Part 1 of 3 / Part 2 of 3 / Part 3 of 3
Special Methods / From the Past
by Heather Sparrows
A "Silence of the Lambs" / "Sleepy Hollow" crossover.
Mild Slash, i. e. sexual contact between men is implied.
Otherwise: A dark story ... but romantic.
Pairing: Dr Tiberius Cattrell / Ichabod Crane
Everyone will know and recognise the man I call Dr Tiberius Cattrell in this story. He has many names, but is originally the creation of author Thomas Harris, masterfully brought to life on film by Anthony Hopkins, Jonathan Demme and Ridley Scott so far.
Fewer people may know Ichabod Crane, originally Washington Irvings scarecrow schoolmaster, transformed by Tim Burton and Johnny Depp into a new York Police Constable with a lot of inner demons.
The following story is set in the early years of the Nineteenth Century.
People may hate me for it, but I found the idea irresistible to put this famous man some people think of as a monster two hundred years in the past. The other name? Just a whim. And maybe this is only the imagination of my warped mind I have always seen certain parallels between the female Special Agent and the Constable apart from their family names both naming birds.
Readers will recognise a few other characters and know to whom they belong. The people you havent met before are my own creations.
And now: Enjoy!
Special Methods / From the Past
by Heather Sparrows
Part 1 of 3
Constables Crane and Moran had just ended their shift when Mr Williams, the High Constables secretary, approached them.
"The High Constable wants to see you at once, Constable Crane."
Ichabod Crane, who had been glad his shift was over, sighed inwardly. He was tired and hungry and had looked forward to getting home. His colleague Moran, a rotund, middle-aged man, threw him a half quizzical, half pitying glance and left them alone. Ichabod watched him leave, before he turned his attention to the secretary.
"Thank you, Mr Williams. I will go to him at once." He threw the High Constables right hand a "do-you-have-an-idea-what-he-wants-of-me?" look, as two other constables, whose shift just started, entered the room.
Mr Williams shook his head slightly. "Ah could I trouble you to take this along to him, Constable Crane?" The small, elegant secretary held out a sealed letter to the young constable.
Ichabods dark eyes met the secretarys eyes. He took the letter, and their fingers touched for a moment, as if accidentally.
They had been lovers for about two years now.
Ichabod knocked at the door to the High Constables office, and on entering, found his superior in the company of the Burgomaster. He greeted the two men respectfully and put the letter on the desk in front of the High Constable.
Instead of answering his greeting, the Burgomaster, a tall old man, who had a strong resemblance to a bird of prey, scrutinised the young man from his considerable height with piercing dark eyes. Burgomaster Van Rijn towered over most other men, and he loved the intimidating effect his dark clothing, his height and piercing gaze had on some people.
Ichabod knew him for this, and he met the assessing gaze calmly.
The Burgomaster frowned, because the young constable stood his ground. There was doubt in his eyes.
"You think him right for this task?" he asked the High Constable brusquely.
High Constable Van Beek, being much shorter than the Burgomaster, but sturdier, with a hard, pock-marked face, turned his attention away from the letter he had been reading, and faced Ichabod.
"A special case demands a special method." he answered. It sounded grudgingly admiring. "And Constable Crane likes to put his special methods to the test."
//They are talking about me as if I was not even here.// Ichabod thought. //I dont like it ... Not at all. There must be something very serious at hand ...//
"Dont you, Constable Crane?!" his superior asked impatiently, when there was no reaction from the young man, interrupting Ichabods thoughts.
Ichabod caught himself quickly.
"I did not know you addressed me right now, Sir." he answered respectfully.
The High Constable gave him an irritated look. Why did he feel reproached by the impertinent young fellow?
"But if I knew more about the case in which special methods are required, I would be glad to give you my opinion, Gentlemen." Ichabod continued.
"You have heard about the case of Dr Cattrell?" the Burgomaster asked in his blunt manner.
"The Baltimore Cannibal". Ichabod affirmed, speaking the grisly word matter-of-factly. He paused for a moment. "I have heard the name, but I am only vaguely familiar with the case."
//He sounds interested, but he is cautious.// the Burgomaster thought. //He has of course studied every detail of the case he could get his hands on. At least, this would fit the picture Van Beek gives of him.// He was right, although there had not been very much information by the newspapers to be taken seriously. For once, reality had been far worse than the fantasy of the newspaper correspondents ...
"So far, he has admitted to killing three men and one woman, eating parts of their bodies." High Constable Van Beek explained grimly, for the time being unwilling to give away any information that had not been in the papers.
Ichabod shuddered inwardly, but remained outwardly calm. Only his eyelids moved more rapidly for a moment. //So what I read was true ...//
"I thought Baltimore Police caught him?"
