Part 42: Update #4Let's All Play Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective - The Solicitous Solicitor (Update #4)
Notebook (New clues will be spoilered.)
1. Melvin Tuttle, a junior partner with the law firm Sloane, Swathmore And Cartwright, dropped dead of a heart attack yesterday morning. Inspector Lestrade believes that he was poisoned and has spoken with every partner of the law firm. Sir Sidney Sloane claims that he never arrives there before noon, Henry Swathmore was in attendance at his appointment at Bell's Baths and Whitney Cartwright began an unscheduled and indefinite leave of absence two days beforehand. Lestrade also mentioned Harold Diggs, who was another lawyer at the firm, who believed he was far more qualified than Tuttle to become a junior partner. But he was passed over for promotion three months ago and subsequently resigned his position.
Lestrade gave us some notice to read this mornings newspaper and informed us that he currently has the contents of Tuttle's desk at Scotland Yard.
2. Holmes visit to Sloane, Swathmore And Cartwright was very unproductive as he encountered two very relaxed and disinterested constables.
3. Sir Jasper Meek informed us that Tuttle had died from heart and respiratory failure, no diseases were present. He did test for many common poisons but didn't find any foreign substances, he added that some poisons are only detectable if you know what you are looking for.
4. Our visit to Inspector Lestrade was very productive as the contents of Melvin Tuttle's desk was a plethora of new leads. It contained the following items:
A folder containing information on textile contracts.
Two trust files with lots of properties, stocks and bonds. One for the British Museum and the other for Richard Mainhart.
A list of various properties that they owned at one time or another. Disraeli O'Brian's name is on top.
A key from Bell's Baths.
One gold locket which says "To V.M. with love, M.T.". J.W. Benson, Ltd is named on the box.
A bill for a room at the Knights Arms Hotel, the amount appears to be a monthly rate.
5. Harold Diggs took Melvin Tuttle's promotion as a personal insult, he believed that his own work was superior and that Tuttle had only worked there for two years. He resigned as he felt that his prospects were limited at the company. He also revealed that his dislike of Tuttle was personal as well as professional. Diggs seems to hold Miss Alice Spring in high regards but was jealous of her interest in Tuttle, he also revealed that she had once rejected his advances.
6. We called on Dr Jerrold Mason at the wrong time, he left a note on the door saying that he is currently out and playing a game of cricket.
7. Unfortunately, the Irregulars visit to the Raven & Rat Inn bore no fruit.
8. Disraeli O'Brian last saw Melvin Tuttle around two months ago. Tuttle used to visit O'Brian daily on what appeared to be his lunch hour as he had an interest in property transaction files. Mainly the list of names of the owners of a given property lot and the dates that the lot was transferred to a new owner, along with the sale prices. O'Brian doesn't know the reason why Tuttle was interested in these files and he didn't ask him.
9. Filbert Raike seemed very warm until we brought up the murder of Melvin Tuttle. He confirmed that Henry Swathmore is a member of the club and claims that he doesn't pry into his customer's private affairs. He also confirmed that Tuttle is also a member of the club before promptly ejecting Holmes from his office.
Not all was lost though as one of the club's employee's, Jack Jenson, was very happy to talk about the private affairs happening within the club. He informed us that Swathmore met with Cedric Livingstone yesterday morning at the club, he also revealed that Livingstone owns the place. Livingstone used to be the first mate on the "Glenda" and Jenson was shipmates with him at the time trading with China. The captain of the ship met an unfortunate end in 1858 and Livingstone took over his duties and managed to get the ship home safely. The owners of the ship were so grateful they gave him a big reward as well as captaincy, he quit the sea life very quickly afterwards. Jenson also informed us that Raike had cleared out Tuttle's locker yesterday and had brought the contents to his office, Swathmore and Livingstone were waiting there so they could look through them. Swathmore and Livingstone are "as thick as thieves", whatever they were looking for they didn't find as Swathmore was in a divver afterwards.
Raike and Jenson are in the directory but we are unable to visit either of them directly:
10. Henry Swathmore told us that Melvin Tuttle was promoted within the firm because he could do the job and it was Whitney Cartwright who recommended him. Harold Diggs proved to be unsatisfactory. Swathmore told us that he saw Tuttle last when they had worked together the evening before his death, they were completing some important contracts. Sir Sidney Sloane asked Swathmore to assist Tuttle after Cartwright had left the office. Swathmore claims not to know the reasons behind Cartwright's departure.
