Alchemy, Art, Books, Don and Wen, TOLL

China my China…


‘In its essentials, Indian alchemy is the same as Western, and Chinese alchemy, although set in a completely different spiritual climate, can throw light on both…’
– Titus Burckhardt

… We took up the collapsed form in our arms and carried it up the stairs kicking back open the door to our flat with a precariously lifted foot.
The sofa bed along the far wall of the living room presented an ideal and welcome put down point and as we laid the form to rest, as it were, those delicate lips again parted and let out a soft moan.
Thinking that it would not be long before our unexpected visitant returned to full consciousness we retired to the kitchen in order to make coffee.
Upon our return to the living room some minutes later we found the girl gone!
Nowhere to be found…
Were we dreaming?
In her stead, on our study desk in the corner of the room to one side of the sofa bed, there now lay what we took to be a gold plated cigarette case.
Upon closer inspection the cigarette case proved to be a book… of sorts.

Its title, engraved centrally upon the front leaf of the gold plate looked like this;

On its back leaf, again engraved centrally into the gold plate, was a symbol:

8We just had time to wonder to ourselves how far the vertical ray extended and whether it too eventually culminated in a chalice and if so which way up it was when we heard a loud banging on the front door.
Our immediate thought was that the girl had returned.
As the loud banging continued with more force we knew this not to be the case.
Inserting the ‘Golden Book’ into our top pocket we exited the living room and descended the stairs in a rather more circumspect fashion than some minutes before.
Two tall bulky forms could be discerned through the frosted glass.
We opened the door and were presented with an I.D. card proclaiming the door’s assailants to be Officers of Law.
“We know he’s in here!” said one…
“Been tracking him for days,” said the other.
And together they pushed passed us and swiftly traversed the stairs.
We followed behind them, slowly, thinking, ‘He?’
And then, ‘Him?’
We had barely reached the top of the stairs when one of the Officers charged back out of our flat, barged past us again and disappeared out of the front door at the foot of the stairs.
“…Given us the slip yet again,” he yelled as he went.
Regaining our feet and our composure we re-entered our flat to find the second Officer peering somewhat forlornly out of the now open living room window.
We stood alongside him and peered too; at the tarpaulin roof of the bay window of the flat below and at the drainpipe which ran alongside.
“He could of been out and down and off in two bounds,” said the Officer.
“Sprightly chap was he?” we enquired and then found ourselves pressed firmly against, and halfway up, the living room wall with a judicious arm held tightly over our windpipe.
“Didn’t leave anything did he?” said the Officer in a rather menacing tone and with a most unsavoury glint in his eye.
We shook our head and by the time we had regained our balance back on the ground the first Officer too was gone.
“We’ll be watching you,” he called from the stairs as we pushed the door to and with something approaching relief re-attached the door chain.
We walked back to the window pulled that shut too and then reached for our top pocket…



Lands of Exile:


Stuart France & Sue Vincent

The Beeley Stone, ‘liberated’ from the churchyard at Bakewell, stands proudly in the centre of its village green once more. While the locals enjoy the fruits of its restoration, Ben, who had led the daring raid against authority, still languishes in jail.

Don and Wen, arrested and released without explanation in Ireland, now plot an erratic course through the wild places of Wales, while Jaw-Dark and Kraas, seeking the legendary stone of Fergus Mac Roy, have been separated in the most uncanny of circumstances…

As the darkness closes around them, the Black Shade haunts the moors above Beeley and, in the shadowy rooms of the old tower, an ancient and even stranger story begins to unfold…

Other Books in this series by France & Vincent

Available via Amazon UK, and worldwide,

for Kindle and in full colour illustrated paperback

Triad of Albion

The Initiate ~ Heart of Albion ~ Giants Dance

Don and Wen thought it was just a day out in an ancient landscape wrought in earth and stone, walking the sacred ways of the Old Ones. They could not know what mysteries would unfold as the birds led them deep into the legendary history of Albion.

As the veils thin and waver, time shifts and the present is peopled with shadowy figures from the past, weaving their tales through a quest for understanding and opening wide the doors of perception for those who seek to see beyond the surface of reality…


The Ætheling Thing ~ Dark Sage ~ Scions of Albion

What exactly were the Norse gods doing on a supposedly Christian artefact that looked more like a standing stone than a cross?

Don is drawn to investigate, questioning the history of the Blessed Isles of Albion, while Wen determines to restore the position of one particular stone.

Which would have been alright if Ben hadn’t gone back for the gun…

Lands of Exile

But ‘n’ Ben ~ Beck ‘n’ Call  ~ Kith ‘n’ Kin

While Ben, fast becoming a folk hero, languishes in Bakewell Gaol, Don and Wen are on holiday… or ‘on the run’ if Bark Jaw-Dark and PC 963 Kraas, hot in pursuit, are to be believed.

From England to Scotland and Ireland, the officers of the Law follow the trail of the erratic couple.

But who is the shadowy figure, hovering beyond sight?

What is his interest in a small standing stone and just how many high-level strings can he pull… and why?

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