Clockwork 1888 Date: Thursday, March 3, through Friday, May 27, 1892
On January 10, 1892, Fredryck’s Grenadier Guard uncle on his mother’s side, George Patrick Hyde Villiers, died at age 44. In addition, Fredryck’s uncle on his father’s side, Edward Henry Stanley (15th Earl of Derby), contracted influenza in 1891 that still plagued him. Fredryck’s cousin Beryl died March 31, 1889, at only three months old and the family doctor said it was influenza. Fredrcyk was not sure if Edmund Fields, who had sworn vengeance upon them and their families in October of 1888, had some hand in the deaths of Beryl and George and in his uncle Edward’s illness.
But after the death of his uncle, Fredryck had alerted Adoline’s hired bodyguard, Adoline’s best friend Brina, that Edmund Fields may be pursuing Adoline. So, it was Adoline’s “friend” Brina that caught Fredryck’s interest when Brina changed her hair to the same style as Adoline, began wearing strikingly similar clothes to those of Adoline, and even colored her hair to match Adoline’s. She’d giggle girlishly about it with Adoline, claiming that best friends sometimes just have the same tastes.
Fredryck, as Brina’s employer, knew her true purpose. If Edmund Fields was indeed making good on his threat to murder their families, Brina was the first line of defense for his betrothed Adoline. Bringing confusion to a potential assailant was Brina’s motive behind the similarities.
In mid March, Bartley received a telegram from Julia that his Uncle Carlos recently died after a bout with influenza. On March 20 at only the age of 41, Aurthor Goring Thomas, who Archibald hired last year to compose music for his theatrical production, apparently committed suicide by throwing himself in front of a train. In early April, Evgenia received a telegram indicating that an uncle of hers in Romania had passed away from influenza.
With spring in the air, Dracona’s street corner performances with the harp playing Ovila were drawing much attention. Dracona had not seen Don Marco Marciano for some time and honestly didn’t know why when one of Don Marco’s “associates” quietly came to inquire about the last time she’d seen him. But, with her occasional performances at Archibald’s theater, she and Ovila were drumming up business for the theater, the harp shop and themselves.
So it was unusual when Ovila simply failed to show up the Sunday morning of April 17. Investigating, they learned that Ovila left the night before with a plain looking average man, and he hadn’t been seen since. Ovila’s harp was still in the room he rented with his street corner earnings.
As the summer grew nearer, Adoline was excited because her medical studies at Oxford were coming to an end. She had been accepted to continue her medical studies at King’s College Hospital, in London, a top surgical hospital in Europe and a lot closer to Fredryck than Oxford. In 1877, Joseph Lister performed the first major elective surgery under aseptic conditions and Adoline was intent on extending her medical knowledge into the field of surgery. She was scheduled to start at King’s in August.
It was May 12 when Evgenia received a frantic call from Adoline. Adoline had returned from class to find their dormitory room in a shambles. Brina was missing and Adoline was using the Oxford University Press telephone to call for help. Evgenia requested the crime scene be sealed until they arrived, contacted Fredryck and the others, and the group quickly made their way to Oxford.
Arriving at Oxford, Adoline met them and described what she knew. She and Brina had stopped by the dorm before class. Brina seemed to get excited once they entered the dorm, she grabbed the books and insisted they leave immediately, citing that they didn’t want to be late for class. They nearly ran to class where they took seats for a little bit before Brina insisted on going back to their dorm for some notes she’d left behind. She promised she’d be back before the lecture ended and asked Adoline to take thorough notes.
But Brina never returned. When the lecture ended, Adoline quickly went to their dormitory, expecting to find Brina there. Instead, she found the place trashed. Adoline was afraid that Brina may have startled a burglar and that something dreadful had happened to her.
The house mother of the dorm allowed them passage into the dormitory and one could tell that there had been a struggle in the room. Searching, they found an open bottle of chloroform in the wardrobe. Evgenia went into a trance to see what had occurred.
Evgenia‘s vision went back to when Adoline and Brina first entered the dorm as she verbalized what she was seeing. She saw Brina notice something out of place. “The framed photograph of you and Brina on the dresser,” she called aloud, “It was out of place.”
They looked at the dresser but the photograph was not there. Evgenia watched Adoline and Brina leave and her vision moved forward. “There was somebody else in the room,” she announced. Adoline gasped. “He came out after you left, picked up the photograph again.”
She put out her hand as if to touch something. “Fields,” Evgenia gasped as she suddenly withdrew her hand. “He saw her returning from the window, hid in the wardrobe, prepared the chloroform.” Evgenia cringed as she watched Fields surprise his prey, witnessed their struggle, saw Brina succumb to the chloroform and finally saw Edmund Fields leave with Brina in a canvas bag slung over his shoulder.
Then Evgenia was out of the vision. “I think I found that photograph,” Bartley said as they pushed aside the dresser and retrieved a framed photograph, its glass shattered and on the floor behind the dresser. Handing it to Evgenia, she put out her hand and touched the photograph of Brina. “I saw his reflection in the glass,” she informed.
“It says Adoline on this side,” they observed. “So,” Adoline said, “we know who we are.” “This is how he determined who was Adoline,” Evgenia said as she looked to Adoline. “You were the target and this photograph made him think he had you.”
“Who is he?” Adoline questioned. Evgenia looked to Fredryck and he requested some time alone with Adoline so that he could explain about Edmund Fields. The others obliged and waited outside.
Not wanting to dally, they began questioning people in and around the dorm. Nobody saw anything unusual. The laundry service came to pick up the laundry and left as they always did on that day of the week.
It didn’t take long for them to locate the laundry cart. It had been left at a hansom stop and eventually was reported as abandoned. Inside the laundry cart they found the normal bags of laundry an the regular laundry man, quite dead and missing his uniform.
Bartley found scrape marks on the floor inside the cart. Laundry sacks don’t usually leave marks and the marks indicated that something was dragged across it. They surmised that Brina had been put in a trunk when she was put in the laundry cart. Any witnesses they could find indicated that the cart driver loaded a trunk onto his hansom and drove off leaving the cart.
Norrington was waiting for them at Yermak Investigations when they returned. He’d gotten word of the attack and thought that it might be good for them to leave the country. He also thought it might be best to split them up for a time. Fredryck agreed so he and Adoline were going to leave.
For safety, they didn’t tell anybody when or where they were going but Fredryck would depart with Adoline, to protect her. Bloom had gotten the others a Fellowship assignment to get them out of the country and neither was be told where the others were going.
So, Archibald, Bartley, Dracona and Evgenia were sent to the USA for a mission in the sewers of New York. There had been strange reports in Manhattan, New York, concerning rats and he wanted them to investigate. It was suspected that a were-rat may be involved because a “rat the size of a man” had been reported.
Bartley griped a bit about always going to Yankee locations. Archibald mused that all of the Americans were Yankees, as far as the British were concerned. But with little resistance, they boarded the Germanic in Liverpool on May 18 and arrived in New York on May 27, 1892.