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Old 01-26-2014, 05:11 AM   #1
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Memories of the Past (Closed to DeliciousMaiden)

Lieutenant Charles Langton straightened the cuff on his jacket one last time in the mirror. Although he was not wearing a uniform, having recently resigned his commission, he still felt the need to dress with the appropriate military precision. He was to meet Reginald, his longtime friend and fellow officer, to discuss the business proposition Reginald had been conjuring up. Over the last year the two had corresponded via letter and now with Reginald finally returning from China, in the aftermath of the Boxer Rebellion, they could put their plans in motion, and seek their own fortunes. Having spent all his adult live in the army, it was a big change for him and caused Charles to reflect on the past as he studied himself (for the first time in years, not in uniform) in the mirror.

When first joining the Kings Rifle Regiment the two young men had been taken under the wing of their commanding officer, Major Dunford. He had seen in the two what was lacking in many young men in the many of the British Infantry Regiments, courage, determination and dedication to their country and unit. Reginald like most officers was from well off gentry and had purchased his commission, while Charles would receive a field commission later, due to his actions that had saved the lives of many senior officers including Major Dunford. Until then Lieutenant Langton had just been Sergeant Langton, a senior noncommissioned officer in Reginald’s unit and his subordinate. That disparity in their rank had not dampened the friendship that had started when the two boys, one rich and the other from a normal working class family, had secretly played at being soldiers while growing up. They had joined the army together and Reginald had used his influence to ensure that Charles was always stationed with him.

These thoughts were tempered by the sad memory of what had caused the two to become separated over a year ago. The two had been inseparable and had created quite the reputation as fine officers and gentlemen. That had however changed a few years back when Charles had been called back to England to attend the funeral of Major Dunford, while Reginald served as a senior liaison, with the rising unrest in Peking. The Major, who had survived his fair share of battles, had fallen from a horse only weeks after he had married his young fiancé. Both Charles and Reginald had attending the wedding and had days later shipped to Europe for their next assignment. It would be the last time they would see each other, when Charles returned to England and Reginald was forced to stay on to help fulfill the Majors duties.

Now almost a year later, Reginald had returned to London so the two friends could pursue their dream of a business. It was thus with a new hope for the future and with the sad memories of the past banished, that Charles Langton exited his apartment and headed to the private offices that his friend had only that day purchased. He looked excitedly at the key that he had been sent via a delivery boy, knowing that it would open the doors to a new exciting life. It was mid-evening and the streets were quiet for a change when Charles approached the business district.
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Old 01-26-2014, 07:07 AM   #2
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Vengence is mine ...

Every era has its heroes; those whose behaviour inspires and leads to their actions being emulated by admirers. Not that the modus operandi was totally ‘fit for this purpose’. A clean, clinical kill with minimum bloodletting would lack the drama, the impact necessary to make an impression upon a seasoned soldier. True, the identity of the victim would be shocking, would bring grief and pain, emotions that could be revelled in; but to horrify, to truly shake such a man’s equilibrium and scatter his wits, that would take so much more than a surgical Ripper-esque murder.

Revenge had been long in the planning this time; but the determination was that it would be made all the sweeter by its delay. In this existence there was so much for him to be robbed of. Loss: the only method of bringing about true suffering; for it was that which had been the very origin of this destructive cycle. And the intensity of emotions had in no way been assuaged by the years, the centuries, of honing appropriate instruments of vengeance. Instead the level of sadistic pleasure taken in playing out the events had ameliorated with every desolate death.

Had this agent of retribution but paused to reflect, it would have become apparent that both tormentor and victim were equally locked in this destructive cycle, both equally trapped in playing out their respective roles. But this, this part was always the most exhilarating: The first act which would shatter his previous peaceful existence and lead to a torturous downfall.
Then shortly after this … first contact …

There would be no witnesses.
The perceived security and privacy of the rooms easily breached.
The victim saw nothing, knew nothing.
There was a brief sensation of blade upon throat and then … nothing.

The act of knife on artery whilst the victim was still standing and alive maximised the amount of blood evacuating the wound due to the pressure caused by the beating heart.
The mutilation of the dead man was carried out almost before his breath had stopped to maximise bloodletting.
This was no controlled surgical execution, rather it was carried out to maximise the gore of the scene and designed to traumatise the one who would inevitably discover Reginald’s body… Charles Langton.

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Old 01-26-2014, 02:53 PM   #3
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A Shocking discovery

When Charles arrived at his destination he could already tell that Reginald was there as his friends horse was tethered to a post outside the office. Though he had never seen the horse before, Reginald's descriptions of his favourite mount had been detailed enough in the past.. Charles flew up the few stairs, two at a time and reached for the doorknob expecting it to open easily. To his surprise the door remained fast and he bumped into it causing the wood and glass frame to rattle noisily.

That was strange, he thought, there is light and his horse is here, why would the door be locked.

He knocked on the door, though thought it was a pit pointless as Reginald had no doubt heard him fumble noisily when trying to open the door. A few moments passed, but still no Reginald. Then Charles remembered the key he had been sent.

Perhaps this is all part of the surprise, he needed to be aware of when I got here so locked the door.

