He searched the pavements to his left and right, his eyes alighting upon the remains of a newspaper in the gutter. He ran to it and scooped it up, uncaring of the filth that besmirched it, and sought out a page that retained some legibility. All he needed was an approximate date. He soon found what he was looking for, March Thirteenth Eighteen Eighty.
Right, now for Vickers.
He consulted the inverter once more. It indicated that he needed to cross this street and presumably enter one of the rather grand looking establishments situated upon the other side. He strode out into the muddy road, hoping that his idea of universally non-descript apparel wouldn't draw too much attention.
He gained the opposite pavement and allowed the inverter to lead him up a flight of stone steps and through a pair of ornate doors. An attendant stood to one side, gawping at him, seemingly perplexed that this new visitor carried neither cane nor hat, a collection of which were neatly arranged upon a stand behind him.
Malory continued into a spacious dining area from which a low hubbub of conversation emanated.
"Charles! At last, I've been expecting you," Vickers was seated alone at a window table, "come and take tea."
Malory strode towards him. "Back! Now! Do you not realise the possible consequences of even your slightest actions?"
"But, they shut us away," Vickers complained. "And all this," he gestured expansively, "it belongs to us, surely?"
"No Peter, it does not. Now come on."
Vickers rose sulkily to his feet and, with Malory's hand clamped upon his shoulder, they left the building.
Malory guided his charge back across the mud strewn road, but, as they regained the far side, Vickers jerked away from him.
"I came through over there," he gestured down the street in the direction of the immense Cathedral.
"There's a closer place...." Malory began, but, as he reached for Vickers' arm, his inverter fell from its webbing, clinked once against the cobbles, and rolled into the gutter.
The next moments occurred as in slow motion. A small child, of perhaps seven years, had obviously seen the inverter and was stepping out into the road to recover it.
"No," Malory shouted, reaching for the boy. He gained purchase on his cloak, but this came away in his hand as the child fell forwards into the mud and into the path of oncoming hooves and carriage wheels.
Malory could spare only a glance for the broken body as he regained his gadget and then his hold upon Vickers.
Having utilised the inverter to re-open the Corridor, they were now being swept back upstream, but something was amiss. The wormhole appeared constricted. Was it shrinking?
Malory kicked himself forwards, uncaring of his colleague. Must get out!
He was, at last, regurgitated from the wormhole, but not into the research complex. There was smoke, heat, a dreadful sulphurous stench and the sound of Vickers' wheezing. He attempted to breathe, but the air was poison to his lungs.
In his final moments of clarity he realised that he still clung onto the child's cloak and his streaming eyes fastened onto the name that had been sewn into it: W. L. Churchill.