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Lateral Puzzles » Solved Lateral Thinking Puzzles » Solved Puzzles - Jan 2005 » [Beroean] The Case of Circus Maximus (A Sherlock Holmes Adventure Puzzle) » Archive through May 17, 2004 « Previous Next »

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Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Tuesday, March 02, 2004 - 1:47 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Fred

Can you analyze the knickers for me Watson and check to see if there are any fibers, fluids, etc on them?
Bravo Mr Dref. That is exactly what Sherlock Holmes would have done himself if he had have been here - thank you for prompting me. Indeed. Holmes declares that many crimes will be solved in the future by such investigations. He believes that advances in scientific instruments will allow us to identify culprits from the presence of their own microscopic human tissue and the like.
Unfortunately I cannot do that but I shall ferret around in the knickers and see what I can discover....


Well, I have thoroughly inspected the knickers for evidence. I have discoverd several red hairs and strangely, there is also a penny whistle!
Sollen (Sollen)
Posted on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 - 6:36 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

sorry for the long hiatus my dear Watson; I'm afraid your puzzle is just too complexing. anyways lets see what I can do shall we?

just to be sure my dear Watson, are you saying that there are indications that the baby crawled from the chest towards the window?

I'm unsure if I have asked this, but would the stilts be of sufficient height to reach the place where the fishing line has been tied? I have considered that the Boomerang may have been used to get a rope over the tree limb also. of course I'm don't see how it could be tied at such a height.
can you see any signs to suggest that the tree or fishing line may have been cut by one of the stolen fishing hooks? was a pole for caasting the line also stolen?
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 12:04 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sollen

sorry for the long hiatus my dear Watson; I'm afraid your puzzle is just too complexing. anyways lets see what I can do shall we?

Mr Sollen, I am indebted to you for your persistence. I was beginning to imagine that we shant solve this case without Holmes to arriving here to rescue us from our misery!

just to be sure my dear Watson, are you saying that there are indications that the baby crawled from the chest towards the window? Yes - this seems to be the case, judging by the finger prints

I'm unsure if I have asked this, but would the stilts be of sufficient height to reach the place where the fishing line has been tied? The stilts would allow a midget to reach that height. You or I could reach it just standing as we are.

I have considered that the Boomerang may have been used to get a rope over the tree limb also. That is possible
of course I'm don't see how it could be tied at such a height. Hmm I don't see how it could be done, either
can you see any signs to suggest that the tree or fishing line may have been cut by one of the stolen fishing hooks? I see no signs that one of the hooks was used but cutting has certainly taken place. It could have done with any sharp instrument.
was a pole for caasting the line also stolen? Apparantly not. I checked this with the American and he is clear - both of his fishing poles have remained in his posession throughout.

This is a most baffling case and I am therefore most grateful for your contributions. which have proved to be fresh and fertile.
dryman (Dryman)
Posted on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 6:16 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Watson it is so brave of you to soldier on my good man after such a shockingly lax record of assistance from us. Maximus' corpse must be in an apalling state of decay by now, and Mary Roti must be no picnic herself after so many weeks on only one pair of knickers!

Does the penny whistle make a tone audible to the human ear? Try some experiments and ascertain whether it might be used to signal someone, or perhaps a circus animal such as a cobra.

Are you aware of any individuals who might have left the red hairs? Please be sure to inspect everyone's roots for evidence of dye, on pretense of a precautionary headlice examination.
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Friday, March 26, 2004 - 11:51 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dryman

Watson it is so brave of you to soldier on my good man after such a shockingly lax record of assistance from us. Maximus' corpse must be in an apalling state of decay by now, and Mary Roti must be no picnic herself after so many weeks on only one pair of knickers!

Dryman my trusty fellow, I can only assume that the members here are as confounded as I am about this case. However I have to soldier on for Holme’s sake. He is relying on us, so thank you for your further contributions in the effort.

As for the state of the corpse, I haven’t had the will to inspect it recently. I have left that in the charge of Lestrade. And Mary Roti, well, I am keeping my distance for the time being.


Does the penny whistle make a tone audible to the human ear? Yes indeed. It was the penny whistle that Jane gave to Bugsy (the midget that she employed to hide in Mary’s knickers) to alert us in case he saw anything suspicious or if he needed anything

Try some experiments and ascertain whether it might be used to signal someone, or perhaps a circus animal such as a cobra. A clever idea but I fear that the whistle was for the sole use of the midget in our recent employ

Are you aware of any individuals who might have left the red hairs? Please be sure to inspect everyone's roots for evidence of dye, on pretense of a precautionary headlice examination. I am certain that these hairs belonged to Bugsy the midget who recently went missing (along with Huppim & Muppim). He was indeed a red headed midget with freckles to match.

Oh dear, I am sorry disappoint, with the news of these mundane facts.
dryman (Dryman)
Posted on Sunday, April 04, 2004 - 4:18 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"It was the penny whistle that Jane gave to Bugsy (the midget that she employed to hide in Mary’s knickers) to alert us in case he saw anything suspicious or if he needed anything"

Oh of course my good man I had quite forgotten. I hope you won't mention this lapse to Holmes..?

