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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default The Tarot Murders (IC)

    The Tarot Murders

    OoC Thread

    The sun is still yet to rise. The only light is issuing from the gas street-lights, while buildings cast shadows onto each other: piled one on top of the other all around and squeezing together, the walls and the ground always filthy it makes the darkness of early-morning London not just present, but palpably imposing. It's a clear morning, but bitterly, unseasonably cold. It rained last night, and little puddles in the potholes and between the cobbles have long since frozen over.

    In a little island of yellow light beneath one of the streetlights stands the squat form of Detective Sergeant Andrew Drell, clutching a baked potato bought from a hot potato man, buttery and peppery and wrapped in newspaper in his shivering shovel-like hands. A couple of crumbs of the potato fall off it and into the filth at his feet.

    "Dafferdils! Fresh up from Devon! Get yer missus a bunch of loverly daffs! First daffs o'the season!"


    Drell turns around and snaps: "You got any idea what time it is, mate? Anyone that's got money to spare for flowers ain't going to be up. And they ain't living round here."

    The raw-boned old man with the cart gets Sergeant Drell's drift, shuts up, and slaps his donkey on the hindquarters, leading it further into town. The Inspector and the Duke, the Russian and the Doctor come around the corner, just as the bell of the church around the corner strikes the quarter past five.

    "Your Grace. Inspector. Doc. Ah...sir. Lovely night for it, ain't it?" asks Drell, biting into the potato, ensuring that he opens wide so that he doesn't get starch onto his great, blond, walrussy moustache. "Don't reckon they could have picked a better," he mutters around his mouthful, and steam billows from his mouth into the freezing-cold air. Sighing, he chucks the uneaten half-potato into the gutter and immediately begins wringing his hands against the cold, motioning with his head to the others that they should join him as he turns away from his little oasis of light and leads the way down the alleyway.

    "It's Geoffrey Greening," he says. "that dunce of a barrister. You need to see it yourself." He steps aside as a skinny, pale, lank-haired little thing of maybe six that could be a boy or a girl trudges past in some type of smock, its feet bare, blue with cold and caked in dirt. "My heart goes out to 'em," says Drell, not sounding moved in the slightest. He pulls out a flask and swigs heartily.

    He turns a corner and heads down another alleyway, well out of the light of the street-lights. Here, a tall, rail-thin, brown-bearded constable stands blocking the way, but steps back to let Drell and the others through. "Alright, Bill?"

    "Alright, Sergeant."


    "And nobody ain't touched nothing?" The constable shakes his head.

    The alleyway is a dead-end, but a very narrow passage leads off between two buildings on the right, guarded by another constable who stands with his hands in his pockets. A horrible, cold draught bearing a smell of blood comes from the other end of the alleyway one of the buildings is a slaughterhouse (Alford, Sons & Co., Quality Meats), and the blood is allowed to drain into the gutters. A cheap doss-house occupies the majority of the left-hand side of this alleyway. The door is at the far end, behind a long, spiked wrought-iron fence that protects the front wall of the doss-house.

    Hung up on the fence is the body of a tall, terrifically obese man. One of the spikes of the fence has speared his throat, transfixing it from right to left. His face is pale and oily, his hair is black and trimmed short, as are his whiskers. His clothes are expensive and well-cut, but the back of his coat is filthy. His hat is missing, and so is his walking-stick and one of his kid gloves. He stinks of alcohol. Inside the doss-house door, sitting inside a sort of porch on a chair, is a bulky man with greying ginger hair badly in need of a wash and a cut. He grips a rattan walking-stick tightly.

    "Frankie MacFadden," says Sergeant Drell, indicating the man, who has pulled out a clay pipe and begins loading it. "Scot. Reporting witness. And this is Greening all right, saw him when I was up in court last. Alright, I'll let you get to work. You've a quarter of an hour with the scene as was before the ambulance turns up. We have to get the body out of here before the traffic really begins."
    Last edited by Xsesiv; 2015-02-01 at 07:02 PM.



    ...more scared of the living...

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    How inconsiderate. Corpses should really try and schedule their discovery better. Either in the middle of the day when we have some real light to work with, or right at the start of the night when we have some proper darkness to skulk through...

    "So, a barrister known to drink his senses away is found with his throat slit by his own fencing. Sounds.... entirely like the sort of accident we'd expect to happen to a drunkard, really." Anna skips over examining the body too closely - that's what the doctor was there for, after all - instead pausing briefly to examine one of the fence spikes that didn't have a body stuck on it. She was testing for sharpness. Most places didn't really go to the effort of having their railings sharpened. Maybe the barrister had been an exception, worried about former clients or an angry populace out to hang all the lawyers. Or maybe he'd been forced onto the spike instead.

