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Hyper Crab Tank
Feb 10, 2014

The future of crustacean-based warfare


We could go visit the Russian Embassy and confirm whether Alexi Meshkoff and Alexander Minshkin resemble each other at all; the latter is described as a giant man and should be easily recognizable. But I'm beginning to feel that Spaniard's Inn is a giant red herring. Both A.M.s there on March 9th did meet with someone, which means that neither one was there to meet with Courtney Allen. If one of them had showed up, had dinner and then went home looking concerned, then that would've been worth following up on, but since it looks like both of them met with someone (who wasn't Allen) suggests they don't have anything to do with this case. That two of them had matching briefcases just seems intended to confuse us, since we have no reason to think either briefcase resembles Allen's or belonged to him. I, too, suspected the switcheroo at first, but I don't see how that would work out now, seeing as how there are three of them.

Actually, I was hoping that the meeting referred to in the note would've been on the previous night, and that the two (whoever they are) had already met and we would get some info on that, but alas. (By the way, it says to meet "at" Spaniard's, not "behind" it.)

I don't think we have a case to make here right now, so I think we should focus on talking to William Linhart, and then finding Captain Egan. My vote for now is 1. Linhart residence (61 EC) edit: 1. Allen's offices at 5 EC - I forgot that people are generally at work during the day and not at home. Hopefully we can find out what the surprise at the plant was, and if Allen might've had some involvement with Linhart's mother. Captain Egan could be military or police, so I guess we should check at 2. Scotland Yard for that. Could it be he has some connection to the string of jewel thefts?

Hyper Crab Tank fucked around with this message at 22:10 on Oct 20, 2015

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Miss Mowcher
Jul 24, 2007



Previous day entry: 'Bishop's F -- 8:30 p.m.'

Bishop's Finger Inn ..... 18 EC

Brother: "Yes, I believe he was, but I have no clue as to who the lady might have been. You see, the night before he was killed, I popped 'round to his office at about half-past five and managed to coax him to supper at Keen's. We were there but a short while when Courtney begged leave. He indicated that he had an important meeting, said 'Auf Wiedersehen,' and winked. That wink meant a woman."

He was at Keen's with his brother for a short while at around 6 p.m, left for a an important meeting somewhere else. By his notebook entry he went to the Bishop's Finger Inn to the meeting at 8:30 pm.

We should go there to know who he met (and maybe why the "Auf Wiedersehen")

Miss Mowcher fucked around with this message at 05:37 on Oct 21, 2015

Kangra
May 7, 2012



We're currently have just the votes for Russian Embassy, Grant Arms Company (office), and Bishop's Finger Inn. Anyone willing to break the tie?

Indeterminacy
Sep 9, 2011

Excuse me, your Rabbit parts are undetached.

Hyper Crab Tank posted:

The dinner was the night before he was killed.
Oh, so it's not the same night? Sorry, I guess I must have been reading it as "that night, before he was killed". Still, the question of why he was at his office at that time on a Friday is still a live one - I'd like to suggest visiting the Grant Company Offices.

Kangra
May 7, 2012



Case 1, Clue 3
5 EC (Grant Arms Company)

By prearrangement we meet Constable Beadle behind the Grant Arms Company in the alley parallel to Leonard-street.

"I noticed a strange lump up the alley. I knew right off that something was amiss my instinct for the out-of-place, you might say. Watch your step there! The cobbling hereabouts is in a bad way. Many a jagged edge just made for tripping a man."

We have strolled 30 feet or so from the base of a stairway that leads to the offices of Grant Arms to arrive at the juncture of a "T" formed with another alley that leads to Old-street.

"It was right here and, sad to say, it was not a lump at all. Now the victim was lying on his back, the force of the bullet having thrown him backwards. The briefcase was lying right beside the body, waist-high. The wallet was lying a few feet away. The victim's overcoat was thrown open and his pocket watch was missing, but part of the chain was still attached to his vest. He was quite dead but there was still some warmth in his bare hands, so I couldn't have missed the blighter by much.

"Now, I figure the perpetrator must have hid in that shed just up the second alley. When the victim approached, he jumped out and fired point-blank. As you can see, it's but five feet from the shed to where the body lay."

We thank Constable Beadle for his time and trouble. He goes back on patrol, but we linger a moment longer at the scene. From the shed Wiggins calls to us.

"Seems both Scotland Yard and our 'Perpetrator' have been quite careless."

His open palm reveals the remains of a cigarette. On it are the letters "B & H" in gold leaf. The tip end is pinched evenly all around.

Beaming, Wiggins suggests that we adjourn to the offices of the Grant Arms Company to interview Allen's private secretary.

Our unorthodox means of entry via the back stairway startles a young man we meet in the corridor. Fair-haired and pleasant-featured, he turns out to be William Linhart. After introductions are made and we are seated in Linhart's office, Wiggins asks him a question that has been nagging at all of us since the beginning.

"What was Mr. Allen doing in the alley?"

"Anytime he worked after hours, which was often, he would leave by the back way. It was a short walk to Old-street where the traffic was heavier and a cab more likely to be hailed."

"So anyone who had a passing knowledge of Mr. Allen's habits, company employees or even business acquaintances would certainly have been aware of that practice?"

"Yes, that's so."