"We have problems in Baltimore." the Burgomaster explained. He looked directly at the young constable. "I have problems in Baltimore. And Dr Cattrell is part of these problems. My sisters grandson did not come home from school, and Commander Crawford of Baltimore Police informed me they have reason to believe that Cattrell knows that someone holds the boy captive and who this person is." He looked worried and old as he spoke.
"How could he know something? As far as I know, he was captured a month ago, and he was in prison when your grandson disappeared. When by the way?"
"The boy has been missing for three days now. And so far, no attempt has been made to contact our family, to collect ransom or the reward my nephew has set out for anyone who might give us a clue as to where the boy could be. Only Cattrell hinted at knowing something about Jonathans whereabouts. And gave us hope the boy is still alive."
"And do you think it possible?" Ichabod asked cautiously. "Dont you think Dr Cattrell might only be after the reward or some other advantages? And what is your opinion about the idea that your grandson has been abducted?"
The Burgomaster bared his long horse teeth, as if he wanted to tear up the throat of the man or the men who had harmed his family.
"Commander Crawford is no fool. If he thinks there might be something to what this
Doctor says, I believe him. Besides the only advantage I see for Cattrell is that his hanging might be postponed for a while! Otherwise, I only know that my sister and my niece are in terrible anguish, and I want the boy to be found! And to be found in good health!"
"I understand this, Sir." Ichabod answered, and somehow, this seemed to calm down the worried old man.
"One of the men Cattrell killed had been strongly suspected of having murdered a child." he continued.
"Did Dr Cattrell hint in any way at the idea that these cases might be related?" Ichabod asked. He himself had learned to mistrust such obvious relations, but his superiors often did not.
"It might be accidental, and it embitters me to rely on the whims of a convicted murderer, a madman even, but I want each hint to be followed." the Burgomaster answered.
"Of course." the young constable agreed. "But there is one point I do not understand so far: If Dr Cattrell might know something about the people who hold your sisters grandson captive, I still do not see the reason why Baltimore Police needs our help." He knew well that with this question he had poked the stick into the wasps nest. But if his superiors had decided to assign him to special missions since he had solved the Sleepy Hollow murders, he wanted to know as much as possible about what would await him in a new case and why he was sent. It was difficult: They sent him away to find out the truth, relying on his wit and his scientific methods, but on the other hand they did not like him asking questions ...
"The problem is: Cattrell is playing games." The Burgomaster continued, pacing the room, stopping abruptly in front of the young constable. "He now suddenly refuses to talk to my niece, my nephew and my sister!"
Ichabod shook his head. This did not make sense. He knew the Burgomaster and the High Constable were aware of this as well and somehow hoped he would find a reason for the murderous doctors behaviour.
//An interesting prospect.// he thought ironically. // But certainly a challenge ...//
"Jack Crawford, Commander of Baltimore Police, will be able to tell you more." the High Constable added.
"You will leave tomorrow." the Burgomaster said as his final word, concluding the conversation, overriding any possible objections. "And may God help you find Jonathan!"
"And your special methods." the High Constable added.
With these words in his ears, Ichabod was free to go.
Four days later, an exhausted Constable Ichabod Crane from New York Police presented himself to Commander Crawford, Head of Baltimore Police.
Jack Crawford, a tall, slender man with a gaunt, ascetic face, despite his uniform more resembling a man of science than a police officer, looked sharply at the scrawny, dishevelled young man from New York. His clothes were still rumpled from the long journey, his face pale, almost as pretty as a girls. The first moment Crawford felt angry and betrayed by his New York colleagues, but then he relented.
From what Van Beek had said, he had expected a middle-aged man, someone appearing more professional and experienced. But long years of service had taught him never to underestimate people. The man was older than he had seemed at first glance, more in his late than in his early twenties. His fine features spoke of a sharp mind and a certain tenacity. And behind the fussy, slightly prissy behaviour Crawford sensed an inner strength, growing, developing ... Strange, but undeniable. Besides: The missing boys grand uncle was the Burgomaster of New York, and Van Beek would send his friend no fool to aid him in such an important case ...
Crawford folded his hands on the rough desk in front of him, after he had offered the young man a seat.
"I will make you familiar with the case as briefly as possible. Seven days ago, nine-year-old Jonathan Van Rijn vanished on his way home from school. The familys and our efforts to find him so far have been unsuccessful. The Van Rijn family excludes motives of revenge, and I believe them. Mr Van Rijn is a merchant in cloth, well to do, but not wealthy and influential enough to get in someones way."
He saw Ichabods doubtful look.
"We have investigated, Constable Crane, and investigated again. Unless there are very dark secrets in this family, we have no reason to assume revenge or enmity as a motive for an abduction. So I must admit we have no clue whatsoever who might keep the boy. If someone still holds him at all."
"You fear the worst?" Ichabod asked.
