There was the recipe for an elixir that would bring alertness to the mind, a yellowish green concoction that fizzed, a pale blue elixir for curing the shakes; he flipped further, rejecting elixir after elixir, until he found a revitalizing potion that was a deep blue when brewed properly.
He was uncertain if deep blue was too different than pale blue, when his eye fell on the upper right corner of the page, and saw a faint thin line where the corner had been folded, marking the recipe. Someone had wanted to save this page so they could return often, Edmund thought, grinning to himself.
He pulled over the diagram of the Plinkerton Engine, and stared back and forth, trying to combine the both it and the recipe in his head like a strange experiment. As he continued to read, he became more and more certain he was correct, and a deep and terrible focus filled him.
After Edmund had found a piece of paper and a pen, he copied the recipe down as carefully and exactly as he could, so he didn’t have to take the whole book with him as he hunted down the ingredients. When he finished, he folded his copy up and slipped it into his shirt.
The recipe itself looked relatively simple; most of the ingredients could be easily found either in the kitchen, or in any of the large number of closets and storage rooms that dotted Moulde Hall. The various powders and liquids were supposed to be mixed together and boiled at a specific temperature for a specific time… Of course, he wouldn’t be following this recipe to the letter. The book was quite clear that this was intended for humans only, and should never be given to animals.
Regardless, Edmund knew about bodies, he knew about the Plinkerton Engine, and he felt confident that with a bit of research in the library he would be able to create the same Mechanus Vitae that Plinkerton had created, using the revitalizing elixir as a starting point.
Not willing to be defeated so easily, Edmund ran up the stairs to the elevator.
Edmund looked over the recipe as the elevator descended. Finding most of the ingredients would be simple enough–at least half could be taken from Mrs. Kippling’s vegetable stores–but as he read he realized there were still a couple of terms and words that Edmund didn’t quite understand, and a few chemicals and tools that he had never heard of. He decided that after he had gathered the ingredients he recognized, he would return to the library and look for help among the dried musty tomes.
As he was descending past the second floor, however, he saw Tunansia whisking down the hallway with her head bowed, staring at a large book in her hands. Edmund quickly pushed on the floor-lever, causing the elevator to groan with the sudden change of course and return to the second floor just as she vanished around a corner.
Perhaps, Edmund mused, Pinsnip, Kolb, and Junapa weren’t the only cousins willing to help him? He pulled open the wrought-iron grating and dashed off after Tunansia as quickly as he could.