Watson, it could be wise to obtain each of the items that had gone missing and been recovered, and use that fascinating kit of Holmes' to inspect them for fingerprints - I don't know why we didn't hit on such a plan earlier! Has there been any sign or suspicion of a pregnancy among any of the carnival residents; and do any of the female staff exhibit stretch marks (striae gravidarum as you might say) or other signs of recent pregnancy?
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Monday, April 05, 2004 - 12:58 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dryman
"It was the penny whistle that Jane gave to Bugsy (the midget that she employed to hide in Mary’s knickers) to alert us in case he saw anything suspicious or if he needed anything"

Oh of course my good man I had quite forgotten. I hope you won't mention this lapse to Holmes..? Don’t worry my good fellow, this case is affecting us all!

Watson, it could be wise to obtain each of the items that had gone missing and been recovered, and use that fascinating kit of Holmes' to inspect them for fingerprints - I don't know why we didn't hit on such a plan earlier!
What an excellent idea - in theory! However I fear that all of these items have been handled so excessively since their return that any prints from the culprit will now be obliterated. This is why Holmes instructed for nobody to touch anything at the scene of the murder so that any fresh fingerprints would be preserved.

Has there been any sign or suspicion of a pregnancy among any of the carnival residents; and do any of the female staff exhibit stretch marks (striae gravidarum as you might say) or other signs of recent pregnancy?
I am sorry to report that nothing has come to light. Lestrade has appointed a female on his team who has been keeping a check on these matters and there is no evidence at all of a recent pregnancy or birth.

Dryman my dear fellow, I do applaud you for your perseverance and thank you for your support. I shall share with you the reason that Holmes cannot be with us on this case at present. I am not supposed to say anything about this but I know I can trust you to keep this to yourself.

Just two days prior to the murder of Maximus, Holmes entertained no less than Professor Moriarty at 221B Baker Street, along with Irene Adler and Sir Herbert Carruthers (Head of British Intelligence). To be blunt, Carruthers was murdered whilst being entertained by Holmes.

The whole event has been kept secret and I am under strict orders from the government to prevent any of this becoming public knowledge. At this very moment Holmes and Mycroft are working with government to prevent this crisis developing into a catastrophe.

I dare not share more of this with you but I am sure that one of my descendants will publish my account of it, in future times. Holmes has predicted that this event signals the start of the decline of the British Empire. He also predicts that America will become the next dominant world power but that that Britain will become it’s closest ally and this will add significantly to its strength. Holmes is already referring to this future beast as the “Anglo-American World Power”.

Therefore I have chosen to call this case “The rise and fall of Empires” If you look carefully you might just see this turn up as a puzzle on the Lateral Puzzle Forum one day!
Leah Tooke (Juicyfruit)
Posted on Tuesday, April 06, 2004 - 2:47 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My good Doctor,
Please forgive the lateness of my reply, but I was rather involved with a few little mysteries of my own. I have read over your case file and one thing stood out the moment I read it. Two names, Mary Roti and Arty Morty. I pondered this for some time but until I read your most recent letter, I hardly found the courage to suggest this, but now my suspicions have been aroused.
Two days prior to this whole mess, you said Holmes entertained none other than Prof. Moriarty himself. Not to speak ill of anyone but I have heard dastardly tales about the man and now I am more shaken than ever.
Have you not noticed that both the names Mary Roti and Arty Morty both seem to sound rather close to the Professors? I would like for you to inquire to where the Professor might have gone after Holmes last saw him. Even if this information is too private for us to see, at least you will have it. Also, find out more about these two people. Where were they from orginally, do they have any family, or friends who might know them outside of the circus? However, I doubt you will come up with anything solid. I figure these characters are going to be quite slippery.
A few other things good Sir, I do believe this business about the snakes is nothing more than a ploy to drag the lot of us through the mud, giving the real murderer a chance to retreat or at least make good upon it. Ask if anyone in the circus is planing or was planning to take a vacaction any time soon. If you get no real answers maybe the local train stations might be of better help.
As for this business with the baby, confound it, it makes no sense. I have a young child myself and I know from experence that getting a child to do such a complex task is nearly impossible, given the contrary nature of children. I would guess it is just another ploy.
But just to be on the safe side, do ask the snake charmer on where one could procure a dangerous snake.
I wish you good luck and hope I have provided a few leads for you. I will be replying back soon after I have heard out what you have found.

Sincerly,
Lady Lilly.
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Tuesday, April 06, 2004 - 5:10 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dear Lady Lilly

