Morning at Okehampton - Thursday 21st July, 1892Edit
That morning since I was away from the training room, I thought I would take in some sight seeing and have a 7am run around the large grounds of the Cotterill Estate. When I had arrived at breakfast with the others, I was the first one to read the news paper. Apart from the usual rubbish you wouldn't normally find a headline such as “Lunatic Escapes Local Asylum” which made me think, an escape dangerous man who has already killed and a murder of Lord Cotterill? When the others came down I showed them the news paper, they were all suspicious as well.
After breakfast, the first port of call was to ask the butler, Mr Jacobs all he knew and observe the crime scene. I was told by Doc to go and check the outside of the house because she feared “You will frighten the butler and you won't know what you are looking for in the office” “Fair enough Doc,” I said, so I went out and had a check for anything unusual.
I searched the grounds. There was a great deal of low walls and small bushes where people could climb and hide in. The gate itself was sturdy and sound, no one had overpowered it. Checking ways into the house, I passed under the window of the office. Looking up I could see the dark red curtains and that the window had being broken. Checking the bushes near the windowsill I also found footprints and the broken glass. I rush inside to tell Doc “Hey Doc I found these footprints and some glass below the study's window which is broken” she humored me “Very good Mr Jensen, would you accompany me to the morgue, I wish to see Lord Cotteril's body” “Right you are Doc” I replied and opened the carriage door for her, while we left the others to search the room.
Dr Robert LocockEdit
We left the carriage, to a quite clean cottage type locum establishment. The windows were a nicely painted white. There was a pleasant window box full of colourful flowers in the front of the house. I knocked on the door, which was an white cottage door complete with black iron hinges. There was an old blacksmith knocker on the door, so I hammered away three times and then stepped back so Doc could do the talking. An elderly man with heavy sideburns opened the door and looked generally upset “Don't have to knock so loudly Sir” he told me so. Doc apologised on my behalf, introduced herself and inquired to “the condition of Lord Cotterill's body” she said hush hushed holding her hand up to her mouth, even the street was empty an empty village dirt track in the afternoon.
“Well... [he said] it's much the same as it was five days ago really when the other people came by to have a look?” looking puzzled. “Other people Doctor?” Belladonna raises her eyebrow at. “Yes some chaps from abroad, asked if they could search the gentleman's belongings for something belonging to them. I said all of the evidence was at the police station, but all that was on the body was a pocket watch. After I had said this, they apologised for bothering me and went on their way.”
“How strange Sir [Doc said with a more than suspicious tone] did you do a full autopsy already?”
“Well not many die around here, and Sargent Barnes thought it would be best if I went along with my business, just not to publish my findings quite so yet until Lady Cotterill gave the word, so to speak” he finished.
“You can cross examine my findings Dr House if you wish, ” he offered to Doc.
“I accept,” she seemed happy with the conversations outcome, just more words for me. Doctor Locock took us through the cottage practice, the walls were a clinical white wash and the doors looked homely but out of place in this setting. He unlocked a door mid-way in a corridor, entering this room we could see one metal table with a sink hole in it, with three metals doors with latches with pin lock. Dr Locock shuffles towards the middle latch, unhooks the pin and lets it clatter to the metal door, pulls the handle forward to the morgue black void. Reaching into this abyss he clasps a metal object, which shines from the light that hits as it's pulled out. A large pale sheet with lumps under it seems to magically appear from the abyss, a constant grinding of gears noise emits from the abyss as well as the sheet. After what seems an age the metal tray, gear sound and pale sheet slowly halt, like a steam locomotive coming into station. Dr Locock pulls back the sheet to Lord Cotterill's waste, to hide his dignity from the lady no doubt. Apart from the obvious stitches, which look medically administered, Lord Cotterill has being notable cleaned and his skin ha a grey tinge to it. His mustache looks like withered Autumn leaves, towards a blue grey mouth. I leave Doc to do her thing and talk medical stuffs with the gent. As I gaze around the room, the all familiar bleach smell wafts as I inhale through my nose, “Is your friend familiar with these smells Dr House, or would it be better for him to wait outside?” Turning her head, Belladonna checks my face for colour, “No it's quite alright, Mr Jensen although a civilian, is quite familiar with this environment” the Doctor nods agreeable and smiles at me, I smile back.
As we walked through the cottage again, I was checking if the Doctor looked suspicious of us, but to my knowledge, he didn't show any difference towards us, maybe he trusted Lady Cotterill and she had told him, we were expected. When the door had shut to his practise, I leaned near Belladonna:
“What you recon to that then Doc?”
