The death of an old man on a London street begins a long and mystifying tale of privilege, betrayal, and patronage.
I was in the Owl and Walnut resting from my latest case when an old man slid into the seat opposite me. Before I could ask the name of his game, he raised a hand.
"It's alright, detective. I come in peace, and I bring information."
"My name is Horace Stone. I am an academic by trade." Mr. Stone looked back and forth in a poor attempt to make the meeting look casual. He fiddled with a small object in his right hand and I could see that his hands were shaking. "I need your help, detective. There is some danger and I cannot guarantee that you will survive, but the reward will be well-worth the risk."
I shrugged. I heard a thousand offers like that one, and they all ended up the same, promises with no reward.
"I'm not interested."