Extracts from the memoirs of Chief Superintendent Drake Verdier, (1848-13/09/1927).
The Unquiet Grave
Drake’s First Case
Just after I had been made an Inspector, I became entangled in a most unusual case at Nucaman Cemetery. There had been many small incidents at the cemetery, over the previous few months. The cemetery’s watch man had been assaulted at least three times, as well as him being attacked by dogs and also several tombs had been violated. The heinous incident, that resulted in my being called in, was when the gates of the Howard family’s tomb had been forced and a newly entombed body had been defiled. Christina Howard — the daughter in law of the young alderman Howard — had been entombed there only the previous day. The events at Nucaman Cemetery had become a priority investigation, after what had happened the previous night, at The Howard Tomb. The Howard family’s influence and prestige ensured that the constabulary’s finest officers were assigned, to the investigation.
I travelled to the cemetery with little hope, of solving the case — back then there was little hope of resolving cases, unless the person responsible confessed or was caught in the act. When I arrived on the scene, several of my subordinates were seated, in absolute silence, and looked rather pale. Not far away from them, there were the watchman and the caretaker, who were talking to a local clergyman. Just, as I went to enter the tomb, Constable Jenkins warned, “You dan’t wan t’ go int’ thar’.” I agree with him now, but back then I just gave him a look, that said you are on report. At my folly, he just shook his head. Only seconds after I had entered the tomb, I was back out side it once again and my breakfast joined those my colleagues had deposited earlier. It was the first time my stomach had had problems, retaining its contents, at a crime scene, since I first encounter a dead body.