11. Murray had a lot of evidence to work with including toffee, tea, tobacco and a pipe. The tea contained traces of poison, but a higher concentration was found on the lip of the cup that Melvin Tuttle was drinking from. Traces of poison were also found on the tip of the stem of the pipe. The poison was produced from Chinaberry, a paralysing nerve poison where even a trace of it can stop the heart permanently, it also smells faintly of lilac. Murray has written a book that might have more information about it, there is a copy in the London Library. It's very unlikely that it could be found in London.
12. Melvin Tuttle used to be very popular with the ladies according to the owner of the Knights Arms Hotel. He was so popular that he used to have his own chamber there were he brought many different women. He was last seen two or three weeks ago and had recently given up his room.
13. The Irregulars bore some fruit with their visit to J.W. Benson's. Melvin Tuttle used to buy cheap lockets for all of his female companions. But last week, he bought a solid gold locket with diamonds.
14. The London Library does indeed have a copy of "My Favourite Poisons" by H.R. Murray. China Berry (Melia azedarach) is a tree of warm, temperate regions, producing panicles of fragrant purple flowers followed by pale yellow, berry-like droops about half an inch across. The fleshy pulp of the fruit contains a paralysing nerve poison when distilled into a crystalline pure state and ingested. Only 0.5 grams is enough to be fatal as heart action stops immediately and permanently. The presence of the poison can be detected by its faint smell which is reminiscent of lilac.
15. Mrs Cartwright handed us a letter as soon as we arrived which read: "I received a note at the office, I know everything! I did not know I could have been so blind. If you love him I will not stand in your way, Whitney". Mrs Cartwright has not seen Whitney since this letter arrived as he has now discovered that she had an affair with Malvin Tuttle. Their affair two and a half months ago and Mrs Cartwright had tried to reconcile, but Tuttle wasn't interested as he is in love with another woman. She doesn't know who would want to expose the affair and she is confused why this would come out now that their affair is over. Mrs Cartwright thinks that her husband is at the Criterion Club and if we find him she wants us to tell him that she loves him and swears that she will make it up to him.
16. Cedric Livingstone claims not to be affiliated with Melvin Tuttle, but may have met him once as he's an associate of Swathmore. He claims not to be a friend of Swathmore, rather more of a business associate. He's admitted to having several formal meetings and two or three business lunches with Swathmore.
17. Sir Sidney Sloane has revealed to us that he partially retired from the firm three years ago and had left the responsibility for Melvin Tuttle's promotion up to Swathmore and Cartwright, he trusts their judgement implicitly. Tuttle was currently working on the August Heathcliffe account, a prominent textile manufacturer, and had asked Sloane to help conduct negotiations on an international merger. When the preliminary work was completed, Sloane turned things over to Cartwright who was to be assisted by Tuttle. Mr Cartwright left the office suddenly on Tuesday for personal reasons, the Heathcliffe contracts were due to leave with the morning posts. Tuttle had reassured Sloane that the contracts would meet the deadline as Brenda Walker had agreed to stay late to assist him, Swathmore had also arrived and had offered to assist Tuttle as well. Sloane had high praise for Harold Diggs and knows that he was insulted about losing out on the promotion, as much as he was angry he believes that the thought on him acting out over it is ludicrous.
18. Richard Mainhart didn't have much to say or hear when we met him. He did mention that Swathmore delivers papers and that he signs them.
19. The Irregulars visited the British Museum but they didn't manage to find anything of interest.
20. Brenda Walker was working late on contracts with Melvin Tuttle and Henry Swathmore. Tuttle had asked Walker to stay late to undertake some last-minute revising, Swathmore decided to "chip in" to get the work done. Walker doesn't know what was on the contracts, she just typed out the contracts. Walker also didn't know where they were going as Swathmore would type the envelopes himself and then hand them directly to Tuttle. Only the three of them were present and it was all conducted under secrecy. They all had left the building at 11:15 PM.
