A Murder Had Occurred – Part 4 of a June Marble story.

A Murder Had Occurred – Part 4 of a June Marble story.

Part 1 here.

Part 2 here.

Part 3 here.

This was the point where it was decided (by fate) that June Marble should be brought in. An elderly lady, of many, many years experience, June’s name was synonymous with crime detection – and also a certain month of the year.

June had lived in the tiny hamlet-village of St. Merrymeet and had had a hand in solving various murders; in the vicarage, library, at the local train station, and in a dozen stately homes within a radius of thirty miles – some of which were nautical miles. Her exploits were so famous that they had often been written into books – The June Marble Mysteries.

June arrived early – the 27th Of May, to be exact – and soon was up to speed with all the known details of ‘the second, more recent murder’ and the circumstances that may, or may not, have led to it.

A list was made by June, of all the people present at the story-telling meeting, and she started upon a series of interviews with them – choosing the order alphabetically.

Algernon Arbuthnot Andrews, unsurprisingly, was first to be seated nervously in front of June in the Interview Room at the library.

Algernon described in excessive detail to June the recent events and then recounted the events of the original meeting of nearly two years gone. June took a few notes, doodled the picture of a cat in the margin – not entirely irrelevant, she was later to explain.

Algernon referred to a series of notes that he had meticulously taken at both events. The notes were written in shorthand – one of Algernon’s talents;sadly, his deciphering of the shorthand notes was long and laborious. However, many details were given and June jotted down verbatim, and word for word, all that Algernon had to say.

We shall see what conclusions June comes to a little later on.



A Murder Had Occurred – Part 3 of a June Marble story.

A Murder Had Occurred – Part 3 of a June Marble story.

Part 1 here

Part 2 here

“Go on!” we pleaded.

She looked at us with a degree of Literature and a small amount of contempt.

“The book was… dramatic chords here, I think – Dah Dah Daaah! –

A shot rang out and she clutched her chest, a look of surprise upon her face as she slowly slid down the chair and folded into a heap upon the floor.

There was a ‘one step back, two steps forward’ movement from us in the room. Then somebody reached her; but, it was too late.

“She’s dead!” Pronounced the stand-in Doctor. “And it wasn’t from old age.”

A general panic ensued with People running hither, and thither; somebody phoned for an ambulance, and, as an afterthought, the police; others examined the open window, and beyond, for signs of the assassin.

Things took their course. The ambulance and police arrived almost simultaneously and the area was soon wrapped in crime-scene tape; her body was soon removed upon a stretcher, covered in a sheet to hide the corpse – which was now what she was. Statements were taken. Names and addresses given. The whole process was carried out with such efficiency that it was all one could do to catch a breath.

Of the twelve people present, one was the victim, eleven were the witnesses, and, can we say, one was a possible accomplice?

The police were a little nonplussed by the murder: a second floor room had been the venue for a story-telling; now it was the most recent in a long line of literary killings all related (in some way) to that Gothic Mansion upon Bodmin Moor.

One of the attendees from that sad and traumatic day was heard to say, ‘But, there aren’t any Gothic Mansions on Bodmin Moor – the Goths never invaded Cornwall!’ Which shows how much he knew.


A Murder Had Occurred – Part 2 of a June Marble story.

A Murder Had Occurred – Part 2 of a June Marble story.

See here for Part 1 – best to read it first. G:)

“Excuse me.” a voice from the floor.

“Yes?” she awaited a salient point to be stated, or a querulous question to be asked.

“This ‘house’?”


“Was it a Gothic mansion?”


“With turrets and a huge rambling drive; stables, a wine cellar, and a huge library with… books?”

“Yes. If you like.”

“Well, was it, or are we just making it all up for you? Is it fact or fiction?” a different speaker who spoke with a note of petulance included in with the sounds of the words being spoken.

“Perhaps you could use your imagination as to the exact details – suits of armour, swirling banisters, Old Masters hanging from the roof beams… etc. But, the story is true, if a little faded around the edges.” she rephrased herself, “the minutiae of the story are not relevant to the story as a whole. It’s nice to have purple passages of prose; but, when the doors leading off of the passageway are opened, we needn’t stop to study the hinges and the handles, need we?” The question, posed rhetorically, received a suitable response.

“Continuing with the finding of the dead person…” she paused for effect. “The mistress of the… Gothic Mansion, had succumbed to “the Reader’s Curse!’- in which the possibility of death by an extended exposure to banal passages of tripe is not to be thought of as rare – ‘the Reader’s Curse!’ she repeated.

