Disclaimer: Characters based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World

Chapter 1

Roxton helps Challenger Escape, Finn makes a confession to Marguerite.

Flossie Martin, Lord Roxton's maid, could barely breathe, as she slipped on her coat quietly. She may need the work, but if working for a potential murderer is how she was forced to make a living, then she'd rather do it on her back!

She closed the last button, then turned to walk towards the kitchen exit. Flossie had overheard everything Jessi Challenger had said to Lord Roxton. She had a mind to go to the police!

Flossie had just began working for Lord Roxton, since his return from the land of the lost. He had seemed like an alright chap. He didn't ask much, and she had almost felt sorry for him, with his dying wife and all. She had ignored the gossip about his having an illegitimate child living in America. She had ignored the gossip that the child was by Marguerite Krux, known as a pretender to the Von Bubrik fortune. The same woman who squandered her late husband's money in bad investments.

But facts were facts. An apeman killer? There were no half human murderers running around London, until Lord Roxton and his friends returned from God knows where!

And that George Challenger, what an odd one he was! Always leaving his poor wife to go traipsing off to God knows where! And those things he brought back from his last adventure...the dinosaur egg and bones. Her little boy was always pestering her to take him to the London museum to look at the God forsaken things!

Flossie knew that those two murder victims, a man and a woman, had been killed in Hyde Park. They had both been torn to shreds. The woman lived a few hours, and managed to tell the police from Scotland Yard, that it was some ape creature.

At first, there were whispers that the creature was the one born to Marguerite Von Bubrik. That it had come from America, or that she herself was secretly still living here and had hidden it somewhere. Then, at night, it came out to kill.

Flossie was almost at the back door, when she heard Lord Roxton's voice behind her.

'Flossie? Were you going somewhere?'

Flossie gulped and turned. She gave him a weak smile.


Roxton moved towards her. He had noticed her eavesdropping and figured she might be trouble. But he never expected to find a frightened woman. Flossie was shaking like a leaf!

'Please! Stay back, my Lord!'

Roxton's mouth dropped open! 'Flossie, you don't really believe all of that nonsense, do you?'

Flossie eyed him. 'The police do. That's why Mrs. Challenger is here.'

'Yes, but...'

'But we didn't have any wild animal murders until the lot of you came back here! For all I know, that beast could be the baby that Von Bubrick woman gave birth to!'

Roxton began to feel his head pound. The nerve of this silly woman, actually voicing an absurd suggestion such as that! It was because of people like this, that Marguerite had run away from London...and him!

Roxton found himself moving towards her in an aggressive manner! Flossie screamed and managed to get out of the house by the kitchen door. She continued to scream as she ran across the lawn, in the rain.

Roxton turned and hurried back to Jessi in the drawing room. This was going to be trouble alright! A woman like that would go running to the police with her suspicions and bring all of Scotland Yard down on Challenger and himself!

He hurried back into the drawing room. Jessi was standing before the fire, looking apprehensive.

'What? What is it?'

'We need to find George! I'll find a place to hide both of you, until this thing dies down and we can somehow prove our innocence.'

Jessi nodded. Roxton smiled reassuringly at her, then turned and hurried out of the drawing room. He ran up the staircase and hurried down the hallway that lead to his bedroom. He swung open the door, and walked over to the bed with the suitcase sitting on top of it.

Roxton had already booked a passage aboard a ship leaving for Boston. Challenger and Jessi would now be joining him. For now, America was the safest place for all of them. That is, until they could figure out what was going on.

Roxton broke down his rifle and packed that away as well. In many ways, this adventure they were about to embark on, reminded him of the good old days! The hunts, the expeditions he used to go on. The promise of danger had always given him a rush of adrenaline.

He closed and locked the suitcase, his thoughts on Marguerite and Greta. Yes, he would be putting them in harm's way. But the police line of thinking was already dangerous. And for every Flossie, there were too many more ignorant people, who truly believed that the ape monster was the one Marguerite supposedly gave birth to.

