Don Juan’s Information

Don Juan has agreed to the terms, and he has given us the information that he knows. Since getting the information, the confidence in his value may have diminished slightly, but perhaps you will find it useful.

For Moriarty and Morgan, he explained that he believed their echoes would most likely be in California. He believes that Moriarty took out an apartment in San Francisco for a little while that he eventually left, located in 1472 Filbert St., and that Morgan used to visit it frequently as well. He had an idea that maybe one of their echoes was located at the apartments for the time they spent.

Not the confidence I hoped for.

But, far from being the weak point of his knowledge, at least his was well thought out and had the benefit of time. He recommended that we further search a location in Los Angeles – specifically, the Omni Hotel, on 251 S Olive St. This was the location for a… let us say, eventful meeting between all the Cabal members.

As for LeRoux, Don Juan again believes that the Phantoms echo is in New York, and knew of at least one clue to suggest its location: a tabloid article that indicated the Phantom’s activity in Central Park, along with the knowledge that the Phantom had engaged in these vigilante activities. He gave us a copy, which we showed below.

My only recommendation is that you go forth immediately and see if you can find anything at these locations, and start to prepare refictionalization materials. If he has truly given us what we want, jubilations. Otherwise…

As for the other conditions, Jack Vincent has called his family and he has made arrangements for transportation. Don Juan has also given us the painting in fair condition and we have shipped it to the Denver Art Museum. We included a note with our contact information so that we will know immediately when the painting has returned.

We will have to wait and see what else will come of Don Juan.

Holmes

Our Decision

Dear Readers;

This afternoon, Poirot and I have come had a difficult talk, and after considerable confrontation we have come an agreement. We want the information from Don Juan; we want it to be true; we want as much of it as possible; and we want it as soon as possible. However, Poirot and I both have concerns about the character of Don Juan, and we would be most regretful to give mercy to a character that did not deserve it. So we have determined a scenario to make sure that Don Juan will tell us as much as he knows, or otherwise suffer for it, though we will require your help, and we will be most grateful for it.

First, we ask that you create mateials that would allow us to refictionalize Don Juan as soon as possible. This may seem unnecessary, since we do not intend to use it, but this is essential. You see, we are going to demand Don Juan’s full cooperation; we wish his painting to be returned to the museum in Denver; we wish for Jack Vincent to return to his wife and children in Boulder, Colorado; and most pertinently, we wish for as much of the location of the three other other echoes. So until he gives this infomation he will remain in our custody. It will be in his favor ultimately to give us as much information about the echoes as possible so that you will be able to find it faster, and for him to provide any information that could be asked of him. And if he so much as makes a misstep, gives any wrong information, or does something uncooperative such as attempt to escape, I will hand him over to Poirot and let him do what he wished in the first place.

We hope this arrangement is to your liking. We will bring the message to him shortly.

Holmes

Jack Vincent Found (?!)

For your information, I would wish you to know that I have discovered the location of Jack Vincent, the missing restoration painter whose disappearance caused all the kerfuffle. In fact, Poirot and I have taken possession of him, and he is under our complete supervision. This was why I went to Denver, and from Denver to Austin and teamed up with Poirot in the after all.

So what, you might ask, is the problem?

Perhaps you might wish to know that in our investigation of the location of Don Juan we were being followed by some figure who was apparently amateurish in his method of disguise. When we had the opportunity we managed to isolate him and take him into our custody in order to interrogate him about who he was and what he wished from us. Only who was our follower?

None other – Jack Vincent!

And if you thought perhaps this was some misunderstanding, that perhaps this was a different Mr. Vincent or that he simply wished to speak with us, I’ll have you know that in the interrogation he confirmed himself to be the Jack Vincent we were looking for, and that despite this he had no intention of cooperating with us so that we could send him back home to his wife and family. He confirmed this with a good description of some detail that led us to identify him as the man in question. And furthermore, when we asked why he was following us, he said he was doing it for the protection of Mr. Don Juan!

I ponder how this must have happened; could it have been that Mr. Vincent was a confidante the entire time? That he had conspired in this for the entirety? Surely that could be the only logical answer!

Except it was very clear that Mr. Vincent had in the process of his disappearance had developed some psychoses. By his account, he was apprehended and kidnapped by Don Juan, as Poirot and I were to expect. However, in being held captive by Don Juan, and being shown considerable kindness and impressed by his ‘wit and charm’ (his words) that he became quickly sympathetic to the man. Then, when hearing that Don Juan was keen to marry his love interest in Melissa, Mr. Vincent was keen to help, initiating a relationship best described as ‘willing subordination’.

