The detectives are asked by Dr. Watson to look into the death of Sir Maxton Gotshalk of Boscadwith Manor near the village of Cottel.
After reviewing the request for assistance sent by the good doctor by way of the Baker Street Irregular, young Kilby. The pair of investigators hurriedly made ready to depart to the train station for the overnight trip to Cornwall.
At the station they were met by“Porky” Johnson who provided two tickets and a messenger bag containing a letter from Doctor Markeley.
With nothing else to do during their trip, Meredith read the long, detailed missive to her uncle, who listened intently. After gathering some clues and questions from the letter the amateur detectives settled in for the trip and attempted to get what sleep they could.
They arrived in Cottel the next morning and were met by Dr. Markeley and Constable Jory Oates. Sir Kensington, quickly sized up the village constable and feared a repeat of the ineptness of the law enforcement official met previously during the case A Day in the Country.
The detectives were shown to the two local residences that, thanks to the doctor, would be their homes for the duration of their stay.
After a quick meal and freshening up, Sir Kensington, took a walk around the village to get the lay of the land. Afterwards he met up with his niece and together they went to Dr. Markeley’s house. Inside they found that the constable was also present. After being seated and served tea the two detectives began questioning the doctor and constable about the death of Sir Maxton Gotshalk. They learned quite a bit and had developed several leads they wanted to follow up on.
Things took an almost irreparable turn for the worse when Meredith’s uncle Bart flat out accused the constable of being at the very least inept if not outright in collusion with those responsible for this most heinous crime.
Luckily the cooler heads of Miss Cunningham and the doctor prevailed and reputations, for the time being, were maintained and egos, for the most part, were assuaged.
The intrepid duo split up and gathered what information they could from the fine folk of the village.
The next day, thanks to a carriage provided by Doctor Markeley, the investigator’s made their way to Boscadwith Manor. When they arrive they are met by the footman, Forrest Rickard, who, thanks to a Letter of Introduction from Dr. Markeley, admits them into the manor.
states he will allow the investigators to question the staff, inspect the room where the unwrapping took place and have a general look around.
Talking to the house staff reveals to the detectives that the butler, Cadan Rowe, had after the death taken a tumble down the stairs and has lain in a stupor ever since, being taken care of by his daughter Cordula.
The staff lives on the upper floor of the west wing. Only Danby Scott, the master’s personal assistant, lives in the family quarters of the west wing. Danby was hired about five years ago.
Some of the other information gleaned from the staff interviews included:
- When the “mummy” turned out to be the master—murdered—there was quite a stir. If not for Dr. Markeley, it’s hard to say what might have happened. For a few hours, the whole staff was busy running around trying to soothe the guests’ nerves and help them decamp. The visitors seemed eager to leave—all except Mrs. Hollingbury, who lives just at the foot of the meadow anyway.
- All was chaos in the house on the night of the unwrapping. Mr. Scott was giving all sorts of orders in the master’s absence and that did not sit well with the staff.
- Mrs. Hollingbury and Dr. Markeley were the master’s only frequent visitors. Dr. Markeley was always wading the streams and ponds on the estate, looking for frogs, toads, and salamanders. Mrs. Hollingbury was always kissing the master on the cheek and tut-tutting over his collection of antiquities. She was particularly upset when the master began collecting whole mummies.
The detectives then met with Danby Scott, the right hand man of Sir Maxton. Scott was “busy” working on some accounting for the estate and stated that he did not have time to speak and anything he would be able to recall had already been imparted to Dr. Markeley or Constable Oates.
In examining the confines of the manor the investigators found the only room that contained any clues, although already cleaned by the staff, was the parlor where the unwrapping had taken place.
After gathering clues from the parlor, which included a crumbled up paper with Egyptian Hieroglyphs on it, Miss Cunningham and her Uncle Bart met with Cordula Rowe in her father’s room whilst caring for him.
They find that the old butler, while severely injured is not quite as injured as Dr. Markeley believes and has only been feigning his stupor.
While Mr. Rowe is still having difficulty speaking he reveals several key pieces of information to the duo via notes.
- Darby became Danby after trouble in India and came to work for Great Uncle Max.
- Sir Maxton was furious with his Nephew about something a week ago. He gave me a list of items in his collection.
- Took a drink with Nephew–silly me. Did not fall down the stairs, was pushed.
Cordula added that:
- Sometime after the master left on his so called trip, I noticed that someone had torn up several sheets. The ragged half of one wound up in the laundry.
- Shortly after that, a maid visiting the cellar found a pile of linen strips in the dustbins. They were perfectly good rags, even if they came from ruined sheets. There were some very old and dusty strips with them. The whole pile is clean, folded, and stored in the root cellar now.
- “Danby Scott” has been very busy, dashing around, scribbling in ledgers, and giving orders that he shouldn’t. His right-hand man is a troublesome and violent servant called Kenan Gundry— he’s from a good family, but he’s a bad egg. Kenan has made himself scarce since the Master’s demise, but he’s tried to get here a few times since. He means to force his intentions on me.
The investigation continues