The Secret Reports Concerning The Conspiracy To Cover Up The Murder Of Crown Prince Rudolph
Including The Facts Behind The Crime Of The Fin De Siecle.
By J. E. F. Rose
……The man stood at the edge of the towering cliffs which formed the infamous Reichenbach Falls of Switzerland. His dark silhouette was framed by the light of dusk dancing off the myriad diamond-like spray of the powerful overflow of cascading waters tumbling down to the stony depths far below. He stared down bemused into the fatal cascades. “I trailed him here! He has to be here! I followed his trail! Here! He has to be here! Isn’t this the very fatal spot where Sherlock Holmes confronted his nemesis Moriarty? He has to be here! I have lured him here! For is he not my Moriarty? And am I not his Holmes? Isn’t this our final fatal confrontation? For are we not each other’s Nemesis? And it is the nature of Nemesis for one to slay the other! Or else be slain by the other!” Suddenly there was a sound behind him. A clink of a safety of a revolver. The man gestured to pull out his own shoulder hoister bound Luger. Then a pistol jabbed into his back.
“Pull out your Luger very slowly and toss it into the falls old chap! Be a good fellow! Then turn around —- slowly!” The silhouette very slowly pulled out the Luger in his shoulder hoister inside his winter coat. His hand clinched it firmly. “Don’t bother to even try my dear fellow! My gun is pressed against your back! You don’t have a chance! Be a sensible fellow! Toss the gun very slowly into the falls!” The silhouette paused and then very slightly sagged as he slowly tossed the Luger into the towering falls. Then he slowly turned around to face Dr. Watson holding a matching issue Luger almost point blank at him. “Dr. Watson I presume?” Count Bertram von Ehrenkrug said ironically. “Or is it Colonel Watson of Diogenes House?”
Watson smiled a wintery smile as the cold air of dusk blew off the icy falls to chill their faces and frost their breathes despite their winter’s coats and hats. Watson’s Luger felt cold in his gloved hand. “I have a wartime licence to kill you issued by Queen Victoria and further signed off by King Edward and now King George as well as the Spy Master of British Intelligence. As long as you were safe in your lair in Berlin that licence to kill could not be executed. In six months America will vote to enter the war. In one year your Imperial Second Reich will be dismal history! So I had to lure you out of your lair while my licence to kill was valid and the war allowed that licence to kill to be executed! So I lured you out of your lair by dangling bait in Vienna! Myself!
For the sake of the genteel aide de camp officers of the late Crown Prince Rudolph I agreed to lure you here to neutral Switzerland to do the actual hit. I thought the Reichenbach Falls would indeed be an appropriate spot considering we are mortal adversaries. The firing squad farce was a cover to protect the late Crown Prince Rudolph’s most loyal ‘Raven’, ‘Rook’, and ‘Crow’ from any repercussions. The firing squad all believed their rifle held the traditional blank. In fact all seven rifles held blanks to allow honorable soldiers of the non-commission staff to the late Crown Prince Rudolph to aid a collective pursuit for justice too long denied! I hope you approve of your death scene Count von Ehrenkrug! I certainly do!”
Ehrenkrug flinched. “What do you mean? About the mongrel Yankees? About the Yankees entering the war? They are not entering the war! They are criminal thugs! Irish drunks! Scottish drunks! English drunks! And every sort of hyphenated mongrel from every muddy blood country all over the world! A crazy quilt of muddy blood! A nation of self made commercial thugs too engrossed in profiting from this war, selling to both sides no less, to conceive of risking their sordid lives in war! Cowards one and all! Capitalistic thugs who would sell the very rope to hang themselves with!”
“But during their civil war they wounded, terrorized, or killed almost three million souls” Watson replied with a wintery smile. “Such a blood letting as no modern industrial western nation has ever witnessed before or since! Their capacity to wage merciless war when roused is blood chilling! America is a sleeping grizzly bear! Once roused the bloodiness of their rage will be fearsome!”
“But they have cowered cravenly for two years! They don’t have the guts for war! They are a nation of cheap shop keepers and petty mercantile nonentities! Ruled by Irish criminals! Masterminded by filthy Jews and Freemasons! A nation founded by Freemasons no less! Godless! Hell bound! Deviant! And cursed! Only God blesses us! For only the Imperial Second Reich has been chosen by God!”
“Do try to keep your scornful insults correct my good fellow!” Watson retorted. “We English are the nation of cheap shop keepers and petty mercantile nonentities! The Yanks are the godless Freemason World Conspiracy!”
“What are you talking about?” the Prussian shouted, suddenly agitated. “The Yankees won’t enter the war! Our experts have all assured us we could wage war on both fronts with complete success and even unleash our glorious wolf packs! Our U boats! Until the oceans of the world run red with blood! Belgium will crumble like cow bone jelly! And the Frogs will capitulate before Christmas….. I mean….. and……. and America won’t fight back! That gutless eunuch Wilson will never dare declare war! And our loyal 5th column of Pan Germans will keep the criminal classes on their knees! We are winning the war! Don’t you understand you damn Freemason! We are winning the war!”
