August 4, 1892
Fall River Massachusetts
92 Second Street
Fall River was a small town laying in the fertile lands surrounding Boston. Life moved slowly out there, and rarely did anything happen of note to the outside world. To its inhabitants things of interest were always happening, and they paid close attention to everyone’s actions. At noon the people of Fall River will find themselves suddenly plunged into a situation that no one predicted would happen, no one saw happen, and the whole world would find interest in.
92 Second Street was the home of the Borden family.
In the sitting room Andrew Borden, head of the Borden family and of several local banks, lay on the sofa. At first it would seem he was sleeping, his body casually reclined on the sofa, his feet on the floor and his hands draped across his body. However, he was most certainly not breathing, and the appearance of his head would explain this. Blood covered his face, his hair, and was dribbling down across the front of his shirt and then soaking into the cushions of the couch. One side of his face was completely smashed inward; his eye having popped out of its socket lay on his cheek staring into the depths of the afterlife.
Upstairs his wife lay in the spare bedroom. Abby Borden’s plump form lay face down on the carpeted floor, and there would be no mistaking her for being asleep. A dark ring of sticky blood pooled around her head. Deep wounds dug deeply into the back of her head and upper shoulders.
Besides the obvious brutality to the victims heads nothing else was disturbed. Andrew still had an expensive pocket watch on him, along with money. Abby appeared to lay exactly where she had fallen. The two bodies slowly starting to decay in the stifling August heat were the only traces of murder. The doors and windows were intact; there were no footprints, no weapon, and no witnesses. Two other people were in and around the house at the time and neither claimed to hear or see anything amiss, and yet two people have been murdered.
Posted on 2008-07-01 at 00:35:41.
Edited on 2008-07-01 at 00:50:07 by Merideth
Murder Most Foul
92 Second Street – Borden Home
Lizzie Andrew Borden stepped into the sitting room and her eyes moved immediately to the figure of her father laying on the sofa. His head rested against the arm rest, and it was bleeding profusely. Blood was splattered over the wall and even on the ceiling above him, he did not call out for help.
“Maggie! Come quick, someone has killed father!” her voice broke the silence of the house as she ran out of the sitting room into the kitchen.
A moment later ‘Maggie’ came running down the stairs and into the kitchen.
“Don’t go in there Maggie!” waving her hand toward the sitting room door, Lizzie exclaimed, “We need a doctor, go get Dr. Bowen.”
‘Maggie’ paused for a moment then nodded, almost absently, “Yes, Lizzie” and went to the side door of the house, grabbed her shawl from a peg next to the door and headed across the street.
At the Bowen home ‘Maggie’ pounded on the door furiously. Mrs. Phoebe Bowen answered the door.
“Dear Bridget, what is it?” she asked looking surprised to see the girl at her door.
“Something’s happened, we need Dr. Bowen…” she quickly spit out.
“He’s not here dear, but he should be home soon, I’ll send him over as soon as he gets home. Everything will be fine dear.” Phoebe tried to reassure the girl who almost seemed to be shaking.
Bridget nodded a moment then dashed back across the street, she went up the side path and up to the side door. Lizzie was standing at the screen door, looking outside dazed, a tear running down her cheek.
Without going in ‘Maggie’ told Lizzie the news.
“Dr. Bowen is out, Phoebe said she would send him over as soon as he got home.”
Then she stood there waiting to see what Lizzie would say.
Lizzie blinked a moment, glanced back into the house and responded, “I can’t be alone Maggie, go find Alice Russell and ask her to come.”
‘Maggie’ nodded and headed off toward Borden Street where Mrs. Russell lived.
It took her only a few minutes to get to the Russell house, where she again pounded on the door frantically. Mrs. Russell answered, wearing a simple house dress.
Bridget again spilled out the news, “Something’s happened, Lizzie wants you to come over quick.”
“Come in, what’s happened? Let me go change…” Alice went upstairs without even waiting to hear the response and slipped into a more appropriate dress for making house calls.
Downstairs Bridget called up, “Do hurry, Lizzie said she thought there was a murder.”
“A murder! How dreadful!” Alice called back down, and a few minutes later came down the stairs in her fresh dress. “Well what are we waiting for? Lizzie must be in a terrible state…” And the two headed back to 2nd Street.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Adelaide Churchill, who lived next door to the Borden’s, returned from grocery shopping and noticed the commotion out her kitchen window. Going to her kitchen door she called out to Lizzie who she saw standing just inside the side door. “Lizzie, what is the matter?”
