Previously unpublished and deleted, but resurrected once again and dedicated to Miss Scarlett, now living in an undisclosed location in Canada……..
Who Done It. A Summer Mystery. Part 10
“I heard from him on that most fateful day, before the day’s events unraveled around us. He was in the vicinity to sell some of his less than legal works of art, and needed me to verify the authenticity of his works, before the money changed hands. He forced his way into the Mansion, taking liberties, as if he were a sailor visiting another port of call, and the women who waited there for him, but I was not that easy, nor was I ready to let him into my place of residence, if you catch my drift, that is?”
I did indeed, but I was proud of her courage, when confronted by the likes of men like him.
“He appealed to my weaker side, which is like an Achilles Heel to most people, forcing me to allow him access to the most precious treasures that I had in my possession!”
“You mean? Asking for her to clarify, even though I didn’t want to hear the truth.” My mouth went dry, while my hands started to sweat, thinking the worst of Miss Scarlett, even though it might have been complete and total balderdash!
She said: “He asked me for the combination to the safe in the Sitting Room, or else he would reveal an embarrassing moment in my past to the press, thus leaving me open for public ridicule.”
“The bounder!” I told her, wanting her not to be left open to the likes of him, or of the press, but secretly hoping that she would save that part of herself for me! I must admit to having had the privilege of knowing Miss Scarlett in any of various rooms of that Tudor Mansion, having had the pleasure of discovering her many secret rooms, hidden places and tempting areas unknown to the rest of her admirers. I hoped so anyway.
So M. Brunette was in the vicinity of the heinous crime, whether partially, or completely involved in the events of that most fateful day. I asked if it were possible that she contacted him again, luring him back to her boudoir, as it were, in order to catch the Blighter in the Act!
“Oh Colonel, why in the world are you blushing? Have you been having impure thoughts about me again?”
To tell her “Yes” would indeed be the truth, but I deemed it wise to hold my cards close to my chest, lest I would have to tell her the truth, keeping it close to her chest. Those thoughts along with luring that fiend into her Boudoir, were enough to make me blush in an unabashed way, something I wouldn’t have experienced with any other woman!
But Miss Scarlett, well Miss Scarlett wasn’t just any other woman. During these many days that we had experienced each others company would end up being the most exciting moments of my long life. Not even being the hunted instead of the hunter in Africa, could equal the experiences I’ve shared with the woman in red. Ask any man who has confessed to a night of passion spent with the woman of his dreams, and see how noble he becomes in his thoughts! The thoughts that arise after such an experience are those that defy any and all logic, reducing all thoughts of being noble, doing the right thing and respect to mere words that are diminished even further, each time the lights are dimmed and he is caught in the throes of passion and the wiles of the opposite sex.
With God as my witness, I am no different than the men that I describe, being just as weak in the knees as any giddy school boy, who only can admire the woman of his dreams from afar, but then throwing caution to the winds, and taking what is rightfully mine. Oh God how it has happened to me, again and again…
We re-entered the main part of the Mansion, leaving the sanctuary of our secret passage, hoping that our presence would go unaware of the police guarding the entrances, hoping to catch us in a new act of mayhem. Miss Scarlett was ahead of me, taking a peek into the Sitting Room where her life changed from good to bad within a short amount of time, and which now needed to be rectified.
She motioned to me to be quiet, and slipped through the doorway, like a memory that was fading in the light of day. I hastened to follow her, but the door was closed unceremoniously, before I could come to her aid. I heard voices in the next room and thinking quickly, chanced to look through the keyhole confirming the worst of my fears. Miss Scarlett was being held against the mantle, by that most clever of all opponents, M. Brunette, who could have his way with her thinking them to be alone in the mansion at that time.
I listened to his bragging about how he had done away with Miss Scarlett’s companion just minutes before she entered the room herself. The companion had also repulsed his advances and was not swayed by his charms or promises. He forced himself upon her, making her swoon uncontrollably, just before stabbing her with a broken whisky glass, intended for Miss Scarlett, if she too refused to allow him access to the Mansion’s treasures. I chose to pull out my revolver at that instant, and sighted it at the Blighter, through the Sitting Room door.
The Constable noted afterwards that he was about to doze off when a shot was heard from within the mansion. He alerted the others on the premises to hurry to his aid, and see who the spiders had caught in their web of deceit? Upon entering the Sitting Room, he found 4 persons: Mr Brunette, Miss Scarlett, looking ravishing as usual, Colonel Mustard and the Cleaning Woman, Mrs Dust, who held a revolver pointed at Mr Brunette, but without firing a shot. She admitted to firing a shot into the ceiling to alert us of the impending crime, but without ending the days of the now most wanted criminal in the State of New Hampshire.
The Colonel had been startled by Mrs Dust, who pretended to go about her duties in a most less than dutiful way, but convinced her to listen in on the conversation on the other side of the door. This was cleverly done by Col. Mustard in order for her to retain her position, by confirming that the crime of the century was not committed by the Dastardly Duo of Mustard and Scarlett, but of the less than likely ilk of one, M. Brunette!
Miss Scarlett and I, with our names cleansed once again, decided to take up residence once again in the only home that either of us had ever known. I still didn’t have the answer to my question, as to her first name, but that was revealed to me, not by herself, but by that evil of all doers, M. Brunette.
Before he was taken away to meet his fate, he whispered to me: “If you ever want to drive Miss Scarlett wild with desire, then try saying her first name to her, when the moment is right! Oh, Josephine, I chanced to tell her once, and she threw herself at me, as if I were the last man on the planet! Try it, you’ll thank me for it someday!” And with that, they cuffed him and threw him into some nameless cell and threw away the key.
Knowing what I knew now, gave me an advantage over her that any other man, gentleman or otherwise, would have given his left arm to use against her. I felt that my nobleness was returning to me, when I told her of my first name, hoping to give her an equal advantage when our passions again were on the rise. “If you would be so kind to address me as Algernon, you would be doing me the honor as calling me by my chosen name!”
She smiled and thanked me for that information, but provided none of her own, lest things got out of hand.
I was overcome at this secret side of her, but considered using my inside knowledge of her nature, and chose to let my passions get the best of me, when I said, “Josephine. May I have this Tango with you in your Boudoir?…….”
Let the pieces, or passions fall, where they may…..