Mystery Part XV

Saturday, August 30, 2014 0 comments

Masher?

Here is the next post of Act II of Jayne Barnard's "The Evil Eye of Africa."

The first post is here.
A list of all the characters is here.

You can get all the posts by clicking on the mystery tag.

Remember that if you think you have solved the mystery email your deduction to:  madamesaffron at gmail.com.
Madame will be drawing from all the correct solutions for some prizes from Tyche Books!

Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed and your water iced.
KJ


"The Evil Eye of Africa"
By Jayne Barnard

A Guess-the-Murderer Mystery in Two Acts 


Act II: Hercule Hornblower Investigates

From the Case Journal of Hercule Hornblower: 

August 21, 1898 



Already a surprise of the most immense: Colonel Mustard is here.

Not abroad ‘for his health,’ as his family would doubtless prefer.

Not dead by his own hand, as the regiment he lately disgraced would prefer.

Not in London paying off his debts, as his landlady and others would prefer, although his natty attire suggests he is not particularly penurious, neither down at heels nor fraying about the cuffs.
 


He claims to be the trustee of the von Boddy estate, and in that guise has been paying the housekeeper and feeding himself with the limited funds available from the estate.

Would a military man of valorous record use the funds of his deceased friend to furnish his own fine feathers? Of course, he did cheat at cards.
 


Click here for the next installment.

Mystery Part XIV

Friday, August 29, 2014 0 comments

Spiders!

Here is the next post of Act II of Jayne Barnard's "The Evil Eye of Africa."

The first post is here.
A list of all the characters is here.

You can get all the posts by clicking on the mystery tag.

Remember that if you think you have solved the mystery email your deduction to:  madamesaffron at gmail.com.
Madame will be drawing from all the correct solutions for some prizes from Tyche Books!

Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed and your water iced.
KJ

"The Evil Eye of Africa"
By Jayne Barnard

A Guess-the-Murderer Mystery in Two Acts 


Act II: Hercule Hornblower Investigates

From the Case Journal of Hercule Hornblower: 

August 21, 1898



After a long, slow journey across miles of desolate, windswept moor, Hercule Hornblower has arrived!

At Boddy Manor, that is, a gray stone pile much diminished from the implied elegance of the engraving the newspapers have used.

My first order of business will be to deploy my spider-eyes in every public room of the large house. The cunning beasts are the next generation, capable not only of recording images when anyone moves with in the room, but of scuttling into hiding when anyone approaches, thus preserving their mechanisms from swatting damage. 



Click here for the next installment.

Mystery Part XIII

Thursday, August 28, 2014 0 comments

Telegram from the beyond?

Here is the next post of Act II of Jayne Barnard's "The Evil Eye of Africa."

The first post is here.
A list of all the characters is here.

You can get all the posts by clicking on the mystery tag.

Remember that if you think you have solved the mystery email your deduction to:  madamesaffron at gmail.com.
Madame will be drawing from all the correct solutions for some prizes from Tyche Books!

Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed and your water iced.
KJ

"The Evil Eye of Africa"
By Jayne Barnard

A Guess-the-Murderer Mystery in Two Acts 


Act II: Hercule Hornblower Investigates

From the Case Journal of Hercule Hornblower: 

August 20, 1898







Bah! Bodmin Moor is as cold and damp as Cairo was warm and sunny.




View out back of Jamaica Inn, Cornwall

 I sit in a gloomy, paneled room at the airship stop Jamaica Inn while the countrymen gossip over the mystery of Baron von Boddy’s death at home when they supposed him far away.

Aha! One rotund propper-up of the old oak bar says he knows the baron was in residence two weeks before he was found dead on the shore, for a telegram was called in from the manor by a man, and he himself sent it on to a London address. He cannot recall the address, but the text – if he is not embellishing – is clear:

HOME STOP SUCCESS STOP COME AT ONCE TO ADVISE NEXT STEPS STOP BVB STOP STOP STOP

Some person among his associates knew he was returned to England. That person may cast light on the manner of his strange death. Why have they not come forward?

Click here for the next installment.

