06 April 2012

Coc - Gaslight: Unexpected

11th November 1890
After the discussion Dr. Burnside decided to take a closer look at the body of the last victim. Mr. Roquefort wanted to have a look at his private library to see, if he could find out more about the phrase on the knife. I had nothing urgent to do and decided to offer the little help I could be in this task. I had no Idea research was so tedious. Now I know for certain that I will never pursue any kind of academic work. The research itself was not fruitful at all. Neither Mr. Roquefort nor I did find anything useful. For me it was rather frustrating. All this professional gibberish was barely comprehensible for me. After a tiresome two hours I decided to look for something relaxing in the fiction part of his library. There was a very fine collection of adventure novels.

Mr. Roquefort had no better luck than I had. So he decided to try the Library at the British Museum. Because of my lack in research skills I excused myself from this task; and we agreed to meet for dinner at the Club to put together his findings with the results of Dr. Burnside's examination. I went to lunch and took a walk through the streets of Mayfair. At early afternoon I arrived in my flat, where a letter of my dear sister Serena was waiting for me.

She wrote me of the inevitable visit that Scotland Yard had paid my parents. The Earl was not amused, as was expected. But my mother took it really hard. The problems she had with her heart were getting worse. Serena begged me, to stop with whatever I was doing in London. She even suggested for me to join the military. I, who could not shoot a fox on the hunt, in the army! In my response letter I told her of the events that had happened in the East End and promised her, that I would stop with my nightly adventures. What I didn't tell her was, that I was planning on entering Dr. Laydons home to have a look at the medical records of the Prince.

After writing a response it was time to get ready for dinner at the Club.

We met there at seven o'clock. And how did I miss Higgins! The girl was polite and made a great effort, but Higgins knew exactly what to bring at the right time. I didn't blame her. She had have no formal training in this matters and did the best she could. I did hope, they found a proper replacement soon. Then she could have returned to her original duties, which she had performed flawlessly, from what I had heard.

But back to the business at hand. Dr. Laydon reported on his findings, which confirmed his suspicion that the murderer knew exactly where to cut to get to the wanted organ. The whole task would have taken a trained man no longer than ten to fifteen minutes. Mr. Roquefort was looking into the works of a German archaeologer named Dümmichen, because he found his name while examining yesterday's crime scene. He was surprised to find out that Thomas Kincaid had read the exact same books shortly before his abduction. He was also surprised to find Catherine Kincaid at the library looking into the same matter. But in the end the books of Dümmichen weren't a big help, due to the fact that they were written in German, which no one of us understood.

Around eight o'clock we received a message. We were nearly startled. It was an invitation to an audience with the Prince at nine o'clock this very evening. I have to say, I was a little amused by the fact that I was the only one of us three, who was dressed appropriately for such occasion.

We arrived at St. James Palace at the appointed hour. A servant led us to the Prince. While going there I couldn't help but noticing the slightly dusty smell in the hallways. It gave me the impression of walking through a museum. And the sight as we reached the royal highness' reception hall was overwhelming. The whole room was filled with Egyptian artefacts, ranging from strange to beautiful. It was awe-inspiring. But as I saw the Prince himself, I was shocked, to say the least. He is not much older then myself, but he looked like a broken old man. We knew that he had health issues, but this was beyond our wildest imaginations.

He crouched on a sofa and was barely able to move. As we came closer we saw his haggard face and emaciated body. His hands were shaking with an uncontrollable tremor. This whole situation was really awkward for me. I was bereft of words. Fortunately, Dr. Burnside was able to lead the conversation. And also Mr. Roquefort regained his composure. But this view must have confused him, because he was addressing him as "Your Majesty", which is clearly inappropriate. But nobody made a fuzz about this. The situation was too serious.

I can't remember the details of the conversation for two reasons. First, I was rather tired after the short night I had. And second, at the end the strangest thing I had ever felt happened. After being given his medicine, he regained some strength, stood up and walked - as good as he could - in my direction. He fixated me with his eyes the whole way. Shortly before reaching me he stumbled and fell. I was just able to catch him. He was as light as a feather. He looked me straight into my eyes and for a moment I had the impression of looking deep into his soul. And his soul was like an abyss. And the abyss stared back at me and into my soul. This was a really unnerving feeling. Maybe the shock of seeing him so weak in combination with my weariness made my mind playing tricks on me. But maybe I was only rationalising this event not to lose my mind. With this event the audience was concluded and we were asked to leave.

I was expecting this hunt to be dangerous and exciting; but I definitely didn't expect something like this.

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