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Subject: A Cantabrian Operetta Chapter 6 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 [email protected] 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 6, Recit, and ensemble Terry Wright was looking the worse for wear. The Professor and I wouldn’t normally have been allowed acccess to a police cell, but Tremble thought we might have better luck than he had in trying to obtain an alibi from the chump. Terry was short for his twenty years and a little rotund, but not fat. His sparse, dark hair always seemed plastered to his forehead. If we’d wanted somebody to play a young Napoleon Bonaparte, he’d have been perfect, right down to the too-sensuous lips and large, dark eyes. Strangely, he didn’t seem pleased to see us. “You shouldn’t have come here,” he said, “I’m a marked man, and now you are too.” “So why are you a marked man Terry?” said the Professor. “What do you know that you shouldn’t.” “I can’t tell you that,” he said quietly. “He’d kill me.” “Nope!” said the Professor. “He’d only do that to stop you from talking. If you’d already talked, there’d be no point.” “That wouldn’t stop him” muttered the young man. “He’d kill us all.” The Professor sighed, then with some semblance of annoyance said, “Terry, to whom are you referring. By saying ‘he’ all the time you’re signing your own death warrant.” “That’s just the point, “wailed the poor chap, “I don’t know. It could be anyone. It could be one of you two for all I know.” “That would be perfect,” observed the Professor. “You only have to tell us all you know. The killer would suddenly have two people he needs to kill immediately, and no way of getting out of this police station. I suppose that’s why they let both of us in here at once.” “And both unarmed,” I remarked. “That would be a clever trick.” “So Terry,” the Professor returned, “calm down and tell us why you think you are a marked man.” “I expect it’s something to do with Dovey,” he said forlornly. “What isn’t?” I said, but was silenced by a look from the Professor. escort bayan “Everybody thought he might be gay,” Terry continued, “but I’m the only one who knows he was.” This time neither of us said anything. Seeing that neither of us were going to interrupt, Terry continued. “Dovey was always going outside the college, and one day he followed me. I had a friend in Auckland Road that I used to visit, until Dovey found out. He threatened to make it public if I didn’t go to his rooms and do things with him. Eventually he did make it public, but without anything specific. At least my friend was spared.” “You could always have outed yourself and called his bluff,” I said. “My friend was seventeen at the time,” he said. “We’d both have been in trouble, and Dovey knew it.” “When was the last time you and Dovedale did anything?” the Professor wanted to know. “Oh, about the middle of November I should think. He’d tired of me by then.” “And where were you when he was killed?” “Still in the hall. Gina was still at the piano, so a few of us started rehearsing chorusy things. Eventually I left to go for dinner, but I never got there because there were blue lights flashing everywhere, so I went to see what was going on.” Well, for all that, Terry was likely to stay in police custody, so we adjourned to the dining hall to think this through. A group of students were already dining so we took the next table to a group of would be performers. Norm Low was sitting with Burdeep Singh, Derek Blunt, Lucy Morris and Alice Bruce. I suspected that meant G & S but surely, without a producer, The Grand Duke was dead in the water. “Do we still have a show, Norm ?” I asked. Burdeep Singh answered for him. “We’ve still got one, but it’s The Yeomen of the Guard.” he said. “Did the Tudors recruit asiatic Tower warders then Birdie?” Race was fair game anywhere in college. Racism was banned, but, since it offended nobody, there was no such thing. “I thought I’d audition for the Lieutenant of the Tower,” He replied. “Good part,” I said. “Hope you get it.” “Doubt it,” he replied. “I’m sure Sammy will get it, but if he doesn’t get Shadbolt, I’ll settle for that.” “Who’s producing?” “Well that’s the thing you see” said Norman. “It looks as though Dr. Harvey will have to do it as well as MD. It should really be a student, but none of us wants to do it, because, whoever takes Dovey’s place, the police will immediately have them in the frame for his murder.” “Fair enough,” I said, “I’ll go see Dr. Harvey and tell him I’ll produce the show for him. I’ve got an alibi.” “I hope the murderer isn’t just somebody who likes to bop off producers,” said the Professor. “I’ll be very careful,” I replied. Dr. Palmer was happy that I was prepared to produce the show. He was suggesting auditions for the following evening. I agreed to help him with that and kocaeli escort bayan then wandered off to the main hall. It was one of those January days that gets Winter a bad name. It wasn’t wet, nor had there been snow, but it was cold enough and sunset had brought on another freeze. It had been almost dark by two