"We cannot exclude the possibility that Jonathan is already dead, by accident or by whatever reason." Commander Crawford answered bluntly. "Enter Dr Tiberius Cattrell, who is awaiting his trial as the special guest of honour in our local asylum. Cattrell gave hints that he believes Jonathan to be still alive. Furthermore, he hinted at knowing who might have abducted the boy, and he wished to see Jonathans parents."
"So you rely on the word of a convicted murderer?" Ichabod had to ask this question, although it was disrespectful.
Crawford did not seem to mind.
"We cannot afford to disregard a hint which might save the boys life, Constable Crane. "
"Of course not." Ichabod agreed. "And it goes without saying that the boys family grasped the straw."
"Yes." Commander Crawford confirmed grimly. "They got permission to visit him, and he told them about an acquaintance, James Galloway. Galloways desire for company goes towards young boys, as Dr Cattrell says."
Ichabod drew in his breath with a hissing sound. Almost inaudible, but Crawford heard it, although he was not sure what to make of it.
"Cattrell left no doubt about the boys life being in danger." he continued. "And then he started to play his game: He did not say anything about where Galloway could be found. Instead, he asked the parents horrible, unbelievable questions they refused to answer."
"Such as?" Ichabod asked.
"Whether Mrs Van Rijn had breast-fed Jonathan herself, whether she had enjoyed it, and whether her husband had drunk from her breasts as well." Crawford recited, without showing any embarrassment. Ichabod shook his head, as if in disbelief.
"Which brings me to Dr Cattrell himself," Crawford continued. "First of all: A committee of doctors tried to assess him, I spoke to him and we cannot be sure whether he speaks the truth or whether he plays with the hopes of two parents in despair and sends Baltimore Police after a chimera. I admit: he has pulled a ring through our noses and is jerking us around."
"Would he be capable of such a thing?" Ichabod asked.
Crawford looked straight into his eyes. He began to like the young man, who listened intently and asked few, but precise questions. In contrast to his New York colleague, High Constable Van Beek, he was not annoyed about the young man questioning permanently what he said. Commander Crawford did not feel his authority endangered by sceptical or critical questions from the people he worked with.
"Unfortunately, yes." He bluntly answered Ichabods question. "Dr Cattrell is no average man. He is learned, well-bred, charming, with the manners of a real gentleman. His intellectual capacities are far above average. So he makes his own rules, rules no one knows except him. But everyone has to obey them."
"I see." Ichabod said thoughtfully, and it did not sound like a mere phrase.
"Imagine now this gentleman equipped with the agility and ruthlessness of a beast of prey "
" and the same tastes." Ichabod finished the sentence. With somebody else, the last remark could have had the air of being eager to impress a superior with his sharp wit. But not with this young man here ...
"And the same tastes." Crawford repeated affirmatively. "But with a kind of quirky morals. Two years ago, the famous opera singer Maurizio Petrelli was found dead in a coach on the outskirts of Baltimore. His face was missing. Someone had carefully peeled it off. Someone with highly developed surgical skills. Dr Cattrell later said that it was done while the victim was fully conscious, and that this was the cause of death."
He paused and looked at the young constable who had opened a ledger and had begun to take notes. He seemed very serious and professional, fully occupied with listening and jutting down important details.
The young man looked up, and behind the unruly mass of black hair, the pretty face, the dark, burning eyes, Crawford felt the sharp mind at work, something he often sorely missed in his colleagues and sadly in the learned doctors, who had given their opinion in this case as well.
"Only this year we found out what might have put Cattrell against Petrelli: The latter had an unhealthy interest in female children. Mrs Carrington, a widow who had been Petrellis landlady, told the police he had approached her two nine and seven-year old daughters. "
"After two years?"
"After two years. And there is more: We had another girl missing, who was found dead later on. The missing girls shoes and a locket she had worn were found among Petrellis possessions. Whether he murdered her we cannot say for sure, because she never turned up so far, neither dead nor alive."
Ichabod nodded thoughtfully, and Crawford continued. "Two months after Petrelli, a certain Joseph Lister was found dead in his room. He resembled a famous Italian painting of Saint Sebastian. I do not know whether this means anything to you ?"
"A martyr. Killed by countless arrow wounds." Ichabod threw in.
"Right." Crawford confirmed. "The victim was known by men of a certain persuasion. An informant told us that he lived from threatening to inform the families of some of his richer and more indiscreet customers, and being well paid for his silence. The third victim was Sarah Stuyvesant, a nurse at the Sisters of the Holy Cross, better known as Sister Constantia, strongly suspected of sometimes molesting hapless patients which one of her fellow sisters confirmed. The Mother Superior admitted to having admonished the deceased in this regard. Sister Constantia was savagely attacked on her way to the dormitory, obviously bitten to death, her face and other parts of her body torn away, as if she had been attacked by a savage animal."
"A nun? In the secluded area of the hospital, serving as the Holy Sisters living quarters?" Ichabod shook his head again.
