology reaches out to all. Come to London and witness the First Science
and Technology Fair, A learning experience for all ages. Find out how the
steam tractor works, ride on a conveyor belt for free. Speak to your friend
from one end of the room to another using an Stone communication tube. See
how man will reach out into the stars in our space exploration room. Join a
guided tour for an educational view of science. Children and OAPs half
price, schools and colleges free admission."

LOOK BEFORE YOU CROSS   The British Red Cross is taking to the skies and
roads, with the purchase of several Bangers and an Aerocruiser for use in
emergency medical relief.

*** HERESY BILL PASSES LORDS   The House of Lords passed the Archbishop of
Canterbury's Bill for Religious Conformity and Social Cohesion with a
decent majority, despite the opposition of the 'Nouveau Wealthy Order'
group of peers led by Lord Hamilton: a large group of hitherto neutral
peers, led by the Marquess of Salisbury, swung behind the bill and ensured
its passage. The measure, which attracted broad support from both parties
and from cross-benchers, provides for the punishment by exile of those
convicted of heresy, on the judgement of a judge and the Church
authorities. As a concession to liberal opinion, the Archbishop announced
the disbanding of the Militia of the Lamb. The Bill must be passed by the
Commons as well to become law, but Mr Southville will be a brave man to
stand against a measure which has passed the Lords and has wide popular
enthusiasm behind it: cries of 'Anything to stop the religious and social
turmoil! Hurrah for the Archbishop!' were heard from the public galleries
during the debate.

A PRESS RELEASE   in all newspapers, from Henri Giffard; "Today, a giant
step for mankind will be taken as we launch an intrepid band of explorers
into the infinity that is space. This project will go boldly where no man
has gone before. We welcome you of the press corps to this launch to see
for yourself the culmination of several years of hard work by the
Rocketship group."

*** HUNGARY FOR CHANGE   The Republic of Hungary has declared war on
Austria, President Miklos 'Mad Dog' Toldi announcing 'Now is the time to
avenge centuries of injustice!' Neutral observers are seeing this as
representing the 'kick a man when he's down' school of international
relations. The Hungarian army at once advanced all but unopposed into
Slovakia and seized Bratislava.

AN ANONYMOUS LETTER TO THE EDITOR   of the Suddeutsche Zeitung; "People of
Bavaria, can it be good for our beloved country that a raspberry has been
replaced by a Leman? Rise up, I say! Pluck this exotic fruit down from it's
usurped branch, and put an end to this strange season of pain."

*** SPACE TEAM RETURN TRIUMPHANT   The first manned mission into space
returned safely today, plucky ship the Pioneer 'splashing down' into the
Adriatic. Pilot Mr James Dawson and organizer Mr Henri Giffard waved
triumphantly to excited onlookers as their craft was towed into Venice by a
Steam Kraken. The remainder of the crew, Baron von Poelzig, Mr William
Stone, Mr Robert Goddard and Mr Thomas Swift, emerged one by one to take
the applause. The expedition, following a near-ballistic trajectory into
high earth orbit, deployed a deep-space probe of Mr Dawson's design which
will add greatly to our knowledge of the interplanetary void, Mr Giffard
announced. The success of this international mission, with four
nationalities involved (other participants were Dr William S Bang and Comte
Bertrand), surely points to a peaceful and cooperative future for mankind.
It is hard to believe that this is the same Mr Giffard who this year
launched that portable fragment of Hell on Earth, the Giffine Gun. (by our
Science and Technology correspondent)

AN UNDERGROUND ADVERTISEMENT   in Eat the Rich!; (A huge picture of the
Pope being devoured by a huge orca whale appears over the text.) "The Holy
Orca devours the Pretender: his days are numbered"

GARIBALDI LOYALISTS SLAIN   The inner circle of revolutionaries closely
allied to Giuseppe Garibaldi have been surprised and slain en masse by a
crack team of assassins, believed to be Austrian in origin - a development
which takes this correspondent back to the heady days of the 1860s, when
every terrorist outrage that took place was blamed on French agents. The
Austrian government has of course denied the charge, but the fact of the
matter is that democratic activists have seized power from the surprised
Garibaldi and promised free and fair elections next year, a move greatly
welcomed by any right-thinking observer. (by our Diplomatic correspondent)

A GRAND DAY OUT   for all the family is to be experienced at Mr William
Stone's Science and Technology Fair, at Earl's Court, London. The exhibits
include (non-working) models of the Pioneer spacecraft and all the
fascinating systems which make it up, plus a huge variety of other exhibits
of modern ingenuity, from weapons of war to household items and aides to
health. Families can move about the exhibits by Stone belt-conveyor, and
hear descriptions via a Stone Amplifier network. Mr Stone, hitherto the
'quiet one' of British inventive genius, has come into his own! (by our
Science and Technology correspondent)

BANG TO RIGHTS   Dr William S Bang has branched out from his usual
explosive path, with the establishment of a medical research laboratory.

