Part 3: Pages 31 to 44. I have a large flock you know.: The interviews continue and today we finally meet everyone who matters on the yacht.
DETECTIVE OFFICER NEAME'S SHORTHAND NOTES OF DETECTIVE OFFICER KETTERING'S EXAMINATION OF THE HONOURABLE MRS. REGINALD JOCELYN.
: Good Morning, Mrs. Jocelyn. Sit down, won't you?
: Thank you.
: Now, just what can you tell me about this unfortunate affair last night?
: Nothing at all, I'm afraid.
: It would help me to check up on things if you wouldn't mind giving me your movements from the time the ship sailed until you went in to dinner.
: I am afraid that's not going to help you much and, after all, it's quite clear that Mr. Blane took his own life, isn't it?
: Sure - sure, Mrs. Jocelyn. It's only a matter of routine procedure that I have to bother everybody like this. Just where did you happen to be when the yacht left Miami?
: I was in the lounge with Count Posodini.
: Anyone else there?
: No, not until Mr. Rocksavage arrived.
: What happened then?
: We had more drinks and talked for a bit, then Mr. Blane's secretary came in and was introduced to us. There was some talk about his sending a message down to Mr. Blane, and just after that I said that I must go down and change for dinner. Count Posodini said that he thought he would, too, so we went below together.
: What time would that be?
: About ten minutes to eight.
: And then?
: I changed and came up to the lounge with my husband again just as the dinner bugle sounded at 8.30. A few minutes later a steward came in and spoke to Mr. Rocksavage, who had just come in, and they both went below together.
: Yes, go on please.
: I was talking to my mother when a message came up from Mr. Rocksavage that Mr. Blane had had some sort of an attack, and so we were returning to Miami. Ferri Rocksavage said that we had better go in to dinner without her father, so in we went.
: Just when did you know the real cause of the trouble?
: Not until the yacht was anchored off Miami again. Mr. Rocksavage told us then, and said that the police would be coming on board in a few moments.
: Good. Now, did you regard this just as a pleasure trip?
: Not altogether. I know that my mother has a big interest in the Rocksavage companies and, as Bolitho Blane was expected to join us at Miami, I thought that there must be something in the wind. Anyone would, who knew that Blane and Rocksavage were the two soap kings, but I wasn't particularly interested, because it's not really anything to do with me.
: Your husband advises your mother, though, where her financial interests are concerned, doesn't he?
: Yes, but we go about with mother quite a lot on social parties, where no business comes under discussion at all.
: Thank you, Mrs. Jocelyn, that'll do for the present.
: She seems nice. Now comes the mother.
DETECTIVE OFFICER NEAME'S SHORTHAND NOTES OF DETECTIVE OFFICER KETTERING'S EXAMINATION OF LADY WELTER.
: Why did they pin the photo to a leather couch?
: Good morning, Lady Welter. Take a chair, please.
: Thank you, I prefer to stand.
: Just as you wish, lady.
: What is it you wish to see me about?
: Isn't it rather obvious? You know that I'm the officer in charge of the investigation of Mr. Bolitho Blane's death.
: And what has that to do with me?
: Nothing - nothing, as far as I know, Lady Welter, but this is just a matter of routine and you won't mind answering a few questions, I'm sure.
: That all depends on the questions, young man.
: Well, they're quite simple. It's just a matter of routine checking up, and I'd like you to tell me just what your movements were between the time of the yacht sailing from Miami and your going in to dinner last night.
: Are you accusing me .......
: Now, now, have a heart, please. I'm not accusing anyone of anything, but it's my duty to get all these details which may seem stupid to you. Where were you when the ship sailed?
: I was on the deck talking to the Bishop of Bude.
: Whereabouts on deck?
: By the rail. I was leaning on it, if you must now.
: Yes, but in what part of of the ship?
: I was facing the land.
: You saw the tender come off then?