“Oh, Addie, do come over! Someone has killed father!” Lizzie called out, sounding a bit relieved finally.
Leaving her groceries Addie rushed over, Lizzie let her in. “Where is he?” She immediately asked.
“He’s in the sitting room, it’s awful Addie… just awful.”
“Where were you when it happened?”
“Out in the barn, looking for a piece of iron, when I came back the screen door was open, and I found him.” She shook her head a little.
“And where is Abby?”
Lizzie shook her head again, “Not here, she had a note to see a sick friend…”
“Addie can you see if Dr. Bowen is back yet?”
“Of course…” And she hurried out of the house.
Outside she ran into John Cunningham, she told him that there had been a murder at he Borden house and could he call the police or a doctor. Cunningham ran off to find a phone, he did, but first he called the Fall River Globe to tell them to get a reporter down to the Borden home immediately. He then called the police station.
Marshall Hilliard had just finished a patrol of Main Street, he stepped into the coolness of the police station, and the phone rang, noting that the clock on the wall said 11:15 he answered it.
“Marshall Hilliard here…”
“Marshall, there has been a row at the Borden house.”
“I’ll send someone over.” He hung up the phone and looked over at Officer George Allen, who was typing up a report in the corner.
“Alright, you’re up. Second Street, the Borden’s go find out what is going on.”
“Kay boss…” George got up, put on his hat and started out the door.
Meanwhile back on 2nd Street Mrs. Churchill had told everyone she could on the street and worked her way back into the house. Dr. Bowen had returned home and his wife sent him across the street, he found Lizzie and Addie in the kitchen.
“Lizzie, what happened?” He asked her as she let him.
“Oh, Dr. Bowen! I was out in the barn looking for iron, and came back in to find father murdered.” She spoke quickly, ushering him into the kitchen, then pointed at the sitting room door. “He’s in there Dr. Bowen, I just…”
“There, there, stay here and I’ll go take a look.” Dr. Bowen walked into the sitting room, and took a few minutes to exam the obviously dead Andrew Borden. He came back into the kitchen, finding that Bridget had returned with Alice Russell, and sighed sadly.
“He is gone Lizzie, is Emma still in Fairhaven?”
Lizzie sat down in a chair and nodded.
“Shall I send for her for you?”
Lizzie nodded again.
“Alright. Bridget, can we get a sheet to cover Mr. Borden up with?”
Bridget’s eyes widened a little and she started to shake her head “I’m not going in there…”
“I’ll go with you.” Mrs. Churchill offered quickly, the two women looked at each other then stood up.
“Thank you ladies, I’ll be back in a short while.” Dr. Bowen headed off with his medical bag to the telegram station a few blocks away, where he sent Emma a message telling her her father was dead and that she was needed back home.
In Fairhaven Emma received the message and immediately threw her things in her bag, rushing to the train station and just making the twelve o’clock train back to Fall River.
In the house Bridget and Mrs. Churchill went into the sitting room to get the key off the mantel, then hurried out again, going up the back stairs to the master bedroom. Mrs. Churchill unlocked the door and followed Bridget in who found a sheet in the linen closet. They came back down with it, then went back into the sitting room, quickly covered the body with the sheet and put the key back on the mantel.
Lizzie sat in the kitchen with Alice, who was offering to loosen her dress, “I’m not going to faint…” was her response.
While the ladies waited for Dr. Bowen to return Officer Allen appeared. News had been spreading already and a small group stood outside the house talking, they directed him to the side door. He knocked and Mrs. Churchill came to the door. He was directed by the ladies to the sitting room.
Walking into the room he noticed the body under the sheet, and lifted it to take a peek. The body was dead. Looking around Allen noted that there were no signs of struggle, the windows were closed, the furniture all appeared to be where it was. He did a quick inspection of the first floor, checking the dining room, parlour and finally the front entry way, finding the front door bolted. Returning to the kitchen he told the women to stay in the kitchen and that he would return with help.
On his way to the police station he found Charles Sawyer a local painter among the crowd outside, he deputized him and told him to stand guard at the side door, and to allow only police to enter and exit the house. He then ran back to the police station to get Marshall Hilliard.
