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August 17 - 2.00 PM - Portland, Gilbert´s house.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 9:33 pm
by robertod
August 17, 2.00 PM, Portland

Tymothy Gilbert, the son of Steven Gilbert, one of the richest man in Portland, has been missing for three days. Steven Gilbert a man in his forties, a typical representative of the bourgeoisie of the Belle Époque. He owns shares of various companies, and invests in various sectors related to Atlantic fisheries and agriculture in rural Maine. A kindnapping for a ransom seems to be one of the possible reason. Timothy disappeared yesterday during school time, while he was playing with his classmates in the school yard. At first, Mr. Gilbert thought the child might have simply ran away, but when he didn´t come back home at night, Steven immidiately called the police. Michael O'Shaugnessy and Ivy Ripley are the detective in charge of the case. Steven Gilbert also hired Kathryn Adams, a private investigator specialized in finding missing children.

This afternoon, the three investigators are at Gilbert´s house to discuss what to do. Emma Gilbert, Stven´s sister-in-law, is also present and will help in the investigation. The house reflects the social position and wealth afforded by Gilbert´s commercial profits. It is a Flemish bond brickwork structure surrounded by iron railings, with asymmetrical facade and dominant front-facing gable. The entrance is a full-width asymmetrical porch, one story high and extended along one sidewall. Inside, rooms have elaborate moulding with decorative details, including ornate coving and ceiling roses. Furniture is plump and heavily upholstered.

Gilbert receives the investigators in the parlour. The room is decorated with patterned wallpapers, impressive carpets and ornate wooden carvings. All such ornaments and furniture don´t seem to have been chosen based on good taste, but rather for being the most expensive, while neglecting the basic and elementary care for esthetic.
Gilbert stands there. As the guests seat on the sofa, Catie, the housekeeper, enters in silence and serves tea for everybody. She is a middle-aged thin woman with blond hair. She wears a black dress with white trim, with a full skirt below knee length.

Steven Gilbert is a young man, although his face looks a bit more aged than his body suggests. He wears a double breasted blue vest , which fits very high up. Before speaking, Steven Gilbert waits the investigators to be served.

"Thank you all for coming. I´m so grateful for your help. I am terribly worried something happened to my son. Apparently, this seems like a case of parental kidnapping. Maybe, they will ask for ransom at some point...."

He pauses.

"As I told you on the phone, Timothy was playing with his classmates in the school yard. The gym teacher was with them, and when he took the students back into the classroom, Timothy was no longer with them. The school doesn´t know how that could have happened. The janitors didn´t see anyone moving in or out. Anyway, I´ve been thinking Timothy might haveran away. A kid's bravado. I´ve been waiting... to see him coming back. But Timothy is a calm and peaceful child, he never acts up. He doesn´t like playing outdoors. He never sees friends when not at school. He spends most of his time inside his room, reading and drawing. I have absolutely no idea about any place he might be willing to go. I´m sure that something happened to him."

Re: August 17 - 2.00 PM - Portland, Gilbert´s house.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 10:00 pm
by jp1885
Image

Ivy takes notes as Mr. Gilbert talks. She is dying to ask questions, but she knows how O'Shaugnessy hates his secretary asking things before he does. After a quick and rather distainful glance at her fellow investigators (why involve amateurs when the police are on the case?), she focuses her attention on the housekeeper Catie. In Ivy's experience it's always best to start an investigation close to home. Can she read the woman?

Spoiler:
jp1885 rolled 1d100:
10

Re: August 17 - 2.00 PM - Portland, Gilbert´s house.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:47 am
by Turstrigo
"Don't try to pass the boy's reclusiveness off as something good, Steven." Emma took a deep breath and stirred some sugar into her teacup. "Anyways, did the teachers notice some kind of... weird talk among the kids? Some rumours? A kidnapping would take some time to plan out, maybe the students saw someone snooping around?"

OOC: How far away is Alyssa's grave from Gilbert's home and the school? Emma might suspect Timothy had snuck out to visit it. BTW Emma Rivers is Steven's sister-in-law, not his biological sister.

Re: August 17 - 2.00 PM - Portland, Gilbert´s house.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 4:59 am
by VictoriaSilverwolf
Detective Michael O'Shaugnessy waddled into the Gilbert mansion behind the others. He stumbled over the steps leading up to the porch. Oughta build these things so a guy doesn't have to climb stairs just to get inside a house. He paused to toss his cigar butt into a convenient flower pot and entered.