Reaching into his pocked, Charles retrieved the key and unlocked the door. Opening the door he called out boldly, "Reginald if this is a surprise like when I was made officer, you will pay."

Charles slipped on something wet on the floor, and stumbled into the room as he fought to retain his balance, but failed and tumbled to the floor. It was that sticky feel against his fingers that finally helped his senses register the gory scene before him. The floor was covered in blood and he had ended up stumbling over a body, not just an body, but that of his friend Reginald. His first reaction, more instinct, was to pull the knife that lay imbedded in the Reginald's chest free.

He looked at the knife and that was when shock took over. It was his own bayonette that he held in his hand, he remembered it because it had been a gift from Major Dunford years ago. Kneeling in the blood, the murder weapon in his hand, Charles broke bowed down and rested his head on the chest of his deceased friend. As the tears began to flow he became totally oblivious to the scene around him.

He didn't register the magnitude of the wounds on the victim, the depth of the slice across the throat, or the savage wounds on the upper arms and legs which had almost severed them. Reginald was oblivious to it all, and thus as his trousers soaked up the blood on the floor, he remained unaware of the figures that entered the room behind him. In his anguish he hardly noticed as the Bobbies dragged him to his feet and relieved him of the murder weapon.

In truth Charles' mind was so deep in shock that he was not even aware that the police officers were discussing him as the culprit. Thus he offered no resistance as they cuffed his hands behind his back and led him from the room. His final moan of anguish when Reginald's body disappeared from his sight was the last sound he made until he heard the jail cell slam shut.

"NO!" he cried as the cold damp cell closed in around him
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Old 01-26-2014, 03:23 PM   #4
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The arrest

A report had been made. An hysterical woman claiming she had seen a man carrying a blade heading into the building. Concerned she had followed, had heard raised voices, an argument that came to a sudden end.
She had run to summon help fearful of her own safety.

And so two police officers had been sent to investigate, had arrived in time to see the killer pull the weapon from the body no doubt intending to commit further atrocities upon the corpse. Warily one had remained just outside the door as assistance was summoned.

Yet it had been unexpectedly straightforward to disarm the murderer. He offered no resistance as they pulled him to his feet and cuffed him. He seemed oblivious to the questions directed at him, the conversation around him, the fact that even experienced officers who had been involved with the Whitechapel murders left the room, hastening into the alley to relieve themselves of their previously digested meals.

It was straightforward to conclude what had happened. The murder was premeditated, yet the row, perhaps unforeseen, had driven the accused into a frenzied attack. It was this loss of control, this determination to act out his rage upon the deceased that had led to the murderer failing to leave the scene before being apprehended. And the scene itself? Drawings were made of the room, photographs taken to record the gravity of the atrocity and then the laborious process of retrieving the partially dismembered corpse and the inevitable clean up was undertaken.

Throughout this process, the accused was left in his cell, left in the bloodstained clothes and given water to drink and a meagre meal, both which went untouched. Even though an interview had not taken place the crime was reported the following morning, reported as fact because of course there was no doubt that the man arrested was guilty.

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Old 01-26-2014, 05:20 PM   #5
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The innocent man is never silent

Although the shock had not completely worn off, Charles had begun to become more aware of his surroundings. He knew he was in a jail and from what he had overheard he was accused of murder. The victim was his friend Reginald and although he could not recall exactly how he had come upon the body, he was almost certain he had not committed the crime.

The following day, Charles was finally summoned from his cell to explain the reason for his violent actions. It was obvious to the detective in charge of the case, that the reason for the argument had been money. He had even gone so far as to explain his case to Charles when the interview started.

Papers had been found at the crime scene. These papers mentioned a business venture to be undertaken between the deceased and the accused (both mentioned by name). But a deed for the premises had also been found, and this had only one name Reginald Whitehall. This had not been news to Charles. Reginald was the one funding the venture and Charles himself had insisted the deed be in his name. So if worst came to worst and the venture failed, Reginald could at least recoup some of his capital losses.

Now it was up to Charles to fill in the details, so the case could be closed and he could stand trial. What shocked the men questioning Charles, was how a man of his military character, could commit such a horrific act.

Most of their questions were met with silence, for Charles being a man of honour, would not answer a question if he wasn't a hundred percent sure of the truth of the answer. And the fact was that Charles could not recall exactly the events that had transpired that night. So any questions about the murder or the scene of the crime were answered with silence.

"What caused you to fly into such a rage that you brutally assaulted the victim?"

It was the same question asked in a different manner by a different person.

"Were you so upset that you were not on the property deed?"

"No," Charles responded, "the deed was always going to ...."

Raised voices from outside the room stopped him completing his answer.
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Old 01-30-2014, 07:13 AM   #6
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The Lady offers assistance

Although the Pall Mall Gazette was considered to be "written by gentlemen for gentlemen”, it was a paper Elizabeth read daily. John Morely, the previous editor had been well known to her husband, during his time on active service; so much so that Mr Morely had been agreed to speak at her husband, John’s funeral. Even when the editorship passed to a rather radical individual, Elizabeth found herself still reading the publication as regularly and, though she would never admit it, with increased interest. That was until the evening before. Had it not been for the Gazette, Elizabeth would never have learned the fate of Charles Langton, would not have been prompted to make enquiries and would not be here now, with a man she referred to as her ‘legal advisor’, though in truth, having had many matters of finance and property to deal with following John’s premature death, Elizabeth was more than aware of the legal system, though, she had to confess, entering the realm of a murder charge would be breaking new ground, even for her.