SEA BREEZES   The enigmatic Comte Bertrand this year turned his mighty
steam fleet to a survey of the bed of the Mediterranean, to what purpose is
anyone's guess, as is what he might have found.

'SONNY' DELIGHT   Mr Sunil 'Sonny' Laing has purchased a quantity of
territory in mid-Atlantic, including all the port facilities on Ascension
(excepting the British naval base there), Tristan da Cunha and the Cape
Verde islands.

*** MORGAN NO LONGER FREE MAN   King Morgan of Bavaria is Europe's most
eligible bachelor no longer, having quickly spliced himself to Princess
Elena of Milan, heir to the Grand Duchy of Piedmont. This move has
surprised Sforza-watchers, who had anticipated a liaison between Elena and
the de'Medici of Florence.

HAPPINESS EXPANDS   The 'Happiness Regained' empire has spread to include
remedies for women's complaints (the details of which can hardly be
considered suitable material for a respectable newspaper), and a free
newsletter bulletin combining advice with product information. This company
certainly seems to have a keen hold on this intimate aspect of British

POETRY ON THE OMNIBUS   ... and on the Belt-Conveyor, the latest venture
from angry young poetess Miss Julianne Fulbright. Not content with slamming
the Poet Laureate in a recent letter to the Literary Review, she is now
organizing the appearance of brief, pithy poems on display on public
transport, by a variety of young poets, chosen so as to appeal to the lower
classes. Some of this verse is the merest doggerel, but perhaps if the
unwashed masses are introduced to poetry by this means, they may eventually
progress to appreciate the true artistic vision of such as Lord Tennyson

MASKED BRAWL   The infamous Masked Man ha been making a nuisance of himself
around Liechtenstein, much to the annoyance of the occupying Austrians,
with a series of daring outrages. It is even suspected that he is
attempting to raise a resistance movement, which may have some hops of
success with the defeat of Austria - although whether the conquering powers
will have much sympathy for the plight of the Liechtensteiners remains to
be seen.

PRUSSIANS PARALYSED   The advance of the Prussian Army has been slowed by a
nasty outbreak of food poisoning that has broken out among the troops, and
also by adverse and unseasonable weather conditions: 'it was as though the
thunder-gods themselves were blighting our enterprise,' said one
weak-willed infantryman. But 'Stormin' Count von Essen is flogging his
troops ever onwards: and, with the rapid development of a special grease to
counter the Austrian goop-weapon, it rather looks as though the Emperor's
days in the field may be numbered.

BOXING CLEVER   Mr William Stone has patented the Stone Radio Box, a device
which allows the transmission and reception of mysterious aetheric
fluctuations known as Stone Waves. It allows the instantaneous transmission
of sound over large distances to many recipients, although quite on what
principle it operates is still something of a mystery, it seems. (by our
Science and Technology correspondent)

*** ITALIAN UNITY IN THE PIPELINE   With the new democratic government in
power in Southern Italy, all five Italian nations are now agreed to conduct
a plebiscite on unity in 1877. The proposed new nation will have Cosimo
de'Medici as constitutional monarch, a house of peers as in Britain and an
elected house of senators as in Italy. It will be officially Catholic, a
proviso insisted on by the Pope, but freedom of worship will be
constitutionally enshrined and the heads of state and of government will be
secular. Constitutional experts are predicting a landslide for unity, with
all five governments supporting it, and this will surely represent a
personal triumph for Mr d'Aventine, who has been its architect.

AGONY IN ALGIERS   Captain Frank Clark, the English officer accused of
shooting a teenage French boy in Algiers in rather dubious circumstances,
has been freed by military court, with judges refusing to admit the
evidence of the many witnesses on the grounds that 'they were French and
hence unreliable'. This decision has sparked a storm of protest across the
former French colonies and in France itself, with citizens asking angrily
why the government of Napoleon III will not stand up for them against
British abuse.

ANARCHISTS ARE REVOLTING   Prussia was convulsed in a series of shocking
anarchist riots towards the end of the year, with each major city in more
or less open revolt. Terrified citizens are calling for Chancellor von
Seyffert's head on a platter if he cannot fix the problem, and with large
numbers of troops still in Austria that may prove a tricky task.

