Posts tagged koru
Story 6: Murder on the Inira Express Part 6

“Once,” I began, “there was a boy. The boy’s name isn’t really important right now, but his parentage certainly was. He was the son of Ming Bao, the famous investigator.”

Hiri cocked his head to one side. “You had a son?”

“Don’t interrupt me.”

He looked a little surprised at being spoken to in such a way, but closed his flapping mouth.

“Now. This boy was quite happy in his early youth, astounded by his father’s wisdom and able to follow most of the deductive leaps he made. They worked well together, and the father loved his son very much.” I swallowed the lump in my throat, straining to ensure that my voice remained strong. “Everything was fine until the day that a quartet of junior officials in the empire of Koru decided that the Emperor himself represented the biggest losses for the banks and treasuries of the empire, and that he needed to be done away with. Simple, really.”

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Story 6: Murder on the Inira Express Part 5

I woke early on the final day of the journey, aware that I would need my wits about me not only to survive the day, but to ensure that those I was indebted to survived it as well. I dressed in my finest clothing, that which I reserved only for visits with heads of state; a long black jacket embroidered with silk, the embroidery mirroring the sort of style found in rich Koruans, over a white shirt, dark-blue waistcoat and matching trousers, all capped off with boots shines to the point that you could happily do your hair in them. I did, for want of a mirror in the small compartment, and folded the bed away before facing the day.

Breakfast was exquisite; apparently a large pig had gotten on to the tracks and become caught in the screw. Because of the unique design of the screw, not actually touching the rails, it meant that we were saved a nasty derailment that could potentially have killed us all and instead treated to fresh bacon and pork chops. The coffee was still below standard but my palate was, sadly, becoming used to such fare.

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Story 6: Murder on the Inira Express Part 4

Over the twenty-four hours that followed, I kept a close eye on the the various players with whom I shared First Class. Loelle came out for meals but seemed to spend much of her time resting, either asleep or merely at peace. I had conducted a brief search and discovered that her cargo was five cabins down from ours, safely stowed. It consisted mainly of finely tanned leathers, boxes of furs, linen and several cases of completed clothing. Hoping to reaffirm the dates that her husband had been delivering, sure that they provided the alibi she needed, I performed a little light-fingered reconnaissance into the Notary’s cabin while he ate his breakfast. Sure enough, the dates matched up so that, even had she travelled with her husband on his supply route, she would have been in Rida during the first two murders and still in Zar for the third.

Jef’nerin apparently preferred to spend his meals in his cabin, for I did not see him leave once during the day. For hours I turned the problem around in my head; what was his final project? In the past he had successfully kept his business ventures a secret from me. I had been aware of a shadowy figure behind several of the criminals I had apprehended, but he had never made a formal appearance and I had only been able to garner the faintest suggestions about his manner. To have Jef’nerin laid out for my study like this was… unheard of.

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Story 6: Murder on the Inira Express Part 3

I sat down at my table in the dining cabin and tucked my napkin into my shirt. The smell of pot-roasted beef, spiced rice and some of the tiny onions so common in Koruan food, mixed with hearty baked vegetables, tantalised and tempted me. As our plates were delivered to our tables, I sat back and took a moment to observe my lunchtime companion.

Her name was Loelle, and she was the woman from the compartment next to mine. Having apparently passed a comfortable night, lulled into sleep much as I was by the shushing of the rail, she had dressed in a simple shirt and trouser ensemble with riding boots up to her thighs. Exuding from every pore the attitude of ‘competent adventurer’, she had simply come and sat down opposite me without any preamble as I sampled the Express’s excuse for a coffee.

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Story 6: Murder on the Inira Express Part 2

I walked down through the carriages towards my compartment, opening my senses to every little nuance. There, a woman going to meet her lover without her husband knowing; the tan line on her ring finger, expensive shoes but worn several times and clothing that was of a lesser quality. He’d bought her the shoes and she used them whenever she could; the ring was around her neck on a chain, though. It wouldn’t last long. I passed her by and continued on. A mother and a small boy, the former feigning sleep while the latter stared out the window at the passing landscape. A travelling bard, composing something he hoped would be the next great thing. I winced as he strummed on his lute; it was unlikely, given that one of the strings was a semitone flat. I passed by them all and a dozen others besides.

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Story 6: Murder on the Inira Express Part 1

This story, in six parts, represents the one and only time I will ever write a mystery detective story without first planning every detail. As it was, I deliberately didn't plan any of this and it just kind of tumbled out.



Thirday, Morning.

Shinsun’s Cowl

A courier arrived this morning with a message for me. Apparently my tickets for the Inira Express are ready for me to pick up from the station office. I asked the courier for something official to identify him with, naturally, but he checked out.

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