Sunday, 12th of July, 1925
The investigators have spent the night at Sir Malcolm’s home, Radnor House. At breakfast, Miss Gwynne and Sir Malcolm both notice the same small notice in the late news column of The Sunday Times – last night a man died in police custody at Bethnal Green Police Station.
They phone the police station and after some difficulty, Sir Malcolm manages to convince the Desk Sergeant to confirm that the dead man is Frank Judd, but his cause of death is currently not clear. They are awaiting the report of the police surgeon, but some sort of internal haemorrhage seems likely. This leads to some speculation on the part of the investigators that the strange parasites they learned of a year ago may be involved.
Sir Malcolm and Mister Rhodes attend morning service at Saint Mary with Saint Alban Church, while Miss Gwynne attends the Welsh Chapel in Clapham. Miss Sharp remains at Radnor House. At their service, Sir Malcolm asks the Vicar if he is aware of where Sir Thomas and Lady Boughton worship – the Vicar tells them that this would be at Saint James Church, Hampton Hill. Sir Malcolm and Mister Rhodes collect Miss Gwynne and Miss Sharp and visit the Reverend Bell at Saint James Church. He confirms that the Boughton worship there, and that he conducted the recent funeral of Miss Alice Boughton. He says that in the circumstances, the Boughtons seem to be coping reasonably well.
The investigators travel the short distance to Boughton House, where the Butler shows them into the Drawing Room. Sir Thomas agrees to see them and after proforma condolences are offered, Sir Malcolm leads questioning as to the circumstances surrounding Alice’s death. Sir Thomas explains that the official verdict is likely to be that she accidentally caught her clothes on fire, but he is aware that something like magic may exist and is open to the idea that there was some mystical cause. He confirms his relationship with Ebenezer Allbright – the man has sold him some antiques – and that he is aware that the Pinkers know about what they call magic or sorcery. Sir Thomas, himself, has only a very small knowledge of such things. He is able to give the investigators an address for the former housekeeper, Miss Maud Bartram, who was dismissed by his wife, mostly out of concern of a scandal. The investigators then go to visit her at her family’s home in Atbara Street, Teddington.
Miss Gwynne and Mister Rhodes masquerade as agents for Sir Malcolm, interested in assessing Miss Bartrams suitability for employment in his household. Miss Bartram reveals that she did cover up for Miss Alice’s absences on occasion, assuming the girl was meeting with friends. She herself had a brief relationship with a man calling himself William Jefferson, who seemed to her to be American. This was the man Miss Selcibuc identified as ‘the Drowned Man’. Miss Bartram ended the relationship when she came to suspect that Jefferson (if that was his real name) was simply using her to try to get access to the house. All she knows of him is that he claimed to be a garage mechanic at a village called Heathrow.
A brief visit to Heathrow followed, which ended when it became clear that there was nothing like a garage in that small hamlet.
Around noon, the investigators now elected to return to central London to visit Mister Terrance MacAvoy, a survivor of the 1919 Nineveh Expedition, at his home at 17 Hebron Road, Hammersmith. On arrival at this semi-detached house, Mister Rhodes took up position at the rear door, while the others knocked and attempted to call through the letterbox. Miss Gwynne, in doing the latter, vomited at the stench from within the house. The police were called from a convenient police box, and PC Douglas Heinneman of Hammersmith Police Station forced an entry to the home. On discovering the body of – it is presumed – Terrance MacAvoy in a state of decomposition in the front room, PC Heinneman left the investigators with instructions not to enter the house, while he called for help. In his absence, the investigators carried out a quick search of the house which appeared to have been ransacked, although many small valuable items remained in the house suggesting burglary may not have been a motive. Mister Rhodes located a letter to Mr MacAvoy from Mister Peter Simkin, alluding to events on and since the Nineveh Expedition. MacAvoy appears to have died some time ago, on a slit throat. When PC Heinneman returned, the investigators were back outside the house. The police constable took their details in case they would be needed.
The investigators broke for lunch at a Lyons Corner House, and then Sir Malcolm phoned the Wentworth Club to be told that Mister Theodore Rayburn-Price had returned and would like to see them this evening.
The investigators met with Rayburn-Price and gave him a full description of their activities thus far. Mister Rayburn-Price took note of this and said that he intended to make some inquiries of his own, and would get back to the investigators when he needed their help again – as he fully expected to.
The Curse of Nineveh
A Quiet Sunday
Contains spoilers for "The Curse of Nineveh"
Sunday, 12th of July, 1925