Sleuth Home - Message Boards - Role Playing Stage

0 0
Investigating the Elusive Barry Grant
  <<First Page  |  <Previous  

Clift Garrett
Clift Garrett

Oct-28-2008 02:14


“He’s just gone!”

“What do you mean gone?”

“I mean gone, detective, disappeared without a trace.”

“Barry Grant? Gone?”


“And what do you expect out of me?”

“What should I expect out of you?”


nicole satigny
nicole satigny

Dec-6-2008 19:17

This was her first time traveling overseas. Normally when people do the ‘Grand Tour’, they head east to Europe. She felt like being contrary, so she headed west--all the way to Shanghai. She’d been there just under a week and had found lodgings her first night there at a rooming house near to the docks. It was run by a middle-aged widow. She was Chinese, but had the unusual quality of actually liking Westerners. It seemed her son had won a position in the new government bureaucracy that the British had set up; the Brits had insisted on using merit rather than hiring and promoting based on nepotism and bribes. In any case, Nicole's landlady had approved of the Brits so much, for her second marriage, she’d married one. Which explained why she had the unlikely name of Soon-Sun Smith. It also explained why she served high tea every afternoon. The time and the menu varied according to her whim; the ritual did not. A contrary woman herself, Mrs. Smith the habit of serving hors d’oeuvres with the tea instead of crumpets or cakes--we’d call it dim sum in the States I think. But regardless, there would be four or five kinds of dumplings, bean curd cakes and other delicious one-bit morsels, along with wonderfully fragrant cups of tea. An absolutely exquisite way to spend an afternoon if you asked Nicole.

This day she’d actually managed to finish up her inquiries a bit early. She arrived back at the boarding house to find Mrs. Smith setting the tea service up in the front garden, same as usual. Nicole hurried up to my room to put her things away and came back down to find that all the other boarders were out. Perfect - she hadn’t had lunch.

As we were enjoying our small repast and chatting about the course of their respective days, a man came walking up the street, shuffling and nodding to himself as he went. Since she'd been there, Nicole had seen very few Westerners besides herself and the sailors presently staying at the house.

nicole satigny
nicole satigny

Dec-6-2008 19:19

The appearance of a filthy, weaving, very-much-the-worse-for-wear white guy drew her notice. Her curiosity was aroused enough to comment on it.

"Wow, who's that guy? He looks like someone threw him under a bus", she said.

Mrs. Smith hardly even raised her eyes from her plate as she replied. “Oh that’s one of that group across the street--a thoroughly disreputable lot, those detectives--nothing a nice respectable girl like you needs to worry about.

Nicole wondered where Mrs. Smith had gotten the idea that she was a ‘nice, respectable’ girl, given that she worked as a detective too. But she chose not to press the point. “Detectives?” she inquired breathily. “I wonder what they do.”

“Nothing good usually” was the answer. “Too often the cops come around on their account. And then every so often someone decides to shoot the place full of holes. It’s that Barry Grant bloke. He brought a bad influence to the neighborhood when he moved in over there”, Mrs. Smith finished darkly. She finally raised her eyes and saw what had caught Nicole's attention. "Speak of the devil. He does look like he got hit by a bus. Serves him right."

At this point, a vehicle that we in the States would call a 'paddy wagon' slowly drove up the street. It came to a halt about 10 meters after it passed the man. He saw it, stumbled, tried to turn on his heel, and ended up falling sprawled face-down in the street. By the time he tried to right himself, two men in police uniforms had jumped out of the front of the vehicle, picked the other man up by the armpits, swung him around and literally thrown him in the back. And they weren't gentle about it.

nicole satigny
nicole satigny

Dec-6-2008 19:20

Feeling that she should come to the aid of a fellow probable American, Nicole got up, crossed the street and asked one of the officers what they were doing. He replied gruffly that they were taking another drunk back to the drunk tank to sober up and that she needn't worry about him anymore. She watched them and crossed back over to where Mrs. Smith was sitting. "Was that…" she started asking.

"Yes", Mrs. Smith declared emphatically. "That was Barry Grant."

Loosey Goosey
Loosey Goosey

Dec-6-2008 19:34

Apparently she'd been promoted to lead lackey of the Home Office. She'd been assigned to interview one Miss Rebecca Franks and advise her of the impending changes. She entered the small interview room to find Miss Franks with her head on the table, cushioned by her folded arms. She had to clear her throat loudly twice before she raised her head and looked her in the eye. "Who are you?" Rebecca asked. She answered that her name was Lucy Goosey and that she was there to talk to her.

