From the journal of Lady Moldylocks
19 Nov. 188x
Tonight, I am writing from the near-empty lot of my former establishment The Loony Bin, sitting in front of a makeshift fire pit, logs crackling, a keg of stout at my side like a faithful pet. So much has happened since arriving in this peculiar city-state. I have had quite a run of bad luck, and can’t help but wonder if somehow if it is attributable to what the good people in India refer to as “bad karma” for past misdeeds. Who knows. Such matters don’t really concern me.
First, the brain clinic and psychiatric practice I had established floundered due to lack of patient load. I found this unusual since my impression was that so many good citizens would have clearly benefited from therapy. The brain clinic was a bust as well; although I advertised for volunteers with an enticement of beer, few came. It was all for naught, however. A few months after I opened, the building (a lovely old factory I converted) was burned to the ground. Not so much a fire as an explosion. Rumor has it that some inmates from the asylum were at fault. Nearly everything was lost, not the least of which all the lab equipment I had invested heavily in. My subsequent attempts to collect damages from the insurance company were futile, as that bastard agent left town immediately upon submission of my claim. I am having the bankers back home handle the matter now. Thankfully, I have three trusts to draw upon to meet my expenses.
Perhaps the fire was merely providence, as it came on the heels of notice that I was formally suspended from the practice of psychiatric medicine, due to a couple of failed experimentations in the lab. That’s all I will say on the matter. It was obvious I needed to start a new occupation, however, and so I chose to open a restaurant and pub.
Building The Loony Bin was a happy distraction from the devasation of the previous months. I had a grand opening, and the locals seemed to enjoy the food and drink. It was going well until a defective bomb went off all by itself (I am guessing it was an accident, since I know of no one who would do me harm) and destroyed the small dry goods store on the property. There was nothing left, all my inventory gone, the garden pub was in shambles. I did find a man’s leather shoe in the rubble, however. Nicely made, size 13. I had the workman toss it out with the rest of the burnt mess since I had little need of it, and there is no local law enforcement to bother with an official investigation.
What made me demolish The Loony Bin and the garden pub (all except the Bar of course) is a mystery even to me. As a practical matter, the restaurant was far too small, and I hated the garden area. I will not hire those landscapers again, that is a guarantee. Still, I found myself in an odd mood the next day, and began placing explosives around the property, carefully wiring each charge to the main rigging. Perhaps I should have rigged it all in a more conservative manner, but I do find such gratification in the thrill of pushing the handle down, and then the thunderous noise, and smoke, and fire, and the stench of destruction. Most invigorating, really. I felt renewed. At least I have learned one good skill here.
I will not be making any insurance claims for these damages. They were my fault. I will take the loss. The bankers are annoyed with me, but they are almost as worse as lawyers, and I do not care. The money will not run out anytime soon and I am now in America, where I can do as I like.
I have erected a new and bigger building which the Mayor recently approved. I have apologized to my patrons as best I can and have promised a new and improved Loony Bin for their enjoyment. The regulars know they can always stop by and tap the keg whenever they wish. Chef has taken this opportunity to hit the road, as he calls it, but promises to return when I reopen.
One last thing. It’s getting late and I’m feeling woozy, but I fear if I don’t put this to paper, I won’t be able to sleep. I was at the local Wednesday evening dance social earlier tonight, and somehow the topic of my three former marriages came up. It must have been the vodka talking but I admitted, in public, that I am a widow three times over, and I vaguely recall insinuating they each endured an unpleasant demise. I feel some slight shame at being indiscreet. The asylum’s head security guard, Wright, immediately picked up on whatever it was that I said and I can tell his suspicions are now aroused. I’m not overly concerned. I have been careful. Exceedingly so. My name isn’t even Moldylocks.