It’s hard to fathom the psychoanalysis of a man who is mad if capably so, but that is another matter. What is most pressing to me is the crossroads that I face ahead.

You see, I have managed to obtain the location of Don Juan, if I wished to proceed against him. But by one conception my motivation to do so is to find what is already found, Jack Vincent (again, under surveillance). On the other hand, I could proceed against Don Juan, if I decide that although Vincent’s detention from his wife was largely willing, I still must seek some justice against him. This could either be jail, or re-fictionalization, if I were provided the right materials to do so within a week.

There is, however, a third consideration; for I may meet with Don Juan and as it were, earn his cooperation. That is, a life lived tranquilly in this world, where he may live out his days with his new wife Melissa (assuming they may overcome their marital problems). Yet for this prize I will demand from him nothing less than his full cooperation. I see the demands as so:

1) Command that the servantile Jack Vincent to return to his family, with compensation to them for the troubles he has laid on them.

2) Return of the true “Portrait of the Magnificent Don Juan” to the Denver Art Museum, anonymously if need be.

3) Most importantly, give us the location of the Cabal members.

I stand at a crossroads because I must decide between closing the case before me with integrity, or perhaps even conspiring with the unsavory that I may achieve a greater prize. I will leave your world soon, but in doing so I will leave a legacy, and I must consider what that legacy shall be. For this, I ask for your swift input.

Sherlock Holmes

P.S. I hear that my old friend – the other Don – Don Quixote is healing from yet… another tragic incident on his life. But I hear it will be last, for which I am glad.

I wish him well, whatever his next adventure is.

The Solution to the Verhaeren Murder; the Truth Emerges

I am aware that Poirot has told you that I was silent the day before; I wish you to know that there is no cause for concern; rather for my silence, we know have cause for satisfaction.

Ever since James emerged with his contribution for the murder of Les Okokogwu, I was in aware in the back of my mind that I hadn’t figured out the first true case I was hired to solve, which is cause for embarrassment. I was so busy with the case of the painting that I hadn’t the proper time to give it my full method, but yesterday I gave myself the time to think; and think I did.

I know how Pieter Verhaeren was killed.

I despise myself for not realizing it before; the details were before but I was so unnerved coming to this new time that I failed to take note of the *trifles* I had so spoken to Watson of. Convinced by my employer so of the guilt of Poirot, that I was willing to neglect how unlikely it was that Poirot could have done so. For even if the testimony of the receptionist was true, if Poirot was false to me, if Verhaeren had gone up to his room, Poirot had murdered the man and used two and a half hours to remove the body, Poirot *still* would have had to drag the body all the way down to the furnace room, publicly. For him to have chosen to do so would have been an act of obscene boldness, and to have succeeded, nothing short of miraculous. He would have at least had to know that the receptionist would be unaware from sleep – but how could he have known such a thing? Did he conspire with someone in the hotel to drug her? Even so, with an assumption of conspiracy, he could not have possibly known that the hotel would not have some witness; and considering the care with which this murder was taken, such an act of boldness seems impossible. Furhter, what is true for Poirot is true for anyone; nobody could have murdered Verhaeren in such a way if Verhaeren had gone up to his room, per the promise of Poirot. There is only one solution to this problem, as strange as it may seem.

Verhaeren had gone down to the furnace room by his own volition!

What? you may ask; why would he have done so. Indeed, I could scaracely fathom it, in its improbability. But once I have eliminated the impossibile, the improbable that remains must be true by the principle of my method. And upon realizing this, what happened at the hotel began to unravel.

You’ll remember that Verhaeren had approached the sleeping receptionist and woke her to ask what time it was. A strange act, I thought, but little to think of – until I discovered he had gone to the boiler room by his own voilition. If his intention was truly to know the time, he should have had his own device to read it by. But even if he didn’t, to think that he would have gone out of his way to wake a sleeping receptionist, before taking a brief look around himself, would have been uncanny. Indeed, he didn’t want to observe the time himself; he wanted the receptionist to observe the time. But why would he have done so? Then, I posited that Pieter was unwittingly a co-conspirator in his own murder; his act to tell the receptionist to look at the time was merely a ploy for his murderer to use the time as a way of implicating Mr. Poirot.