In the house Lizzie asked the women around her, “You know, I’m almost certain I heard Abby come in, perhaps she went upstairs, should someone go check?”
“We should…” Mrs. Churchill agreed and looked at ‘Maggie’ again. Nodding a little the two women stood up.
Again they ventured into the sitting room and to the front hall, ‘Maggie’ leading the way. They mounted the front stairs, nearly at the top ‘Maggie’ paused for a moment, and let out a startled exclamation, and hurried the rest of the way up the stairs.
The guest bedroom door was open and ‘Maggie’ rushed in, she threw open the shutters on the window, and looked down at the body of Abby Borden, laying on the floor on the far side of the bed, face down, the blood pooling around her head.
“Abby too!” She called to Mrs. Churchill who stood on the stairs still. Paling considerably Mrs. Churchill beckoned to ‘Maggie’ to come back down, who came immediately and the two went back to the kitchen where they told Lizzie and Alice what they found upstairs.
A moment later Sawyer let Dr. Bowen back into the house, he went upstairs and looked at Mrs. Borden’s body, then came back down and asked Bridget and Mrs. Churchill to also cover her body with a sheet. The two went through the same procedure they had for the first body to do so.
Once Officer Allen arrived back at the police station he quickly informed Marshall Hilliard that Mr. Borden was dead. Hilliard shoved his hat back on his head and headed to 92 Second Street immediately.
The crowd outside the house grew, Sawyer managed to keep all but Dr. Bowen out of the house, but not necessarily the yard. One of the curious onlookers was Dr. Dolan, who had been in town on an errand. When he heard the rumours in the crowd that a murder had happened inside, he realized he was suddenly on duty. He rushed back to his buggy on Main Street to get his bag.
Meanwhile Hilliard arrived at the house and stepped into the kitchen. A moment later Dr. Dolan approached Sawyer with his doctors bag and explained to him who he was.
The time was 11:30 AM.
((OOC: I believe that explains where everyone is. Hilliard and Dr. Dolan have just arrived on the scene. Lizzie and Bridget along with Dr. Bowen, Addie Churchill and Alice Russell are in the kitchen. Emma is on her way, she will make the noon train and should be back in the house in an hour by my estimation.))
Bridget stands over to the side, slightly fidgeting nervously with her apron, and breathing a bit deeper than usual; she had just run around quite a bit after all. She glances over at Lizzie for a moment, before walking over.
"Lizzie, did you want me to get you anything? Tea or something else to drink?" Bridget asks a bit hesitantly, her tone comforting and gentle.
Bridget looks up and nods to Rufus, then glances once more at Lizzie. "I'll be right back." She says, her tone trying to be comforting, but just wavering slightly at the edge of perception.
Bridget follows Rufus into the next room, and sits opposite Rufus (provided such an arrangement is possible). She smooths the front of her apron with her left hand, seemingly out of habit; her right hand is shaking slightly. She looks at Rufus much like any other notable guest of the house; with respect and perhaps a bit of uncertainty behind her tranquil appearance, the uncertainty of a waitress asking a patron if they would like anything else when it just may be unnecessary.
"Would you like a cup of tea or coffee?" Bridget asks habitually, her voice wavering slightly out of a forced image of serenity.
"I..." Her voice trails off, "I just can't believe it."
She chokes slightly, and once more brings herself to an unsteady-yet-calm demeanour.
"Was there anything in particular you wanted to ask?" Bridget asks hesitantly, "Or... well, where would you like me to begin?"
Posted on 2008-07-08 at 05:44:35.
Edited on 2008-07-08 at 05:48:48 by Reralae
Lizzie still sat in the chair in the kitchen.
When Hilliard brushed in she was about to respond to 'Maggie' but the officer's presence made her stop. She watched as he marched into her house and took over.
Nodding slightly to 'Maggie' as she left Lizzie turned to Alice and whispered something to her. Alice nodded and started to rub Lizzie's hand gently.
Mrs. Churchill almost looked pleased to be questioned so promptly and followed Fleet out into the parlour through the dining room.
It was a depressingly normal afternoon and a particularly hot one.
Sweat had begun to spot his rather expensive business suit, much to his annoyance, creating small wet patches in the fine white fabric. He sighed heavily, taking off his hat to fan himself with an air of desperation, and sneezed as the feather in its brim tickled his nose. No simple trip to the pharmaceuticals was worth the carefully rakish outfit, but as a confirmed bachelor and a man of high status he enjoyed taking pride in his appearance even for a simple jaunt into town.