She prepared her sentence carefully, was a little quirk of hers to always be so precise, after some time she delivered her verdict:
“Lord Cotterill's 'stab' wound was overly large for a dagger and much so for a sword cane as well. It measured roughly six inches and Dr Locock recons a broad knife was used, that entered just above the abdomen and under the rib cage, keeping everything intact however. This and the severity of the scratches covering his torso lead to the blood loss” she looks at the floor, he brains gone into auto mode, so I do the steeing while she thinks. Chuckling to myself I say to her:
“You can do the thinking for both of us
” “Yes Mr Jensen.”
Journey To The Insane AsylumEdit
We rendezvoused with the rest back at the house, Garvin had questioned the butler and wanted t share his findings with us, however Doc thought it would be a good idea, to visit the Insane Asylum (strange woman) to further her knowledge as an Alienist with Dr Muelhoffer who is a recognised in the field. That as our cover anyway, we just wanted to check the place out. So Doc said “Good tell us the details in the cab Willie.”
So Sir Robert stayed behind, because he thoguht he would wait at the house for the bussiness partner that Lady Cotterill had arranged to meet us at the estate.
On the journey over, Garvin told us that he had asked the butler questions. The butler revealed that he also didn't know what was in the safe but there was only two keys to open the safe with, Lord Cotterill's key and the butlers key, for when he would do errands for his Lordship. The butler also informed Garvin that there was a German gentleman that visited Lord Cotterill the day before his death. This gentleman and Lord Cotterill spoke privately in his study. The gentleman left the house rather unhappy as I handed him his coat and military head ware. By that evening Lord Cotterill's business partner, Mr Edington Burtle, had visited and had a there was much shouting to be heard, “all over the house” the butler had told Garvin. Garvin told us as well that he found something fishy.
While snooping around the room, paying close attention to the safe of course, he had noticed that the safe had been scratched, someone had tampering no doubt because the butler had his key on him, and Lord Cotterill's key was locked away in his desk. The curtains were drawn so there wasn't a great deal of light, apparently according to the butler
“Lord Cotterill didn't like any kind of draft, so the windows were always shut.”
When pulling back, said curtains, I noticed straight away, a set of foot prints on the carpet behind the curtain and that the window had glass missing which had been boarded up. I asked the butler if he had boarded this window up, he owned up to it, which seemed genuine, but as I was checking the floor near that window, I asked him if he had taken away any broken glass
“No Sir, I just removed what bit of glass was left, and put the board there, then I closed and locked this door.”
“So no glass on the floor Mr Jacobs?” I clarified,
“No Sir” was my answer.
In my experience Doc, the window was broken out, which is why there was no glass, as to the footprints been there, I don't know.” Doc then chirped in,
“The foot prints might indicate a coffee table effect.”
“You're saying Lord Cotterill was murdered by a bit of furniture Doc?” I said confused like,
“No idiot, the carpet was worn away by a heavy weight standing there for a long time, someone was hiding behind the curtain, waiting for the right moment.”
“Well that would clarify another thing then” Garvin had expressed as the road lessened in bumps,
“Those prints you found outside the window Riggsy, I had a look and Mrs Morag had studied them more than I. We came to the same conclusion, someone had come up to the window, climbed into his office. The glass we must have presumed was then smashed out, as to let the murderer back out, but there is a set of bigger footprints walking away from the house. The last pair of footprints shows someone walking to said same window, then we guess climbing, then walking away from said window.”
“So it wasn't a solo act?” I asked, “Well there are three different prints, so I would assume it would be three people who did this. “Could it be that Mactavish man?” I said to them, thoguth I was quite knowledgeable, because until then I felt left out of the investigation, “He's a loon so who knows that he is capable of” both Doc and Garvin looked at me with a strange face, “Who'd know Rigg but we're on our way to find out. Maybe you could try and track him down or try and follow his footsteps from the insane asylum? You seem to be the right one to track him, since you found those other footprints,” Garvin said to me smiling. “Yeah can do” my repsonce was, knocking on the roof for our cab to stop, so I could take the scenic root through the woods. “meet you back here in a bit” Garvin said doing a short wave. No doubt he was up to more tricks, probable to get me in the asylum as a paitent.
The Lesser-Spotted Moor WarblerEdit
As I bent a branch back, making an entrance to my little trek. The woodland was kind of suspicious because the trees were thick with the summer leaves, so the area was quite dark. The ground smelt very gritty, which made me feel a cool breeze when I inhaled its scent. As I slid down this ditch, the dirt crumbled from my boots. I came to a stop, in the ditch, bending my knees to brace myself from the forward motion. The woods echoed my entrance. A flock of birds that I most have spooked flapped off most dramatically. I waited to see if there was any other movement apart from mine, in the woods, which might have frightened them off. I wondered if I could hear breathing, or was it just mine being amplified because of the ditch. Hiding in the ditch, with the grass growing over the earthen edge, as a sort of destroyed carpet, I peered over the grass tufts, couldn't see any thing lurking. I waited a while. I came to the conclusion, any mad man would not be stealthy, so I used two roots that pierced the ditch, to get out into the woods.
