Subject: A Cantabrian Operetta Chapter 11 This story is a work of fiction and only contains characters who are entirely fictitious. You’re not in here, and neither is anybody else you know. I wrote it – I should know. The action of this story takes place early in the 21st century. I have not attended any of the august places of learning mentioned in the text, and the details of those places are accurate only geographically. The fact that a crime takes place in one of them is no reflection on the integrity of that institution. I repeat – work of fiction.It is just possible that activities of a sexual nature may take place, and some of that may be cross generational. There is NO pornography. Look elsewhere for that. If you wish to provide feedback I can be contacted at lfa4321jonah@outlook and please bear in mind that you don’t pay to read these stories, but it does cost Nifty money to provide them. Please consider donating to Nifty fty/donate.html A Cantabrian Operetta. by Jonah Chapter 11. Sextet The Professor has a big heart. I can only assume that it was due to that circumstance that he chose to leave me to sleep on Monday morning. The only thing in my diary for Monday morning was supervision time with the Professor, so presumably his diary only said tuition time with me. It was eleven o ‘clock when I awakened and wandered through to the bathroom. I asked the Professor why he hadn’t awakened me. “When you feel like having a discussion about the Plantagenets and early Tudors, we’ll have it,” he replied, ” but so far this morning, you haven’t looked as if that was the foremost thing on your mind.” “OK!” was the only response I felt able to make – pre-caffeine. A cold shower does wonders for the mental processes – especially considering that it was not yet February. When I returned to the living room to get dressed I was fully alert and remembered vividly the events of Sunday afternoon. “Professor Alves,” I said, hoping that the use of his full name would flag up that this was serious. “Given what happened yesterday afternoon, do you think it’s safe to let your “Baker Street irregulars” come here this evening?” He looked as if he was cogitating this for a moment then said, “Three things; first they’ll have things to report; second, we can’t be sure that they’re safe anywhere else; and third, I’d feel happier if they were where I can see them.” “So would I,” I said, grinning. “Ordinarily, I’d tell you to keep your dirty mind to yourself but, since it’s probably the only thing that’ll give you some relief from worrying about everybody’s safety, I’ll let it go. Now it’s too late for breakfast, do you want some toast to tide you over till lunch time?” “Please!” “Good. I was just going to make myself some. Then I suspect you’ll want to talk about English history.” “How did you know that?” Two things,” he replied. “One, you’re booked for this morning anyway, and you wouldn’t want to miss it; two, you’ve just read Josephine Tey’s book, which is essentially a whodunnit, and it’s bound to have some parallels with the case that’s concerning you at the moment.” “One of the things that concerns me with the book is the places where it doesn’t have parallels, for instance in our case we have two bodies. They hadn’t any.” “Very true. I’m presuming you’re talking about the princes in the Tower – don’t forget that isn’t the only murder that Shakespeare, and others, tried to pin on Richard.” “That’s right, but Henry VII tried to claim that the boys were murdered some three years before anybody knew they were missing. He claimed that nobody had seen them alive during that time, but we know that, if anybody had seen them alive, they would never be stupid enough to say so. They’d have very quickly vanished without trace. However, Henry also knew that, if the bodies escort bayan were produced, it would show whether or not the boys were some three years older than he said they were when they were murdered.” “That’s assuming that they were murdered at all. Richard of York claimed that he was alive some time later.” “Warbeck was an impostor,” I said. “According to the King who claimed that he had taken over the Tower of London, noticed that he was short of two guests, but failed to mention it until, some time later when he decided to alledge that somebody else had murdered them. If he was lying about that, why should we trust anything else he says?” “So you’re saying, on the unsubstantiated authority of Josephine Tey, that the accepted version of history that has been passed down through the centuries is wrong?” “No, Mr. Cummings,” he retorted. “I never mentioned Josephine Tey. I’m saying, on my own authority, unsubstantiated as it is, that I don’t trust your “accepted” version – which is also unsubstantiated.” “A great many eminent historians have supported it.” “So have a great many charlatans. Do you know that, on occasions, the testimony of an eminent historian has been accepted as evidence in a court of law? The rules of evidence specifically proscribe it as hearsay, but it is accepted. All history