“Alas, we are apparently either too dense or else too stubborn to realize it yet my good fellow” Watson laughed. “But yes. Your dossier on me is correct on one point only: I am a Freemason! I joined simply to piss you Junkers off! You do foam at the mouth about Jews and Freemasons! It is quite amusing! Like waving a red flag at a mad bull!”
“America won’t enter the war!” the Junker bellowed. Apparently there was something about the mere idea of America entering the war that utterly terrified the Junker.
“Oh …. well …..” Watson smiled his wintery smile as he carefully observed the effect of a potential entry of America had on the suddenly unnerved Junker. Apparently Berlin was crunching numbers about all potential scenarios including the American scenario. That was the penchant of the German mind to crunch the numbers to calculate all conceivable scenarios. And apparently the scenario of America entering the war was unnerving, even alarming. Watson filed the reaction away in his mind to report to his Spy Master Mycroft Holmes back at Diogenes House London.
“Yes. Well” Watson replied in his deceptively soft voice. “But we did not have time for your U boats to play ‘Russian Roulette’ and sink a civilian passenger steamer sooner or later which was full of famous Americans. So Diogenes House has arranged for Von Holstein to deliver a proposal to Mexico to sponsor an attack along the Mexico Border to reclaim lost Mexican territories from Texas to California! The Mexican Government is being seduced by the charm of the proposal as we speak! Of course being in the middle of a perpetual civil war they won’t be able to actually take the bait and attack America. Some of the calmer heads in Mexico City have even called it ‘delusional’. But our spies are about to deliver copies to the American Embassy in Mexico City as we speak! With copies leaked to several newspapers including Hearst of course! President Wilson will finally be forced to climb off that fence he has been precariously balancing upon and vote for war! Hearst does love to sell newspapers and war hysteria about a Mexican Invasion will sell his newspapers like hot cakes —– to use a Yank expression!”
“It is a forgery! Not even the Kaiser is that stupid!” Ehrenkrug bellowed. “No one will believe it!”
“Everyone knows von Holstein has fabricated wars before with just such forgeries! And yes! Everyone believes that Kaiser Willy in fact is that stupid!” Watson replied in his soft, bland voice of a middle class public school boy turned genteel if rather bored Harley Street doctor. “And like I said, Wilson has copies of the September Plan and drafts how to bomb and/or invade Boston and New York. Also the West Indies! Also Cuba! You chaps really must control your penchant for calculating endless scenarios! So yes! Everyone in America will believe it! Even the Mexican authorities have swallowed it hook, line, and sinker! So in six months America will enter the war. In one year the war will be over. The Imperial Second Reich will be swept up and tossed into the ash can of history! Garbage! Like you my dear chap! The personal back stabber of Kaiser Willy! You and your family have spent centuries hauling away the garbage and corpses of the Hohenzollerns! Concealing their crimes and misdemeanors! Making yourselves so very essential as the Rubbish Haulers of the Hohenzollerns! And of course using that intimate knowledge into the filth of the Hohenzollerns to blackmail them! Today your service as the Garbage Collector and Hatchet Man of the Hohenzollerns ends! Jump!”
“No! You can not forge such a thing to trick the Yankees into joining the war! That is too despicable even for Diogenes House!”
“What is good for the gander is good for the goose!” Watson replied in his deceptively soft voice. “You did not bellow when von Holstein and his rodent Smutty Petri used such foul tricks to manufacture wars on Denmark, the Habsburg Empire, Belgium, and France! Attacking one minute past midnight! Or else to assassinate fine statesmen in every country! Including Crown Prince Rudolph! Why bellow now that the shoe is on the other foot?”
“No!” the Prussian screamed. “You will have to shot me! And you will be prosecuted! The Swiss won’t recognize your wartime licence to kill! If I die! You will hang for it!”
“Oh really?” Watson replied in that bland voice he possessed. His hazel eyes twinkled. “Matching Luger such as you buy so both Lugers will wash down the falls to be found or not —– and it will be assumed to be yours as you committed suicide. For one way or another you will fall down the Reichenback Falls! A cowardly suicide! And your mangled corpse will be dragged up much battered and broken like a rotten fish! Befitting the rotter you are!”
“With a bullet inside! A suicide jumping to his death with a bullet wound? That is a crime any idiot will spot!” Ehrenkrug shouted as his eyes scanned the dense forest which encircled one side of the towering falls for help. But it was dusk and the forest and ring of mountains appeared empty of life except for the life and death drama being played out between two mortal enemies. “It won’t even be point blank! It won’t even be the correct barrel tattoo or gunpowder tattoo! It won’t even be through the correct temple! Or inside the mouth! How can a murder be ruled suicide?”
“Why not? You did! You and yours crafted Mayerling to be the most foul murder which was ruled a most foul suicide!” Watson told the arrogant Junker.
“You can’t replay Mayerling here! Unlike those damn fool Viennese! The Swiss are not so moronic! Haven’t you learned anything from your association with that fool Sherlock Holmes!”
“Well …… yes ….. actually” Watson purred. “Holmes has explained a most ingenious theory for a perfect murder. Not published of course! One must not encourage the criminal elements! But Holmes has theorized about the use of an ice bullet….. So shall we try it my dear Junker? Shall we test Sherlock Holmes’ theory of the perfect murder? With you as the test case corpse…..”
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