Thank you for your excellent contribution. I will make some investigations based upon your ideas and will get back to you very soon!
Leah Tooke (Juicyfruit)
Posted on Wednesday, April 07, 2004 - 5:07 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My Dear Watson,
Whilst I was pondering once more over my own mysteries I have come to a startling idea. I felt I must share this with you as soon as possible. Hopefully what I write here will at least provide a few answers to poor Max's death.
I have come to offer a suggestive profile of the man who perpitrated this crime. I believe, our mastermind may not even be at the Circus at all. I am sure he had visited it once or twice but for now I am certain he is not to be found there. Furthermore I do believe this man masterminded the crime but did not actually commit it. He may have planted someone to do the deed but it is he who planned the whole thing.
This is a man who feels a need to commit grand schemes simply to fool those who try and solve them, or at least simply to test their mettle. The man will be of a brillant mind but of dark soul. Not an easy catch. He may have one or two of Max's treasures simply as a trophy but the most of them may have been spilt amongnst his lackies, a payment if you will. Looking for the mastermind at the circus may be impossible, but I am certain that his lackies are still there. And we may yet be able to corner one of them, who, once given a choice, should lead us right to the mastermind himself.
Let me give you an idea of what may have happened involving poor Max. For there is a little thing that I think deserves a little more attention, the wound in Max's side. We have established it was not fatal, true but as to how he got it, we are still in the dark. Given the strange angle of the wound, might I suggest the wound is self inflicted?
Allow me my reasoning. Picture this, here is Max, most beloved of his brothers but for what reason? Perhaps not even he could understand it. For the other two brothers were so talented and he was a simple man with all the glory. Perhaps this is why he really shut himself away. He simply had no other reason to exist but being a level headed man, he did not think it wise to take his own life.
Our mastermind may have have guessed this about him and chose to exploit it. He would have one of his lackies form a bond with Max. Ask if Max could have been seeing anyone in private or was heard talking to anyone. This heartless person could have convinced Max of his short commings and even suggested sucide, noting that at least his fortune could have gone to his brothers who could do well with it. And maybe just maybe, Max even decided to do it.
Now picture this, Max, alone in his carriage home, holding the knife or dagger in his small handsd deciding his fate. And now another thing comes to me, the baby's fingerprints. Could there be a possiblity that Max had a child, maybe with someone in the circus or even someone in town nearby. Maybe our mastermind knew this, and told his lackey to exploit that along with Max's feelings about his undeserving praise. Maybe that same lackey was there with Max.
And I think Max might have changed his mind after the first stab and was struck with a desire to live no matter what. This would not have fallen in line with the plan but no doubt the mastermind had a back up. As to what this could have possibly been I do not know. But whatever the case, Max got the short end of the stick so to speak and found himself dead, weather he wanted it or not. The lackey could have gotten his treasures without leaving a print and could have even gotten out without anyone seeing. Please do a complete check of Max's home again and check for any hidden doors or secret ways in.
I do not know if this is all correct but, I believe some of it might be. It is worth at least thinking about.
I wish you the best of luck and please be careful, our mastermind could be still watching.


Love,
Lady Lilly
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Wednesday, April 07, 2004 - 9:08 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dear Lady Lilly I have completed my investigations and also given meditation to some of your excellent ideas..

Please forgive the lateness of my reply, but I was rather involved with a few little mysteries of my own. I have read over your case file and one thing stood out the moment I read it.

Two names, Mary Roti and Arty Morty. I pondered this for some time but until I read your most recent letter, I hardly found the courage to suggest this, but now my suspicions have been aroused.
Two days prior to this whole mess, you said Holmes entertained none other than Prof. Moriarty himself.Indeed this is completely true
Not to speak ill of anyone but I have heard dastardly tales about the man and now I am more shaken than ever.
Have you not noticed that both the names Mary Roti and Arty Morty both seem to sound rather close to the Professors? My word that is amazing!

I would like for you to inquire to where the Professor might have gone after Holmes last saw him. Even if this information is too private for us to see, at least you will have it. Most certainly. I have contacted Holmes about this very matter. Holmes is currently with his brother Mycroft. They are doing what they can to resolve the damage that is being incurred at international level as a result of the murder at 221B Baker Street. I have contacted Holmes by telegram and he I received a reply this morning. Holmes is reluctant to give away any details but he is certain that Moriarty is not directly involved in this case at the Circus. However Holmes wishes to thank you for your keen perception and thoughtful approach to our dillema here.

Also, find out more about these two people. Where were they from orginally, do they have any family, or friends who might know them outside of the circus? However, I doubt you will come up with anything solid. I figure these characters are going to be quite slippery.
In the last few days since your message, I have been working on this. As you have already anticipated, I have very little to show for my investigations. There is nothing so far to incriminate either of these characters, other than their suspicious names!

Mary Roti is the offspring of an Indian from Madras who became a migrant worker in Trinidad and who won the heart of an Irish plantation owner’s daughter. Mary was the illegitimate product of their affair. She was conveyed back to Ireland as a baby and brought up on an Irish estate. She was called Mary O’shaughnessy but on coming of age she changed back to her fathers name – “Roti”.

Arty Morty became an orphan as an infant and nobody knows who his real parents were or what his original name was. He was adopted by the Circus rather than remain in the orphanage Mill. It was the circus folk who gave him the nickname “Arty” because of his artistic talent - he paints the circus caravans in a particularlly compelling style. They believe he is lucky to be alive - that he should have died - since he was sat on by an elephant and survived! They gave him the french name “Mort” meaning dead, which eventually became “Morty”.


A few other things good Sir, I do believe this business about the snakes is nothing more than a ploy to drag the lot of us through the mud, giving the real murderer a chance to retreat or at least make good upon it. I am beginning to get that feeling myself and suspect that you could well be right.
Ask if anyone in the circus is planing or was planning to take a vacaction any time soon. If you get no real answers maybe the local train stations might be of better help. None of the circus folk had definite plans to take a vacation but I have heard murmurs that some thought that Jago, the Australian Aborigine was pining for his homeland.

