A Quiet Fight – Getting Information in Gaol

Getting Information in Gaol

That evening, Sergeant Roly Malcolm began the cell lock up. In a bit of peevishness, Wynn sat in his cell early and began reading a book. As Malcolm approached Wynn could hear him complaining, “Who the hell left a candle lit in that damn cell?” When Malcolm opened the cell, Wynn replied, “I did because I was reading. That is allowed unless things changed.”
Malcolm’s face paled and he whispered, “What the hell..you should be…”
Wynn rushed at the door, trapping Malcolm with his arms and whispered into Malcolm’s ear, “The word you’re looking for Roly, is dead.”
Malcolm gulped and whispered back, “Don’t know what you’re talkin ‘bout yar crazy Irish…” Then he straightened and said much louder, “Step back prisoner.”
Wynn moved back to his cot and stood with his hands behind his back. He smiled at Malcolm, “I won’t touch a hair on your head, Roly. Someone else will handle that outside.”
Malcolm frowned, “No way. You can’t”
Wynn made a rude sound, “Pbbt, communication can go both ways. Somebody had to let you know they wanted you dead. I’ve let my people know you tried.” He frowned and scratched his chin, “I would probably bring that truncheon of yours and a whistle tonight.”
Malcolm’s voice got higher as he pleaded, “You can’t do anything to me.”
Wynn smiled, “No? Maybe not. After all I am just an Irishman who doesn’t know anybody. Is that why I am in these cells?”
Malcolm swung his baton at Wynn. Wynn protected his head and collapsed to the floor. Malcolm kicked and beat Wynn, “Threaten me, will ya’ damn paddy? How’s that feel? Piece of shit should be in the sewers.” After a few minutes he stopped panting. Wynn groaned. Sergeant Malcolm spat on the floor, “you’ll be spending time in here tomorrow for threatening me.” Malcolm closed and locked the cell.
After a bit Wynn rolled up to an kneeling position and spat out some blood. “Core…not sure that was worth it.” He moved up to the desk and flipped on the music box and let it play for a moment. “Guards at night are a bitch here. They know how to kick a man when he’s down.” He closed the box and fell into the bed.

The next morning his cell did not open at the regular time. Sergeant Harvey stopped by, “Can’t let you out Wynn. Roly says you attacked him. Wynn stood up. He showed his arms which were purple with bruises. Harvey hissed, “Jesus… What’d you do? You look like you got bruises on your bruises.”
Wynn coughed a little and said, “Me back is colorful. Didn’t do anything…guess he didn’t like me still being around. Doesn’t take surprises well. ” He sat on the bed, “Stephanie and Abby should be around. Any chance they can get in?”
He looked around, “They are in the visitor’s cell. I’ll take you there after the rounds.” After he came back, he opened the door and led Wynn out. As they walked, Harvey said, “I’ve talked to Monroe. She says there things she can’t say. Says you murdered that toff. Also says that he and others were probably the ones who attacked the….”
Wynn put his finger up to mouth and hissed, “Not too loud.”
“Priggish bastards…nothing happening today.” He opened the cell door.
Wynn said quietly, “Watch your back Sergeant. Talking to Monroe might make you a target.” He moved into the cell with Stephanie and Abigail, “And now with your permission, guard. I am going going to get some water and a breakfast. I am sure there will be extra.”
Stephanie saw him and scowled, “I should’ve hit the bastard harder.” Wynn sputtered and coughed.
Abigail smiled proudly, “The girls went along. She and Kimberly.”
“And you?”
Abigail waved her hand dramatically, “Heaven’s no. I haven’t had a decent night with Alice since you lot arrived. Stephan and Jolene took care of Athena while Alice and I had our night.”
Stephanie handed Wynn a sausage and said, “Tell that fat bastard I find his taste in underwear appalling. Blue? Who wears blue underwear? And tell him, if he doesn’t cough up that name, I will cut off his balls and serve them to him.”
Wynn looked at Abigail, “Three years I work with her. The worst threat I get is being sent back to the dishes.”
Abigail watched as Stephanie cleaned up Wynn’s cuts with a wash cloth, “Oh…sometimes people get protective. Never know when it is going happen.”
Wynn took a long drink of water and winced as Stephanie cleaned a cut. He looked at Abigail through narrow eyes. “If he gives that name, something has to happen.”
Abigail started clearing dishes. “Stephan and I know that. I’ve got something to help get more information. We will get to the ring leaders before we finish.”