Roxton shoved that hateful gossip away to the deep recesses of his mind. For while Marguerite was strong, and usually shrugged away scandal, people's hatred of her, and innuendo, this accusation would hurt her deeply.

Whether Marguerite wanted to believe it or not, Roxton already considered her and their daughter his family. And he would do what he had to do to protect them from this newest crisis, and the mysterious person watching them.

Roxton picked up the suitcase and walked out of his room.

**** Three days later

Marguerite smiled over at Finn, who was sitting with her out in the garden, holding baby Greta. Marguerite was busy checking over the guest list for Ned and Veronica's upcoming nuptials.

It was quiet, and neither woman was saying much. The baby's cooing was the loudest sound heard.

Marguerite knew why she wasn't saying much. She couldn't take her eyes off of the name of the man Ned Malone insisted on having as his best man. Lord John Roxton.

Would there be any avoiding him during the wedding? Before or after? Would he want to see Greta? Hold her? Or would it be better to keep Greta away from him? After all, Roxton couldn't really form a relationship with Greta, not being married to a sick woman.

Marguerite drummed her fingers on the garden table. The irony about Roxton's situation was that deep down in her heart, she didn't know if she could live with a man that would be heartless enough to abandon a dying woman.

Her thoughts were interrupted when she realized Finn was gazing at her. The baby was smiling. Marguerite smiled back. She looked exactly like Roxton.

'So, having another Roxton moment?' Finn asked in a sly tone of voice.

Marguerite stood abruptly.

'Give me the baby. I'll finish this inside.'

A nursemaid came out from the house. Finn motioned to her and handed Greta over to her. She then went back inside with the baby. Marguerite gave Finn a look of surprise.

'What was that all about? Why did she come out here just now?'

Finn stood up. 'Because I told her to. Marguerite, I really need to talk to you about something. Something big.'

Marguerite silently sat back down. She didn't get a chance to know Finn very long before they were rescued from the plateau. But since their current living arrangement, Marguerite felt as if she could read the girl's moods pretty well. That and Finn was not the type to confide in anyone. This had to be serious.

'What is it?' Marguerite asked, indicating a chair beside her.

Finn swallowed nervously.

'I'm just going to come right out and say this. And I hope that you won't get mad, or take sides. Most of all, I hope you'll believe me.'

Marguerite raised a brow. 'This sounds serious. What's wrong?'

Finn took a deep breath, then started talking.

'A few months after we got back from the plateau, and we settled in here, something happened.'

Marguerite stared at her, waiting for more. 'Okay, what happened?'

'Do you remember that night that it was snowing really hard?'

'This is Boston, Finn. It snows in the winter all of the time...really hard.'

Finn sighed. 'Marguerite!'

Marguerite put up both hands defensively.

'Alright, alright. But you'll have to be more specific.'

Finn took another deep breath.

'It was the night that Ned had dinner with us. Remember it was snowing so hard that you insisted he stay over in one of the guest rooms?'

'Yes? Finn, whatever it is just spit it out!'

'That night, Ned snuck into my room...and we made love. There!'

Marguerite just stared at her for a long moment.


'Marguerite, I think he thought I was Vee. It was very dark...I didn't say a word.'

Marguerite stood up and looked the girl up and down.

'Veronica and you don't even have the same type of hair...or hair length! And I don't care how dark it was! What the hell do you mean he thought you were Veronica! He knew exactly who you were!'

Finn jumped up as well.

'No, I don't think he did! He kept calling me Veronica, and talking about not wanting to wait until their wedding night...and that kind of stuff. I think he just had the wrong room.'

Marguerite folded her arms.

'Then why didn't you correct his mistake, Finn?'

Finn looked down. She then looked at Marguerite again.

'Because I didn't want to. Because I've wanted Ned ever since I first met him back on the plateau.'

'Stop! Stop right there, Finn. That's enough, do you hear me? You are going to have to forget him, you do know that, don't you?'

