Sanguine Town: Westby Ravensdale - The Lady in Grey

Westby Ravensdale is an eccentric private investigator in Sanguine Town with an ability that sets him apart from all others. He is capable of analysing a situation and coming up with an answer in seconds, making the secret weapon of both the Police and the matter how much he may frustrate them. With his helpful companion, George Malcolm, Westby faces up to any and all fascinating cases, bringing his unique methods to play. --- "The Lady in Grey" is the first in a series of Westby Ravensdale stories. George Malcolm is introduced to the detective, and is thrown head first into a case involving a mysterious spectral lady. --- Confession: Inspired by Sherlock Holmes. Largely a placement of Sherlock into a Supernatural setting. --- Thanks to Christie_xx for the cover drawing.


6. The Case Explained

We arrived at the Police Department, and Westby hurried out of the car, leaving me to pay the driver. I made my way into the building, but he was nowhere to be seen, so I resolved to ask at one of the reception desks. Fortunately for me, the place was not very busy, and I was quickly at the desk. “Excuse me,” I said. “Do you know where Westby Ravensdale is? I think he’s meeting…”

“Nathaniel Doyle,” the receptionist – a young lady of about twenty-seven – interrupted. “Yes. He’s back there, in one of the offices.” She pointed beyond the frosted glass. “Try the first on your left…wait a minute. Who are you?”

“Dr. George Malcolm. I’m Mr. Ravensdale’s housemate. May I go through?”

She looked at me for a moment, and then sighed. “Look, I’m not sure if you’re allowed. Unless you’ve been asked for…”

“Ah, Dr. Malcolm!” Westby exclaimed, right on cue, peeking round a doorway. “Come along! Doyle is getting impatient!”

I looked at the receptionist, smiled, and then made my way towards Westby. When he reached him, he turned around and silently led me beyond the glass and to the offices. Contrary to what the receptionist had said, the office we entered was the third on the right, and within there was a tall, well-fed fellow wearing a navy blue blazer and sky blue shirt, with a stripy tie of many colours. He raised an eyebrow upon my entrance, and I was thankful when Westby introduced me.

“Detective, allow me to introduce you to Dr. George Malcolm, a friend of mine. Dr. Malcolm, meet Detective Inspector Nathaniel Doyle,” he said, smiling.

“A friend, is it?” Doyle asked sarcastically. “I thought you avoided such distractions.”

I regarded Doyle for a moment, a feeling of confusion buzzing within, although I said nothing. A silence ensued, which was, quite thankfully, broken by my companion.

“Everyone changes. Now, Doyle, onto business,” he said, the trace of a smile forming on his lips. “Tell me a bit about this grey lady.”

“Grey lady? Ah, yes. The one seen leaving the scenes. Well, Mr. Ravensdale, I would prefer to explain the case to you in full, starting with the week preceding the victim’s death.

“The victim, William Jacobson, is a businessman. He runs his own business, and recently managed to rent out an office in the city centre, on one of the lower floors in a skyscraper. Before you say it, I am well aware that there are many skyscrapers; therefore I shall specify which one. Heard of the Kingpin Tower? It was that one.

“Mr. Jacobson had a series of successes at first, but by the end of the week, he was losing three times as much money as he was making. So he gave up the office and went back to running his business from home, where he finally lost the last of his money.

“The mysterious thing is that, although he certainly seemed to be in a position where he would end his own life, he seemed to be in high spirits when with his friends the night before his death.

“Furthermore, the gun he supposedly used to end his life was not registered to him. Nor did it have his fingerprints upon it. In fact, the gun seemed to have no history. Brand new, unregistered and clean. There was no mark on it but for the residue of the gunshot.

“The final part to this case is that a woman wearing a long, grey dress was seen leaving the room. Mr. Jacobson’s neighbour, unsavoury the people of Dagger Street may be, is an honest man, and he swears the woman did not lock the door, yet the door would not open. In fact, the locks were not even on. The door simply would not move,” Doyle explained.

Throughout the entirety of Doyle’s recounting of the case, Westby had stood stock still, simply nodding at the details. I am sure he did not blink whatsoever. I, on the other hand, had paced to avoid allowing my legs to fall asleep. There was a moment of silence as Westby seemed to absorb the information, and then he spoke.

“How very interesting. Did Mr. Jacobson’s neighbour get a good look at the woman?” he asked.

“Apparently she wore a grey veil that hid her face,” Doyle replied.

Westby turned his back to us, and paced slightly. “How very interesting. This woman is a mysterious character. And the door would not open? Fascinating. Is it possible this woman was a witch? They are few in number nowadays, but it is possible.” He stopped, and I realised he had been speaking to himself. Now, he addressed us. “Tell, me Detective. If the door would not open, how did you get in?”

“Why, we forced it open of course,” he replied. Following a curious look from Westby, he added, “And by that, I do mean we broke it down.”

“Ah. So it would not open by normal means, but could be broken down. That does sound very much like a witch’s spell,” Westby said. He smiled, and looked to me. “Dr. Malcolm. Curious as you may be to see we ended up at the Police Department before Dagger Street, you will understand that the cab driver was handed a note by me beforehand. I am sure you are only just realising.”

I started. Westby was correct. We had come here first, and I was only just noticing, having been rushed up until now. I opened my mouth to speak, but Westby smiled and continued speaking.

“We shall head there now. I should wish to investigate the scene, and without the body there. Thank you for your help, Doyle. We shall be off.”

Doyle scoffed at us, and moved to sit at his computer, seemingly glad that we were leaving. And leave we did, after Westby offered up a rather snide comment.

“Doyle. The case cannot be solved by staring at a computer screen.”

I am unsure of Doyle’s reaction, as we had left the room, and the frosted section of the glass obscured my view. All I really knew was that we were headed for a crime scene, and I had no idea what to expect

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