Connie and Tom take a train to London to consult with Albert about Connie's bad dreams. Albert ascribes Connie's dreams to contact with her Other Side self, and prescribes a natural herbal tea, of Kohlrabi and Geranium, to dampen this effect. Connie and Tom buy the necessary ingredients and Connie drinks the tea before they board a train back to Oxford. On the train Connie quickly falls asleep and is seized with jerky movements. At the prompting of a conductor, Tom tries to wake her up, but she remains unconscious. At the conductor's urging, they get off at the nearest station (at the outskirts of Oxford) so that Connie can receive first aid. Tom calls Albie, who rushes over on the next train. The medic wants to give Connie a sedative to prevent her involuntary movements, but Tom tells him that she might be having some unforeseen reaction to the tea she drunk and that perhaps the sedative will combine with it to cause even more unwanted side-effects.
Albie arrives and sees Connie's spirit being tortured by the invisible claw of some evil warlock. He casts out this malign influence and Connie resumes normal, if laboured sleep. Albie manages to catch the scent of the warlock (it takes 23 minutes to fade), and leaving Connie with the medic (asking the station manager to call him if any trouble arises), he and Thomas grab a cab and pursue this magical trail to a house at No. 23, Mirkwood Road.
Knocking, the door is opened by a French boytoy who is immune to Albert's aristocratic powers (“egalité motherfucker…”) to the point of brandishes a handgun at the intruders. Carefully stepping outside, the surveyor makes a phone call and finds that the house is registered in his own name.
Albert does some magical packet sniffing to make sure that here be Evil Warlock and all, and sniffs something big taking place back at the train station. Havers hurries back to the station yet again, calling the cops on the (armed!) people squatting in his new found property from the way and almost managing to not lie to the cops and incriminate himself in the process.
Albert meets the local bobby who quickly arrives to make sure everything is on the up and up and to hand the French butler (“mais, oui, this IS the house of Thomas Havers, he lives here”) a small piece of paper requesting that larger pieces of paper be presented to the authorities in SHOTEF PLUS 90.
Meanwhile, Havers arrives at the station and finds not only the rest of Oxford's police studying a gruesome murder scene (the medic and the station manager, with a knife, in the room where Connie was treated), but also the cream of the shire's trainspotters, discussing the 19th century train arriving at the platform at about the time of the murder. Murder plus kidnapping, probably, because Connie is not about.
Looking for clues, Havers learns that a young “new age” spotter managed to take some pictures of the steam locomotive, but the police took them away. Fortunately, an older spotter - a real pillar of the community - got to see them before, and he gives such a good description of it, and especially of the strange green flatbed that was on the scene, that Havers suddenly recalls passing it head-on both on the way to Mirkwood road AND now on the way here. THAT fucking high are the mad spotting skillz involved.
The green flatbed arrives at Mirkwood road just as Havers - rushing back from the station - SMSs Zeitberg about it. Zeitberg tries to use his aristocratic powers and stands in the middle of the road, but is forced to jump aside like a lowly commoner when the French driver (who is not only French, but actually a spitting image of the gun wielding “butler”) tries to head-butt him with the car. Albert tries to GTA the car from the Frenchie. The Frenchie pulls out a hurriedly wiped bloodied knife, but Albert's cane teaches him that size does matter. The other Frenchie, hearing the commotion, opens the door, and calmly starts sharp-shooting at Albert with his handgun. This he does from a pretty serious distance, either very confidant of his (not so impressive) aim, or just highly unconcerned about hitting his clone/twin/whatever.
Finally Havers arrives to the rescue, driving a car commandeered from a fellow spotter right between the gun and Zeitberg and finding Connie safe in the flatbed's booth (well, on the flatbed, really, wrapped in a sleeping bag). A couple of concussed Frenchies later, Havers and Zeitberg enter the house. Connie is still out. Zeitberg brilliantly avoids all magical traps, and confronts the Evil Warlock, who really seems like a nice guy. Only Albie's magical monocle (and common sense, really) reveals him to be all fang and claw evil dude. Realizing his cover is exposed, the thing within that nice exterior jumps Zeitberg, knocks his staff from his hands and begins to throttle him. Havers hits him over the head with a cold iron horseshoe he must have had on him, and the Outhersidian skips away and vanishes. As he does, Connie wake up.
Searching the house, Zeitberg loots a magical mirror (“Hey, Havers, can I take this skrying mirror? It's really yours, you know. The house is registered in your name. Don't argue, reality said so. OK, I'm taking it anyway” and a lot of good it did us too!) while Connie finds a computer with incriminating e-mails. It seems Mr. Evil Warlock was running some sort of Underground Railroad for Othersidian invaders. Connie manages to fit some names to e-mails, eventually finding this Philip kid on Facebook who is inviting all his virtual buddies to party tomorrow at a familiar address: the real1) Oxford home of Thomas Havers.