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The Expecting Miss Violet Parr
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Violet Parr
Violet Parr

Jan-5-2009 03:44

To know what happened previously in this story please review the following threads.

The USS Sleuthetania:

The Any Location Place:


Joey "Bulldog" Bane
Washed Up Punter

Jan-17-2009 05:20

As the bartender served him a drink he leaned over the counter and whispered to him in a low voice: “Say, fellow…you wouldn’t happen to know who that fine lady is over there in the corner?”

The bartender looked across the room in the direction he was pointing. “You mean the young one, mister?”

“No, the other. I’d love to roll her in cherry pie…hehehehe.”

The bartender made a short grimace of disgust. “You mean, Mrs. Crab?”

“Crab is her name?”

“Patricia Crab. She’s quite a figure in the high class world around here…also the biggest gossip in the city of London and a few others for that matter. And…she’s a widow, you’re in luck today.” The bartender posed a tricky smile.”I could…introduce you to her if you wish…for a small price that is, of course.” His smile was getting wider.

Bane pushed a 5 under the fellow’s hand. “No need for now, my boy, but keep up the good work around here. I might require your assistance later. Gossip, you say…that’s interesting.” Bane smiled tackling easy with his fingers the bar counter. This was an unexpected turn for him. If Mrs. Parr’s friends’ suspicions might work or not towards her making a wrong move, the threat of gossip all around the city about her dirty little secrets may just be right the edge he needed.

“Hey, ‘ve you heard about the masked ball tonight?” said the bartender with a conspiring expression on his face. “Maybe then you can make a move.”

“Sure thing, my lad…sure thing” replied Bane with a thoughtful look, then turned around mumbling something only for himself: “But until then…I have to see about Mr. Masters…”

He looked across the lounge to see Ace heading somewhere towards the lower deck.

“Hmmm…Masters didn’t seem to notice me at all up until now. Let’s see if I can pull a funny trick.”

Bane got up walking slowly towards the door that Ace has just gone through.

Joey "Bulldog" Bane
Washed Up Punter

Jan-17-2009 05:50

In the meantime, upon finishing his breakfast Ace was not feeling very good. Although he was enjoying very much Mak’s company, somewhere in the back of his mind the voice of reason was apparently still up and no matter how hard he would try to drown it, he still had to face the truth.
He really had strong feelings for Makensie. Marrying her would’ve been something he never dreamed of. He wouldn’t even have any problem raising another man’s child…and not because it was a friend’s arrangement, but just because it was HER child.
On the other hand, Mak was in love with Clift. She obviously had feelings for him too, but not really the kind he would like to and also not by far as strong. And what about this “paper marriage” issue…? The main idea of this entire charade was just to save the appearances for Violet’s sake and after 9 months each would see further with his life. What then? Will he be also forced to break apart with Mak? Could he actually handle this?

All these tormenting thoughts made him feel the need for a glass of strong booze, anything that could burn his throat hard enough to wipe out the choking sensation he was experiencing. The lounge was crowded and Violet would definitely not appreciate to be seen in the company of someone soaking his guts so early in the morning.

Ace figured that the ball room bar would be the only one that’s empty at this hour, so he politely excused himself and exited the lounge.

Joey "Bulldog" Bane
Washed Up Punter

Jan-17-2009 06:05

About half an hour must have passed since Ace was mustering his thoughts about all this alone at the bar, when his dilemmas were abruptly interrupted:

“WELL…strike me down and fry me on stick…if it isn’t the one and only Antony Masters!...Pardon me: DETECTIVE Antony Masters, also known as…”The ACE”!”

He turned around to see where that loud and disturbing voice was coming from and was not surprised to find a large man crumbling on his feet, holding a small metal flask in his hand. His coat was all unbuttoned showing a pair of wide shoulder straps that didn’t match his otherwise wrinkled suit. His pants were hardy reaching below his ankles and his hat was pushed all the way to the back of the head. His felt this character would’ve been better fit leaning himself upon the counter of a cheap and sleazy pub rather than on a first class cruise.

“I wonder how someone could be so trashed up so early in the morning”…said to himself.

The man had obviously had one too many glasses and normally Ace would have tried to avoid any kind of contact, but after all he’s been through lately even a drunken horse calling him “Ace” would be enough to comfort his uneasy ego.

Joey "Bulldog" Bane
Washed Up Punter

Jan-17-2009 06:06

“Is it really you, boy? Or is my sight deceiving me?”

“I am surprised you still have any kind of sight considering you current state”…replied Ace posing a slightly mocking smile towards the corner of his mouth. “Now here, take a seat…I have the feeling you won’t last much time standing there.” He pulled a stool from under the counter and fit it so the stranger could sit his heavy body in a comfortable position. “I see you know me, but…can’t say the same about you.”