As for this business with the baby, confound it, it makes no sense. I have a young child myself and I know from experence that getting a child to do such a complex task is nearly impossible, given the contrary nature of children. I would guess it is just another ploy. What shrewd thinking! I am sure you are right about the limitations of such a young human and thank you for confirming it! But what do you make of those fingerprints? The prints certainly seem to indicate that the owner of them was responsible for taking the jewels! It is most bizarre.!!

But just to be on the safe side, do ask the snake charmer on where one could procure a dangerous snake. He says that there are some ships occasionally from the Asia, that dock along the Thames and if you have the right contacts, then you can pick up a snake.

I wish you good luck and hope I have provided a few leads for you. I will be replying back soon after I have heard out what you have found. Thank you and now I will give my attention to your most recent communication that I received this morning
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Thursday, April 08, 2004 - 9:30 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dear Lady Lilly

My Dear Watson,
Whilst I was pondering once more over my own mysteries I have come to a startling idea. I felt I must share this with you as soon as possible. Hopefully what I write here will at least provide a few answers to poor Max's death.
I have come to offer a suggestive profile of the man who perpitrated this crime.
I am dying to hear it!
I believe, our mastermind may not even be at the Circus at all. I am sure he had visited it once or twice but for now I am certain he is not to be found there. Furthermore I do believe this man masterminded the crime but did not actually commit it. He may have planted someone to do the deed but it is he who planned the whole thing.
I see, so you are saying that the mastermind placed a stooge in the Circus to commit the crime on his behalf?! What an intriguing concept!
This is a man who feels a need to commit grand schemes simply to fool those who try and solve them, or at least simply to test their mettle. The man will be of a brillant mind but of dark soul. Not an easy catch. Another Moriarty character?
He may have one or two of Max's treasures simply as a trophy but the most of them may have been spilt amongnst his lackies, a payment if you will. So he commits these crimes more for his own entertainment!
Looking for the mastermind at the circus may be impossible, but I am certain that his lackies are still there. And we may yet be able to corner one of them, who, once given a choice, should lead us right to the mastermind himself. A most fascinating theory

Let me give you an idea of what may have happened involving poor Max. For there is a little thing that I think deserves a little more attention, the wound in Max's side. We have established it was not fatal, true but as to how he got it, we are still in the dark. That is perfectly correct
Given the strange angle of the wound, might I suggest the wound is self inflicted? That has not been suggested before – I wonder?
Allow me my reasoning. Picture this, here is Max, most beloved of his brothers but for what reason? Perhaps not even he could understand it. For the other two brothers were so talented and he was a simple man with all the glory. Perhaps this is why he really shut himself away. He simply had no other reason to exist but being a level headed man, he did not think it wise to take his own life.
Our mastermind may have have guessed this about him and chose to exploit it. He would have one of his lackies form a bond with Max. Ask if Max could have been seeing anyone in private or was heard talking to anyone. This heartless person could have convinced Max of his short comings and even suggested sucide, noting that at least his fortune could have gone to his brothers who could do well with it. And maybe just maybe, Max even decided to do it. I follow you so far

Now picture this, Max, alone in his carriage home, holding the knife or dagger in his small handsd deciding his fate. So he your theory is that he was driven to suicide!

And now another thing comes to me, the baby's fingerprints. Could there be a possiblity that Max had a child, maybe with someone in the circus or even someone in town nearby. Anything seems possible at this juncture!
Maybe our mastermind knew this, and told his lackey to exploit that along with Max's feelings about his undeserving praise. Maybe that same lackey was there with Max. Yes, I can picture it
And I think Max might have changed his mind after the first stab and was struck with a desire to live no matter what. This would not have fallen in line with the plan but no doubt the mastermind had a back up. As to what this could have possibly been I do not know. But whatever the case, Max got the short end of the stick so to speak and found himself dead, whether he wanted it or not. The lackey could have gotten his treasures without leaving a print and could have even gotten out without anyone seeing. I see – the bid to convince Max to commit suicide was not successful and so the lacky finished off the job! That really is a most astonishing – yet plausible – theory, I must say!

Please do a complete check of Max's home again and check for any hidden doors or secret ways in. I most certainly will

I do not know if this is all correct but, I believe some of it might be. It is worth at least thinking about. I whole heartedly agree with that

I wish you the best of luck and please be careful, our mastermind could be still watching. I will be careful, I promise you that and thank you most kindly for you stimulating ideas which I will investigate immediately………..

I have discussed your ideas with Inspector Lestrade who is most impressed! We have pursued your idea of a secret entrance to the caravan belonging to Maximus and we were very hopeful about this because it would explain a good deal but unfortunately we cannot find anything. I am disappointed. I find it most frustrating and confusing. No matter how implausible it seems, the mode of exit and entry to that caravan is through the bolted door and the barred window.

I adore your theory. It fits so well, what we do know; yet it still doesn’t explain other aspects of this mystery. We still need to achieve the following:

Find a weapon.
Establish the means of entry and exit.
Identify the murderer.
Find the jewels.
Solve the mystery of the baby fingerprints.
Solve the mystery surrounding the items that were stolen and replaced.
Discover the whereabouts of the 3 missing midgets; Huppim, Muppim and Bugsy.
And probably more things that elude me just at the present!

Never the less, thank you Lady Lilly, for raising my confidence and helping to preserve my sanity, in this grim situation.

