“Inspector…” Christophe summoned the man, and silently passed the cane in his direction. By now, Rhaïd’s eyes were bulging and furious, as he stood still in Joshua’s motionless grasp. Alexandra looked over at them, surprised that Joshua had not already acted, either freeing Rhaïd because of their past acquaintance, or passing the trickster servant away to another’s grasp to enable his own getaway, as it was clear that these halls were the last place that the higher-class boy wanted to be. Although Alexandra assumed then it was for the reason that he despised those with less money or power than himself, and therefore loathed being in their presence, she was about to learn that his want for freedom came from an entirely different matter.
“Drugs…” the Inspector spat, emptying the packets of white powder onto the floor.
“What?” Rhaïd grumbled.
“Hmm, it seems…” the Inspector rounded on Rhaïd. “Mr. Mahalle, who told you about the sceptre’s ‘powers’?”
Alexandra had a clue that he knew the answer already, but word of mouth would be just the evidence needed to trap their devious lieutenant.
“Just…a passing visitor,” Rhaïd’s voice could not conceal the gravity of his lie.
“Mr. Mahalle, this is a dangerous matter, and you are already deep in trouble. Perhaps an arrangement can be made if you agree to provide the police with the information.”
Rhaïd trembled, and his eyes flicked up to his the man who had him; those eyes swept forward to the gently smiling maid, then aside to the long cane which was back in Christophe’s hands. Joshua gave him a look that Alexandra would have called ‘threatening’.
“It was…” Rhaïd began.
Rhaïd closed his eyes and gathered courage. When he opened them, Alexandra was the first face he turned to.
“It was Mr. Newton.”
And with that, Joshua relinquished his grip.
“Get the cane!” he cried, before Inspector Whitting had captured him.
“I am right in guessing that it is you who is the criminali’s second-in-command, not Cynthia?” the policeman said to the struggling boy in his arms.
So… Alexandra mused for a second. The true villains, the liars, struggle, whilst the truly innocent are the ones who will be captured without a word of disagreement.
“Obviously there is more than one beastly relationship circling around Mr. Newton,” Christophe said, contempt clear in his strong voice.
“So I might be the controller, but do not act as though my behaviour is unnecessary. Those underprivileged women need lovers and they need money. Things work out perfectly.
“As for my relationship with Cynthia: it was always nothing in comparison to Daphne and I-”
“How dare you!” Mr. Winters threatened, advancing towards Joshua.
Joshua cackled again, shaking his head.
“Now she is gone, I think your pretty little maid would be a fine replacement. She’s had many eyes upon her this day, but I’d advise her to take the power I provide. Better to have a person with standing, than a butler hidden away, don’t you say, Sir? ”
“I am present, Sir,” Alexandra said, spitting out the final word as though it was the worst poison.
“Quite,” he spoke back slowly, articulating the word. “Jolly shame about the accent though. Questions are asked, and how can a man get away from saying that his lover is a servant?”
Alexandra, offended, wanted to turn away and hide her face from him, but instead, she bit her tongue, and ignored his words.
Suddenly she noticed something out the corner of her eyes. Due to Joshua’s planned distraction, nobody but Alexandra saw Rhaïd sneak off into the shadows.
“Mr. Inspector, Sir…” she began, before Rhaïd leapt out of the shadows, snatching the sceptre from Christophe’s limp grip, and pulled Alexandra along with him as he shuffled off down the corridor. She screamed and kicked out, but a hand was clasped over her mouth, and another threatened to cut off the air supply at her neck.
Choking, Alexandra was led away from her master, her law…and her love.