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Opportunity For Murder
Opportunity For Murder
Opportunity For Murder
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Opportunity For Murder

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Another sequel to the Thadeus Burke adventure stories; continuing the antics of the aristocratic Lloyd’s Insurance Broker and his sister Dr Freddie, together with Inspector Johnny Jackson of Scotland Yard.
It is now 1928.
An apparently motiveless murder at the opening ceremony of the new Lloyd’s Underwriting Room develops into a trek around the country seeking money lenders and drug dealers. We follow the unravelling of this mystery, interwoven with passionate affaires involving most of the prime suspects.
Entwined within this tale there are bodies at Country House Parties, Fancy Dress Balls and a Treasure Hunt, trips to the Derby and Royal Ascot, in addition to the now customary sexual shenanigans.. All part of the great fun in Britain’s last elegant decade, the nineteen-twenties.
PublisherM-Y Books
Release dateAug 8, 2012
Opportunity For Murder
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Terry Minahan

Terry Minahan lived from an early age in London then for the last twenty years has resided with his wife Lydia in Newmarket; this suited his work with bloodstock insurance and her work as an artist.He left school at sixteen years of age and went straight to a firm of Lloyds’ Brokers, starting in the accounts department then spent many years wandering around the Underwriting Room as a broker, gathering friends and enemies in consideration of a modest monetary reward.He was always an avid reader of detective fiction along with a love of Shakespeare and Plato, and more recently with a passionate interest in classic and baroque music and the study of music theory, coupled with attempts at playing the clarinet.His first book, The Adventures of Thadeus Burke was published in May 2008, and the Further Adventures a year later; the present effort is another sequel following the antics of the same heroes. Look out for the fourth, and maybe final, instalment of the adventures of Thadeus Burke which is progressing well.

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    Opportunity For Murder - Terry Minahan

    Chapter 1


    A new opening

    The Honourable Thadeus Burke missed the first race on the Thursday of the major Cheltenham National Hunt meeting 1928 but was in good time to witness the Champion Hurdle Challenge Cup in which, according to his contacts, a wonder horse named Brown Jack was a participant. Despite the small field of only six runners, the race was run at an exceptional pace, the two miles being completed in a few seconds outside four minutes; Thadeus put one thousand pounds, his only gamble of the day on the selected animal and the equine hero duly obliged by a length and a half at odds of four-to-one. He would celebrate by purchasing a new bowler hat from Mr Lock’s, and a pair of black shoes from Mr Green’s, new shirts and ties from Messrs Turnbull & Asser and a dark grey suit in Savile Row ready for his appearance the next week before the sovereign King George the Fifth and Queen Mary.

    On Saturday the Twenty-Fourth of March 1928, the Royal carriage, pulled by four black horses, the off-side lead horse being ridden by a postilion from the palace staff, came to a halt outside the old East India House in Leadenhall Street. The troop of the Household Cavalry accompanying the parade did likewise – one horse slightly moved his hind legs; in equine etiquette it is acceptable to raise the tail and drop a half-bucket of dung onto the road but extremely bad manners to fidget whilst standing four square to attention – the beast and his rider might be reprimanded tomorrow morning.

    It was noon, the King and Queen having departed from Buckingham Palace at 11.35, pausing at Temple Bar to receive the Pearl sword from the Lord Mayor of London. Accompanied by Sir Philip Cunliffe-Lister, the President of the Board of Trade, they stepped onto the carpet, a red one, everyone wearing a cap saluted and the bare-headed men bowed; the Royal pair were greeted by Mr Percy G Mackinnon, the Chairman of Lloyd’s and Mr C I de Rougemont the Deputy Chairman. The khaki uniformed line of men standing on the kerb opposite presented arms.

    The King inspected the mounted Guard of Honour, a detachment from the 159th (Lloyd’s) City of London Anti-Aircraft Battery, and the infantry detachment from Lloyd’s Company of the 5th City of London Regiment (London Rifle Brigade).

    The occasion was the official opening of the new Lloyd’s of London Underwriting Room, a vast marble hall with lofty pillars supporting a domed glass roof; in the centre of which stood the new pillared rostrum in red marble, surmounted by a clock, with the Lutine bell hanging above the caller’s seat.

    The Royal Exchange Building had been the home of Lloyd’s of London since the Twenty-Sixth of December 1844 and it was unlikely that there was anybody still alive who could remember the previous opening of an Underwriting Room so this was a prestigious event.

