Many of you will be pleased to know that, without intention, I ran into Monsieur Holmes at the museum today; I thought perhaps he had come to see me, but then I hear that from him that he was pleased I had come to see him. It seems that not only do both our cases involve the art, but both of our cases center around the Denver Art Museum. We went to the cafe to discuss many subjects; I asked him – par la force, I might add -what had occurred to him back in New York that led me to take the train to Boston par moi-même. He recounted to me that he had an unnamed bienfaiteur of his own, not unlike mon Monsieur Administrateur, who had forbidden him to join me to Boston. He has since retained hesitations about the will of his own bienfaiteur but, since that same bienfaiteur led him to meet me, so in his mix of, I believe, a ‘benefit of doubt’ and his financial necessity, he has followed his benefactor to Denver. His explanation seemed plausible, and though I struggled to appease the original insult that I felt I was satisfied with his reply. An apology would have been met with appréciation.
He also described to me the details of his new case involving the disappearance of an artist who specialized in restoration painting, called Jack Vincent. He discovered that the man had apparently visited the museum to do his work but he was dismayed by the utter difference in the man’s behavior as described by his colleagues – far detached from the disappearance of the man’s wife. I described my own case to him, involving the piece of music that was played the prior Monday early morning.
Now, we both soon came to the conclusion that the cases were related and that perhaps our information was best shared à l’unisson. However, when it came to how we would work together, we found strong disagreement. He seemed rather unimpressed by my case (he was not the first) and felt our joint efforts were best served on his case of gravity. I angrily contested that this was not a case of gravity as such an act would have required much skill and conspiration, likely of a malevolent kind. And while I understood his own case was dire, with a soul on the line, I thought it would be best to focus on the lead of this tape and not chase a ghost where we do not know where it is! In great agitation we decided to leave our separate ways, and focus on our separate parts until – if and when – they lead us to a common case. In this spirit of, perhaps one would say, concours, I focused greatly on analyzing this tape today.
It is most strange; the song, it is complex, kinetic – frenetic, perhaps – but it appears to consist only of a male baritone vocal and piano accompaniment – perhaps it is another, perhaps the singer. He seemed to struggle at the higher parts, as if his piece was adapted for the voice of another – then again, at various points I confess there seemed to be some missing element in the background that would have completed it. Nevertheless the singer is amazingly talented.
The lyrics as well, I struggle to make out, since they are operatic, sung bombastically and not in my first language; however I have made some lyrics out.
“Serve the meal [...] maid;
Serve the master [...]
tables, plans and maids [...]
[this part slows down; I make it out better]
[...] faithful friend
once again [...].
Your young guest [...] -
I, the master, you, the man
When you met you wore my cloak
[...] not have seen your face
She believes she dines with me
in her master’s [...]
Furtively, we’ll [...]
*Stealing what, in truth is mine*
When it’s late and [...] with the wine
You come home! I [...] voice
Slam the door like [...]
I shall say, Come hide with me
[...] Of course my room
Here’s my hat, my cloak and (sod?)
Conquest is assured,
If I do not forget myself (in love?)”
Here it abruptly ends. The kinetic energy of the song finds only a single interruption at the point I have marked d’un astérisque. Having heard this line with the most clarity of any line, I find it disturbing. Our perpetrator is telling us something… ominous. If only I could know what it was…