Inquest On Death of Long-Lost Heir Breaks Up In Some Disorder
The Case of “Tichborne Again” Is Complicated By Claimant’s Sudden Death
Dramatic End Of A Sordid Business
The latest chapter in the most sensational controversy of the new century opened on Sunday, October 5th, when the man who claimed to be Mr. Merridew Wavering was found dead at the base of a cliff on the vast Wavering Estate. Mr. Merridew Wavering, only son of the main branch of the wealthy (and for wealthy, read “filthy rich”) Wavering Family, and heir to a vast fortune (and for “vast fortune,” read “so much money we feel ill even thinking about it”), disappeared ten years ago, while doing a Grand Tour of some of the more insalubrious haunts of vice on The Continent. His mother, Vera Wavering, has never ceased believing that her son is alive, and thus never changed her will. Now teetering on the brink of the grave herself, she insisted that advertisements be placed in all the Continental papers, or all the ones that an English Gentleman might peruse, at any rate, summoning Merridew Wavering home to his mother’s death-bed- and his vast inheritance.
The advertisements certainly summoned- something. We would not like to say whether or not it summoned the intended party, not in print, at any rate. We are rather vocal on the subject in more domestic and less litigious contexts.
And, had we placed any bets on the outcome of this bizarre affair, we fear that The Claimant’s death would have rendered these null and void; at least, that is what we plan to argue when we talk the matter over with a certain Mr. Fred Wiggins, our Bookie of Choice.
The Inquest yesterday, “to investigate the cause of death of-” (the Coroner, whom we’d managed to back into a corner, firmly stopped speaking there, and refused, even under threat, to say more on the matter), broke up in some disorder, when they got to the bit about “establishing the identity of deceased;” passions still run high on the matter in the Wavering family, and, as many of them attended the Inquest, it was just Opening The Whole Can Of Worms Again. Indeed, the Inquest had to be adjourned, and with unseemly haste, when the proceedings degenerated into a General Melee, not in keeping, as the Coroner remarked as he fled the Town Hall, with the Solemnity of the Occasion. We, also fleeing, for we Like Our Skin, agreed with him absolutely, and lured him off to the Local, where we questioned him mercilessly.
It is not at present known when the Inquest will resume.
Notes: Merridew Waverly looks awfully like an Atherton. I wonder if the Rumours about his Lineage could be true, after all? Anyway, feel certain in own mind that Merridew is, in fact, dead; he was always such a chump, and I really can’t imagine him surviving ANY trip to anywhere. I can’t imagine him surviving a stroll in the rain. Perhaps, though, that proves that The Claimant was Merridew, for walking off a cliff is quite in character. Still…