Author’s Note

This finishes the current scene in the Gaol.  Abigail and Stephan will take over in the next chapter.

I have started writing the climax scene. Things are moving along in that chapter.

A Quiet Fight – Breakfast in Gaol

Breakfast in Gaol

Stephanie and Abigail were in the visitor room with a basket full of savory items. Abigail set a plate in front of him and put three large banger sausage. Dispensing with propriety Wynn ate one of the sausage quickly. The headache pain eased. He washed the sausage down with a bit of apple juice and began a second. Abigail said to Stephanie, “Get a pitcher of water. Watch the guard pour it.”
Wynn took some more juice and then a bit of bread.”Oh that is sweet tasting.”
Abigail looked him and checked his eyes, “How do you feel?”
Wynn brushed away the hand and said, “Aside from the fading headache and the green piss? Just lovely.”
Abigail seated herself, “Green? Not cyanide then. Probably hemlock or wolfs bane. Fast, quiet.” She looked at him, “I am always amazed at those little machines.”
Stephanie returned with the water, “Little machines?”
Wynn stuffed another sausage in his mouth so Abigail answered, “Nanites. You have them. They are tiny machines that Millicent injected into us. They any number of bad things – disease, repair damage.” She paused and said, “And apparently deal with poison. I am allowing his atrocious manners right now because he needs protein and liquids. When the little machines work hard, they use the body as a resource. He needs to replenish some parts.”
Having finished the third banger, Wynn wiped his mouth, “I have a source in here, but I need a bit of help.” Wynn explained Thomas’ troubles.
Abigail gritted her teeth, “I hate this place sometimes.” She straightened up, “I know a solicitor versed in such matters. It may take a day or two, but I’ll get him out.”
Abigail said, “What about your man?”
“Aristocrat. Family is keeping him here as punishment. I guess they hope he sees the error of his ways. I am hoping he knows society.” He leaned forward, “Let me know when you make progress.”
Stephanie asked, “What about the guard who tried to poison you?”
Abigail smiled, “Oh I’d give a pretty penny to see his face tonight.”
Wynn cracked his knuckles, “I was hoping you would pay Sergeant Roly Malcolm a visit tonight and send my regards.”
Stephanie growled, “We’d love to.”
Wynn smiled, “Aye good lass. Roly doesn’t worry me. But the toffs in here do. If Roly doesn’t finish the job, you can bet one of those fools will try to finish it. If you could send DC Monroe for a chit chat, I’d appreciate it.”
Abigail nodded and handed Wynn an orange, “Prevents the scurvy.”

Author’s note

This is a short section. Monday will have a much larger section and close out the scene.  I like Thomas and his Rupert. It made good conversation. Unfortunately I am running out of time so I am not sure if I will be able to do much with him. I am still working on getting to the climax, so one never knows.