I can see a little illuminated whole in the trees and hedges which is the boundary of the insane asylum. I stealthed closer to the edge, to see if there was any patrolling guards on the outskirts, when I heard dirt move and the sound of movement, like a rubbing sound of clothes. I crept silently and low in the direction I had heard it, making sure to do a complete look out every few feet with my eye. I spied a man, a man with a greyed beard, black camera case, binoculars and a camera strapped around his neck, standing with one leg, perched on a tree stump, much like a posing hunter., although he seemed unarmed at that. He didn't notice my attempt at stealth. I straightened up, because I could see this was a well to do gentleman, checked my clothes were suitable and saw they were dirty now, so I brushed the dirt off causally, which startled said strange man: “Oh my lord you gave me a fright! Who are you? What are you doing here?” This line of questioning was quite peculiar since I was about to ask the same things of him: “I'm just a wanderer taking a stroll through the woods here. How about yourself sir?” “I'm a bird watcher” he said
“Did you see that Lesser-spotted Moor Warbler that was just perched there?” he said with much excitement. I looked around but I didn't see any birds let alone ones that were yellow.
“The what?” I asked,
“The Lesser-spotted Moor Warbler, it's such a rare bird which nests around this area of Cornwall." Feeling quite out of depth with this intellectual conversation, I turn to mind to something that the gentleman would be interested in:
“You read about that escaped mental patient in the papers?” I smiled. Thought I'd have some fun.
“What did you say?” the man said as he lowered his binoculars slowly, looking at me with sweat trickling down his nose towards a twitching mustache.
I stretched my arms above my head, cracked my back and my knuckles in front of the bird watcher, whilst rehearsing the article in the paper I had read this morning. When I had done, the watcher looked quite uncomfortable in his surroundings even though he was happily standing there looking up the whole time before I said hello.
“Yeah he's running about the moors, killed a guy you know” my watcher looked paler and starts to uncontrollable shake his pair of binoculars.
“So anyway. I'm out on the moors trying to find him, never know might be some reward? I have some friends who are gathering some information about him at the building over there” I pointed at the mental home. “Ah well” he replies “With this, I was wondering if you could come with me for safety as I head back into the village. I do not fancy bumping into this maniac” who was he kidding a thoughtful voice said to me.
So I led my new found friend, back to Okehampton. At this point the Cotterill estate was clsoer than the place I had entered the woods so i carried on wlaking in the summer evening. It was quite clear that the mental house had spare open grounds which would be alright to stealth along the thick tree line but there was plenty of fields for the loon to run through to quickly get away it seems, after all the place backed onto the moors.
On my way I saw the station master locking up the railway station for the night. He was a stereotype country man with unkempt mustache. I greeted the man and asked him how his week had been. After a great sigh, the man told me some interesting information which I the rest of the lodge when they had returned from the mental house.
The German and a CornishmanEdit
As Belladonna walked through the door, held open by Garvin she said: “have a nice walk Mr Jensen” I smiled drinking my coffee “Why yes Dr House, I spotted a Lesser-spotted Moor Warbler” Belladonna returned a rather strange look at my speech. “Who'd you learn those long words off Rigsy?” Asks Garvin, so told them my meeting with Mr Trombley.
“However. This wasn't the interesting part of my walk.” By now Garvin and the others are all listening to what I have to say whilst sipping their tea or coffee. “On my way back, I bumped into the station master. The chap, to me, didn't speak properly” I exclaimed “Christ sake” Garvin interrupted me “As I was saying, the Cornishman mumbled something about foreigners, a German in a military uniform, then swaying his arm in the direction of Lord Cotteril's house on the hill near the moores. Then swinging his arm back into the station in the direction of London.”
Pausing I collected some breath and my thoughts before someone asked any questions, “the incoherent railwayman, used both arms saying 'Grwooop orf ttwee fworeners' again Germans and then swaggered his arm back towards the gate he was locking.” There was a short silence, then I asked "Well what did you learn from the mental house?"
"Well" Garvin began, meaning an insult was coming up, "You'd fit right in Rigsy." I smirked at his joke, "The mental paitent apparently slipped out of the place, when they had the laundry shipment. This been said, there are only two doorways, the front door and the delivery dor at the back. When we met the good Doctor Muellhoffer, he had a appoinemnt book on his desk, one struck my mind, because he was meeting a 'Saturday 7:30 Lady Henrietta, London' which could be a name of a paitent
Garvin sipping a cup of tea, crossed legged, trying to imitate Holmes, made a puzzled sound and then: “German man military uniform arrives and leaves, then three Germans arrive and leave after the uniform, interesting” I grunted “Huh, you solved it Detective?” He smiled as he finished his last cup. “Well someone needs to use their brains don't they Rigs” then Dr House suggested “maybe a nice supper and a good night's rest do the mind a great deal, gentlemen.”