Some Live, Some Die

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Induced Intuition

September 4th, 1925

“Another job well done Adrian,” said Commissioner Powell during breakfast. “Solving another case in one evening.”

“Yes father,” Adrian replied bluntly.

“Is something going on in your mind?” Commissioner Powell then asked. “You don’t speak much when you’re in deep thought.”

“It’s about the parties,” said Adrian. “Mr. Hurston announced last month after his first party in July, that he was going to host five more parties this year. And just several days ago, another murder occurred at his second party, straight after the first.”

“What are you implying Adrian?” asked Commissioner Powell.

“Two people have been killed at the first two of Mr. Hurston’s parties this year,” said Adrian. “I’m starting to think that this simply cannot be a coincidence. I must certainly look into th-”

“Adrian!” shouted Commissioner Powell, “You are making far too much of these parties! Just because two murders have occurred, doesn’t mean the police should interfere with the entertainment and flamboyance of the upper society. Leave it alone!”

“Telling me to ignore those parties makes me more eager to uncover the truth of Mr. Hange Hurston’s parties this year…” Adrian quietly muttered to himself.

“What did you say?” asked Commissioner Powell.

“Nothing father,” replied Adrian abruptly. “Anyway, I have a favour to ask you.”

“If it’s about Mr. Hange Hurston and his parties, leave it alone,” said Commissioner Powell.

“No father,” said Adrian in a serious tone. “I’d like you to do a background check on Miss Leslie Beckford.”

“Mr. Aristo Beckford’s adopted daughter?” exclaimed Commissioner Powell, “I’ve heard the rumours about her parentage. People are claiming that she is possibly the real daughter of Mr. Beckford. You know how society doesn’t take illegitimate-born children too kindly. Though I can’t deny that she is a gorgeous young woman.”

“Who cares about what people say about her,” said Adrian. “I just want to find out whether she truly is Mr. Beckford’s real daughter.”

“And suppose the rumours about her are true?” suggested Commissioner Powell, “What would you do?”

“I don’t care the slightest of whether the rumours are true or not,” replied Adrian. “I just want to know her.”

“Very well then,” said Commissioner Powell as he got up from his seat. “I’ll dig up what I can find about her in exchange that you do not poke your nose into Mr. Hurston’s parties.”

He then left the dining room, leaving his son to finish his breakfast. Adrian knew that Commissioner Powell would usually spend his mornings at the Savile Club for gentlemen after breakfast, and would start his work at Scotland Yard an hour later. He decided to use whatever time he had at his workplace to start gathering his materials to investigate Mr. Hange Hurston’s parties.

Upon arriving at Scotland Yard, he quickly hurried straight to his office to phone the director of the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, Henry Roberts.

“Yes, I would like to have every single detail of his party plan on July 31st, 1925,” instructed Adrian. “Including the guest list. Why? It is for police investigation. Yes, thank you for understanding and I look forward to receiving it. Good day.”

Hanging up on the Royal Pavilion’s director, Adrian then rang the Crystal Palace’s manager, Sir Henry Buckland for the same reason. He also requested for the party plan and the guest list.

“Yes, I’m glad you understand why I am investigating this matter,” said Adrian to the manager of Crystal Palace. “Thank you for being cooperative and I look forward to receiving it. Good day.”

After the second phone call, Adrian sighed and stretched his arms in satisfaction. Now all he had to do was find out where Mr. Hange Hurston’s third party was going to take place. The thought of this caused him to feel stumped. How was he going to do it? Adrian very much doubted that Mr. Hurston was going to invite him to his third party, so he probably had to find another way in.

At the Beckford House, Leslie had spent her entire morning writing letters of rejection to her would-be suitors, and declining invites to tea parties or soirées. However, her face lit up when she saw a letter from Lady Doncaster. She wanted to invite her to her residence for a cup of tea. Leslie decided to call her after finishing the remaining letters.

“I wonder how she is doing after losing Miss Doncaster,” sighed Leslie to herself.