A Quiet Fight – Conversations on the Floor

Conversations on The Floor

Wynn grabbed the pitcher and went to the common area. Filled it with water and drank it fully. Then filled it again and started drinking a second glass. The headache dulled almost immediately. He took the pitcher back to his cell and arranged some dust so he would know if it had been tampered with. He returned to the common area and waited for someone to bring breakfast he could eat.
The cells were arranged in a very long U and stacked four stories high. The ceiling was a reinforced glass that provided a bright feeling on sunny days. The area on the floor held benches and table, water faucets and sinks, and an area for washing clothes. The open end of the U provided access to the cells and areas where the guards watched the inmates in the common area. It is also where food was prepared and linens washed, and cells where inmate meetings were held. During common time, inmates would clean clothes, eat and generally meet with others as allowed.
Wynn, as a poor Irishman and someone who had killed gentry, was generally ignored by other inmates. There was another inmate who was similarly ignored – a graying thin man, well dressed, sitting on a bench reading a book by Mary Shelly. Wynn sat down next to him. Without looking up from his book, the man said, “So desperate for conversation you’ve come to talk to me?”
Wynn leaned on the bench looking at the clumps of men staring in their direction, “I would say they were ignoring me, but that would imply they don’t care. You are ignoring them. I figuring I am safer here with you who ignores everyone.”
The man licked a finger and turned a page, “Irish, poor, killed Darrin Kipling, suspected in the Wellington Barracks attack. You can hardly expect them to be indifferent.”
Wynn smiled, “My name’s Wynn Maynard. I see you’ve read my CV. Not all that is true and there is more that is not in the rumors.” He looked at the man, “Who are you?”
The man did not look up, “Thomas Stewart, third son of the Earl of Galloway, late of Galloway and Dumfries.”
Wynn slapped Thomas’ knee, “Now, see. There ya’ go. We are practically neighbors. I come from Derry County. On a clear day, I can probably see the topiary in your family garden.”
Thomas closed his eyes and snorted. Then he laughed and kept laughing. When he finally stopped and caught his breath, “Oh to see Pater’s face when you said that.” He laughed some more and then wiped an eye. “Forgive me. Did not expect a Derry Irishman.”
Wynn added helpfully, “From the wrong side of the wall”
“As you say, did not expect an Irishman in this section.” He looked at Wynn seriously for a moment, “You do know what side we were on at Boyne.”
“Hell, I had cousins on the other side. Can’t blame a damn Scot for his heritage. Your whiskey is an abomination.”
There was more laughter. “How does a poor Derry boy end up here with gamblers, noble drunks and society’s dregs instead of down with the unwashed?”
Wynn held his nose, “That is literally true about the basement. My friends and I invested well and we avoided busts. Even here, money moves mountains. Since you know my errors, which of the three brings you to these hallowed halls of malcontents?”
Thomas face darkened, then he said quietly, “Sodomy.” He opened his book, “It was brief pleasure Mr. Maynard.”
Wynn leaned back on the bench, “Don’t be an ass. I don’t bloody care who you fancy. I prefer women with a bit ‘o bounce myself. But if you like tall lanky boys, I bet I can find someone who captures your fancy.”
Thomas put his book down and stared at Wynn, “Don’t be crude.”
