Archive for October, 2012

On this Letter

October 31, 2012

I have heard little of Monsieur Barker over the past several days, and naturally it worries me. I have little information to go off of, and no way of delivering it to the man in question.

Some of you had been asking about the letter; j’oblige;

It was appeared to be some sort of letter written in legal fashion; it describes a transaction that occurred between a Justice A. Turpin of the Crown, and a Mrs. N. Lovett regarding the custody of a young girl, Joanna Barker. According to the document, in return for a recompense of 30 pounds sterling, Mrs. N. Lovett would declare Joanna orphaned, pravulus desolo per parentis, and that she would not contest the right of Justice Turpin to take custody over the said child. I am not sure, however, how this information could help, or if it does; sadly it is written in the obtuse langue d’avocats.

Perhaps you may be able to find something else that I do not.

Poirot

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On his Wife

October 27, 2012

To provide an brief update; I have unpacked my bags and I will not pack them until I prove once and for all that the wife of this Benjamin Barker or Sweeny Todd as he is also known is still alive! He is insistent; he has run away, harassed this psychoanalyst, and declares that he must know. So I will let him know! I am not sure how I will go about proving the existence of a woman in another time and place that is not even bound by our own history, but I will do my best!

Hercule Poirot

P.S. Here; out of the inquiry of Monsieur Sicon112, and by the permission of Monsieur Administrator I provide you of this recording of my meeting with this Benjamin Barker so that you may know what occurred.

https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B_g7nz_pWeK9WUI5VmZpamFOTWM

To report to you on this ‘BB’

October 21, 2012

I have in my own fashion solved the mystery of this ‘BB’, yet I do not how to explain it. So let me tell you what I know.

This ‘BB’ in truth goes by the name Benjamin Barker. By all appearances he is a quiet and reserved man, a hard worker, very keen to do his fair sure in services around the coop, particularly the garden and library. He has almost no record with the coop; by their account he has no family listed. He does not talk about his past; by reputation he rarely speaks of anything at all, but he seemed to have been warming up to his fellow residents more recently.

Yet in going to the coop, meeting with him, from what I have heard of him, from the details he has given me, it seems clear that his placement here in this time and place is as my own – a mysterious lifting from our own times to some alternate universe. Therefore what he told the psychoanalyst is true; he is, in truth, a serial murderer. However he committed them in his own time, refashioning himself in his malice as Sweeney Todd, in retaliation for his wife who was abused quite harshly in his absence and therefore attempted suicide. I say attempt, though he insisted that she actually committed suicide, but from the full description of his story I had my doubts about it. There were many inconsistencies that he neglected to address but he was angered at my suggestion; he left me in great distress over the notion that his wife could still be alive – or, let us more appropriately say, is alive in the time that he came from.

I will speak with the psychoanalyst shortly, thought I do not know what I will say. I have not decided what case to take on yet, but I am packing my bags.

Hercule Poirot

Boston Bound

October 17, 2012

I’m sorry that I have been late to post. I have much to report from Boston, Massachusetts.

Though I was relatively inactive at the Ball, I conversed casually and was able to enjoy myself; that was until I ran into the detective Sherlock Holmes again!! I found myself in quite a spot, arguing back and forth with the man, and I scarce think what the party goers thought of us (perhaps, even, un couple romantique!) Yet though he was clearly angry at me, and I at him, we had an opportunity to reconcile and, though there was not much we could discuss in the location, we decided on meeting at a particular cafe the next day.

Having solved the case of the Messieurs Hendrisckson and Morena, I was eager to go through a new mystery. I contacted mons bienfaiteur and I asked him which case of those I had received he wished me to solve. Luckily he chose one that I found most intriguing myself. It is a case in Boston, Massachusetts, and admittedly on description it seems a relatively simple case of observation, but there is some intrigue; the call was from a psychoanalyst who claimed her patient confessed to some murders, but sadly it was in a drunken rage and he would not give such a confession before the police; nor can she, for she is bound by the promise of confidentialité. Hercule Poirot takes all his work seriously. Besides, this man has done great work for me, and I am keen to return the favor.