World Parasol Duelling Championship 2014

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It is on!

The first World Championships of Parasol Duelling will be happening at Beakerhead in Calgary on September 13, 2014.

For those of you looking at a calendar that is in about two weeks from the time of this post!

This will be a full formal competition which will include, in addition to the Duels themselves, the Compulsory Figures and the Flirtation trials.

This will be an exciting event!

Co sponsored by the Steampunk Arts and Sciences Society and Madame Saffron Hemlock's Parasol Duelling League, this will be a chance for people to see this elegant sport in action.

If you are in Calgary for Beakerhead this year come by and check it out!

We are looking to tweet the competition live so stay tuned for the appropriate hashtags to follow.

Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed and your parasol at the ready!

KJ

Mystery Part XII

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 0 comments

To the manner...

Here is the next post of Act II of Jayne Barnard's "The Evil Eye of Africa."

The first post is here.
A list of all the characters is here.

You can get all the posts by clicking on the mystery tag.

Remember that if you think you have solved the mystery email your deduction to:  madamesaffron at gmail.com.
Madame will be drawing from all the correct solutions for some prizes from Tyche Books!

Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed and your water iced.
KJ


"The Evil Eye of Africa"
By Jayne Barnard

A Guess-the-Murderer Mystery in Two Acts 


Act II: Hercule Hornblower Investigates

From the Case Journal of Hercule Hornblower: 

August 16, 1898

Addendum: I have left in progress at Cairo some necessary inquiries about the mysterious widow, as Mrs. M-W will of a certainty demand the retrieval of the various jewels charged to her credit on the hotel’s bill. Results will be telegraphed to me at isolated Boddy Manor, of which here I add an engraving that has appeared in the traveling edition of the London Aerogram.

It does not look an uncomfortable house but indisputably the chimneys will smoke. They always do.



Click here for the next installment.

Mystery Part XI

Tuesday, August 26, 2014 0 comments

Hornblower on the case!

Here is the first post of Act II of Jayne Barnard's "The Evil Eye of Africa."

The first post is here.
A list of all the characters is here.

You can get all the posts by clicking on the mystery tag.

Remember that if you think you have solved the mystery email your deduction to:  madamesaffron at gmail.com.
Madame will be drawing from all the correct solutions for some prizes from Tyche Books!

Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed and your water iced.
KJ


"The Evil Eye of Africa"
By Jayne Barnard

A Guess-the-Murderer Mystery in Two Acts 


Act II: Hercule Hornblower Investigates

From the Case Journal of Hercule Hornblower: 

August 16, 1898


Following the discovery of the remains of Baron von Boddy in England, I am summoned home from Egypt by my present employer, Mrs. Midas-White, to agitate the little gray cells over the baron’s mysterious death. I have discovered much of his last months but am no closer to finding the treasure he sought for Mrs. Midas-White.

Thus far I have assembled in my timetable:


1.    April 1 – Mrs. Midas-White agrees to fund Baron von Boddy’s expedition in search of a Nubian treasure, the fabled Eye of Africa.

2.    April 21 – Baron von Boddy departs England in his solo expeditionary airship, the Jules Verne.

3.    May 3 – Baron arrives in Cairo and pledges Mrs. M-W’s credit for his palatial suite at Shepherd’s Hotel.

4.    May 15 – Baron accepts delivery “on approval” of several expensive items of ladies’ jewellery. A young widow residing in the hotel is seen wearing them.

5.    May 30 – Baron departs Cairo at dusk to disguise his direction over the desert.  The young widow soon vanishes from Cairo along with the jewellery.

6.    June 30 – British Surface Navy Destroyers at the mouth of the Suez Canal sight the Jules Verne a few miles inland.

7.    July 15 – The Jules Verne is spotted free-floating, low over the English Channel off Cornwall. It is boarded and found deserted.

8.    July 16 - Mrs. Midas-White sends me to Cairo to discover the baron’s whereabouts with the treasure, which she feels she has more than paid for.

