Pulp Fiction

A Friend in Need

In which insinuations are made and insults are hurled...

It becomes clear very quickly that the investigation team must deliver some bad news to Kassel. The body in the alley is that of his fiancée, Rosie Capello. Unlike previous victims, Rosie’s display appears hurried, as if the perpetrators were rushed to complete their morbid task. Detective Hopkins and Atalanta remain at the crime scene to search for clues, while Mr. Starr and Malvolio venture into the nearby boucherie in hopes of finding a witness.

Fairy street lightInside the two gentlemen find butchers and proprietors Vito and Cucciolo Menzogne. Vito insists he has neither seen nor heard anything out of the ordinary. He claims that the scuffling noises sounded enough like the general rabble outside his shop that he did not bother to investigate. Taking the opportunity to malign the current political powers, the elder Menzogne points out how few guards are posted within the perost. As Malvolio prods further, he learns of Vito’s distaste for Ms. Capello and, consequently, her government-employed fiancée. Seizing the opportunity, he asks about Cucciolo’s relations with the deceased. Vito merely directs them to his younger brother, who is clearly shaken by recent events.

Mr. Starr speaks with the younger Menzogne, trying to glean what information he can from the shell-shocked butcher. Cucciolo speaks of his unrequited affections for Ms. Capello, as well as his strong resentment of Kassel. Starr continues the interrogation, ultimately accusing Cucciolo of murdering Rosie in a fit of passion brought on by frustrated love. Furious, the butcher demands that Mr. Starr and Malvolio leave the premises immediately. They oblige, but warn the two men not to leave town, lest their suspicions be confirmed.

Meanwhile, out in the street, Atalanta manages the crowd while Detective Hopkins examines the body. Upon asking for witnesses she discovers that one of the Lampers, a small fairy named Fluttershy, managed a partial view of the scene from her lamppost. The fairy proceeds to describe two men dragging the body of an unconscious girl into the alleyway. Following them is a taller man dressed in slightly better clothing. Fluttershy is unable to identify any of the three, though she obligingly provides her address for a follow-up.

Detective Hopkins notes that Rosie appears to have been dead long before she was brought to the alley. There is a noted lack of blood spray, and the whole area is generally cleaner than it ought to be. is equally successful, finding both some bloody fish scales and a promising scrap of paper near the body. The partners telegraph dispatch to collect the body, then go to meet Mr. Starr and Malvolio as the pair are leaving the butcher’s shop.

Hopkins notes at least one familiar name on the list: A. Allumette. Recognizing that his secretary Bansheemight be in danger, Mr. Starr and company rush to his estate. As the group charges in the foyer they are surprised to encounter a keening banshee. The omen of death unleashes a hideous screech and lashes out at the group, badly wounding both Starr and Hopkins. Its true target, however, appears to be Ms. Allumette. With one last, painful howl the banshee reaches out for Amberly and disappears. Badly shaken, the young secretary cannot imagine who she might have crossed or why a banshee might be visiting her. Malvolio vows to protect her in any way he can, while Mr. Starr kindly puts her on leave within the manor until the case has been wrapped up. Detective Hopkins steps outside to look for any clues. Gaining a flash of insight from the list of names, he abruptly steps out into the night, leaving his puzzled companions at the manor.

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