After deciding upon the case, I met the man Holmes in the restaurant, and I found our discussion to be quite amiable. We agreed that our circumstances indicate that someone was playing a malicious ruse on us and that it was better for us therefore to join forces. He likewise expressed his own interest in my case. Delighted was I at his willingness to forgive my past indiscretions! He asked if he could join me to Boston,  and I said as long as he could meet me in the train station I would agree.

Yet once again, with much frustration Holmes and I are separated once again; only this time it is without explanation. I waited in the Grand Central, waited and observed and waited, but he was nowhere to be found! And trains, they do not wait for the casual social encounter. If I had to be on time – and perish the day when Poirot is not on time! – I had to leave and immédiatement! As pleasantly modern as the new train ride was, I could not help but wonder if I should be insulted at Holmes’ rude disregard, or be frightened for something that may have happened to him. Fearful, I decided the only way to ease my mind was – quelle ironie – was to contemplate this potential tueur en série.

The client is a psychoanalyst person who wanted me to investigate a man that in confidentialité she calls “BB”. She says that this man is technically homeless but he lives on some sort of living arrangement that she calls a coop (like he is a chicken, I suppose?) inhabited by some political intellectual friends that are preferable to animals (appropriate, then, as they live in a coop). He has been seeing the psychoanalyst for his anger issues, but in the course of his therapy this BB confessed to many bloody murders. Nevertheless they have much reason to believe that this man is in reality psychotic and possibly with some sort of dark past that his psychosis is attempting to hide.

He contacted me in figuring out whether or not I was able to investigate and verify that this man suffers from delusion or whether he is a serial killer. Because I typically prefer solving conventional breaches of law rather than speculating about a man’s general innocence or guilt – that is poor practice for the little gray cells – I hesitated, but this Administrator was very keen that I should investigate. C’est la vie! I am here in Boston.

I will give you details about this man soon, but do tell me your theories.

Poirot

And the Show Goes On (Slightly Behind Schedule)

October 15, 2012

I have the best of news to report; our case has been solved, Daniel and Esteban are safe, and the party will go on (although not quite as scheduled)!

It was exactly as I suspected; they found no bomb in their venue because there was no bomb in their venue – at least at the time that they were searching it. I expected this; the consistency with which their threat followed them each time they were planning the event, even after they changed venues, seemed to imply that the attacker was bringing a bomb to them on the day of the event rather than planting prior to the showing. Therefore I suspected that the attacker had to be one of the services that they were hiring.

I wanted to see which one of these services were behind the threat; however I didn’t want the attacker to be alerted; I wanted to make sure that he could be revealed, as you say, “red-handed”. So I told them to call each of the services and declare that they were cancelling their order, and specify that they were not doing so because they were postponing the event but because they were given a better promotional offer by a competitor, charging a nearly un-serviceable price. If the service had only monetary intentions, they would simply thank the couple for their service and hang up. But if the service was keen on delivering something else other than decorations or food, they would panic and attempt to offer an even lower price. And indeed, Daniel and Esteban made a call out to their local baker of cake – an Italian man called Enrico Vespucci – and when he was told that they had a promotional price for a newly opening shop, he desperately tried to get them to reconsider on the basis that he had already half prepared the cake, and eventually giving it to them for free as a one-time gift for their “special event.” With his offer, however, he revealed himself to be the culprit; he also revealed how it was going to be delivered to the party.

We had him deliver the cake early, seemingly because we needed to make sure it matched specifications, but truly because if some disaster happened it would not be in a crowded building. Enrico came with his cake, and he was greeted by police and a ‘bomb squad’ who quickly detained him and eliminated the threat. The police thanked me for my help in catching the culprit; I thanked them for their services and for my efforts I was allowed to speak with Enrico and understand his motive.

I hoped perhaps the man was not so outrageously cruel, that perhaps he had some motive beyond that which he found in his faith. I’m sorry to say that he had none. He was merely a bitter, angry man convinced it was his religious duty to attack this institution for their promotion of – I say it now – homosexuality (Daniel would wish me to be able to speak of it after all). What is worse is that the man is Catholic – I could scarcely believe it!  He asked of me why a fellow man of God would help the unrighteous; I was quick to tell him that he was not my fellow and he was no man of God, for their is no righteousness in murder and lawlessness.

Perhaps I found the case simple to solve, but I learned more than the culprit; though inside I am truly conflicted about the sexual practices as Daniel and Esteban, speaking to them and being able to respond to their hospitality made me more able to judge a man’s good nature, not by how he makes love but by how he demonstrates it.