9.    August 3 – Baron von Boddy’s remains are dragged ashore in Cornwall by a storm tide.

10.  August 10 – I, Hercule Hornblower, am summoned like a dog to damp and chilly Cornwall. Only by baying ferociously at my employer via international cablegram was I permitted to travel in the luxury to which I am accustomed. Never again will Hercule Hornblower work for an American woman who whistles him to heel like a puffed poodle.

Click here for the next installment.

Mystery Part X

Monday, August 25, 2014 0 comments

The Evil Eye

Here is the last post of Act I of Jayne Barnard's "The Evil Eye of Africa."

The first post is here.
A list of all the characters is here.

You can get all the posts by clicking on the mystery tag.

Remember that if you think you have solved the mystery email your deduction to:  madamesaffron at gmail.com.
Madame will be drawing from all the correct solutions for some prizes from Tyche Books!



Starting tomorrow  I will begin posting ACT II  as extracts from the journals of the famous inspector Hercule Hornblower, he of the prodigious mustachios.




Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed and your water iced.
KJ


"The Evil Eye of Africa"
By Jayne Barnard

A Guess-the-Murderer Mystery in Two Acts 


Act I: The Headlines Thicken

The Dover Sole

August 6, 1898


DID BARON VON BODDY FIND THE EVIL EYE? 


A photograph of a mask that may be the fabled
Eye of Africa was found in the trunk that came ashore in Cornwall.

Though much damaged by seawater, the now-reconstituted image clearly shows an African mask with a gleaming stone in its forehead.

The baron’s housekeeper identified the arm seen above as wearing the baron’s favourite coat, and the settee on which the mask rests as being in the Boddy Manor parlour.

Two questions arise: where is the treasure now, and how did the baron and his trunk end up in the English Channel?
One thing is certain: no stick nor stone of Boddy Manor will be left unturned by his heir, in hopes of stumbling upon African jewels of unsurpassed value. “Lady Peacock has been most industrious in seeking it,” Sir Ambrose stated.

Professor Indiana Brown claims the papers seen with the mask are his own original drawing and map to the Eye of Africa’s ritual hiding place.

Famed investigator, Hercule Hornblower is en route from Cairo to Boddy Manor to investigate both the mysterious death and the whereabouts of the treasure.

Click here for the next installment.

Mystery Part IX

Saturday, August 23, 2014 0 comments

Them bones them bones...

Here is the next post of Jayne Barnard's "The Evil Eye of Africa."

The first post is here.
A list of all the characters is here.

You can get all the posts by clicking on the mystery tag.

Remember that if you think you have solved the mystery email your deduction to:  madamesaffron at gmail.com.
Madame will be drawing from all the correct solutions for some prizes from Tyche Books!

Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed and your water iced.
KJ


"The Evil Eye of Africa"
By Jayne Barnard

A Guess-the-Murderer Mystery in Two Acts 


Act I: The Headlines Thicken

The Cornwall Cog and Goggles

August 3, 1898


BODDY’S BODY FOUND – MYSTERY DEEPENS

The mortal remains of Baron von Boddy, thought lost over the English Channel after his airship was abandoned, have washed ashore in Cornwall, only
a few miles from isolated Boddy Manor.


The remains, much diminished by the action of waves and sea creatures, were lashed to a small, but weighty, White Star Line trunk.

Coast Guard say the body may have been in the water only a couple of weeks, as the shad were running in their millions and could have picked the body clean quite quickly.



Those who discovered the body immediately opened the trunk, hoping to be the first to see the fabled Nubian treasure the baron sought in Africa, but were disappointed to find only books and papers, some of them damaged by water seepage.

Coast Guard officials say the trunk could not have floated and was probably dragged inshore by the tide.

Why Boddy should have elected to abandon ship with a heavy trunk is un-guessable, but local sea-goers, familiar with the baron’s eccentricities in pursuit of his various quests, believe he might have bailed out at low altitude over shallow water and hoped to drag the trunk ashore safely. Whether the tide set against him or the wind was offshore cannot be known unless the time of his entering the sea can be determined by other means.

Click here for the next installment.

Mystery Part VIII

Friday, August 22, 2014 0 comments

Beware the Evil eye!