“But, why?” Rhetorical?

“What book had she been reading?” There it was; the question had been asked that had to be answered.

“Why, it was none other than…”


Part 3 here.

The Games We Play (#Looe)

The Games We Play (#Looe)

Can you


in East Looe?

Can Dennis

play table-tennis, too?

I guess

you can play chess

if you are board;

but, who says that all games

must be ignored?

Pass them by

if you must

turn a corner,

or a king –

and you are bust!

A Murder Had Occurred – Part 1 of a June Marble story.

A Murder Had Occurred – Part 1 of a June Marble story.

“… but that’s a different story – one for another time, maybe.”

“Oh!” the room, as one, spoke the stock word of collective disappointment.

“No. I shall finish there – too much of a good thing, and all that!”

We pleaded fruitlessly for a while longer; but, she would, she would, she would not be moved to tell us that story.

It was almost two years later, when she finally chose to remember that she had writer-promised to read a certain story to the group that had been there on that day so long ago.

The exact same people, mind you – she didn’t want to read the story to anybody who hadn’t heard the prequel.

“It was a dark and stormy night, once upon a time, in a land far, far away…” she paused.

“There was a house…”

“Where?” we asked.

“There! There, on the moor.”

“Which moor?” we further asked.

“It matters not – but, let us say it was a moor near to the town of… Bodmin.”

“Bodmin Moor!” we gasped.

“Yes. You are correct. The house was on Bodmin Moor. It was an old Gothic-style house that reeked of mystery… intrigue… and dry rot.”

“Gasp!” we gasped – we were now on tenterhooks, and our taut nerves were fraying fast.

“There had been a murder.” she lowered her voice to a whisper, “The mistress of the house was found… dead!”

“Oh, no!” we were sadly upset at this development.

“Strichnine! Cyanide! Stabbed through the heart! Strangled!”

“Too much!” One soul from amongst us cried out.

“None of these methods were used.” a pause, “No, she died of intense boredom!”


Part 2 here.

Prompt: Abacus #LWG

Prompt: Abacus #LWG – 10 Minute Writing Exercise

10-minute Exercise #2 – 04/12/2018

“So, if I push one along here that makes five. Then I have to push one of these along here to signify the five that I have, and push these five back here to the beginning.?”

“Yes. That is correct. You now have the basis for a far-reaching knowledge of Mathematics. When you become the 13th Emperor of the Ting Dynasty you shall be able to add to your wisdom and to the happiness of your subjects through being able to add, subtract, divide and multiply numbers.”

“Is this all that I need? A knowledge of numbers?”

“You will also need to know how to treat your subjects. Be a benefactor and not a tyrant – bring prosperity to all and not just some.”

“And these people here who perform the part of a human abacus… are they not worthy too?”

“They are the subjects of our enemies – they have been treated kindly and given jobs. Some are Abacusians like these, others man the human table-football games; and yet others are models for our Terracota army.”

“Have we a need for an army?”

“It is a Terracotta one. It’s hardly going to be much use in a battle.”

“True. So what is the point of it?”

“We do have rather a lot of Terracotta that we didn’t know what to do with.”


“Indeed. So, let us get back to our sums, Little Master. We move one across here and that makes…?”

Prompt: Magnet #LWG 10-Minute Exercise 04/12/2018

Prompt: Magnet for 10-Minute Exercise #LWG

I felt a strange attraction pulling me towards the horse – even though I was not a horsey person. I needed to feed a handful of hay to the grey mare. And, there, was some hay just right for purpose.

The horse seemed to appreciate the hay and ate as much as I could offer.

There appeared a saddle, stirrups, a bit, reigns and bridle – in fact, all the things needed to allow one to ride a horse.

I, on the other hand, was now appropriately dressed in a pair of riding boots, jodhpurs, riding hat and jacket – well, bless my soul and calm me The Lone Ranger.

“Away!” I called and off we went.

Past 100-Acre Wood, all along, down along, our along Leigh, past the Old Jockey and Horse public house and off to the moor.

We seemed to Canter, Gallop and trot as if we were one being.

That was when I noticed that we had become a Centaur. All the paraphernalia of horse-riding had gone and there were just the four legs and upper torso of the previous incarnation.

Oops! Did this thing really happen?

I tapped one metal-clad hoof twice for ‘Yes!.

It’s not often that I am lost for words – but, hey!

I cantered on, now searching for a lady Centaur with whom I could share my horsey life.

Positive or negative, there was no way back now – the elemental forces of Nature were set on pulling me forward.