    "Question, then. Why were we called out, and not the regular bobbies? Got to be some reason to think this is more than a peculiar accident." Quickly Anna glances over at the others.

    "Body's all yours Doc. Like the sarge said, we've got a quarter hour before they have to move it. You've got Isaac if you need him, see what you can find." Instead of going with them, Anna gestures for The Duke to follow her to where Frankie is sitting.

    "Hello, Mister MacFadden. Or can I call you Frankie?" She pauses briefly to fix him with a smile. Never hurt to try and get along with your witnesses, after all. "I know I don't look the part too well - the sarge there has the right face for mustache-growing, but mine stubbornly refuses to sprout - but I am with the police. I'm going to have to run through a few questions with you about what you've seen. I'll try not to ask you anything too intrusive. So to start with: Can you tell me what you saw happen here?"

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    Dr. Anthony Matthews glanced over the corpse a bit. He never was a fan of trying to inspect a body in the dark, so he was taking basic notes for now. Later, he could get a better examination of the body. Until then, he would simply check to see if it was the obvious cause or if it was staged. He opened a small notebook and started to scribble some findings down. Best to let the Inspector and her tag-alongs do the grunt work while he made sure that the body was properly sorted and any clues pertaining to the death or the killer were found.

    "Thank you, inspector. I think this shouldn't be too hard. Bloody unlikely that he fell on the fence unless he jumped out a window or something though." Dr. Matthews noted the height of the fence as well as blood splatter and the like to see if he died quickly or if it was a long slow death instead.
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    The inspector can see that the spikes are more decorative than functional. They are unlikely to do more than pierce skin, and it is almost inconceivable that they could be driven through a human neck without great force.

    "You're wi the coappers?" MacFadden widens his eyes, shakes his head, then looks back. "Aye, Frankie's fine. Well, I was settin' here, takin' the doass money and whatnoat, and I was guin tae get mysen something tae eat. So I went intae the kitchen, and when I turned to come back, I saw the boady there. There was a little boy fiddlin' wi the heed, but I called oot and he ran oaff. You cannae see it from where I'm settin' noo, so it cauld hae been there since three. That's the last time I got mysen some grub. And noboady's been in or oot since then."

    The doctor sees next to no blood around the body - a faint dribble here and there, of course, but nothing to suggest he bled out. On the contrary, his face is full of burst blood vessels. Too many to be from alcoholism; it's a case of smothering or strangling.
    Last edited by Xsesiv; 2015-02-02 at 05:00 PM.



    ...more scared of the living...

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    "Ah, a corpse! What a wonderful way to welcome this rosy day with its blessings of thunder and lightning."

    From the shadows into the light steps a black haired man dressed in slightly rumpled gentleman's clothes with a small hat, long cloak, and a black wood cane. The man is smiling energetically as he comes into view.

    "Inspector, I was quite pleased to hear your delinquent bobby's tones, rousing me from the warm company of a bottle of sherry. So, someone dead is it? Ah, a barrister. Not one of yours? Curious, he seems to have gone fence diving or window jumping and messed up."

    Looking up at the buildings, the man huffs slightly. "Hmm, not anywhere to jump well onto the fence and people frequently turn in midair when they fall. Rarely come down the same as when they were...jumped. Probably ended up being lifted onto the spikes, since it would require a nice number of pulleys to lower such a fat man from heights down. Pushing would be easier, but then the fat man would have tumbled and rolled."

    Walks up to the doctor. "Greetings, my fine fellow. Does this fine show taste of murder to you as well? Let me introduce myself. I am the dashing Sir James Storm, Duke of Newkirk, Hero of course. It's always wonderful to meet a man of the knife and scalpel. Do you get paid in bodies or interesting plants? I knew a doctor that frequently operated drunk since he couldn't handle a knife sober; couldn't confound what direction it went or how to hold it."
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  6. - Top - End - #6
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    The Duke's entrance was greeted by a pained wince from the Inspector - not out of any level of dislike, nor even the... insensitivity... of some of his words, when spoken in the presence of an affected witness. No, just by virtue of the heartiness of the introduction and the earliness of the morning.

    Still, best not to let Mr MacFadden concentrate on the Duke too much. At least, not until he'd remembered that he was the only noble present, and everyone else would prefer him not to insult their educations. Even if his *had* been better.

