A Crime Story Based In 19th Century London. Crime/Thriller.
|Chapter One ~ Notoriety and Arrogance
September 14th 1884, London
The rain bounced off the cold, dank cobbled floor, it was typical weather for London at this time of year. Small lights flickered on the streets as a horse slowly, but elegantly trod down the street, steam wafting off the top of it's muscular body. Surrounding this scene were quaint stone houses standing to attention with only one house letting off any resemblance of warmth, the only trace of light coming from a larger house, just before a dark alleyway.
Once inside the house warmth appeared to emit from almost every corner, with only one part of this room giving off any cold and this was a daunting metal door, with strong bars on the top half rather than a window. In the room a large fire place took up a majority of the space, with a large but cosy chair situated nicely in front of it and a desk full of clutter in front of that, little else was in the room. On the chair, with his podgy legs slumped on the desk, was an unshaven, plump man snoozing gently, whilst a bunch of keys rose and fell on his stomach, all things seemed calm, all things quiet for once, it was strange.
However with a thud this all changed, in trudged a frail looking man, his speckled face distorted with fear and his thin glasses almost falling off his face. His hair, or what was left of his balding ginger hair was drenched from the atrocious weather outside, but before the now awakened man in this room could do anything to help this clearly petrified man he noticed his hands behind his back kept together with strong, steel handcuffs, and a hand holding the chain between them, partly covered due to his fingerless gloves.
As you followed the gloves up you'd see a large black jacket, which seemed to reach his thighs where he wore very well kept black trousers, with slightly lighter coloured black lines running down them towards his pristinely polished black boots. Underneath his rather large jacket he wore a rather creased white shirt, which seemed rather damp, and a black tie loosely hung from around his neck. This man was seemingly handsome, and with his smug smile being surrounded by some light stubble it just seemed to emanate confidence. His eyes, a dark brown with a tint of green, seemed to shift around the room taking in detail, whilst also seem calm and collected. Running his free glove-covered hand through his soaked, long brown hair he began to speak in a booming, if somewhat annoying deep voice.
“Shame it's such a dull day especially after I, Detective Oliver Clark, has single handedly subdued and captured this notorious ba- I mean, this notorious blighter.” The detective now began to push the petrified prisoner towards that cold metal door whilst blasting out more of his drivel. “Not only could this mean promotion for myself, which I think is about bloody time, eh? But it also means that you folk on the streets won't have to worry, am I right? I can't wait for tomorrow to come now, parties, parades, promotion!”
Suddenly, from the large seat spoke up the man who was asleep before all of the commotion, and in a deep cockney accent enquired, “S-s-sir? C-c-can I a-ask who is it you've got?”
Another smug boom came in response, “Why Francis-” “F-F-Ferris sir”, the portly man interrupted with, before the Detective carried on, “Yes, whatever! Well, this man is none other than that infamous cretin Doctor Chivalrous, and what a stupid name at that. Why, the killing of those poor men, Lord Jeremiah, that banker, even our local representative, such upstanding gentlemen killed by this monster” He spat out as he kicked the poor man through the door. “I shall put this one in his cell, be a gent and shut the front-door Ferry!”
“That's Ferris, sir.” Snarled the stout man, before begrudgingly leaving his seat and slamming out the cold, damp night in one swift movement. Ferris stared at the blazing fire, thinking how just ten minutes ago he was asleep without a care in the world and now was being undermined by someone at least twenty years his junior, “Cheeky bastard” he breathed.
“What was that Foghorn?” cried out Clark as he strutted into the room, leaving the metal door wide open. “Nothing sir, and it's Ferris” the constable sighed again, before replying rather dryly, “Tell me sir, how did you capture such a threatening man?”
Completely ignoring the tone of Ferris' voice the Detective obnoxiously bellows out once more, “Thrilling as the story may be, and that I know it is, you shall have to wait for the notes, Fitzpatrick. Now, onto a bit of serious business. I want you to go into that room, sit outside that scums cell and watch him, all night, so that in the morning I can take him to the courts and get that blighter hung, got it? Good. Now, get on with it Fitzpatrick!”
“Right away sir.” Ferris begrudgingly replied, before taking the last look at his comfy chair seeing the detective get cosy in it, and then his voice boomed again, much to Ferris' disdain, “Whilst you're on your feet Foghorn, get London's greatest detective a deserved brandy, then step to it and get to that cell!” As the detective put his boot-clad feet onto the desk Ferris subserviently got a glass, gave it a quick blow to get rid of the dust, before pouring the detective his deserved brandy, and then making his way to outside the so-called notorious prisoners' cell for a long night of guard duty.
