Tara is murdered!
For shame; if only I hadn’t been so detained (and literally so) the night before. I know of only one way I may redeem myself – by using my methods as I can.
I arrived at the scene before that damned police did and I did as much as I could to learn the circumstances of her death before the police would push me off of the scene. Luckily in that short space of time I discovered a lot.
Tara was shot in the abdomen, and died within less than five minutes of blood loss – but had about a minute of consciousness before she fainted. What is strange is that despite the numerous threats Tara received the evidence points – almost too clearly – in the direction of someone quite close to her – Mrs. Loverose, Tara’s bitter and ornery landlady, for multiple reasons.
- By her own admission she had to unlock the door to find the body, which means that the door was locked. Mrs. Loverose and Tara were the only two that had keys to the apartment, and Tara’s keys were on her counter.
- Loverose had a natural hatred of Tara’s unbridled spirit; she was scorned by an adulterous husband and despised Tara’s promiscuity, which may have been strong enough to be an incentive to kill.
- And finally, as if it wasn’t enough, Tara decided in her final minutes to write the letters ‘LOVER’ in her own blood before passing out. I imagine there was little else it could spell than Loverose’s name.
I will admit there is one problem that I keep running into that cannot be explained. The bullet was a rifle round, unless it came from a particularly designed revolver. A rifle would have been difficult to carry in and out of a room, certainly, but that is a small issue. The real issue is that, despite the bullet being a rifle round, the wound is unusually shallow. Given close quarters you would expect a stopping power twice the size and an exit wound, but there is nothing of the sort with either. Moreover, a rifle would have had to be terribly loud; I have attested from the nearest neighbors that they heard nothing – absolutely no gunshot – on the night of the murder, nor the rattling of the door; nothing that would imply that Tara was murdered!
I will have to think of it further; if I only wish that I had more time to investigate the room!
P.S. There was one more interesting detail; her landline phone was off the receiver; she was on a call when she was killed. Perhaps the person on the other line heard something about the murder… if only we were able to figure out the last number who called her that night!
About bloody time! I have just gotten back from an exhausting detainment by the local Seattle police!
That cad Lance Chevalier (or Don Quixote) decided to go after Tara by stealing a damn bobby horse! Believing it imperative that if Lance were Don Quixote – which my research reveals to be quite likely – I had to make sure that he was not detained on a serious charge. So I had to deflect the police operation slightly by giving a police officer false information to mislead him.
Yet in my effort I ended up cuing off enough suspicion to be brought in for questioning at the police station. The backlog was substantial, and the questioning was an utter bore. They simply wanted to know what I knew about the man, and I was able to provide the lighter details of what I knew (though I was keen to censor – to protect him, after all).
Yet even so I experienced difficulty since I told them I was privately investigating the man for a benefactor. They proceeded to ask me whether or not I had a license to be a Private Investigator. A license? To get a license to do such a service? What nonsense! They decided as a result to hold me longer, and consider whether they wanted to process me further. I was beginning to think I was in serious trouble!
But finally they decided to let me off as long as I filed some paperwork and got myself an official license to be a Private Investigator in Washington state. (I will admit, I had to be a little creative on the information; obviously I couldn’t use my name, and I didn’t have much information to provide, but they provided my license without much consideration).
To make matters worth, I was keen to tell them that I believed that a woman associated with Don Quixote – Tara – may be in serious danger as her life was threatened. Yet when they asked for the grounds of my concern, I could only describe a message left on her blog. They said it was not enough grounds for a stake out, only internet-based harassment. If I wanted to file a claim of harassment, I would have had to return the next day because the office was closed; and any further police action would require that Tara request the further action of the police. Miserable!
I wish there was more that I could say but I have had an exhausting day and I need my rest; I will have to check up on Tara and Don Quixote in the morning.
I have watched more about this man, and I must say he may be the strangest man I have ever observed. He generally wanders around the streets of the neighborhood of Capital Hill playing a fantasy that he is on some sort of ill-defined quest that nears psychosis; he vocally declares that he abides by a strict code of chivalry, and he sees common pedestrians as allies or nemeses very quickly. Tara has become the object of his affection I imagine because in saving her she best affirmed his own fantasy. (On the other hand, Tara – if we are to be honest – is hardly the ideal damsel; she’s a struggling actress, self-absorbed and something of a harlot.) Another bizarre feature is his sheer eloquence and ability to quote classics, which implies good education – which he makes his fall to homelessness thoroughly strange.
Every attempt I have made to discover this man’s identity has been thwarted, except that I know that he once referred to himself as ‘Lance Chevalier’. This relatively mundane case of identity has now given me an obsessive giddiness I imagine is felt by a biologist or botanist who has just discovered a new species. I want to find more of who this madman is, and I have gone far in describing his features but nowhere in finding something that implies an identity. I am not solving a mystery so much as I am taking field notes; just yesterday he leaped into a shopping cart and cried out, “Onward Rothinate!” or something like that as he rode it like a child through the alley. He believes he is a knight-errant, trying to find a quest as if the world had quests popping up all over the place, yet for all his talk of ‘Faint heart never winning a fair lady!’ he seems to be a coward; I saw him screeching over a petty spider!