His feet beat a slow, lachrymose tattoo against the earth, faded grey eyes fixed ahead of him, ever so often diverting from their path to take in the quaint little houses that characterised this particular street. He paused, from his view point, easily able to take in a view of the ground and a rapidly drying puddle left over from a brief summer rainstorm.
He gazed at his reflection with some dissatisfaction.
It was not an unpleasant face, he surmised, staring intently at his doppelganger, but nor was it pleasant. It was a melancholy, rather austere face, and nothing particularly good could be said about it. He looked…he looked tired, worn down some how. Surely his line of work was not the cause of his physical decline? His current duty as Medical Examiner for Bristol County could not be called entirely stressful but nor was it interesting. It was an idyllic sort of place, he remarked to himself idly. Boring, even. Certainly there was a lack of something to do. He caught himself longing vaguely for something to happen.
There was a thick, labyrinthine crowd surrounding one of the houses on his route, and all about him he felt the inhospitable buzz of panic, hovering like an enraged horde of insects. Faintly curious, he crossed the street, and with a practised eye, noted the address at once through the maze of humanity. 92 Second Street, it was, and was completely foreign to him. He threaded a bit more through the crowd, and then, mustering his latent social skills, tapped one of the passersby lightly on the shoulder.
“What happened here”, he inquired quietly.
He told him.
Entering the house, he immediately noticed the Marshall. He blinked once as he registered his order and managed a very small smile. “I shall try my very best to find out what killed them, Rufus”, he replied stiffly.
“After all, that is what I am for, am I not?”
With a slight apology he left them and hailed a buggy, and a half hour later returned with his things and in proper clothes. Searching for Rufus, he made his way into the kitchen and hesitated at the sight of Lizzie. “Miss Borden, I presume”, he stated gently, nodding to her. “I am Dr. Dolan. Would you be so kind as to show me where the bodies are located?’
Calmly he opened up his worn bag and slipped on a pair of gloves.
“I’m afraid I have some work to do”.
Posted on 2008-07-08 at 23:54:37.
Edited on 2008-07-09 at 01:54:23 by Septimus Sandalwood
Bridget, accustomed to taking care of people's material needs first, excuses herself for just a moment to put the tea kettle on. Returning to the kitchen, she methodically pulls out the tea kettle, and pours in enough water for six cups, and sets it on the stove. She lights a match and quickly places it on the wood to ignite it. She returns to the dining room immediately after, with a quick glance to Lizzie that indicates that she hadn't exactly returned yet.
The act of doing something 'normal' seems to ease Bridget, and her hand stops shaking.
"I'm afraid there wasn't anything strange that I could tell doing my work, although I do pay a bit too much attention to it rather than my surroundings." Bridget says, "And I wasn't feeling all that well either; I threw up earlier today after breakfast. Does that mean anything?" She asks skeptically.
"Oh, and what kind of tea would you like?" Bridget asks, "Black with a hint of jasmine, chamomile, peppermint, or black with a hint of strawberry?"
Lizzie looked over at the man who called himself Dr. Dolan, a sour looking man to be honest. She wrinkled her face a little bit at him, especially when he suggested that she show him the bodies.
Dr. Bowen who was still milling about in the kitchen smiled at Dr. Dolan and extended his hand.
"Dr. Bowen, I'm the family physician, I live across the street. Perhaps I could be of assistance to you, I've already done brief examinations of the bodies, I think it might be best if I show you where they are, Lizzie is in a fragile state right now. If you'll follow me..."
Bowen started to lead the way. For as well dressed and lean as Dolan was Bowen was his opposite. Short, almost pug, with black hair receding at the temples and beady blue eyes. Today he was dressed in a grey flannel suit that had obviously seen many previous wearings.
On his way out of the kitchen he picked up his bag from the kitchen table and then moved from the kitchen into the sitting room.
"Mr. Borden..." He said with a small flourish at the figure laying under the sheet on the sofa.
"I had the maid get sheets to cover up both of the bodies. I've moved them very little, it was pretty obvious they were dead and there was little I could do for them. Let me know what I can assist you with sir." Bowen stepped back to let Dr. Dolan look over the first body.
