Do *not* listen to CD dramas when translating. It makes it a bit hard to concentrate. ^^;
Fugue of Truth and Lies
Scotland Yard visited Professor Carlton's London home shortly after he spoke to a police detective he knew. The letter he'd received a few days earlier from his daughter Lydia informed him of when she was planning on leaving Scotland, but she wasn't on the ship when it arrived. Worried since there was no further contact from her, he'd sent a letter to his house in Scotland, but being too impatient to sit still waiting for a reply, he'd consulted with the detective.
According to the officer who'd come to his house, there was no sign that Lydia had boarded the passenger ship for which she'd had a ticket. Also, the day the ship left the port at Forth, a young woman was seen being whisked away by a man who closely resembled the description of the person responsible for the robbery at the Gotham residence in London.
"No, it hasn't yet been determined that your daughter was taken," the officer added. "So, have you noticed anything unusual? Contact or threats from the perpetrator...... or perhaps nothing so obvious, things like strange people hanging around or anything else that's caught your attention?"
"There's been nothing, but it'd be too late once something's happened. That's why I consulted with the detective."
While he normally went about things leisurely, even Carlton couldn't help becoming impatient when it came to his only daughter. The possibility that she might have been taken away by a robber was very serious. He crumpled his unkempt hair mussing it even further.
"Well, if you hear anything from the culprit, please contact us immediately."
"What if there's no contact? Won't you start looking for my daughter?"
"Right now, we're concentrating on pursuing said robber; that manhunt is happening throughout Britain. It's possible that he's already fled out of country, and there's no way to determine what connection he has with your daughter. So please understand that searching only for your daughter would be quite difficult," the officer said in a business-like manner before leaving.
Carlton sat on the sofa and held his head. He sat there stunned and only regained his wits when his student, who'd come to see him, shook his shoulder.
"Professor, is something wrong? Are you unwell?"
"Huh? Oh, it's you, Langley." Carlton adjusted his round glasses thinking things over before standing suddenly.
"That's right, I can't just sit here like this. My daughter might have been kidnapped."
"So, I'm going to go search for her. Langley, if you can take care of my work here."
"Please wait a moment, where are you going to look?"
"I'll check on the house in Scotland, then......" Carlton said as he went into his bedroom and set out a suitcase. Opening his closet, he started throwing clothes into the suitcase.
"You haven't had any answer from your home in Scotland, right? Also, do you have any leads?"
The authorities had no clues on how to search for her, so there was no way he could search for her on his own.
"Please calm down. I'll have your maid bring some tea. Then we'll think about what you can do."
Langley was used to dealing with his supervisor. Carlton's own daughter considered her father as being completely incompetent in everything outside of his research, and his students also saw him in much the same way. Carlton was thin, didn't take particular notice of his dress or hair, and when he walked on the university grounds while reading, he would fall into ditches, walk into trees, or end up being bitten by dogs. But those sorts of things had no impact on his merits in the eyes of his students.
"Yeah, you're right. I'm sorry for being so distraught."
Regaining his composure a bit, Carlton considered the situation. If nothing as serious as being kidnapped has happened, and Lydia was only being delayed from some minor problem, he should wait and things would soon be resolved. Lydia was a responsible girl, so he hadn't been particularly concerned at living apart from her. Either he'd receive word from her or she'd show up soon.
However, if she'd been caught up in that matter...
If he was dealing with a robber, it was possible that he'd receive a ransom note. And until then, there was nothing he could do.
But if the robber wasn't after ransom and had taken her as a hostage in order to escape, either he'd let her go once he didn't need her any more, or...... The more Carlton thought about the situation, the more horrified he became. Even his brandy-spiked tea didn't help calm him.
"The robber who'd hit the Gotham residence...... was it? If that's true, it's a strange connection, isn't it?"
Carlton looked up at his student's comment.
"But, Dr. Gotham's come by the university a number of times to ask you about legendary hidden treasures."
While into natural history, Carlton's work dealt with minerals. He was especially knowledgeable about precious stones and was working on classifying not only existing gems, but also those that were lost, as well as those that exist more in the realm of legend. For example, the Alexander Emerald that's supposed to bring glory to its owner, Cleopatra's Ruby that's supposed to bring ruin, or the even more mysterious Cassandra's Crystal, Salome's Jasper, and King Solomon's Iolite. Ultimately, it was part of an attempt at general categorisation of all the wondrous assets created by nature, and there was no mysterious occult aspect to his work. But he often received questions from that angle. Carlton finally remembered Dr. Gotham's name from among those. As he recalled, the doctor had asked him about a legendary star sapphire.