People have alerted me that his identity is Don Quixote, apparently a famous fictional character, and is connected to a particular twitter account. His bizarre behavior does validate the theory; it would appear that my benefactor is bringing me closer to these figures for some reason unknown to me… strangely I seem to recognize the name, if I am not mistaken, from some message of fan mail I got ages ago.
I haven’t spoken to Tara in a while, but somebody has informed me of a sinister message which was left on her blog. Whether or not this message is related to our Don remains to be seen. I will have to ask her if something more worrisome than a senile fool is bothering her…
Some of you may be wondering where I have been the past couple days; well I needs inform you that yesterday I was forced into moving to another city by the command of my benefactor. He wants me to work on a case all the way over to the city Seattle (never heard of it) that seems to be an insultingly humble case of reconnaissance and observation of a man of little importance. I can only infer that this is out of punishment for disagreement with my activities the past couple of days in New York – days which he forced me to endure, mind you! I retain very little patience for him, and that which I do keep is mostly out of my necessity of him and not respect for him.
I hope there is something that I can make of this case, but I fear there is not. I will meet with the affected party shortly.
I am… too late. I rushed into the hotel as quickly as I could and I tried to find Sandy in her usual space, but she wasn’t there. So naturally I ran over to her best friend, Jackie, who also worked in reception. I told Jackie I had to find Sandy immediately (I messed up at first; accidentally said Cindy) and needed to know where she was. Jackie told me that last she saw her was a couple hours, when some guy came in and said he wanted to see her in private. I asked her who it was, she replied “I don’t know, just some very good looking guy, you know? Could have used a shave… and he seemed a bit full of himself but other than. She always said she was waiting for a prince…” I interrupted her and asked her where they went, she replied down near the employee stairs. Which was enough for me; I had to knew the only place in that general vicinity that they could keep private for so long was in the room amenities storage area.
But when I walked in, there was no one there; everybody had already left. Or at least, when I say everybody, I observed that only one person, a man in some leather shoes, had tracks leading in and out of the room, whereas the woman in working flats only had tracks that approached a chair, at which point by all observation she just… disappeared. All possibility that the man carried her or dragged her out was eliminated by the fact that the man never approached the chair. The only thing that I can verify further from prints is that whoever the man was must have seen something which startled him severely, and knocked him onto his behind. Beyond this I have no evidence or clue, but the irony of a single sheet of paper left behind, mockingly saying thus:
“…and they all lived happily ever after.
I feel an utter ass; the only thing that keeps me from utter shame is the observation that Sandy – or Cinderella – appeared to act willingly and with her agency. I saw no signs of struggle, only an act of peace. But ’twas in her nature to be graceful and kind anyway. I can only hope wherever she is now she will be treated with the same kindness and grace she showed me in this world.
Oh god! I have little time to explain, so I must do so in haste.
I came unto this apartment, but I was stuck in finding that the apartment number provided did not match the rooms. I was about to give up when convenient suggestion commented that the horseman on the suit tag may have indicated a knight and hence a move in chess. They recommended that the actual apartment number should have been 1G, and I obliged. There was trouble in that the resident was not home. Undeterred, I contrived a way to open the door and let myself in. I found to my astonishment a most bohemian array of papers and research to rival my own. One side seemed to involve a complex amalgamation of mathematical calculations and postulations, and on the other side a full wastebin of what appeared to be some sort of manuscripts and – I do not speak false – photographs and observations surrounding several figures. I am frightened to say that I recognized three of them; one of them was indeed myself! And another, with lighter paperwork, was Hercule Poirot. But it was clear that this person had put aside the research on Poirot and had neglected me in favor of one very focused and particular figure dressed in a flowing white gown. The woman, I might add, that I saw at the ball that night.
It seemed whoever was the resident of this room had observed fictional characters in his vicinity, and had chosen to stake out Cinderella in a particular fashion. But the nature of this apparent stalking was not what troubled me – no! What troubled me was an item on the desk that lay a top everything: a single heeled off-white ladies pump shoe with two very particular leather straps and tiny buckles. It struck me, for I knew I had seen it before. Only I didn’t see it before; I saw what it left behind.
I saw the same exact print on the foot of the plain, undecorated, humble room attendant of the hotel. And only upon seeing did I realize who she was. Sandy is Cinderella!
HOW could I be so foolish? How could I not see it before? Was it not enough that she spoke to you of that man’s dreams and wishes? Did her glasses so blind you? What an utter boob I have proved myself to be!
I mustn’t say anymore. I fear that Sandy’s life may be in danger from the observations of those pictures on the wall. I must fly to her rescue if I can!