"That evening Mr. Allen was scheduled to meet with a Captain Egan at 8:30. Can you tell us who Captain Egan is?"

"He is the ordnance officer in charge of purchasing for the Admiralty."

"Do you know what the meeting was about?"

"He and Mr. Allen met often to discuss the special project undertaken for the Admiralty some months ago, but I was unaware of that particular meeting. Mr. Allen regularly delivered progress reports, but always during the day, and I always made the appointments."

"Could you tell us about the special project?"

"It is very secret, but I suppose I can say that it involves the development of a new type of naval gun."

"Were there problems with the project?"

"None that I am aware of. Mr. Allen was very concerned about security, though. While we do sell arms to foreign powers, there are certain weapons that are reserved exclusively for our own Government. Special Project #10 was such a one."

"Was Mr. Allen's concern over security based on a specific incident or centered on a specific person?"

"The existence of the project was common knowledge, so I'm sure he expected a certain amount of well, spying. He called in Lord Ragland to discuss the matter after several strange people were seen hanging around the Deverell-street plant."

"Why would the plant be under surveillance?"

"All the technical data, blueprints, formulas, that type of thing are housed there. Our offices here are entirely administrative."

"Mr. Allen's brother believes he was having an affair at the time of his death. Realizing that this is a delicate matter, would you know who the lady might have been?"

"No, I don't. Over the years I have always known about Mr. Allen's peccadillos but only in the most general way. We would be working and something would trigger a cryptic remark that obviously had to do with his personal life. For example, just after the International Arms Fair opened, he received a scented letter on pink stationery. Later that day he was dictating a memo to Lord Ragland when he stopped and picked it up. He took a full whiff and said aloud, 'Women often marry for a title but they won't necessarily fall in love for one.' Then he laughed and went on with the memo."

"You're now secretary to the new president Mr. Marlowe?"

"Yes. He was Mr. Allen's hand-picked successor which perfectly illustrates the kind of man Mr. Allen was. There was no love lost between them and yet, recognizing Marlowe's outstanding business acumen, he named him as his heir, so to speak."

"Thank you, Mr. Linhart. You've been very helpful."

Enjoy.

CPs Visited: 38 EC, 25 SW, 5 EC
Non-clues: 22 SW

Next clue will be decided in two days; sometime Saturday (probably a bit sooner than 48 hours).

Hyper Crab Tank
Feb 10, 2014

The future of crustacean-based warfare


Plenty of good information this time around!

- The file that is missing, SP#10-A, had to do with Special Project #10. (A might be for Admiralty or something.)
- The victim was killed very shortly before 7 pm, meaning he was likely leaving the office to go meet with Captain Egan to discuss Special Project #10.
- The meeting with Captain Egan was at an unusual time, so it may have concerned something sensitive and/or irregular.
- The victim's tendency to leave cryptic remarks about his personal life means "Auf Wiedersehen" probably, as previously guessed, indicates he was having an affair with a German or someone with a German-sounding name.
- The comment about "marrying for a title" implies that whoever he was having an affair with is married to someone with a fancy title.
- Since the rose-scented letter came shortly after the arms fair opened, Allen was likely having an illicit affair with Countess von Schulenberg, the German delegate to the fair.
- Suspicious, unidentified people were seen at the arms factory recently.
- Either the victim or the killer smoked Benson & Hedges cigarettes.

Now, that file. According to Linhart, all the files from the office are purely administrative and not interesting from a foreign espionage standpoint. Either the victim was carrying a file from the manufacturing plant around, or... the person who stole the file was not aware that the file was not actually particularly interesting, or was aware but wasn't actually after the file. The possibility of a jilted lover exacting revenge exists, but there is no suggestion that the Count was even in London at the time.

ElTipejoLoco
Feb 27, 2013

Let me fix your avisynth scripts! It'll only take me a couple horus.


I'm extremely happy that the SP#10-A file's meaning has apparently been revealed, but I'm a little confused as to what (or how) to follow some of the new trails revealed by the visit to Grant Arms. Mainly the cigarettes.

The one thing that hasn't been solidified yet is whether or not the shooting and the robbery are actually linked to a single perpetrator. It's possible the slash on the briefcase is also a red herring, I guess, unless the questionaire at the end asks us to address its circumstances for more points.

How would we investigate the Countess or Captain Egan? Do we do look-ups for locales whose names start with Admiralty or German? I presume there's no shops that are dedicated specifically to the import and sale of cigars, but maybe we should also try a look-up for something like that? I forget if at the time things like persons traveling with tobacco or nicotine goods were difficult due to customs or taxes.

Hyper Crab Tank
Feb 10, 2014

The future of crustacean-based warfare


Sadly, Benson & Hedges is a common brand of cigarettes by the time of Sherlock Holmes and wouldn't be at all difficult for anyone to get their hands on in any local shop. I think that detail is only going to be relevant if we run across someone who smokes them.

We could probably look up Captain Egan's workplace one way or the other, but I very much doubt he's going to be willing to talk to a pack of street urchins about secret military projects. If there was something the victim needed to discuss with Egan very urgently, we're going to have to find out what that was some other way.