"Ah, now that you mention it, he's the gentlemen who was interested in whether the stone known as the 'Merrow's Star' really existed or not."
"Does it really exist?"
"Well, it is a legend. Still, it apparently existed until three hundred years ago. It was supposed to belong to Earl Ashenbert who really did exist. However, while it's unsure whether it was the earl himself or not, but the story that he'd left it in the care of the merrow and then vanished is only written about in F. Brown's writings 'The Blue Knight Earl". That work is sometimes considered to be a piece of fiction, so it doesn't make for actual proof, and the earl's whereabouts since going overseas is said to be unknown, so it's possible the gem was lost with him. If his ship was wrecked, everything would be at the bottom of the sea. It's possible a romantic idea like the merrow might have come from that."
But could there be some connection between that and Lydia? Just as things seemed like they were about to come together, the maid came to announce another visitor.
"A man saying he's Mr. Gotham's son has come."
"What was that?"
The professor ran out of the living room and greeted his visitor in the entrance himself.
The man identified himself as Gotham's third-born son. As he sat down on the sofa in the drawing room, he said, "You're aware that my father is currently in the hospital having been shot by a robber? Actually, there's something very important regarding that matter that I need to inform you about, Professor Carlton."
"Is it about the Merrow's Star?"
The son looked a little surprised, but quickly regained his composure and nodded. "The robber wasn't only after money but was also interested in the 'Merrow's Star'. My father had continued his investigation about the gem's location, taking into account what he'd learned from you. In doing so, he'd come upon a coin of the earl's with a strange verse engraved on it, and he thought that it might indicate where the stone's hidden. The verse contains a range of different fairy names and seemed nonsensical, and as my father was searching for someone who was knowledgeable about the fey, he heard that your late wife was a fairy doctor, Professor."
Carlton clenched his sweaty palm thinking, 'You mean...'
"And learning that your daughter was currently advertising herself as a fairy doctor, he'd been thinking about consulting with her."
"Ah, now that you mention it..." Langley said suddenly. "I ran into Mr. Gotham on the street some time ago, and he'd asked me about your daughter."
"Did you tell him that Lydia's a fairy doctor?"
"No, it's, well... for all that we were just continuing our conversation...... It's been a number of year's since I last saw your daughter, and when he asked about identifying features, all I could remember was that her hair was reddish-brown in colour, sort of like rusty iron," Langley said apologetically.
Even if his student had said anything, it wasn't like Carlton himself was necessarily hiding anything about his daughter, so it made little difference.
"No, Langley, it's not your fault. ......So you're saying that the robber also knows about my daughter?"
"I'm very sorry. And it's very possible that your daughter is already in the grasp of the perpetrator."
"Ah, I've already heard that from the Yard." Carlton heaved a massive sigh and looked down. It was the worst situation.
The third son frowned slightly. "I see. But you shouldn't rely on the police. Right now, my eldest brother is gathering information having published a description of the perpetrator in newspapers throughout Britain and offering a reward for information. And we'd also like to get your help Professor."
"Certainly, if there's anything I can do."
"There's been a report that people resembling your daughter and the robber were seen on a steam train heading west from Scarborough. If she's being forced to help the robber search for the stone, perhaps there's someplace in that direction that she considers likely for the stone to be."
"But unlike my daughter, I'm not particularly knowledgeable about the fey."
"Still, you're bound to be more knowledgeable than we are, not to mention your daughter's safety is depending on you."
The third son held out a paper with a copy of the verse as well as a map. He said the map marked places Earl Ashenbert, who'd owned the 'Merrow's Star' three hundred years ago, was said to have ties to.
Where would Lydia head?
"Also, Professor, we'd like to ask you accompany us in going to save your daughter."
"Naturally, I would like to go with you. Can we leave immediately?"
"Yes, but we need a destination."
"I'll think about it in the carriage."
It was the first time, even for Langley, to see Carlton make such a quick decision about something other than work.
A bit short but hey. :P I wonder how long book 5 will take to summarise... :P