    Inside, especially equipped with seats for three thousand guests, speeches were made by the King, congratulating the members in respect of their enterprise and value to the British economy, and the chairman, thanking the sovereign and his queen for their gracious encouragement. Then before declaring the building open there was a prayer delivered by the Bishop of London. The whole Lloyd’s Committee trooped off, proudly drawing attention to the architectural features, and the more mundane but equally impressive instruments of commerce like the Telegraph Board with messages and cablegrams posted reporting casualties received from Lloyd’s agents all over the world, and the Loss Book with its entries, written out with quill pens showing the names, tonnage and destinations of the major lost or damaged vessels, then the filed full index to the Lloyd’s List publications over the past ten years. All the records of the Royal Yacht had been marked with silk ribbons ready for display. Upstairs to the sumptuous committee rooms and the chairman and deputy chairman’s offices, and the Captain’s Room where coffee was offered and refused, as expected.

    Following their tour of the building the Royal couple returned to the dais and the National Anthem was sung.

    Everything went according to plan, the exact details of which had been published in the previous day’s Lloyd’s List. The only unscheduled stop was at the War Memorial where the Queen stood with bowed head and the King placed a wreathe of laurel at the foot of the sculptured tribute To the glorious memory of our men who fell in the Great War. Warned of this variation by an advanced messenger from the palace a six round gun salute, had been hastily arranged by the Rifle Brigade and a bugled ‘Last Post’ from the mounted Guard of Honour’s top trumpeter.

    The royal visitors left a 1 o’clock - a one hour visit.

    Ernie Hadley stood at the window on the third floor of the building opposite the spectacle in his personal office looking down on the ceremonies; the riflemen were firing their salute, the old soldier was familiar with the procedure. After the first signalled command to ‘fire’ the riflemen followed their drill discipline, bolt back to eject the spent cartridge, bolt forward to re-load, pause with finger on the trigger, then fire. Ernie counted with them one, two, pause, fire; one two pause bang! They were firing blanks.

    His visitor, in the room and standing behind him, also knew the practice, and also counted the movements, one two pause bang. The revolver held in the guest’s right hand was loaded with live ammunition and in harmony with the punctual ballistic explosion a bullet was fired into the back of Ernie’s head. The deceased bookkeeper fell in a heap to the floor and the murderer replaced the gun into a black briefcase, and left the room, travelling down in the lift and joining the jubilant crowd on the pavement.

    The group of staff gathered on the second floor had also viewed the ceremony, standing to attention in reverent silence as the salute was fired; they heard what might have been a bump on the floor above but were not distracted from their patriotic duty. This was the only evidence of possible value that they were able to reveal to the police sergeant and young constable who interrogated them the following week. Their alibis were solid; they had arrived for work as usual at nine o’clock, sat at their desks and proceeded with the morning’s allocated tasks. When the crowd outside had gathered in sufficient numbers the senior man had called for tea to be brewed and authorized a break for the rare opportunity to see the King and Queen at close quarters; the two juniors had left the room at that time to make arrangements in the kitchen, which included a plate of biscuits. An elderly lady was embarrassingly singled out as the only person to leave the room during the period from the serving of the tea until the Royal pair departed in the state carriage: she had rushed off to the lavatory just after the dignitaries had entered the front door of the prestigious new building but was back at her station long before they re-immerged for the gun firing spectacular. The pavement outside was packed with sightseers and they had no direct view of the entrance to their own place of work.

    After the opening ceremony the Honourable Thadeus Burke had been delayed with polite conversation amongst the Lloyd’s dignitaries, self-congratulatory back slapping, the exchange of family intelligence, general badinage and the opportunity to lay the corner stones to business plans, so it was some time before he was able to escape the shindig and return to his motor-car, which because some of the City roads had been closed for the Royal procession, he had parked by the Tower of London. He strolled along Leadenhall Street, past the Aldgate pump and down The Minories, intending to sit in what used to be the castle moat and partake of a quiet pipe in the sunshine. To his surprise there sitting in the front passenger seat of his Bentley was the familiar figure of Detective Chief Inspector Johnny Jackson of Scotland Yard smoking a large cigar and browsing through the morning paper.

    ‘I trust that I am not to be charged with some obscure traffic offence arising from the close vicinity of a royal domain?’ he asked the senior policeman.

