The Voyage of the Minotaur – Chapter 7 Excerpt

The Voyage of the MinotaurIolanthe looked at her brother and narrowed her aquamarine eyes as she thought about the events of the previous morning. She had stepped into Augie’s apartment on an errand to discuss the supplies to be purchased upon arrival at Enclep, and found him lying naked on his bed. The room had reeked of alcohol. Iolanthe had grabbed the closest thing she could find, which were a pair of Augie’s trousers and beat him about the head and shoulders with them until he fought back.

“Kafira’s cross, Iolanthe!” He had shouted. “What? What do you want?”

“Go get cleaned up and dressed, Augie. I need to talk to you.”

Augie had jumped up and grabbed a pile of clothes, and as Iolanthe still whipped him with his own pair of pants, he had dashed out the hatch and down the hall to the water closet, which on the ship was called ‘the head’. While she had waited for his return, Iolanthe had looked around the tiny room in disgust at the mess. There had been clothes strewn everywhere and open and empty bottles of whiskey on every horizontal surface. Then she had noticed something in the corner. It was a pair of women’s bloomers, and peeking out from under them was something strange.

Iolanthe had bent down and picked up the bloomers, holding them at arm’s length, then retrieved the item of clothing beneath them, and examined it carefully. It was a man’s shirt, and on its front were two handprints, in what appeared to be blood. It was as if a man, his hands drenched, had wiped them on his front. Cognizant of the fact that a murder had been committed the night before, and mindful that Augie had been present at the site of a previous murder in the great city, she had quickly decided that this was a piece of evidence that could not be allowed to be found here. She had rolled up the shirt inside of the bloomers and then exited Augie’s cabin and walked through the hallway to the hatch on deck. Once there, she had quickly determined that she was alone on deck, and then had tossed both items of clothing over the side, watching them until they landed lightly upon the water and then trailed away into the distance. She didn’t believe that Augie could be guilty of murder, so any time spent investigating him would have been a waste, but murderer or not, it was in bad taste to bring it up at dinner.

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