* A tale involving the “other” side of Miss Hermit. Feel free to comment *
With Tasha gone to find Mac I went upstairs to change out of the ruined dress. I really did like this one as it played off of my skin coloring. I took off the dress and slipped into a black outfit with pants as I did not want to ruin another dress when I took the body to the canal. Back downstairs I go, a bit stiffly due to the cuts starting to sting where I had placed the healing salve. Over to the body and a more complete examination.
Just at that moment Mac flies in through the front wall and slides to a stop next to me.
“Miss Hermit are you hurt? Tasha says there was sword play in your home!”
“A few cuts here and there Mac but nothing that bad.” I reply, “I have been in worse fights that this but it has been a while.”
Mac looks down at the corpse, “So has the bastard appeared yet?”
“No, he hasn’t and that surprises me. A newly created spirit normally shows itself by now.”
Mac scratches his head, “You are right. Shall I go nosing about the block and see if I can spy him?”
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“I would rather stay here with me just in case he shows up. You can also assist me with looking over the body.”
I flip the body over so it lies face up. The slit throat opens wide with a sucking sound. Quite normal when it is cut so deeply.
“He’s Japanese like you!” Mac exclaims. “What would a man be wanting to cut up a woman?”
I hold up his left hand. The tip of the little finger is missing. I then rip open his shirt and see the tattoo covered chest.
“Yakuza!” I hiss.
“Bless you” says Mac ever the gentleman when next to me.
“No, no Mac. That wasn’t a sneeze but thank you anyway. The Yakuza are the Japanese version of gangsters. Which means this was an assassination attempt rather than some sort of robbery. The tattoos suggest it but the little finger confirms it.”
I look again at the sword pieces. Placed together, they do not measure as long as the kanata sword which I carry. That means it was the shorter sword of the two that samurai carry, the wakizashi. I think now that I was very, very lucky to get away with the cuts that I received. Who knows what he could have done if we were both using the long sword, the katana?
“Remember I mentioned that I studied in England before coming here Mac? While there I read several pamphlets from a Mr. Holmes upon the subject of minute observation of a body. Seems Mr. Holmes could tell a lot about a person just by looking at him in detail. Looks like my studies in England are going to get applied here in Babbage. See the little finger?”
Mac bends over and looks at it, “He appears to have had an accident Miss Hermit.”
“Not really. That finger is cut because he did something to anger the Yakuza bosses, It’s their way of apologizing.”
Mac looks over to me, “Odd way of saying you’re sorry, no offensive meant to you of course.”
“None taken. However I can not imagine why they would be upset with me being in Babbage. It has to be something based in Japan.”
Mac looks around the room, “You know Miss Hermit, he has not appeared yet. You sure you didn’t curse him or something?”
I look about the room also. I do not want to waste time going into the space of here/not here to search for him either. Anyway, I want him out before he starts to stink up the place.
“Mac I want you to start looking for him. I have no idea what his name is nor what his spirit should look like. However, check for the shortened left finger. That will be the clue that you have him.”
“I be on it right away Miss Hermit. Tasha said that she was staying with the ladies in the graveyard for the evening. She didn’t want to be around a dead person.”
“All right then. I want to check his pockets although I highly doubt there will be a clue in them. He must have come in on a freighter. The dock master’s log might have something, at least a date of arrival.”
Mac ponders on that for a moment, “Probably not Miss. If I wanted to sneak in I would not come direct but instead would have made a couple of stops and transfers to hide my home port.”
“Point taken Mac.” I take up the body and sling it upon my shoulder. “Time to feed the fish.”
“Don’t forget the stones to weight him down Miss Hermit else he’ll come back up when his body swells.”
“Not if I make a few more holes in it Mac. Don’t worry, I know how to get rid of a body. Anyway, why would someone go looking for it in the first place.”
Off Mac goes to investigate the area and I start the task of carrying the body to the canal. As I slowly tread over the bridge to the other side and the dock area I wonder why he was sent. As much I do not want to, it looks like another pigeon will have to be sent to the Temple with a scroll full of questions.
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I step off the dock and onto the edge of the ice where the salt water of the sea meets the somewhat fresh water of the canals. A few quick incisions into the chest and the body is ready. I slide off my shoulder and watch it disappear. Mac can be a worrywart at times. Now, who would want to locate a body? I lean over the shallow ripples of the water and call out “Here fishy, fishy, fishy…dinner time.”