    ‘I have been investigating a crime of arson,’ revealed Jackson, ‘and thought that I would rest my weary bones in the leather luxury of an abandoned impressive motor vehicle, the owner of which I suspected of being engaged with an audience before His Royal Highness the King, George the Fifth, and his good lady wife, the Queen, Mary of Teck.’

    ‘Quite right detective,’ praised Thadeus, ‘but I would have thought that your lungs would have taken their full quota of smoke already.’

    ‘I have minions available for the dangerous work,’ said Jackson as Thadeus joined him in the car and asked him about the fire.

    The severely damaged premises were a couple of hundred yards or so along East Smithfield; a small depository behind the bonded tea warehouses. The chief fire officer was in no doubt of the cause of the conflagration; the ground floor had been saturated with petrol. The contents consisted of goods awaiting shipment to the United States of America, a collection of antique furniture, a quantity of bone china, all destined for the American retail traders, and a set of bank deposit boxes containing documents allegedly of great literary value on their way to an exhibition in Philadelphia. Jackson handed Thadeus a hand-written list and advised him that a man from Tyler & Co was presently assessing the loss to Lloyd’s underwriters. From the schedule Thadeus observed that the porcelain was modern though bearing the name of Wedgwood; but for the blaze would probably still be wet from Staffordshire paint. The furniture was good stuff, early English oak, some French Louis XIV ornate pieces and some fine work by the late Georgian master craftsmen including Thomas Sheraton; there were also some Pre-Raphaelite paintings in this lot. But the really interesting section was original autograph letters written by the English Romantic poets, gathered together from the British Museum, the Bodleian Library and the Fitzwilliam Museum, and the Cambridge University Library, with additions from private collections – irreplaceable and beyond value.

    When questioned Jackson advised that the document boxes were of the usual type as anyone might have for keeping valuables at a bank vault, officially classified as ‘fire-proof’ but they had buckled in the intense heat and the antique paper had crumbled into ash, to make matters worse the packing of cardboard and tissue paper had received the benefit of a good dowsing from the hoses and the whole contents including the rare manuscripts were now a soggy mush.

    ‘Chopper-happy Harry!’ commented Thadeus, then when Jackson looked puzzled explained that insurers often suffer as great a loss from the enthusiasm of the fire brigade as they do from the flames.

    A black Sunbeam 25hp Tourer arrived and was parked behind the Bentley, the driver, a uniformed policeman handed the keys to the chief inspector, advising that the vehicle had only just been released from the confines of hose-pipes. ‘Do you like my new car?’ the owner asked nodding a gracious thanks to the constable, and displaying to his friend obvious delight at his new toy.

    ‘Does your wife Olive drive?’ asked Thadeus.

    ‘Unfortunately – yes,’ said Jackson.

    They set off in the same direction but for different venues; Jackson promising to buy lunch during the week and bring Thadeus up-to-date with clues for the arson case, and put a copy of the schedule of losses in the post.

    On Monday morning Detective Chief Inspector Johnny Jackson of Scotland Yard called at the offices of Burke & Co, the Lloyd’s brokering firm run by his friend Thadeus Burke, but surprisingly it was not his friend that he wished to see, it was the company bookkeeper, Clement Simpkins, whose name appeared in Ernie Hadley’s diary as his last appointment on Friday afternoon.

    Ernie was employed by an Underwriting Agency that managed the accounts of several Lloyd’s syndicates, a couple of which supported the Burke & Co business. Clem’s visit was his regular monthly ticking-up routine when the two men would call over their ledger figures and tick the agreed items, of insurance premiums, additional and return premiums, and claims or refunds. They would then investigate any outstanding entries in either set of books and note them as debits or credits to come. At this visit they had unearthed a discrepancy where the underwriting accounts showed a premium as Australian pounds and the broker as Irish pounds causing a difference in the convertible currency balance. The broker’s entry was correct giving rise to a mild rebuke of the relevant underwriting box’s staff by the fastidious Ernie.

