At Your Convenience…

A kind, yet anonymous, donor has left a wonderful gift behind my surgery – a toilet! Oh I know the fine houses of Steelhead all have lovely, clean facilities (some them plumbed in-doors!) but down here in the slums there are no such provisions so to have this for all of Shamian’s poor to make use of will help keep us all a little healthier. I will pass on my thanks to the mystery benefactor with a letter to the town hall meeting.
Dr Beck's FREE outhouse_001

I’ve pinned up a poster of that ruddy cat Antfarm has found under his lag cabin – the man won’t stop going on about it! I’ve told him to just leave it alone and it’ll go home, but he’s worried a wolf or something will get it. I’ve had some posters made up and spread them about town, but if no one comes forward to claim it I’ve told him I’ll arrange for one of Mara’s Scamps to take it. It’s funny what people get hung up on, just some silly little cat and he won’t stop fussing and worrying.
Lost Cat Poster_001



  1. Doors, my good man! Didn’t your mysterious benefactor have the good sense to construct a door on the loo?

    And I can see that Dr. Beck will be busy pulling splinters from the derriers of the slum dwellers. 🙂

    1. Madam! I can assure you there is a door! We may not have all the all the refinements you are used to in Caledon, but madam we are not savages! I bid you good day!

  2. Indoors! Surely that would be most unhealthy, not to mention foul and unpleasant. I confess I am shocked in no small degree by that idea. The most sanitary method for such functions is for them to take place out of doors where the endless power of the tides can remove the resulting waste.

    1. Well dear lady, there are two schools of thought on this and whilst I would agree that upon face value placing such a receptacle indoors would seem to be the most unhygienic option by far, it all depends upon how the device is plumbed in. I read of one patent that allowed for a narrow gauge railway to be laid at the rear of the house and special cart drawn along it once a week collecting the resulting effluent before whisking it away to a nearby river. This has to be better than the current practice in places such as the slums of ‘night-soil holes’ in the houses (sometimes in the very rooms!) of the poor, but I still feel that collecting such foul waste for a week, not to mention the expense & logistics of having to lay a narrow gauge railway in every back alley, is not the answer.

      No, far better I feel is to have in-door plumbing to whisk away any and all waste mater into an underground network of sewers where it can be safely transported by means of gravity & water flow to the nearest large river or, in Steelhead’s case, the sea. Back in my own country, before it fell to the Russian armies, one Mister Crapper had patented just such a water-flushable toilet system and then, under the rule of Rasputin, London began construction of a major sewer network. Of course we in the blighted north never saw hide nor hair of these developments, but here in this world London has not fallen and these inventions have been exported world-wide. I only wish they would reach the slums of Shamian Alley…

  3. Ah – plumbing. I mistakenly thought the foul waste would fall into an oubliette. My apologies.

    Thank heavens such sensible men such as you, Dr. Beck, are giving thought to this natural process. The modern world never fails to amaze me.

    1. Indeed Miss Therian, although I find such talk of sewers and water closets usually causes ladies to go pale and change the subject so I am pleasantly surprised to discuss such matters with one so enlightened and engaged, if you’ll pardon the wee pun. And that one.

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