I have found where he has sent me. It turns out that if I had bought two baklava it would have been 3.99 by one and the sales taxation rate of .088 (don’t forget your duty – cheeky) by two, which is 8.68; We take a cent off, we get 8.67. And then by intuition the mad avenue of New York is Madison. And then if we observe, there is a clothing store at the address of 867 Madison Avenue known as Ralph Lauren Polo where – it is clear – they sell men’s ties. I entered into the shop and found in the dressing room area a stall labelled number 4 which I entered into, and indeed good observation led me to a string attached to the last wrung of my seat. I pick it up, and I observe what is on the end. Strangely, it seemed to be a price tag, only it was covered on both sides with a piece of masking tape. On the masking tape was written:
“You have come far, and are so close; but don’t forget that more is meant than what is said on the face of it. With that said there’s someone I wish you to know of; seek him out at 25 5th Ave #201, and after meeting him your puzzle is done, and you can go home.”
Strangely direct for him so far; I am quite cautious but in faith I am too close not to go. I’ll be with you shortly.
P.S. To see if there was a double meaning I peeled back the tape and revealed something on the inside of the tag; it was naught but the apparent logo of the Ralph Lauren brand and the clothing item and price on the other (Black Label, Fine-Check suit, $2095.00), with one exception: an ink circle drawn around the horse on the first, and around the item type on the other. Curious – another clue?
I am speaking to you again from the restaurant. It seems our invitation was not to a conversation but to a hunt; for sitting in the restaurant for a good time I looked upon the coupon message again and with observation realized it was leading me to a piece of scenery. In the restaurant was a multitude of pictures about the Turkic world and culture but only one of them was a picture of horizon – specifically the horizon of Constantinople at sunset. Quick logical deduction observed that ‘find was lies just beyond the horizon’ was not said in idiom but in instruction; whoever sent this wished me to find what was just beyond the horizon – or in other words, just beyond the photograph of a Constantinople sunset. I reached up behind it and I found another clue:
“Did you enjoy your sweet? And for your good savings here’s another Turkish treat:
For had you bought two of what you got for free it would have been one cent more than the address on the mad avenue you should go to next – and mind your duty! It is the place if you fancy the tie… now enter through the fourth and find the string beneath the surface.”
This one seems much harder to figure out. The coordinates do not help; they lead to some bizarre location in Turkey, so I will have to follow the rest of the riddle. I can only infer that he is speaking about the price of the baklava, which normally would have cost 3.99 on the menu. I must act quickly however, before it is too late.
After several days of being confined to this vast concrete prison and casually and impractically investigating seeming nonsense, I was wishing desperately for some intrigue, some mystery that I could solve easily. Yet today, by an act not dissimilar from providence, my wish was granted. For delivered to me today was… a coupon. A coupon for a free baklava with the purchase of a doner kebab at a Turkic restaurant called Parsa.
But that is not all that is intriguing about this coupon; for on the back of the coupon was written in thick marker was the following message.
“I know who you are, what you do and who you work for. Remember what you told your moustached friend? What a shame you had to part so soon after, by the order of your employer. With a benefactor like this, who needs an enemy?
But as I know you are man who does not conclude before he has the evidence, I have just what you need for your methods… that is, if you are willing to use them. This is my special offer; accept it and find what lies just beyond the horizon.”
Fascinating! I will take up his special offer with haste! If I can I will speak with you again from this very restaurant, and I will tell you who, or what, I find!
Hello, followers -
I have been passing my time confined to New York exploring a couple of cases with varying degrees of casualness. Most pressingly, by your recommendation to try and come upon this Cinderella of which spoke. I tried multiple methods of tracking with the devotion of a bloodhound, but it was as if the moment I left my hotel the trail ran cold.
But on the trail which wasn’t I came upon something else; strange reports of a woman (entirely different in nature and temperament) making a mockery of herself in Times Square. Intrigued I went there to see what I could find and discovered in one of the local rubbish bins a whole green folder just thrown away. Contained in it was a collection of legal forms for finance regulations that were of a completely inconsequential nature, but there was one item which was intriguing; it appears to be some kind of incomplete professional letter.
I decided I would post it online, and for this I would like to thank the help of a room servicier and attendant of the hotel, whose name I have learned is Sandy. My ability to take a photograph of the document was hindered, and she allowed me to scan it on the hotel’s personal machine. You may see it below.
There is much that I find interesting about it; it seems the man in question is applying for some kind of job, although his eagerness to do so bewilders me; it is clear that he has no qualifications to speak of. In his defense, I had a good argument about it with the attendant Sandy who disagreed; she was rather charmed by his apparent desperation and believed having the dream and wishing for it so sincerely ought to be qualification enough.
His lack of any qualification and unwillingness to discuss prior history made me consider that it may be useful for your purposes. I hope you can find something in it.