15 February 2009
Inspector Spunkleford Is On The Case
From the journals of Inspector Albert Spunkleford, Scotland Yard.
February the Ninth, Eighteen Fifty-Eight
WAKE UP to terrible, shocking news – Mrs. Spunkleford had forgotten to purchase jam yesterday, so I have to forgo my usual breakfast of jam and muffins. Mrs. Spunkleford offers to fix me a breakfast of marmalade and muffins instead, but I refuse the offer, explaining that she cannot palm me off with marmalade.
Mrs. Spunkleford finds this terribly amusing for some reason, and breaks down in fits of laughter. I swear the woman is becoming demented.
Arrive at Scotland Yard dead on the hour, despite my lack of nourishment. However, before I have time to take my hat and coat off, I am informed by Chief Inspector Wiltwick that Lord Likely is dead.
At first I laugh, much to the Chief Inspector’s surprise. I explain my outburst, saying that I find the very notion that Likely has just gone and died to be completely and utterly preposterous. Lord Likely, Aristocratic Adventurer and Gentle-Man of Action would not go quietly into the night, I continue, but would expire at the hands of some dashed cunning fellon, or possibly syphilis. I suggest that this is probably Likely’s very bad idea of a joke or a jape, and that it shouldn’t be taken seriously.
Chief Inspector Wiltwick disagrees with my assertion, and counters with a brief summary of the events thus far:
It appears that a young prostitute was visiting the Likely Estate last evening, for reasons unknown (although I am sure I could hazard a guess, and that guess disgusts me to my very breeches). When she arrived, she found Likely’s mansion cloaked in darkness, which she considered to be rather odd as her arrival had been fully expected by his lordship.
Luckily, the girl had a gas-lantern with her, and so she pressed on, and found the front-door to be unlocked. This young strumpet then proceeded to enter the building in a North-Easterly direction, and called out to Likely in the hope that he might answer from somewhere within his darkened home.
He did not.
The girl cautiously entered the building, and found herself standing in some sort of slightly goopy, sticky liquid. She held her lantern to the ground, and saw that she was standing in a pool of what appeared to be blood. Furthermore, it quickly became apparent to her that one of Lord Likely’s top-hats was sat in the substance which was apparently blood, apparently.
The harlot, naturally unnerved by such a sight, screamed and took to her heels, turning up at Scotland Yard in the early hours of this morning, looking rather bedraggled after her considerable journey from the Likely Estate to the Yard. She was currently being looked after by a great many concerned police-officers.
Upon hearing the account of the night’s events, I had to sit down, so rapidly was my head spinning. Could it really be? Was Lord Likely really dead? And if so, by who’s hand? And if it was not a hand, which appendage was it? And where in the name of Dickens’ beard was the body? Truly, this was a mystery of extraordinary magnitude, equal to the mystery of the Pyramids, the mystery of the Loch Ness Monster or even the mystery of the female orgasm…
Arrive at the Likely Estate. The place is already swarming with police-officers. I cannot tell if they are here out of an overriding sense of duty, or to say they were there on the day that Lord Likely died.
I take a while to conduct a thorough search of the premises, being sure to check everywhere – including all eighteen bedrooms, the Pornographic Library and even the Love Dungeon. My search turns up nothing, not even his lordship’s long-suffering man-servant, Botter. Have they both been killed, I wonder to myself. It seems unlikely…or rather, un-Likely.
My search of the Estate thus completed, I find myself no closer to a satisfying resolution. It is at times like this – when police-work draws a blank and we find ourselves utterly stumped – that we’d usually turn to Lord Likely to help us out. Of course, this time I cannot make use of his lordship’s excellent deductive skills, so I head back into London to discuss the case with the second-greatest detective – Mr. Sherlock Holmes.
Visit Mr. Holmes at his home in 221b Baker Street. Very nice place, well-decorated. The housekeeper, a Mrs. Hudson, is quick to offer me refreshments. I ask if she has any jam and muffins, but she tells me she only has jam and crumpets. I send her away almost immediately.
I run the details of the case past Mr. Sherlock Holmes, making sure not to leave any detail out, no matter how insignificant it may seem. The great man sits silently in his chair, his eyes closed, his thin lips puffing on his pipe. Clearly, he is lost in deep thought. His friend, Dr. Watson, sits beside him, eager anticipation marked upon his face as clearly as if someone had painted the words ‘eager anticipation’ upon his countenance with a particularly large brush.
Suddenly, Holmes leaps to his feet, his angular frame suddenly animated with life.
“I have it!” he exclaims.
“What?” say I.
“Cramp. I have a terrible cramp. That chair really is frightfully uncomfortable, you know.”
“Oh,” I say, slightly crestfallen. “And what of my mystery?…”
“Ah, that,” Holmes says, taking the pipe from his mouth. “I am afraid I do not have a fucking clue.”
I sink in my chair, despondent, as Mr. Holmes exits the room. Watson leans over to me and apologises, explaining that Holmes is having ‘a bit of an off-day.’
Fat lot of good that is to me. I make my excuses and leave.
R>eturn back to the Yard, thoroughly disheartened. I run a few questions past the young prostitute, but she has nothing further to add. No doubt at this point, Lord Likely would have had his wicked way with the slatternly lass, but I merely give her some money for a cab, and send her on her way.
Having read and reread the case notes over and over, I decide to return home. I am thoroughly exhausted and terribly distressed – as much of a bugger as Likely was, he was a thoroughly good detective, a terribly fine swordsman and – dare I say it – a jolly good friend. I am beginning to miss the old blaggard.
Get in the house, only to discover that Mrs. Spunkleford still has not bought any jam. I collapse into my armchair. No Likely, no leads, no jam…truly, this was proving to be the most trying of days.
Blast it, Likely! Where the devil are you, you wretched cove?
- by Inspector A.R. Spunkleford.
Lord Likely, Aristocratic Adventurer and Gentle-Man of Action, is missing, presumed deaded. He is an impeccably dressed fellow of good stock, with a well-built frame and a handsome moustache. If anyone should see his lordship, or has any information regarding his possible whereabouts, please contact Scotland Yard IMMEDIATELY.
You can also leave a comment below, or send an electrical mail to email@example.com
Thank you in advance for any help you may provide in helping us to solve this terrible mystery.