August 1889 Sacraments of Evil

I spent 2 months in jail before being let out for good behaviour. Wilfred did not do so well and died in jail. [Blimp: poor Mr. Hyde-Whyte. The shock of the scandal and his having to resign as a Member of Parliament was just too much for him.] When I got out the chaplain of the jail, a Patrick O'Brian, asked me to go to York with him to help him find a murderer. Not having anything better to I agreed. We travelled to York to meet the Dean there. There had been 3 murders committed. The body of Grace Siddions, a flower peddler was discovered at 6am on 21st July on Lord Mayor’s Walk. On July 29th the body of a rag picker was found in an alleyway off Coney Street. On 3rd August an 11 year old boy Jimmy Patrick Fergusson was found outside the city in a marsh along the river Ouse. The police had hired a Dr Allen Melrose to help them. We met him in his hotel. He shared his information. Grace Simmons head had been mutilated. The top portion had been removed. Her brain cut into sections and the pineal gland removed. The second victim had similar mutilations. Both had traces of chloroform. The boys head was crushed and there was evidence of him being bitten. The central portion of his brain was also removed and he had been raped. Both women were covered in cockroaches but not the boy. We went to look round the city. In the street was a hunchback with a German accent. [Blimp: no doubt the perpetrator of these horrific crimes.] He hated religion and sold books. Patrick found one on monsters which he bought. [Blimp: I’d expect nothing less from a Catholic Priest.] I bought a set of French books about 'The Art of the Human Form'. [Blimp: sounds like pornography to me.] He was also able to point out the alley where the 2nd body was found. There was still some signs of blood in the alley. We could not find any signs of where the 1st body was found. We also stopped in some bars on the way. [Blimp: one would have thought that Tweeny would have been more abstemious after his cider fuelled arson attack in Cornwall.] While in one we heard a police whistle being blown. We rushed to the sound and found a policeman outside an alleyway. He had been sick. At the end of the alleyway was the body of an older woman who looked like a prostitute. The top of her head had been removed and Patrick threw up. [Blimp: so much for the spirit of the Inquisition still residing in the Catholic clergy!] When he recovered he looked around and found an ornate gold button covered in blood and jammed between two flagstones, and a business card belonging to the Deans. The button had a strange emblem of a tree. In the morning we went to the morgue. Dr Melrose was already there performing an autopsy. The body had the same wounds as the previous women. Patrick spent the day delivering sermons and reading his new book. He read about a reptile creature called the old king who was a dragon king. I looked around the town for tailors and jewellers. The following morning we went to the Museum and Library. I found a Scandinavian mythology book. The tree on the button was the world tree which joined heaven and hell. A book of heraldry showed the crest to be from the Bristol family. The Dean’s secretary was Edwin Bristol. I went to the tailors with the thread from the button. It was royal blue and from a waistcoat or jacket. Patrick continued reading his book. He read that there was an evil dragon king of Caerebranc called Gunhatex who ate peoples’ brains once a month. Caerebranc is the Brigantes name for York. The morning paper had a story of a fifth murder. A boy called Johnny Pensies was found dead in an estuary not far from where Jimmy’s body was found. I went to the morgue and did the autopsy. The skull had been smashed open with a rock, and he had been raped. In his pocket was a piece of greaseproof paper. We decided to go to the Minster to investigate some suspicious barrels we saw when we were first shown round. Patrick went to where they were restoring the chapter house and had a new statue. He noticed there were cockroaches in the area. The barrels had acid written in the side. When he examined the statue he found it seemed to be over some sort of hole. That evening Blimp, Julian and Gordon arrived, having received a telegram I had sent the previous day. [Blimp: they cleared needed our help, having spent most of their time, as far as I could ascertain, in public houses or reading fanciful books.] That night we all had a strange dream. [Blimp: not I. I woke up once and promptly went back to sleep.] We were all on a narrow staircase. We went up and in the room was a hunchback. He had eyeless bleeding eye sockets. He said you must help, she is dead. He moved aside, on the bed was a mutilated female body and another of a boy. The hunchback threw himself on the bodies and broke into a mass of cockroaches. Then the dream ended. I got up and dressed. My watch, knife, gun and bag were missing. I went down to reception but no one was there. Suddenly I was outside. All the people stopped, their flesh peeled back and they turned to stone. Then I was outside the Minster. I thought it must be another dream and suddenly woke in my bed. [Blimp: I put all this nonsense down to the very poor quality of cheese we had had the previous night. I sensibly arranged for Jennings to find me proper lodgings elsewhere.] After breakfast we went to see the stonemason that made the statue. He finished the statue 3 months ago. He said the limestone was a bit strange and had something called organic clay within it, but it did not seem to affect its strength. Blimp commissioned him to make a bust. [Blimp: I could do with a new one for the East Wing of the Estate at Wiltshire. Apparently this chap had carved the statue with almost preternatural speed, so he seemed like an ideal man for the commission.] We then went to the quarry. We arranged to examine the mine where the limestone came from in the afternoon once they had set up some scaffolding. We went back to York for lunch. While there we saw in the paper another boy was found dead in a loft off Bootham Street. We went to the mortuary and I did an autopsy. The police told us he was Albert Wareham. He was brutally raped and killed. His head was smashed open and brain