Here is the next post of Jayne Barnard's "The Evil Eye of Africa."

The first post is here.
A list of all the characters is here.

You can get all the posts by clicking on the mystery tag.

Remember that if you think you have solved the mystery email your deduction to:  madamesaffron at gmail.com.
Madame will be drawing from all the correct solutions for some prizes from Tyche Books!

Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed and your water iced.
KJ

"The Evil Eye of Africa"
By Jayne Barnard

A Guess-the-Murderer Mystery in Two Acts


Act I: The Headlines Thicken

The Goggles Grapevine – August 1, 1898


EVIL EYE DIAMOND GLOWS RED SAYS PROF

 
Professor Plum, seen here vigorously protesting his innocence, was one of the last people to see Baron von Boddy alive before his departure for Egypt last May.

Scotland Yard today confirmed there is no case against Professor Polonius Plum for the theft and sale of Henry Brown’s trunk.

 “Our only possible witness to any sale has gone missing,” said Chief Inspector Snidely Bellows.  “You know, that chap whose airship was just found floating off the South Coast. Without him or the trunk, we’ve got nothing.” 
Plum proclaimed his innocence. “Von Boddy wasn’t going after a mask anyway. Masks in Africa are as common as mutton in England. My friend was on the trail of a unique red-veined diamond, sometimes called a bloodshot diamond.” There followed a long, technical explication of the geological processes by which other rare minerals are compressed into the midst of a diamond.

When the American academic’s latest threat was quoted to him, Plum said, “Brown’s yearning to discredit me because I demanded his expulsion from Oxford. If he dares lay a violent hand on me, I’ll have him up on charges. Immediately following a sharp lesson in British pugilism.”

The professor is departing today for Boddy Manor in Cornwall. While awaiting news of his friend’s fate, he intends to catalogue the baron’s papers for his university.

Click here for the next installment.

Lost Power Makers

Thursday, August 21, 2014 0 comments

Heavy Metal!

There is something wondrous, and also a bit melancholy, about abandoned buildings and factories.
All the energy, thought, labour, and pride expended in creating these great buildings and their complex machines is apparent even in the signs of decay and collapse.

Probably the most melancholy though, are abandoned power plants.

These are places where man manipulates the basic forces of nature into forms that can be used for human purposes. Whether those forces come from rushing water, coal, oil, or even the fundamental building blocks of matter itself, these are the places where we have molded them and converted the energy they contain into standardized human designed forms.

This collection of 32 amazing photos collected on Scribdol evokes the lost power of these places.

7 Most Incredible Abandoned Power Plants

Here are a couple of shots to "wet yer whistle".
Keep your sightglass full your firebox trimmed and your water iced.
KJ


Mystery Part VII

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Wedding Mischief

Here is the next post of Jayne Barnard's "The Evil Eye of Africa."

The first post is here.
A list of all the characters is here.

You can get all the posts by clicking on the mystery tag.

Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed and your water iced.
KJ


"The Evil Eye of Africa"
By Jayne Barnard

A Guess-the-Murderer Mystery in Two Acts

Act I: The Headlines Thicken

The Foghorn Afloat

July 29, 1898


ROMANTIC AIRSHIP-BOARD WEDDING


Photo: Sir Ambrose Peacock and his beautiful bride
On his recent trip to Egypt, Sir Ambrose Peacock lost an uncle but gained a bride.

Meeting her on a stopover in Venice, the English knight lost no time in winning the fair lady’s hand. They were married aboard an airship en route back to London.

“Lady Peacock knew my uncle in Cairo,” said Sir Ambrose, when the pair disembarked from a small commercial airship at the Jamaica Inn in Cornwall, the closest regular stop to Boddy Manor.

“He spoke of me so frequently and warmly that she fell half in love with me before we ever met. No, he didn’t tell her where he was going.”
Sir Ambrose’s uncle, Baron von Boddy, was on a quest for a fabled Nubian treasure when his airship was found adrift over the English Channel.