Rufus gladly accepted some good old fashioned accommodations. It helped him to focus on his work.
"I'm afraid chamomile puts me straight to sleep... I think peppermint will keep me lively though. Thank you ma'am.
"Now, perhaps you noticed something too routine - someone strangely walking by or stopping in at the same time, an object missing for too long, letters arriving, perhaps your work was made easier or more difficult by something or someone."
Emma Borden watched silently from the window of the train as the landscape of southeastern Massachusetts coasted by. The only sound was the clacking of iron on iron as the train moved steadily along it’s pre-determined route from Fairhaven to Fall River. Her hands, folded in her lap, clutched a dainty lace handkerchief which had been used frequently since she had received a telegram form Dr. Dolan informing her of her father and stepmother's deaths just that morning.
She had been visiting with friends in Fairhaven, about 20 miles southeast of Fall River since the day before and had even sent Lizzie, her younger sister, an invitation to join her. When the news of the murders reached her she was having tea and catching up on old times. Visibly shaken, Emma enlisted the help of her friend to escort her to the train station where she just made the noon boarding.
Posted on 2008-07-09 at 17:07:48.
Edited on 2008-07-09 at 17:09:34 by Lyskhala
Bridget thinks for a moment, bringing her right hand up to her chin as she thinks hard about the morning. Her train of thought is interrupted by the high pitched whistle of steam billowing from the kettle's spout.
"Just a moment." Bridget says, returning to the kitchen. Swiftly she takes out a tray and three cups, and pours a generous amount of hot water in all three. She then leaves the kettle on the stove, although she puts out the flames somewhat. Reaching into a drawer, she lifts the tops off of three different jars, and puts a tea bag from each into each of the three cups.
"Chamomile for Lizzie I'd think, jasmine for me, and peppermint for the marshall." she murmurs, memorizing the cup's locations on the tray, before leaving them to steep for a couple minutes, returning to the dining room in the meantime for a brief moment, sitting back in her chair and thinking some more.
"I'm afraid nothing really comes to mind, although I'd be the wrong person to ask; my job is all about routines, and when washing the windows as I was today, I'm afraid I don't pay much attention to what's beyond them." Bridget replies to Rufus.
She then returns to check on the tea, and, thinking that it'd be fine even though it hadn't sat for all that long, Bridget takes out the tea bags. She places each cup in a saucer, each with a different floral pattern despite the cups being the same, and sets the chamomile tea in front of Lizzie, along with a miniature pitcher of milk and a small container of sugar with a spoon. Bridget then returns to the dining room with the two others, along with a second set of milk and sugar, just in case. She passes the peppermint tea over to Rufus, and offers the milk and sugar, before taking her own cup without any; she always preferred her tea plain.
"I put in enough water for two cups, so please tell me if you'd like a second." Bridget says before taking a sip from her cup, enjoying the subtle taste.
Posted on 2008-07-10 at 00:42:27.
Edited on 2008-07-10 at 00:43:49 by Reralae
Lizzie watched as all of this was going on around her. Alice kept up her minstrations all the while.
When Bridget moved to get the milk Lizzie suddenly stood up and moved over to the ice box where Bridget was.
"Not the milk Bridget, I fear someone may have poisoned it. Take the sugar, I think the sugar is okay..."
Her voice was high pitched as she spoke, and reached to grab the bottle of milk out of Bridget's hands.
Across the room Alice came over as well. "Now Lizzie, I think that is a little absurd, I know you thougth something about poison the other day, but your father and Mrs. Borden were not killed by poison. Calm down dear and let Bridget get back to Marshall Hilliard. Come come and sit down..." Alice put her hand on the small of Lizzie's back as to lead her back to the chair.
"No. I think it might have been poisoned. Maybe whoever did this tried the poison first and then... and then... did that" waving her hand in the direction of the rest of the house, "when the poison didn't work. Don't serve the milk Maggie..."
Her eyes met 'Maggie's' for a moment, and while her voice was a bit high pitched she was other than that in control, except her eyes which churned like ocean water hitting cliffs.
"Come on Lizzie, sit down will you. I'll go see if Dr. Bowen can give you something to calm your nerves, your just upset." Alice tried again.
Nodding slightly Lizzie started to move toward the chair again.
((OOC: Room here for Bridget to interact as needed))