Acte 8: A Brilliant Epiphany
Picking up the white the Phantom of the Opera half-mask a thought washed over me that would not be denied!
Risky, but it would make my evening complete!
I quickly shaved off the thin beard and restyled my hair.
I changed from my suit into my crisply pressed tux and tails.
Scooping up the phantom mask, I slipped it under my vest.
I then headed back to the venue where the costume ball was still in progress!
Placing the mask on before entering, I presented my second ticket…
( not very often did the opportunity arise to use both of the pair of tickets I customarily purchased!)
I walked past the two security types without a second glance from them, they absolutely did not recognize me, which meant I had passed that test!
My objective now was to try and catch the second half of the show; namely, the minute a certain shimmering gold liquid satin gowned “Prig”s’ squawking reaction when she first discovered her jewels were gone!
I regained a bar seat just in time to settle in with a drink, find my “Prig” and watch for about 10 minutes.
She did not disappoint!
For as she gabbing away to an uninterested chap her age, he pointed out that she was missing something!
I watched with some satisfaction, as she began to throw a major meltdown over the discovery of her loss.
Screaming in a hissy fit of a spoiled childlike tantrum that somebody finds them for her!
No one felt sorry for her, and eventually two of her mates were asked to escort her home.
They had to pull her away thrashing as miss “Prig” started to point fingers at everyone, and they also demanded a certain gentleman clad as a highwayman “come forward this bloody minute!”
I played the innocent bystander to the hilt, even to the point of showing concern on my face, rather than smirking like a lot of the other guests were!
As I watched this all play out, I was reminded of another old saying…
Revenge is a dish best served cold!
When, in the presence of both bank and county officials, the strongbox was opened, it was found to contain a fairly large collection of the King’s currency, and a selection of unmatched jewelry, rings, single earrings, bracelets, and necklaces, worth a considerable amount.
Also inside was small a bundle of papers. The papers, old and yellowed, appeared to contain the partial handwritten journals of a certain Mr. Harly Q___ , Esq. The papers were examined but gave no clues to who Harley was, or to his current whereabouts.
But the journals presented clues as to Harly’s nature, and as a consequence, the money and jewels were considered stolen goods and handed over to the authorities.
No one knows what became of them.
As for the papers, they were handed over to a relative of one of the government officials, and also, for a period of time, lost.
The journal was rediscovered amongst the personal files of the late Professor Sedwig Dermitt phd, llc.a dex,
Recovered, restored, and now kept in the human behavioral archives of the criminology dept, Chatwick U.
And yes, the journal does not mention what piece of jewelry belonging the girl he called a ‘Prig’ he lifted!
And that is the final mystery of this story.
Courtesy of Chatwick University Archives
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