Division 47 Forgotten in Time
By Joanna E Sears
© The Monster Zoo
Authors Warning: Some of the Narrative of this chapter is a little graphic.
The three men resumed their investigations the next morning but now they were conscious that they were running out of time. Not only Tony was close to being released but Oliver's return was also imminent. Rhys again noted that Jon was showing signs of depression. He was soon to be sent to a veteran's hospital for re-habilitation Rhys suspected the poor guy was destined to spend the rest of his life in such an institution. Little did he know that Tony was thinking along the same lines but in his case, he was making plans. Rhys got out their work sheets and they settled back to study.
The third New Orleans case differed from the others slightly in that the victim although female hadn't just been slashed with a razor. She'd been strangled with wire it had bitten so deep into her throat it had almost severed her head.
Jon shook with horror even though the morgue photos were old and faded, the grisly nature of the poor woman's injuries were still apparent.
"The fiend who'd murdered her must have been devoid of any redeeming features whatsoever," his voice betrayed his shock and abhorrence.
The fourth murder was again fairly mundane and followed the course of the others. A young servant women sleeping alone in the pantry of a large house was found murdered and mutilated in the most horribly of circumstances. The Sheriff openly linked the killing to the other three slayings. Rhys read the police report.
Sarah Laumann was attacked on the night of September 3, 1919. Two other servants residing in the house along with their master came to check on the young woman, after hearing screams. They discovered the 19 year-old lying unconscious on her bed, suffering from a severe torso injury and missing several organs. The intruder had entered the servant's quarters through an open window, and attacked the woman with a sharp object. A bloodied knife was discovered a few feet away Laumann didn't recover from her injuries and no one was ever caught. Whoever the assailant was he left no clues?
The final case in the New Orleans file was another true Ripper style slaying. A young woman was accosted in the street early one morning and physically assaulted, but in this case her screams attracted attention Another man returning late from his place of work heard her screams and calls for help. He rushed to the scene but as he arrived he was bowled aside by a man running away. A patrolling police officer had also been alerted he made a grab for the fleeing man but he too was brushed aside. The Slasher disappeared into the warren of dark New Orleans streets. The first man a Paul Roberts reached the badly injured woman. The policeman also made it to her side. She was still alive although her throat had been cut and she'd been stabbed in the stomach. But as she was loaded into a wagon for transference to hospital, she kept repeating the same thing.
"It was the Prince! It was the Prince!"
Rhys spoke the words he saw in the eyes of his two friends
"Or more precisely the Prince's body double Montague John Druitt." He got two agreeing nods.
"That was the last recorded case of any slashings in New Orleans," Tony said laying the file aside. Sensing there was more Jon prompted.
"So what happened next?"
"The Royal entourage moved onward to Chicago."
"And how many attacks did that city suffer?"
"One? Only one? How come, did the murderer get caught?" Tony gave a slow grin.
"Three days after the Royal party arrived in the big city a notice was placed in several major
Newspapers. The Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post and the New York Herald." He picked up a photocopy and read aloud
"His Royal Highness Prince Alfred Albert Victor of the Royal house of Great Britain and her Empire is saddened to hear of the death of his dear friend and confidante Lord Bedford!"
"That's it? He died?" even Rhys was astounded "How?"
"There's no autopsy report or details given, just the official announcement in the three papers,"
Tony flashed his sly grin again "But!"
"But?" Jon pressed. "But?"
"In a smaller local paper that was only distributed among the lower echelons of Chicago's residents there is a very curious article."
"Read it what does it say? " Jon's face glowed with excitement. "Was he caught? Who got him?"
Rhys was also leaning forward eagerly. Tony read the downloaded notice on his Laptop.
"Police are today baffled by the death of a young gentleman in Chicago's West Lane Park. A young man of clearly substantial means was yesterday discovered mauled to death. The local sheriff and his deputies are at a loss to explain his demise as the Local County Coroner stresses the young man was attacked by several wild animals not known to frequent the city's environs."
"Animals?" Jon's mouth was open "What sort of animals?" Tony continued reading the narrative
"Mr Garwin the Coroner insists that the unknown male was attacked by not just one creature but three or maybe even as many as five, all of different species."
Tony raised his head momentarily then finished
"The animals blamed for the attack are a cougar, several wolves and most strange of all a large grizzly bear. None of the animals have ever been reported near Chicago before let alone so deep into the city as the West Lane Park."
