We’ve come to the Strand in East End of London to interview a local street person known as the Mudger. He’s agreed to answer some of our questions.
The Mudger isn’t your real name, of course. But most curious, how did you come by it?
My real name is Cavendish. But those on the street don’t go by their real names, either due to some misfortune or the need to escape the blood peelers. Mr. Brodie gave me the name some years back when he was with London’s finest–Metropolitan Police. It’s a Scottish word, I’m told, that means ‘mover’, and I’m a right quick mover which comes in handy on the streets.
I noticed that you get around quite well on your platform with wheels in spite of your injury. How did that come about?
It was a cart accident some years back. That was when I first met Mr. Brodie. He saw to it that I had a place to recover afterward, then had a bloke make the damned contraption for me so that I could get around. Then he put me to work from time to time running errands, gettin’ information that he needed. That was after he quit the MP over a bit of a disagreement with the Chief Inspector and started offering his services as a Private Investigator here on the Strand. We’ve been together ever since.
What sort of cases does he take?
In the beginnin’ it was what he called, domestic cases–a wife wantin’ to find out if the husband was keepin’ a lover or mistress; occasionally the husband suspicious of the wife if yer get my meanin’. But more recent it’s been murder cases, wot with them women that got themselves killed in White Chapel, and a new case now.
Does he work alone? That would seem to be dangerous.
It can be very dangerous. But Mr. Brodie is street-wise and knows his way about, raised on the streets of Edinburgh as a lad and come up the hard way. He works cases by himself most usually, but there’s a new case he took on ’bout a young girl got herself killed with another young woman gone missing.
What can you tell us about that particular case?
He was hired to find the missing woman by her sister, Miss Mikaela Forsythe. A real lady that one. Yer can always tell by the way they speak and dress, but not like others I’ve seen who put down their money, then expect someone else to do the work.
What can you tell us about her?
She’s not one of those hoity-toity nobs like most from the West End, and she don’t mind havin’ a conversation with the Mudger, gettin’ her hands dirty so to speak. She’s even brought food round fer me and the hound.
And I heard Mr. Brodie say as how she writes novels and is some sort of ‘adventuress’, whatever that means. The way I see it, she’s plenty smart as well as pretty sure enough, and not about to be put off by anyone including Mr. Brodie. Get’s up the wrong side of him regular and doesn’t back down. And here’s the thing–she’s determined to be part of the investigation! She’s a right pippin all right.
That seems most unusual, a proper lady from the West End of London? Isn’t that a bit dangerous?
Aye, dangerous enough, but she knows how to take care of herself. To my way of thinking, that may be the reason she gets under Mr. Brodie’s skin; has a habit of goin’ off by herself on some bit of information or other even if it means goin’ to some dodgy part of the East End.
I need to take a message to Mr. Brimley. He’s the chemist wot Mr. Brodie uses from time to time when he has a piece of evidence. Says it’s important to know wot was found on the dead girl’s body…
It was here that our interview ended about A Deadly Affair, leaving this person quite intrigued with so many more questions about the most unusual partnership between Mr. Brodie and Miss Forsythe, and the murder they were now embarked on.
But my questions would have to wait, as the Mudger wheeled about on his platform, then paddled away at a frightening speed, dodging cabs, an omnibus, and a rather elegant coach that seemed oddly out of place in the East End of London.
If you’re not ready to say goodbye to The Mudger, don’t fret. You can find him sneaking around the East End in the pages of Carla Simpson’s A Deadly Affair. And, even better, you’ll get to meet Mr. Brodie and Miss Forsythe up close and personal, as well as get all the sordid details of the case.