    "Do you get a lot of little boys hanging around here before dawn, Frankie? A street gang, maybe?" She'd already decided that a little boy was unlikely to have killed someone by impaling them on a blunt post. Few little boys were quite that strong... although Isaac might have been. She was in no real hurry to ask him about that. On the other hand, if there was a pack of kids that played in the nearby streets, she would have a good chance of locating another witness. She was pretty, charming, and not above bribing them with sweets. It was usually enough to get little boys to talk... Even the thieving ones, as she suspected this one would have been. It was Londoner's nature, wasn't it? A dead man on the street with coin in his pocket was just an opportunity going to waste...

    "Oh, and continuing with the standard questions. Do you know the ... former... gentleman? Had you seen him before?"

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    "Well this scene was definitely staged." Dr. Matthews dusted for fingerprints and such. "He was smothered or strangled instead of having his throat slashed." Anthony then looked for anything else that might stand out to him. If not, he waited for the others to finish.
    Minister of sarcasm and pragmatism of the Grayview fanclub.

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    James studied the corpse. "While I know it takes only one man to strangle another, I would presume it would take two or more men to lift a fat man onto a fence, unless that single man was extremely strong. So, perhaps one or more killers/murderers were involved in this. Unless, you consider vampires or werewolves but they aren't real after all."

    Moves close to the corpse but staying a few inches away and kneels down looking for foot prints. "Have we checked his pockets for anything about where he was last? or if he had been gambling? Some gamblers don't take too kindly to losing their money and are willing to kill to get it back."
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    "Aye, miss, there's a loat of kids aroond here an' aw. Noat a gang as such, but ye ken how these street kids stick togither. An' I've never seen this man before. I dinnae even ken whae he is."

    Footprints are few and far between on cobblestones, but one edge of a largeish boot has got a bit of blood on it and has been taken two steps towards the slaughterhouse's direction before the blood dried or was all rubbed off.

    The dead man's pockets produce little: the wallet and pocket-watch he undoubtedly wore are gone, but his silver wedding ring, gold signet ring and silk handkerchief have not been taken he has been robbed, but not thoroughly or meticulously. In his inner waistcoat pocket is a piece of card, about three inches by four. One side is prettily marbled, the other bears a beautifully inked design of a young man garbed romantically in a tunic, his hair flowing, a dog by his side, a pack in his hand, wearing stockings but no shoes, and about to tumble to his death over a cliff as he gazes off above him and beneath the picture is marked 0: the Fool.
    Last edited by Xsesiv; 2015-02-03 at 05:20 PM.



    ...more scared of the living...

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    James will pull on some gloves then pull out the remaining objects to describe to the doctor, allowing the doctor to make some sketches.

    Silver Wedding Ring: "It is clear our deceased fellow was married. That tells us he should have a wife or had a wife at some time. There should be some kind of maker's mark or seller's mark on the ring to told us who produced it or sold it, if my understanding from my navy mate Booze is anything to go by. He had to a marry a girl who was saying due to problems."

    Gold Signet Ring: "This type of ring usually carries some kind of family symbol. I know mine do, so we can identify what family line he came from. Some removed family members may believe they are due money and may demand it. Or perhaps he was merely wishing to indicate his worthiness to some young woman."

    Silk Hankerchief: "Such a object seems proper for a young lady of good bearing and so should be marked with her initials. Unless it was his, which means it should bear his own. Both would tell us something at the very least."

    Tarot Card, Fool: "Ah, one of those alternative card deck cards. The Fool. Clearly, we are to assume from this card that whoever strangled him thought him a fool. Or that we are all fools, which is true, but why then leave the card? There should be something like 52 cards in this alternative deck and supposedly you can have your fortune read with it. Fairy tales really but I am curious. Did our deceased lothario inquire of a gypsy fortune-teller of the success of his latest romancing? Sounds about right. if there are 52 cards, then there should be 51 more stranglings or at least we should joyfully encounter 51 more dead bodies."

    James thinks carefully and then proudly declares..."Clearly our fat man was seeing someone while being married and encountered her cross lover, who promptly strangled him and stuck him on a fence then took his wallet and pocket-watch while leaving an interesting card behind..." Ending his words while sounding unconvinced of them and frowning.
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    Isaac stood by in silence, taking in the scene and the observations of his more lawfully-inclined allies. Shivering slightly as another gust of wind cut through his massive overcoat as if it wasn't there, he took his measure of the witness, looking for any tells that he was holding something back. At the mention of the street gang, he started going over gang turfs in his head, trying to recall who which group was more in power in this area.