: I did and the Bishop said to me, "That's Mr. Bolitho Blane," as the two men came up the gangway in to the middle of the ship.
: The Bishop knew Blane by sight, then?
: I don't know. I suppose so.
: Right, what happened after that?
: The Bishop and I went down to our cabins. When I came up to the lounge I found Mr. Rocksavage with Mr. Blane's secretary and the Bishop. The secretary was introduced to me and we sat there until Mr. Rocksavage left.
: What time was that?
: I really haven't the faintest idea. What has all this to do .......
: Patience, please. What happened after Mr. Rocksavage left the lounge?
: If you must know, the Japanese gentleman came in and then my daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Jocelyn. After the dinner bugle sounded Mr. Rocksavage came in, too, but he went downstairs almost at once and some message came up that Mr. Blane was ill. so that we were to go in to dinner without waiting any longer.
: Am I right in believing that you hold a large block of shares in the Rocksavage companies?
: That, young man, is nothing whatsoever to do with you.
: Did you come on this trip for pleasure?
: For my own reasons. This discussion is quite pointless.
: All right, all right. I won't trouble you any more now, Lady Welter, but maybe we'll have one of these jolly little discussions together again, a little later on.
DETECTIVE OFFICER NEAME'S SHORTHAND NOTES OF DETECTIVE OFFICER KETTERING'S EXAMINATION OF THE VERY REVEREND DR. STAPELETON THOMAS, D.D., THE LORD BISHOP OF BUDE.
: Erm... Who took this photo? The Holy Spirit?
: Good morning, Bishop.
: Good morning - good morning. This is a very distressing affair - very distressing.
: It certainly is, and I am sure you will forgive me bothering you, but I have got to ask you just a few questions, so that I can check up on the events last night.
: Of course. I am the last person to wish to obstruct you in your duties, officer. Any information I can give is entirely as your service.
: That's nice of you, Bishop. I only wish that all the people I've had to question looked at things like that. Now, perhaps you'll just tell me what were you doing between the time of the ship sailing and going in to dinner last night.
: I was standing by the after-rail on the starboard side of the ship, with Lady Welter, when we left Miami.
: You saw Blane and his secretary come aboard, then?
: You are quite certain that it was Blane?
: Oh, yes. I remarked to Lady Welter at the time how very much older he was looking.
: You knew him before then?
: I would hardly say that I knew him, but we met once about seven years ago. He was staying in an English country house where I also chanced to be a guest.
: What happened after that?
: Lady Welter and I went below shortly after the ship sailed. I changed for dinner and came up to the lounge at 8 o'clock. I can state the time with certainty as the ship's bell was sounded just as I went up the companion-way. My host, Mr. Rocksavage, was there with Mr. Stodart. A few minutes after that Lady Welter came in and then Mr. Rocksavage went below to change, remarking as he did so that he had left it very late and, if he were not up on time, we were to go in to dinner without him.
Lady Welter and I talked with Mr. Stodart for a time, and then a Japanese gentleman, who had come aboard in the afternoon, joined us. Mr. and Mrs. Jocelyn came in next - no, no, I'm wrong there - Count Posodini arrived after the Japanese, then the Jocelyns, just before the dinner bugle sounded.
Mr. Rocksavage was a little late and had no sooner arrived in the lounge than he was sent for to go below. We stood about for a few minutes, and then Miss Rocksavage came in. Soon after she received a message from her father that Mr. Blane had been taken ill, so that the yacht was returning to Miami, and that we were to go in to dinner without waiting any longer.
: If I have to type another one of "going in to dinner", I'm going to punch my keyboard.
: Thanks, Bishop. That's all nice and clear. Now, what can you tell me about the objects of this party?
: Well, it's just a pleasure trip, you know. I had hoped that it would be a most pleasant relaxation from my arduous duties. I have a large flock you know - a large flock.
: But you were aware, surely, that Lady Welter is a very rich woman and a considerable portion of her fortune is invested in the Rocksavage companies?
