The final reckoning
There was very little traffic in Piccadilly Circus at that time of the morning. The road surface was wet after the rainstorm and the black limousine skidded slightly as it swung into Regent Street. Professor Pamplemousse had had no option but to respond positively to Lord George Cornwall's threats.
The ruthless aristoctrat was desperate to get his hands on the family heirloom and time was running out. Lord Cornwall knew that this was his last chance to use the teapot's magic for his own greedy ends.
The sleek black car turned right into Jermyn Street. Pamplemousse sat silently in the back, his hands tied tightly in his lap. Lord Cornwall muttered low instructions to the chauffeur who had slowed the car to a crawl. They were almost at their destination.
The day before, Tom and Professor Pamplemousse had made a decision about the teapot. It certainly was not safe for either of them to keep it in his possession. The professor had called a friend at Longbottom and Droop, a security company in the city and had made arrangements to store the teapot in a private safe deposit box. There it would be secure from Lord Cornwall's evil hands. Or so they had thought.
But Lord Cornwall had been one step ahead of them. He had kidnapped his own son and forced him to reveal the teapot's hiding place. Playing one off against the other, Lord Cornwall had got the same answer from the professor. His limousine now crawled along Jermyn Street towards Longbottom and Droop's premises near St. James's Park.
Lord Cornwall did not know the exact date that the hundred years and one day's magic power of the teapot would end. But his calculations told him that it would be sometime this month. He had to act quickly or all would be lost. The black limousine pulled up outside a building on the south side of St. James's Park.
On the other side of London, in the vaults of Longbottom and Droop's other premises at Canary Wharf, there was chaos. A few hours before, on the stroke of midnight, there had been a powerful explosion inside one of the safe deposit boxes deep inside the building's secure cellars.
Guards had rushed in to find the door of box 302 blown off, and lying on the other side of the room. All that remained inside box 302 were tiny pieces of shattered crockery.
Professor Pamplemousse's plan had worked. He had bought time for the teapot to destroy its own magic. Tom Cornwall was now free from the curse that had destroyed three generations of his family. The professor smiled as he opened the deposit box in the St. James's premises of Longbottom and Droop. It was empty.