Just what drove her to become involved, she couldn’t have put into words. She knew of Lieutenant Langton of course. Gratitude alone might be sufficient explanation for her taking the time to look into proceedings as she knew that during their active service this man, the ‘accused’ had saved her husband’s life on more than one occasion according to him. She had only met Charles Langton fleetingly, yet somehow she was convinced that a murder such as which had been grotesquely alluded to in print was not in his character, or at least the character reported to her by her late husband. It took only a few enquiries, made before stating the exact purpose of her visit to ascertain that the Lieutenant had been arrested and charged and all before they had taken the time to question him. Even to one unfamiliar with procedure in this type of crime it became apparent that their prisoner was being treated as if already proven guilty.

And so she declared herself, using the title her husband had eschewed in favour of his military ranking that she, Lady Dunsford and her legal aid would be representing Charles Langton throughout the legal proceedings.

”I demand that you halt any questioning of the gentleman until such a time that he has been able to seek legal advice.”

She insisted. It was an irate police officer who betrayed his frustration, even annoyance at what he obviously saw as her interference and made it clear that Elizabeth was aware that her actions were both unwelcome and misplaced. Elizabeth simply remained calm, but made it clear that if she were not admitted and if correct procedure were not followed that she would resort to seeking assistance. Names of influential political and financial figures along with an aside, seemingly ‘accidental’ mention of ‘having the ear’ of the editor of the Pall Mall Gazette finally gave the police no choice but to follow official procedure and to accommodate the Lady who for some inexplicable reason was determined to direct the defense of a man who, to their minds, was a killer of the worst kind.

Even despite that reluctant acceptance, their initial action was to admit her advisor to the room where Lieutenant Langton was being interviewed whilst she remain outside.

”On the contrary, Sir.”

Elizabeth stated firmly.

”It is Mr Milton who will remain here and speak to the investigating officer so that we may have details of the case you have against Lieutenant Langton. It is I who shall deal directly with your prisoner, not least to ascertain under just what conditions our client has been detained.”

And so when the door opened, it was Elizabeth who preceded the Officer through the door into the room where the three occupants looked up, their faces registering surprise at her incongruous appearance. Her formal black attire, calculated as a reminder of her widow’s status and of course just whose widow she was only acted to demonstrate just how inappropriate her presence was in this dim, rudimentarily furnished room.

”Sir?”

The single word query was directed at the Senior Officer accompanying her.

”Lady Dunsford has undertaken representation of the prisoner.”

They were curtly informed, with no attempt at hiding disapproval or frustration. A tilt of his head wordlessly directed the two officers to vacate the room without further discussion. Doubtless that would take place out of her range of hearing. Elizabeth moved forward, her eyes taking in the dishevelled appearance of the man who remained seated and looking somewhat bewildered she thought behind the table at which he had been placed. A quick glance took in his state of dress. Admirably she managed not to react to the encrusting of dried blood that was shockingly extensive.

”You will have someone give this man a change of clothes immediately.”

Her voice betrayed disgust at how he had been treated.

”You will preserve the clothes of course. If you do not wish them as evidence, then be so kind as to pass them onto my associate.”

So saying, she moved forward and took a chair opposite Charles. The police officers had been dismissed and she awaited the close of the door before speaking.

”Lieutenant Langton. You may not remember me. I was married to Major Dunsford. My husband thought very highly of you and in fact, owed his life to you. I hope you will accept my assistance … “
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Old 02-02-2014, 07:59 AM   #7
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He had not paid much attention to the almost heated exchanged between the detectives and the lady who seemed to hold more sway than one should. He was too far gone in thoughts of the past to pay much mind to the present.

”You will have someone give this man a change of clothes immediately.”

Yes, I will need a change of clothes, he thought, I can't go see Genevieve with blood on my frock...I have been stabbed in a duel. She will be most annoyed if she knew I was in a duel, even if defending her honour.
Langton looked up for the first time since the door had opened. The demanding woman was very comely and did have an air of familiarity about her. While the exchange continued he tried to recall the familiar beauty.

”Lieutenant Langton. You may not remember me. I was married to Major Dunsford. My husband thought very highly of you and in fact, owed his life to you. I hope you will accept my assistance … “

Lieutenant Langton...yes...that is me...Major Dunsford...yes he was my friend, we fought together at Waterloo.

He looked up at the woman seated before him.

"Major Dunford's wife?"

I did not know the major was married. Or was that Major Dunnington, the proud bachelor. We visited many brothels prior to the battle of Waterloo.

This woman was too striking to forget, where had he seen her before.

Yes the wedding, and the funeral, he could recall it now.

"Yes my Lady, we danced at the wedding, and planned ..." his voice trailed off.

Best not to bring up that past with one who still looked to be mourning her husband. But I don't recall her being the bride.

"Major Dunford, yes it was a tragedy with him falling from his horse...I wanted to say something, but what does one..."

