The history of the site, opening amidst a maze of dates, revealed no trace of the sinister immediately after its use for a plague pit. The Denizen lies in the ward of Cripplegate and in the 1660s the Great Plague of London killed nearly eight thousand of the parish's inhabitants; but not one of those who lived or worked in the brothel above the ancient Golden Lane plague pit fell victim to the black death during this dreadful outbreak. The site was outside the original City of London wall and for hundreds of years had been notorious for both its poverty and its brothels. Those thrown in the plague pit came from the great mass of the lumpen proletariat in the area, and it seemed possible the spirits of this 'low end population' were very particular about who they wanted living or working on this piece of land. They didn’t seem to mind the low ranking coppers who moved into Bernard Morgan House in the nineteen-sixties, and these included members of the notoriously corrupt drug squad. The spirits were in two minds about what was going on when nurses moved in and mingled with the police. Something strange must be noted. No woman who lived in Bernard Morgan House ever managed a live birth, those who became pregnant had only still-born children. And according to the records, when brothels stood there no child was born alive to any of the women who worked in them for hundreds of years.
Our hosts often gave me Dà Mhìle, Seaweed Gin, and though the Bard lapped it up greedily with much smacking of lips, I could not touch it. The mere idea of gin made me feel very sick. When I asked for beer, instead of gin, there was much laughter on all sides. But after being mercilessly ribbed I'd be handed a bottle of Tiny Rebel, Cwtch, which was brewed in the Bard's home town of Newport. The Bard made a sermon on my preferring beer to Dà Mhìle, the essence of Wales, comparing my attitude to that of the worldly man who not having found the essence of life — spirituality — asked for the inferior part. Was he serious? Was he sincere?
I was no longer happy with the Bard. He neglected me and was often angry with me when he deigned to visit The Denizen. I was frightened of his anger for he had no self-control and beat me with clenched fists till I cried. Equally, like a child when he was pleased, his transport passed all bounds. He taught me many quaint arts. Alchemy was one of the arts he really knew. I have made a great many bars of gold and silver from copper and tin.
I married, really married, a Bard at the age of nineteen: but no one knew it, and but for this confession none would ever have known I was one of those Chinese women who are made for Ovates: and among the thousands of deluded women who prostrate themselves before Bards, I was one of the most deluded. I saw the Bard’s eyes flash with interest the first time he caught sight of me, a sophisticated Chinese woman so different to his white admirers. From that day on I saw him daily. He deprived me of much, beauty, ideals and money - but in the end, I believe, I deprived him of greater things.