She Foundered: Eighth Wake
So it may have been, that the sinking of the Bowfin
Reported late, this news carried home
By the merchantman Ceylon, in ’87, the year of the hurricane—
Some said the men were mostly saved
By the hundred boats of the pearl fleet—
Ended Mr. Samuels’s part, no guilt attaching
Unable to find proof, did Howitt live
Did Howitt walk
A particular London street
He rabbits round the circumstance
Circumstance, the inspector’s word
For Annie Chapman’s mauling
But you see, Moss, what I’d done was in pursuit of right. I am not the author of this method, and it has been used. Yes, when it all began, I’d thought they’d got it wrong about the stabbings—the ordinary knife violence, I’d have said, of a poor district. They’d lead themselves astray, the metropolitan police, putting stock in propinquity, and never gather proper evidence. The first day of October, I’d learned there’d been a third found in the same circumstance (as the others like my own). And to think we’d made a careful photograph of Wake in his coffin; before we’d allowed his step-father to remove him. In the event, you understand, of some new transgression’s coming to light. Howitt was not a physician, of course. But yet, the prussic acid was his supplying. He kept a number of things, in his shipboard surgery. I had nothing to give Sir Charles but my recollection of his face.
“Liddie, sir,” she says, “née Watts. That was it, my name.”
De Clieux rises from his chair and bows.
“By God,” the host murmurs, “I wonder.
Can it be he is living still, the creature?”
“It would be worthwhile…”
The guest slides the paper knife across a fingertip.
“…to beat the old boy out of cover.”
(copyright 2017 Stephanie Foster)