"Dr. Cattrell sometimes used to take on the duties of a colleague at the hospital." Crawford informed him. "Victim number four:" he continued relentlessly. "Samuel Prendergast one of my men. He and Cattrell had been friends. Prendergast had been secretly suspecting him of the murders the police force had to deal with. He had made a lot of notes which he played into our hands. But Prendergast tried to be too clever."
"Did he try to blackmail Dr Cattrell?" Ichabod asked.
"Correct. He made a double move to get enough money from his former friend to leave the police force and to deliver him into our hands anyway."
"So despite what he knew from his notes, he underestimated Dr Cattrell." Ichabod stated.
"Correct." Crawford repeated. "His landlady found him eviscerated. Some of his inner organs were missing the heart, the liver, the brain."
"Is there any proof, Dr Cattrell actually ate them?" Ichabod asked. "His name The Baltimore Cannibal is it justified in any way?"
Crawford cleared his throat.
"The evening before we found Prendergast, Cattrell had entertained a few guests for dinner: Professor Lawrence, the head of our university, Medical Department, Mr Geoffrey, our Burgomaster, and their wives. The main course was a pie Dr Cattrell had made himself."
Ichabod turned very pale, and Crawford noticed that his hand holding the ledger tightened its grip. It seemed as if he tried to suppress a gagging sound.
"How did you find out it was him?" he asked when he had caught himself again.
"Bad luck for him, good luck for us." Crawford admitted. "I could not sleep that night, so I found Prendergasts notes in the mail at night instead of in the morning. I alarmed all the men I could get hold of, and as I said, we were lucky. Cattrells coach had had an accident. He tried to get away on foot, but we caught him. Even before we found Prendergast."
Crawford pinched the bridge of his nose between his eyes, as if giving all this information to Ichabod had exhausted him.
"High Constable Van Beek told me, Dr Cattrell had admitted to have murdered the people you named. And to eating parts of them." Ichabods sentences were more a question than a statement.
"This is true." Commander Crawford confirmed. "Confronted with Prendergasts notes, he admitted everything, but said he regretted nothing. In his opinion, these people were to die not so much because of what they had done, but because they had annoyed him."
"Annoyed him?" Ichabod asked.
"He said, Petrelli had been a bad singer, and it had been pure torture to hear him sing Händel. Lister had been a parasite, Sister Constantia a bad nurse, upsetting the patients, and Prendergast a Judas."
"So he wants to better the world, or maybe his world, ridding it of people he finds undesirable?" Ichabod asked.
Crawford shook his head.
"It is not that easy, unfortunately. As I said, he killed his victims, because they annoyed him somehow. They violated rules only known to him. So the reasons he gave for killing them may not necessarily be right. As I said, he likes playing games."
"We put him into the asylum." Crawford continued. "And now he comes up with that talk of said James Galloway, who might have the boy."
Ichabod looked up from his ledger, straight into the policemans face.
"Is there any proof of Dr Cattrells statement about such a person? Did you look for a person of that name?"
"Of course we did. But to no avail." Crawford said.
"In your opinion, Commander Crawford what might Dr Cattrell be aiming at? What will he gain from playing games with you? With the boys family? You say he is mad, but "
Crawford got up and Ichabod did the same, closing his ledger.
"Some delinquents, Constable Crane, find it amusing in a perverted way to play tricks. They want to show how clever they are. But I do not even know whether this is the case with Dr Cattrell. Maybe he is only playing for time to scheme his escape. And he knows quite well he cannot play this game forever."
Ichabod nodded again.
"And why of all people should he talk to me?" he asked.
"Why not?" Crawford bluntly asked back. "You are a neutral party. He refuses to talk to the head of the asylum, Dr Chilton, or to any of his colleagues. He leaves no doubt that he thinks of them as idiots. He refused to talk to Jonathans parents, probably because they refused to answer his questions. He also refused to talk to me. I have been Prendergasts superior."
"And why do you think he will talk to me, Commander Crawford?" Ichabod repeated his question.
The Commander thought for a moment, then he said in a very decisive tone: "Constable Crane, on my conscience I cannot advise you to question Dr Cattrell. On the other hand you might be the last hope of a family in despair."
"And why do you advise me then not to question Dr Cattrell?" Ichabod asked.
"For various reasons." Crawford answered. "First: Do not underestimate him physically. He is quicker and stronger than you might think, and he does not know any scruples to hurt another human being. I lost three of my men before we caught him. So I ask you to follow all instructions to the letter, Dr Chilton may give you with regard to security."
Ichabod nodded a third time.
"Second: My idea is, Dr Cattrell also preys on other peoples minds and emotions. In my opinion, his questions to the Van Beeks had no other purpose. So my advice is: Do not let him into your mind, Constable Crane."
Ichabod looked openly into Crawfords eyes.
