Huxley Manor is not a manor at all. It is like a palace. It is big and wide and mysterious and grey and filthy and uninteresting. But suddenly everyone seemed to take interest in it. A passerby had seven ways to the town, but they prefer the way where they can see the backside of the Huxley very well clear. There is only one way to the sports field and that by the Huxley Manor that falls on Griffiths Street. Griffiths Street is placid, calm even at times except when the drunken widow (who claims to have married the fourth earl of the city) passes by hurling swears at the residents of Huxley Manor. But Huxley is not to blame, actually.
It was the missing report to blame.
There are seven residents on Huxley. These residents have nothing to do with Huxley; they are the Stapleton of Sylvester County. It is seven hundred miles, and out of the country itself. From these seven, one of them has gone missing since April. It is the middle of July, and little is known (that too from the rumours of the town people) about the whereabouts of the person who has vanished.
They say they have discovered the body of that resident in a dumpster this morning. But I couldn’t see much from the traffic that was jammed all across the street, with hardly the presence of air. A hundred people gathered around a car bashing siren noises. No one but I seemed disturbed by the fact that it was causing an inconvenience to the out goers.
I see Bailey between a horde of women discussing something in hushed tones; she turns towards me and smiles. She is wearing a baseball cap I gave her as a friendship day gift, ‘They have a hundred people to blame.’ She comments as she comes closer, but audible even. For a second the women pause, then dart their eyes towards her and get back to their discussing.
‘It is cancelled,’ she tells me moving closer to sound better. It here references to the baseball match, ‘the coach says the water is clogged around nearly everywhere. The Lockers Hill team says their field is under construction.’ With a hint of mockery,
‘So no match for today?’
‘Probably not even tomorrow, there are chances of rain.’ She is aware of the fact that I am relieved by this fact. I just hate sports.
‘So…what is this bustling all about?’ I ask her. Then she stares at me, as though I just disappeared.
‘Don’t you know? Ignatius Stapleton’s disappearance? Of course, you do, you were the one who told me. They discovered his body. Just in the morning, that old drunk lady was puking on him when she screamed like a wild boar waking the residents. They tried to beat her, but she insisted that
she saw someone in the dumpster. The master…what’s his name? Insisted too, and they found his body. Two of the members fainted at the spot, while he informed the police.’
‘You seem to know a great deal about this murder.’
‘Living in the same house helps Ascendant.’ I spot a man wearing a police outfit coming towards us.
‘So you up for the next game?’ She changes the subject.
He clears his throat and speaks directly to me, ‘Ascendant Stapleton, how about if we have a little chat about this happening before you go in that fake mourning of yours eh?’
I like the way he says “eh?” ‘Yes Sir. I would very much like that.’
Bailey moves a little to give them a way, and then she looks at me, mischief in her eyes. Then I turn to him, he seems quite distraught.
He faints just at the moment directly between the traffic, on the ground. There is a sudden silence. I see to something that I act would be horror, ‘Mister Schubert!’ Bailey is first to scream, again we scream the same in unison. Another police outfit arrives hastily, followed by a crowd. The people are screaming, a few people faint just at him. He lays there on the gravel floor…dead and helpless.