With fondness
Dr John Watson


Twis07t
dryman (Dryman)
Posted on Friday, April 09, 2004 - 5:08 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"Mary Roti is the offspring of an Indian from Madras who became a migrant worker in Trinidad and who won the heart of an Irish plantation owner’s daughter. Mary was the illegitimate product of their affair."
Watson I am afraid you have been cruelly deceived. It is my sad duty to inform you that Mary Roti is as we Yanks say "on the lam" after being fingered in a bizarre municipal cartage fiasco closely linked to organized crime, as the Chicago Sun-Times can now reveal. Apalling as it may be, apparently our sweet Miss Roti is no stranger to the likes of Nick "The Stick" LoCoco and Michael "The Gorilla" Gurgone.

Gotcha!

Mary Roti in Truck Fraud Shocker

We shall have to inform Lestrade immediately. But take care not to let Ms. Roti know of your suspicions, or you may end up at the bottom of the Thames wearing a very large pair of cement knickers!
dryman (Dryman)
Posted on Friday, April 09, 2004 - 5:19 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Watson, although there is apparently no secret exit have you thoroughly checked the caravan for any secret compartments or hollow spaces? Please give the ceiling, walls, and floor an inspection and a thorough sounding with your cane and let us know. Also, is there anything in the caravan interior to which the other end of the fishing line could have been looped or tied?
Leah Tooke (Juicyfruit)
Posted on Friday, April 09, 2004 - 3:57 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My dear Watson,

How could I have been so blind! I think I know what the murder weapon is. But first we must put it in our minds that the murderer did not have to enter Max's trailer to kill him. He or she could have done it from outside in relative silence.

What caught my attention first was your mention of the bushman and how he pinned for home. Then I recalled the marks upon Max's neck, mistaken for snake bite. My dear Watson, our bushman, if shown the wounds of Max would probably be able to tell what had made them.

The weapon I am referring to is a niffty device known as a blowgun. This hollow wooden tube, usually three to four feet in length, is placed to the mouth, filled with small darts, usually poison tipped. The owner simply has to blow hard into the tube to fire the dart. It is very silent as it makes only a light "whoosh!" noise.

My dear doctor, I am sure if the bushman is questioned he may be able to even show you the murder weapon. I think he might even suspect his own blowgun has been used to murder his bosses brother. I do not think we should blame the man though. I clearly beleive he is not at fault.

As to what the blowgun fired, check around for any darts that look like two darts for game playing stuck together. This double dart will probably produce a wound similar to the wound on Max's neck. And when you do get around to checking exactly what kind of poison is still in poor old Max, I guarantee, that it should not be snake venom.

The poison will have been very fast acting and killed Max silently. It is possible to tip or fill blowgun darts with such a poison.

And now I will address as to who the identity of the murderer. Firstly I do not believe it was Mary Roti, but she is definately in on the plan. I think the man who fired the blowgun would be none other than Arty Morty.

If you do find such a weapon, check the firing end for prints. There might be the bushman's prints there but most probably they might be in the middle. As if he picked up and handed it over to someone. If they are on the end, then ask the bushman if he showed anyone how to use the blowgun.

What draws my attention to Arty Morty is not only his name. But do look at this. Arty Morty does not sound too suscipious alone but spelled like this Morty Arty...I think you see my point. If he did use Morte, as a monkieer before, it does sound like he has or had a facination with death, he might have been able to concoct a natural poison for the dart. Check his room for any medical books or books on herbs.

Now for Mary Roti's role. What we do know is she had an affair with Max. Perhaps this is what she was supposed to do. Gain his trust and influence him. But why? Has Mary been seen around Max's carriage carrying a basket or a bundle? For here I am trying to address the baby's fingerprints.

Firstly I do not think Max and Mary had a real child together, rather Mary was supposed to make Max think that. Her great size could have been used as an excuse as to why no one saw Mary pregant, until the day she showed up with a baby claiming to be Max's.

Perhaps the jewels were not stolen, but given to Mary to keep her quiet. Perhaps even the child itself played with the treasures, which would explain the fingerprints. Do a check on Mary's room, look for any sealed boxes or hidden compartments. But do not be surprised if you find nothing. If Mary was able to secure a young child from someone in town, it would be safe to assume she could secure a hiding place for the jewels.

Be careful as not to alert either Mary or Morty and keep this letter from their sights. I still believe this to be the work of a mastermind. Not to say anything poor about Mary or Morty, but I do not beleive they would have the intelligence to put together such a scheme. Someone has to be leading them.

As for Huppin and Muppin, maybe they learned something that disturbed them and they had to leave to check it out. Does the family have a lawyer or someone who is in charge of their finances? Check Max's trailer for any signs of an offical document of some kind, look for that in Mary's room as well. I do not beleive that just the jewels were enough to warrent Max's death. Maybe he signed over his portion of his fortune to Mary and the child. The other brother's not liking the idea, may have found out about it and hurried off to a lawyer to have it explained or even changed. Did anyone see them leave? Did they take anything from their rooms? Does it look like they left for a trip?

I believe that is enough for now. We will discuss this further after you have seen to the things I have suggested, and we must hurry. I am not sure how long the jewels will still be able to be found.

And be VERY careful. If this turns out to be what I think it is, we are dealing with more than just a dead figurehead.

