It is not my purpose dear reader, to describe in any amount of detail Inspector Depta’s sly progress up the carpeted staircase and along the gallery that led round to the back of the house. Nor do I intend to recount in any detail his journey from room to room or the criminal scenes he encountered within, scenes of such infernal wickedness that he might have effected a dozen successful arrests . Suffice it to say that eventually, he lit upon the chamber in which the unfortunate Lyca McKillen slept her drugged sleep. Her innocent blonde head lay upon a brace of sparkling white pillows, and though she lay unmolested she lay not in that chamber alone! For another was there, a bearded man whose greying brow furrowed deeply as he slept, one who clutching pen and paper in his fist lay curled up upon the hearth rug snoring like a swaddled babe.
The sight of him caused Inspector Depta to reflect most morosely on the ever diminishing likelihood of his early retirement. Looking upon the prone (and therefore vulnerable) miscreant a while longer however, the Inspector thought he espied an opportunity to kick Lyca’s inconvenient abduction under the Bow Street Detective Police carpet. Garbed as he was in crumpled evening wear, highly suggestive of a night actively spent midst the flesh pots of 5 Gulliver Place, and in the arms of an under-aged woman, Inspector bethought himself that this intrepid reporter’s fate was sealed. “A more naive cove I ain’t never seen in my life! Get up! Go on! Get up!” he roared administering a hefty kick to the prone journalist lying at his feet. He glanced at the extravagantly garbed figure of this ‘intrepid reporter’ little doubting that he’d have him ensconsed within the four walls of Newgate Prison before the sun was down.
“Get up God damn ye!”
The intrepid reporter groaned and rolled to and fro clutching his bruised shin, he rubbed his shin some more, rubbed his forehead, and abruptly sitting up found himself at once greeted by a sight which though confusing to him, was most fortuitous given the rapidly unveiling circumstances.
“So, it is you Inspectah Deptaa!” exclaims he his bleary eyes alight with sudden perspicacity, “The prodigious enabler of the deflowering of our British maidenhood’s maidenhood! Servant to the satanic slaving hordes of London! You sir are a disgrace to your office! You are a disgrace to the uniform you wear sir! A disgrace!”
Adminstering another kick (this time to the reporter’s backside) causing him to sprawl on the rug, the inspector chuckled, “I ave no uniform as such, and you sir and your big mouth ave been found in the wrong place at the wrong time! Nah! Lets be ‘avin yeah! GET UP!!! I said get up!! I am arresting you in the name of all—”
Now, dear reader, let us contemplate this delightful moment in which both prone victim and bullish victor contemplate each other. Watch with bated breath as the intrepid reporter thrills responsive to the compromising position in which Inspector Depta has unwittingly put himself. To have coincidentally presented oneself, in the bedchamber of a drugged yet untainted maid on the brink of being forever ruined by a predicatorial degenerate! For it is certain that Mrs Ada did not herself call for his services! Why, here is a headline in the making! And as if lit up in blazing red letters above the inspector’s head the intrepid reporter see’s it now,’Rabidly Licentious Detective of Bow Street, Succumbs To Brothel Fuelled Depredations!’.
“Better to be bald as a Dutch cheese than to come to this!” declares the intrepid reporter a fervid gleam of triumph entering his eyes,”D’you what?!” exclaims the inspector for he has not yet grasped how precarious is his position. “Bald as a Dutch cheese! Bereft of position, reputation , of money ,than to be discovered! And in the grip of a vice such as this!” the intrepid reporter declares once more, pen gripped in hand and writing, upon that crumpled sheath of papers clasped in his ink stained hand.
“Vice?” declares the inspector looking puzzled,”Vice? Why gentlemens of eminent standing has been enjoying they-selves in the homes of licentious bawds for countless centuries!”
“With children?” asks the intrepid reporter his eyes raised momentarily from the page on which he is writing, “With what?!” bellows the indignant Inspector Depta, “With children” continues the editor of the Pall Mall Gazette calmly,”Purloined from the Spitalsfield’s Workhouse and Dispensary and sold, enslaved, to white slavers operating dens of ill-repute, such as this one. Many have recoiled in shuddering horror from places such as this! A den whose minions feast lustfully upon the flesh of our helpless maidens! And you Inspector! You uphold their dissipated depravities by failing to arrest them!”.
“Arrest them?” the Inspector is bemused,
“Arrest them! Here dwells a foul enchantress!”
“What? Mrs Fard?!”
“Arrest her! And in the scarlet room and the violet room lie two who, bestial, brutal and ferocious, would call themselves eminent politicians! Arrest them sir! Arrest them!”
If ever the inspector were to aim a blow at this imbecilic creature’s head, now would be the time. Arrest the cream of England? And merely because they had carelessly strayed from the corridors of power into Mrs Fard’s brothel? T’is beyond all contemplating so far as he is concerned. He eyes the fervent reporter (crumpled evening dress and all ), the way he would a starved rodent. Arrest a member of parliament? A member of the aristocracy come to that!
“abominable, unutterable, and worse than fables yet have feigned or fear conceived” continues the intrepid reporter his pen moving feverishly across the page, “But it is true, and the publication of these evil deeds is necessary , for here is a den of infantile iniquity and here is an inspector who supports it. In fact the more I think about it, the more I believe that your interests would be best served if you were to take me into your confidence”.
“Yes, when first did you happen upon this Minotaur’s den of iniquitous depravities ,and decide to do nothing about it?”
“Do naahthink abowt it? I’ll bloody well do something about you!” and with a bellicose roar of rage the Inspector raises his billy-club, but as he prepares to bring it down upon the head of the half prone journalist two things occur at once. The scream of an awakened child terrified by the near- spectacle of an attempted murder. And worse yet the sound of a thunderous northern voice jubilant in it’s triumph,”So! Inspectah Depta! We have you at the rattle!”,the Inspector knows and loathes that voice once it had been the voice of a potential victim, now it is the voice of an eminent politician. Pocketing his billy-club and adjusting the tilt of his heart the inspector turns on his heel and attempts to smile,”Well and if it ain’t the Union Rep!”