In response to questions directed at his lovely new wife, Sir Ambrose replied for her. “Yes, I’m sure she will enjoy living in my uncle’s isolated manor in Cornwall. No, I’m sure she won’t find Bodmin Moor in the winter at all uncongenial. I hope my uncle gets declared dead soon so I can sell off a few things.”

As this reporter turned away, Sir Ambrose grasped my sleeve. “I don’t suppose you could lend me a fiver? My wife and I have excess baggage charges and the airship won’t unload our trunks until we pay
up.”

 Photo: mine house on moor, with airship overhead, reputed to be the Jules Verne

Click here for the next installment.

Mystery Part VI

Wednesday, August 20, 2014 0 comments

A Contretemps in the hallowed halls

Here is the next post of Jayne Barnard's "The Evil Eye of Africa."

The first post is here.
A list of all the characters is here.

You can get all the posts by clicking on the mystery tag.

Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed and your water iced.
KJ



"The Evil Eye of Africa"
By Jayne Barnard

A Guess-the-Murderer Mystery in Two Acts

Act I: The Headlines Thicken

The University Times

July 27, 1898


INDY BROWN’S CASE AGAINST PROFESSOR PLUM


Photo Indiana Brown and Professor Plum nose to nose in Balliol Fellows dining hall

A new wrinkle arose in the mysterious case of the missing baron, when American adventurer Henry “Indiana” Brown levelled a public accusation at Professor Polonius Plum for the theft of his research into the fabled Eye of Africa mask.

“We both attended the annual meeting of the Association for Archaeology in Academia a couple months back, in New York City. We came on to England on the same trans-oceanic airship,” said Brown. “I showed him the map. I put it into my book trunk right in front of him, and next day the whole trunk vanished.
“As soon as I heard that Baron guy was on the trail of the Eye of Africa when he got lost , I knew the Professor had shanghai’d my research for him. And I’ll prove it, by gum, or my name isn’t Henry Walton Brown, Junior.”

In terms not suitable for newspaper publication, Brown expressed his intent to follow the professor to Cornwall, where the latter hopes to curate Baron von Boddy’s papers for the Balliol Library. Said Brown, “And when I catch up to him, I’ll punch him right in the schnoz!”

  Hand-drawn facsimile of mask Brown claims to have researched thoroughly

Click here for the next installment.                       

Mystery Part V

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 0 comments

A Mysterious woman...


Here is the next post of Jayne Barnard's "The Evil Eye of Africa."

The first post is here.
A list of all the characters is here.

You can get all the posts by clicking on the mystery tag.

Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed and your water iced.
KJ


"The Evil Eye of Africa"
By Jayne Barnard

A Guess-the-Murderer Mystery in Two Acts

Act I: The Headlines Thicken

London Fog and Cog

July 27, 1898


LAST LADY LOVE OF BARON VON BODDY?


Do you recognize this woman, seen in intimate proximity to Baron von Boddy at the Cairo Aerodrome shortly before his departure for parts unknown?

Hercule Hornblower, investigating the last days of Baron von Boddy in Egypt, has learned he was often in company with a lovely young widow whose name, as given at her hotel and to the English community in Cairo, was proved fictional.

This woman was seen weeping at the aerodrome as Boddy departed on his ill-fated treasure hunt into the Nubian desert.

 An airship captain who witnessed the tearful parting had no information to share on her identity beyond, “A demmed fine woman, sirrah. Demmed fine.” 
Hornblower has appealed without success to the English community in Cairo for the woman’s actual name and whereabouts, and now seeks the same information from the Fog’s loyal readers. If you know this woman by any name, please fill in the Fog and we will ensure the information reaches Monsieur Hornblower.

Below: a wider view of the mystery woman at the aerodrome, being consoled or cajoled by the baron while an incidental airship captain resolutely keeps his eyes on the skies.

Click here for the next installment.

Mystery Part IV

Monday, August 18, 2014 0 comments

Beauty and Danger...

Here is the next post of Jayne Barnard's "The Evil Eye of Africa."

The first post is here.
A list of all the characters is here.

You can get all the posts by clicking on the mystery tag.

Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed and your water iced.
KJ

"The Evil Eye of Africa"
By Jayne Barnard

A Guess-the-Murderer Mystery in Two Acts

Act I: The Headlines Thicken

The Social Steamer

July 22, 1898


AMERICAN HEIRESS BADGERED FOR BATTY BARON’S BILLS



Mrs. Medusa Midas-White in her parlour at Claridge’s Hotel.

Following the discovery of the abandoned Jules Verne, the expeditionary airship of Baron von Boddy, Mrs. Midas-White, the only surviving heir to Atlantic Airship Industries in New Jersey, America, and now resident in Claridge’s Hotel, London, is being urgently billed by merchants who supplied the missing adventurer’s expedition in search of Nubian treasures.

Mrs. White’s patronage of Baron von Boddy was widely known in England, and doubtless contributed to the merchants’ willingness to advance goods to the latter. On being informed the baron had not paid his bills before departure, her shock seemed genuine.

How much the heiress had already advanced in support of Boddy’s latest whacky dream is unknown. A few inquiries would have revealed the venturesome baron’s English investors were long since embittered by his unfruitful quests for legendary treasures.


Notable detective Hercule Hornblower is on the case.


 
Mrs. White dispatched a notable British detective, Hercule Hornblower, to Egypt in hopes of determining whether Boddy found the treasure and, if so, where she might lay claim to her contractually guaranteed portion of the trove.

“If I must, I will take my money stick by brick from his property in Cornwall,” she said, frowning severely. “I am going there immediately to make sure it is not tampered with until I’ve got my pound of flesh.”

Click here for the next installment.

Mystery Part III

Sunday, August 17, 2014 0 comments

Served with Distinction...

Here is the next post of Jayne Barnard's "The Evil Eye of Africa."

The first post is here.
A list of all the characters is here.

You can get all the posts by clicking on the mystery tag.

Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed and your water iced.
KJ

"The Evil Eye of Africa"
By Jayne Barnard

A Guess-the-Murderer Mystery in Two Acts

Act I: The Headlines Thicken

The Floating Fortress, England’s Aeronautical Weekly

July 21, 1898


CARDSHARP COLONEL EJECTED FROM ST. JAMES CLUB

Colonel Bilious Mustard, long an habituĂ© of the fashionable gaming clubs of London, was escorted from the premises of The Royal Air Arms recently. Rumours fly of cheating at piquet and failure to pay his club dues. Creditors are encamped outside the veteran officer’s lodging, where the landlady said his rent is also in arrears.




Colonel Mustard inside his club, The Royal Air Arms, caught in a candid moment during a card game.

The Colonel’s downfall is all the more shocking as his service record is filled with battle honours. His earliest post was with the high-altitude scouts, who spend many hours aloft in tethered balloons to report enemy troop movements to the ground forces.

These daring aeronauts were constantly at risk from enemy snipers and vagaries of weather, with only a canvas canopy to drop them gently to Earth should their balloon be ruptured.
 A high-altitude scout training with his canopy by leaping from scaffolding.

Mustard earned three valorous medals aloft before returning to the Airship Marine Corps for many further years of honourable service.

He has not been seen in his usual haunts lately. The recent disappearance of his good friend, Baron von Boddy, weighed on his mind, and some club members suggest he has taken the “honourable way out,” ie self-termination with his service pistol, a long tradition for disgraced military men.


Click here for the next installment.

Mystery Part II

Saturday, August 16, 2014 0 comments

Academics behaving badly!


Here is the next post of Jayne Barnard's "The Evil Eye of Africa."

The first post is here.
A list of all the characters is here.

You can get all the posts by clicking on the mystery tag.

Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed and your water iced.
KJ


"The Evil Eye of Africa"
By Jayne Barnard

A Guess-the-Murderer Mystery in Two Acts

Act I: The Headlines Thicken

The University Times

July 18, 1898


AMERICAN LECTURER LAUGHED OUT OF OXFORD

Professor “Indy” Brown addressing the Annual Fellows Dinner at Balliol College in Oxford

Henry “Indiana” Brown, a scholar visiting from a middle-American “university,” gave a detailed description of a fabled proto-Nubian mask, The Eye of Africa, at the Explorers Club dinner in Balliol College last week.