"Do you remember receiving a visit a few days ago by a very well dressed man with a very bad accent, a man who couldn't pronounce his R's?" Rebecca nodded yes slowly. "He was a representative of the Chinese government. They have recently asked for a review of your status. He was under orders to try and elicit a confession from you. Apparently, you refused to write one down, instead insisting to others that you are innocent."

"I am innocent" Rebecca cut in.

"In any case, the Chinese were going to view that confession as a sign of repentance. They would thus have asked us to reduce or remove your sentence. I am happy to say that since you did not do so, they have asked for a revision of your sentence in the other direction. Given our report of the other goings-on since that visit by their representative, they've actually asked that your sentence and your circumstances of incarceration be harshened. I will explain more about this in a minute."

Rebecca sat there, mute and numb to her soul.

Loosey Goosey
Loosey Goosey

Dec-6-2008 19:36

"In the meantime, our latest notes on you reveal that you feel that your trial was a sham, that it was slanted only to reinforce your guilt despite your proclaimed 'innocence'. While we both know just how 'innocent' you are, I think that you actually misunderstood a key part of your trial. You were tried by the rules of Chinese jurisprudence. In that system, even in this learned day and age, the defense assumes the burden of proving your innocence. You are accustomed to the Western system where a defendant is innocent until proven guilty. In the Chinese system, the defendant is guilty until proven innocent. Apparently your attorney was unaware of that distinction."
"But then, my counsel was inept. He didn't know what he was doing" Rebecca interjected.
Miss Goosey looked at her gravely. "You did choose who to appoint as your counsel, didn't you?" he asked.
Rebecca nodded vigorously. "At the time, yes. If I'd known this though, I never would have chosen him."
Miss Goosey resumed looking at her notes and continued in the same monotone. "Then it doesn't matter. Under Chinese law, once you choose your counsel of your own free will, you are stuck with the consequences of that decision. In other words, even if he didn't know what he was doing, because you chose him to defend you, there are no grounds for appeal because of ineffective counsel.
"Now, back to your life within these walls. The only responsibility that the British government assumed was in housing you in a secure facility. Apparently the Chinese didn't have a facility that they believed you wouldn't break out of. So they asked us to do it. The only reason that you are here instead of Broadmoor or the Isle of Wight was that they had no room at those premises. Happily that has changed too.

Loosey Goosey
Loosey Goosey

Dec-6-2008 19:42

"Given the statements that you have made while here, the authorities here have decided that your mental state is unstable. Consequently you are to be transferred to Broadmoor, where you will be afforded the very best in the treatment of psychological disorders, including the prescription of very powerful mind-altering drugs and the administration of electric shock therapy. Since you are now reclassified as a mental patient, your access to your lawyer and all unapproved visitors has been discontinued. The directors feel it would be better for you to have no contact with the outside world, so you will be kept in solitary confinement.
“Even better for you, you won‘t be alone. A Mr. Barry Grant will be joining you shortly at Broadmoor. He was convicted of violation of the Official Secrets Act, since his actions caused an American and a Chinese agents’ identities to be disclosed. They also convicted him of treason and desertion. Normally the punishment for that is execution by firing squad. Happily for you that was commuted to life in prison without parole. Sadly for you, the men’s section cannot be seen from the women’s. So the only way you’ll be able to see your beloved is if you are pushing up daffodils." Miss Goosey closed her file, raised her eyes to Miss Franks', and gave her a final word of parting. "Enjoy your life, Miss Franks. It is exactly what you deserve."

With that, Miss Goosey stood up and left the room. Rebecca sat in her chair and stared at the walls.

nicole satigny
nicole satigny

Dec-7-2008 11:25

On the boat home, Nicole found a copy of a Shanghai newspaper dated a couple weeks after that marvelous tea. She read how he was now imprisoned in Broadmoor in northern England and shuddered. She'd heard how that was the Alcatraz of England; he'd never leave there alive and his stay there was definitely going to be unpleasant. The article also wrote that Mr. Grant's lover, a Miss Rebecca Franks, was now also imprisoned in the same facility but in a different different building. They'd be so close, yet unable to see each other forever. How romantic, each yearning for the other and never able to meet again.

On the other hand, Mrs. Smith was going to be delighted that she would not have to deal with the people across the street. No more shooting up the place!

  <<First Page  |  <Previous  

[ You must login to reply ]