The Countess is probably hanging out in the German Embassy, which I'm sure a lookup would find easily. But, again, I doubt she'd be willing to discuss her illicit affairs with us. Even if she is, I don't think she had much of a motive to kill him. It's possible that she was feigning romantic interest in the victim, in order to get close enough to him to steal documents on Secret Project #10 for Krupp Works. Again, no evidence for this being the case. For now, I think we should treat the affair as extra credit unless something else manifests as suspicious.

So, let's think about motives. Who stands to gain from the victim's death? I considered Phillip Marlowe, but is becoming president of the company really worth killing for? He doesn't actually get any of the victim's stock - that goes to the deceased's wife, Beatrice. In turn, that gives her some measure of motive, although she was probably living well on her husband's income already. That brings us to the affair - if Beatrice found out about his affair, she may have been provoked into killing him out of jealousy. We have no evidence of this, though.

Some unidentified foreign party, perhaps Russian, could also be interested in stealing the plans on Secret Project #10. But as we saw, the files the victim was carrying were most likely administrative in nature and not actually interesting to foreign intelligence - but it's not certain that the assailant knew that. The slash on the briefcase could be explained by the killer trying that first before remembering the key. Or perhaps there were documents hidden in the lining of the case? That's some classic spy fiction stuff right there. Nothing points to the victim being paranoid enough to do that, though.

I think we should next go see Lord Ragland at the Deverell Street Plant, 12SE, and see if he can shed some light on that surprise the victim wrote about in his notebook, and/or on the people snooping around the factory.

Hyper Crab Tank fucked around with this message at 22:04 on Oct 22, 2015

Zulily Zoetrope
Jun 1, 2011






Muldoon

What's in the tobacconist directory? If there's a B&H specialist, they may well be worth checking out. I figure most customers don't spring for the gold leaf.

Also, is there a Count von Schulenberg in the directory? He could well have a motive and he's quite the crack shot.

Kangra
May 7, 2012



Directory Look-ups

Thinking on it some more, I really don't need to provide 'context' for specific business or government locations such as the Admiralty. More generic things like 'German' will get the expanded excerpt.

'Admiralty'

Admiralty, The .......... 10 SW

'German'

Gerhardt, Otto ........... 7 EC
German Embassy ..... 9 SW
Gerstbacher, Hans ... 69 NW

I guess they like being near their embassy in the directory.

Tobacconists (Category)

Amber & Co ................... 35 WC
Benson & Hedges ......... 16 NW
Bradley's ........................ 54 NW
Carlin ................................ 7 SW
Dunhill's .......................... 86 SW
Fribourg & Treyer ........... 88 SW
Little Newspaper Shop .. 93 WC
Mortimer's ...................... 95 WC
Simpson's Cigar Divan ... 20 WC
Wolff, Phillips & Co ......... 44 SE


'Schulenberg'

Schindler, Reginald ............ 71 NW
Schulenberg, Count von .... 51 SW
Schwartz, Irving ................. 39 E

ElTipejoLoco
Feb 27, 2013

Let me fix your avisynth scripts! It'll only take me a couple horus.


Thanks for the look-ups. Here's my votes:
  • 12 SE Grant Arms Heavy Ordinance Manufacturing Plant (I guess we might as well see if we get additional leads)
  • 10 SW The Admiralty (I have no idea what we'll learn here, but this is the place I feel might reveal more about the missing file, so I'm all for it; also, Captain Egan should be here)
  • 51 SW Count von Schulenberg's (even if the Count and Countess aren't at home, there's a possibility we might learn something from their servants/employees/relatives that'll confirm or deny whether or not we're investigating a crime of passion)

Hyper Crab Tank
Feb 10, 2014

The future of crustacean-based warfare


Oho, I didn't see that von Schulenberg had participated in that shooting competition. Well then, that places him fairly high on the list of suspects after all. My vote is still unchanged, though... I think we can't rule out foreign espionage quite yet, and talking to Lord Ragland would help with that lead.

Kangra
May 7, 2012



Case 1, Clue 4

12 SE (Grant Arms Deverell-street factory)

We enter the typically grimy manufacturing environment of the Deverell-street Plant. "Lord Ragland ain't here, but I could show you to Mr. Kehoe's office; he's the guv'ner's assistant."

It is evident that Walter Kehoe has come up through the ranks and would be more comfortable in overalls than his present ill-fitting tweeds. With a meaty paw he tugs at his shirt collar and asks us our business.

"Can you tell us anything about Mr. Allen's visit here on the morning of March 9th?"

"Odd, I thought it was, so's I remember right enough. Mr. Allen comes to see his nibs, er, Lord Ragland, but he weren't here. Mr. Allen says he'll wait in the office."

"Do you know why Mr. Allen came to see Lord Ragland?"

"Now I wouldn't be knowin' their business, but it was most likely about Project #10, it bein' secret and all. There was hangers on around the Plant, foreigners and what-not."

"Do you know what transpired when Lord Ragland returned?"

"What? Well he never did return, leastways not before Mr. Allen left. I was called away and when I gets back, Mr. Allen, he hands me a note. Says it come for Lord Ragland and I was to be sure he gets it. He also says that he'll see Lord Ragland some other time and perhaps it's best I don't even mention that he come by. Lord Ragland was in a bit later, stayed for a couple of hours and left for the day. Odd it was."

A begrimed workman enters and informs Kehoe of some problem with a piece of machinery.