With Fondness
Lady Lilly
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - 9:47 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My dear Dryman!

"Mary Roti is the offspring of an Indian from Madras who became a migrant worker in Trinidad and who won the heart of an Irish plantation owner’s daughter. Mary was the illegitimate product of their affair."
Watson I am afraid you have been cruelly deceived. It is my sad duty to inform you that Mary Roti is as we Yanks say "on the lam" after being fingered in a bizarre municipal cartage fiasco closely linked to organized crime, as the Chicago Sun-Times can now reveal. Apalling as it may be, apparently our sweet Miss Roti is no stranger to the likes of Nick "The Stick" LoCoco and Michael "The Gorilla" Gurgone. This is startling information. It certainly is. Could she be the same Mary Roti that has been “on the lam” in the old colony? If so, I wonder what it all means!

We shall have to inform Lestrade immediately. But take care not to let Ms. Roti know of your suspicions, or you may end up at the bottom of the Thames wearing a very large pair of cement knickers! Yes, yes, I have informed Lestrade and we shall play dumb (as they say). If it emerges that Mary Roti is the lam lassie then I need to watch my step.
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - 9:48 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Watson, although there is apparently no secret exit have you thoroughly checked the caravan for any secret compartments or hollow spaces? Yes indeed. You are quite right to ask.

Please give the ceiling, walls, and floor an inspection and a thorough sounding with your cane and let us know. I have done as you asked and there appears to be nothing suspicious.

Also, is there anything in the caravan interior to which the other end of the fishing line could have been looped or tied? Yes there are a number of protrusions that a line could easily be tied to.
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - 9:50 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My Dear Juicyfruit

How could I have been so blind! I think I know what the murder weapon is. But first we must put it in our minds that the murderer did not have to enter Max's trailer to kill him. Quite so!
He or she could have done it from outside in relative silence. Absolutely!

What caught my attention first was your mention of the bushman and how he pinned for home. Then I recalled the marks upon Max's neck, mistaken for snake bite. Yes, yes
My dear Watson, our bushman, if shown the wounds of Max would probably be able to tell what had made them. Good idea!

The weapon I am referring to is a niffty device known as a blowgun. This hollow wooden tube, usually three to four feet in length, is placed to the mouth, filled with small darts, usually poison tipped. The owner simply has to blow hard into the tube to fire the dart. It is very silent as it makes only a light "whoosh!" noise. Yes, I know exactly what you mean. What good thinking

he may be able to even show you the murder weapon. I think he might even suspect his own blowgun has been used to murder his bosses brother. I do not think we should blame the man though. I clearly beleive he is not at fault. I have spoken to Jago,the Australian aborigine and he wants to help but says that he has never owned a blowgun or blowpipe and that this is not his field of expertise. He added that he can tell us anything that we want to know about boomerangs but not blowguns.

what the blowgun fired, check around for any darts that look like two darts for game playing stuck together. This double dart will probably produce a wound similar to the wound on Max's neck.
What a wonderful thought – I think you may have something here. Do you think that someone put two darts together to make it look like the fangs of a snake?…… Once again I have thoroughly checked Maximus caravan and there are no darts laying around. I have also done a thorough search for and asked the police and the circus folk if they know the whereabouts of any darts. Kill Bodie and Cricket the Chinaman are the only two individuals who own darts. I have carefully inspected their sets of darts. There are no two darts that are secured together. I have also tried puuting all combinations of these darts together and secured them with twine to see if they could have been used in this manner. It is theoretically possible but one thing doesn’t add up. The measurement of the space beween the two points doesn’t match the gap between the two puncture marks in the neck of Maximus corpse. However something makes me believe that you have hit upon an important principle here! Can you suggest anything else that could help us make progress here?

And when you do get around to checking exactly what kind of poison is still in poor old Max, I guarantee, that it should not be snake venom. You make a most powerful case and I for one am convinced that you are right. However I am not sure if we can check out the substance unless we ask Holmes to do that for us. I could always send him a swab of the wound and ask him to analyse it whilst he is still with his brother Mycroft. I’m sure he won’t mind. I will do that and have the results for you next time!!


The poison will have been very fast acting and killed Max silently. Yes I agree!
It is possible to tip or fill blowgun darts with such a poison. I am certain that it is!

And now I will address as to who the identity of the murderer. Firstly I do not believe it was Mary Roti, but she is definately in on the plan. I think the man who fired the blowgun would be none other than Arty Morty. Amazing – do you have any evidence? We must have the proof.

If you do find such a weapon, check the firing end for prints. There might be the bushman's prints there but most probably they might be in the middle. As if he picked up and handed it over to someone. If they are on the end, then ask the bushman if he showed anyone how to use the blowgun. I will do that but we need to find the weapon first. We have drawn a blank here so far. Do you have any ideas as to where it might be? Are you sure it was a blowgun? Unfortunately Jago cannot seem to help us, reminding me that his weapon is exclusively a boomerang.

What draws my attention to Arty Morty is not only his name. But do look at this. Arty Morty does not sound too suscipious alone but spelled like this Morty Arty...I think you see my point. Indeed!
If he did use Morte, as a monkieer before, it does sound like he has or had a facination with death, he might have been able to concoct a natural poison for the dart. Check his room for any medical books or books on herbs. I have done this. There’s nothing quite in that line except for a book describing different fungi and also he posesses literature in the following categories: classical art, art techniques, the Bible, famous explorers, the French Revolution and murder mysteries.

