Mystery Part III

Sunday, August 17, 2014

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.

"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


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.


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