Wynn scratched his chin, “You don’t like little boys, do you?. Don’t abide by that …or little girls for that matter.”
Thomas said acidly, “I prefer my men grown, thank you.”
Wynn frowned, “Still don’t get it guv. A third o’ the fancy ladies in Mayfair are men. Seems strange you being in here.”
Thomas sighed, “If you must know, my brothers had the police raid my flat while I was with someone I am…close to.”
Wynn said quietly, “The word’s love guv.” He whistled, “Damn you aristocrats make family a complicated word. What happened to the poor sod in your flat?”
Thomas closed his eyes, “Rupert’s down below. He’s been there a week.”
Wynn muttered, “Shit. It was bad enough for me. They eat the small ones down there. ”
“You have no idea. Rupert couldn’t hurt a flea.” He looked off in the distance, “Me? I suppose I will be out of here in a couple of weeks, been given some odd sentence like going to a sanitarium to cure such things. Papa’s solicitor will see to that. I will then have to return to Galloway and Dumfries, live at home, be celibate at the least, reformed and married at the worst.” He winced, “It will be some matronly hill maid with connections to some minor clan I suppose.”
“Don’t knock hill maids.”
Thomas shook his head, “The house would be terribly relieved if I made one of the house girls pregnant.”
“Bit o’ challenge when you fancy the wood cutter.”
Thomas laughed and wiped his eyes, “Just so.” The scattered groups stared at the noise. Thomas leaned in and whispered, “They’ll think we’re a couple.”
Wynn stared back at the groups and leaned back on the bench and whispered back, “Don’t bloody care, so fuck ‘em.” He paused, “What’s your por sot’s name?”
“Who?” and drug his finger up Wynn’s leg.
“Ass…your inamorato. Your Object d’ desire.”
“Listen to you. Are you sure you’re Irish?”
“As Jonathan Swift and he had two lovers who were women.” He patted the knee of Thomas, push the hand away and said, “I might be able to help Rupert, but not if your going to go all fey on me.”
“Fine. His name is Rupert Sutton. He was a clothier on The Strand.”
“Kept you well dressed, I take it.”
“Except when we weren’t.” It was Wynn’s turn to laugh. “We met when I came to his shop for a new suit. Since he was my clothier it was an easy story. And I sent him more custom.”
Wynn sighed a little. There was a time when he would have been disgusted. But the galaxy was a big place and he saw more variety of relationships than London could imagine. Abigail was happy with Alice. Why shouldn’t Thomas be happy with Rupert. “The people who will bring me breakfast will be very sympathetic and might be able to help. She will at least know a solicitor versed in this bollocks.”
Thomas looked at Wynn, “Why are you helping me?”
Wynn’s face crooked, “Not entirely good natured. I have a request. I want to know if your brothers have contact with a group called the New Order. But truth is I dont’ bloody well care who makes your world light up.” He leaned in, “The breakfast? It’s a woman who is very good at business who also happens to love another woman. They have a lovely daughter. Now if I am fine with them, can’t see as I can have a problem with you and Rupert.” After a pause, “Find out if they have any new contacts.”
There was a shout, “Maynard, you have visitors.”
Wynn smiled, “Ahh… my breakfast.”
Thomas said, “They barely speak to me.”
“Your brothers tossed you to the coppers. That costs money. Did they fund it? Did someone else? Ask about this New Order. See if they jump. If they ask how you heard, just say it was being talked about on the floor.” Wynn stretched, “Don’t know as I have enough for today, but you are welcome to join me for breakfast.”

