A few ladies hover around the petit fours and chat about this news article from America...
Excerpt (partial): from The Ravens of Solemano by Eden Unger Bowditch
The following article appeared in The New York Times, fall 1903 (actual date withheld).
FOUND DEAD IN TUNNEL
Body of Italian, Full of Stiletto Wounds, Near Jerome Park Reservoir
The body of a murdered Italian was found yesterday by John Martins, a foreman of the Jerome Park Reservoir, in the new tunnel which, when opened, will connect the reservoir with the High Bridge Aqueduct, within about 100 feet of the opening.
The body of a young man in his early 20s was in an advanced state of decomposition, although a scar was evident across the eyelid of the victim’s left eye.
Martins notified Policeman Bailey of the King’s Bridge Station and telephoned Coroner O’Gorman. When they examined the body, it was found that there were nine stiletto wounds in it—six in the back, two in the breast, and one in the stomach . . .
Near where the body had been there was found a long and murderous stiletto, with strange signs carved on the handle . .
The New York City police came to the conclusion that the young man was Italian. This was because Italian coins were found in his jacket pocket, and because his rather worn clothes had tailoring marks in Italian. The trousers, it was noted, were made in Italia.
But in truth, these were not revelations of vast importance. These were not such terribly mysterious or, in the end, even important clues. The fact that he was Italian would matter little to the police of New York City. He could have been Greek or Armenian, or even from the United States. The police would never know what had happened in that tunnel or why. In the end, they would close the case. They would call it “murder by person or persons unknown,” and only a handful of people far, far away would be faced with the darkest of facts.
The article did, however, fail to mention three terribly mysterious and infinitely more important clues. First, in the right hand of the victim was a corner of a map. It was a very tiny piece of a map that, when completely unfolded, would show, to someone who knew the region very well, a sliver of the Appennini, or Apennine, mountain range. Second, in the left hand, the victim held a fistful of black feathers. Third—and the utter and total absence of this clue from the written newspaper article was in no way the fault of the journalist, his editors, the coroner, or the police investigators at the scene, because this terribly mysterious and most important clue was gone by the time any of them even knew there was a body in that tunnel—hidden by a rock, much farther down the tunnel, in the shadows, there was an envelope, crumpled beyond recognition, with a broken wax seal and a torn note inside that, when it was intact, and the ink had not run from the wetness, and the note was legible, read simply, “They will be on the train.”
Somewhere in America, Mid-Autumn, 1903
READ the rest of the excerpt here.
or The Order of the Mysterious Men in Black
(The Young Inventors Guild)
by Eden Unger Bowditch
It has been mere days since the brilliant children of the Young Inventors Guild escaped from the clutches of the horrible Komar Romak.
They've escaped with their lovely and caring schoolteacher, Miss Brett; with their long-absent parents; and with their bizarre captors, protectors, or both--the mysterious men in black. And now they travel by train, destined for parts unknown.
But a note torn from the hand of a dead man in a New York tunnel guarantees that safety is an illusion. When the children's world is blown apart, life will never be the same again.
Soon, the children--Jasper and little Lucy Modest, from London, England; Wallace Banneker, from New York, United States; Noah Canto-Sagas, from Toronto, Canada; and Faye Vigyanveta, from Delhi, India--find themselves in the ancient Italian village of Solemano, deep in a mystery that spans centuries. As they inch toward the truth of the men in black and the secrets they keep, one terrible fact remains:
Komar Romak is still out there. He's still after them, for reasons they can't even begin to imagine.
And he knows exactly where they are . . .
From the rolling plains of America to the wide-open waters of the Atlantic, through the Strait of Gibraltar to a remarkable village in the hills of Abruzzo, Italy, The Ravens of Solemano or The Order of the Mysterious Men in Black, the second book of Eden Unger Bowditch's Young Inventors Guild trilogy, is an adventure like no other, as the children draw ever closer to the answers to the mysteries that surround them.
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