By Frampton Jones
What a devastating loss to the island! Cling to your remaining bottles of gin, ladies and gentlemen, cherish every last remaining drop, for Lady M has been cruelly taken from us and we may never see her like again. As far as I know, the secret of her ‘botanicals’ that transformed dubious attempts at alcohol into sustenance for the soul, has gone with her. It is a loss we are all bound to feel most keenly.
I suspect foul play. Doc Willloughby tells me that such lacerations and bruising may reflect wholly natural causes – that it is very much what happens when a person has a hungry sea creature latch onto their head. Had Lady M’s remains been found on a beach, or other body of water, it may have been more convincing. “Air kraken,” Doc Willoughby suggested. “Tree lobsters. Sky sharks. Lots of options.”
There have been no reported sightings of any such things in a while, and the last occasion was just after Armitage Chevin’s seaweed cider party. That was the night people claimed to see the Devil rising from the sea, there were eleven rather awkward instances of mistaken identity, and I ended up with a small stain on my collar.
What makes me suspicious was the way in which Lady M’s body had been carefully laid out, her hands folded neatly across her chest and her skirts straightened and smoothed. It all points at one person – Mrs Beaten, who I recently suspected of murdering poor dear Fiona.
I am not alone in my suspicions. I spoke with a gentleman who wishes to remain anonymous this morning, and he told me he was afraid that his relationship with Lady M may have led to her death, because Mrs Beaten had taken to staring at him in the street and following him round. The anonymous gentleman in question has gone into hiding for the time being, in light of what happened to Nimrod.
Someone needs to sit Mrs Beaten down and give her a stern talking to. She can’t go round wiping out beloved members of our community in this way, it isn’t proper – and that may be the most persuasive thing anyone can say to stop her. It is undignified behaviour to murder one’s rivals, it is unbecoming and unseemly. I sincerely hope that there are no further incidents of this nature.
It has been mooted that we might best honour Lady M by pickling her in gin and installing her at a public location. The consensus however, is that we want to keep all the gin we’ve got. A more conventional burial will take place in a few days time. In the meantime, careful searches continue for any paperwork that will enable us to keep her gin-making wisdom alive.