"Mister Gilbert, Mrs. Rivers."

He nodded to Ivy. She was a good secretary, no nonsense about her. He ignored the maid's offer of tea. Ever since the Drys got their way, he'd been a coffee-and-near-beer man. He glanced briefly at the dame who thought it was cute to play Sherlock Holmes. He had to admit she was a looker, kinda like Theda Bara.

"Don't worry, doll-face. The pros are on the case now. Hang around if you wanna, just don't get in the way. Maybe you'll learn something."

The chief had filled him in on what they knew about the case earlier that day. It wasn't much. Missing person, minor, possible runaway, possible kidnapping. Mike figured there was a fifty-fifty chance the kid would show up on his own with some kind of cock-and-bull story about where he'd been.

"Let's start with the basics. Your son have any close friends, Mister Gilbert? Mrs Rivers, you're the boy's aunt, right? Sometimes a poor little guy who's lost his mother needs to confide in a female relative. He ever say anything to you about wanting to leave home? Sorry, Mister Gilbert, but I've got to ask these kinds of questions. No offense. I'll talk to the staff at the school, too. I'd also like to see the boy's room, see if we can find out anything."

Re: August 17 - 2.00 PM - Portland, Gilbert´s house.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:18 am
by Mr. Handy
Image

"I'm just as much a professional as you are, Detective" says Kathryn Adams to Michael with a smile. She wears a black, knee-length dress and sits on an armchair. She has her own notebook out and is writing notes in it, pausing to take a sip from her teacup. "I may not have a badge like you do, but I'm every bit as good at my job. Maybe you can learn something from me. We all want to find Timothy Gilbert and bring him back safe, and we'll need to work together to do it." She returns her attention to Steven Gilbert. "Most missing children turn out to have run away, but that's more common among older children, teenagers. Kidnapping for ransom is another common explanation, especially when the father is wealthy. While you haven't received a ransom demand yet, one may still come. Sometimes kidnappers wait before sending a ransom demand, in order to make the parents worry, in the hopes that they'll so grateful just to find out that their child is alive that they'll pay the ransom without involving the police. Kidnappers are most often caught as a result of picking up the ransom. There are other possible explanations for missing children. In one case I had, a little girl was kidnapped by a woman whose own little girl had just passed away. She was so distraught from grief that she kidnapped someone else's child, but she wouldn't have harmed the girl." Kathryn tactfully doesn't mention other possible motives for kidnapping that aren't so hopeful. "We'll need to talk to Timothy's friends, as well as the gym teacher and other teachers and staff at the school. Do you know what time Timothy was last seen? We'll need to establish a timeline, and we'll need to act quickly. In cases of kidnapping, the first couple of days are critical."

Re: August 17 - 2.00 PM - Portland, Gilbert´s house.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:30 pm
by robertod
As Ivy focuses her attention on the housekeeper, she can plainly see that her face is melancholic. She doesn´t look at anyone in the eyes. She stays apart from the group. She seems to be somewhat intimidated by Mr. Gilbert presence. As soon as she has served the tea, she quickly goes back to the kitchen.

Gilbert replies to the investigators, his voice is sad but firm:
“The last time Timothy was seen is yesterday morning, at about 10.00 AM. Apparently, no one in the school has seen anything strange. Timothy is always quiet and polite, so teachers don´t need to keep an eye on him constantly. Nobody knows how to explain that. Maybe I didn’t make the right questions, that´s way I hope the police and the investigator to get something more from them.”

“Timothy is an introverted boy. He spends more time in his bedroom than playing with his friends. Well.... I have to admit I haven´t spent much time with my son. Her mother was much more present. She was a teacher at the same school of Timothy. The two were very closed. Timothy loves drawing. When not reading or studying, he spends hours drawing. He´s still too young to realize how such activity is useless.”


What Emma knows about Timothy:
Spoiler:
Emma knows Timothy very well and she can confirm that Timothy is a shy boy. He socializes very little and spends most of his time at home,with his books and drawings. Emma knows that Timothy became even more closed after her mother died. Gilbert has no friends who are not co-workers. Alyssa had several friends, but they distanced from the family after her death. In short, for a year now, Timothy had no contact with anyone outside his home and school.


