Challenge. It’s a 6.

When last we read about the horrific murder of yet another prostitute in London’s Whitechapel district, Chief Inspector Winston Wendall Wentworth, III was staring into the eyes of, as we will soon discover, not simply a worthy “opponent” but rather, an enigma in one Sister Mary Ephraim…

The Mystic And The Warrior | Leslee Goodman | Issue 475 | The Sun Magazine

… Sister Mary Ephraim’s foot fell silent, her steadfast, upward gaze communicating far more than words alone – “yes, you heard me correctly, it is the English language we both speak, is it not Mr. Wentworth?”

Brows reluctantly creased to form a furrow, allowing self doubt to rapidly seed, a feeling foreign to the imposing police official, instinct now whispering warning, stature was not relegated to physical height.

“It is imperative I take our sister back to our convent for proper burial preparation, our Order is specific to funerary rites; seeing as you appear to have determined this as another “Ripper” victim, there is no reason for further delay. I’ve arranged seating on the tram to Bow and will hence take passage on the North London Railway straight away so time is of the essence Mr. Wentworth, do not hinder me further in fulfilling my duties and responsibilities, I answer to a far higher power than you.”

Mesmerized, as if one of the rabble of bystanders left loitering on the perimeter of the crime scene straining to catch a glimpse of something horrific, a tidbit to share and shock amongst friends and family, Chief Inspector Winston Wendall Wentworth, III stared down at the figure speaking orders to him; feeling a gear skip inside his brain, he realized he was literally unable to respond.

Who was she, this tiny woman telling him what to do, he helpless to utter a single syllable to put her in her place, to remind her who was in control (but are you Wentworth?)

Walk On. It’s a 6.

Image result for whitechapel london 1888

Who discovered the body?!” Winston Wendall Wentworth, III, chief Inspector in London’s severely understaffed Metropolitan Police Detective Department, towered over most average Londoners at a little over 6′, height and girth bestowing a distinctive booming quality to his voice (most noticeable when barking orders at subordinates, or his wife); yet this morning, for some reason, it seemed to float like soap bubbles high above the din of a gathering crowd ready to feast on tragedy and horror.

He stood at the entrance to a dead end alley littered with newspaper and spent cigars, stained cobblestones wreaking of stale whiskey; staring down at the lifeless corpse of another prostitute, blond locks streaked with dried blood, body mutilated by multiple knife marks, he thought she couldn’t have been much older than his own daughter and realized not even the quickly dissipating fog could lift his mood, this would remain a most gray and solemn morning in the Whitechapel District; so deep in thought he barely heard the voice behind him…

“What is it, Benson, what are you trying to say, speak up and spit it out lad!” Benny (Bernard) Benson, recently promoted Sargent and newest transfer to the Detective Department, hadn’t the pleasure/displeasure of working with one Winston Wendall Wentworth, III for very long and, while no shrinking violet when the occasion demanded, he realized he was intimidated by his new boss and suddenly found himself stuttering uncharacteristically.

“I have the woman, the person, the nun, it was a nun, Inspector, what discovered the body sir, she’s standing over there…”

In the shadow of the blue and white striped awning over the entrance to the Tattersall Pub stood a woman of diminutive stature, dressed in brown tunic, white toque covering her head and shoulders with veil attached, she wore a rosary about her waist for a belt; steel blue eyes now fixed on the oversized man, she walked over to the Inspector and introduced herself, “I’m Sister Mary Ephraim, in London at the bequest of Canon Barnet, the vicar of St. Jude’s Church on Commercial Street and this woman, Inspector, is from my Order, I demand you release her body to me.”