- Author: Tedd Hawks
Book online «Beatrice: An Alarming Tale of British Murder and Woe Tedd Hawks (adult books to read .txt) 📖». Author Tedd Hawks
An Alarming Tale of British Murderand Woe
Edited byTedd Hawks
Beatriceor An Alarming Tale of British Murder and Woe
Copyright © 2021 by Tedd Hawks
Cover design by Sarah Lavere
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any formor by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording,or by any information storage retrieval system, without written permission fromthe author.
This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons living ordead is entirely coincidental.
For JJ, who is always wonderful enough to ask,
and my dad, who encouraged me to laugh.
Table of Contents
Cast of Characters
ANote from the Author
ANote on the Author’s Note
ANote on the Note about the Author’s Note
Prologue: The Complex History of the Hawsfeffers
Chapter1: The Solicitor and His Assistant
Chapter 2: Beatrice
Chapter3: A Suspicion
Chapter4: The Last Arrivals
Chapter 5: Lucinda’s Last Words
Chapter6: An Indigent and a Lady
Chapter7: A Voice in the Dark
Chapter8: The Pot Boils
Chapter9: A Perfect Night for Murder
Chapter 10: The Aftermath
Chapter 11: The Vault
Chapter12: A Prime Suspect
Chapter 13: Sleuthing
Chapter14: May’s Secret
Chapter15: A Shot in the Dark
Chapter 16: Detective Lucian Lucretian Pimento
Chapter17: Tick Tock
Chapter 18: Portraits of Death
Chapter 19: Toward the Climax
Chapter20: Bixby Ex Machina
Chapter21: Pimento, Triumphant
Chapter 22: Brontë at the Brink
Chapter 23: Crockett’s Confession
Chapter24: A Murderer’s Monologue
Chapter25: The Battle of the Tiddlymouth
Chapter 26: Martha
Chapter27: The End of the Affair
Chapter28: The Danube Mob
AnAfterword and Apology
CrockettCook—19-year-old junior solicitor, anxious around danger and the female sex
PetrarchBluster—master solicitor, rotund and joyful
The Baron(deceased)—created the estate which fell to the Hawsfeffer family, diedmysteriously
Gladys(deceased)—classically pale and sickly Victorian, (also) died mysteriously
Bixby (ex-patriated)—theatricaland garish, moved to the United States to seek his fortune
Bixby(deceased)—patriarch of the Hawsfeffers, recently died in a boating incident
Lucinda (deceased)—firstwife of Bixby Hawsfeffer, (also) died in a boating incident
Pip (BixbyHawsfeffer, Jr.)—homosexual son from Bixby’s first marriage, now in Paris
Corinthiana—secondwife of Bixby Hawsfeffer, classist, loves prolonged vowels
May—youngestdaughter of Corinthiana and Bixby Hawsfeffer, failed nun
RobertEdward Harrington—second cousin of Bixby Hawsfeffer, odd face and accent
August—marriedto June, family is known for dying under non-nefarious circumstances
June—eldestdaughter of Corinthiana and Bixby Hawsfeffer, really quite ordinary
Brontë—eldestdaughter of June and August, prone to wearing trousers, speaking her mind
Kordelia—youngestdaughter of June and August, arsonist, dramatist, oddball
Martha Smith—familymaid, served the house since Bixby Hawsfeffer’s first marriage to Lucinda
DexterFletcher—family groundskeeper, prone to theatrics and being forgotten
A Note from the Author
ToWhomsoever It May Concern:
It behooves the authorto warn the reader that the following is based on entirely almost-true events.There was an encounter with Mrs. W——’s barrister which led to the “almost”portion as select occurrences had to be altered to protect the identities of certainpersons. If the true nature of the crime were to be public, it could tarnishthe reputation of the W—— and H—— families forever. As their position in West Hampminstershireshiresociety is rather tortured as is, I have agreed to write this almost account onbehalf of Mrs. W—— and her family. The family’s need for total privacy wasovershadowed by the hope that the following text would generate a small income,enough to provide for their youngest daughter at her new French finishingschool, as opposed to the Swiss institution which had made her almost entirelyunbearable on the subject of cheeses.
Butthat aside, certain events are absolutely true.
Therewas a grisly murder.
Therewas a love story.
Therewas, indeed, a plot of much cunning to conceal all.
Ihave recorded as much of the incident as truthfully as possible. When Mrs. W—— appearedat my door, weeping about the loss of her dear friend and asking how much agood mystery book could earn a fair, gentle, middle-aged woman, I promptlyassured her that it directly correlated to the amount of gruesome details thatcould be included therein. Between sobs she assured me that there was a largeamount of such things and that, if needed, additional, tasteful gore could beadded in order to heighten tensions.
Thatwas the beginning of our story, the adventure. I write this to you at the endof it all, the barrister’s extensive notes taken into account (“Does bloodreally ‘burst with geyser-like zest’ from a papercut?”). I present to you the,henceforth named, Windham and Hogsdish families and the death of their dearfriend. It is not for the faint of heart, or those afraid of lawyers as thereare several included in the following pages, but I sincerely hope that I do thewhole complicated debacle justice.
A Note on the Author’s Note
17 March 2020
Italso may behoove you (in a rare instance of double behoovement) to know thatthis text was discovered by dumb luck while I was visiting a bookshop inLondon.
Imentioned to the store owner that I was working on my third book, a mysterynovel. His interest was immediately piqued, and he told me about his distantcousin, who had written a draft of a novel a long time ago based on eventswhich occurred in a large family. The story he described included deaths,betrayals, fallen nuns, and ghosts. He said that his cousin who wrote the novelwas prone to drink and flights of fancy and that he only sold one novel to apublisher during his entire career, a romance about a pirate and a mermaid. Thebook in question sold only forty-five copies, thirty-seven to the author’smother, Adelaide Earhart, and one to Ms. Kordelia Hawsfeffer, who went on torecommend the author to her mother to tell their family’s story.
Asthe shopkeeper told me more about this unsuccessful writer, I couldn’t help butfeel a certain connection. I, too, was an unsuccessful writer who was prone toflights of fancy and drink.
Aftera long chat, the owner agreed to give me the manuscript to clean up andpublish. I have to say that Earhart did (mostly) an excellent job on theinitial draft. My main contribution was toning down scenes of horrific violencethat, from the previous note, seem to be a device used for increasing sales. Therewere some questionable pieces added which I have largely edited out, but forthe most part, I think the text is fine in its own right and hischaracterizations are actually very good. In the end it took two bad writers toget this text to the public, but we hope that you will