"I'll be back in a moment, gents. Why don't you wait in Lord Ragland's office."

Left to our own devices when Kehoe and the workman leave, we can't but notice a drawer in Ragland's desk partially open. And, of course, we can't help but peek in. We do not discover much of interest, only a stack of invoices and a bundle of stock certificates. One of the invoices is from Radford, Jones & Co. for 140 guineas. It is dated September 5, 1887, and stamped, 'Paid, March 10, 1888.' The stock certificates are in 5000 share denominations for several different companies, among them, Rafferty Paper Mills and Stephenson Iron Works. We manage to close the drawer just before Kehoe returns.

"A little kick in the slats always does the trick. Now where were we?"

"That's a very impressive safe."

"All plans're kept under lock and key, to be sure."

"Would you take us to someone who could tell us about Project #10?"

"Well, the only one around now would be Richard Camp. He was an engineer on the project. Not on it anymore but he can tell you a thing or two."

Kehoe leads us back through his office and out into the corridor. The noise of the plant, curiously insulated in Ragland's office, grows stronger as we approach Camp's office. We knock and enter but the office is vacant.

"He may be down on the line. Let me check."

Kehoe's second absence gives us a chance to prowl around Camp's office. The desk is littered with plans and formula notations, none of which means anything to us. Next to a cigar humidor is a framed photograph of a young woman. She is very pretty with extremely long, dark hair and she radiates a bright, dimpled smile. Somewhat blurred in the background is a vaguely familiar cathedral with two square-topped towers. Before we can rummage further, Kehoe returns.

"Mr. Camp left early it seems. Not feeling well."

"Well, thank you for your time."

The location on the map appears to be based on a real building that is maybe part of a school or sports facility?

CPs Visited: 38 EC, 25 SW, 5 EC, 12 EC
Non-clues: 22 SW

Another meaty clue, so have the weekend to decide on where to go next.

Hyper Crab Tank
Feb 10, 2014

The future of crustacean-based warfare


Darn. On one hand, it would've been nice to have Ragland's opinion. On the other...

Notes:

- The factory had an unpaid debt of 140 Guineas (about $22,000 in modern money, if I got things right) over six months old.
- The debt was owed to Radford, Jones & Co. Google suggests this was a men's tailoring company.
- This suggests the company may not have been in as good shape as the victim's brother was making it out to be. It explicitly contradicts his statement that the company was debt-free.
- The day after the victim dies, the debt is suddenly paid. That can't be a coincidence.
- What are debt papers doing in the plant in the first place? Administrative details should be handled from the main office, surely?
- Same for the stock papers.
- The photo in Camp's office sounds like it was taken in Paris, France. The cathedral with the square-topped towers is the Notre-Dame de Paris.

I think we have to put Lord Ragland on the list of suspects. It sounds like he was hiding debts from management, and from a fine men's tailor, to boot? Was he selling secrets to foreign powers on the side to pay for his debts, perhaps? The victim may have caught Ragland out while snooping around the office the morning before he died. That may explain why he was meeting in the off hours with Captain Egan, on such short notice. Lord Ragland catches him leaving his office and kills him to stop him from meeting with Egan and ratting Ragland out.

This would also explain the note. Consider this sequence of events: Ragland is in cahoots with "A.M." - perhaps the Russian diplomat suspected earlier. A.M. sends a note to Ragland to set up a meeting at 9 that night, Allen intercepts it, and wises on to the plan. He steals or rips up the original note and writes a new one with a later time (10). He takes the Special Project #10 plans out of the safe and hides them in his briefcase, then sets up the meeting with Egan, hoping to discuss his findings and set up an arrest for Ragland. Ragland, meanwhile, finds the plans missing and realizes the note is in the wrong handwriting, finds Allen and confronts him about the note, kills him, steals the SP#10 plans (first struggling with the briefcase), and leaves the note in the victim's handwriting behind. He meets with A.M. at the original time, putting the plans in a briefcase; the two swap briefcases, Ragland gets a fat payoff, and pays off the debt the next day.

This is a bit speculative, but isn't Sherlock Holmes always?

Hyper Crab Tank fucked around with this message at 17:02 on Oct 24, 2015

ElTipejoLoco
Feb 27, 2013

Let me fix your avisynth scripts! It'll only take me a couple horus.


Hyper Crab Tank posted:

This would also explain the note. Consider this sequence of events: Ragland is in cahoots with "A.M." - perhaps the Russian diplomat suspected earlier. A.M. sends a note to Ragland to set up a meeting at 9 that night, Allen intercepts it, and wises on to the plan. He steals or rips up the original note and writes a new one with a later time (10). He takes the Special Project #10 plans out of the safe and hides them in his briefcase, then sets up the meeting with Egan, hoping to discuss his findings and set up an arrest for Ragland. Ragland, meanwhile, finds the plans missing and realizes the note is in the wrong handwriting, finds Allen and confronts him about the note, kills him, steals the SP#10 plans (first struggling with the briefcase), and leaves the note in the victim's handwriting behind. He meets with A.M. at the original time, putting the plans in a briefcase; the two swap briefcases, Ragland gets a fat payoff, and pays off the debt the next day.
I like this theory.

Should we continue visiting clue points, or see how close we are to the truth as is, though? I'm wondering if it's worth it to try and go for points or just be as thorough as possible.