Charles Langton, buried his head in his hands.

I know you, not the lady from the maze...but the bride...Dunford's sweet wife...Elizabeth.

He looked up at her, "my apologies Lady Elizabeth, I fear I have been rambling, but your assistance would be most welcome. I fear I am in a spot of bother, though I am unsure why."
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Old 02-02-2014, 09:12 AM   #8
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His eyes were upon her as she introduced himself, yet he seemed to have difficulty in making sense of her words. The police officers had left leaving her alone with a man who they believed to be a ruthless killer. Perhaps they were trying to call her bluff or hoping that it would provoke their prisoner into behaviour that would prove his guilt.

"Major Dunford's wife?"

She nodded patiently as she sat in the seat opposite watching him carefully as he seemed unable to place her and then suddenly he seemed to remember.

"Yes my Lady, we danced at the wedding, and planned ..."

She appreciated his tact.

”Yes Lieutenant. My husband would have wanted me to offer you assistance.”

She repeated.

"Major Dunford, yes it was a tragedy with him falling from his horse...I wanted to say something, but what does one..."

She understood all too well. Many had not known what to say and therefore had said nothing and stayed away. But that was not something she could ever accuse her husband’s comrades of. They had barely met and there was no reason why they should seek her acquaintance as a widow when they had not been fully introduced when she was a wife.

"… my apologies Lady Elizabeth, I fear I have been rambling, but your assistance would be most welcome.”

He seemed lucid though he had in fact said very little.

”I fear I am in a spot of bother, though I am unsure why."

Her expression softened in sympathy.

”You do remember that your friend and comrade Reginald Hampton has been murdered?”

She prompted gently.

”If I’m to help you, you’ll have to tell me everything you can about getting in touch with him again and your arrangements to meet him.”

She clarified.
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Old 02-02-2014, 04:29 PM   #9
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"Reginald Hampton?"

No Reggie is in the Orient, thought what he would be doing there with Napoleon rampaging across Europe.

"Reginald is my friend, but I haven't seen him for months now."

He had a pleading look in his eye, "I think I am in trouble for killing a man of importance in a duel. I did not know he was important, but someone of influence obviously did and now the authorities have it in for me."

Yes that fool, Descartes he must have had influential friends.

Charles shook his head, "he called my darling Genevieve a whore, but she was an angel, as beautiful...as beautiful, as you." His eyes saddened, "I could not let that stand and we dueled at All-Hallows by the Tower."

He looked down at his stained shirt, "I was the victor, but it was a fair duel and he struck me as well. Thus my stained clothing."

As if on cue there was a knock on the door and the original interrogators entered.

"We could only scrounge up these," the one said tossing a simple shirt and pair of trousers on the table, "at least they are clean."

As they turned to leave the one looked back, "and the Hampton family has been notified of the events. Their reply telegram said they will be coming to London post haste."

The door closed leaving them alone.

"The Hampton's....Yes Reginald was my friend, we were to go into business together, but he was stabbed, I came across his body on the castle grounds."

Pulling the shirt on the table closer, Charles began to unbutton the dishevelled one he was wearing.
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Old 02-03-2014, 05:00 PM   #10
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Confusion

"Reginald Hampton?"

Elizabeth nodded, outwardly calm, but with rising concern at how disorientated Charles Langton seemed.

"Reginald is my friend, but I haven't seen him for months now."

Elizabeth had assumed that they’d met before to finalise their business, but she couldn’t be sure. If this were their first meeting in months, then it was even stranger.

"I think I am in trouble for killing a man of importance in a duel.”

She blinked. A duel? She did not interrupt him.

”I did not know he was important, but someone of influence obviously did and now the authorities have it in for me."

Her concern was quickly turning to alarm as the man before her seemed to lose his hold on reality.

"… he called my darling Genevieve a whore, but she was an angel, as beautiful...as beautiful, as you."

He seemed so sad, so lost; and yet not as distraught as he had seemed at first. Could it be that he was so grief stricken that he was taking refuge in … fantasy?

"I could not let that stand and we dueled at All-Hallows by the Tower."

He told her. Elizabeth nodded, as if in acceptance of his explanation.

"I was the victor, but it was a fair duel and he struck me as well.
Thus my stained clothing."


Elizabeth turned round as the knock on the door interrupted them.

"We could only scrounge up these, at least they are clean."

She smiled at them in false gratitude, though he would not know it.

"… and the Hampton family has been notified of the events.
Their reply telegram said they will be coming to London post haste."


Elizabeth made a mental note of that fact. She would have to ensure that no members of Reginald’s family would have contact with Charles Langton during the investigation. Biting back a sigh, she turned back to the man before her.

"The Hampton's....Yes Reginald was my friend, we were to go into business together, but he was stabbed, I came across his body on the castle grounds."

She thought that the entrance of the officers had brought him back to reality, but she could not think what this castle was to which he was referring.

As if unaware of her, she watched as the man opposite her began to pull his shirt off. She had only met him briefly before, but this, more so than his strange words convinced her; a man of the Regiment and comrade to her husband would never behave in such a way in front of a lady.

”Charles?”

Usually she would not use the informality of his first name, but it was important that she manage to reach him.