Author’s Note

Wynn has nanotechnology in his blood that helps with injury, infection, and (in this case) poison. However the nanotechnology has to have material to do its work so it harvests from the host body.  In most cases, a person just has to eat normally and drink a bit more. However, because of the damage that was repaired, Wynn is dehydrated and needs protein and sugar.

England had sodomy laws but was very selective in their enforcement. They could be used for blackmail or, as in the case of Oscar Wilde, as a means of quieting irritating people. Otherwise, like prostitution it was tolerated behind closed doors.

A Quiet Fight – Waking in Gaol

Waking in Gaol

Wynn woke with a splitting headache. He went to the chamber pot and began his daily ministration. When he looked down, he furrowed his eyebrows. His urine was yellow green. And it wasn’t it a little bit green. It was a lime color. That explained the headache. His nanotechnology had spent the night filter an attempted poisoning. He scratched his head and looked at the water pitcher and thought twice. He was pretty sure it was the food, but he doubted that water pitcher was safer. He stretched and sat down in front of the music box and listened to its tune from the 1700’s. “Ah lass. I miss you’re cooking so much even if it did poison me once. The stuff here could make a man green. I’d do anything for a pan of sausage and some biscuits right now.” He sighed and said, “Who knows…at this rate, maybe I’ll see you soon.” He leaned his head over the water basin and washed his hair and face. His head throbbed. Well, with three years in space, he had learned a thing or two about waiting.
He sat opposite the door, crossed his legs and closed his eyes and relaxed. His could sense his heart slow and his breathing go shallow. Sometime later he could hear doors in the gaol complex opening. There was a banging on his door and the it opened, “Play time, ya Irish bastard.” Wynn stayed motionless, his head tilted a bit to one side, “Are ya coming out?” Wynn kept his breathing even and shallow. The guard paused by the door then moved into the room, “Are you ok?” The guard leaned down next to Wynn, “Big shit had to die on my watch. Going to be filling paper work for weeks.” The guard reached for Wynn’s neck.
Wynn popped his eyes open at that moment, “Don’t know about that, Jervis. I were just resting my eyes.”
The guard jumped up and back and grabbed his stick, “Jesus…what the hell.” Then began kicking Wynn, “Messing w/ me ain’t bright paddy.”
Wynn rolled to absorb the kicks, “Sorry… umph…ate something…passed out.”
The guard stopped, “Fuck me.”
Wynn winced as he pulled himself up to the shallow cot. “Still your face was priceless.”
The guard swung with his stick and missed as Wynn rolled to a side. He straightened his coat and marched to the door.
Wynn said loudly, “Sergeant Harvey, I was not lying about eating something bad last night. Someone tried to poison me.”
Sergeant Harvey paused by the door, “You are fucking criminal. An Irish famine jockey at that and you killed a toff. You expecting damn tea service.”
Wynn rubbed his eyes, “True…well don’t know about the toff…that’s a little hazy. But Sergeant Roly served my food last night. And he has a brother who works on the floor at Kimberly Airships.”
Harvey’s eyes narrowed, “So…”
Wynn said, “It was Kimberly Airship workers who started the riot. That man I…supposedly killed? He is the nephew of the director of the factory.”
Sergeant Harvey crossed his arms. Wynn continued, “I’ve go no beef with you. Stephanie Miller should be coming with some good food. I’ll share if you don’t tell Roly about me.”
Harvey said harshly, “My brother died at the barracks. I should kill you myself.”
Wynn sucked in a breath and felt his side. It was only bruised. “But you didn’t try to. Roly did. You were surprised I was on the floor.” Wynn stretched and looked at Sergeant Harvey, “I know you won’t believe me, but I am truly sorry about your brother. I might have killed that posh bastard on Bethnal Green but I did not…I did not kill your brother at the barracks. I even have an alibi for that. My people are trying to bring your brother’s killers to justice.”
Harvey sneered, “Your people?”
“Stephan, Stephanie, Abigail…others. You’ve seen them here. I know who attacked the barracks. But I can’t prove it. I don’t know how to.” He stood and said, “Now if you go all formal on me and talk to some detective about my confessing, I will deny I said anything and I will show some nasty bruising on my gut and tell them about the poisoning.”
“Why the hell should I defend you?”
Wynn stood and stretched, “Because you did not try to poison me. Because you expected me to be awake when you came in.” He narrowed his eyes, “Because the person I killed was using the same weapon that killed your brother at the barracks.” He stood up, “If you want to talk to a detective, ask for DC Beatrice Monroe. Tell her Wynn said you ought to know more. She is investigating the Barracks attack.”
Harvey used his baton to scratch his nose and then pointed it at Wynn, “I am watching you,” and left.

Author’s Note

The basis for jail is Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin, Ireland. For its time, it was considered a model of reform.  The jail had decent size cells, high ceilings, and bright lights.  Of course state of the art is something else 50 years later when Republicans were held there for separatist agitation.

I am a form of writers block at the moment. I can’t get from where I have last completed to the climax. My solution is one I have tried before with some success. Write the climax and hope a transition emerges.