HERMES IN SPACE   Lord Armstrong's HERMES project has orbited the globe and
been successfully retrieved, and it is his Lordship's hope to put a dog
into space in 1877. However, this exploit has been rather put in the shade
by the Giffard group's achievement.

SALISBURY IN THE STATES   Luscious Lord Salisbury has been spending a 'deal
of time' with the new in-laws, we understand, and has become quite an
ornament in the Boston social scene. He and his lovely wife have also been
squired around New York by noted American songwriter Mr Stephen Foster,
whom we understand to be a Negro gentleman (check this before publication -
ed.) (from How Do You Do? magazine)

*** COUP BLIMEY!   In a smoothly-executed coup that has stunned Europe, the
French military have toppled their Emperor Napoleon III, exiled him to
Devil's Island, and replaced him with a military government. The leader of
the junta is the young and brilliant General Joffre, and in his first
speech as Generalissimo he angrily decried British imperialism.

HIGHLAND STEW   The Prime Minister has been touring north of the border to
reassure those Scots who have their kilts in a twist that they are still
loved by their Queen and her government. 'I will not allow one part of the
Union to tear the Empire apart whilst refusing to allow that self-same part
to feel that they are not extremely valued,' he said. As a gesture to
bruised Scottish feeling, he has had the order restricting Scottish
regiments to barracks lifted, and one of the affected regiments has since
distinguished itself putting down a native rising in the new territory of

brisker in recent years than it has ever been, took a sharp twist this
year, with noted philanthropist and arms dealer Mr Albert de Bonvoisin
buying up all the state-run asylums in Prussia. They are now under the
control of a charitable trust, of which King Leopold of the Netherlands -
who seems to pop up wherever Mr de Bonvoisin turns his hand - one of the
trustees. The bouncing Belgian told a sorry tale of visiting his cousin in
one such asylum and being horrified at the state of care, with lobotomies
and electro-shock treatment being administered on a daily basis, but The
Times suspects that a profit motive may also be present -whatever Mr de
Bonvoisin touches seems to turn to gold eventually.

URGE OVERKILL   Armstrong Industries' URGE II, with improved life support
system, is likely to revolutionize the future of warfare, experts warned.
Capable of tunnelling troops into any fortification, over considerable
distances, it may make conventional above-ground combat a thing of the

*** BULGARS GET STUCK IN   Bulgaria has followed Hungary's lead and
declared war on Austria, invading to go to the aid of the rebels in Croatia
and Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Bulgarian army, led still by the mercenary
commander 'Olaf', is highly motivated and well armed, and is making short
work of the scant troops Austria can spare from the war in the north. This
is surely the final nail in the Habsburg coffin.

*** BRITANNIC STOLEN TO FRANCE   The world's largest battleship, the HMS
Britannic, has been hijacked by Scottish agents and stolen away to the
Mediterranean, in what can only be seen as a massive poke in the eye for
Britain's armed might. The news that the new French government are in
league with Scots nationalists is also alarming - is this a resurrection of
the 'Auld Alliance' which gave Queen Elizabeth and her predecessors such

WEDDING OFF   In a tragic personal postscript to the French coup, Mr Peter
Darkenford, who was engaged to be married to Princess Amalie, is now said
to be 'thinking about it', now that her father is no longer Emperor.
Eyebrows had already been raised at the Princess's engagement to a
commoner, albeit a fabulously wealthy one, but the then French government
certainly seemed to support the Emperor's decision.

PRESS BARON TO WED?   It is rumoured that Lord Trippinghurst, proprietor of
the Observer newspaper, is due to propose to the redoubtable women's
activist Miss Catherine Mendel. The Times wishes them all happiness.

KNIGHTS TEMPLAR SPREAD   The new Knights Templar, headed by the shadowy Sir
Parsifal von Schwartzlich, is growing in number as evidenced by its
attendance at Dame Lilith Fair's revival meetings throughout the year.
Knights, such as the equally shadowy Sir Jean de Noisette-Étang, are taken
from all over Europe, and sworn to the service of God, to protect the weak
and to be generally heroic by God's good grace. Their headquarters, at
Dunmarchin Castle ont he Welsh borders, is turning into quite the little

DISCOVERY LOAN   The Discovery, a stripped down Aerocruiser specialized for
retrieval work, has been lent by Armstrong Industries to noted patron Mr
Albert de Bonvoisin, for joint humanitarian research.