Ferris slumped onto the rough, wooden bench outside the cell and drearily stared in making sure that this notorious man was still safely behind bars and after making sure he was there, which in his opinion there is no reason he wouldn't be.
“Once again, another arrogant pra' who finks he's London’s saviour. Tha' idio' wouldn't las' two days on these streets!” Ferris growled to himself, whilst silently thanking Clark for dismissing him as now he could speak like a normal person rather than having to speak all etonian. “Who is he kiddin', give it a coupl'a' weeks and he'll be pushing pencils behin' a desk again!” Chuckled Ferris, but his thoughts were halted by movement in the cell.
His vision now fixed on the cell he watched as the frail man came up to the bars, fear clear in his pale blue eyes. “'Scuse me off'cer, bu' I ain't 'ad anyfin' to drink since I got 'ere or any time before 'at, if it wouldn't be too much trouble could I 'ave summin'?”
Seeing the true fear in both his eyes and voice Ferris couldn't resist but to help the man out, even if just in this small way, because at the end of the day it's likely that Clark had probably caught the wrong man and for that he's going to have to suffer. “Sure mate, I'll be back in a minute wiv' a glass' o' water for ya'.” Ferris said with a sincere smile.
The next sounds to be heard from that cell was that of a glass smashing, but the only person who could have, and should have heard it was fast asleep in the warmth of the office, an empty glass of brandy now dropping onto the floor from his hand...
Chapter Two ~ Murder and Embarrassment
“A man murdered,” cried a large elderly gentlemen. “A man murdered, on your watch, in one of our cells. How could you let that happen? Explain yourself Detective Clark!” The elderly man paced up and down in a large office, compared to the office Ferris was in. This office had a large mahogany fire place, with ornaments scattered across the top of it, and on the large red walls paintings of different men, all looking powerful and pompous.
Stepping over a large, clearly expensive rug, Clark tried to give his most convincing smile in order to get his sincerity across even before he'd even said anything; the only tell-tale signs of his nerves was the wringing of his hands. “Well, you see sir, I was in the office sl- filling in paper work,” his smile twitched for a second due to him almost slipping up. “And I didn't notice anything was awry until the morning, and that's when Ferris didn't return, so I went to the cell, then I saw it... I saw his... His...”
Clark's eyes were now red raw as he stared soullessly into the eyes of the elderly man, which were in turn cold as ice. “You saw what, Detective Clark?” The man cautiously spoke.
“Dead sir.” Clark replied, his gaze not leaving the older man. “I saw whom I believe to be Ferris, I mean Constable Edward Ferris dead in the cell that once occupied a prisoner that I caught that very night. The constable had a cut across his stomach, seemingly from a broken piece of glass from a cup he had given to the man, and it appears an organ was missing. I left shortly after and alerted any of the force to the situation.”
The elderly man seemed to ponder over this for a few minutes, scribbling down a few notes in his scruffy hand writing. “I see Detective Clark, now answer me one question; this prisoner you arrested, there appears to be no paper work on him, no-one but Ferris actually saw him and due to unfortunate circumstances he is dead. Now, all that we have is a dead body and your word; which from your story just now doesn't seem that trustworthy as if you were, as you say 'filling in paper work' then we'd have a record of this man.”
“Well sir, you see, I wasn-” Clark tried to argue before being interrupted. “I wasn't finished Mr Clark. You are here by formerly suspended, and until this case is sorted out and your word can once more be trusted; or if we find out anything more you may find yourself in a bit of trouble, son.”
“But fathe-, I mean sir, this is unfair! I had nothing to do with this, I was just...” stumbled Clark, sweat was now clearly visible on his brow. “I was just at the wrong place at the wrong time!”
“Wrong place!?” The older gentleman’s once cold blue eyes now had a fire in them as he stood up and hit his fists into the table. “How dare you try to remove the blame from yourself. How dare you so nonchalantly shake off the death of a man, a death of a colleague. If you ever want to have a career in law enforcement you will get out of my office now and accept this small punishment, as if I had my way you wouldn't even be able to get employed and be in the work house!”
Clark was once more fiddling with his fingers, glaring at his shoes. His father had always been a tough man, but fair at the same time, and not to mention his inspiration for going into law enforcement. “Yes fa- sir. Please forgive my insolence.”
Clark left the office, not raising his head from the slouched position. His career now falling apart, a death caused by him, his father and his superior wanting him off the force for this mistake and he had no way to rectify his mistake... Or did he?