A Quiet Fight – Visit at the Gaol


Fabio Freitas E Silva | Dreamstime.com – Steam punk vintage computer

Visit at the Gaol

Stephanie and Stephan arrived at Scotland Yard. Stephanie had a full basket of lunch goods and tea. DC Beatrice Monroe met them at the foyer and accompanied them to the rear of the building to the gaol. At the initial entrance, a uniformed man and woman sat the desk playing cards. Monroe coughed into her fist.
The man looked up and then stood up quickly, “Detective Monroe. What brings you here?”
Monroe said sharply, “These two will be visiting Wynn Maynard. I assume he has been moved upstairs after our conversation.”
The woman said, “That be Hobby’s job. We understand it was supposed to be done.”
“Then we’ll head on up to the open room.”
“Err..Ma’am? We need to check the bag.”
Stephanie smiled and put the bag on the desk. She added helpfully, “There are couple of cheese savory breads on the top that Wynn can’t possibly finish.”
When the woman opened the basked, the smell of fresh bread filled the room. She murmured, “Cor, smells like my grand mum’s flat.”
Stephanie said, “Take the top loaf. I’m sure we’ll be here a lot.”
The woman quickly took the loaf and glanced at DC Monroe who nodded yes. The man took a loaf as well and then opened the gate.
Monroe muttered, “Hate this place. The guards get fat. The rich prisoners get fat and the poor prisoners starve before they get to trial.” She sighed as they arrived at the desk in front of the open room. She said to the guard, “Hobby, these folks are hear to see Wynn Maynard.”
The uniformed man made a ceremony of looking at a list and then said, “There is no Wynn Maynard on this floor. You might check general.” Stephan’s stomach dropped. He could feel Stephanie’s hands tightened on the basket. She said, “I was promised.”
Monroe stiffened and then said slowly, “Mr. Miller, Miss Miller… could you wait down the hall? Officer Hanley and I have things to discuss privately.”
Stephan nodded and moved Stephanie down the hall around the corner. They could hear the conversation. There was a slam on the table and a groan, “Hobby…I passed good money to you and the others to get him moved. Are you telling me you pocketed that scratch thinking I wouldn’t notice?” Another slam.
A groan and then a mushy voice, “DC… Sergeant Stiles said ‘e had to stay in general…” Another slam.
“You know my rank?” There was a pause. “Good…You and I are making a little go round to general and Sergeant Stiles and remind him of rank.” There was a pause.
“Stop!…yah… just ….wait….Keys!”
“Certainly Hobby. Tell me the drawer and I’ll get them. Wouldn’t want you to accidentally press an alarm button.”
“Second middle.”
There was a jangling of keys and then steps. DC Monroe came out holding the desk sergeant by the neck, “Pardon me Mr. Miller. Miss Miller. Hobby and me are going to clear up a paperwork matter.”
Stephan asked, “You need help?”
Monroe laughed, “Hardly. I’ll stop by and pick up Addie at the gate. She’ll want more of those loaves.”
The officer whined “fresh loaves? You ain’t said nothin bout food.”
Monroe slammed him on the wall harshly. Stephan winced at the sound. “Now if you hadn’t welched me, you’dve found out about the benni. I gave you and Stiles a half crown each for this. Ya could have bought you own bloody loaf an and ale and still had money. Now we are going to visit Stiles and remind him of his agreement.” The desk sergeant nodded quickly and blood spattered on his face. Monroe said, “might take a little. Find a bench and get comfortable.” And she frog marched him down the stairs.
Stephanie said, “I’m worried. He could get hurt.”
Stephan smirked, “Like to see the nob who tries.” He sat on a window ledge and said, “Oh I expect he’ll have a bruise or two but nought that won’t heal proper.”
Stephanie did not look convinced. She sat next to Stephan who took out a box and began to fiddle with it. The box was tiny in his large hands but he made adjustments. Popped it open and a music tune played. He wiggled a finger at it. The figure bowed back at him. Stephanie looked at it and furrowed her brow. Stephan closed the box and put a finger to his lips.
DC Monroe returned still frog marching Hobby, the desk Sergeant. Behind them, Officer Addie was helping Wynn into the hallway. Despite Stephan’s reassurance, he looked terrible. Both eyes were black, his lips were swollen and his nose looked a little off. Stephanie gasped, “Wynn, what happened?”
Wynn coughed a little and said, “Seems I wasn’t cooperative with the constabulary.” Monroe glared at Hobby and then let him go. “And I ended up in a cell with down in out veterans who seemed to have heard I might have be part of the Barracks attack.”
Officer Addie looked angry, “Can’t say I blame them.”
Stephanie said, “He is innocent. He was with someone that entire night.”
