Dr. Watson has been invited to the country estate of his war friend, William Ashby, Esquire. The invitation has also been extended to the new investigators taking up cases out of Baker Street. A quite weekend in the country sounds like fun to Meredith Cunningham and she drags along her uncle, Sir Bartholomew Alexander Kensington III to join her.
Late Friday evening the carriage driver from the estate of William Ashby, Esquire, contacted me. He informed me that William Ashby had been murdered in his bed by the stable boy Harland. Margret, William’s wife and Michael, his young cousin, had wisely sent for me straight away.
I, of course, made haste and went with said driver to the estate where the crime, most heinous, had occurred.
Upon my arrival I was shown to a location outside the home where a ladder rested against a chimney. Two persons, a young female and older male, from London, amateur sleuths, had already walked all over the crime scene both inside and out. They had even tainted testimony of witnesses by asking leading questions, putting certain ideas into the witnesses’ heads about who the culprit could be.
I, of course, being the professional I am looked at all of the evidence without any preconceived ideas and sought first to clear the name of the stable boy, Harland. I found it convenient that so much evidence pointed directly at him. I took the older male with me, a Sir Kensington, to keep him out of trouble. Being of the upper class I hoped he would leave this to the professionals. I found him very opinionated and gruff for one of the upper class. The young lady, a Miss Cunningham, remained at the estate. I felt the more delicate of the sexes was most likely to stay out of trouble without her man there to egg on her meddlesome ways.
I found Harland exactly where I knew he would be and after questioning him and his parents locked him up, for his own safety, until I could apprehend the real culprit. He did say that he had seen young Michael and Lady Margret share an embrace once that was one of lovers more than one of cousin-in-laws.
I returned to the estate with the loquacious Sir Kensington to continue the investigation.
I “enlisted the aid” of Sir Kensington and the young Miss Cunningham, so I could keep an eye on them. I found that the gardener had seen young Michael Ashby on the roof at the chimney yelling into it at approximately 7:45PM. This was when Lady Ashby was at the door to the victim’s room talking to him through the door. It should be noted at this point that said chimney leads to William Ashby’s room. It had previously been stated from the amateur detective duo that the room key found in Ashby’s hand was the only key to his room and that the door was locked leaving no one able to enter. This is why I found the door kicked in when I arrived.
I felt that some things in the story were not adding up and searched Lady Ashby’s room and found another key to William Ashby’s room. When I confronted Michael and Margret Ashby with the evidence of what I knew to be their plot to kill William, take his money and continue their most scandalous affair they immediately broke down and confessed.
I arrested both and released young Harland, knowing that he would now be safe that the two culprits could cause no further harm.
With your approval, I will share this report of my methods with the two amateur detectives from London hoping that in the future they may be of more help to the professionals that have dedicated their lives to the pursuit of justice.