Even though Jezebel had betrayed their friendship, Leslie somehow felt sad that Jezebel’s life and promising career had been cut short. Sifting through the remaining letters, Leslie found the very same unsigned letter she had received last month and the month before that. It’s that secret admirer again. She thought to herself. Opening it up, she read through the contents:

To my little thrush,

Why do you still refuse to sing for me? My heart yearns for you everyday and my patience thins as a dandelion losing their seeds to the wind.

Why are you being hesitant my little thrush? Do you doubt my ability to grant you the happiness you deserve? Then please sing for me and tell me how you feel.

Leslie gripped the sides of the letter after reading it. Whoever was sending her these letters was creeping her out. She decided to take her mind off the secret admirer to call Lady Doncaster to arrange a meet up today, if possible.

Luckily for Leslie, Lady Doncaster was free this afternoon to have her come over to her residence for a cup of tea and catch up. Leslie requested the kitchen staff to prepare her a light lunch while she went to get herself ready to visit Lady Doncaster. Harriet, who had recovered from her hay fever accompanied her in the Hispano-Suiza. They took a detour to Harrods to purchase several pastries and cakes for the afternoon tea.

“I’m so sorry for your loss,” Leslie told Lady Doncaster as the maids and butler prepared the tea and arranged the food. “It must’ve been a shock when Jezebel plummeted to her death right before your eyes.”

“Thank you for your concerns, Miss Leslie,” replied Lady Doncaster as she sipped her tea. “Jezebel’s death was a definite shock. Despite her flamboyance and selfishness, she is still my niece no matter what. It must be because of the trauma of losing her parents that caused her to vie for attention. That’s why I gave her an informal upbringing by permitting her to do as she pleased. Perhaps it was my fault she turned out this way.”

“Lady Doncaster, please don’t blame yourself,” said Leslie gently. “Jezebel was very fortunate to have been under your care, instead of ending up at an orphanage right after the death of her parents. I think somewhere deep down, she was very grateful for the life you had given her.”

“Oh Miss Leslie,” sighed Lady Doncaster with a smile. “You are a joy to be with. It is preposterous that all those eligible bachelors are putting off approaching you because of some silly rumour. However, I’m sure whichever man you’d eventually end up with will be the luckiest man in the world.”

“I, really don’t know if I’ll ever get married,” said Leslie who had flushed slightly at Lady Doncaster’s words.

“All you need is patience,” said Lady Doncaster. “You are beautiful and young. So all you need to do is just enjoy your time when you are still single and free. Once you have spoken your marriage vows, when will there be another time to enjoy your own leisure.”

Leslie nodded her head as she helped herself to some of the cakes she bought at Harrods. The rest of her afternoon spent with Lady Doncaster was enjoyable. Returning back to the Beckford House, Leslie found her father once again in the dining room, staring at the table.

“Father, what’s wrong?” asked Leslie.

“We’ve been invited to attend Mr. Hurston’s third party,” he replied.

Hurrying over to the table, Leslie saw the same intricate envelope, with the same red wax stamp with the initials ‘H.H’. She tore open the envelope with the letter opener and took our the letter, reading its contents:

Dear Aristo and Leslie Beckford,

Mr. Hange Hurston cordially invites you to attend his third party at the end of September. The party will be held at Somerset House where the latest Fortnum & Mason products will be promoted.

Just like the previous letters, the contents was type-written and the signature scribbled at the very bottom.

“Unfortunately, I won’t be able to accompany you this time,” said Mr. Beckford. “I have a business trip to America starting from the beginning of the last week of September, to the end of the first week of October.”

“So you’ll be gone for two weeks,” said Leslie. “Should I also not attend?”

“Of course not!” exclaimed Mr. Beckford. “I know you are bothered about the murders, but I don’t want it to stop you from having fun! At least accept his invite. Perhaps you can ask someone to accompany you.”

Leslie thought about it long and hard. Lady Doncaster probably still wants time to mourn for the loss of her niece. She thought. Who else could she ask? It was not long until someone came into her mind.

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