As you’ll remember, the receptionist’s testimony, upon observing the clock, indicated that Poirot had two and some hours to commit the murder and dispose of the body, but by Poirot’s account he stayed at the hotel no more than three quarters of an hour. The focus on the clock was merely a way to make Poirot’s guilt seem plausible; and with the information before, with the revelation of Poirot’s innocence the clock seems to have been tampered in order that the murder had taken place. And, indeed, tampering with the clock was practical, given that it was being renovated.

But then again, only one person would have had the opportunity to change the clock. Observe that it was also the same man who had an opportunity to get close enough to the receptionist to drug her, that it was the same man who had the right placement to commit awaken the receptionist when he needed her to observe the clock again and witness Poirot enter and leave the hotel.

The clock’s restoration artist!

Consider this: a murderer had called Pieter Verhaeren and told him that he had an opportunity to enact revenge on Poirot (or Saint-Jerome, as he was then). What Pieter had to do was call Poirot and ask him over to the hotel that day at just the right time; then, not ten minutes before, Verhaeren would enter, ask the receptionist what time it was as a signal to the ‘conspirator’, and then, instead of going up to his room, going down to the furnace room instead, where he would rendezvous with the conspirator in the next step in a plot against Poirot. Meanwhile the murderer had refashioned himself as a restoration artist, and used the large early part of the day to flirt with the receptionist, get close to her, and drug her lunch. The receptionist fell asleep, and the restoration artist had the opportunity to change the clock back a little more than an hour and a half the actual time; then he prepared for the murder. Verhaeren enters, and awakens the receptionist to do as he was instructed; she gave him the wrong time, and noticed it herself. He thanked her and moved to the stairs – but not to his room; rather to the furnace. Ten minutes later, Poirot enters and asks the receptionist where Verhaeren’s room is, and she obligingly tells him. He then moves up to the room, which is empty.

Meanwhile, the restoration artist takes off his trade uniform and moves down to the boiler room. Verhaeren meets the conspirator face to face for the first time, and for his final act; for the artist murdered Verhaeren. But with little time, he washed his face and hands, and covered his bloodstained clothes with his uniform again. He goes back upstairs, changes the clock back to the normal time, and waits for Poirot to leave in frustration – which he does, forty minutes later. Then, when Poirot is about to leave, the restoration artist contrives an noise, an accident perhaps, to wake the receptionist up, just in time for her to see Poirot walk out the door, late in the afternoon around 4:30pm. Then, the restoration artist goes back down to the furnace remove, prepares the body in the appropriate sizes to fit, and places the parts in the furnace. How he did this without such a ghastly mess I do not know; however, I believe perhaps he laid down some plastic wrap per the renovation, used it to cover up the murder, and was able to move it in and out discretely in a large trade canvas bag. With a bloody shirt covered by his uniform, and the bloody plastic hidden in the bag, he left calmly that day, with a smirk on his face, waiting for the true horror to come to the knowledge of everyone else.

What is perhaps most frightening is that this crime could have been committed by one person and one person only; and that this crime was made with such effort to implicate Poirot, and further that it seems to have been committed by a man either unknown or trusted by Verhaeren, that only one motive seems truly fallible: to frame Poirot, and put me on the case to investigate him.

To see it so matched with Poirot, that I too seem to have been framed for a murder that Poirot was put on the case of, makes clear that this is the act of no ordinary person, but a man who had malice and fear of Poirot and I. And I believe we all know who that person is.

And if it is so, that this same person now is associated with and/or leads an organization whose members are dedicated to establishing their validity as peace-loving fictional characters living in the non-fictional world, I trust they will be most dissatisfied to hear the truth of their associate is a vile man, willing to lie, cheat and murder the innocent* for his own purpose. And to those who distrust him, you will be satisfied to know your distrust was not in vain.

Now onto find this Don Juan.

Sherlock Holmes

*It is true that Pieter Verhaeren, as a cruel conniving politician, is not the form of an innocent man. However, no act deserves a most unusual, violent death beyond jurisdiciton of the law. Justice must be served.

Poirot Found

Oh nevermind; Poirot has been found and safe, albeit in a precarious situation. Wandering late in the museum I heard a noise coming from a utility closet; I opened it up and I found Poirot – I profess it is true – bound, tied at the boot and hung upside. Slyly he tried to shrug off his dire circumstance, but ultimately he asked for my service, and I obliging liberated him. According to him he must have been knocked out and bound up in such a way, though he never saw who; which begs the question: who bound up Poirot, and more importantly, why?