o’clock, which made you wonder why it bothered to get light at all. By five, when I slid into the hall to look at the possibilities for blocking, it was pitch black in there. The main lighting board was at the side of the stage. I walked across the hall and slipped into the door stage left. Ascending the few stairs I steadied myself on the house curtain windlass, just inside the pros arch. There was, I knew, a tab rail immediately behind the house curtain, and, without being able to see I guessed that the house curtain was open, but the tabs would be closed. Normally there were also three black legs hanging each side, to form the wings. One hung in front of the tab rail, and two behind it. It all added to the blackness. The tabs did not have a windlass, as the house curtain did, only a running rope round a hanging pulley, weighted with a sandbag. The lighting board was behind the tabs in the wings, stage left, so I groped toward that edge of the stage. There was a sudden crash on the other side of the stage. I shouted in the darkness. “Who’s that?” “There was no reply, just another crash and a rumbling from overhead. Instinctively I threw myself forward against the house curtain. diving and rolling underneath it as there was a tremendous crash nearby. I heard the door to the green room slam and tried to rise to run in that direction. I found my left leg trapped – pinned by something. That’s why my leg suddenly hurt. I hadn’t felt the impact. “Jonah?” It sounded like Norman, and he must be at the back of the hall. A torch beam pierced the darkness. “Stage left,” I shouted. “Are you OK?” That was the Professor. “I think so.” I waited patiently as the torch made its way to the front of the hall and then disappeared in the doorway. Suddenly the house lights came up. I had been right about the curtains, and the tabs. The Professor came through the middle of the tabs. Norman appeared next to me around the house curtain and, without a word, hauled on the tab rope. The tabs opened. “Does that hurt?” Norman asked. He was looking at where a lighting barrel was stretched across the front of the stage. My left leg was trapped underneath it. “If you can lift the barrel off, I can find out.” I replied. “There’s too many lights on it for me to shift it on my own. Watch out for broken glass on the stage though.” The Professor crossed the stage brandishing a fire axe, which he was holding with his handkerchief. “He’s blunted this, but took out all three cables cleanly. The inspector kocaeli escort was right. Somebody doesn’t like us,” he said. “That was a warning,” I said. “It wouldn’t have killed me even if I hadn’t rolled out of the way, but he wants us to know he means business.” Together they lifted one end of the barrel sufficiently for me to drag my leg clear. “It doesn’t seem to be broken, just bruised,” I said, hauling myself to my feet. “I guess he got out the back way,” said the Professor. “There are something like fifteen spotlights hung on this beam, so he probably did mean to do you some damage.” “It’s called a barrel,” I responded, “and there are two spots on it – fresnal ones – the rest are floods.” “Ah, so he probably chose the one with the floodlights on to do you minimal harm,” he said. “Sarcasm,” I replied. “You know what they say about that.” “Never mind, I’d best get the Master to call the police. I guess Messrs. Tremble and Grant will want to know about this.” “”About what?” said DS Grant from the back of the hall. “Best come and have a look Sergeant,” said the Professor. “It looks like somebody meant my friend here some harm.” The sergeant did exactly that and he didn’t look happy. “Who knew you’d be up here?” he asked. “Well I didn’t for a start, so I should think nobody did,” I replied. “Hmmmm! we were afraid of something like this, but I didn’t think it would be so soon, ” he muttered. “The inspector sent me to tell you that we can’t hold young Wright any longer. Now you’ve established his alibi, and it checks out by the way, we can’t find an excuse to keep him.” “That’s a good as handing him a death sentence,” I remarked. “Yes, well, it seems he’s not the only one,” he returned. “I’ve never approved of gifted amateurs messing around in police business, but the inspector’s right. We’re working with both hands tied behind our backs on this one and we need you. You’re going to have to be ultra-careful though.” I winced as I stepped down from the stage. I reflected that I didn’t really need the police to tell me that. I’d be limping for a day or two. Well the sergeant took some notes, then stumped off carrying the fire-axe. He was gingerly holding it by the Professor’s handkerchief, and I doubted the Professor would ever ask for that back. “What are your plans now Jonah?” the Professor asked. “Dinner,” I said. “I came in here to see if I could visualise the set for Yeomen, but that will have to wait till another day.” “Fair enough,” he said. “I’ll join you for dinner. It looks like we’ve got some things to talk about anyway.” 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.

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