”You said you were struck in a duel. Can you show me the wound?
Did a surgeon see to you before you were taken?”


She asked, curious as to what he would do.
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Old 02-05-2014, 03:54 PM   #11
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An Interesting Wound

"Did a surgeon tend to my wound. No...No...It is frowned upon to duel when we are at war with Napoleon. The regiment surgeon may report me and I could not trust the skill of a civilian one."

Removing his shirt he lifted his arm and turned his side towards her to. Although his shirt was bloodstained his skin itself was reasonably clean, apart from a few days accumulated dirt during his incarceration. However there did not seem to be a cur on his skin or even a scar in the area he was showing her. There was however a birthmark that could be mistaken for a scar from a cut.

Charles pointed to the scar, "this is where he cut me, it has stopped bleeding now but as you can see from my shirt the blood was quite prolific."
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Old 02-05-2014, 04:11 PM   #12
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"Did a surgeon tend to my wound. No...No...It is frowned upon to duel when we are at war with Napoleon. The regiment surgeon may report me and I could not trust the skill of a civilian one."

Rather than a random fantasy it seemed as if Charles truly believed the events he related to Elizabeth. Moving closer, she watched as he stood shirtless, her eyes running over his body in search of some wound, yet of course there was none.

"this is where he cut me, it has stopped bleeding now but as you can see from my shirt the blood was quite prolific."

His shirt was indeed blood stained, yet his trousers even more so.

"And you did not cut your opponent?"

She prompted gently.

"The blood must have been prolific indeed, Charles,"

She observed matching his manner of speech.

"You will feel better when you are fully changed."

She handed him the trousers and pointed downwards wondering if he was aware of the blood encrusted fabric he had been left in.

"Charles. Listen carefully. This is very important."

She touched his arm, her hand drawing his attention to her.

"I will leave you to finish changing. I need to speak with the officers.
I will send someone in to collect your sullied clothes."


She watched as he seemed to take in what she was saying.

"But Charles. This is really important."

Her face was serious willing him to understand and to as she advised.

"Speak to no one of the duel, or Genevieve, or anything to do with this whilst I am gone. Do you understand?"

Elizabeth needed to put things into action; to have him held in somewhere much more appropriate and if possible, to get him some medical care. She also had to ensure that her legal advisor was in possession of all the evidence available.

"Please trust me Charles. If you remain silent on the matter, then I'm sure I can help you ... "

She could make no guarantees, but somehow inexplicably, she felt compelled to help him.
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Old 02-09-2014, 01:51 PM   #13
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Charles nodded in consent. He was not sure why, but he felt this woman could be trusted, though he was unsure why she went on about some duel. Had Reginald been involved in a duel, that had resulted in the mutilated body he had found. Surely he was to tell the police about how he had come upon the body, surely if they questioned those in the area they may find another suspect. One that was actually the murderer. Of course he could trust Elizabeth. The Major may not have been a friend in the sense Reginald was, but he was definitely one more than most. He wanted to ask her if he should tell the investigators his side of the story, but suddenly became self-conscious about his state of undress, and before he could recover she had left.

Removing his bloodied trousers he caught a glimpse of himself in a mirror that was hanging on up on a wall. His underwear was also soiled with blood but he decided they would not need everything as evidence.

How strange to be standing in a loin cloth, he observed as he studied himself in the mirror. The mirror itself was also strange, it had a sheen that polished metal could never attain.

I wonder where Flavia is, he thought to himself, have we concluded our business.

He looked around the room, though I do not see a bed here.

Reaching down he picked up the linen tunic and drew it over his head. The style was strange, even elaborate for a noble of his families standing.

And what are these, he thought as he lifted the trousers. Again he studied himself in the mirror.

I better finish dressing before Elizabeth returns, it would be most embarrassing for us both if she were to see me in such a state.

Pulling on he trousers he fastened himself up as best he could and sat himself down again. Waiting the return of the investigators and his potential saviour.

I must not speak of Genevieve or the duel...or Flavia the temple prostitute.
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Old 02-15-2014, 05:18 AM   #14
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Elizabeth quickly located Milton and drew him aside for an urgent conversation. He had learned that procedures had indeed been largely ignored and she shared her concern as to the Lieutenant Langton’s mental state. The situation was grave and Elizabeth knew that she would have to use all her influence to ensure that the law was appropriately applied for as it stood it was clear to her that Charles had simply been assumed guilty. After that quick exchange, a strategy was agreed upon and though by no means guaranteed, it was the best possible approach. Having resigned his commission, Charles Langdon was no longer subject to military law, but his entire history with Reginald had been within the army and of course had an exemplary army record. This along with her connections would surely result in a positive outcome?

She wrote a letter and handed it to Milton to hand deliver with instructions to await an immediate answer. It was agreed that she would remain with Charles whilst Milton made haste with his mission and that upon his return, Elizabeth would then leave to use her influence to attempt to gain better conditions and of course an accurate assessment of the man who to her mind had gone through the most terrible time.

”You changed… “

She greeted him as she returned to the room. Sitting opposite him she watched for signs of distress and confusion. She had seen him grief stricken, but had yet to see any indications of anger in him, even when recounting the ‘duel’ he believed he had fought.

