Chapter 1: So Enters A New Plot

I have returned battered and bruised. My anguish caused by a blight of suffering and hatred. For in my soul, I know I am lost, despite my beating heart continuing its lonesome journey. This world is cold and bloody. It remains to be seen that this world possesses a glimmer of light; every corner is shrouded in darkness. I tried many times to regain a sense of who I was prior to when it all started but to no avail. All memory of my past self is but a crippled leaf swept up by a gust of wind.

I have been driven to condemn a man to vicious acts and I have been forced to partake in theft, for this world has left me with nothing except for the clothes on my back. My position is not an easy one and nor would I wish this on anyone else.

Is it bad luck that I find myself in such a mess? Or am I here on my own accord? Or has god struck his fist down upon me and riddled me with a wavering sense of failure for the rest of my life? I do not know. Little does the cause bother me. What picks away at my mind is the men. Not just any men. But the posh and snobby men who wear their suits and drink their tea. The men who seldom set foot on common grounds and who live in their ivory towers and order lesser folk to war and death. They know nothing of the struggles working-class individuals face and little do they care for change.

One day this world, as bleak and dim as it may be, will see it justice that we are treated equally. That we are given the same rights, privileges and luxuries that the snobs are handed the day they are born.

I find myself alone and desperate. Broken and twisted. I feel weak and yet…strong. The world has done me a great disservice and I will have my revenge. I want compensation for my suffering. Compensation for those I have lost.

When the day comes, when that glorious day comes, all shall rejoice. For the men in suits will become the children of war.  

Detective

“So stands the accused. 3 cases of attempted murder, 2 thefts and a continuous chain of manslaughter. I now turn to my honourable gentleman, mister Turner. Mister Turner, if you will be as kind as to address the room at this time” said one of the ministers who sat in the corner of the room as he played with his great bushy beard.

A younger and more callous-looking individual arose from his chair on the opposite side of the room. He cleared his throat and shuffled together a set of papers.

“Thank you, sir. To the court today I wish to relay to you all the gruesome details in which this case is riddled with. It is with absolutely no satisfaction that I am reading these details here today, but the people must be made aware of what exactly the accused is being accused of. The 17th of September 1854 is where this vile wretched shell of a man decided to begin his conquest for violence! The life of a young child was almost taken as the accused burnt down a singular house. 2 days later he proceeded to take the life of a milkman yet the milkman proved too strong for himself alone. It was the day after, the 20th of September where he tried to take the life of his divorced wife…but caved in and retreated in the process! On the same day he entered a frenzy of pure greed and stole a few items from 2 separate jewellery stores. It was during these thefts that many lives were, unfortunately, taken. Mister speaker, if this is insufficient reason to hang the accused, I have brought with us today the very man who we have to thank for his capture. Detective William Percy Morgan of the Portswood police force. Mister Morgan, if you will?”

As Turner sat, I stood up and glared at the whole room. The lord speaker, Robert Monsey Rolfe, waited for my presentation and I felt his cold eyes pierce my erratic soul.

“Much obliged mister Turner. I cannot deny that my heart weighs heavy. When I had taken this case from my desk and read its contents, I was horrified by the random and desperate acts of this here criminal. In my line of work, you seldom meet men who act so harshly and swiftly. My deepest condolences are with the families affected. Though, I am not here today to pour my heart out in front of you all.”

I had then proceeded to take out my notebook from my inner pocket. After briefly skipping past the events of the crazed cannibal in 1852 and some smaller cases that had been keeping me busy since, I came upon the fresh notes that belonged to this case I had just solved.

“Tracking down a man who leaves no pattern in his behaviour is a difficult task. It immediately left me with a minuscule number of leads to follow. My first desire was to interview the milkman for I had hoped, after surviving an attack by the accused, that he had gotten a good look at his face. It was to my amazement that he was able to identify his attacker with great ease. I had gotten a name. Thomas Lloyd. Thomas Lloyd as I had come to know, after interviewing close relatives and friends, was a man with an extremely short temper. He possessed the tendency to lash out at those that parried his moods. He was not a poor man alas; he was not very rich. Since the beginning of his crimes, he had not returned home. I eventually had gotten the address of his wife and interviewed her.”

