Lady Virginia Waite’s sixteen year old sister, Millicent, having lost both her parents, and understanding exactly how short and cruel life could be, had no mind to obey her twenty-two year old sister’s many instructions and commands. Having made her debut in London, Millicent was determined to live life to the fullest.
With that in mind, she fell in with a fast crowd of very wealthy and wild young men and women, and Arthur Twillingham was just one of the many gentlemen who found her attractive. He was perhaps the most pushy of her young would-be suitors. He would certainly have taken full advantage of her one late evening if Mason Baker, Lady Waite’s brave coachman had not intervened. Baker, a good man, did his best to keep Millicent safe, but sadly he couldn’t do enough. Millicent was welcome in places Baker simply couldn’t go.
Enamored by the mysterious Bavarian Viscount Wilhelm Erickson, Millicent spend perhaps too much time with in his company. The handsome older man made no attempt to discourage Millicent’s infatuations. In fact, he found her entertainment after entertainment, until her head was spinning with fantasies of love and marriage.
Subject to very bad headaches, perhaps a consequence of her many late nights and the ever increasing strife with her sister over her wayward behavior, Millicent eventually took the advice of her friend best friend Elizabeth Chistle and went to see Dr. Wellstone.
On first acquaintance there was something eerily familiar about the charming physician. He asked her gently about her life, inquired as to why she might be unhappy or over excited, and she described her secret hopes for a life with the Viscount, the pretense of civility she had to maintain with her sister and her sister’s husband, and her deep and silent grief over the loss of her parents.
An offhand comment the Doctor made turned her life upside down.
“Every soul has secrets,” he said, as if he fully understood the many challenges she face.
And in that moment it came to her that Dr. Wellstone and the Viscount were one and the same man. That phrase, used by both men, suddenly made it possible for her to see through all pretense.
Yet that was surely impossible.
Millicent left Wellstone’s clinic in consternation. The following night she left her sister’s house for the last time in the company of Mason Baker. He drove her to a ball offered by the Duke of Claridge where she met the Viscount. Millicent, determined to know the truth, left with the man she had longed believed she loved.
In the carriage she asked this virtual stranger if he were Dr. Wellstone merely pretending to be the Viscount.
And in that moment, he dropped all pretense and revealed the monster he was inside. For decades, the physician who had saved the lives of so many wealthy men and women had been treated like a second class citizen. Even when he began serving them by declaring members of their family mad so they could be confined forever in his clinic, they had considered him merely a useful convenience.
But as the imperious Viscount, he was treated with deference and made welcome in drawing rooms and ballrooms across the city.
The shocked and distraught Millicent was taken to Dr. Wellstone’s clinic and imprisoned in one of his basement cells.
There she met poor Gwendolyn Armstrong, a woman who’s MP husband had paid Wellstone to keep her confined as a mad woman. Gwendolyn could do nothing to help the poor girl who cried out in the night for help.
And the next morning Millicent was simply gone.
Lord James Waite, determined to find his wife’s sister, worked hard to find answers. Eventually he came to suspect the Viscount had been involved in her disappearance. His informal investigation drew him to a dark alley in the middle of the night where he hoped to speak to a woman who claimed to have seen the Gaslight Murderer face to face.
That night, James Waite died, killed by the murderer he sought, while Mason Baker looked on unaware that the Doctor pretending to aide the dying man had actually thrust the blade into his heart.
Now that you know the solution, return to the puzzle and interview the characters.
See you can get them to tell you everything they know about Wellstone, the Viscount, and the poor souls confined to Wellstone’s clinic.