Mrs Macrimmon's Letter
Mrs Macrimmon’s letter, dated April 18th 1924
Dear Professor Fotheringshaw I have no idea if I have done the right thing by getting you involved in all this but I had no one else to turn to and I had to tell someone about my last days on Rum. You may not remember me, my name is Mrs Joan MaCrimmon and I have been in the employ of the Bullough family and in particular Sir George on Rum for a number of years. Where to start? It was the morning of the 13th of April and i had to go down into the cellar to retrieve some coal, not my usual duty but Isaac and Jack were becoming more and more difficult to work with and had started neglecting their duties instead helping sir George tear the house apart looking for something that they had misplaced, just that morning Isaac had been tearing great holes in the floor and pulling down all the old book cases in the library, I had offered my help but was told rather rudely to mind my business. But the first real thing I noticed was amiss that morning was when I arrived at the cellar door, it had been chained up and padlocked which was most unusual. I decided to inquire at Jack’s room as to why it had been barred but he was not in, no doubt off drinking somewhere or tearing great holes in the old walls of the Library with Isaac. I quickly found a large set of keys however and managed to unlock the door. As I entered the dark room a strong smell of death hit me and I assumed that some wild animal had been trapped and then died in the confined space. I fumbled with my lantern and soon I could see the shape of a body at the other end of the small room, I hurried over to see if I could help the man but to my horror I realised it was Sir George! It was all I could do not to scream right there in the darkness, I ran from the cellar and back into the house through the scullery door almost knocking over Isaac and another man in the process, the other man was Sir George himself! I made my excuses saying I had work to do and left, they seemed very preoccupied with their continued search and didn’t notice my obvious discomfort. I ran upstairs to get Sir George’s pistol from his dresser and it was there that I found the enclosed letter addressed to you Professor Fotheringshaw. My mind began to spin while I tried to work out what I had just seen, the body in the cellar was unmistakeably Sir George despite his partial decomposition, he was wearing his favourite smoking jacket and his silver family ring was right there on his finger. But who was the figure that I had almost knocked over in the hall and that I had been attending to this past week? It was then that a deep fear swept over me, Sir George had been acting very strangely recently and had been nothing like his usual self, I remember when it started, Sir George did not come down for his supper one evening and he never misses steak and ale pie, it was his favourite. I think it must have been the evening of the 3rd of April. That is when Sir George assisted by Isaac and Jack started their infernal search, they were knocking great holes in the walls and pulling up floorboards of many of the great rooms of the manor. Sir George also became very rude and began taking his meals in his room, he was eating very little and I even found food I had prepared for him in his bedpan. A few days later he left for Inverness with Jack while Isaac continued the search, this time he was out at the mausoleum and down by the caves. When Sir George returned he was in an even fouler mood and there was no sign of Jack. Then this morning Isaac had cornered me in the kitchen and asked me if I knew anything about you and your companions visit and if you had found and subsequently removed any old books while on the island, I said that I had no idea but that I seemed to remember your friend Maurice or Mo as he preferred carrying out some repairs in the library, Isaac flew into a rage and I thought he was going to strike me right there but they both took off at high speed in the direction of the library. It was then that I headed to the cellar and made my discovery as i mentioned earlier in my letter. So there I was sitting on the floor of Sir George’s study clutching the pistol and the letter addressed to you. I decided I needed to leave Rum immediately and as incredulous as it must surely sound to you reading this the conclusion that I had drawn was that I was in the company of murderers and indeed Sir George’s long lost twin brother returned from god only knows where. I fled for the old town on the shore and managed to find a row boat there and made the perilous journey to the mainland that night. From there I made my way on foot to my brother’s house in Inverness not wanting to arouse any suspicion as I was sure Sir George’s murderers were on my tail and would do the same to me. My progress was very slow and my brother had urged me not to get involved but it was when I saw the news in the paper of Sir George’s suicide that I decided I had to send you a letter at least telling you of what happened on Rum and to forward the letter addressed to you found in Sir George’s Study. (which I have not read) I am truly sorry to have dragged you and your friends into this but the fact that i have barely slept a wink and I feel I owe it to Sir George to try and help much more capable individuals as yourselves get to the bottom of this ghastly affair. Yours, Mrs Joan MaCrimmon P.S. I have no further wish to be contacted regarding this matter, I wish to put it from my mind and attempt to go back to my normal life.