is hearsay. What makes one historian’s hearsay more reliable than another’s?” “Well, I suppose……..” “It was a rhetorical question, Mr. Cummings.” he snapped. ” Historian’s look for the truth, and some are arrogant enough to believe that they’ve found it. Now I’m here, at the invitation of Cambridge University, to tell you that God gave you a brain. Use it. Don’t just take other peoples’s word that they’ve used theirs.” “Are we still talking about the Plantagenets and Tudors here?” “I’m not going to answer that. You use your brain.” “OK, humour me. I still think the key to the whole thing is Dovedale, but most people in this college reckon Dovedale was gay. I don’t believe that. I believe he feigned homosexuality in order to gain the confidence of gays, so that he could worm his way into a position to blackmail them.” “And the evidence for that is…..?” “I don’t have evidence, but neither do the ones who believe he was gay.” “It’s not enough. Find some evidence, but be careful not to do it the way the police routinely do it.” “Which is…..?” “Form a theory and then search for evidence to support that theory. They can be quite blatant about discarding evidence that doesn’t support it.” “Oh I get that,” I replied. “Yesterday Sergeant Grant pointed out that anybody in college could have been responsible for the shooting, but I don’t know whether that was because his own thought processes wanted to limit him to people, in college, or because he wanted to limit mine.” “He probably thought there were more than enough people in college to select suspects from.” “His definition of ‘enough’ is at fault then. However big your sample, it isnt ‘enough’ if it doesn’t include the actual perpetrator.” “Now you’re using your brain. What you don’t know is whether he was trying to exclude the perpetrator from your thinking, or whether that person was already excluded from his.” “Or even whether he’s right, and the guilty party is here in college,” I added. “It’s still a possibility,and it’s even likely, but we need evidence, not just conclusions to jump to.” “Well there is a clue we haven’t followed up,” he remarked. “Which one is that?” “A child molester has gone to prison. His two victims have undergone counselling. Not apparently related to this case except that Mr. Dovedale was interested enough to cut out the account in the local paper. We can’t know the identity of those boys, and the police would never tell us. We don’t actually have a date for that kocaeli escort bayan case. The boys could be old enough to be students by now. Mr. Dovedale himself could have been one of them. It may not be related, but we could do with a way of following it up.” “Perhaps it would be better for the police to follow it up. They’ve got the data, and they’d never give it to us.” “Well, hopefully, the irregulars will give us some more data tonight, then you can set about getting your evidence. Now we’re supposed to talk about English History.” I could see that the sleuthing was over……. for now. After lunch I decided to go out again. I strolled around the streets of Cambridge, eventually taking a stroll down Auckland Road. I hadn’t any particular reason for going there, and there was nothing profitable that I could do there. I knew Duncan lived there, but had no idea where, and less idea how it would have helped if I did know. There was the patter of tiny feet and a small boy fell in step beside me. “Oliver lives in the top flat of the one we’re just coming up to, but don’t look ‘cos his parents look out of the window a lot.” “I don’t know if it’s safe for you to be seen with me Wingnut,” I said. “Especially since somebody was shooting at me yesterday.” “Best stay close to me then,” the boy replied. “There’s a few places down here where somebody could get off a shot, but I know ’em all.” “There won’t be any shooting,” I said. “We’ve got his gun – or, at least, the police have.” “They’re onto Oliver as well,” he said. “They’ve been to his house.” “The police? When?” “They’ve been a few times, and met him a couple of other places too.” “That might explain a few things,” I said. “Are you coming to the rehearsal tonight?” “‘ Course!” Something disquieting was running through my brain. What was it? “What time are you meeting up with the others?” “We’re meeting up at the Professor’s. It’s best we don’t all arrive together.” “You might as well come back with me then,” I told him. “Nah! It’s best we all arrive separate. Attract less attention then.” “I never attract any attention,” I pointed out. “I live there.” “Yes, well, if you go back there, I’ll be along later.” Come on nagging doubt – reveal yourself. “You’d attract less atention coming in with me.” “I want to hang about here to see what time Oliver comes back. You’d better make yourself scarce.” Got it! “Wingnut, you do remember that we specifically warned you not to approach the subject?” “Yes, we all got that Squire. Oliver won’t know…….” He must have caught sight of my face. That was the moment he knew the game was up. He fell silent and we exchanged stares. “I… I