He embellished the telling with apparently erudite and convincing detail.

But, when asked to produce evidence of his conclusions, Brown claimed his research was all lost on his voyage across the Atlantic.

The White Star Line denies any claim was made by Mr. Brown for lost luggage, casting his research into grave doubt and resulting in prompt termination of his visiting-professor status at Oxford.

An American, Professor Brown did not depart with the dignity of a British don. After confronting an esteemed Oxfordian in the dining hall with accusations of theft, Brown was escorted from the Sacred Halls of Academe. At the university gate he yelled back, “I’m right and I’ll rub all your noses in it.”

As this is the widely preferred form of teaching puppies not to do their business indoors, the egregious insult has further cast doubt on the recent policy of treating America’s fledgling academic institutes as in any way on a par with those venerable universities of England. Look for sparks to fly at next month’s meeting of the Oxford Universities Guild.

Click here for the next installment.

Dramatis Personae

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Suspects!

To make it easier to keep track of who is who, here is the list of characters in "The Evil Eye of Africa".
The next part of the Mystery will be posted shortly.
The first post is here.

You can get all the posts by clicking on the mystery tag.

Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed and your water iced.
KJ

"The Evil Eye of Africa"
By Jayne Barnard

A Guess-the-Murderer Mystery in Two Acts

Dramatis Personae:




Baron von Boddy – a Cornish adventurer better known for his failures than his successes, and his idiosyncratic single-hander expeditionary airship, the Jules Verne. His present quest for the Eye of Africa began in London amid fanfare but degenerated into bragging for drinks around the British haunts in Cairo.
 (Andrew Nadon)




Colonel Bilious Mustard – Boddy’s long-time, stalwart friend, recently retired from an upstanding military career that left him showered with medals but holding few saleable assets.
(Grant Zelych)











Sir Ambrose Peacockheir to Baron von Boddy’s title and whatever is left of his estate, this feckless fop has never worked at anything more challenging than the tying of his cravat nor made a more weighty decision than the placement of a jeweled pin in said cravat.
(Jessep Crossfield)





Lady Peacock – an undeniable beauty, of whom little is known prior to her recent airship wedding – some say hasty, others romantic – to Sir Ambrose.
(Raven Hawthorne)










Professor Polonius Plum – an Oxford scholar of no particular note, until he came to frequent the company of Baron von Boddy last winter.
(James Prescott)

 






Henry “Indiana” Brown – an American, professor of Archaeology at a little-known Midwest university, he has made a lifelong study of ancient African relics of power. (Andrew Nadon)








Mrs. Medusa Midas-White – an American industrial heiress with pots of money and a thirst for more.(Karen Siemens)












Hercule Hornblower – a notable British-Belgian detective whose forays into undercover surveillance are thwarted by his excessively large and recognizable moustaches.
(Stewart McPhee)



 


An Incidental Airship Captain of No Particular Importance.
(Me)



Click here for the next installment.

The Mystery Begins

Friday, August 15, 2014 0 comments

Murder, Mayhem, Detection!

It's time to get this game rolling!

This is the first post of the Mystery Game, "The Evil Eye of Africa," by Jayne Barnard.

Here is your chance to win some prizes from Tyche Books by solving the mystery.

I will be posting each section to the blog and as soon as you figure out who the murderer is you can email your deduction to madamesaffron at gmail.com. You can submit multiple times if you change your mind but we will only use the last one!

Once all the parts have been posted I will collect all the correct guesses and pass them along so that Madame Saffron Hemlock herself can draw names and award the prizes.

The Mystery consists of two Acts.

  • Act I is a collection of newspaper articles where the mystery begins to become apparent.
  • Act II is a collection of reports and journal entries from the private investigator who has been hired to figure out what is happening.
The posts are illustrated with pictures of some of Calgary's best dressed Steampunks, who joined Jayne at the Seanachie pub on a wonderful summer Sunday afternoon for good food, good ale, fun, murder and mayhem.