    The doc's analysis agreed with his observations: the spikes were too blunt and the blood wasn't spread around right for this to be just a casual, "drunk slipped and fell" kind of accident. At the mention of the card, a vague memory tickled at the back of his mind, as if he'd heard something like this before. He wracked his mind, trying to remember where he'd seen this before. Regardless, the doc was probably right: if the card was significant, there'd probably be more murders.

    That said, he didn't think the murderer was his wife; more likely, it was some self-appointed vigilante or some such person who decided to take the law into their own hands and punish people for their crimes...at least, assuming that there were more murders to come. If this remained the only murder, the "jealous wife" was a decent possibility.

    Still, he didn't think his thoughts hadn't occurred to the others as well, so he kept silent for the time being, waiting for his particular skills to prove useful. Perhaps he could help talk to the kids around here...
    Last edited by AvatarVecna; 2015-02-03 at 07:55 PM.


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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Interesting as James' speculations were, Anna had to finish up with her suspect first. So...

    "He was a barrister, and a good one, once upon a time. These days... well, when one of the constables shook me awake and mentioned something had happened to him, I thought I was going to be dragging the poor man out of a pub's back room. Again. That's what I brought the big guy for." Anna waves in Isaac's direction. "He's a little too heavy for me to drag about by myself. Or was, anyway.

    Can you tell me what the buildings across the alley are?
    "

    As she asked, Anna took another look at the scene outside. Her gaze was directed over Greenings' head, at the building opposite. Looking for windows in line with where the body ended up...

    ...After all, if you assumed he'd been tossed onto the fence, which was around the body landed was no real indication of which direction he'd been thrown from...

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    "Aye, that's a slaughterhoose, and that's anoather doass-hoose.

    Noo that I think ae it, it midnae hae been a bairn I saw. Could hae been a wee dwarf man, I suppoase."


    The silver wedding ring is hallmarked Thos. SS.

    The gold signet ring has a crest on its seal side of a seal flanked by two spears that stick from the ground, a third in the middle could be behind it or impaling it. There's a snake underneath the tableau and some words inscribed above, so tiny as to be unreadable.

    The silk handkerchief, as it's brought out, shows the blackwork monogram GG.



    ...more scared of the living...

  14. - Top - End - #14
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    James will pull out a little notebook and jot down the information with extra emphasis on the signet ring. As a noble, he should be able to find out who the crest represents and it shouldn't be turned to find out more from talking with other high society types to learn about G.G. and who that is.

    "Hmm, Thos. Clearly the name of who sold this ring. It shouldn't be a problem inquiring about who it was sold to before being given to our friend here. We can also figure out who the crest belongs to. Plus inquire after this GG person. I figure there might something to looking into the special card perhaps. I can look into the crest and this GG person."
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    Anthony decided to wait now as everything he could do at the moment was finished. He waited for the Inspector to say that she was done and where they would be going next.
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    "Thank you, Frankie, you've been very helpful. Here." Anna fishes in a pocket and comes out with a small handful of coins - 4d (approx. 2 pints of beer at the time), which she offers to him. "Some sights no-one should have to remember sober."

    Anna takes a few steps back out into the alley, pausing to examine the doss-house more closely. As she had with the buildings opposite it, she was looking for potential 'launch' points - either windows or accessible rooftops close enough to the corpse to have been places it could have been thrown from.

    As she examines the building, she hears the last of James' comments on his findings. "GG is our corpse, I'm afraid. Geoffrey Greening." Anna shrugged to herself. It's not unusual, after all - a corpse's personal effects being subtle clues to the identity of their murderer was typically only true in case of suicide. "Probably worth checking the rest if we can't find anything more urgent. Spot anything interesting?"

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    "Aye, many thanks. I'll put they tae good use, lass, soarry, detictev," announces Frankie. "Ne'er a guid drop ae Scoatch hae I hid fer laigng enough!"



    ...more scared of the living...

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    Anthony watches the man leave and waits for the inspector to tell the next move.
    Minister of sarcasm and pragmatism of the Grayview fanclub.

    No, none of us were altering the unimutable laws of physics. That would be wrong.

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    Spoiler: OOC
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    I was hoping for one of you to tell Anna what you'd found while she was talking to Frankie. Unless there are any objections, I'll just assume one of you did and go on from there.