“I knew your father, lad…FINE man he was. He got all women eating from his hand…and WHAT A PUNCH he had! Could knock a BEAR down in just ONE STROKE! Ohhh…good old times…”

“You knew my father? Well…then maybe we have met. Could it be possible I don’t remember you?”

“Nah, boy…you were a little brat back then…HELL I was in my early years too...and let me tell you, boy…I was a RISING STAR! I was the pride of ALL NEW YORK…hell…those times are gone…I really need another sip…”

He leaned his head on the back in order to swallow the last drop in his little flask and if it were not for Ace to grab him by the hand he would’ve laid all of his massive body onto the wooden floor. While bending down to lift the stranger’s fallen hat Ace was astonished to observe a small black stub nose mounted on his ankle. Suddenly he didn’t feel so secure sitting so close to this man.

“So…you were saying your name was…?” asked Ace while placing his hat on the counter.

“BANE! Joey “THE BULDDOG” Bane! Private invest-ti-ga-tor…”

“Oh, a detective, huh? Now that’s a nice turn of events. We’re in the same line of business.”

“I know, my dear ACE…I know…”

For some reason Ace felt compelled to find out a little more about the man in front of him.

“So, what exactly brings you here on this cruise, Mr. Bane?”

“Well, you see lad…the funniest thing happened. Now let me tell you about my last case…”

Joey "Bulldog" Bane
Washed Up Punter

Jan-17-2009 07:53

Although Ace had no mood for listening to war stories, he had a feeling that somehow all this will prove to be interesting up to the end.

“About a week ago this envelope came all the way from Delhi”…the man began…”it was containing quite a LOOOOOAD of cash. Two letters beside it, one was for me…the other…well…some kind of evidence I guess. Of course my first thought was to throw away the papers and go drink up my minds at the Tricky Mister, but then I thought…HELL…where this came from, there might be more for me.”

The man took another sip and wiped his forehead with the sleeve of his coat. It seemed he wasn’t taking the heat too well.

“The second letter was…well…coming from a woman, for sure. It had a strong smell of perfume imprinted and a bunch of purple flowers drawn on the side. It was some kind of a love letter…or…ending love I might say. She claimed their relationship could never last, as he was married and the situation was not fit for her class requirements. She mentioned their little “indiscretion” was not to be remembered and that they never should see again sight of each other. No signature though, just initials…V.P. or something…I remember.”

A small light ball has lighted up in Aces mind. “V.P.?...And…purple? Sounds quite familiar…” he thought and then asked out loud with curiosity: “The other one…?”

Joey "Bulldog" Bane
Washed Up Punter

Jan-17-2009 07:54

“Well, the first letter was actually my case…or…ex case for that matter. This man, I think his name was Frank Lancaster…he wanted me to find this woman. Apparently he didn’t want to give her up that easy. He urged me to be on my way to London as fast as possible and meet him there. I guess he must have tracked her down in England. So…I got on ship and came to London. Now here starts the fun, lad. Yesterday, at dawn, a valet almost knocks down my door at this sleazy hotel I had decided to check in. Hands me a note…from this guy…from my client. However he could find out my whereabouts I don’t know…beats me…but yet he did. The note was short. Said…”Mr. Bane, I have arrived in London earlier. Please meet me at Park Lane Hotel. We need to depart today.” DEPART!...I say…did this guy had a pleasure of moving up and down my arse all through this world or what?”

He took a long look at his shoes.

“Well, anyway, I dressed up and headed towards the Park Lane. I ask for him at the reception and learn he is expecting me up in his room. I go up and…YO, BARTENDER! Hit me up with a double here, will you!”

“And?” asked Masters showing real interest now.

“The man was dead.”

“Dead?” he exclaims into an obvious complete surprise.

“Stiff. Cold. Gone out of our world or how else you might want to say it. D-E-A-D!”

“How come?”

“A small stiletto.”

“A knife?”

“Pushed all the way into his heart. He had the most surprised expression on his face. I guess he never saw it coming.”

Joey "Bulldog" Bane
Washed Up Punter

Jan-17-2009 07:54

“So…murdered, huh? You called police?”

“Now I ain’t stupid, lad. If someone would’ve found me there besides a dead corpse with a knife in it…with my background…wouldn’t be good. I would’ve been first suspect anyway, no matter what I said. No, lad, I got away from there as fast as my 2 legs were holding me.”

“And…you embarked on this boat? A high class?”

“Well…see…the guy had on his desk 2 tickets for this boat. I noticed them just while I was on my way out. I figured this was the trip he wanted us to go on and since it was for New York I said…why the hell not? It ain’t like he’s gonna mind anyway.”

“So…you plan to look into this murder?”

“LOOK INTO IT? R’you crazy, boy? DEAD MEN DON’T PAY!...nah…I’m hust gonna enjoy this first class trip and get back to my usual life.”

Ace was confused, as the characteristics of the letter Mr. Bane described was similarly to another one he saw on Violet’s desk in the past. But…bodies? That’s a bit too much.