mutilated. The body had blunt trauma indicative of beating. We went to were the body was found. There we found a battered riding crop with the letters YDG and some grease proof paper with some fish, pie and chips. Patrick thought it might stand for the York Draymen’s Guild. We then went back to the quarry. Julian said he sensed something evil [Blimp: as I mentioned earlier Mr. Fitzpatrick is flighty and of an extremely nervous disposition] so Patrick threw some holy water on the wall and strangely it boiled into steam. We felt a tremor and started heading back. Gordon did not move and said he was stuck. We went back and found he could not move and seemed to have become incredibly heavy. With a great effort I picked him up and carried him. [Blimp: to be entirely accurate: Tweeny and myself carried him. Tweeny occasionally has these flights of self-aggrandisement. That’s why he never became an officer.] As I headed for the mine entrance a fissure opened up beneath me. Blimp knocked me to the side but Gordon dropped into the fissure from which burst a huge gout of flame. [Blimp: I could only save Mr. Bennett or Tweeny. Whatever his faults may be, Tweeny is a damn fine surgeon and I’d seen him risk his life many times on the battlefield to save a wounded man. It wasn’t a difficult decision for me to make.] He managed to leap back out and we smothered him, putting the fire out, before dragging him out of the mine. I struggled to stabilise his wounds. Blimp then decided his wounds were so horrible it would be a mercy to kill him, and before anyone could react he pulled his gun and shot him in the head. Patrick started complaining about murder and not having been able to administer last rites. [Blimp: his eyes were melted, his fingers had fused together, his ears were gone, and his entire body was covered in the most grotesque of burns. I can only hope that one of my colleagues would do the same mercy for me if I was thus afflicted; although I doubt most of them is man enough.] Patrick made arrangements for the body then we returned to the hotel. In the morning we went down for breakfast. There we met Nigel, someone we knew from the Travellers’ Club. He had come to York to get away from the smog in London and shoot grouse. Patrick told him what we were doing and he decided to help as he had an interest in occult. We went to York Minster and Patrick tried exorcising the statue there. He had several attempts before getting the statue to steam a bit when he threw holy water on it. We then dragged the statue away to see what was beneath. Under was a cracked flagstone which we lifted. Under that was a narrow fissure which disappeared into darkness. We spoke to the Dean who seemed surprised at the fissure. Patrick told him we had found his card on one of the dead prostitutes. He said she had come to him to repent. When shown the button he said he had never seen it before. He also proclaimed Edwin could not possibly be guilty. We convinced him to let us search Edwin’s room. Inside we found a coffee tin full of alcohol with part of a brain inside. We also found a waistcoat with a missing button. Blimp offered to buy the statue and commission a new one. The Dean agreed. We then went back to the Minster to wait for Edwin. We confronted him about the brain in a jar. He confessed to killing the prostitutes but not the boys. He said he had been guided by the lord who had reached out and touched him from the statue. He took the brains to the statue and ate them. Tonight was to be the last victim. He then reached towards Patrick shouting 'let us burn together', turning into a pillar of flame as he did so. [Blimp: he had obviously doused himself in lamp fuel before our meeting. He was quite obviously deranged.] Patrick screamed in pain and pulled away from him. I drew my pistol and shot him, though it looked like the heat surrounding him affected the bullet. Patrick threw holy water at him with little effect. Blimp also shot at him. After struggling to draw his pistol Julian also started firing. Finally he collapsed to the ground. The room started burning from the inferno but we were able to alert the local fire brigade who were able to put it out before it spread. [Blimp: this connection between Tweeny’s presence and destructive fires is becoming very worrying.] We then got the statue taken back to the quarry and paid them to put it in the mine where the rock had come from, then blow it up with dynamite, collapsing the mine at the same time. We then went back to York for lunch before visiting the Draymen’s Guild to investigate the Guild marked crop we had found. No one had reported one missing. When we showed him the crop he said he thought it belonged to Malcolm Sedny, who was simple in the head. He lived in Foss Islands Eoad. We went there. As we approached we were affronted by the smell of curing leather. We found Sedny’s hovel but he was not at home. Questioning one of his neighbours we discovered he normally got home about 6pm, so we decided to wait. [Blimp: Mr. Golightly was proposing to give the man five pounds for his assistance, but I showed him the error of his ways. He is young and new to money and requires some grooming.] After a short while we arrived. We showed him his crop and he started babbling about having to go back and get it before it was found. He started climbing the ladder to his loft so I kicked the ladder away. He got up and started ranting about seeing his friend before pulling out a knife and attacking Patrick. Patrick ran away so he turned on Blimp. He managed to get several deep cuts on Blimp before we took him down. [Blimp: once again I need to point out that my wholly appropriate attempts to subdue this mindless working class yob were undone by my colleague’s penchant for knives and pistols. Mr. Golightly was commendable in merely trying to club Sedny with his pistol, but perhaps less commendable in not having the safety engaged and almost blowing his own head off. The yob did manage to slash me a few times admittedly, but it was nothing a good tailor couldn’t remedy.] We searched his loft and found a bundle of rags with bits of some of his victims. We showed the evidence to the police who were very pleased and convinced of his guilt.

Last updated: February 27, 2014