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Jack AND The Ripper

34 pages32 minutes


I get frog marched into a room. There are several police there, waiting for me. There is also a woman.
One of the police says, “Jack Houlihan you killed a man, with a knife.”
I tell the police man, “I was attacked, by a large, drunken man, armed with a knife. I defended myself, nothing more.”
The policeman says, “Jack Houlihan, you are listed at five feet ten inches tall and 13 stone (182 pounds) weight. Your attacker was listed as six feet, six inches tall and 22 stone, ten pounds (320 pounds.) Is that correct?”
“I’m five feet ten inches tall and I weigh about 13 stone. I don’t know the height or the weight of my attacker, but what you said seems about right.”
The policeman says, “Jack Houlihan, I can prosecute you, for murder. How was a man of your size able to kill a much larger man, armed with a knife?”
(I’m in deep trouble here. I can think of nothing better than the truth. “I play soccer. I can run and move. I slice fish in the market, I can use a knife. I’m very strong, for a man my size. I moved so that I wasn’t there when the large man tried to cut me, I then got in position that I could drive home a fatal strike against the large man. I tell you again, it was self defense.”
The policeman says, “I have a job for a man who can defend himself, with a knife, against a knife armed attacker. The job will be dangerous. If you take the job, we can forget about prosecution for murder.”
I sigh, “I have no choice.”
The policeman says, “None. I have agents for her Royal Majesty at my throat. Her Royal Majesty wants the killer, that they call Jack The Ripper, caught.”
I ask, “How am I to go about catching this Jack The Ripper?”
The policeman says, “Let me introduce you to Augusta Ann.”
(The lady is attractive, not stage star attractive, but a looker.) I slowly rise and bow, “My Lady, the pleasure is mine.”
The lady says, “I am just plain Augusta Ann, I’m, not of noble birth,”
“Augusta Ann, you are, but you are not just plain. You hold yourself like a noble lady.”
(I look at Irish boy. He’s not of noble birth. He’s not all that handsome, but not bad looking. He’s the kind of boy that my mother warned me against. However, I have a living to earn, with my parents dead.) I lecture the boy, “I learned to shave my father, as he got sick and died. I have seamstress training.”
(I digest what the lady told me.) “I’m, puzzled as to what you have to do with a knife fight, between two men.”
The policeman says, “Jack The Ripper stalks and kills lone women, in the Whitechapel area.. Augusta Ann will disguise you as a woman.”
I ask the lady, “How do you propose to disguise me as a lady?”
Augusta Ann lectures, “I have a large piece of ruined silk. It’s the color of mud, but it will do, at night. I will make you a skirt that will let you walk, with light stitching that will also let you move like an acrobat. I will also make you the strangest ladies’ jacket ever, but knife proof. I will make you a couple of ladies’ hats. Finally, I will make you a knife proof scarf.”
I say, “Knife proof sounds good, but how?”
The policeman says, “My people have obtained some steel netting, The steel netting will line the jacket and the scarf. The netting will not stop a knife thrust, but it will provide some protection against a slashing knife.”
I venture, “The papers say that Jack The Ripper likes to cut a lady’s throat. If I have a steel netting scarf, I should be able to survive an attack from behind and then I can deal with Jack The Ripper, if I’m still on my feet.”
The policeman laughs, “Ah, feet! You will be furnished a pair of ladies’ looking shoes with gum rubber soles. The gum rubber soles will give you good footing on cobble stones.”
I ask, “I then go to Whitechapel and just wander about at night?”
Augusta Ann says, “I live with my grandmother, in a house in Whitechapel. You will live in the house, as well. You will bathe each night, in a lady scented

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