PERCY RELUCTANT?   Dashing Captain Sir Percy Blakely, stepping out again
this year with beauteous poetess Miss Julianne Fulbright, is still to pop
the question to her, despite strong parental hints in that direction. Is
the good Captain frightened of Miss Fulbright's famous fiery temper, or are
the rumours that he has a bitter rival in love accurate? (from How Do You
Do? magazine)

*** FALL OF AUSTRIA   The Prussian advance has been remorseless, a heavy
artillery barrage followed by spears of MATAVs driving forward into the
Austrian centre in the Danube valley, and after heavy fighting Austrian
troops under General Echserdus finally surrendered at the gates of Vienna.
General von Essen himself received Emperor Franz Josef's sword, at the gate
of the Schönbrunn Palace. The Austrians might have resisted successfully,
but with simultaneous invasions from Hungary and from Bulgaria they had no
chance. The disposition is as follows: the Prussians hold Bohemia and the
Danube valley, the Hungarians hold Slovakia, the Bulgarians allied with
Croat and Bosnian rebels hold everything south of Slovenia and have now
sent their army north to join with the Hungarian force. Only the Tyrol and
Linz (and of course Liechtenstein) remain unconquered, and they might have
fallen too had either Venice or Bavaria joined the conflict. The question
facing the victors is what to do next. Will they simply divide the Empire
among them, or will they allow it to retain national status? Will Britain
and France demand a part in the negotiations? Will the Hapsburg dynasty be
extinguished? The generals - von Essen, Toldi and 'Olaf' - have had their
day: now it is for the statesmen to dispose.

SUE FLOATS   The mighty Sue media empire has been floated on the bourses of
Europe, with 60% of shares retained by a mystery controller, 20% going to
staff and workers, and the remaining 20% being sold to the public - with
the current political turmoil, prices were not what they might have been,
but the amount of cash raised is still phenomenal. Miss Monique Sue herself
has dropped entirely out of public life, to the extent that this reclusive
and reluctant mogul was ever in it.

FOOTBALL BOOST   Newcastle West End, the team owned by Lord Armstrong, are
putting something back into the game, with a new University chair and
laboratory for research into Sport Studies at Newcastle University,
studying sports injuries, football ballistics and related matters. Lord
Armstrong is pushing football and fitness in general as the solution to
many of societies' woes.

POPE IS A GIT!   ... and other stories to that effect in all Sue Media
newspapers (including Le Soir, the Suddeutsche Zeitung and La Repubblica)
across Europe. His sponsorship of the inhumane Levitican Army is
particularly singled out for criticism.

DARWIN WORKING ON TOME   Noted scientist Mr Charles Darwin is reputedly
working on a new book that will gather together all his work on the way
that species originate. With Mr Darwin's letter to this newspaper earlier
in the year indicating that he believes deep-sea research more valuable
than deep-space, this controversial scientist is still happy to fly in the
face of conventional opinion - we can be sure that his new book will rouse
the hackles of the religious fundamentalists. It is believed that Mr Darwin
has gone pubic with this announcement in fear that a rival will 'scoop' his
work, although this correspondent will venture to hazard that no other man
living would be capable of imitating Mr Darwin's unique way with a concept.
(by our Science and Technology correspondent)

IT'S SALOP FOR THE CUP   The new Salisbury Cup competition produced
surprise winners in the Marquess's own team, Salop United, edging out the
Christian Rovers by two goals to one in the final. Newcastle West End,
pre-tournament favourites, were defeated in the semi by Rovers, the only
goal a controversial one scored by James Sealady and the 'Hand of God'. The
trophy was presented by Lady Salisbury, and very charming she looked doing
so. The League was once again a Newcastle procession, although Salop chased
them until the end, but it's good to see that upsets can still occur in cup
football. (by our Sports correspondent)

AS A MATTER OF FACT IT'S ALL DARK   Colonel Maguire has astonished the
world with pictorial images of the dark side of the Moon, taken with an
automatic space probe he sent up there last year. It seems this enigmatic
genius has scooped the Giffard crew, and furthermore invented a new art of
'photo-graphy' while doing so! Most interestingly of all, the images show
signs which experts hazard are highly suggestive of life on our chill
satellite. Her Majesty was the first to see the
 'Mag-u-like' images, and she was so pleased with them, and the three
craters which have been named after her and the two Princesses, that she
dubbed the scientist Sir William on the spot. It is difficult to say which
will have the greater effect on human existence, the development of
'photo-graphy' or the discovery of life on the Moon, but to discover both
simultaneously argues a high order of genius. (by our Science and
Technology correspondent, who has had rather an exciting year of it)

IS KAISER WILLY AT THE HELM?   Surely the time has come for the Kaiser to
replace the flaccid von Seyffert with a more dynamic Chancellor, who will
quell these anarchist scum for good and all. But he seems to be more busy
with his new French mistress than with affairs of State. (from the
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung)