"What did High Constable Van Beek tell you about me, Commander Crawford? I repeat my question: Why does he, why do you think Id have a chance Dr Cattrell would talk to me?"
Commander Crawford answered Ichabods open look.
"He described you as different. He said you have a way to make people talk."
Ichabod thought this over for a moment.
"Letting him into my mind might be the only way to get access to him." he said.
"And thats the point." Crawford confirmed. "This is why I do not like the idea of you meeting Dr Cattrell at all. You open up to him, he will get access to you and God help you, Constable Crane. I do not need to tell you that we all have sore spots or dark places in our minds we do not like to be touched. You are a policeman. And I assume Dr Cattrell will go for these places. His ability to find them is uncanny. At least be careful!"
"I will." Ichabod promised, knowing at the same time this would be impossible. "One other thing, Sir. Id like to have the documents on all the cases related to Dr Cattrell
drawings of the crime scenes, Prendergasts notes, everything. Would this be possible?"
"I had hoped you would want them." Crawford said. He went to a small cabinet and took out a ledger and four briefcases. "You will understand however, that they are not to leave this office."
Ichabod spent the next three hours in a corner of the spacious office, using the windowsill as a table, studying, making notes, engrossed in the cases, only stopping out of politeness, when the Commander invited him for lunch. During the meal, he was silent and thoughtful.
He spent another hour in his corner at the window, then he handed back the documents.
"I am finished for today." he said. "But maybe Ill have to reread passages ...?"
"The documents will be at your disposal, Constable Crane." Crawford promised. "If you should want to look up something before youll visit Dr Cattrell tomorrow "
"Today, Sir." the young man corrected him.
Crawford looked at him.
//Why do I like him? Yes, he reminds me of Prendergast. The same eagerness. But he is different. Prendergast was ambitious, he thought of how his career might prosper when he gave us Dr Cattrell. At least it seemed that way, until we found out that he was playing with two decks of cards. This young man here is not ambitious, not for himself. I dont know what Crane is after, I really dont know ...//
"You should rest before you see Dr Cattrell. Nothing is gained if you present yourself to him exhausted. You might spoil more than youd do good."
Ichabod looked at him, and the Commander was shocked by the dark eyes. One moment the look of a frightened child, eager to bring something unpleasant behind him, the next moment coldly resolved.
"Every moment might be important for the boy." he said, and it was clear he meant it.
Without any further word, Crawford took a sheet of paper and wrote down a few lines, signing it and putting sand on the ink, blowing it off and handing the paper to Ichabod, who folded it carefully.
"This is your permit to see Dr Cattrell. But at least have a short rest before you present yourself at the asylum, Constable Crane. And good luck!"
That same afternoon, Ichabod went to the asylum. He had rested a bit, but had been unable to sleep. Instead, he had carefully read all his notes again. But frankly, he had no idea how to obtain the required information if there was any information to be obtained at all.
The asylum was a huge, dark, forbearing grey stone building at the outskirts of town. It looked like a fortress. Ichabod, although working in another huge, dark building holding prison cells and sometimes strongly resembling a madhouse, felt cold.
He went up to the giant door and knocked. A burly warden in a black uniform asked what he wanted and lead him through a long, whitewashed corridor into Dr Chiltons office.
"Dr Chilton will see you soon, Sir." he said.
//Doesnt he have a secretary?// Ichabod wondered. //There must be a lot of paperwork.//
The office looked empty and cold, despite the big oaken desk and rows and rows of books along two walls. The polished surface of the desk was perfectly empty, and the books as far as Ichabod could see at a short glance, all dealing with various illnesses of mind and body looked as if they had never been read. So the whole impression of the room was one of staginess.
//This is just an official room for visitors, designed to impress them.// Ichabod thought. //He must have another office where he really works. Alright. But somehow it looks so unreal.//
His thoughts were interrupted by Dr Chiltons arrival.
Dr Frederic Chilton, the Head of the Asylum, was a small middle-aged man with a receding hairline and bad teeth, but foppishly dressed in a light grey suit and a canary yellow vest. Normally Ichabod would have approved of the mans neat appearance: His clothes were clean and well-pressed, his shirt fresh and white, his shoes well polished, and what was left of the hair was combed correctly and cut à la mode. But the foppish clothes and haircut clashed badly with Chiltons pale-grey, unhealthy complexion and the bad teeth. A strong smell of lavender perfume assaulted Ichabods nose, but behind it he could smell the unpleasant odour of sweat, resulting from fear and insecurity. The man seemed as phoney as his office.
The air of self-importance around Dr Chilton was almost visible when he read Commander Crawfords permit to grant the bearer of the paper access to the inmate known as Dr Tiberius Cattrell.
He threw the paper on his neat, clean desk.
"So you think you can make Cattrell talk, Constable " he looked at the letter again "Crane?"
"Ill just try, Sir." Ichabod answered.
