Simon shrugged. He didn’t play Psychic Go, although Lissajous had tried to teach him a couple of times, and didn’t really believe that his friend could see any way into the future at all. The future was determined by our actions, in his view, and trying to predict it was pointless, because then knowledge of it would cause you to change what you did, and so change the future that you’d just seen. It would be like trying to swim in jelly: it didn’t look that hard, but it was nearly impossible when you tried, and what you left behind didn’t look much like jelly any more.
“Where next then?” he asked. Lissajous looked around fruitlessly for the waiter. “The next temple’s over in Nelson Street,” he said. “Supposedly somewhere near the foot of the monument.”
“Nelson’s monument?” Simon looked interested. “Nelson was a hero of the Blue Brigade, you know?”
“No.” Lissajous looked around for the waiter again, seemingly uninterested.
“And the Blue Brigade is often referenced in Deumon’s art,” said Simon. He watched his friend as he forked up some crisp green beans from the salad and chewed them. For a few moments he was still more interested in where his drink was, and then his head snapped back round and his eyes met Simon’s.
“So you think this might be an actual Temple? Deumon would have put something there because of the Blue Brigade connection?”
“Possibly,” said Simon. “Probably,” he corrected himself. “The two you found already, I did a little bit of research on. They’ve both got Blue Brigade connections, and one of them has a direct connection to Nelson himself as well.”
“Is that weird?”
“Not really. Nelson was a hero, there were a lot of people wanted to ride his coat-tails and get rich off his fame. Think how many pubs there are called the Nelson’s Head, or Nelson’s Arms.”
“Or Nelson’s Butt,” said Lissajous with a smile. “But I already checked that one. The only art there’s in the public toilets, and while it’s very fitting, it’s not Deumon.”
“They hang art in the toilets?”
“Yeah, ladies and gents. The gents looks better looked after if you ask me.”
“You went in the ladies?” Simon started laughing. Lissajous looked a little uncomfortable, but then the waiter reappeared with their drinks. He waited for the waiter to leave again before swallowing a mouthful of tea and glaring at Simon.
“It was quiet and no-one saw me slipping in.”
“What’s it like in the ladies then?”
“A bit weird,” said Lissajous. “All cubicles and mirrors and sinks and not much else. It’s like a cloakroom or something. And the art of course, on the walls. Bit battered, smears of stuff on it that I didn’t want to touch. Not Deumon though.”
“Right, well, that’s the important thing. You think we might have to check the pubs as well?”
“Can’t hurt,” said Lissajous. “But let’s do the Temples first, there’s fewer of them. And it’s easier to get round them, especially in this heat.”
“No-one watching,” said Simon. Lissajous nodded in agreement. “While the pubs are busy.”
“You coming to this one?” asked Lissajous. Simon smiled. “Sure, the temple should be cool inside, and I’ve had enough busking this heat. I’ll go back out again this evening when the commute home starts. Let’s go and see if Deumon left us anything at this new place. What’s it called?”
“Our Lady of Fatigue,” said Lissajous. “Apparently that’s Saint Matifa, but – what?” He stared at Simon who was looking excited.
“Fatigue?” he said looking and sounding like he wanted to say eight hundred other things instead. Lissajous nodded. “That’s perfect! Deumon suffered from chronic fatigue for eight years; that’s what’s called the Period of Lassitude. He did all these really simple, lazy pictures then that when you start to look at them reveal all levels of detail. They’re really clever, but he supposedly only did them because he was too tired to do any of the other stuff!”
“Sounding better all the time,” said Lissajous. “You going to finish that salad then?”
Simon shook his head and passed the fork over, picking up his beer instead to drink that.