mean….” he said eventually. “I mean… the subject won’t know we are…” “Wingnut,” I said sternly. “How long have you been on first name terms with Oliver?” “Only a couple of days,” he murmurred. “So almost from the moment the Professor warned you not to approach him?” Suddenly the toes of his shoes must have become interesting. “I’m up here Wingnut,” I told him. “You don’t need to look down there.” His worried face looked upward. I looked him in the eye for a moment that probably seemed longer to him, then said, “Well I’m not going back to the college yet anyway. I need to speak to Oliver now.” “You can’t,” he wailed. “He’ll think I….” “He’ll be right,” I pointed out, “and quite frankly I don’t care. His life is in danger and so is yours. Since I can’t trust you to look after his interests, or yours or mine, any more, I’d better do something about it myself.” I was by no means as confident about that as I endeavoured to sound. I have always believed that things are never so bad that, with a little bit of effort, they can’t be made worse. I don’t know what the kocaeli escort toes of his shoes had done to merit his renewed attention at that moment, but renewed it certainly was. I ignored it this time. There was no more to say and If I wanted him to lead me to Oliver Duncan, I only needed to hang around. I found I could survey Wingnut with impunity. He wouldn’t catch me looking because he didn’t want to look at me. I saw a really cute eight, or nine, year old. His clothes were grubby, but his mousy coloured hair was not greasy or dirty. The smattering of freckles on either side of his button nose was cute, and I knew that, although not in evidence now, his smile could be enchanting. The nickname was a bit unfair since, although a little on the large size, his ears did nothing to spoil his general appearance. A couple of creases below his green/brown eyes gave the impression of a permanent smile which, I had no doubt, would soon return once the pressure was off.” Suddenly Wingnut tensed. “In here Guv.” he said urgently pulling me into a gateway. I complied and we stood together silently. A dark haired teenager in a leather jacket walked past our gate and Wingnut said, “Oliver, this geezer……” Oliver began to break into a run but his flight was arrested by my hand on his shoulder, which pulled him back sufficiently for my other hand to seize his other arm. “It’s alright Oliver,” I said quietly, “I’m not the police. We just need to have a chat, that’s all. We’d better do it somewhere less public because you’re in grave danger. In fact we all are.” He nodded and did an about turn, walking back the way he had come. Wingnut and I fell in either side of him. “Oliver, this is Jonah,” said Wingnut, ” and he’s alright.” “He’d better be,” said Oliver, “I thought I could trust you, Shaun.” “So did I,” I told him. “He was told to stay away from you, since two people you’ve been involved with have been killed. He obviously thinks you’re worth the risk.” “You must do as well,” he observed. “I don’t know yet,” I replied. “I intended just to keep you under surveilance until I could work out whether you were a goodie, or a baddie. Now I’ve got to take a chance on you, because Shaun couldn’t do as he was told.” “Well that’s probably just as well isn’t it?” “How do you mean?” I asked, puzzled. “Well if he’s keeping us guessing,” said Oliver, ” he’ll be confusing the bejeebers out of the opposition.” “So where are we going now?” I asked. “The park is the best I can think of,” said the teenager. “We’ll about turn again,” I said. “The university is better, and we could do with talking to the Professor. If somebody’s trying to follow us, we’re making him earn his money.” We walked back to college together. Oliver looked younger than I’d been led to believe. His dark hair was neatly trimmed and swept into an old fashioned coif at the front. His skin was pale and clear with a slight redenning around the cheeks and his pale blue eyes twinkled. He stood half a head shorter than I, and looked to be about fifteen, though I knew that couldn’t be true. He was smartly dressed and obviously took trouble with his appearance. Mr. Warboys, on my instruction, just booked the boys in as “guests”, since I wasn’t about to give names for either of them. I told him to expect the other three boys and requested him to book them in the same way. I crossed to the Professor’s lodgings and knocked on the door of his study before opening it enough to poke my head around. “Professor, we’ve got guests,” I told him. TO BE CONTINUED If you’ve enjoyed this story you’d probably enjoy other stories by the same author, also on Adult/Youth. “Immigrant”, “Marooned”, “Letter from America”, ” Stranger on a train” and “The Boston Tea Party” are all by this author, as is, “The Pen-Pals” (on Young Friends). You would also probably like “A Neglected Boy” by Jacob Lion. Pictures of some of the characters in this story can be found on Jacob’s bly/jonah-stories.html My thanks go to Jacob for his generosity and hard work in making this available.