“That humming's got louder, too.”
White moved forward. “That's not hummin, Peters, it's water trickling into a pool somewhere.” He pressed forward, leaving the sergeant to catch up or be left behind. “By Jove. There's a proper spring here.”
“What? Like the one at Glastonbury?” He should sell it. He'd make a fortune. People will pay anything for a bottle of water collected from the mud at the bottom of a natural spring.”
“You're telling me. Beryl buys the stuff they cart all the way from Derbyshire.”
“It's been here a while, by the look of it, sir.” Is that Roman stonework?”
“It is. There must have been a natural pool here and they make it into a mineral bath.”
“What? To sit in, you mean?”
“Yes. Works wonders for the body does a mineral bath.”
“I bet he thought that, too.” Peters pointed at a skull lying just under the surface of the water. “What happened to him, I wonder?”
“Slipped and fell?” It all seems quite slippery. Let's have a look.” White nodded at the skull.
Peters rolled up his sleeve and plunged his hand into the water. “God, it's cold!” He tried to lift the skull. “Hang on. It seems to be stuck.” He tried again, finally putting his fingers through the eye sockets for leverage. “It's no good sir. It;s well and truly wedged.”
“Never mind. It'll be the minerals. Calcium in the waters like at Mother Shipton's. The skulls been petrified.”
“Turned to stone by mineral deposits?” Peters bent close to the surface. “I think the rest of him is under there, too.
“Let's hope no-one took a bath with him still fresh.” White nudged him and laughed.
“Does anything turn to stone?”
“Pretty much. Like an oyster covering a piece of grit to make a pearl.” White turned away. “Looks like this is a dead end. Let's try the other side of the steps.”
“Coming, sir.” Peters pulled out his penknife and reached into the water once more. If anything in the pool got covered in minerals, what were the round discs he could see? Might they be old coins?”