By Frampton Jones
Here is a mystery of considerable proportions. Herr Doktor is dead. Cat Straus is dead. Doc Willoughby has been terribly injured and is covered in bandages. No one saw anything, apart from Doc Willoughby. He tells me that he found Herr Doktor in the process of kidnapping Cat Strauss. He bravely attempted to rescue the victim, who tragically died when Herr Doktor chose to blow himself up rather than deal with his nemesis.
However, there are a great many witnesses to a kerfuffle earlier in the day in which Cat Strauss accosted Doc Willoughby in the street and called him, amongst other things a fraud, a Fog Cultist, and a liar.
And there are also a great many witnesses who saw Cat Strauss and Herr Doktor taking tea together yesterday afternoon at The Crow. And also plenty of witnesses who can attest that Herr Doktor normally just asks people if they’d like to go back to his lab and that charm, not force is his usual method of doing whatever it is that he does. Which all makes the kidnapping story seem a bit… unlikely. Given that the deceased left The Crow at twilight, and were seen to do so together, it is hard to imagine how, just a few streets later, this might have turned into a violent kidnapping scenario.
I am also inclined to recall that incident last year when, armed with a rolling pin and a frying pan, Cat Strauss undertook a very successful demon exorcism.
I am furthermore reminded that Herr Doktor suffered a break in only recently, and that explosives may have been stolen.
Happy to say that despite being almost entirely covered in bandages, Doc Willougby himself is in good spirits, and very much up and about. Whatever terrible injuries he suffered don’t seem to be slowing him down even slightly. And I’m sure we can all agree that this is the best possible news and in no way sinister at all.
By Frampton Jones
The one islander who steadfastly refused to turn a blind eye to crime – Symon Sanderson, has died. Symon was a lone voice for taking murder seriously, in a community that has always tended to treat private killings as a private matter. That he himself has now been deliberately killed is a terrible irony. What is most strange about this whole case, is that Doc Willoughby has become a vocal activist for intervention.
Doc Willoughby made a formal statement to me for publication: “The man was blown up. Who has the resources to do something like that, eh? Clearly it’s the work of Herr Doktor. No longer should we tolerate his careless killing of fellow citizens.”
Doc Willoughby has, in the past, been one of the loudest voices in favour of not interfering with other people’s personal choices around killing.
Symon Sanderson has indeed exploded in a manner that suggests he did not simply eat the wrong thing. Bits of the device thrown at him were found at the scene of his death (by me). Herr Doktor tells me that he is entirely innocent but that someone broke into his lab only a few days ago, and he’s not quite sure what was taken. “There’s a lot of stuff in my lab,” he said, ’it’s hard to keep track of it all.” I asked him how he knew there had been a theft and he said the muddy footprints on the floor and the broken window were a bit of a giveaway. Symon Sanderson had been investigating all of this before his untimely demise. What he learned, we will probably never know.
Witnesses who prefer to remain anonymous claim to have overheard Doc Willoughby shouting in the street only moments before the explosion. It might be a coincidence of course. The Doc has had a terrible run of bad luck with people dying around him for as long as I can remember, although that does seem to have hit a peak in recent weeks, even by his usual standards.
Symon will be missed. Which is also a terrible irony because whoever threw the infernal device didn’t miss him at all.
By Doc Willoughby
It is scandalous that Herr Doktor is able to spread such terrible rumours about me! I, Doc Willoughby have been medical doctor for this island for a great many years and just because he’s come here from away with his bleepy toys does not make him an expert in anything.
Herr Doktor has been telling people that Mrs A, The Crotchet Queen died of a violent blow to the back of the head right outside my very own consulting rooms. This is manifestly nonsense, the blow to the back of the head was caused by fainting, and the reason she was face down was that she bounced after she fainted. She has always been prone to bouncing and as her Doctor, I am the person best qualified to comment on this tragedy.
Mrs A had a chronic, compulsive yarn disorder which I had been treating for some time now with measured applications of brandy and certain secret compounds of my own. She came of me of her own free will and stayed because I was of great assistance to her, and not as rumour has suggested, because my medicines are inherently addictive. I do not care to know what kind of analysis Herr Doktor claims to have done in his lab! He is a charlatan!
Mrs A’s chronic, compulsive yarn disorder had frayed her nerves severely, leading to the fainting. It’s been a bad week for fainting, I grant you a number of people have done that right outside my rooms – that was very foresighted of them to collapse where help would be most readily on-hand. That I have been advertising a new medicinal compound is pure coincidence and I wish that uneducated islanders would stop making up these dreadful, uninformed rumours about things they do not properly understand. Like how normal it is for people to bounce onto their faces after falling and banging their heads.
Why would Herr Doktor suggest that a man of my excellent reputation is in the habit of killing patients right outside his own consulting rooms? It is clearly to direct attention away from himself. We should ask what he’s been doing, and what the lights in his lab at night are all about, and why he has secured his letterbox to stop right-minded citizens like myself from peering in. And we should ask why he was loitering about outside my rooms when Mrs A had her little accident. Was it the unexpected sight of his face that caused her to faint and thus bang her head in the first place?
It’s my word against his and he has no proof, no proof at all that I was holding anything in my hands at the time.
By Doc Willougby
Today I viewed the body of recently deceased Rebecca Field, and it is the only obvious conclusion that she died at the hands of that notorious fiend and fraudster, Herr Doktor. I’ve been saying since he arrived that it would simply be a matter of time before he killed, and this is the first time I’ve confidently been able to blame him for a death.
This is why I am a pillar of the community, and he is not.
There were no witnesses to Rebecca’s death. I think that’s always pretty suspicions. I found her body myself and was immediately alerted to the fact that something was wrong by the strange, blue tinge to her lips and the pool of blood around her body. It takes a trained expert to properly understand these things. Herr Doktor is not a trained expert, no matter what he has being saying to people.
It is my years of experience that make it possible for me to say that Rebecca Field was definitely murdered, and to be able to identify the killer. These are not things I can easily explain to lesser minds. It is all a matter of nuance and special insight. She had not been drinking. I had not given her anything to drink. I was nowhere near her until long after she passed away. I can tell that, because I can tell these things about a body that no one else can.
The stab wound in her chest definitely wasn’t a stab wound, it must have been caused by some kind of experimental ray gun of the type Herr Doktor likes to make and try out on people. We’d see more of these injuries if he wasn’t so infernally good at hiding the bodies. But I know what he’s doing. I can look a man in the eye and understand these sorts of things, because I have special training.
I knew Rebecca Field was going to die. I looked into her eyes and I saw the death right there, waiting to happen. I saw it long before she started telling people that my cures were not working and that she doubted my methods. I saw that death, and once again I have been proved right in a way that clearly had nothing to do with me whatsoever.