“Well, boy…this booze is going down my feet. The old dog gotta hit the bed now, so if you’ll please excuse me…”

The man got up with burden, picked his hat and headed tumbling to the exit. Ace watched him as he went away.

“Just babblings of a drunk man”…he thought. “Funny thing though…as obviously beat up as he was…his eyes were somehow…clear.”

He paid his check and left the bar to meet the others.

Joey "Bulldog" Bane
Washed Up Punter

Jan-17-2009 09:11

Upon entering his cabin Joey crashed on the small sofa. He threw away his hat on a nearby chair, assumed a comfortable position and started talking to himself out loud.

“Ooook…Mr. Masters has been taken care of. I guess it’s time now to approach the next member of this love circle: the sweet and beautiful Miss Brewers. Hmmm…I do need though a somehow different approach on her. Now how could I do that…oh wait, there’s the solution: Mrs. Crab! If she’s really the gossip the bartender said, she has to know Makensie and she can introduce me to her in a very polite and unsuspicious manner. Maybe at the ball tonight…”

He took a small break thinking. “Yes, I need to go skirt hunting. DAMN! Haven’t done that in such a long time…I don’t even remember how it works anymore.”

He got up and took a look at himself in the mirror.”I need to look a bit sharper for this”…he mumbled. “Let’s see how that preordered suit fits me.”

He entered the small dressing room and came out all dressed up in a fancy suit. This time he WAS fitting this whole picture. He went up to the mirror again tightening up his tie.

“Why, Mr. Bane! You do look dashing today…hahahaha!” He dragged his hat with a short move in order to drop it just over the line of his eyes and left the room.

Clift Garrett
Clift Garrett

Jan-17-2009 11:29

The sun was setting when Clift walked out of the telegram cabin in the ship to the deck. There was still no reply from Yoyo. Apparently the agency clerk at The Closers was either on vacation or not too bothered to deliver telegrams.

Clift Garrett was somewhat disappointed. He had no other link to Violet Parr and he knew it would be very difficult to unearth anything about his current 'wife'.

He was then struck by his two remaining options.

He could confront Violet with the information he knew and his encounter with Mr. Bane, but he feared that this would means losing all hope of getting to the truth. His other option was to seek the counsel of a friend.

They were supposed to meet at 8:00 p.m. in the Ball Room fully dressed. Clift had gotten a silver mask from the ship's souvenier shop and he wasn't planning anything fancy, just a nice suit and the silver mask to go with it.

Having his outfit prepared, he still had about an hour or two to kill. He decided to go and try and find Makensie Brewer.


Miss Brewer was in the lounge reading a book. She saw Clift approaching and she smiled putting aside the book.

Clift sat next to her and spoke. "Heya Mak, whatcha doing?"

"Reading... a book... why?"

"Remember when told you I can come to you with anything? Anything at all?"

"Yes of course Clift. Anything."

Clift hesitated. "But you need to promise me you'll keep what I tell you in secrecy... no one can know... especially Violet."

"Clift, is everything ok?"


Makensie thought for a bit then shrugged. "Yes I promise I will hold this in confidence, now what is going on?"

"A man spoke to me yesterday, goes by the name of Joey "Bulldog" Bane. I think he knows Violet somehow. He gave me a telegram she dropped. It was from someone who needed to meet with her in London to talk about the 'baby', her pregnancy I assume. The more I think about it, the more it seems Violet changed the trip timings to avoid this person/man!"

Clift Garrett
Clift Garrett

Jan-17-2009 11:38

Makensie was shocked.

She thought about all what she heard before talking. "Now Clift you cannot possibly believe what this man is trying to tell you... You have no idea who he is.. He could be sent by someone who means Violet harm... You know Violet, WE know her."

"I know.." Clift said. "But I cannot help but feel she is hiding something from us, don't you?"

"No I don't." Mak determined. "I take things for face value, and Violet is the sweetest most charming creature. I can't imagine her having to evade any man over her pregnancy."

Clift remained silent.

Makensie spoke once more. "Clift, this child is yours... you know that, right?"

"I suppose I do..."

"You suppose?" Makensie was suddenly irritated with Clift.

She suddenly did not want to sit with him and discuss this anymore, but felt she had to, as a friend. "Listen Clift, go and speak to her about this. I am sure she will have a perfect explanation. Perfect!"

"Yeah, Perfect!" Clift said mockingly. "Perfect, like her appearance, her manners, language, decorum, family... she's just too perfect Mak, it's too good to be true... There is something fishy about Miss Parr. The more I think of it, the more I'm convinced... and I will have to find what it is so long as we remain married, paper or not!"

Mak was shocked.

She couldn't respond to that.

Clift calmed down a bit and said. "I'll see ya at the Ball Mak, I need to go clear my head."

Clift then got up and went up deck.

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