    "Alright, people. We're on roof duty. Three buildings to check - this doss house," indicating Frankie's building, "that doss house," the one across the street "and the oh-so-fragrant slaughterhouse. We're looking for where Mr Greening was dropped or thrown from. He probably wasn't placed from the ground - too many potential witnesses, especially in the alley between two doss houses, and there wouldn't have been much time for anyone to get the body into position - and far as I can see, none of the windows around here would have been big enough. That leaves thrown from the roof - which would tie in nicely with that odd little card you found, no?

    Actually, I kinda hope I'm wrong on that part. If there's one thing I hate about those Holmes stories, it's that they keep on encouraging criminals to try and be *clever*.
    "

    With that, Anna turned back to Frankie again.

    "Hey, Frankie. Sorry to bother you again. Could I ask if you know how to get up on your doss-house's roof?"

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    "Ae coarse I dinnae. Cannae collect money an' keep an eye oan things froam the roof. Ye'll want tae talk tae Mr. Amos."

    At this point, two men bearing an ambulance arrive, followed by an ageing pair of seedy-looking men armed with dirty mops and buckets of dirtier water.

    "Alright, inspector, body's off to the morgue," says Sergeant Drell.

    The ambulance men lift the body with great effort from the fence onto it. "Do you want to perform the post-mortem, doctor, or are we leaving it to Mr. Johnstone?" asks one of the ambulance men, a slim blond called Mathewson, of Dr. Michaels, quickly and precisely. Mr. Johnstone is another police surgeon, very capable but dull.
    Last edited by Xsesiv; 2015-02-08 at 02:15 PM.



    ...more scared of the living...

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    "I think we can let Mr. Johnstone handle it. I believe my presence here is still needed." Dr. Matthews gathered his materials. "Unless the inspector thinks otherwise."
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    Crime scenes were ever the same - more conversations that she needed to keep track of than she had mouths or ears to participate in them *with*. Holding up a hand to Frankie (as a 'pause' sign), she glances back at Dr Matthews. "I can't think of any especial need for a Doctor here now the victim's gone, but I trust your brain - and your eyes. If you have no more pressing engagements, I'm certainly happy for you to stay around."

    It was back to Frankie then. "Apologies, these things always end up being a bit hectic. So, you mentioned a Mr Amos. May I ask who he is - and when and where I could meet him?"

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    "Mr. Amos is the ooner. I dinnae ken where he levs, but he coames aroond every day about eleven to tek the doass money."

    The body's carted away, and one of the old men chuck a bucket of water at the railings, clearing blood from them. One railing - the railing Greening was hung on, shows fresh, bright, shiny scars through the old wrought-iron.



    ...more scared of the living...

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    "Well if I am not needed, then I will continue and examine the body at the morgue." He tipped his hat to the inspector and followed the body back to work.
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    Default Re: The Tarot Murders (IC)

    James will inspect the scars in the railing to determine what kind of weapon he knows of or has used could possibly be used on it.

    James will try to locate a way to climb up to the roof and look around using his mad climbing skills.
    Blog Read and Comment! I use green for joking and Blue for sarcasm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Wookiee. 2 E's. [I am obsessed with this]
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  26. - Top - End - #26
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Planetar

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    England

    Default Re: The Tarot Murders (IC)

    If James needs it, Anna will assist him with his climbing attempts. If they can't find a way up to the rooftops themselves, she'll settle in to the alley to wait.

    Spoiler: Things Anna's waiting for
    Show

    Mr Amos' arrival
    The Slaughterhouse opening up for the day
    The re-appearance of the street kids
    (Whichever comes first)

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Xsesiv's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Anglyn
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Tarot Murders (IC)

    The spike on the railing has plainly been attacked - sharpened - with a file.

    If James wanted to, he could climb onto the fence, then jump to the roof of the porch, then clamber up onto the roof. This would, at the moment, require him to clamber over a likely-bemused Mr. MacFadden.

    At about half-past five, shabby, exhausted-looking men are visible from the alleyway, as they begin to congregate in the street in front of the slaughterhouse, smoking pipes, and at a quarter to six, a skinny, shabby-genteel man walks up and unlocks the door, and the men crowd in.



    ...more scared of the living...

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    By Bellevue, WA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Tarot Murders (IC)

    James will put away his notebook and cane (into a special holder in his jacket), then politely ask MacFadden to stand aside, then climb up the wall/side of the building.

    Yes, I want to clamber up to the roof!
    Blog Read and Comment! I use green for joking and Blue for sarcasm.
    Published two Kindle Books on Amazon, both are 99 cents. Ask Me about them!
    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Wookiee. 2 E's. [I am obsessed with this]
    My First Let's Play -- Temporary Haitus (I plan to get back to it eventually)

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