Finn said nothing and looked away again. Marguerite moved so that she was in front of her.


Finn jerked her head up! 'I think I should tell Ned what happened.'

'Why in God's name would you do that? It will just cause embarrassment and potential heartbreak! I thought you loved Veronica?!'

'I do! She is the sister I always wanted!'

'Then you'll keep your mouth shut!' Marguerite took a deep breath and sat back down. She then looked up at Finn with a sympathetic stare.

'You know, I've been neglecting you.'

'I'm not your responsibility, Marguerite.'

'Oh, but I am. You need someone as well. You need to be introduced in to society. From there, we will find you a man just as nice, handsome and caring as Ned Malone. Okay?'

Finn nodded reluctantly, looking away. Marguerite stood up and walked over to her, touching her shoulder. Finn stared at her again.

'I have to go out and take care of some wedding arrangements. I mean it, forget Malone. Forget this happened. Malone probably has realized his mistake by now anyway. He's probably just as uncomfortable around you as you are around him. A man like Malone is too much of a gentleman to bring something as delicate as what you were referring to, up to you. Forget the whole thing, alright?'

Finn nodded. Marguerite hugged her briefly, then walked back into the house. Finn sat down in the chair Marguerite had vacated.

Marguerite turned back to study the girl. She wasn't really going to do any wedding related errands. She decided now would be a good time to visit the Boston Journal and it's owner, Ned Malone.

Meanwhile, Finn did not notice the eyes that were peering at her from behind the shrubbery. The person they belonged to, did not see the other man, who was in the employment of Stefan Merrick, watching the person as well.


Ned Malone read the telegram he had received from Roxton for the third time. His friend hadn't said much, yet, he didn't need to. Out of the corner of his eye, Ned could see the copy for the day's news. One story in particular was most disturbing. It was taken from the London Gazette and said that last night, Londoners burned down the house of Professor George Challenger.

Ned dropped the telegram and leaned back in his chair. The return to civilization had been harder than he had personally anticipated. Learning of his father's death, taking over the newspaper, and his mother's secret refusal to accept Veronica as the woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with, at times, could be overwhelming.

The door to his office opened, and Ned's Assistant Editor, Jack Farrell, walked in. They were about the same age, height, only Jack's hair was darker. He gave Ned a half smile, before dropping something on his desk. Ned eyed it.

'What is this?' he asked.

'The newest update on that ape killer running around London.'

Ned rolled his eyes and stood up.

'There is no ape killer. And if there is, it isn't George Challenger.'

Jack said nothing. He had suspected his boss would have a hard time running with this story. He hoped it wasn't Malone's intent to just ignore what was going on. Every other newspaper in the country was running with this thing.


'We're not going with this. Find something else.'

Jack began to get frustrated, especially when Malone voiced his suspicions.

'Ned, would you just listen to me? You have an inside track on this thing. You were marooned with the guy for three years in some jungle! We don't have to write it like the others have. They've already pronounced him guilty. Maybe we can use a different angle.'

Ned shook his head. 'That sounds really pretty when you put it like that, Jack. But the fact is that I was with Challenger when we left the plateau. There was no hidden ape-man smuggled back into London for Challenger to experiment on. And he is just as human as you or I. So, there is nothing to write.'

Jack looked away guiltily. Ned rolled his eyes.

'What? Just tell me!'

Jack cleared his throat. 'I think you'd better read what's been going on. George Challenger is the Scotland Yard's FIRST suspect.'

Ned eyed him. 'Meaning?'

'Meaning that your other friend, Lord John Roxton is one of the other suspects.'

Ned laughed shortly. 'This is unbelievable! Surely common sense tells them that neither Marguerite Von Bubrik, Veronica, Finn or I are suspects, since we've been living in Boston for close to a year.'

Jack rolled his tongue around his mouth. Ned felt cold.


'Read the copy.'

'I'm asking you to tell me.'

Jack sighed. 'There is one more suspect. There's a rumor that the child Marguerite had was of some ape descent. It's obscene, but there is a rumor that the child might have made it's way back to London and...'

