Who Done It? A Summer Mystery – Part 5

I guess, I should have left well enough alone and just forgotten about Miss Scarlett once and for all? She was gone and that was that. I don’t know of anyone, personally that is, that has managed to come back from the dead, once they’ve taken a trip on the River Styx? If so, then they are not of this world anymore!

Although, there was still something gnawing at me, that made me continue on in the hope of finding the truth at least, about what happened to the likes of that likable young woman, Miss Scarlett. I ran the whole scenario through my mind, the last time I had seen her, and tried to put the pieces together of the back side of the puzzle picture.

I knew the answer must exist in the Mansion, where we spent a lot of our time together. An old Tudor, with rooms that each could tell a story that would give anyone the willies, or cause them to run for their lives, while they still could, that is. We, that is Miss Scarlett and I, had solved a few tricky cases, which had to do with a past love, or a matter of money, which seems to be the best causes of crime in our neck of the woods!

I returned to the scene of the crime, even though no crime had been committed. I recall having gone out to the cellar, after hearing a noise, then the lights went out. Sounds like someone slipped me a Mickey, or hit me on the head with a Blackjack, but I was still conscious, when I left the top of the stairs to return to the Lounge.

The Cellar. The Cellar should have been my first Port of Call. With the foghorns sounding, and the drunks and derelicts being dragged onto the waiting ships, shanghaied away to a new home, against their will, I might as well have been the Captain on the Black Ship for want of an answer to my questions. Brushing away the salty brine on my jacket sleeve, I again started down the Cellar Steps, feeling the coolness wrap itself around me, similar to how I remembered Miss Scarlett’s legs, doing a similar trick, but then I digress in my memory for want of a better thing to think about!

At the base of the steps, there were signs of a struggle, as if someone had been bound and then dragged along the stony floor towards a blank wall on the opposite side of the room. The signs stopped abruptly, which made me think of a Secret Passage, or something like that, unknown to anyone else, in this God Forsaken House of Death and Mayhem.

I felt along the wall, for an indentation, or something similar, which didn’t belong there. I had forgotten my torch, which was now residing next to a bottle of Whiskey, but luckily I had my Lead Pipe, which I usually have with me, especially when in the company of Miss Scarlett. I struck a match, which helped me to see the following text, “Kilroy was here” with a figure of a man looking over a fence of sorts. I felt along this drawing, noticing a small hole, large enough for my index finger to fit into, which made me do so without hesitation.

A sound appeared, behind the wall, as if gears and levers were set in movement, creating the impression of a doorway, where the figure had just been. My match had gone out, plunging the Cellar into semi-darkness. I took this as an omen to tread carefully, when I felt around for a new opening in the door like structure. A thin crack allowed me to open the “door” and enter a new area, filled with a familiar scent, that I knew about before…

The “room” made the impression of having been occupied recently, supported by a pile of rope, which lay in a heap next to a chair. Someone had been bound to that chair, without being gagged, as the proximity of this “Secret Room” would have dissuaded any and all onlookers from ever finding the door, like I just did. The Mansion had all been abandoned, after the disappearance of Miss Scarlett, even forcing myself to take up residence in a dirty Flop House down near the River, for want of throwing myself to my own fate, if the Whiskey didn’t help me cope, like I needed it to.

My own existence had become my own nightmare, thinking constantly of the fate that Miss Scarlett had suffered by person, or persons unknown. That poor Canadian Lass being at the mercy of unscrupulous types, forcing her to throw herself into the River, or yet even worse things that could befall, such a young and innocent girl as herself! It made my blood boil at the thought of her being held captive down here in this dungeon of pain, but I tried to get a grip having only the thought of bringing the guilty persons to justice. My own kind of justice that is, having made a lucky shot with my massive Elephant Gun, which had gone off by accident, when I was escorting the Blighters back to civilization to face the music.

The next thing I heard was the muffled cries of a woman, behind yet another door, just ahead of my position. I made what others might have referred to as Super Human Strength, when I forced the door open, throwing the person on the other side, off to the one side, allowing me entry into a darkened dungeon of sorts. “Mustard, you Blaggard, I never thought you’d find my hiding place”, snarled a familiar voice belonging to Sgt. Grey, the once trusted officer of the local Constabulary. In the corner of the room behind him sat a familiar figure, who resembled….who resembled….”My God God, Is that you Miss Scarlett?”

An almost unrecognizable figure was seated in the corner, her eyes not focusing on me due to the limited light in that room. “Oh, Colonel Mustard, I hoped someone would rescue me, and most of all that someone being you!” which caused her to break down and sob, as if she had been ready to meet her maker.

Sgt. Grey turned to me, and said, “If it hadn’t been for your meddling, I’d have had her all to myself, but now no one will!”  And with that he drew forth a Spanner, and began to wave it threateningly in my direction. I whipped out my Lead Pipe, which made Miss Scarlett squeal in delight, and did my best impression of a man fencing with an equally armed assailant. I won’t say that I bludgeoned the Blighter, or sent him to Kingdom Come, but I did have that very intention of doing so! They did have to carry him out of that Hell Hole, when I was finished with him, but that almost saved the Taxpayers the chore of trying the man to be hanged by the neck until dead, which I found pleasure in all the same!

Miss Scarlett was then rescued by Yours Truly, and returned to the Lounge, where the whole terrible mess started just one week before. I laid her gently on the bed and waited on her, hand and foot until she made a complete recovery, at least on the surface that is. She might never get over her ordeal in the Cellar, but I was bound and determined to bring her back into being the woman she was before, by committing myself to her with all my heart.

“Oh Colonel Mustard,” she said one day being almost completely recovered from her ghastly ordeal, “I knew you would rescue me some day!” She was consoled by the presence of my Elephant Gun and Lead Pipe, which by the way, complemented each other beautifully in the service of young women.

“I can’t wait until we continue, where we left off, on that most fateful day”, said while gazing into my Elephant Grey Eyes.

“Nor can I, Miss Scarlett. Nor can I…..”

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