: Yes, I was aware of that. Lady Welter is a very old friend of mine - one of my oldest and, you will not misunderstand me when I say, one of my dearest friends. Those papers that she controls at home wield an enormous influence for good, and it has been my privilege on many occasions to advise her on questions of policy for these papers.
: She might well have consulted you then if the money which supports those papers was in jeopardy?
: Yes, she certainly might have done so as an old friend, you know - a very old friend.
: But you didn't actually know that this trip was cover for a big business deal in which Rocksavage, Bolitho Blane and Lady Welter were concerned?
: No. I was not actually aware of that.
: And, although you had known Blane previously, you did not have any communication with him while he was on board this ship?
(AT THIS POINT STODART, WHOM WE HAD SENT FOR EARLIER FOR THE PURPOSE OF GETTING A FLASH PHOTOGRAPH OF HIM, CAME INTO THE CABIN. I SNAPPED HIM AS HE ENTERED. WE THEN SAW THAT THE BISHOP HAD COLLAPSED IN HIS CHAIR. AFTER A MOMENT HE CAME ROUND OUT OF HIS FAINT, APLOLOGISED AND MENTIONED THAT HE HAD HAD NO BREAKFAST, ALSO THAT HE SUFFERED FROM HIS HEART. DETECTIVE OFFICER KETTERING, HAVING CONCLUDED HIS EXAMINATION, HE ALLOWED THE BISHOP TO WITHDRAW IN STODART'S COMPANY.)
: Huh. That's one way to exit a conversation. I wonder, if bishops boast the size of their flock to each other.
DETECTIVE OFFICER NEAME'S SHORTHAND NOTES OF DETECTIVE OFFICER KETTERING'S EXAMINATION OF MR. INOSUKE HAYASHI.
: A human from pre-anime Japan.
: Good morning Mr. Hayashi. Just sit down and answer a few questions, will you?
: Will you give me your movements please from the time you came on board this yacht until you went in to dinner last night.
: *THUD* Ow!
: Oh yes. I came on board from a launch at 4.30 yesterday afternoon. After visiting my cabin I had tea with my host and some of the other guests. About ten past six I went down to my cabin again to do some work, and remained there until after I had changed for dinner.
At 8.15 I came into the lounge, where I found the Bishop and Lady Welter, whom I had met at tea. The latter introduced me to Mr. Stodart whom I have not seen before.
(FROM THIS POINT INOSUKE HAYASHI'S STATEMENT CONFIRMS THAT OF THE OTHERS.)
: Thank you, Neame, for sparing us another retelling of the same event.
: Now, I'd like to know the reason for your coming on this trip.
: At the invitation of Mr. Rocksavage. We are business friends - it is nice to meet each other - and enjoy the pleasures of such excellent company upon his very beautiful yacht.
: Now, that won't do, and the sooner you come clean with me the better. This pleasure trip was a blind to cover a big business deal between Rocksavage and Blane. You're going to tell me just what part you were going to play in that.
: I tell you anything you like. When I say that it is a pleasure trip I speak truthfully, but I have already said that I was a business friend of Mr. Rocksavage, too. When business men are together, even for pleasure, their conversation is of their business also, most of the time, and I have frequently observed.
: You knew, then, that business would come under discussion?
: Certainly I knew that.
: Well, let's hear the part you were going to play in it.
: I have the honour to act for the Shikoku Products Company, which is associated with my government. Shikoku handles various commercial concessions for the Ministry of the Interior and one of these has to do with the supply of soap to the armed forces and also civil services of Japan. This monopoly is of considerable value and Shikoku hoped to raise a loan of ten to twelve mission dollars on it. Also, this monopoly would have considerable value for whatever company acquired it since, if they wished, they could float a subsidiary company upon the prospective profits which the monopoly will bring and thus attract considerable new public money to their business.
: And you were about to sell this monopoly to either Rocksavage or Blane?