    Clem had known Mr Hadley for many years, from the time when young Simpkins started out, before the War, and Ernie was at the London Assurance Company. He gave Jackson a very full appraisal of the man’s ability, which was assiduous in every respect, he had never known Ernie make a mistake in his books; and his memory for figures was legendary. When there was a difference of nine pounds ten shillings, Ernie could spot a ten pound carelessly written as ten shillings among six or seven sheets of double entry pages in a matter of seconds; he was just as quick with a more obscure surplus, say six pounds fifteen shillings and nine pence, homing in on an entry of seven shilling and thruppence in an instant. Jackson was fascinated by the lesson in book-keeping but disappointed by the lack of any possible reason why the diligent numbers man had been shot dead in his office during the official opening of the new Lloyd’s underwriting room; apart from the obvious fact that the occasion offered good cover for a gun shot.

    Perhaps Clement Simpkins’ boss had a hypothesis.

    It was the next day before Jackson and Thadeus could meet, at the lunch prearranged for an arson enquiry chat, but the new crime took precedence.

    ‘I understand that the firing of a salute was only conjured up that morning,’ said Thadeus to the chief inspector in the Burke & Co office where the company’s boss was busy signing letters and cheques, ‘after it was announced that the King would lay a wreath at the War memorial.’

    ‘Not much room for premeditated murder,’ commented Jackson, ‘I have already ascertained that it was nine-thirty in the morning that the news of the King’s intentions arrived at Lloyd’s, but I have yet to receive reports concerning to whom, and when, this information was passed on; particularly the military chaps; but I suspect that everybody involved in the ceremony knew about the change, and the planned salute by eleven o’clock, about an hour or more before the shooting.’

    ‘Have you identified the weapon used?’ asked Thadeus.

    ‘According to my ballistics expert, it was a Webley Mk V1 revolver,’ said Jackson, ‘a hand-gun issued to most officers in the War.’

    ‘Is your expert Mr Robert Churchill?’ asked Thadeus, ‘a man patronized by my father to assist his ambitious attempts to exterminate the avian population of Scotland.’

    ‘Yes,’ confirmed the chief inspector, ‘he identified the .455 calibre projectile and is certain that it was fired by a Mark V1.’

    ‘There were many of them produced,’ commented Thadeus.

    ‘About one hundred and twenty-five thousand,’ said Jackson

    ‘A house to house enquiry should take quite a while.’

    ‘We may as well go to lunch then.’

    They left the office and strolled along to the George & Vulture; smiled at their usual waitress and took their usual table, down stairs beside the window; perused the usual menu and ordered the usual meal; steak, bubble and squeak, with a bottle of claret.

    ‘Are you still going to spend your Brown Jack winnings on a sabbatical in Ireland?’ asked Jackson, a more modest beneficiary of the racing tip but with sufficient profit for his new motor vehicle.

    ‘I need the peace,’ replied Thadeus, adding, ‘last time I learned how to make soda bread and can now turn out an excellent loaf in less than an hour. I find cooking very relaxing – therapeutic.’

    ‘I am not allowed in the kitchen,’ said the newly married man.

    ‘Assert your rights,’ advised Thadeus, ‘have Olive arrested for obstructing the police in the pursuit of their duty.’

    ‘I have zero rights in the kitchen and elsewhere in the flat about the same privileges as a Jewish shopkeeper trading next-door to the headquarters of the NSDAP in Berlin. The Germans are going to be a problem again!’

    ‘I know,’ agreed Thadeus, ‘we should have had more generosity of heart in 1918.’

    ‘Mrs Hadley is Jewish,’ said Jackson, making a note in his flip-top notebook to check any record of intimidation.

    ‘No closer to finding a motive for her husband’s killing then?’

    ‘No, but I am going through a list of his private engagements during the last twelve months. Mrs Hadley is involved with several charities, aimed at helping Jewish communities in Europe, and Ernie did the book-keeping for two or three. When I was speaking to Clem yesterday morning it occurred to me that he may have spotted an embezzlement or other fraud somewhere – I think that I will send my account’s team in.’

    ‘What about the underwriting accounts that he worked on every day?’ asked Thadeus.

    ‘They also need to be investigated, but a little more subtlety will be required,’ said the policeman.

    ‘Try a surprise audit ordered by Mr Sturge,’ suggested the insurance broker.

    ‘I am informed by his office that the question of audits will be on the agenda for this week’s committee meeting. I have asked that Mr Sturge slip in approval for occasional unannounced spot checks.’ Jackson carved into his steak, with a smug look on his face.

    ‘Very good,’ applauded Thadeus, ‘perhaps you could get Clem Simpkins co-opted into the team, as an expert with particular knowledge of Mr Hadley’s modus operandi.’