Gilbert continues:
“As said, Timothy's teachers and classmates may know more things about him than I do. You can go to the school today. They are willing to cooperate with the investigations. You may go there, as soon as we´ve finished with your questions. Let me show you Timothy's room.”

Gilbert leads the investigators upstairs to Timothy´s bedroom. He enters the room with some discomfort, realizing that so much time has passed since the last time he´s been in this room. Even more time would pass, were it not for the investigation. The room looks graceful and pleasant to look at. It doesn´t hide the feminine touch, which in this case, is pure motherly love. The bed is the central point of the room, covered with canopies and drapes. The night tables have brass pottery and candlesticks, while the shelves and desk are in finely worked ebony. One thing seems to call the other to complete the harmony.
Shelves are full of schoolbooks and papers. The books are about school subjects. The choice of is organized in a “step by step” way, so to optimize the development of the kid. There are also some novels: “Twenty thousand leagues under the sea” and “Moby Dick” are on the table.

Looking at the child's desk, one thing strongly calls the attention of the investigators. Timothy made dozen of drawings representing a beach and lighthouse landscape. The drawings are very accurate, being realistic representations. The drawer knew how to play with grey nuances. The drawings look like works of a semiprofessional artist. If they were made by a seven-year-old, he has an impressive talent. The landscape represented is always the same, as if a kind of obsession. The lighthouse appears at the end of a long breakwater. The only difference between one drawing and the other is the sea level. It is the same place with huge tidal variations. At its lower level, the sea also disappears, at its higher level, the waters almost cover the breakwater. The drawing could have been copied from pictures, but there´s no such picture among Timothy´s things. At first sight, none of those presents remembers having seen this place in particular.

Gilbert makes his comments while everybody sees the drawings. He confirms it was the kid that make them. He remembers seeing him spending a lot of time drawings, although apparently, Gilbert has never bothered to see what those drawing were about, until now.

"I don´t know what to say about this... Timothy has never been outside Portland. He only saw the sea at the docks."

Previously said:   OOC: How far away is Alyssa's grave from Gilbert's home and the school? Emma might suspect Timothy had snuck out to visit it. BTW Emma Rivers is Steven's sister-in-law, not his biological sister.
 


OOC: the school is at walking distance, in the neightbourhood. The graveyard is quite far. About fifteen minutes by car. I´ve just corrected the first post above specifying Emma is the sister in law.

Re: August 17 - 2.00 PM - Portland, Gilbert´s house.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:10 pm
by jp1885
Image

Noticing the housekeeper's discomfort, Ivy determines to speak to her when she gets a chance. To this end, she keeps hold of her teacup and saucer when Gilbert takes them to Timothy's room. When the opportunity presents itself she can excuse herself and return them to the kitchen.

Like, no doubt, the others, she quickly notices the nautical theme of the books and drawings, arching an eyebrow at the quality of the latter.

As Gilbert speaks, she takes the books from the table one-by-one, scanning them for any inscriptions or dedications before putting them back. Clearly the father hadn't bought them for the boy - the mother then. But what if there was another benefactor?

Another thought strikes her: could the boy have run away to the location of the scene he had drawn so often?

"I wonder where that lighthouse is, if indeed it's a real place and not from the child's imagination. May we borrow a picture Mr. Gilbert? Your son is clearly a very talented boy - was his late mother a keen artist? May I ask, was she responsible for his choice of reading matter too?"

Re: August 17 - 2.00 PM - Portland, Gilbert´s house.

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:36 am
by Mr. Handy
Image

"Yes, he's quite the artist," says Kathryn. "Do you know if your son keeps a diary? If he noticed or experienced anything unusual, he may have written it down. It might help us find out where he is."

Re: August 17 - 2.00 PM - Portland, Gilbert´s house.

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 8:38 pm
by Turstrigo
"Goodness..." Emma was looking through the drawings when she remembered the dreams her sister told her about. Could the boy be a victim of the same affliction, that might've driven her sister to suicide?

OOC: Did Emma see the drawings before, and has Timothy told her anything about them? Likewise, did Alyssa make drawings similar to these?

Re: August 17 - 2.00 PM - Portland, Gilbert´s house.

PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:25 am
by robertod
"Yes, my wife used to influence Tymothy in his readings" answers Gilbert.
"But these two novels about the sea... I rember that Timothy desired them so much."
"Timothy did not have a diary, he did not really enjoyed writing."
"Alyssa used to say he likes reading and then imagining, representing scenes in his mind"
"Maybe Alyssa wrote something about him, you can tale a look in her studio if you wish.
"

Gilbert is puzzled.
"I have no idea where he might have seen this landscape. God only knows what he had in mind."
"Oh yes, of course .. you can take the drawings with you, if you think this can be useful for the investigation."

OOC: Emma had casually noticed the boy´s ability to draw. She had realized he has talent, but these drawings show a very marked progress. Moreover, for what Emma recalls, the subjects of Timothy's drawings have been varied. Undoubtedly, these drawings demonstrate a recent obsession unknown to her.

Re: August 17 - 2.00 PM - Portland, Gilbert´s house.

PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:16 am
by Mr. Handy
Image

"Thank you, I would like to see Alyssa's studio," says Kathryn. "I do see a nautical theme here. Was Alyssa also inspired by the sea?"

Re: August 17 - 2.00 PM - Portland, Gilbert´s house.

PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:34 am
by jp1885
Image

Ivy nods and picks up a drawing, carefully placing it in her notebook. She then picks up her cup and saucer from where she had set them down and tuts.

"Oh silly me! I'll just take these back."

She retraces her steps from the bedroom back into the parlour, and from there walks through the door the housekeeper went through, presumably into the kitchen.

Re: August 17 - 2.00 PM - Portland, Gilbert´s house.

PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:55 pm
by VictoriaSilverwolf
"Yeah, looking for a diary or somethin' like that is a good idea," Mike says to the private eye. "Why don't you look around, see if the kid kept somethin' hidden." He figures he'd just make a fool of himself hunting around with his clumsy fingers. "I'd like to keep these drawings if I may. Check 'em out, see if this matches any real lighthouse. Meanwhile, me 'n' Ivy better talk to folks at the school before they close for the day, catch 'em on their way home."

When he has a chance, he draws Ivy aside.

"Find anything out from the servant?" He knows Ivy has a good head on her shoulders, and doesn't scare off potential witnesses the way he does.

Re: August 17 - 2.00 PM - Portland, Gilbert´s house.

PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:33 pm
by jp1885
OOC: Ivy hasn't spoken to the housekeeper yet, so she'll catch up with O'Shaugnessy afterwards :)

Re: August 17 - 2.00 PM - Portland, Gilbert´s house.

PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:38 am
by Mr. Handy
Image

"Speaking of pictures," says Kathryn, "do you have a recent one of your son you could lend us? It would be helpful to show it to people and ask if they've seen him." Though Mr. Gilbert had said that Timothy didn't have a diary, she looks around the room carefully in case there was a secret one that his father didn't know about, or if there is anything else unusual. She checks under the mattress first, which is a frequent hiding spot.

Spoiler:
Spot Hidden roll (55% skill) searching the bedroom:
Mr. Handy rolled 1d100:
65

Re: August 17 - 2.00 PM - Portland, Gilbert´s house.

PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:40 am
by robertod
Alyss´s study is were she used to prepare her lessons. The room has a mahogany desk and several shelves. The dominant colors in the room have tenuous nuances. The delicate choice of combinations conveys a feeling of tranquility and lightness. On Alyssa's desk are several books, those normally used to teach in elementary schools. There is also a framed photo, with Alyssa and her classmates, a group of fifteen girls and a professor. The picture was taken in the courtyard of The Normal Gorham School. It is a college to develop and prepare teachers, a few miles away from Portland.
Alyssa did not have a diary, and looking through her books, the investigators find nothing about Timothy. However, something catches attention. It would have passed completely unnoticed and considered insignificant, if it were not that perhaps it could be linked to the child's drawings. Among the books of Alyssa there´s a newspaper page. It is not a local newspaper of Portland. It looks like from somewhere else, but still in Maine.

A brief news has been circled in pen. On August 11 1927, just 4 days before Alyssa's suicide, an old sailing schooner, called Acadia, attempted a fishing trip in the Bay of Fundy. The Acadia is one of the few remaining schooners, whose propulsion has not been motorized yet. The crew was caught by a sudden and unexpected storm. The fishermen lost control of the ship, which crashed into the Bay Rocks, 5 miles off Coney Island. The fishermen saved themselves by using the ship's dories. The fishermen of the Acadia are from the coastal village Greyton. The Bay of Fundy is known to have huge tidal variations, like the landscape in Timothy´s drawings.
Emma remembers that Alyssa had a former boyfriend from Northern Maine. That was when she was still studying in Gorham. She met and married Steven soon after she graduated. Alyssa has been reserved, and always avoided telling Emma more about that period.

