Chapter 6: Day Three

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 6: Day Three

Postby Mephistophilis » Thu Sep 03, 2020 3:06 pm

Spoiler:
Not Harry's strong suit,
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Re: Chapter 6: Day Three

Postby Philulhu » Thu Sep 03, 2020 10:48 pm

“What can we see outside?” said Vic, moving to look out of the window. “Is there anything - or anyone - out there?”

Spoiler:
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Re: Chapter 6: Day Three

Postby Mephistophilis » Thu Sep 03, 2020 11:52 pm

Harry approaches Forby and tries to say something quietly, 'While I admire your gusto Mr Forby, I must warn you that I have a suspicion Nicholas Forby may have hidden more than his treasure within Icarus. If I am correct then we may find a most unpleasant surprise concealed there, something best left 'till daylight.'

Harry feels that now is the time to hint at his rather speculative theory that the casting of Icarus is connected to the death of Lehman. But his motivation for doing so is to have the opportunity to observe Meddler's actions overnight, with the treasure so close.

Spoiler:
Fast Talk?
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Re: Chapter 6: Day Three

Postby HoneyDog » Fri Sep 04, 2020 1:22 am

Spoiler:
If you want to use it to dissuade Forby from looking at the statue tonight, it’s not necessary.


There doesn’t seem to be anyone outside, but the dogs have not ceased their howling.

With so many arguing against it, Forby begins to falter.

“Very well” he grumbles petulantly. “But I want to look at first light!”

“Do you think the statue may be… booby-trapped?” he asks Harry.
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Re: Chapter 6: Day Three

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:33 am

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"Aye, the dogs are agitated about something out there," says Alexander. "They can be smarter than people in some ways, and being alert to danger is one of them."
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Re: Chapter 6: Day Three

Postby aine » Fri Sep 04, 2020 6:47 am

“Could we set lanterns outside and then take watches? Two people at a time? And then at first light, which isn’t long, start excavation?” Suggests Isolde.
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Re: Chapter 6: Day Three

Postby HoneyDog » Fri Sep 04, 2020 6:56 am

“I’m sure one person would be enough” says Meddler. “It’s better that most of us get some decent rest.”
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Re: Chapter 6: Day Three

Postby Mephistophilis » Fri Sep 04, 2020 7:33 am

'I don't know about booby traps' says Harry, 'But I do think it is possible your grandfather had a hand in Lehman's demise'.
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Re: Chapter 6: Day Three

Postby HoneyDog » Fri Sep 04, 2020 7:43 am

“What!” Forby explodes, his face turning a fiery shade of red. “You think my grandfather killed Lehman? Why on God’s earth do you think that? I demand you provide some proof of this foul accusation!”
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Re: Chapter 6: Day Three

Postby Mephistophilis » Fri Sep 04, 2020 7:51 am

Harry tries to placate Forby 'At the moment it is just a theory, but we will know the truth of it tomorrow when we examine the statue'.
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Re: Chapter 6: Day Three

Postby HoneyDog » Fri Sep 04, 2020 8:02 am

“Just a theory?” Forby splutters. “It’s a damnable accusation, that’s what it is. You’re accusing my grandfather of foul play! The murder of his best friend! Now, tell me why you think so, before I kick you out of this house in disgrace! And you had better be convincing!”
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Re: Chapter 6: Day Three

Postby Mephistophilis » Fri Sep 04, 2020 8:23 am

'Perhaps we can discuss it in private?' says Harry, 'there is some...sensitive information in some of the papers we have uncovered.'
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Re: Chapter 6: Day Three

Postby HoneyDog » Fri Sep 04, 2020 8:30 am

Forby is about to shout, but calms himself with some effort.

“Follow me” he says through gritted teeth. He walks out of the library and enters the game room. When Harry has entered, he shuts the door.

“Now talk” he says grimly.
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Re: Chapter 6: Day Three

Postby Mephistophilis » Fri Sep 04, 2020 10:16 am

'Mr Forby, I'm a plain speaking man. By profession I am an Inquiry Agent. I am used to the more distasteful side of the human condition but I go where the evidence takes me. Telling you this brings me no pleasure.'

Harry reluctantly outlines the information they have found so far on Forby's parentage, showing him some of the diary entries highlighting Nicholas Forby's suspicions and the lengths he went to, using the secret passageway to spy on his wife.

'While this is unpleasant news it is what we have discovered. I do not know the truth of it but it is clear that Nicholas Forby believed it.'

Harry then outlines the period of Nicholas Forby's illness and apparent madness and his developing anger against Lehman. He highlights how Lehman disappears from the records and how that corresponds with a change to the design of the Icarus statue to the strange figure seen today.