Now for Mary Roti's role. What we do know is she had an affair with Max. Perhaps this is what she was supposed to do. Gain his trust and influence him. But why? Has Mary been seen around Max's carriage carrying a basket or a bundle? For here I am trying to address the baby's fingerprints. The only bundles that Mary has been seen with are bundles of laundry.

Firstly I do not think Max and Mary had a real child together, rather Mary was supposed to make Max think that. Her great size could have been used as an excuse as to why no one saw Mary pregant, until the day she showed up with a baby claiming to be Max's. Do you really think so!?

Perhaps the jewels were not stolen, but given to Mary to keep her quiet. Perhaps even the child itself played with the treasures, which would explain the fingerprints. Do a check on Mary's room, look for any sealed boxes or hidden compartments. But do not be surprised if you find nothing. If Mary was able to secure a young child from someone in town, it would be safe to assume she could secure a hiding place for the jewels. My dear Juicyfruit a wonderfully fertile imagination that conjures up some of the most stimulating theories!

Be careful as not to alert either Mary or Morty and keep this letter from their sights. I still believe this to be the work of a mastermind. Not to say anything poor about Mary or Morty, but I do not beleive they would have the intelligence to put together such a scheme. Someone has to be leading them. I will keep this in mind.

As for Huppin and Muppin, maybe they learned something that disturbed them and they had to leave to check it out. Does the family have a lawyer or someone who is in charge of their finances? \b[Apparently not. They made a point of caring for all their financial matters by themselves. Obviously I cannot confirm that with that with them in their absence but there is no evidence to suggest otherwise.}

Check Max's trailer for any signs of an offical document of some kind, look for that in Mary's room as well. I have done so. Nothing to report.

I do not beleive that just the jewels were enough to warrent Max's death. Quite possibly

Maybe he signed over his portion of his fortune to Mary and the child. The other brother's not liking the idea, may have found out about it and hurried off to a lawyer to have it explained or even changed. Did anyone see them leave? Did they take anything from their rooms? Does it look like they left for a trip? Your theory is compelling but there is not a scrap of evidence to support it. None of the folk here can give us anything that helps to back up these ideas.

I believe that is enough for now. We will discuss this further after you have seen to the things I have suggested, and we must hurry. I am not sure how long the jewels will still be able to be found.

And be VERY careful. If this turns out to be what I think it is, we are dealing with more than just a dead figurehead.

I am indebted to you for the progress that we are making

Your willing servant

Dr John Watson
Leah Tooke (Juicyfruit)
Posted on Saturday, April 17, 2004 - 5:21 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dearest Watson,
Well, at least now I am sure of what I was thinking all along. Mary Roti was carrying a child around. If the laundry she was carrying was her own it would certainly be large enough to hide a small infant. The question is, where is it now. I do not think you will find a thing to lead you in the right direction on the grounds. Perhaps someone else should check around town. They might be a bit more forthfcoming.


What you found in Arty Morty's trailer gives me pause. Murder mysteries and a book on fungus? If Arty likes murder mysteries, could he have been inspired by one. Check those books out, what titles are they, who are they by, and what are they about. Let us dismiss the mastermind for now.
And that book on fungus. Well if you know fungus you know that they can be highly poisionus. Perhaps there is a fungus, or mushroom in there that could be used to make a poison. I believed all long that the poison was naturally based so it would be a good idea to read over that book.

Hmm, boomerang you say? We are going to need that bushman's help on this one. Take him to the crime scene. Ask him if a boomerang could have been used to deliver the poison in anyway, such as if needles were somehow attached to it.

Also, the fishingline you found. How long is it approximately? If it was thrown inside the carriage, to where do you think it could have come from. And I wish to have a list once more of everything that was taken from the circus staff. Perhaps this might lead us to the murderer.

This is all I can provide for now. We will have to see what happens. I wish you luck and hope I have helped at all in anyway since this whole thing started


Lady Lilly
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Wednesday, May 05, 2004 - 8:27 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dear Lady Lilly

Well, at least now I am sure of what I was thinking all along. Mary Roti was carrying a child around. If the laundry she was carrying was her own it would certainly be large enough to hide a small infant. The question is, where is it now. I do not think you will find a thing to lead you in the right direction on the grounds. Perhaps someone else should check around town. They might be a bit more forthfcoming. If you have anyone in mind I can mention it to them. Your thinking is sound but I am not yet convinced that Mary does have a secret child.


What you found in Arty Morty's trailer gives me pause. Murder mysteries and a book on fungus? If Arty likes murder mysteries, could he have been inspired by one. That is possible but we shouldn’t jump to conclusions.

Check those books out, what titles are they, who are they by, and what are they about. I managed to check those books again. The book on fungi is designed for the layman who wishes to distinguish between poisonous and safe fungi when gathering mushrooms in the wild for food. The work on murder mysteries is a work of fiction – short stories – that describes how a very clever detective and his bumbling but likeable companion solve very difficult cases that are beyond the capability of the police.