Jon blew out a gasp
"The animals from the third Killing in New Orleans. They tracked Druitt all that way to exact
revenge? Is that even possible?" Rhys suddenly chuckled
"It sounds to me as if Druitt finally got his just desserts." Tony laid his Laptop aside
"A fitting end indeed. For the monster to be ravaged and mauled like the defenseless women he preyed upon." The three all grinned at each other They had effectively solved the cases both of Jack the Ripper in London and the American Slasher." Now they sat and talked generally
"So what happened to Prince Alfred?" Jon asked. "After all surely he should have become King?" Doctor Baines had entered unheard now he spoke.
"Prince Alfred Albert Victor, Grandson of Queen Victoria officially died in Sanitarium during a Flu Epidemic in the mid-eighteen nineties."
"A sanitarium?" Rhys questioned. "You mean like Bedlam? Isn't that's where mad people were sent?" Baines chuckled
"I said Officially!"
"What's the unofficial story?" Tony asked.
"The young Prince had been betrothed to a very wealthy and prominent young Princess of suitable European stock. But just weeks before the wedding he retired to a remote sanitarium. Nothing was ever said openly but within weeks of his death rumours were circulating that
Prince Alfred had in fact died a raving madman having contracted Syphilis from a visit to a Bawdy House."
"What's a Bawdy House?" Jon asked.
"A brothel!" Tony translated.
"Or maybe another of Lord Somerset's establishments like Cleveland Street?" Rhys put forward
"So maybe it wasn't Druitt after all?" Jon's eyes were wide. "Maybe the Ripper really was the Prince?"
"There's more," Baines seated himself on the end of Tony's bed and continued.
"Many people who met the Prince described him as a dullard, slow witted and backward, even his Tutor held up the younger brother as the smart one of the two. Yet many outside the intimate Royal Circle that met Prince Alfred insisted he was sharp, articulate and very intelligent. It was almost as if they were describing two different people."
"Which they were," Tony interrupted "The ones who knew the real Prince clearly formed the correct opinion, but the others met a school teacher and university graduate."
"Exactly!" Baines concurred.
"There is still the mystery of Prince Alfred's amazing likeness to Druitt." Rhys said.
"I have an answer to that as well," the Doctor smiled. "Prince Alfred's Great-Great-Grandfather
George IV was a known Philanderer. The generally accepted phrase was :-
Regent George has two great loves. His food and his women." Tony blinked.
"Are you suggesting that Druitt could have been the off-spring of a Royal Bastard?"
"It's extremely likely and would also explain why he was so easily accepted into circles that would normally been above someone of his background?" It was a stunning revelation.
The next day Jon Foxe bade a sad farewell to his two friends Tony was being discharged and Rhys had come to collect him.
Three days after he was released from hospital Tony returned, he was there to check up on Jon. The man in question was also preparing for release but in his case he was moving on to a Rehabilitation Centre for injured servicemen. He was despondent and lonely. He missed Tony and the lively discussions they'd had. He wondered if the famous Author would remember his promise to send him a signed copy of his latest book. Somehow Jon doubted it.
He turned his head to the wall and tried to swallow the painful lump in his throat then a cheery voice asked.
"You awake mate?" Jon turned over and gaped Rhys was sitting on Tony's old bed grinning and Tony himself was standing over him smiling brightly.
"I bet you thought we'd forgotten all about you?" Jon blushed
Then Tony and Rhys began telling him of some plans they'd put in motion over the previous days. Tony was rich and his recent experience had shown him that although he was crippled Jon Foxe had a fine analytical mind Tony had been looking for a research assistant for a long time. Jon was astonished and delighted by his offer of not just a job but also a home. Tony grinned
"You won't be alone when I am away I have a permanent live housekeeper and the man I bought the place from had a disabled sister so the place is already adapted for wheelchair access and includes a private annex. Which I'm having cleaned and upgraded ready for you." Jon was not slow in accepting Tony's offer although it would be another month before he would be fully discharged from full medical supervision. He would of course require follow up visits to the hospital for some time to come but such was Tony's generosity he would have an especially adapted car for his personal use and,
"Me and Rhys are going to take turns driving you to the day care centre," Tony added.
Jon's eyes shone with grateful tears as he shook his friend's hand. Suddenly his future looked a whole lot brighter.