”My colleague, Mr Milton informs me that your cell is uninhabitable.”
She told him, her manner direct and business-like.

”We intend to arrange for you to be held in conditions more suitable to a gentleman and a soldier of your reputation, Lieutenant.”

She informed him.

”Mr Milton is gone to make initial enquiries and will return shortly.
He will remain with you, in this room, whilst I petition on your behalf.”


She was uncertain how much of this he was understanding.

”We can make no guarantees,”

She conceded;

”However, it is our intention that you will not be obliged to return to the squalor of that cell, nor will you remain in this place without a legal representation. We are determined to see that due procedure is adhered to.”

She reassured him.
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Old 02-17-2014, 11:43 AM   #15
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Charles could vaguely understand what she was saying. He could appreciated that she was trying to help him, but could not really understand what a temple prostitute could do to help. Perhaps the priestesses held sway with officials, but he never thought the temple wielded so much power. He had come to visit Flavia and was surprised that she was delaying their intercourse. Usually she would be keen to supply her services so she could attend to the next client.

But this was not Flavia, she did not even look the same. That only thing that the woman sitting in front of him held in common with Flavia was that they were both beautiful. She had told him her name...yes it was Elizabeth. That was it, he recalled now. She had been the major's wife, now his widow, she had offered to aid him with his legal problems.

"Yes..yes...I understand that you can make no guarantees, but I would very much appreciate your help. I will answer your questions as best I can remember the details, but I ask you not to leave me."

He looked at her with such sadness.

"It has been so long since I last saw you Genevieve my darling, that I want to spend every moment I can with you. If I am to die, let me at least experience the comforts of your embrace one final time."
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Old 02-17-2014, 12:01 PM   #16
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"Yes..yes...I understand that you can make no guarantees, but I would very much appreciate your help. I will answer your questions as best I can remember the details, but I ask you not to leave me."

Elizabeth did not reply. She would have to leave him as soon as Milton returned for it was only she who could exert influence upon those who had the power to protect the Lieutenant with military procedures.

"It has been so long since I last saw you Genevieve my darling, that I want to spend every moment I can with you."

Again it seemed that he had slipped into an alternate reality, though his sorrow was palpable.

"If I am to die, let me at least experience the comforts of your embrace one final time."

She did not fear his advances and it never crossed her mind once that he might actually have committed murder and that he was a dangerous man, but she had to try to understand where his mind was.

"Tell me Charles, when did you lost see me? Why have you been away so long?"

Perhaps his answer would help her piece together what was happening to him?
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Old 02-19-2014, 04:18 AM   #17
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"Oh," he said a little dejected, "I would have hoped you would remember."

He was a little embarrassed to bring it up, thinking that perhaps she had not been as excited to recall their last time together.

"It was at the chateau, before I went off to fight Napoleon," he reached across to take her hand. "Do you not recall?...I...I...deflowered you that night." His face reddened, "you...you told me that you did not want to wait until I returned...till we were married." He looked away, "you said you wanted to know the touch of the man you loved."

Pulling his hand away he sighed softly, "it was many months before I returned from the war. I heard you had moved...that you had a new lover."

Standing up he moved slowly around the table and knelt before her.

"Oh Flavia. I know the High Priestess said I could not see you anymore."

he recalled there had been a punishment, but he could not remember the reason or the exact nature of the punishment.

"But if I am to be beheaded," he suddenly lay his head on her lap, "I seek only one last night of your pleasures."

Suddenly his eyes opened wide and he snapped up straight.

"Lady Elizabeth! I apologise for my familiarity," he stood quickly and moved to a bare wall, "I do not know what came over me."

He pressed his hands against the wall, bent over in frustration.

"Where am I?" he looked back at her, "am I in your mothers dungeon again?"
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:05 AM   #18
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"Oh, I would have hoped you would remember."

He looked disappointed and even embarrassed at her request to describe their last meeting.

"It was at the chateau, before I went off to fight Napoleon,"

Unexpectedly he caught her hand up in his.

"Do you not recall?"

Elizabeth could tell this was a significant memory, or at least a significant delusion within the fantasy he seemed to have created.

"...I...I...deflowered you that night."

Her face flushed crimson as his.

"... you...you told me that you did not want to wait until I returned... till we were married ... you said you wanted to know the touch of the man you loved."

Elizabeth knew she should be shocked by such a sexually explicit fantasy, but his sorrow seem so real that she could not help but pity him.

"It was many months before I returned from the war.
I heard you had moved...that you had a new lover."


Whether this meant that there was some jealousy between him and the murdered man; that somehow Reginald had won the favour of the lady upon whom Charles doted, Elizabeth could not begin to guess.

"Oh Flavia. I know the High Priestess said I could not see you anymore."

Elizabeth gasped in surprise at finding Charles now knelt before her.

"But if I am to be beheaded, I seek only one last night of your pleasures."

His head was upon her lap, pressing in the most intimate of ways, yet even as Elizabeth was considering what response to such behaviour would be appropriate in the circumstances, reality seemed to come crashing in on Charles once more.

"Lady Elizabeth! I apologise for my familiarity,"

She watched him hasten to the far end of the room, as if by putting such distance between them he could somehow undo the words and actions that he now seemed totally unaware of.