    ‘I like that idea,’ said Jackson, making a note in his book.

    They munched on, changing the subject of conversation for the next course, spotted dick with custard for the policeman and a slice of brie for the insurance broker.

    ‘The fire was started early Saturday morning, about 5am,’ Jackson paused for a mouthful of pudding, ‘old bed sheets and blankets soaked in petrol on the ground floor and interspersed amongst the furniture stored at that level,’ a spoonful of sultanas and custard, ‘went up like a Guy Fawkes bonfire,’ another lump of suet mixture, ‘the fire brigade were called by the night-watchman at the tea warehouses and they arrived thirty minutes later – trouble with the ladder fitments,’ final scoop of custard, ‘their main concern was to protect neighbouring property, moving loose items and dowsing the walls,’ thanks the waitress for her usual generous proportions with a nod and a wink, ‘then they sprayed the depository down to just four walls and a blackened heap of contents – no floors.’

    ‘You do not get spotted dick at home?’ enquired Thadeus.’

    ’No,’ said Jackson, ‘but I love Olive dearly, she has other attributes. The Lloyd’s underwriter involved with the poets is Arthur Dickinson, a marine cargo man, do you know him?’

    ‘He specializes in transits of works of art,’ informed Thadeus, ‘I have arranged some policies with him for movement abroad of my brother’s art gallery sales. I have not received your copy list of the losses.’

    Jackson took a typewritten schedule of all the reported damage from his inside pocket and handed it across the table, ‘Missed last night’s post,’ he commented.

    ‘I will study it at home this evening, over a few reference books,’ said his friend, ‘it sounds like a well organized crime – old sheets and blankets – no clues leading to an early arrest of the arsonist I presume?’

    ‘Nothing yet I am afraid, but my experts and Tyler & Co are still sifting through the wreckage and might find something,’ said Jackson ordering two coffees with the customary twitch of his fingers, ‘the insurance man is very slow, sorting out pieces of painted canvas that might be sewn back together.’

    ‘Who owns the depository?’ asked Thadeus.

    ‘The same investment company that owns the tea warehouses, registered in the West End,’ said Jackson, ‘the goods were in the custody of a well known shipper; nothing suspicious about either of them.’

    In the evening immediately after work that day Thadeus and Jackson met up again, at the policeman’s request, for a pint of beer in the Falstaff public house on Eastcheap, the subject of this interview was canine faeces, a subject that the chief inspector had felt as being unsuitable for discussion at the dining table; Thadeus applauded the detective’s decision to delay the matter until they were equipped with a glass of refreshing ale.

    The disclosure was that a number of dog’s stools had been observed just inside the iron gates protecting the depository premises, they were noticed by an astute fireman and reported to the chief officer as a possible clue to the arsonist, as a result of which a constable was detailed to arrange a photograph and then collect the droppings and place them in a cardboard box – the quantity indicated a big dog!

    ‘So you seek the custodian of a large hound?’ suggested Thadeus, but before the policeman could confirm this comment a police sergeant entered the premises and informed his superior that a dead body had been discovered in the debris at the arson site.

    ‘Why has this taken four days?’ admonished the chief inspector.

    ‘It was at the western side of the building where most of the collapsed flooring had fallen,’ said the junior officer, ‘underneath a massive stack of burnt wood, furniture and broken china; the insurance man was going through it very carefully looking for anything still salvageable.’

    ‘Do we have an identity of the victim?’ asked Jackson, optimistically.

    ‘Burned to a cinder sir,’ replied the sergeant, ‘his own mother would not recognize him, unless she was in the habit of polishing his false teeth. A nice set of gnashers still in his mouth – a bit smoke stained but very serviceable, but the insurance man did not think that they would yield much for the underwriters.’

    ‘Mr Arthur Dickinson has always appeared to me to be well equipped in that department,’ quipped Thadeus, ‘but I assume that routine enquiries in the field of dentistry will discover the manufacturer and his customer.’

    ‘I suppose that I had better go along and inspect the scene, this might be the reason for the fire’ said Jackson, swigging down the last of his beer, ‘do you want to come along Thadeus?’

    ‘Despite the interesting interlude with mongrel excrement and roasted corpses,’ said the insurance broker, ‘I am going to have dinner – fish I think will be appropriate.’

