Mystery Part II

Saturday, August 16, 2014

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.

"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


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.


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