SCIENTIFIC GOVERNMENT   The Queen has opened Victoria Towers, the newest
housing block to be raised int he Manchester regeneration project, and
given her imprimatur to Lord Hamilton's plans for a progressive, unified
approach to civil administration. The programme is not just for cities, it
also applies to efficient management of rural communities, and landowners
are being encouraged to trial it with a mini-Cyclops machine for the
estate, linked to the main Cyclops via the village post office. How well
the straw-chewing English yeoman will take to difference engineering
remains to be seen: he still has to get fully used to steam tractors! But
Lord Hamilton assures cost savings, and in these days of trial for
landowners that will be hard to resist.

DUEL IN HYDE PARK   Rapiers at dawn saw a young Frenchman, Monsieur Requin,
slay young Lord Pentonville-Smythe, over what is believed to have been an
offence at cards in Professor Moriarty's Gentleman's Club. Monsieur Requin
is currently being sought by police, who believe he may be dangerous if

*** DEDICATED MIKE CONTROL   The long series of revival meetings held by
Dame Lilith Fair, throughout the summer, reached its fervent conclusion
this Michaelmas, with the Archangel Michael himself descending from the
heavens to move among ecstatic worshippers - most glorious he was,
brightest and best of the sons of the morning, twenty feet tall, his
raiment that of light, his terrible sharp sword and armour too bright to
look at, and the ineffable glory of God in his eye. His voice, melodious
yet filled with power, led worshippers in a hymn of praise to the Lord, and
fortunate were those who were there on that day. Previous meetings had been
accompanied by rioting among Dame Lilith's followers, which had caused
enough trouble and been brutally enough put down by the local yeomanry that
no town would host this Michaelmas meeting - but a humble cornfield was all
that was required, as was not a mere stable the place where our Lord Jesus
Christ was born? Those brave and study Knights Templar who accompany Dame
Lilith were strengthened by the power of the Archangel, growing visibly
stronger and more capable as the holy light poured into them. This
correspondent has seen the light, and laid aside his earlier lukewarm
Christianity. He offers his resignation as Bishop of Exeter, should His
Grace the Archbishop wish it, and joins happily on Dame Lilith's crusade,
than which there is no holier cause in our day. (by our Religious

SITUATIONS VACANT   The Times seeks a new Religious Correspondent, after
the previous incumbent's resignation without notice to join Miss Lilith
Fair's crusade. Salary and hours negotiable. Strong religious faith will
definitely count against applicants this year, hardened cynics and atheists

COME TO HULME!   Not just cheap and efficient, but clean, healthy and
bright - you too could live in Victoria Towers, the vertical neighbourhood.
Plenty of space to hang out your washing, good schools for the children,
and a job for hubby. (an advertisement in the People's Friend magazine)

ITALY FINDS THE PATH   The Continental Pathfinders have set up in Tuscany
and Southern Italy, with a rather strong anti-Levitican flavour to them.
What with this and the incessant newspaper campaign against the Leviticans,
support for the witchfinders is waning in this their heartland, even as
they continue to grow in France, Portugal, Spain and Croatia.

THUGS STRIKE   The anti-heresy thugs who have been making life such a
misery in London for any of unorthodox religious beliefs seem to have
broadened their remit to a political one, with an Equity Party public
address being broken up violently at Speaker's Corner.

SLASHER CONTINUES   The infamous 'Jim the Slasher' still plagues London,
killing another five victims this year, all women who were carrying steam
alarms but for some reason did not use them. With the vigilante Sabre quiet
all year, what chance is there of the Slasher being caught? Surely it is
time for the ineffective Lord Chelmsford to be replaced as Home Secretary,
with organized crime in London also on the up, and several other
unfortunates being fdound totally drained of blood.

PLAGUE SPREADS   The bubonic plague noted in the North Yorkshire town of
Whitby last year has now spread throughout the county, and medical services
in the region are severely overstretched. There have been several thousand
deaths, yet not a single member of the Government or other prominent
citizen seems to be paying the epidemic the slightest notice. What is wrong
with Britain today? (by our Health correspondent)

GANG WAR IN PARIS   The Parisian mobs have taken advantage of the political
turmoil to move to all-out war. An unholy alliance between the Union Corse
and the 'Steam Mafia' have seen the third force, the gang controlled by the
woman known as 'La Duchesse', driven onto the back foot, with the corrupt
French judiciary seeming eager to act against them rather than the other
parties. With luck General Joffre will do something about the nest of
vipers in his capital.