Chapter 2: Day One

During a sweltering August in 1881, one of the members of the Seekers of Enlightenment receives a letter from an old friend, requesting help in solving a family mystery. It will soon become a matter of life or death…

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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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“I daresay he might be at dinner, if he improves” says Meddler.

He leads the way downstairs and shows the companions the Sitting Room, Morning Room and Dining Room, none of which are particularly remarkable.

Towards the back of the house is a green baize door.

“Behind here is the kitchens, pantries, the scullery, the butler’s pantry and sundry rooms. There is access to the cellar. Do you wish to examine these?”
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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"I don't see any reason to at this time," says Alexander. "If our investigations ever lead us there, we can examine them then. Unless, of course, one of my companions would like to see them now."
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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'If it is acceptable to my colleagues, I'm quite keen to talk to Mr Bates, perhaps I could take this opportunity while the rest of you explore the grounds?' says Harry Brown.
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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"That sounds like a good idea; he might be more amenable just talking to one person. I'm keen to look around the grounds for a possible Apollo's bower." Says Isolde, fanning herself. "There might even be a breeze outside."
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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Vic had loosened her collar, drawing more disapproving looks. ”A stroll in the garden would be agreeable,” she said. “Although I fear there is no wind so it may not offer any comfort until the end of the day.”
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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"Aye, I'd like to see the grounds as well," says Alexander. "I dinna mind the heat so much, not after how cold it was last December."
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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"Oh, I shouldn't think that there'll be any problem" says Meddler confidently. He opens the door and sticks his head inside.

"Bates!" he calls loudly. "Are you there?"

Within a short interval the butler appears, his expression neutral.

"Yes, Lieutenant?"he asks.

"Our guests here want to know about the other night with Mr. Forby, when he collapsed".

Bates looks a bit uncomfortable, but clears his throat and begins to talk.

"Well," he begins, "A few nights previous we noticed someone had been sneaking around outside the house after dark. Mr. Forby thought that it might be someone after the silver, so we laid in wait for him. Mr. Forby saw him before I did and rushed ahead. I heard him cry out and when I got to him he was on the ground. He had fainted, though he was physically unharmed. I brought him back inside and we fetched the doctor, but Mr. Forby has been poorly ever since. He hasn't told anyone about what he saw, as far as I'm aware."
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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"Did anyone else get a look at the prowler?" asks Alexander. "It might help to identify him if we at least knew his height and weight. Did he leave any traces of his passage?"
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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Harry Brown smiles at the butler, 'Thank you Mr Bates', I think it could be helpful for us to see where this confrontation took place'. While he talks to Bates, Harry tries to get a look into the servants' quarters to see if there is anyone else hanging around or listening to their conversation.
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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Vic thought for a moment. ”Has Mr Forby seen a medical doctor since the incident with the prowler?” she asked.
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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Isolde looks thoughtful. "Please show us where you found Mr Forby, and everyone please try not to stand on any evidence."
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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Bates nods.

”Certainly, I will show you, but there is nothing to see.”

Meddler nods agreement.

“I’ve looked myself. There isn’t anything unusual in the grounds. As Bates says, Harry won’t tell what made him faint, even if he remembers.”

“Mr. Forby was and is being cared for by the family physician, Dr. Jeffries . Please, follow me.”

Bates leads the party out of the house through the kitchens in the back. On the way they run into a woman of Bates’ age, preparing food for the evening meal. She bows as the party enters.

”May I introduce Betty, my wife and our housekeeper”.

Betty smiles kindly.

“How do you do”? she asks.
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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"Pleased to meet you, Mrs. Bates," says Alexander. "My, that smells delicious!"
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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"How do you do, Mrs Bates? I'm sure we are all looking forward to dinner; it does smell divine." Isolde smiles at Betty and Alexander.
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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Mrs Bates blushes.

"You're too kind. It's a very simple dinner I'm afraid, due to Mr. Forby's illness. By the way, this is Connie, our maid."

She indicates a pretty and cheerful looking teenage girl, who bows her head shyly.

"I'll show you where it happened" says Bates.

He leads the party out the back door into the spacious courtyard, pointing out the dairy, stable and carriage house, and moves to what is the east side of the house. The grounds are parched and listless, and the plants wilt in the hot sun, which beats down on our heroes.

Bates points out a clump of bushes. "Mr. Forby dashed through there. He gave me no warning and so I hadn't noticed he had gone at first. If he had, I would have been able to help him."

Bates looks pained as he walks into the bushes. As the men said, there doesn't appear to be anything unusual about the area.
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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Harry Brown follows after Bates looking carefully at the ground and the bushes where Forby saw the intruder. He then scans the surrounding area to see how someone could have made their way into the garden. 'Any gates, doors, low walls, or other entry points in the area?' he asks Bates.
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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Bates shakes his head.

"The grounds are extensive sir, and they're not enclosed."
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It's not a garden - try to imagine the grounds of a country house.
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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"Did anyone find any tracks?" asks Alexander, looking around for them himself. "Does Mr. Forby keep dogs? They can make excellent trackers."
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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”Have there been any other incidents in the area?” enquired Vic, looking around carefully.
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Re: Chapter 2: Day One

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Bates shakes his head at Vic’s question but nods to Alexander.

“Why, yes sir, we do have dogs. Old Fred, our groundskeeper, keeps them around the stables. We didn’t see any tracks, the ground is too hard.”
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