Dr Chilton allowed himself a pitiful smile, saying //You will see what will come of it.//
"Very well." he said aloud in a tone which made perfectly clear that he was a busy man and could not be bothered further. He pulled a bell rope.
The burly warden who had lead Ichabod into the office, came in.
"Norton Constable " again a glance on Crawfords permit "Crane here from New York" Dr Chiltons voice was full of contempt now "has the official permission to visit Dr Cattrell. Take him down to the cells."
"Very well, Sir."
Ichabod indicated a slight bow towards Dr Chilton and started to follow the warden, when the Doctor called him back.
"Oh, Constable Crane a word of advice." he threw in the young constables direction. "Keep to the wall. Do not go near the bars of the cage. You are not allowed to hand anything to the prisoner or to accept anything from him. Do I make myself clear?" All this was said in an annoyed voice, indicating //You are so incompetent, you wont know these things which any dumb schoolboy would know.//
"If something should happen to you, Constable Crane," Dr Chilton continued and bared his bad teeth for a moment in the caricature of a nasty smile, "I will wash my hands of it."
"Thank you for the warning, Dr Chilton." Ichabod answered with another light nod of the head. He felt quite well that Dr Chilton had expected him to be more respectful of his position, but nothing in the man evoked any respect in Ichabod. He understood that Dr Chilton felt annoyed by the police, sending a specially assigned constable to question one of his inmates, but he found that the doctor in his high position had no reason to be that rude to him. In his opinion, a very clear sign of Chiltons insecurity.
Ichabod shrugged off his antipathy and tried to focus on the task for which he had come: To visit Dr Cattrell and to get information from him.
He followed the warden along the corridor and down many flights of steps. They passed a window, and Ichabod saw a small walled garden, where some people idly moved about.
"Some of the lighter cases." his companion explained. Ichabod saw that these patients were considerably well clothed and properly nourished. Not doubt they came from rich families who seemed to pay a lot to have the retarded cousin, the "impossible" uncle, the unloved brother, the old father out of their way...
"You also have female patients?" Ichabod asked, hurrying further downstairs behind the warden.
They stopped their descent and went along a short corridor which ended at a strong oaken door, reinforced with locks, bolts and bars.
"In the other wing." Norton answered the constables question. His face was immobile, but for a second there had been a lecherous gleam in his eyes, which made Ichabod shudder inwardly. He had heard of a case where the owner of a private asylum had turned the womens tract into a brothel. And he did not believe that this scandal had been an exception. It seemed to be a frequent occurrence that inmates in most cases female patients were abused. But there rarely was any actual proof. If they would say anything about it at all who would listen to a person considered to be mad?
He snapped back to the task at hand. //Concentrate, Crane!//
From behind the door he could hear muffled howls, screams, shouting, crying.
The warden turned to Ichabod.
"You ever had to do with the criminally insane before?`"
"No." Ichabod answered truthfully.
Norton shrugged, impassively.
"You do what the Doctor told you and you will be alright."
He banged at the door. Keys were turned, bolts and bars slid away, and another burly warden came into view.
"Visitor for Dr Cattrell." Norton explained. "Police." he added, when the other warden questioningly raised his eyebrows.
Without a word, the new warden stepped aside to let Ichabod enter, carefully closing the door behind him, sliding the bars and bolts into place again, turning the keys.
The noise, no longer muffled by the thick door, assaulted Ichabods ears.
"Security!" the warden explained, shouting over the noise. He had seen the young constables look at the bolted door.
//This is worse than a normal prison.// Ichabod thought. //Much, much worse ...//
"Doctors in the last cell!" Then warden motioned with his outstretched arm along the corridor.
Ichabod swallowed, realising that the man would not come with him. The wardens seemed to go in there only if their duties made it necessary. So he went into the corridor alone.
It seemed endless, and the noise and the smells were terrible. Ichabod tried not to hear the howls and cries, the sobs, the prayers, the curses, not to see the creatures in chains, clad in rags, or just a shirt, or being stark naked. Human beings like himself, following him along the length of their cages, some trying to throw themselves at the bars in utter fury, clawing for him like caged and badly treated animals...
Fleetingly he thought of charming, harmless Mad Johnny, a young male prostitute, sauntering through the streets around the New York Harbour in a ragged red dress. Johnny was lucky. He had people who cared for him, and he was not aggressive
Another disturbing thought jumped at him: A group of boys, running after another boy one had found the rhyme "Ichabod Crane goes insane!", and they all had taken it up, chasing him
"I can smell your cock!" A voice hissed, close to him.
Ichabod flinched, torn away from his bad memories.
A scrawny, middle aged man, stark naked and almost bald, threw himself against the bars of his cage, spitting at Ichabod, missing him.
//I have come too near to the bars. Unforgivable! I have to concentrate!//
Ichabod forced himself not to run the last few steps that brought him to the cell in which Dr Cattrell awaited his visitor.