Further as we spoke to each other we agreed that our cases had become common and that perhaps it would be best for us to work together. Poirot’s complaint was enough to get the painting professionally analyzed for its forgery; we will return to the scene tomorrow to find the results, and if they are as I believe, we will both consult further with the curator and put the pieces together. I only hope that soon it will bring us to Mr. Vincent.

Holmes

Poirot Missing?

I confess that I am very worried about Hercule Poirot; his research of the audio tape has, though I pain to admit it, apparently revealed a pernicious plot. He came into the museum today and revealed his claim that the painting “Portrait of the Magnificent Don Juan” hanging in the exhibit is in fact a forgery. I asked him about it, and he wished to discuss it more with me personally, once he got some piece of information he was looking for. I was supposed to meet him in the cafe; alas, he did not show up. Where did that damn Belgian go?

Holmes

Poirot; the Anonymous Art, and a Staple Gun

Good day;

So yesterday, you may wish to know, I ran into Monsieur Poirot, and discoursed at the Denver Art Museum together. The conversation was quite long; the beginning discussion was more engaged in out past exploits, but you will find the real interest was in the later dialogue. Here we were engaged in dialogue about our cases, and we came to the common agreement that a missing restoration painter and a strange piece of music blaring out music at the late hour of the night seemed hardly coincidental. However, we struggled greatly to overcome our ‘disagreements of style’, let us say; I was hired to investigate the disappearance of a painter who has worried his family, a case that I regard as worthy against one of a prank. Therefore, I wished to analyze that aspect with the greatest detail, since time on that end is short. Poirot, on the other, seemed intent on focusing on his single evidence since he decided he had the best lead for both parts of the case at hand; he wished to analyze that part in depth, which to me appeared a luxurious treatment of the little time I had. Out of our differences we decided to work on our own aspects to the best of our ability until our aspects join together – which is, perhaps, a polite way of stating that we were unable to come to an agreement over the handling of the case.

As such, I decided to wait until this day, when with permission the curator led me around the unfinished exhibition explaining to me the detail of the restoration artist’s work. Granted, he seemed to think of it as a test run of a tour and explanation, so much of the inspection was doused with tedium as to who they believed was the anonymous painter of the Dutch landscape, or where they got this Portrait of the Magnificent Don Juan, or why they would put on an exhibit on anonymous painters at all. He even led me through the gift shop – as if I was inclined to purchase one of his full-sized posters in tubes when I am in the middle of a missing person investigation! In fact, perhaps I would say that the most interesting thing I found was a device known as a staple gun out of place on the shelves behind the counter of the gift shop. I asked what it was doing in the gift shop. He had no idea; I did however find a clue as to its owner; it was emblazoned with a sticker on the handle for the G’Raj Mahal Cafe, with an address listed in Austin, Texas. Texas? Seems to be rather out of the way from Denver…

Further, written on top of it is a name Melissa Glaser. I asked the curator if he could find any record of a woman known as Melissa Glaser working for the museum. He later informed me that he could find none. Quite curious…

I will tell you if I find out anything else.

Holmes

A New Attitude in Denver…?

Well, there we are; I have found the correct employer – that is the employer that hired Jack Vincent to work on a painting. I have gotten their testimony of his work, that he came in, worked for about a week, and left as of Monday of this week. They do not know where he went from there, but they heard from him personally that he was finished.

Yet even before I spoke to his wife I was thoroughly bothered by it. First of all, the curator’s description of him was as reserved, intense man, focused on his work and concise if eloquent with his language. It does not comply with the affable, goofy and personable man that his wife Lauren described. The curator described Mr. Vincent as having some strong stricture about when and where he worked; the vincent described to me was a much more easygoing man. It does not settle easy with me.

I will give an update to the wife but I cannot speak to her in full confidence that her husband is safe or in sound mind…

Holmes

Denver, Deanna

Hello from Denver, Colorado!

I was able to arrive in Denver late two days ago; I was further delayed in even engaging with the mystery by a vast kerfuffle in the city. I came to find that apparently a major political ‘election’ was talking place. Of this I had little concern beyond its interference with my investigation.

But onto the investigation. I am investigating the disappearance of a Mr. Jack Vincent; he lives in Boulder, Colorado and is by profession a painter who specializes in restoration of canvas works. He let his family know that he was hired for a job in Denver but he didn’t describe where. He said he would call him once he was settled but he didn’t call and he has gone missing since Thursday of last week. I am hired to find him.