And while there is much more to say, I have been busy; the Messieurs Hendrickson and Morena have been forced to reschedule the party to Monday tomorrow.  (Esteban did not think it so necessary to have the cake, but as I say, Daniel is obsessive with the details!) I myself am helping them send out the new invitations, making sure that all the special guests are invited…

Poirot

Oh the Ball I am Having!

October 13, 2012

I am making significant progress already on the case. I must say my heart has warmed very quickly to the sheer pomp of the planning; the catering, the decoration, the food – including this massive three-tiered cake! – I have reviewed every detail and I must say I am I can give very few clues, but I have decided to divert attention away from searching the premise and instead to the possibility that the weapon will be brought to the event…

Furthermore my hosts, Daniel and Esteban, have graciously invited me to attend the very party that I was hired to protect. Imagine me – Hercule Poirot at a Ball! Can you believe? Admittedly I do not know if I have the energy to attend, but I feel I must go to demonstrate my commitment to the case and safety of Daniel and Esteban.

Poirot

A Case of Threat

October 12, 2012

Bonjour from New York! I arrived just this morning and I have settled into my new lodgings in Greenwich Village. What luck that somebody sent me a case with the offer of accommodations! Very convenient.

Although I must admit it was not the place that expected; it’s a fine lodging, nice and clean and middle class but… well, it’s difficult to explain. I suppose I thought of Americans as being very firm, masculine people by the standard of Europeans, but in my lodgings my attendants and my clients, they are all particularly… I guess I will say, foppish. I do not complain; everyone has been awfully kind and the setting is quite enjoyable colorful. And though it is a stretch for my comforts, I must protect the lives of these rather kind gentlemen who have hosted me.

Onto the case; the establishment of these men has been targeted for their connections to their… lifestyle, and a public event which they are looking to organize has multiple times been threatened with a bomb attack, apparently by an extremist of a religious nature. Multiple times they have had to cancel the party at the final minute, but each time the anonymous attacker gives them a most rude and threatening message the moment they are in the middle of planning the event again. They have called the police, they have searched all the premises, but they have found no device. It is difficult to search in a large place, but they have gone through all the cabinets in the kitchen, all the nooks and crannies, cleared out the basement – all to no avail. Therefore they have hired Hercule Poirot – c’est moi – to see if I can figure out if and how they are going to be attacked.

I have my suspicions, but if you have any ideas, I would appreciate to hear them. Please comment if you have any ideas!

Poirot

Qu’ai-je Fait?

October 10, 2012

Mon dieu! What have I done? What have I done?? Today I met among the greatest detectives ever conceived in mind or matter, and in my arrogance I dismissed him – insinuated that he was either making a joke or that he was insane! Clearly angered he told me to see what was right before my face with my pince-nez glasses and I did not but stiffen my lip and act smug as he walked away! And I continued – continued my attitude of conceit as I finished both our meals when they were sent to the table!

But how, you ask, if I was so dismissive, have I come to this conclusion when it was too late? I tell you that as I returned I wished to read some documents sent to me by Monsieur Trudeau before packing my luggage and – as I hoped – to return to Brussels. Promptly to read them I reached over to my mantelpiece and grabbed my pince-nez. And that was when it struck me. My pince-nez? I never brought it to the restaurant! And Sherlock Holmes, this man I angered, said in passing, as if it was obvious, that not only did I wear spectacles, but that I wore pince-nez, even though I never brought a pair for him to see! It even occurred to me that he knew I neglected to bring them that day! But how? How could he know such a thing? In a frenzy I rushed to a mirror and, though it was subtle and only visible to the trained eyes, to me it was clear as day what the man saw: two small wire pinch marks that donned the bridge of my nose!

I was struck; using only this observation and, perhaps, the observation that I lacked the chain where I usually carried it, he knew that I wore spectacles, that these were pince-nez, and that I had not brought them. Most strikingly, however, he felt little keenness to gloat about this observation, as if he tried with great strain to discover it; to him, it was obvious, worth but a critical comment in passing. Such a thing could only be observed and discovered by one man, a man who I was so convinced could not exist in this world that when he stood before me and told me who he was I refused to believe him. He was who he said he was; the famous detective Sherlock Holmes!