He had not been sure what to expect after Commander Crawfords report, after Dr Chiltons warnings and after the turmoil he had just passed, but surely not this:
A man of middle height, clothed in a shirt and grey trousers, both torn and dirty now, but made from expensive cloth, wearing heavy chains on his wrists and ankles and also an iron ring round his neck, was standing in the last cell. Despite his dishevelled appearance and the heavy chains, he stood erect, apparently unconcerned by his surroundings, like a gentleman in his study, welcoming a visitor.
Ichabods sharp eyes noted the burly frame, which spoke of bodily strength. Dr. Cattrell also appeared agile and quick, and the young constable had to think of Commander Crawford comparing the Doctor to a beast of prey.
The Doctor had a massive head, the planes of his face appearing coarse, almost brutal at first glance, and yet a sharp, strong mind showed in the high forehead, the noble nose, and above all in the big eyes, which had a strange, maroon colour. The sharp intelligence and the unbroken strength radiating from the man set him sharply apart from his fellow inmates. In regard to the wretched creatures around him, this man appeared perfectly sane.
The look of the others eyes was friendly, but thoroughly scrutinising, and Ichabod felt that they tried to see more than his outward appearance. The Doctor tried to see into his mind, into his heart and Ichabod thought of Commander Crawfords warning.
For a moment, the two men did not move, only looked at each other. Ichabod could not help to notice that Dr Cattrells posture, despite his strong body, despite the chains and the undoubtedly bad treatment, was elegant and light.
"Good afternoon, Dr Cattrell." Ichabod finally broke the silence. "My name is Ichabod Crane."
"Good afternoon, Mr Crane." Dr Cattrells voice was well modulated, with a British accent, clear and not very deep. "How might I be of service to you?"
//As if I had come to consult him in a medical matter.// Ichabod thought.
"I have come to ask you about the boy who has disappeared Jonathan Van Rijn."
A smile formed around the corners of Cattrells mouth, and there was a quizzical gleam in his strange eyes.
"So you are one of Crawfords men." It was no question, it was a statement.
Something told Ichabod to be honest.
"Not really, Sir." he answered.
Dr. Cattrells eyes opened a bit more.
"New York Police sends me."
"And what interest does New York Police have in this case?"
"The boy is related to the Burgomaster of New York."
Dr Cattrell slightly bowed his head, gracefully appreciating the information.
"I see. You have credentials, no doubt?"
As a citizen who was questioned by a member of the police force he had the right to see credentials, so Ichabod took Crawfords letter which Dr Chilton had given back to him out of the inner pocket of his coat and held the written side towards Dr Cattrell.
"Closer." the Doctor asked. "Closer, please!"
He seemed to enjoy the young constables uneasiness. When the young man finally had come close enough to the cage so Dr Cattrell could read the short letter, he winked at Ichabod. The young man suppressed an urge to flinch back.
Dr Cattrell smiled again. The whole encounter seemed to amuse him. A small distraction from the boredom of his captivity in the dungeon here.
"I am impressed." he said mockingly. "Ichabod. The Inglorious, Son of Phinehas, as told in the Book of Samuel. A scrawny little Crane from New York."
Ichabod, who had heard enough taunts and insults from his comrades at school, his fellow students, his colleagues and thugs and pimps as well during his career, ignored the taunting remark.
"You told Dr Chilton and Commander Crawford you knew who might have the boy, Dr Cattrell. You gave a name: John Galloway." he stated.
Dr Cattrells maroon eyes took the young man in. Their gaze was not unkind.
"What did my neighbour say to you when you passed his cell?"
"I beg your pardon?" Ichabod was completely taken aback.
"My neighbour, Mr Miggs." Dr Cattrell repeated patiently. "What did he say to you?"
Somehow, Ichabod knew better than to ignore this question. He swallowed.
"He said: I can smell your cock."
"Louder please. I could not understand what you said."
"I can smell your cock!" Ichabod repeated in a louder voice.
//He is toying with me.// he thought. //Shall I just leave? Then the boy will die if he isnt already dead anyway...//
Dr Cattrell lifted his massive head and closed his eyes. The nostrils of his strong nose widened, as if he were actually taking Ichabods scent amid the smell of dirt, urine, vomit and excrement.
"I cannot." he said after a moment, his strange maroon gaze focusing on the young man again. "But I can say that you take great care to keep yourself clean."
Ichabod had to admit to himself that it was true. He set great store by cleanliness, not only for reasons of health, about which he was well informed as the foster son of a doctor and through his medical studies; not only out of consideration for Robert, who was very clean himself no, also because there had been a time in his life when he had slept in his clothes, when he had involuntarily wet himself and had only possessed one set of garments
"Cleanliness is next to Godliness, isnt it, Constable Crane?" Dr Cattrell continued. "The well-scrubbed son of a god-fearing family, I presume?"
