The Strange Case of the Red Painted Woman
Inspector Hastings & the Police of Bogey Lane Police Station Flag C
You are detective Inspector Harold Hastings with a responsibility for three police stations in Whitechapel London. Your current interest is the smallest in Bogey Lane. A sergeant normally mans the station, a constable with two out on the beat in three shifts. Two years ago the Jack the Ripper murders focussed public attention on the Police in Whitechapel to an alarming extent. However that furore now seems to have died down, so you hope to return to the earlier easygoing life. Your own theory is that the Ripper, obviously a man with a hatred of harlots, has decided that he generated too much public concern by his earlier actions. Vigilante patrols were formed and the pimps and harlots themselves became much more security conscious. You know that he throttled his victims before cutting them up and think that now he probably just strangles them and throws the bodies in the river. Every week brings a crop of unmarried mother types drowned in the Thames, as many as five in one day recently. Who is to say that some of them are not strangled victims of the Ripper? However you have plenty of other crimes to worry about.
There has been information received that there is opium smoking somewhere nearby. This is not illegal but addicts often become criminals to feed their habit. You believe that Isiah Grolzmann’s Pawnshop sells stolen goods but have been unable to prove it. You know that Mrs Jill Palette’s Boarding House above the Rene café, hires its rooms out to women by the hour. Harlots perambulate the roads surrounding the St. Radegund Graveyard. Your superiors have been told to turn a blind eye to this, as it is felt that the harlots are safer there, than on the Ripper threatened streets. There is no law against harlotry, just against men living on immoral earnings. The obvious suspect would be against Mrs Palette’s son ‘Jolly’ Jack Palette but he lives elsewhere and no one will testify against him. There have been reports of ‘strange goings on’ in the ruined church but the police have never found any evidence. Most of these reports come from Miss Edna Gimlet, a moral campaigner with a down on the local harlots. She has written several letters to the press and recently some youths broke most of her windows. Since her letters accuse the police of idleness and worse, you have not been very active in trying to track down the youths. You know that some of the constables are very reluctant to go anywhere near the graveyard never mind the ruined church! This does not worry you too much, as no complaining residents live in the churchyard! Further the two gates to the graveyard are kept locked at night. You have been more concerned about gentlemen from elsewhere, who leaving the nearby Variety Theatre then become inebriated. If not harassing your constables, they get their pockets picked or are robbed with violence by some of the local thugs. Some of these are thought to work for the Church Commissioner’s Rent Collector, Josiah Flint but again no witnesses have ever confirmed this. Your main pre-occupation of recent months has been a flood of forged half-crowns appearing in your patch. They were first discovered five months ago by Glynn’s Bank. Then a large batch appeared in moneys deposited by Josiah Flint, from the rents of Church Commissioner’s owned properties. The forgeries were very well done all old queen’s head and bearing the date 1882. Weighing revealed that they were slightly heavier than those of true silver! Once the word was out practically every business in Whitechapel discovered it had received some of the coins. Currently most local businesses will not accept 1882 coins. It has not been made public but in fact recently forgeries dated 1883, 1886, and 1888 have been detected. These forgeries are very serious from your point of view, as every forged coin is recorded as a separate crime. Whilst the odd Jack the Ripper murder reflects on the more senior officers of the force, the sheer numbers of forgery offences against your name, are likely to blight any prospects you ever had of promotion! Naturally you have checked out all the white smith’s in your area but they appear clean as do the lead dealing plumbers. Trying to trace the original source of the forgeries is difficult but must be done. Some of the latest coins have been found in the St. Radegund area. If you could catch some of those paying them out you might be able to track the original source. A difficulty is the large surge of business in the whole area. Last year’s docker’s strike for sixpence an hour has made them relatively wealthy and all businesses within reach are booming. The dockmasters on the other hand were resentful of losing out and doubtless would be very ready to pay their men with forged money, if they thought they could get away with it. It seems to you that many of them have already done so!
Now Mr Ernest Vincent Steadyman, the Chairman of the St. Botolph branch of Citizens Concerns has contacted you. He says that he has heard a ‘rumour’ that unlawful acts are taking place in the St. Radegunds churchyard and surrounding area. His organisation thinks that there will be a flare up of these on Saturday 31st October, which has also a full moon. You have decided that you must humour him by putting in an appearance because he will certainly be there and comment in the press if you are not!
So on the night you head to the Bogey lane Police Station with the intention of going on patrol with one or two constables. You arrive later than you meant because of the dense ‘London particular’ fog. At the Station are Sergeant Warren and Constables Wilkins and Bean. The Constable out on patrol is PC Legget. The Sergeant smiles as you enter.
“Good Evening Inspector, we have caught one of the men passing forged coins. He is in the cells. Otherwise it has been a quiet night.”
You decide to hear him read out the report on the incident before questioning the accused. This where the action starts for you in the Police Station.
On this night it is very dark with a thick London Particular pea-souper fog. Visibility is down to six inches with recognition at three. This increases to nine inches and recognition at six inches near the lit gas street lamps.
To conceal identities in the fog players will move flags until meeting.
Inspector Harold Hastings Lea, Ac +1, Mo 6”, Fa 3/6/8 Ag 0, Mar 0, Th, 0, Me +1
M. Revolver BSt Firing 3” 5+ Pst 0, 6” 6+ Pst 0, 11” 7+ Pst 0 5 rounds. Watch, Handcuffs, Police whistle 24”. Class PI VI, Respectable Charm 0, Coercion +2.
MC £7 – 10s – 4d,
Sergeant Warren Vle WA 0 Mo 5.5”, Fa 2/5/7 Ag –1, Mar 0, Th 0, Me +1 truncheon Bst –1, Class Respectable Charm 0, Coercion +1, MC £0 –13s – 4d, Police whistle 24”.
PC Wilkins WA +1, Mo 6” Fa 2/5/7 Ag –1, Mar 0, Th 0, Me +1 truncheon Bst -1
MC £0 – 1s – 8d, Police whistle 24”, Handcuffs, Bullseye lantern
PC Bean WA 0, Mo 6”, Fa 2/5/7 Ag –1, Mar 0, Th 0, Me +1 truncheon Bst -1
MC £0 – 5s – 1d, Police whistle 24”, Handcuffs, Bullseye lantern
PC Legget WA –1, Mo 6”, Fa 2/5/7 Ag –1, Mar 0, Th 0, Me +1 truncheon Bst -1
MC £0 – 5s – 9d, Police whistle 24”, Handcuffs, Bullseye lantern
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