    Supping the final glass of the Pouilly-Fuisse that had accompanied his Dover sole, grilled by Hilton, his manservant, Thadeus perused the schedule of destruction supplied by Jackson, giving particular attention to the scribblings of the poets – more verve than verse.

    A letter from Keats to his publisher threatening to abstain from all future poetic work unless efforts were made to impede the current unwarranted comments about his compositions being broadcast by the review critics; Coleridge complaining to his drug supplier on the quality of the penultimate and last deliveries, together with a note of appointments with the doctor attempting to cure him of the addiction; correspondence from Shelly to Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin – his then mistress, later second wife – about the prospects for his first wife’s children; a note from Byron to a lady excusing his untimely exit at their last tryst. Most of the documents were of this nature, only the communications between William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy contained poetry and that seemed to be an argument about the tense of a word used, and the overuse of assonance in one line. There were many letters and notes reiterating travel arrangements to and from various continental capitals. The whole collection was not of great value to the general reader of poetry, but would serve well the academics anxious to collate historical facts where their research concentrated on who was where when, with whom and why – the alliterate delight of biographers.

    Thadeus retired to bed with his copy of Rupert Brooke’s complete works, in a full leather bound edition given to him by his sister Lady Frederica Burke MD last Christmas.


    Jackson’s accounts team had spent two days studying the books of four Jewish charities, without unearthing any errors whatsoever, except that one of them had posted all their cash entries on the wrong side of the ledger for the past three weeks giving rise to some much needed merriment. The intruding group were treated with utmost courtesy involving a tour of a Synagogue and two meals at Bloom’s,

    The figures concerned in these books were mostly small. Although the largest charity unit had quite a sophisticated investment programme there was no hint of fraud threatening the stability of the organizations. There were a few large donations, but these items were carefully tracked through the books and verified with bank and investment statements. The team awaited their summons to the Lloyd’s audit surprise.

    Mrs Hadley had already found her surprise – a large paper-wrapped parcel at the back of Ernie’s personal wardrobe containing, what appeared to be from her careful flick through the elastic banded bundles, about five hundred pounds in various denominations of bank notes. Was her late husband a thief? Was he taking bribes for some devious accounting cover-up? Was he shrewdly saving money for their shortly forthcoming retirement? She dared not think what the answer was, but for certain she was not going to tell anyone about it!

    Certainly not the police, she did not trust them: Ernie’s sister’s daughter was married to a copper; his beat was in Kennington, where they used to live; now they have a posh house in Chislehurst. It was suspected that he peddled dirty photos, his mother-in-law had glimpsed a picture at the top of a package dropped from his pocket showing a girl with all her bits showing, mind you these new youngsters have no morals. The lad is good to his family, takes a large carton of cigarettes around whenever they visit, says he gets them from a wholesaler, but Ernie reckoned that they fell off the back of a lorry, same with the polished wooden gramophone cabinet with a cupboard underneath for storing records. If he got wind of this money he would offer to handle it discretely – discretely was one of his favourite words – it meant that it would go straight into his pocket. No she would not tell the police anything!

    The same day that the booty was discovered she hurried around to their bank and secured the parcel in a locked deposit box of the fire-proof kind, signed some papers and put the box key on the same ring as her door key.

    Another surprise that day was a telephone call to Thadeus from Miss Rosie Maguire, a sixteen year old personal lady’s maid that his sister Freddie had recently engaged from a London agency for a trial period of three months; his sister was currently in Edinburgh the town where she had graduated in medicine, now studying to be accepted as a surgeon, and the maid had been requested to institute a new address book for use by her mistress. A crocodile skinned tome was ready with the title engraved across the centre in gold-leaf, and the initials FB MD in a smaller type-face placed in the bottom right-hand corner. The young lady sought permission to approach Miss Ethel Henson for details held by Mr Burke’s private secretary of persons or businesses that might be of common interest to both Mr Burke and his sister. The most surprising aspect was the protocol used, the expected modus operandi would have been a telephone call, or possibly a scribbled note, direct to Ethel instructing her to send up all the names and addresses that she thought might be useful. Clearly this new employee was re-shaping Lady Frederica back to an aristocratic mode and away from the outrageous medical student behaviour to which she seemed to be permanently attached; this young lady must be well cared for thought Thadeus.

    ‘How are you both getting on up there

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