The investigators came to town to find out about the murder of one Arthur Deville, friend, client, acquaintance. They assembled in front of the house of the deceased down a dead end street at the edge of town.
Dr Simon Blackford, the former psychiatrist of this individual, had gotten wind of his patient’s demise. While the group was still assembling he spotted a hobo observing them. Reading him with his superior knowledge of the human mind and by dropping some bribe money he got some information out of the wanderer – that the deceased had frequented an area named “Old Town”, that it was “bad news” and that he wouldn’t sleep there if he was dead. It became apparent that he would not say any more in the presence of the others, so the good doctor will meet this individual named Lem in Dinah’s Diner at 6:30 pm. He then proceeded to the police station, but his manner seemed to provoke the deputy and he proved most unhelpful. Blackford is sure that his patient kept a diary but it is missing. He spent some time in the afternoon poring over the diary of a patient his colleagues think of as simply psychotic. Simon thinks there are deeper patterns seen by the unlucky few, leading into the collective subconscious. He had vision of sorts, as if the many strands of reality in this town were being pulled out of alignment by one common source, but he couldn’t tell how or what.
Elaine “Razor” Church, who finances her fancy lifestyle with less legal activities, snooped around Arthur’s living room. In an unusual book of philosophy, out of sorts in this collection, she found a stash of opium. (Confirming his drug habit and his drug of choice.) She wanted to enter the walls, but with only matches as light source she got scared by the scurrying rats and didn’t try again. She used her connection with a fence named Creech to learn something about the murder – that it had happened in a part of town nicknamed “Old Town” – a shantytown of shacks and cheap huts that had been recently erected. And that he had been gutted like a pig. She left him the opium. He also told her that the police had taken most stuff lying around the apartment as evidence.
Nash Anderson – Mr Anderson to his friends – is driven by his journalistic curiosity in this venture. When a secret entrance into between the walls was found, he entered with a newly-acquired light source and found a small altar featuring two burnt-down candles, ash from burned paper and a stocking garter as the center piece. He figured that this arrangement might have a magical significance and took a photo of it. A sense of dark foreboding filled Nash because of these discoveries and he used his connections to a gossipy fellow in town to find out that there’s an obscure little magic shop in town. (Laughable as such a thing may be, anyway.)
Franklin Woodworth, MD, arrived in town in his own car, but being the unreliable old thing it is it broke down two streets from his destination. He accompanied Simon during his inquiries and his medical skills will come in quite handy once more clues related to the actual murder can be found. He therefore is very keen on visiting the shantytown and assess the surroundings next – maybe even at night.
Erika von Braun, rich heiress of a banking dynasty and idle dilettante, inspected the upper floor of Arthur’s house and found a loose board that enabled access to the hidden section behind the wall. She rekindled her affair with Charlie and let her driver Jenkins take them both downtown. When meeting Franklin and Simon she decided to visit the sheriff’s office. The just-arrived sheriff and deputy were no match for her persuasive manner and when dropping her name the lackeys told her quite a bit about the messy murder in Old Town, including the location: Follow Siccamore street out of town and it’s a back alley marking the end of town and now bordering the shantytown. She then accompanied Charlie to Art’s brother and made quite an impression on that oaf, who admitted to frequenting the prostitutes in Old Town. He also told her that these ladies are desperate enough to continue their trade in spite of being very scared of recent murders.
Last but not least, Charlie the jazz singer. Informed by his drummer he got drawn into this murder mystery. He visited Art’s family in a poorer part of town. Art’s brother Cooper blamed him for his brother’s death and punched his nose. Though bleeding quite a bit he managed to show the man that he was quite serious and actually got to talk to the family. He’s quite interested in recovering Art’s instrument and musical scores, for sentimental reasons he assures his friends.
Frank, Elaine, Simon and Nash checked into a bed and breakfast downtown for their stay here. Erika and Charlie will retire to his cottage outside of town. It’s now mid afternoon.