This is further exacerbated by my lack of knowledge of the location where Jack Vincent was supposed to work. From my lodgings I was able to visit the Art Institute of Colorado and the University of Denver – all to no indication that either had hired a Jack Vincent to take on a project for them. One did provide me flyer for an upcoming exhibition at the Denver Art Museum, “Anonymous: Paintings of the Unknown” that offered some promise – as I take it paintings on an exhibition of the unknown might need restoration. I will have to go there tomorrow.

I have come upon much news from Washington State; indeed my friend and former colleague Don Quixote met – and ultimately prevailed over – our foe Kenneth Tripky, a.k.a. ‘Kenny Mann’, but not without being scathed. Indeed, Don Quixote was shot and has remained in hospital for the past couple days. Nevertheless he is by all accounts healing well, which is fabulous news. So I send my personal regards to Mr. Quixote, and I would that he have none but the speediest of recoveries.

However, his recovery comes with a much grimmer announcement. Mr. Hope, co-conspirator in the murder of our Tara, was found dead in his penitentiary cell, having apparently strangled himself with his own clothes. It suffices to curdle the stomach already, but there is more; for he scratched on the wall of his cell with crude stone the following death note:

DEANNA WILL KILL ME IF I DON’T DO IT FIRST

SHE’S COMING

This gives me evidence to suspect what I had feared; that Deanna is malevolent. As her connections are quite close to my new acquired friend Don Quixote I must fear terribly for him; what sort of devil is he dealing with?

As I am in Denver I can do naught but wish him the best of luck.

Holmes

Tara Avenged? Almost…

Well, sod it. I have analyzed the fingerprints from the weapon and a suspicion that Mr. Quixote had about Mr. Mann – or, as I should call him now, Kenneth Tripky – was correct. It was Tripky who took the shot, and it was the military man Jeffrey Hope who helped cover up the murder by closing the window. I would have been less surprised by this discover thinking of Hope only as a soldier or soldier prospect and had not seen the considerable nervous behavior that he displayed when the police were moving in to arrest him.

And to whom it concerns (perhaps you, Sicon112?) I had the rifle identified by the ballistics expert as a M1903 Bolt-Action Springfield Rifle with a .30-06 caliber cartridge, fitted with a scope and suppressor. Apparently this weapon was registered for drilling and training use by military recruits, but it was stolen by Jeffrey Hope in the interest of committing this murder. I had a great argument with the ballistics expert on the scene as to whether or not I was correct to call this weapon a “sniper rifle”, though perhaps I would have done well not to question the expert. In agitation we both agreed to look up the weapon, and we found that indeed the weapon was used as a sniping as late as the Second World War. The Ballistics Expert conceded that this made it a ‘sniper rifle’ “if you’re from 1945 or something.” Though I wasn’t keen to announce it, I believe that, for a man from the 1890′s, this ought to mean I was correct in my way, while the expert may have been also.

As to the motive, it seems to be little more than considerable love scorn by two men. Kenneth Tripky, an unsavory criminal and exploiter of women who had a record in the cities of Salem and Portland in the state of Oregon (just south of Washington), appears to have been borne with diabolical, perhaps hereditary tendencies, and for him killing Tara seemed as much about defending his personal ego as to get his base revenge. A considerable manipulator, he managed to convince the normally peaceful but emotionally unstable weak-willed soldier Jeffrey Hope. Given his words to me in the parking lot, I believe that Hope may have tried to be the shooter because of his relative expertise but was too timid and guilt-ridden a personality; therefore Mann intervened to take the shot, despite interference from his left-handedness. He used a cellular phone he purchased in Oregon and used as his “business” contact locally to alert Tara enough to get her to open the window in order to take a shot.

Tripky is still at large, but his door is closing quickly. Mr. Quixote has had a tip about the location of Tripky; I offered to give this information to the police, but he related to me that this was his fight to finish, and I was in no position to stop him. Even if I could involve myself in his fight I am already packing to a new case in Denver, Colorado; my flight leaves tomorrow afternoon.

Poor old doter. Though I have found multiple aspects of his… style to be quite irritating and straining to my method, he did add a little panache to the investigation. And after all, it was a welcome change to do my method with a companion after so many cases done without cohort. Perhaps I will do so again in the future.

I will see you again in Denver.

Holmes

P.S. The remaining loose end of this mystery for me is the identity and intention of this ‘Deanna’. Yet as far as I am concerned I will have to leave it as remains – a non-issue for now. Any future concerns I take to be dealt with by Don Quixote in the future.