Tag Archives: Victorian

For A Trail To Find And Follow

This is the fifth part of Death’s Muse. The investigators gather and consider where to go next. Should they see a play or hear a sermon.

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Finding Prey

A recovered James takes to hunting. Takes lives. Finds some old friends.

Part 3 Finding Prey

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Grab A Mortal Mind

How John slowly recovers from the accident and discovers new powers.

Part 2 Grab a Mortal Mind

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Blood Poison

Here we begin John Fitzjames’s account of how he nearly died came to hunt, haunt and stalk. Loosing a girl he never had only for her to find a girl to share eternity with.

Part 1 Of Hunts and FoxesFox Hunting

Roberta visits bring John near to death surrendering her life to save his.

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Reminiscences (Part 2)

[Part 1]

Extracts from the memoirs of Chief Superintendent Drake Verdier, (1848-13/09/1927).

(Chapter 30)

Gifham Horrors

Gifham Jack

Jack Rips Through Bellhamshire

For much of 1898 and 99 the villagers of Gifham feared for their lives, for night-time was a terror, that regularly brought death to one or more villagers. At first it was thought that a feral dog — or dogs — was responsible for the deaths, as all the bodies showed signs of being bitten and the victim’s had had some of their flesh eaten. On the Thursday after Christmas 1898 was when I was called in, a body was found in the fields near Gifham — it was that of the pregnant wife, of a wealth, local land owner. On this occasion things were different, the woman’s body showed none of the usual signs of an animal attack — the previous ones had all shown such signs — despite which there were far too many similarities with the earlier bodies, for them not have been killed by the same killer. All the bodies had suffered massive blood-loss and there was no signs of a struggle, also there was far too little blood found, at all of the scenes of the crimes. The lack of the animal bites on the body — that had concealed the evidence, of the true nature, of the attacks, on the earlier bodies — revealed that some kind of blade had slit one of her wrists.

By the place, where we entered the field, where the body was found, there was a wrecked trap — it had lost a wheel, the previous evening. Both people who had occupied the trap, when it had been wrecked, were severely injured in the accident — John, the youngest son of George Fitzjames baronet, was nearly killed in the accident. That morning, he was abed, in what was expected to be his deathbed. The trap’s other occupant, a Miss Roberta Fitzjames, a distant cousin of Sir George’s, had died in the early hours of that morning, after heroically, despite her terrible injuries, carrying the mortally wounded, unconscious John Fitzjames the several miles, across fields, to the Fitzjamess’ home.

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Reminiscences (Part 1)

Extracts from the memoirs of Chief Superintendent Drake Verdier, (1848-13/09/1927).

(Chapter 6)

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.

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