'Good God!' Ned hissed, his jaw dropping. 'That is unbelievable! Unbelievably ignorant!'

Jack tried to calm him. 'I know, okay! I just wanted you to know what your friends are in for!'

Ned picked up the copy and threw it back at him!

'Find something else.' he said, his voice low.

Jack glared at him, then bent down to pick up the papers off of the floor. He then rose up and walked towards the office door. Just as he opened it, Marguerite appeared, her hand up as if she were going to knock.

'Hello, Jack.' she said, smiling up at him. It was at that moment that she realized she had found the perfect man for Finn. She wondered why she had never thought of him before. Marguerite had invited him to many of her dinner parties. After she gave Malone a tongue lashing for his behavior with Finn, Marguerite was going to have another dinner party...one in which Jack could get to know Finn better.

Jack smiled back. He liked Marguerite Von Bubrik, and personally did not subscribe to that ape-baby nonsense. He knew her husband had died horribly, and tragically, before he could see their baby born.

But business was business. And Jack certainly didn't think that simply reporting facts would hurt them. And it certainly wasn't his intention to even mention that nonsense about Marguerite's child.

'Hello, Marguerite. I was just leaving.' Jack then turned and walked back over to Ned, handing him the copy. Ned snatched it and smiled at Marguerite.

'Yes, come in Marguerite. You are just the person I've been looking for.'

Marguerite's smile froze. Something was wrong. She watched as Jack closed the door behind him. She then hurried over to Malone.

'Your secretary was out or I would've let her announce me. What was going on between Jack and you?'

Malone pulled her arm and hurried back over to the desk. He then handed her the telegram. Marguerite's eyes widened when she saw it was from Roxton. She then shrugged nonchalantly and handed it back to him.


Ned tilted his head. 'You haven't heard, have you?'

Marguerite smiled. 'If it's not in the Boston Journal, then I haven't heard it.'

'This is serious.'

'I'm being serious, Ned! Okay, I swear I'll be good. What haven't I heard?'

Ned thought about how he was going to phrase what was happening. He also took note of the fact that Marguerite was pretending as if Roxton's imminent arrival meant nothing to her.

'Scotland Yard thinks that either Challenger or Roxton killed two people in Hyde Park a couple of nights ago.'

Marguerite sucked in a breath, then snatched the copy from Ned. The article, taken from the London Gazette, said that two people, a man and a woman, were savagely murdered in Hyde Park, and that authorities, going by the dying woman's last words, believed the perpetrator to be of ape descent.

Marguerite stopped reading. She could guess where this was going. She looked at Ned.

'They think this ape is one of George's experiments or something?'

'Or that he brought it back with us.'

'That is ridiculous! I was there!'

'So was I, Marguerite!'

'Okay then! Well, why is Roxton being blamed?'

Marguerite didn't wait for Ned's answer. She began reading again. The article said that Lord John Roxton was wanted for helping George Challenger evade the authorities. It also said that neither Challenger or his wife Jessi, could be found.

Marguerite was about to drop the paper back on Ned's desk, when something else in the he article caught her eye. She stared at it.

'What is it?' Ned asked, sensing something.

'It says that Lady Emma Roxton died a few days ago.'

Ned said nothing. Marguerite set the paper down on his desk. She gave him a hard, yet determined look.

'When they get here, we'll help them. We'll hide them at my estate. Goodbye.'

Marguerite walked past Ned and left the office, closing the door behind her. She exhaled once outside the door. John's wife was really dead this time?

She hated herself for celebrating such a death. It had been her understanding that Nigel Summerlee's heinous act, had made what was left Emma Roxton's life, a living hell. Hopefully in death, she would find some release from the pain.

And would she have really wanted a man that could abandon such a woman? She sighed. The telegram did not say much, and it said it all. John Roxton wasn't just coming here to look for an escape for himself and Challenger. He was coming here for her...and Greta.