"I do not know what came over me."

She watched as he struggled to recall, to make sense…
She stood and walked over and took his hand in hers in a vain attempt to offer him comfort.

"Where am I?"

Elizabeth was becoming increasingly anxious with every new utterance.

"...am I in your mothers dungeon again?"

She smiled, remaining outwardly calm, gently guiding him back towards the table and encouraging him to take a seat.

" ... For the moment, you're in prison. But not for long.
Remember that I told you that I would help you?"


She wondered who he believed she was now.

" I will not have you left alone,"

She reassured him.

" someone will stay here with you, a friend; just for a short time, until I return."

As if on cue the door opened to admit Mr Milton. With a gesture Elizabeth kept directed him to remain just within the door allowing her to rise and speak quietly with him away from Charles whose reaction to his arrival they both continued to observe.

" He is in urgent need of transfer and care, much more so than I realised."

She informed her adviser.

"He must not be left alone. You must ensure that there is no opportunity for the officers to interview or even speak with the Lieutenant."

She directed quietly yet firmly before during him forward to be introduced...


It was difficult to leave the room, to leave Charles in such distress, but such was the necessity that Elizabeth had no choice. Hailing a cab, Elizabeth travelled the short distance to the Ministry, where, in evidence of the status of her late husband, she was awaited by no less than three of the most influential men representing the military, the political and the aristocratic echelons of society...


Barely half hour later, letters are being written, orders signed and arrangements put in place for Charles to be transferred to a secure military prison for assessment, legal representation and possible treatment. Thanking each of the gentlemen she found herself back in a cab, this time accompanied by a ministry official carrying the necessary paperwork to put matters in place immediately.
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Old 03-01-2014, 04:19 AM   #19
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With Elizabeth absent from the room, Charles' thoughts began to stabilise and he became more aware of his surroundings. He was aware of Milton and although they exchanged a few words, mostly professional and from Milton's side, warnings to be wary of spoken words, they mostly passed the time in silence.

It was during this silence that Charles began to fully recollect what had transpired around the night of Reginald's death. He recalled Reginald's note which had been delivered earlier in the day. It had told him to take his time and not to arrive before a certain hour, so he had done just that. He had stopped by a pub on the way and after a hearty pie and a small ale he had proceeded. He was sure he had been in good spirits and had even mentioned his excitement at meeting his oldest friend to the friendly barmaid. It was then that the events became sketchy, but while he sat there in the interview room he was certain that he had come across the dead body of his friend.

He was going to relay this information to Mr Milton when the detectives entered the room again. Any exchange of words were curtailed by Elizabeth's warning and Milton's insistence that the client would not make any statements for now.

All further chance of conversation was cut short by the presence of a policeman stationed by the door, to prevent any discussion of escape, or so the detectives said.
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Old 03-01-2014, 06:05 AM   #20
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Escape wasn't what Elizabeth had in mind for him, neither was it her intention to have him 'escape justice' an accusation which was thrown at her by irate officers and to which the military official responded not only with a reminder of the authority by which the transfer order had been give, but also a directive that no matter what the circumstances there was never an excuse for lack of manners and decorum when it came to the treatment of ladies. Her husband had been a true gentleman in every sense of the word and Elizabeth could not help but recall wistfully just how much she missed the structure, the courtesy and the respect and loyalty which characterised military life.

To say that Elizabeth was annoyed by the officer posted at the door of the room was an understatement. She entered the room leaving the official to deal with the paperwork and after a few words to inform Milton of the arrangements, he too left the room taking the police officer with him.

"How are you Charles?"

She asked him gently taking the chair opposite him.

"I've arranged for you to be transferred."

She told him gently.

"You will be held in a military barracks overnight and then sent to a secure unit for assessment."

She told him hoping that he did not resist the medical care she had managed to arrange for him, after all the conditions would be so much better than those he had to endure currently.

"Your case is to be taken over by General Gordon, a comrade of my husband's. We're doing all we can to help you ... "
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Old 03-04-2014, 03:39 PM   #21
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While he had been sitting alone, with just a quiet Mr Milton as company, Charles had managed to collect his thoughts a little better. He still could not recall any details that may be helpful in clearing his name though.

When Elizabeth joined him again, he had listened to her offer of help and better conditions, both of which he was thankful for.He had managed to convey this thanks with a nod before his mind started to get consumed by confusing thoughts.

How did this prostitute know so many people in power that she could save him from the judgement of the elders.

The return of Milton along with one of the police officers jarred his mind back to the present.

"Thank you my Lady, I very much appreciate your aid."
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Old 03-20-2014, 04:18 AM   #22
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"Thank you my Lady, I very much appreciate your aid."

His confusion was still apparent and Elizabeth worried for the Lieutenant even as he thanked her. She knew that she would have to allow processes to take place, for his transferral to be made and then his transportation to the secure hospital, but Elizabeth could not help but worry for him.

”I will leave you in good hands Charles,”

She told him gently.

”You will be out of here within the hour and then tomorrow, I will visit you in your new quarters.”