But Holmes is fictional! He is as these fictional characters which rumor indicated were breaking through the fourth wall. And yet he came into this world by a similar method as I? If Sherlock Holmes is fictional, then as he told me, I must see what is right before my face and, indeed as he said, with my pince-nez.

I must be fictional as well!

To those of you who tried with desperation to tell me and let me know what was going on to these fictional characters, and to myself, I commend your persistence. And if any of you had given up, and resolved to flatter my own pride, I do not condemn you; I was terribly stubborn. But it is better now that I see; it is better that I now that I accept the existential consequences of being fictional, understand that I myself cannot understand it, and resolve that I should understand it in the future.

But what of Holmes? I need to let him know and reconcile with him before his face! In haste I contacted my benefactor and asked him if he would allow me to go to New York. He hesitated, as to do so would mean he would cancel some of his arrangements. Ultimately he agreed to arrange the travel, but indicated that I had to organize accommodations. I will see what I can find with some money provided for me by the young Monsieur Paul de Blois (or Monsieur de Cavaignac, if you prefer) and arranged by Monsieur Trudeau.

America allez!

Hercule Poirot

P.S. If you have a new case, perhaps you can send me a message from my new business website at littlegreycells.biz! Graciously set up by this benefactor, I also have a contact email that will allow you to get in touch with me for a case or if I so request your formal assistance.

P.P.S. On a sadder yet inevitable note, I was informed that the body of Mademoiselle de Blois was found washed up down bank in the Seine. Her body indicated signs of great struggle, and prompted a full investigation into Elise de Cavaignac. This investigation proved very quickly that Elise de Cavaignac was in frequent contact with Mademoiselle de Blois at the time of the murder, with a request for a meeting shortly before her death. From what I hear, Elise de Cavaignac will negotiate a plea bargain for murder. I look forward to justice finally being served.

Cavaignac Case Solved!

October 8, 2012

Finally, I have come to the solution of this web of scandal and lies; it is true as I suspected that Valérie du Bois was the only person able to commit the murder that night and cover it up easily. Yet there was something else missing from the investigation; the ease with which Valérie committed the murder undetected given that she was a guest in a house, the missing evidence of what Pierre de Cavaignac was going to announce, the organized desk, the piece of paper on the fax machine, the boy Paul du Bois, etc. How did they fit together?

And then an epiphany occurred to me when I pondered the guest list again: Pierre’s lawyer, his friends from college – some of whom had scorn for him, his mother, a biographer, his company successor, and – most importantly – his mistress. Each one alone would have seemed rather strange; the lawyer Jean Trudeau, for example, is an intelligent but rather asocial person who is more comfortable amidst stacks of paper than a cocktail party. And his biographer, who was only supposed to work for him in private separate from all other business dealings. But together, in accordance with the meeting of his estranged son Paul, a story appears. For it appears to me that that night he was going to reveal the scandal to all parties he thought had a right to know!

Think of it; his college friends, who knew Valérie; his mother; his biographer, who was studying the life of Pierre de Cavaignac as well; his ultimate successor at the company. Further he wanted to codify the revelation in a document; a new testament that would conceivably resolve the scandal. This new testament must have been waiting on the desk for the official signatures, witnessed by his lawyer and all who attended the party, interested or not, so that he could finally find redemption. But what could it be? We only had one piece of the puzzle; the removal of Valérie du Bois’ allocations from the testament. How would he find redemption in this? Then it occurred to me that perhaps he was removing Valérie du Bois from the will because he was going to reallocate his holdings directly to his son which he met just that morning – perhaps, even, make Paul du Bois the new heir of the de Cavaignac fortune.

Now, everything comes into place! Why this will had disappeared, why a sheet was sent to Valérie that indicated her removal, why Valérie was able to commit the murder so easily and why Valérie went missing merely days after the murder without telling anyone or taking belongings away: Valérie was just a pawn in somebody else’s plot. Someone who was able to know what Pierre de Cavaignac was going to announce, who had an interest in making sure he wouldn’t announce it, who wanted to use the most bitter and persuadable guest to commit the act, who made explicit effort to exonerate herself in the murder with her action that night, who was able to remove the barriers that could interfere with the murder… and who had access to the will, and could easily send it to the fax machine. And that could surely only be one person.