: That is so. I have been negotiating by correspondence with both for some time. A fortnight ago, however, Mr. Rocksavage cabled me that negotiations could go no further until after a conference he proposed to hold on this date. He suggested that I should join the party and said that, if I did so, he had every reason to believe that the affair might be concluded to the satisfaction of all concerned. I sailed from San Francisco to Panama and from there I came overland to join his yacht at Miami.
: I see. That will do.
: Now, for the second best character of the day, after the incredible fainting bishop.
DETECTIVE OFFICER NEAME'S SHORTHAND NOTES OF DETECTIVE OFFICER KETTERING'S EXAMINATION OF COUNT POSODINI.
: Looks more like a Mario to me. At least it's not one of the later crime dossiers where Wheatley and Links themselves had to pose for photos of suspects.
: Hello! Hello! Has this writing room been converted into a photographic studio overnight?
: No. Come in, Count. It's just that we're taking a flash of all the guests on board before we examine them. Matter of routine, that's all. Sit down, will you? There are just a few questions I'd like to ask you about this unfortunate affair last night.
: Fire away, friend, fire away!
: From your name I had imagined you to be an Italian, but you talk like an American.
: This book was written by a Brit.
: I am an Italian, but I have lived in the States nearly all my life. My mother was an American and she had the money so, although I still have the old place in Italy, I regard New York as home.
: I see. Now, would you mind telling me what your movements were from the time the yacht sailed till you went in to dinner last night.
: There's no mystery about that. I was having a drink in the lounge with Mrs. Jocelyn when the engines started to turn over. A few moments later Mr. Rocksavage joined us. We had another spot with him and then Blane's secretary, a chap called Stodart, came in and made himself known to us. We had another round of drinks to keep him company while he was taking some notes of share prices off the board for his boss. The lounge steward took those down to Blane's cabin for him and came up to say that he couldn't get any answer to his knock, so Stodart told him to take them down again and push them under the cabin door.
Just after that I said I thought it was about time to go below and change.
: Can you tell me what time that would have been?
: About a quarter of eight. Mrs. Jocelyn said she thought she would go down, too, so we went down together, after which I went straight to my cabin.
I came up to the lounge again about 8.25, and when the dinner bugle sounded most of the guests were assembled there.
(FROM THIS POINT COUNT POSODINI'S STATEMENT CONFIRMS THAT OF THE OTHERS.)
: Now, Count, what d'you know about the real motive for this party?
: Real motive? There's only one as far as I know - stealing a little summer down in these waters before New York becomes livable again. I'm just mad about sunshine, but maybe that's my Italian blood.
: D'you mean to tell me you had no idea that an amalgamation between the big soap interests was to be negotiated during this trip?
: That's news to me. The only thing that I know about soap is that it's useful to wash with.
: How long have you known Mr. Rocksavage?
: Just three and a half days.
: You'd never met him, then, before you came on board at New York?
: No sir.
: How long have you known Bolitho Blane?
: I'd never met him, either. I'd heard of him, of course, as a big financier, but I didn't even know that he was interested in soap.
: All right. What about the Jap, Inosuke Hayashi? How long have you known him?
: The same applies. I didn't even know of his existence before he came on board yesterday afternoon.
: But if you've never had any dealings with any of these people can you give me a satisfactory explanation as to why Rocksavage invited you to join this outfit?
: He didn't. It was Reggie Jocelyn who asked me if I'd like to come along for a few days' sunshine and big-game fishing.
: How long have you known Jocelyn?
: I met him coming over in the Normandie, and later developed the acquaintance in New York. His wife is Lady Welter's daughter and I gather that Lady Welter is a very old friend of Mr. Rocksavage. In fact, although Miss Rocksavage is nominally hostess here, Lady Welter gave me the impression that she was running the party and, as the invitation came from her son-in-law, I didn't hesitate to accept it.
: Thank you, Count. That'll do for the present.
: Indeed, that will do. Next time: Kettering compiles a time table and searches the cabins.