Finally he show him the hidden letter from Nicholas and Aleister's annotations indicating his shock at his mother's implied infidelity:
“If a cock crow in another’s nest, then let that rooster a cuckold be. Why should he inherit? I’faith I shall mimic Perseus, an amusing conceit, and with the gift of Prometheus dispel the night from Apollo’s bower. Where’er this light do shine, there I will conceal it. I shall conceal it, I mock you, my green ey’d rooster’s egg. For it is mine.”

He then outlines the letter held by Dr Jeffries (glossing over the relationship with Rhoda Forby) and draws his attention to the final line:
'Rhoda, if you find this, no matter what else it seems, know that I was, like my father, most foully and treacherously murdered.'

'You will, of course, note the ambiguity in Aleister Forby's reference to his 'father' being murdered, I suspect, given his reaction to Nicholas's suspicions, that he meant Lehman.'

Harry sighs, and continues as gently as he can, 'I am fully aware that this is not what you want to hear, indeed it seems your father felt very similarly, although I am not sure what he meant by the reference to being murdered himself. But I could not, in good conscience, allow you to open up the statue without this information available to you.'

'You invited us here to find the family treasure, I believe we have succeeded in that goal. I was also able to find evidence that the Green Man that has been terrorising you has a rather more mundane origin, and that is a loose end we do need to resolve. I have endeavoured to follow the evidence and do my best to assist you. If you feel my sharing my suspicions with you is unacceptable then naturally I would not wish to overstay my welcome. But I would caution that tonight is likely to be the riskiest period, both in terms of others seeking the treasure now its location has been revealed, and also in terms of the Green Man returning, and I would like to offer my services, at least for tonight, even if you wish me to depart tomorrow.'
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Re: Chapter 6: Day Three

Postby HoneyDog » Fri Sep 04, 2020 3:09 pm

Forby listens in silence to Harry’s explanation, but exhibiting all manner of tics and starts as the revelations come to pass.

As the tale ends, he nods slowly, leaning back against the billiard table.

“Thank you for being upfront and candid, Mr. Brown. Being an invalid means that people begin to patronize you after a while, and seek to shelter you from shocking information. Of course, they have grounds to, in my case. Hence my desire for truth. No, my father was not murdered. Although they tried to keep it hidden, I know that he killed himself, and it was somehow hushed up to protect the family name. So I can’t speculate as to what he really meant. As for my lineage, well, one has only to look at the portraits that adorn these walls to know whom my grandfather really was. I suspected it for a long time. The information you’ve supplied indeed point to an intense jealousy on the part of Nicholas, and I’m sure he wasn’t of sound mind towards the end, so perhaps he really did…”

He shudders, and his shoulders sag.

“What an unhappy family!” he exclaims. “What a sordid history! I must be free of it, for George’s sake!”

Standing upright again, a look of determination is fixed upon his face.

“We will get to the bottom of this, I shan’t wait a moment longer. Please assist me further, I’m grateful to you.”

He opens the door, and with Harry following , returns to the library. Opening the doors to the expectant looks of those inside, he announces,

“We will not wait! Bates, prepare the lanterns. We will locate that treasure and end this saga, once and for all!”

Spoiler:
Now in possession of this new knowledge, it looks like Forby has made up his mind. I’ll start a new thread tomorrow, but feel free to add reactions / thoughts / plans etc. here.
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Re: Chapter 6: Day Three

Postby Philulhu » Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:27 pm

Vic had been fretting about Forby’s response to Harry’s revelations about his family and was surprised when it seemed to have galvanised him into action.

She glanced at Meddler, wondering what his response would be to the news that that the mystery might be resolved.

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Re: Chapter 6: Day Three

Postby Mephistophilis » Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:37 pm

Truth be told, Harry has been raring to test out his theory and find out once and for all where the treasure is concealed. More a man of actions than of words he is invigorated by Forby's new found resolve, 'I am right behind you Mr Forby!'
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Re: Chapter 6: Day Three

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Sep 05, 2020 2:25 am

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"I'd best fetch my shotgun," says Alexander. "Whatever has the dogs upset, be it Green Man or beastie, we should be ready for it."
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Re: Chapter 6: Day Three

Postby aine » Sat Sep 05, 2020 8:07 am

Isolde shakes her head and looks at Vic with a ‘typical: men!’ look. She turns to Gertrude, “This could be a dangerous night, it would be best if George was not left alone.” She turns to everyone, “I can sit in George’s room and watch the front lawns from the window; to watch if anyone tries to creep up on you at the statue.”
Spoiler:
Am I reading the maps correctly?
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Re: Chapter 6: Day Three

Postby HoneyDog » Sat Sep 05, 2020 8:37 am

Spoiler:
Yes, but owing to the darkness I don't know how likely you would be to see anything. I don't think it would make any difference. It's up to you though.
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