Hyper Crab Tank
Feb 10, 2014

The future of crustacean-based warfare


There are one or two things I'd like to have a better grasp on, myself. First, I'd like to know with more certainty who A.M. is. We could visit the Russian Embassy and see if Alexi Meshkoff matches the description the owner of Spaniard's gave for Alexander Mishkin. Actually, just to be safe, could we have a lookup of Meshkoff in the directory, just in case he has a house in town he might be at?

Also, if we could find a lead on whether Lord Ragland smokes Benson & Hedges, that would help square that little detail. Like Kajeesus said, probably not every schmo buys gold-leaf B&H cigarettes, so paying a visit to the Benson & Hedges shop listed in the directory there might tell us who might've bought cigarettes like that lately. If Ragland indeed has a taste for fine suits and fine living, it would make sense for him to have luxury cigarettes, too. I think this one is a little more likely to produce a good lead, so in a pinch, I'd vote for the tobacconist.

Hyper Crab Tank fucked around with this message at 18:06 on Oct 24, 2015

Kangra
May 7, 2012



Here's what there is for Meshkoff:


Mescher, Frieda ....... 61 SE
Meshkoff, Alexi ....... 34 SW
Metcalf, Abby ......... 88 WC

i81icu812
Dec 5, 2006


Also, can you look up Radford, Jones & Co?

Kangra
May 7, 2012



Radford, Jones & Co ........... 11 WC

I don't think it's too much of a hint to say that businesses and organizations with names that are real (like Benson & Hedges or this one) are in the same line as their historical counterpart.

i81icu812
Dec 5, 2006


Kangra posted:

Radford, Jones & Co ........... 11 WC

I don't think it's too much of a hint to say that businesses and organizations with names that are real (like Benson & Hedges or this one) are in the same line as their historical counterpart.

What type of business is Radford?

Kangra
May 7, 2012



Hyper Crab Tank discovered it already (see the notes in this post). I don't know if it was one that the writers expected people to know off-hand, but it's a nice historical detail.

Kangra fucked around with this message at 12:37 on Oct 25, 2015

Hyper Crab Tank
Feb 10, 2014

The future of crustacean-based warfare


Well, let's decide what to visit. As previously mentioned, I think our best chance at a good lead on the killer is 1. Benson & Hedges at 16 NW. If someone bought gold-leaf cigarettes recently, they would be able to tell us who. If that clue comes up Ragland, I think it's time to make a go at it. Failing that, my second vote is 2. The Russian Embassy at 54 SW. Meshkoff does have a house in town, but it's more likely he'd be at work during the daytime (although actually we're 1 for 3 on that one so far :v:). Even if he won't talk to us, we might be able to figure out what he looks like. We could visit the tailor, but I don't think they'd be able to tell us anything we can't readily infer anyway - the debt papers were in Lord Ragland's office and paid off the day after his boss died, so I don't think they'd be able to tell us anything other than confirm Ragland bought clothes from them, so I'm leaving that one out entirely.

ElTipejoLoco
Feb 27, 2013

Let me fix your avisynth scripts! It'll only take me a couple horus.


Kangra posted:

Hyper Crab Tank discovered it already (see the notes in this post). I don't know if it was one that the writers expected people to know off-hand, but it's a nice historical detail.
That link doesn't send me to a post, but prompts you to make a new reply instead.

16 NW seems like an alright direction to head in, though I'm not sure if premium versions of cigarettes are guaranteed to only be sold in-land and not carried in from wherever a person came from. I'm also still uncertain if whomever was hiding in the alley was, in fact, the shooter. I mean, Courtney got shot point-blank in the chest with a high-caliber gun, right? I don't think he was afraid of his shooter, and the type of gun makes me think stealth or subtlety weren't part of the killer's modus operandi.

I think the cigarettes won't lead us to the killer, myself, but I do want to find out who they lead to.

Barring that, I do think visiting 34 SW, 10 SW, or 51 SW might be worth it regardless of the suspects' presence. Meshkoff, the Admiralty, or the Countess's places could all yield clues from snooping or talking with unrelated persons, much like visiting the plant did, that I assume a straightforward interview might not.

Hyper Crab Tank
Feb 10, 2014

The future of crustacean-based warfare


About the alley: We know the victim used to regularly take the back door out of his office, rather than go the front way. Someone - I'm still wagering the killer - was waiting for him in the alley rather than out front. This suggests that the killer was someone who knew the victim and his habits; this fits Lord Ragland to a tee. I don't buy the policeman's suggestion that the victim was ambushed or attacked from stealth; I think Ragland was simply waiting there for him to come out and then simply called out to him and the two had a conversation before the victim was shot. This also explains why the victim would let the killer get close to him. Even if the victim was suspecting Ragland of selling secrets to the enemy, he would have reason to feign ignorance in front of the man. Ragland would obviously have easy access to high-caliber handguns, being the chief engineer at a weapon manufacturing plant.

If the clerks at Benson & Hedges tell us something like "Oh yes, these people bought gold leaf cigarettes in the last few weeks" and Lord Ragland is on that list, then I think that's enough to conclude it was probably him in the alley.

ElTipejoLoco
Feb 27, 2013

Let me fix your avisynth scripts! It'll only take me a couple horus.