21. Mr Cartwright was a little worse for the wear at the Criterion Club after an evening of drinking whisky. He seemed surprised when he was told of Melvin Tuttle murder. He decided to leave the office suddenly because he had received a distressing note that read: "Everything she needs has Mrs C, furs and jewels and ever MT, while the husband works the wife will play, and loss runs the world away". Cartwright blames himself for the affair and decided to get drunk instead of confronting his wife. We passed her message along to him.
22. Margaret Porter says that Melvin Tuttle was perfect in every way: immensely charming, eager to please, well mannered, perfectly dressed and every young woman he met was swept away by him. She also claims that he was more calculating than a mathematics table and doesn't understand why he was promoted over Harold Diggs, "an excellent lawyer who produced outstanding work". Porter also confirmed that Diggs was in love with Alice Spring, who was in love with Tuttle, who was in love with every woman (including Mrs Cartwright). Tuttle used to escort Mrs Cartwright to various social functions at the request of Whitney Cartwright. Porter had posted a letter to Mrs Cartwright from Tuttle only yesterday. Porter also posted contracts to various locations, five were to textile firms in Germany, one to August Heathcliffe and four to textile firms in Manchester.
23. Alice Spring arrived at the building just before 9 AM, yesterday morning, and had ridden the elevator along with Margaret Porter to the fourth floor. Melvin Tuttle was already in his office, Porter went to make some tea while Spring entered his office to see him. Spring and Tuttle had been seeing each other for eight months but had ended their relationship a week ago as he had fallen in love with another woman. She tried to return the gold locket that he had bought her but Tuttle had refused to accept it.
24. August Heathcliffe wasn't too happy when we had spoken about the "highly confidential" contracts with Sloane, Swathmore And Cartwright. Eight months ago Sir Sidney Sloane undertook the negotiations and Whitney Cartwright drew up the contracts. This whole business involves a top-secret textile merger. Heathcliffe dealt exclusively with Cartwright throughout the contract stage. Henry Swathmore stepped in at the final hour, which Heathcliffe found surprising as the alterations didn't have any material effect on the final documents. Watson noticed a distinct smell on the envelope of the contract, who decided to keep the envelope safe upon his person.
25. We sent the Irregulars to the Pharmaceutical Society. They told us that we should try the black-market if we want to find any Chinaberry.
J.W. Benson, Ltd - J.W. Benson is a modest jewellery shoppe located at the corner of Dean and Shaftsbury. John Benson is the proprietor.
British Museum - Founded in 1773 by Sir Hans Sloan, this great national museum and library is located on Montague-street. My first chambers were located on the same street, just around the corner.
Central Carriage Stables - Central Carriage Stables is located at 5 Grey's-road, WC. It is here that all of London's cabs are stabled and dispatched. This is a good place to find information about people's movements about the city.
Ellis, Henry (London Times) - Baker Street Regular.
Featherstone, Banks - Featherstone is the publisher of his father's definitive works on baldness.
Hall, Edward (Old Bailey) - Baker Street Regular.
Hamilton, George - George Hamilton is an actor of minimal talent whom Watson and I caught in a dreadful musical revinue at the Elephant and Castle.
Hogg, Quentin (Police Gazette) - Baker Street Regular.
Metcalf, Aubrey - Aubrey Metcalf is a young poet who is frequently invited to read his works at Buckingham Palace.
Monroe, Virginia - Nothing on file.
Pharmaceutical Society - The Pharmaceutical Society can always be relied upon to provide accurate information on any and all legal and illegal substances found here in London.
Pike, Langdale (Society Club) - Baker Street Regular.
Raven & Rat Inn (Shinwell, Porky) - Baker Street Regular.
Somerset House - Baker Street Regular.
Tuttle, Melvin (Investigation of his residence) - Nothing on file.
Unvisitable locations of note.
Benson, John - Mr. Benson is the proprietor of a modest jewellery shoppe in the northwest of London.
Heathcliff & Son, Ltd - A textiles firm based in Manchester.
Time to vote!
You can choose up to, and including, five more locations for the detectives to visit. You're also free to send the Irregulars to one location.
It's too early to call for an end to the case. We have visited six out of eight key locations.
Voting will end Tuesday, August 4th at 2200 GMT.