OOC: Ivy hasn't spoken to the housekeeper yet, so she'll catch up with O'Shaugnessy afterwards

Sure, as you´ve done with Alyssá studio I´ll post about that

Re: August 17 - 2.00 PM - Portland, Gilbert´s house.

PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:09 am
by Mr. Handy
Image

"Interesting," says Kathryn. "I wonder if there's a lighthouse like in the drawings in Greyton. Alyssa may have described it to Timothy, which could explain why he drew it. We'll need to look into that."

Re: August 17 - 2.00 PM - Portland, Gilbert´s house.

PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 10:52 am
by jp1885
Image

While the others investigate Alyssa's study, Ivy returns her crockery to the housekeeper in the kitchen.

"Timothy's disappearance has hit you hard hasn't it? You're very close to the boy aren't you? Much closer than his father I suspect.
What changed in the child before he disappeared - apart from the passing of his mother of course? Did he start acting strangely? Suspiciously?
You've no doubt seen his drawings. When did he start doing them?"

Re: August 17 - 2.00 PM - Portland, Gilbert´s house.

PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:59 am
by robertod
As the inverstigatos finish searching Alyssa´s studio, Gilbert calls their attention.

"Sirs... despite the situation.. I have to take care of some business in my studio. Considering my state of mind .. it will be very difficult to produce something .. but I'll try."
I suggest you go to the school still today.
"

With that said, Steven goes in his study. As the group goes downstairs meets Katie, the housekeeper. Before talking, she walks to get as far away as possible from the stairs that lead upstairs.

"Oh Yes, I was shocked by Timothy´s disappearance... Timothy had a strong relationship with his mother. They used to spend a lot of time together. When his mother died... he became so sad and depressed. I tried to talk to him, but there was nothing I could do. I missed her mother and preferred keep himself isolated with his books. Then, a few months ago he began to make these drawings.. with patience.. taking his time when he had not to study for school."

Kathie lowers the tone of her voice.. she looks around nervously, making sure Gilbert is not around...

"I have something else to say... but I would appreciate if Mr. Gilbert don´t know you have heard this directly from me. I suspect that Timothy is afraid of his father. I don´t know if this has to do with his disappearance... but something strange happened the night Alyssa committed suicide.

That night, I heard Mr. Gilbert screaming with rage, from the bedroom upstairs. I couldn´t hear what he was saying, but that seemed very strange to me. He and Alyssa had never fought this way. When I left my room the screams had already ceased. As I got into the hall, I saw Timothy running down the stairs. He looked at me... he was scared. He hid behind a piece of furniture. Soon after, I saw Alyssa running down and going to the garden. I didn´t know what to do. I didn´t want to intrude their private life, so I went back to my room. Since I didn´t hear any other noise, I went back to bed. The next day I knew Alyssa had hanged herself at the park during the night. From that night, I have a remorse. I feel guilty. What if I had stopped her?!? what if I had talked to her?!? Maybe she would still be alive.
"

"As I said... Timothy was very close to her mother and changed a lot after she died.... Mr. Gilbert didn´t allow Timothy to se her mother dead. He didn´t want him to partecipate to the funeral. What if he decided to go and look for her? Maybe inside his mind.. she´s still alive somewhere."

Re: August 17 - 2.00 PM - Portland, Gilbert´s house.

PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:28 pm
by jp1885
Image

"You did the right thing in telling us and you can rely on our discretion. As for your feelings of guilt - perhaps you could've stopped her, perhaps not. It's all academic now - the best thing you can do is keep us informed of any developments here."

She hands Katie a card.

"Here's a number for the station. Telephone and leave a message for Detective O'Shaugnessy here if anything occurs."

She then turns to the others, her initial disproval of the two 'amatuers' disappearing after hearing thier intelligent questioning.

"Once we've been to the school, I need to return to the station and see what the files say about Alyssa's suicide. From what I recall, there was no mention of an argument in the initial reports."