I guess, but doesn't that make the cigarette that was found in a shed pointless if Ragland was just hanging out outside? I mean, not that there's anything stopping the guy from entering and leaving a shed multiple times, but.

That's why I think the cigar won't lead us to the shooter, anyway- its location was inside a thing some steps beyond two feet away from the shot, from what I understood.

It could've also been a short wait. Or maybe he flicked the cigarette away. It just doesn't seem like it's a super great clue, to me. We might have a much better time just shaking every suspect's clothes down for burnt gunpowder and looking for who might have access to the ridiculously overpowered weapon used.

Hyper Crab Tank
Feb 10, 2014

The future of crustacean-based warfare


It makes sense for Ragland to wait in the shed: if someone were to see him hanging around in the alley, it would mean suspicion would be instantly cast on him if the witness were to come forward. He didn't know when the victim would leave his office, so he had to wait for quite some time in that alley - enough time to smoke a cigarette or two - and he would need a hiding place to avoid suspicion. Allen finally leaves his office at 7 pm, walks past the shed, Ragland steps out - the two have a brief conversation about the note and the stolen files, Ragland pulls a gun, shoots him, steals the papers.

Now, it's been a week since the murder... the cigarette could have ended up there at any point in time. But I think given the circumstances of a detective story that we should at least consider it significant as a sign that someone smoked a cigarette in that alley at the time. If indeed gold leaf cigarettes are an expensive product, it narrows down the list of suspects considerably (especially in conjunction with everything else).

It's entirely possible this is just a red herring, though, and Ragland is innocent (although the fact that he was a terrible business man fits so well with a mountain of debt caused by luxury spending, and the debt being paid off the day after the murder is too close to be a coincidence). If that's the case, who else is suspicious in this?

- Beatrice, wife of the deceased. Motive: Inherits his stocks; victim was having an affair. However, I have trouble seeing her getting her hands on a high-caliber handgun and it doesn't fit any of the other clues.
- Phillip Marlowe. Motive: Takes over as chairman. Kind of a flimsy motive since there's no immediate gain from doing this and he didn't get any of the company stock.
- Count von Schulenberg. Motive: His wife was having an affair with the victim. Unlikely, though, since we have no reason to believe he knew about the affair, nor that he knew about the victim's habits regarding leaving by the back door.
- A. M.: Motive: Stealing Secret Project #10 plans. This one is super flimsy as we're not even sure who A.M. is, and therefore nothing to suggest he had means or opportunity to do this, or even that he's after the plans.

DankRhymer
Apr 20, 2003
Grizzlier than your average pirate

I gotta say, I'm on board with the Ragland theory. Also, regarding the cigarettes. Conan Doyle very much included Sherlock's knowledge of tobacco, cigars, and cigarettes into account in several of the short stories. If the publishers are trying to be true to the source material, it wouldn't be a far off conclusion to make. Although, that is Meta game thinking and perhaps spoils the mood.

Either way, I think the tobacconist is a good route to take.

Kangra
May 7, 2012



Case 1, Clue 5

16 NW (Benson & Hedges)

A salesman identifies the cigarette end as that of a Benson & Hedges Imperial.

"It is quite an expensive blend of Turkish and Virginia tobaccos. Very strong, yet very smooth. It's not a cigarette for the casual smoker but rather for a connoisseur."

"Imperials are made to order, are they not?"

"Oh, but of course. The Imperials is a relatively new brand and the client list is very small and exclusive."

"May we see the list?"

The salesman reaches under the counter and pulls out a small ledger. The list has the following 12 names:

Henry Higgins
Sir Clayton Partridge
Lord Henry Ragland
Gregory Cardiff
Chester Carley
Emile Zobar
Gilbert Welch
Montgomery Eustace
Count von Schulenberg
Rudolph Noble
Richard Mainhart
Richard Camp

He doesn't even ask us why.

CPs Visited: 38 EC, 25 SW, 5 EC, 12 EC, 16 NW
Non-clues: 22 SW

Hyper Crab Tank
Feb 10, 2014

The future of crustacean-based warfare


Kangra posted:

Lord Henry Ragland

Yes!

Kangra posted:

Count von Schulenberg

Aw, dang it. That means we can't rule out either of our prime suspects.

Kangra posted:

Richard Camp

Double dang it! Camp is another man with potential access to the plans and to powerful guns, but other than that, there's nothing implicating him... that we're aware of.

All in all, the best information we have still most strongly implicates Lord Ragland. He was a poor businessman and had racked up debt with expensive tailors, and smoked expensive cigarettes. He came into money shortly after the victim died. He knew the victim's habits and has access to powerful handguns. But all of this is, ultimately, circumstantial evidence. I know making staggeringly accurate inferences from circumstantial evidence is just how Sherlock Holmes rolls, but we ain't him and the lack of direct evidence irks me.

Let's think about it this way: If Ragland is indeed the killer, where could we find a clue that would confirm that unambiguously? We don't know where he is, and even if we did, I don't think he'd talk to us. There's the off chance he's got the murder weapon in his house, but it's been more than a week and I doubt he'd just keep it lying around where we can get to it for that long.

There's also the open issue of A.M.'s identity. Visiting the Russian embassy is still an option.

We could go see Mr. Camp, but I don't really see why we would want to, right now, other than to grill him for motives, I guess.