You can get all the parts of the mystery posted so far by clicking on the mystery tag.
A list of all the characters is here.

So without further ado here then is...

"The Evil Eye of Africa"
By Jayne Barnard

A Guess-the-Murderer Mystery in Two Acts



Act I: The Headlines Thicken

The Cornwall Cog and Goggles

July 15, 1898

POTTY PEER’S AIRSHIP ADRIFT


The expeditionary airship of Baron von Boddy, amateur archaeologist and ardent explorer of Egypt, has been found deserted, floating low over the English Channel, a fortnight after vanishing from view in a sandstorm that crossed the Suez Canal. One canvas canopy and one cork life-vest were missing from the vessel, leading to the belief that the explorer bailed out over water.

Of the fabled Nubian treasure von Boddy’s latest expedition sought, there was no trace. Asked about his uncle’s quest, his heir, Sir Ambrose Peacock said, “He was after the Eye of Africa, a pigeon’s egg diamond streaked with red. Those heathen tribes thought a spirit made the diamond glow when evil-doers were near. By golly, I’d like to see that diamond!”

Peacock was on the point of departing overland for Egypt, to pursue investigations into his uncle’s last known whereabouts.

Baron von Boddy on April 1, greeting his latest investor, Mrs. Medusa Midas-White of New Jersey, America.


Click here for the next installment.

Mystery!

Thursday, August 14, 2014 0 comments

Who doesn't love a good mystery?

Starting this weekend August 16, I will be posting the first part of a serial Steampunk Murder Mystery,
 "The Evil Eye of Africa" by Jayne Barnard.


Originally written as part of the entertainment for a Whiskey and Absinthe Tasting party held last weekend at the When Words Collide Festival in Calgary, sponsored by Tyche Books and the Steampunk Arts and Sciences Society. This is a tale of intrigue, mystery, academic jealousy, romance, and murder!

Illustrated with photos of some of Calgary's best dressed Steampunks here is something to sink your detecting teeth into.

This mystery is presented in the form of newspaper articles and detective reports and you are welcome to help solve this Steampunk whodunnit. You can submit your deductions as to who the murderer is and I will draw from all the correct answers and award some prizes.

Stay tuned for the opening segment of The Evil Eye of Africa.
Which can be found here!

Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed and your water iced!
KJ




Pie in the Sky Projects

Monday, August 4, 2014 0 comments

What Ifs...

Everybody likes to day dream.  I like to daydream about projects, contraptions, airships (as you may have noticed) and other wondrous Steampunk things. Now daydreams are OK as a way to spend an idle few minutes waiting for a bus or waiting for a kettle to boil or something, but sometimes they can lead to projects that might actually be interesting or at least entertaining to actually create.

Between the pure fantasy daydream, and the detailed planning for a real project, lies the wonderland that I like to call "Pie In the Sky" projects. These are projects that get fleshed out a bit further than a pure daydream but don't fall prey to the issues that reality imposes if you actually want to turn them into real things.

For my first Pie In the Sky I present to you an Airship Gondola!

The idea here is to modify a motorhome, to become the gondola / control car of a personal airship.
Perhaps a small version of the one I have been designing in my Practical Airship Design Series.

By not having to worry about the pesky details of building and flying a real Airship, my project would be to just build the control car and drive it to events as if it was flying there!

We would start with something like one of these Airstream Motorhomes:

http://www.aluminarium.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/airstream-moho.jpg
Inside though we would make it look like it belonged to the Airship of our imagination, with flight controls and cabins, even an engineering and communications station.

Once someone stepped aboard I want them to think they could be suspended beneath the massive envelope of an Airship. One that has just touched down from some exotic adventures amongst the clouds.

With the passengers and crew suitably attired we could travel the by ways and have all sorts of adventures while never leaving the safety of the ground!

I was partly inspired by that amazing Victorian fantasy "The Never Was Haul"

Oh the wondrous Pie In the Sky projects!

Keep your sightglass full your firebox trimmed and your water iced.
KJ

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