She did not elaborate that he was to be held in a military hospital, in the secure wing, the concession due to him being assessed as a psychiatric patient. But she knew of the place, a rural setting outside Southampton. She would take rooms there and ensure that she was on hand to offer such support and assistance as she could, though Elizabeth knew that it was General Gordon and the medical staff who now had the power to investigate the events fully and the circumstances around the horrific murder and Charles’ current state of mind. She only hoped that having the opportunity to wash, to be given clean clothes and decent food along with comfortable quarters for Charles to be confined in would help still his mind enough for him to offer the legal team some facts from which a defense other than ‘insanity’ could be built.
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Old 03-29-2014, 12:26 PM   #23
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True to her Elizabeth's promise, Charles found himself escorted from the police station to more comfortable accommodation in a military barracks. Although he was kept under guard and not left alone, except for the most private of functions, he was allowed to bath and a razor was even supplied. He was also given a new set clean clothing. All this helped to calm down his nerves and to allow him to reflect on the past few days. The change of surrounds and comfort helped Charles to begin to reason out the events. Although he still did not recall exactly what had occurred the day he was to meet his murdered friend, he could now clearly remember finding the body on first entry. However he could also recall fighting a duel over a ladies honour and spending the night with a temple prostitute.

The following morning a much cleaner and conscious Charles found himself on the way the the psychiatric ward where he was to be assessed. He was still under guard, but the military soldiers who were minding him now, were far more polite and less aggressive in their attitude. Although they did not know the details of the prisoner, they had been told he was not a deserter, which was good enough for most. The guards did not really converse with him, which suited Charles fine, as he needed time with his thoughts, especially the dreams he had the night before. Although they were not horrifying they did leave him with a cold sweat each time he woke. At least he did not think they were nightmares, because each time he was roused he could clearly remember the Lady Elizabeth in his dreams. She was always there and clothed in the same attire she had been wearing when they recently met. Although his clothing and the setting changed, the constant was Elizabeth, always in the modern fashion, no matter how archaic the setting of the dreams. His only thought was that he had somehow taken this women to heart as his saviour. Her kindness and help had caused him to become obsessed with her.

The following day, after reaching Southampton, Charles found himself waiting to meet the specialist who would be assessing his health, as he had been told.
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Old 07-01-2014, 03:19 AM   #24
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Mary moved around the room with practiced silence as the Doctor questioned their most recent inmate. Though not currently on active service, he was to be treated with all the consideration of one still serving in Her Majesty's Forces. It was most likely that his current madness was a consequence of his fighting days. They had seen it time and time again; men driven made by horrors they were unable to escape. Yet this man was something different. Mary knew that just by how he had been assigned. His room was secure, as all rooms were here, but he was not to mingle with the other patients. His movements were to be limited and monitored for, it was rumoured, he held the key to a murder and it was this, word had it, which had pushed the man over into the hysteria in which he was currently trapped.

Finally Mary came to a halt and stood silently watching as the Doctor questioned the man he referred to as Lieutenant. He seemed lucid. He seemed to know where he was and when. He knew his own history and was able to talk of his tours of duty. He recounted his relationship with the now dead man and even the events of that day. All indications were towards sanity: A thoroughly inappropriate state of mind, she reflected with a frown.

"Doctor. Do you want me to remain or prepare the room?"

Her soft voice and demure demeanour was all it took to turn the attention of both men upon her, yet it was only to the Doctor that she looked. The man was about to speak when he halted, seemed to consider and slowly rose.

"I ... will be back shortly ... "

He told her in a voice, not quite his own.

"Yes, Doctor ..."

She did not question his instructions and remained stood in her spot as the medic slowly made his way towards the door and exited, securing it before walking away.

For long moments there was silence. It had almost been too easy this time.
Specialist he might be, but he was highly 'suggestive' and 'Mary' had found it almost too easy to situate herself here where she knew Charles would be brought.
Slowly she turned her head to gaze upon him. He looked lost ... confused ... and grief stricken ... good ... Conquering him physically was no longer enough for her ... causing his mental collapse ... now that was something to aspire to ...

"I'm going to take care of you ..."

Her appearance, her demeanour was all it should appear as she stepped closer. Yet practice was not to engage with the patients, was to watch and note and to alert the medical staff if there was any cause for concern or indication of distress. Finally he raised his eyes to her and took in her appearance for the first time. She held his gaze with a directness that betrayed her. Every time she expected that he would recognise her, but he never did ... until it was too late.

" ... Do you have any idea what you've done ...?"

She asked, almost regretfully. After all it was he who set these events in motion many centuries ago ...
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Old 07-06-2014, 07:31 AM   #25
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He looked at her, caught in the pull of her beauty. It almost felt as if he was meant to be below her, looking up at her as if she was some being that was far beyond his reach. This woman was a goddess who should be worshipped.

Although she was beautiful there was nothing remarkable about it, yet in her eyes he could see she was beyond the physical perception, she held a strength and power stemming from deep within her.

The depth of her eyes, the haughtiness of her demeanour was like a slap to his face. He bowed his head again, not daring to look upon the woman that was before him.

"No...what have I done?"

In his heart he knew that he had not done the vicious crime he was accused of, but in his mind he sensed she was not talking about that crime.

"Have I wronged...have I wronged you my lady?"
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