Dr H.H. Holmes
Of course, I agreed, and with me also signing, Caleb understood to come back at some time after midday and staggered off outside. Emeline, who had been watching this pitiful performance aghast was preparing to take down names, and rates I’d give her. I just told her to leave it.
I had completed the secret door-hatch into room 18, and it just looked like a bit of irregular paneling, and Caleb wouldn’t have a clue, and I sincerely doubted his deputies would either. He had brought his own disgrace to the Hive, come out of nowhere, with his factitious religiosity, having fooled Arthur, who’d pled his case to someone senior, who no doubt would have given Caleb and – by dint of him – likely Arthur the flick because of his terrible judgement. Even I thought the Church deserved better.
Just after 1pm, a very much improved, though still not sober Caleb came with his two boys with luggage, and I took them up to their room. I gave the key to one of the boys who called himself Elliot. Then I went down to the basement to prepare my materials for the night’s mission. It was chloroform as a liquid bludgeon – if that isn’t a contradiction. Then, if needs be, proper bludgeon consisting of old chair legs, the upper sections wrapped in lead-sheet. I didn’t fear Caleb at all, assuming he’d probably be paralytic; of the boys, I had assumed that at worst, having knocked out the one with C, if awakened, I’d be noddling the other, and felt pretty confident of my chances therein. I had also considered that I could invite them down for a drink, copious amounts of alcohol to give them the pre-knock, mitigate my risk, but misgave on that.
At around 7pm Benjamin came around with his wife who I placed in the foyer with a rootbeer and rye. We went to my office and had a short conference about the corpse, where to place it. During it, I was giving quite a bit of thought towards Mrs Pitezel, although felt that any attentions towards her were inappropriate for the while. They had kids. Benjamin handed me some documents in his name and agreed to return at half-past midnight.
The Mayor should have apologized about the heat that evening; I mean the baldis might have liked it, but most humans don’t. Room 18 was a noise box, with Caleb getting up to dickens I really didn’t want to know too much about, though I did have the heads up on its likely content. I would let them get on to it for as long as it took. The drunkenness in there boded well on my part. I retired to room 12, which was de facto mine, and had a few drams of that bitter tincture of opium, tears of Madam L.
When I woke, it must have been getting on for midnight judging by the black (my watch had broken). I went out into the corridor and listened. It was mostly quiet, just some chatter and minor dickens from some quarters, some loud snoring. I headed to the ill-fated room. Nothing. It was time to act.
When I returned from the basement with the chloroform and cudgels I saw – or at least I thought I had – a ropey dubious-breed dog which loped about aimlessly and barely noticed me, or if it did, it knew I was on business and to keep shtum, and it appeared to have donated two turds, and if it was real was lucky I wasn’t on my mission, otherwise it would have been chloroformed. (I wondered about the integrity of the Hive, whether a door was open).
Entering room 17 with my materials, I was pretty skunked on M-L, but still hot to trot. Then in I went. Oh, crawling through that space, I did feel like the Queen, that rough-timber cellulose texture against my body, splinters come hither. Along I passed dragging my gear, my enthusiasm growing exponentially. Caleb was going to get his just desserts for what he’d tried on back in those depraved days. The others would be collateral damage, the pupils of his sordidness that they were.
I had peeped in in the midsection and saw little intelligence. From room 19, I saw them all asleep in bed together, the two bedside candles illuminating the abominable scene. It didn’t take much courage to go for it after that. I just burst out of the crawlspace like a jack-in-the-box, and sprung on them and smothered the three of them with C. No resistance. Easy as taking candy from a baby.
I took Caleb down to the basement first, (that damn dog was real and was following me. I would zonk it). When down there, I poured a surfeit of L down his throat and closed his chops and sealed his nose wrapped cloth over his noggin, so he had to swallow it and could hardly breath, let alone retch. I brought the other two down completely paralytic and battered them to death with the cudgels I’d left up there (they were the compromise – the Hive would get a good feast). Then I went for the dog, which I had to chase a while, but when cornered, chloroformed it took it down and chucked it into the boiler and lit her up, shut the door.
Benjamin turned up about quarter to 1. Caleb was going back on the street, where he belonged, but with the documents pertaining to Benjamin. We dumped him down in Jackson Park, just by the Statue of The Republic, carried him there in one of those canvass sacks, and no one batted an eyelid, whores and pimps and crawlers and dandies and drunks and slumped-drunks that they were.
Not long after that episode when it was established that Caleb was dead, not just a smelly drunk, long enough to raise concerns, the death in the papers, I would put in the claim. It all seemed S-P with bells and whistles. Everything seemed to be going to plan, but I was seriously concerned about the Hive. I know it must sound strange, but I wondered whether I’d given it indigestion, or even poisoned it, given the Ungodly specie of hominid I’d fed it. Well, it would let me know, no doubt.
Walking down to the post office on Wallace, June 10th it was a scorcher, and the crowd attending the Expo were about, like a spillover from the main event. I saw a baldi nest attached to a telegraph pole crosstree and felt mild fury – I wanted to swear at them, but in their own language, which I didn’t know. Standing there giving them the evil eye, they came out as if to substantiate the prospective fight. Well, I gave them obscene gestures enough to turn a young nun’s hair white or make bald, and anyone around must have taken me for a 24-carat loon. I was pretty sure I now hated the S.O.B.s. They stayed mostly pat, away from their nest like a cloud of them Faraday particles disparate and far flung arranged divergently about the buzzing nugget. “Yellabellied assholes” I hollered, then one came and was intent on stinging me, but I intercepted it and slapped it down to the road, and while it was preparing to make another go at it hell-bent, I ineffectively stomped it, and shouted obscenities at its writhing being that drew a certain amount of attention from the passersby, one of whom said “This man belongs in an asylum. Someone get hold of a Doctor.”, and I replied, “I am a Goddamn Doctor. Physician heal thyself”. Then I went about my day, posted the claim.
Last edited by Ed Dazere; 09-07-2018 at 05:24 AM..