Let us dismiss the mastermind for now. okay
And that book on fungus. Well if you know fungus you know that they can be highly poisionus. Perhaps there is a fungus, or mushroom in there that could be used to make a poison. That is true

I believed all long that the poison was naturally based so it would be a good idea to read over that book. Yes I have read this book. It does point to several fungi that are highly poisonous that could kill a man if consumed. I could further conjecture that such fungi might well exist in the woods surrounding the cirucus here. However I’m not sure at this point if this would fit into the scenario of the murder that we are investigating. Assuming that the poison was somehow injected, I am doubtful that it was derived from fungi but I cannot be certain. I am sure that Holmes would know more about this.

Hmm, boomerang you say? We are going to need that bushman's help on this one. Take him to the crime scene. Ask him if a boomerang could have been used to deliver the poison in anyway, such as if needles were somehow attached to it.
I do like your reasoning and lateral imagination, it has helped me to look at things that I hadn’t previously considered. Jago agrees that needles or similar could be fixed to a boomerang and that they could be tipped with poison to successfully inject the victim of such a scheme. However, there is a problem here. He says that if a boomerang were used in the case of Maximus, then the boomerang would surely have been found at the crime scene. He says that as soon as the boomerang was to hit the victim, its flight path would come to an abrupt end – it could not return to the thrower. Jago also stated that the most skilful of boomerang throwers would find it impossble to use a boomerang successfully in such a small space.
Even if a boomerang wasn’t employed, I feel that you have all hit on the correct principles. The general idea certainly fits!


Also, the fishingline you found. How long is it approximately? The remains of fishing line that I found is quite short because it has been cut away but Kill Bodie says that several hundred yards of line was stolen from him.
If it was thrown inside the carriage, to where do you think it could have come from. The only route would have been through the barred window.
And I wish to have a list once more of everything that was taken from the circus staff. Perhaps this might lead us to the murderer. Yes, I am sure this will help:

Jago – His Boomerang is missing.
Muppim – His stilts disappeared a few days before the murder but one of them was returned soon after the murder
Kill Bodie - His prize set of fly fishing hooks and some fishing line all missing
Mary Roti – Originally two pairs of her knickers were stolen from her washing line. One pair of these knickers was returned and then disappeared several times. In fact I have lost track. I’m not even sure if they are missing or not right now! There seems to be a pattern here but I haven’t managed to find it yet.
Lilly Lustre – Her collection of sea shells and pebbles went missing many weeks ago but they all mysteriously returned!

Once again I thank you for your earnest effort in aiding the progress to a solution here. As Holmes is yet to arrive, please let me know if you have any requests of him that I can send by telegram.

Your good friend
John Watson


Holmes & Watson
Leah Tooke (Juicyfruit)
Posted on Friday, May 07, 2004 - 1:57 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I believe a survey of fungus in the surrounding area might be in order, however we must keep in mind that it is possible the poison was derived from an outside source. This is what is known about the poison,

A. it is an injected type of poison such as snake venom to use an example, and B. It kills quickly and quietly.

Holmes would know more about it than we do. You should ask him what kind of poison would fit the bill here. Once we know what exactly we are looking for things will get a lot easier.

I looked over your list of items and maybe perhaps we must discredit both Mary and Arty as possible suspects. Here now are what some of the stolen items could have been used for.

Boomerang, used to deliever the poison to Max without gaining entry to his quarters.

Fishing line and possibly the hooks, used to retrieve said boomerang without opening Max's quarters.

Stilts, now this is only hypothosising, used to elevate the murderer to a hight to properly throw and then retrive the murder weapon.

As for the knickers and the trinkets I am not sure how they fit in to all this either. But I believe the stolen items were used in this way and were of course taken by someone at the circus.

Of course now it no longer seems such a mystery that Max's brothers and the other circus midget have vanished. This may turn out to be a revenge/passion killing.

I must ponder some more and get back to you on a later date.

Sincerly,
Lady Lilly
Dena Elbling (Ladyzinga)
Posted on Monday, May 17, 2004 - 4:27 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dear Dr. Watson,

please forgive my intrusion in your case, but i have made several observations which may or may not be of use to you. having never worked on such a case before, i fear my comments may sound amateurish, at best. please bear with me, as i like t think hat i may be of some use.

firstly, although the only known set of keys was found on the victim's body, is it not perhaps possible that another set could have been made? all it would truely require is a soft material to take an imprint of said key. from there, any locksmith worth his salt aught to be able to duplicate it. at least that is my understanding.

secondly, you ouht to check for any sign of trap doors if you have not done so already. most often they are found under or behind light-weight objects. i highly doubt there will be any, but one never knows, does one?

my reasoning for these proposals is quite simple; if maximus had indeed attempted suicide, where is the knife? he could not likely have disposed of it, bleeding as he was, without some indication of it, perhaps a trail of blood or somesuch.

but as to the puncture wounds, they werent bleeding were they? was there swelling around the site? swelling with no blood generally indicates a poisoning or animal bite. most creatures which suck blood inject a substance to prevent blood clotting as well as blood loss to aid them in their feast.

and now for some things slightly less relevant. dryman, how would one be fitted for cement knickers? i have heard of concrete galoshes, but knickers? i have trouble imagining.

i only hope that i have not been detrimental to this investigation.

sincerely,
Lady Zinga