Tale of the Mad Gorgon – Episode Five

Welcome to the fifth part of the Tale of the Mad Gorgon, a mystery in 9 episodes (with prizes to follow!)

Enjoy  solving puzzles, mysteries and treasure hunts ?

Want to win some classic reading material along the way?

Grey Cells Press has put together a light-hearted vintage murder mystery tour, featuring detective novelist Julia Warren, as she tries to track down some very elusive treasure, and to prevent any more murders being committed as well!

Follow the Tale of the Mad Gorgon, from the High Seas in the days of 18th century piracy to a not so innocent countryside manor house in the 1920s , in a mad hunt for buried treasure – but can Julia find the treasure before any more murders are committed? Can you ?

Can you guess whodunnit? (And who gets dun next?) And … where the treasure is?

To catch up on previous episodes, go here : Greenwood Tree Mystery Tour

Click here for rules and prizes.

Happy hunting!

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THE TALE OF THE MAD GORGON

PART FIVE

Laetitia sat fanning herself by a half opened window in the drawing room. Things were becoming quite unbearable, the mess in the garden would take weeks of work, the library would need to be re-catalogued, the upholsterers would have to be called in … it was with a sigh of relief that she received the news of Julia’s arrival.

She fairly flung her arms around Julia in welcome and they went upstairs together; they passed through the portrait gallery on the way to Julia’s room and Julia remembered the evening they had spent there not three weeks previously. She looked again at the portrait of Captain Redheart as they passed and decided to examine it more closely later on. What was it Ezrard had said about the secret to the mystery ..? Something stimulating, something …colourful. It surely had to do with the painting.

She tried to remember the rest of the evening, the things people had said, how they had looked. That Mr Hubble had taken a great interest in various oriental statues; something of the fawning valuer about him; he had not quite left his professional manners at home, she felt, and wondered at Ezrard’s inviting him. Perhaps he was good at what he did and Ezrard had wanted something weighed up for auction. Eugene Orb wasn’t much better: hair slicked back (how she detested that in a man!),eyes roaming all over the place like an underfed frog, waiting for the next fly to come along so he could whip out his tongue and catch it. The image popped into her head and once there, stayed. She would find it hard to keep a straight face that evening when seated at table with him.

Roderick Upton now – wouldn’t he be too lazy to hunt for treasure? And if murder had been committed, surely he had not the character for it. Now, if someone else had done it for him… His cousin Abigail for instance ; but she was the typical flapper, similar in many ways to her cousin, constantly powdering her face or touching up her lipstick, when she wasn’t pouting at something someone had said.

James Derelict was perhaps the only one apart from Laetitia with an ounce of civility in him, and he kept very quiet and sober; hardly surprising, considering the circumstances.

All in all, it was a motley crowd at the Bagshotts and anyone of them might have killed to get at the secret of the treasure –each in their own way.

‘… and of course, coming so soon after that bout he had, convinced him somebody was attempting to kill him,’ finished Laetitia. She added another spoonful of sugar to the tea and stirred. (IS it possible to stir tea wistfully?) ‘And really, you couldn’t blame him for thinking that, but I do think he had been overdoing it with the food again…’

Still, the little wooden soldier was rather different. A question of bad indigestion could on its own suggest very little other than –  bad indigestion. Put together with a violent, mysterious toy sent anonymously… yet what did the doctor have to say about Ezrard’s death after all? Surely there would have been an inquest had there been something untoward.  The toy was certainly indicative of malice; but perhaps no more than a prank gone rather badly wrong.

Julia watched through the windows in the drawing room; occasionally a figure crossed the now bespeckled lawn that more resembled a battlefield for moles than a garden. Laetitia sniffed.

‘I wouldn’t mind, only they find nothing and besides, I am certain Ezrard said the treasure was not out there.’

‘Really? Is there anything else you can remember him saying ?’

Laetitia could not. But she did notice Ezrard had taken to wandering the upper floor considerably more than had ever been his habit previously.

‘That suggests the gallery then. He must have been studying something there. It is surely connected with the portrait of Redheart, don’t you think?’

They were interrupted by an almighty shriek issuing from above.

There is always a pause in this sort of situation; the human mind, particularly perhaps one conditioned to the sedate pace of rural life, pauses  to register that something untoward has actually happened (in this case, a full-throated bellow from the healthy vocal chords of Ethel the maid)before moving. It took nearly a full minute for people to gather en masse in the hall. The shriek came again.The men went up first, and James, on reaching the landing, collided with Ethel, who by now had managed to make her way there, convulsed and in a state.

‘What’s happened, girl?’ he demanded almost impatiently. Ethel pointed in the direction of the gallery.

They found Abigail lying on the floor, strangled, her pochette at her side, mirror characteristically in hand.

episode 5

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