I'm curious - since this clue mentions the cigarettes directly, does the game have different text for locations depending on where we've been before? What would have happened if we'd gone to Benson & Hedges without finding the cigarette first? We would have no reason to in this case, but maybe there's some circumstance where that might happen. Also, does the visit to the laboratory that yielded nothing count against us in the quiz?

Kangra
May 7, 2012



There aren't any clues that change depending on where you've been. It's just generally written to assume you wouldn't go to some locations without knowing why to go there. That does mean it's possible to stumble onto something unexpectedly, but that's just the way the game works. The flip side is that sometimes you go to a location with the specific intent to ask about something you've seen, and then it never gets mentioned.

Clue points affect your score by 5 points per location you visit in excess of Holmes. (Technically you gain points if you visit fewer locations than Holmes, but his count is supposed to be the minimum that can answer all the questions.)

ElTipejoLoco
Feb 27, 2013

Let me fix your avisynth scripts! It'll only take me a couple horus.


You know, I'm curious. To accrue debt from the tailors, Ragland would've had to buy when he was unable to pay, right?

So, wouldn't these expensive, exclusive cigars possibly also have generated a similar receipt of debt that we would've stumbled upon? Can you even put expensive cigars on a tab?

It'd be nice if the list of clients had provided dates. Then we'd know if Ragland bought them after paying off his debt or if he was a client before then, information which improve the clue we found in the alley.

I'm not sure how to follow up from here. I want to visit either the Admiralty at 10 SW or the Count's at 51 SW and see if we can get more info from either of those leads. It feels like the A.M. trail's gone slightly cold at the moment, and going to either the Embassy or Meshkoff's seem like a pretty silly gamble now. And Camp feels like a whole new trail, because we didn't have a particular reason to suspect the guy up until we saw the client list.

Hyper Crab Tank
Feb 10, 2014

The future of crustacean-based warfare


I'm guessing he bought a lot of suits at once (140 Guineas is a lot of money) and told them to send the bill to the plant. I don't know enough about turn of the century tobacconists to know the pay structure there, but I imagine he paid up front. Anyway, I think the purpose of that clue is just to show that Ragland was in dire financial straits - he took six months to pay off the debt, so he must've been living above his income for quite a while.

I'm not really sure where to go, either, or even if we should start the quiz. For now, I think we should investigate a little more. Right now the person who knows the most about what happened is probably Captain Egan, even if he won't talk to us, so 1. Admiralty at 10 SW is my vote followed by the Russian Embassy at 54 SW. All we need is to catch a glimpse of Meshkoff and we can confirm if he's our mysterious A.M., since his physical description was so striking...

Kangra
May 7, 2012



Case 1, Clue 6

10 SW (The Admiralty)

Captain Egan is a small bulldog of a man. He paces back and forth behind a massive oak desk as if it were a quarter-deck railing.

"Eight months ago, Allen came to this office with the designs for a new naval gun. Revolutionary in concept. Can't say much about it, most secret, don't you know. The design was approved and monies advanced for its development."

"Can you tell us anything about the meeting Mr. Allen was to have had with you on the evening of his murder?"

The Captain barks out a name, unintelligible to us, and an aging Lieutenant, long since beached upon the promotionless shores of paperwork, scurries into the room.

"Bring me the Grant Arms Company file ... Allen sent me a wire [that] morning. Quite vague. Close-mouthed fellow when all is said and done. He was worried about security for Project #10, I know, but wouldn't say much about it; his responsibility; he'd take care of it. 'Course, I put some of my men on it anyway."

The Lieutenant returns with the file and is dismissed, for the time being, back into oblivion.

The Captain shows us, first, the wire. It reads:

quote:

MEET TONIGHT 8:30. YOUR OFFICE
CALL OUT THE GUARD. POUNCE AT 10

He then shows us a detailed list of the activities of Richard Camp, a development engineer on Project #10.

"As you can see, he was always bringing boxes and bundles to the French Embassy. Emile Zobar, French Military Attache, has his offices at the Embassy."

"So you believe that Mr. Allen's wire implied he had information implicating Camp in a security breach of Project #10?"

"I did. Still do. But Lord Ragland, head of the project, assured me that Allen's security fears were unfounded. We met two days after Allen's unfortunate death. As a precaution, he told me he would remove Camp from the project.

"Since the conversation, I've concentrated my efforts on Zobar, von Schulenberg, Del Guerra and Meshkoff. Their governments would all have great interest in our new gun. So far my men have uncovered nothing."

"Thank you, Captain."

Egan says 'this morning' in the text. I've amended a few typos without noting them; this one only seems to make sense this way. It might have been sent by his brother based on something he found, but since he hired Holmes there's no reason to believe he was working on anything himself.

CPs Visited: 38 EC, 25 SW, 5 EC, 12 EC, 16 NW, 10 SW
Non-clues: 22 SW

Kangra fucked around with this message at 15:58 on Oct 28, 2015

Kangra
May 7, 2012



Hyper Crab Tank posted:

We would have no reason to in this case, but maybe there's some circumstance where that might happen. Also, does the visit to the laboratory that yielded nothing count against us in the quiz?

I just realized you were probably talking about the Criminology Laboratory, not St. Bart's. No, clues that have nothing written for them do not count against you. I included them in the list of 'visited' places to make sure they don't get voted for.