Dame Elise de Cavaignac.

Surely it would be her who had the true motive and not Valérie; for years she sat by and watched as her husband paid for the silence of this scandal and stayed obedient, and now what, I presume, was he about to do? Give away his wealth to that boy, that blemish on their name; satisfy himself with redemption without regard for the loyalty of his wife who by no fault of her own was medically unable to produce children. She would not stand by as she had done so many times before! Yet it would be official by the night of the party; she had to move quickly. And if she wanted her due, surely she could not do the deed herself. But who then? Who would be willing and able to do the act for her?

That was when she considered Valérie du Bois. The only woman who had as much to bitter about by Pierre de Cavaignac as she, perhaps. But if she knew the nature of the will, she would surely not be inclined to murder him; would she not be satisfied that her son was finally cared for? So Valérie lied by sending her a message that Pierre planned to remove her from the will, validated with true evidence that was without context in the form of this faxed copy that I found. Surely if he was going to remove her, Valérie would have to move quickly to get her due! Then having recruited Valérie to the task, Elise made sure that she removed the barriers and ease the committing of the act; Elise removed the waiters, and even provided Valérie with gloves to cover her fingerprints… and she made sure that she had solemnly cleared her name from the murder, by mingling intently and making sure people knew where she was at all times. Then when it was long enough, she excused herself to ‘check’ on Pierre, took the will from his desk and in the machine, and removed it – burned it, perhaps. And by that token, she thought, they would never know.

Except that there was one who could know; that day Pierre met with the child Paul and told him that he would make things right for him and his mother, and perhaps hearing this from the son Valérie got suspicious. For Elise there was only one way to remove the risk that Valérie would expose her – remove Valérie herself. That is why she disappeared without telling anybody – Valérie must have been murdered herself!

I do not know where Valérie lies; however I do know that the police discovered correspondence between the two on the eve of the murder and were compelled by the evidence to arrest Elise as an accomplice. Someday I hope that the full horror of her crime is revealed. And as for Paul, with the wife and his mother removed from their ability to keep holding of Pierre’s assets, he will be granted their fortune by the charity of Jean Trudeau, their lawyer.

Monsieur Poirot

Scandal in the Cavaignac Household!

October 7, 2012

I must say to all of you off hand that many of your suspicions of scandal were correct! Your grey cells aren’t so bad after all!

I came upon the Ermitage school, but I was not allowed to go up to the room. Luckily, upon being informed of my arrival the resident came down to greet me – but who should it be? A young lad, 17 years of age named Paul du Bois – the secret son of Valérie! And why was he kept so secret? Because he is the illegitimate child of Comte Pierre de Cavaignac! And here is what is interesting; he knew this because the morning of the day of his murder Pierre visited Paul and told him that he was his long-lost father who was supporting him in secret (much as Paul’s mother was, so that this scandal would not interfere with her desire to rise in the social ranks). But as he left Comte de Cavaignac mentioned something in passing about righting his old wrongs at last to his son Paul, which I take to have something to do with the gathering at the house!

So finally, finally I have the semblance of a motive for Valérie du Bois, something she would have to answer for – that is, if it weren’t for the bad news that just this morning Valérie was reported missing from her penthouse suite. And her disappearance seems strange; for if she truly left in a guilty conscience she did so mysteriously without packing her valuables and without contacting anyone to say where she was going – not even her son Paul. We were able to search her place and found little to report except one piece of evidence that I found intriguing; a single sheet of paper in her study that was sent through this seemingly magical device that was related to me as a ‘fax machine’ – apparently a device that sends sheets of paper backwards and forward from house to house. This paper seems to be a section of a larger legal document – indicating, in summary, changes to be made in the testament of Pierre de Cavaignac including the removal of Valérie du Bois’ allocations. How did Valérie du Bois get a hold of such a piece of paper? Who sent it to her? And what did she do once she received it? There are many questions to answer, but I am sure that I will answer them soon.

Poirot

P.S. If you insist that I meet with this Sherlock Holmes as he calls himself, I would like to do so under certain conditions; we must agree on a single, public location, without weapons and dressed in clothing described prior to our meeting so that there is no chance that one of us may don a disguise and assault the other. I shall agree to these à tout le moins; no negotiation!