Officer Addie let Wynn go roughly, “Beggin pardon, Miss. But they all say that as do their kin.”
Monroe said, “Don’t be too quick to judge, Addie. I am inclined to agree with Miss Miller.”
Addie tipped her cap, “I respect ye’ DC. Ye’ made it past all them guys. But the Inspector says the evidence is strong what with him being Irish and the gun.”
Monroe narrowed her eyes at the young officer. “Officer, you and I will have a private discussion. There is more than the Inspector is choosin to see. Now back to your post. And we’ll talk later.”
The officer made a quick salute and left. Stephan walked up to Wynn and said, “Want me to fix your nose?”
Wynn rubbed it and winced, “Better do it now before it sets like this.” Stephan used two hands aside Wynn’s nose pulled down and shifted. Wynn snarled, “Jesus, Stephan could you be any rougher?”
Stephan eyed Wynn’s face, “I could have broken it in the first place. It’s straight. You might have an odd crook.What do the other guys look like?” He handed Wynn a kerchief for the new gush of blood from his nose.
Wynn leaned back and held the kerchief to his nose, “’bout what you’d expect. After discussion, they left me alone.”
Monroe said, “Hard to believe, but they look worse than he does.”
Wynn coughed a little and dabbed his nose, “Most of this is from our local constabulary. Decided not to hurt them but they were none too gentle.”
Stephan said to Monroe, “Are they going to be a problem?”
Monroe puffed her cheeks out and looked over at Hobby who was nursing his own broken nose. “Short term. No. Can’t say longer term. Him being up here will keep the worst away. But he’s going to have to watch his back and check his food and rations.”
Stephanie handed over a basket, “We brought a luncheon.”
Monroe looked at the basket, “Do that every day. It will keep the guards happy too.”
Wynn smiled, “Thank ya’. I am starved. Haven’t had anything since last night.” His voice caught. He looked at Monroe, “How many dead?”
Monroe said, “Thirty five. Twenty from burns. Fifteen from injuries including that dandy you took out.”
Wynn said, “I keep telling ya, he was the one doing the killing. Had to stop him.”
Monroe whispered back, “Listen…you took out a Kipling when there was a riot around Kipling employees. He might have been killin’ like you said, but the powers that be are going to want you dancing to the hangman’s tune.”
Stephanie whispered, “We have to get him out.”
Monroe hissed, “You say nothing about that. Not in front of me and especially not in here.”
Stephan put a hand on his daughter’s arm, “We have the food, let’s eat.”
Monroe led the three to desk sergeant Hanley. “Ready for your new prisoner Officer Hanley?”
Hobby held a cloth to his nose, glared at her and then took the keys and opened the door. Inside was a sky lit corridor. There were three stories of cells and an open area at the bottom. The prisoners were well dressed and clustered in groups of three or four. He muttered, “You’ll have cell C18. Third story, other side of the hall. Visitors 10 to 2. Meals served morning and night. Inspections happen at random. You cause trouble, you’ll be back in general again.”
Monroe said lowly, “But if someone else attacks him? Hobby, if you can’t control this crowd, I will have you keeping him company in general. He will get out and you will stay down there until you retire.”
Hanley said defensively, “If he don’t cause the trouble he won’t go down.”
Wynn shrugged, “I will probably stay in my cell most of the time. Sends some books and writing stuff.”
Hanley said, “Has to be cleared.”
Stephan handed the music box, “Wynn’s Aunt sent this music box.” Stephan handed over the box. “Press the button to make it work.”
Hanley eyed it narrowly and then pressed the button. The figure twirled to a tune. “Don’t know. Could hold a weapon.” Stephan sighed and held up a half crown. Hanley smiled but said, “Other prisoners might get jealous.” Stephan held up a second half crown. He grabbed the two coins “A bit of fresh bread when you visit would be appreciated by me younguns’ ”
Stephanie frowned, “We’ll be here each day. I can bring a extra loaf and a bit of jam if we don’t have to go through this routine every time.”
Hobby handed the box to Wynn and said, “It’s hard ta’ believe a killer like you has such a nice family.”
Wynn took the box, “Cross her and you’ll find out how nice.”

Author’s Note

Gaols and insane asylums were infamous for taking pay from family and friend to secure better treatment, food and location. Of course, one can question if much as changed when prisoners viewed as “non-threatening” are place in lower security prisons with better conditions.

Wynn will spend some time here and make some new acquaintances, however I will have to eventually spring him to finish the story.