Hyper Crab Tank
Feb 10, 2014

The future of crustacean-based warfare


Nice, more valuable clues. Both Captain Egan and the victim seem to believe there was a traitor at the plant who was selling information to foreign powers. They both seem to believe Camp was the traitor, though, based on his trips to the embassy. "Pounce at 10" lends weight to the theory that the victim wrote the "Meet at Spaniard's" note with the express purpose of luring a suspected traitor out to an ambush organized in concert with Captain Egan.

Now, it's reasonable to think that the note the victim wrote was the same one he handed to Kehoe with the express instruction to make sure Lord Ragland received it. This fits better with the victim believing Ragland to be the traitor, perhaps because he just discovered it. He wanted it to seem as if Ragland's contact had requested the meeting. It makes no sense to impress so strongly on Kehoe the instruction that Ragland receives it if the one he wanted to lure out was actually Camp.

I think Camp's deliveries to the French Embassy can be explained otherwise: the photograph in his office suggests a relative or someone else close to him who lives in Paris, perhaps a daughter or wife (I suspect the former based on the description of her as "young"). This gives him reason to visit the embassy perfectly legitimately.

ElTipejoLoco
Feb 27, 2013

Let me fix your avisynth scripts! It'll only take me a couple horus.


So how do we follow up on confirming the late Allen's suspicions surrounding Ragland? It feels like the only leads we can currently follow are the ones Egan's put forward that lead to everyone else.

Would visiting Radford, Jones & Co., Rafferty Paper Mills, or Stephenson Iron Works help at all? They're the only places we've learned of that have anything to do with the wayward Lord.

Hyper Crab Tank
Feb 10, 2014

The future of crustacean-based warfare


I don't know about the paper mills or ironworks. It looks like Ragland owned a significant amount of stock in those companies. I think what they're going for is that those industries are doing poorly, and that Ragland therefore lost a lot of money - which is consistent with people's description of him as a poor businessman. I guess visiting those locations could confirm it one way or the other, but I think we can readily infer that fact anyway.

Possible locations to visit and reasons why I can think of to visit them:

- Radford, Jones & Co: To confirm that it was Ragland who bought those suits. (I think this one is a waste of time... the bill was found in Ragland's office and I don't see why else it would be there.)
- Lord Ragland's house: To confront Ragland directly about his whereabouts on the night in question.
- Russian Embassy: To figure out if Meshkoff was the man at Spaniard's Inn on the night of the murder, under the alias "Alexander Mishkin".
- French Embassy: To ask about Camp's business with them.
- Richard Camp's house: Ditto.
- German Embassy: To figure out if von Schulenberg knew about the affair his wife was having with the victim.
- Rafferty Paper Mills or Stephenson Iron Works: See above.
- Anthony Mariano's house: To figure out what he was doing at Spaniard's. (I think this is a complete red herring since this guy isn't suspicious at all, as opposed to "Alexander Mishkin" who doesn't appear in the directory and thus appears to be a fake alias.)

There are basically two things I think we can do now: Confirm the identity of "A.M.", or try to exclude one of our suspects. The way I see it, this is between Ragland and Camp; I think von Schulenberg is unlikely to be the culprit, since he wouldn't know about the victim's habit of leaving the office through the back door, and it doesn't explain how the note the victim wrote in order to catch the traitor at 10 made it back to the victim.

Anyone else got any cool ideas?

ElTipejoLoco
Feb 27, 2013

Let me fix your avisynth scripts! It'll only take me a couple horus.


I guess let's ask for the relevant look-ups on Ragland and Camp, as well as the Rafferty and Stephenson businesses.

Yvonmukluk
Oct 10, 2012

Everything is Sinister



Well, a few things I've been wondering.

1) Is there a Lady Ragland? Could be that Allen was having an affair with Ragland's wife, too?
2) Although the Count is apparently a fine marksman, that also means he was at Wimbledon Camp for the shooting competition rather than in London itself (presumably why his wife accepted the medal for Krupp Works instead of him). Could we get some details on the timing of these events? Would it be at feasible possible for the Count to get back to London proper to commit the murder by 7pm?

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Kangra
May 7, 2012



ElTipejoLoco posted:

I guess let's ask for the relevant look-ups on Ragland and Camp, as well as the Rafferty and Stephenson businesses.

This covers two of those (well, sort of -- if they have a listing, businesses will be mixed with personal names, so this is all there is under Rafferty, and nothing's under 'Steel' either):

Rafael, Gilbert ........... 64 WC
Rafferty, Diana .......... 83 NW
Rafferty, Michael ...... 54 NW
Ragland, Lord Henry.. 56 SW
Ragsdale, Elbert ........ 56 S

And here's R. Camp:

Cammack, Waldo .... 58 SW
Camp, Richard ......... 23 NW
Canaday, Calvern ..... 71 SW

And as much as I don't like to reveal it, I can verify that this time the typo is likely in the clue at Ragland's office -- the business name is referred to in other places as 'Stevenson Iron Works'. This is what you find in the Directory:

Sterritt, Henry .......... 10 E
Steven's ................... 63 WC
Stevens, Bert ........... 61 E
Stevenson ............... 9 WC
Stewart, Mrs ............ 38 SE

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