I turned to the next page, gently licking my parched lips as I did.

“I shall state now that he was in desperate need for money. Not just a couple of shillings, but bucket loads of bonds. After his divorce with his wife, he had entered a deep dark pit of a gambling addiction. As you may imagine, he owed a lot of people money. At this point the jewellery stores had not been robbed yet. I decided it best to find out exactly how much of a debt he had racked up, for I felt that would be an imperative clue to help me decide his next move.”

I turned another page and took a deep breath, straightened my blazer and straightened my back.

“His wife did not know the extent to which his debt lay. But she was aware of one man whom he owed money to. A Sir Archie Banyard. Most of you in the courtroom today will have come to know this individual as the owner of a few different branches of banks spread across the country.  I went to him next. Thomas owed £110 to Archie and thanks to his cooperation, I was able to look through Thomas’ bank records to trace the other people he owed money to. There were two others: Danny Panny the infamous street thug crime lord and Thomas’ brother Lewis Lloyd. Altogether he had racked up a whopping £200!”

I observed a few blushed and pale faces.

“Yes, I know. £200 is a lot of money. I like to believe that it was my fortuitously receptive and colossal intellect, that lead me to predict his next move. I returned to my office in Portswood and laid a map of the city upon my desk. To quickly make the money that he owed, he wouldn’t just be able to rob a pawnbrokers, butcher or sweet shop. A bank would have been far too difficult for one man alone to penetrate. The next best thing would be a jewellery store! There were 2 nearby so I placed a few bobbies at both.” 

“I regret to announce that, though I was correct at predicting his next move, I did not understand just how physically adapt and averse this man was. A policeman was killed as well as a customer of the store in the process. He escaped. I needed to find out where he was hiding himself and his haul. If not home, then where? I observed the crime scene carefully. I found a few shreds of clothing, Thomas’ clothing, which must have been torn from him during the confrontation. Among it all I found a slip of paper. Pink paper. Upon it was a receipt for lodgings…but it did not say where. He had taken a considerable amount from the store so he would not be able to travel far; unless he wanted to arouse suspicion. The closest temporary accommodation to the scene was a small 5 room hotel on Shaftesbury avenue. I went there with a couple of officers at my side and soon after, we were able to capture him and reacquire the stolen goods.”

I bowed and then sat. The room was quiet for a moment until the Lord Speaker whacked down his hammer on his podium and turned his attention to the criminal before him.

“Thanks to the efforts of the detective and the brave sacrifices made by his fellow policemen, Thomas Lloyd is now here today accused of many grievous acts. I myself, am sickened to the core, bludgeoned with infinite dismay at the cold-hearted wretch near to me! I say to the court at this time, do you find this man guilty?”

There was no hesitation and it was not long until Thomas Lloyd was dragged away to be hanged; cursing my name as he was pulled out of the room. So ended the life of Thomas.

I was ready to leave. Most of us were. My brain had satisfied itself with the conclusion of such an interesting and engaging case but my energy had departed at a rather desperate rate and I felt my need for sleep, grow. It was not a difficult mystery to solve but I had not slept in days.

As I stood up and put on my coat, an officer ran into the room and whispered into the lord speaker’s ear. I watched his miserable-looking face delve into a frightened and maddening look. I could tell my work was not finished.

“Detective William Percy Morgan, I have need to call upon your services once more. I have just been informed that the prized emerald jewel stationed and kept at the Southampton castle…has been stolen!”

I agreed to head to the crime scene immediately and on the way there, as I sat in the coach which was dragged by an elegant white horse, I could not imagine at how such a crime was committed. The Southampton castle was guarded by a dozen men both inside and out. Seldom did the establishment allow visitors. The green emerald was worth thousands and so that made the case my new priority. Sleep would evade me once again!

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