Ichabod smiled bitterly to himself. Then he lifted his head. He did not want to enter into a conversation about his family background.
"Will you help us find the boy, Dr Cattrell? And the man who might have abducted him?"
The man in the cell lifted his eyebrows. Then he shook his head slightly and clicked his tongue.
"Such a stubborn young man all of a sudden." he said, more to himself, then turning his full attention to Ichabod.
"You have been considerate, courteous and receptive to courtesy. And now I see a bumbling policeman. Stubborn, tenacious. What would you gain, Constable Crane, if I helped you find the boy? A promotion? The respect of your superior, who did his colleague Jacky Crawford a favour and sent the most dispensable of his constables to Baltimore? Or do you have new, ambitious methods, new ideas in fighting Crime and want to put them to the test? Hm?"
Ichabod closed his eyes for a moment, to calm his emotions and thoughts, to protect himself against this sharp-sighted constant needling, like a succession of arrows, of which every single one had found its mark.
"You see a lot, Doctor." he said finally. "But you did not answer my question."
Dr Cattrell shook his head again. The smile had vanished from his face.
"I have no reason to cooperate with a young, ambitious policeman. Some time ago, a policeman called himself my friend and I had to eat his liver with some broad beans and a nice glass of red wine!"
With these last words, he gave a hissing sound. Ichabod now actually flinched back, because this irregular behaviour came so unexpected.
"And with regard to questions, Constable Crane," the Doctor continued, now polite and charming again, "You did not answer mine as well! But let me have another guess: Do you want to save the boy, because you actually want to save another boy? Do you want to save Jonathan from what happened to unfortunate Young Ichabod?"
For a moment, Ichabod stood motionless, staring in horror at the man in the cell. How could a human being have such insight into the deepest, most hidden thoughts of another human being, a person he had known for a few minutes now and never seen before?
"Touché, I see." Dr Cattrell continued, his voice calm, a bit bored. "No, my young, scrawny Crane, I shall not help you. Fly back to New York. Fly, fly, fly "
Dr Cattrells voice dwindled off into silence. His maroon eyes took on a faraway look, and Ichabod saw that the audience was at an end. He had lost. He had achieved nothing. There was no help to be expected from Dr Cattrell, and unless Baltimore Police would find him by chance, Young Jonathan was lost.
Slowly, Ichabod turned around and began his long way back to the entrance door, past the cells.
Miggs lay in a grotesquely crooked position on the dirty floor in his cell, touching himself. Just as Ichabod passed his cell, the small man came, and with a quick fling of his wrist threw the come right into Ichabods face.
Ichabod flinched and wiped his face. He drew up his shoulders but did not halt his steps.
One man began to howl with laughter about what Miggs had done, another screamed abuse at Miggs, another sang, another prayed, and above the turmoil Ichabod heard the astonishingly strong voice of Dr Cattrell:
"Constable Crane! Come back!"
Ichabod would have liked to run away from the howling laughter, the screams and shouts, and first of all from Dr Cattrells voice, from even more humiliation, to the exit, away from this hell but new hope made him hurry back to Dr Cattrells cell.
The Doctor stood as near to the bars of his cage as his chains would allow, his manacled hands gripping the bars as if he wanted to tear them away.
"I did not want this to happen, Constable Crane." he shouted above the turmoil, "That was unspeakably rude!"
Ichabod, deeply upset, emotionally driven to the brink, nevertheless felt a steely resolve he rarely had experienced so far.
"Then answer my question, Dr Cattrell! What do you know about the disappearance of Jonathan Van Rijn and about his alleged captor, James Galloway?"
"Not now." Dr Cattrell answered. "Come back tomorrow. Not in this pandemonium here. Mr Norton and Mr Sanders will be here in a minute. And they will not come alone. Galloway may keep the boy well at the moment. Go now!"
His last words lashed out like the crack of a whip and made Ichabod hurry along the corridor, past the laughing, screaming, cursing, raging men in the cells, to the exit, to safety.
Norton and his colleague hurried in and tried to re-establish silence and order among the inmates by thrashing and beating whomever they could reach. Thus Ichabod left the asylum almost unnoticed. The wardens all seemed to be occupied in the closed tract, and in the empty corridors behind the big oak door he only found an old janitor. Ichabod tried to calm down a bit and summoned all the authority of his office as a police investigator. It convinced the janitor enough to show him out.
Once outside the walls of the asylum, Ichabod leaned to a tree and took a few deep breaths. He was well aware that a few passers-by on foot and horseback threw him frightened glances. The young man with the pale face, the wild dark hair and the slightly deranged clothes might as well be one of the lighter cases from the asylum they had forgotten to lock back in. The impression must be even stronger because he leaned against that tree, a vacant stare in his eyes, mechanically gnawing at the knuckle of his right wrist. Of this, however he was not aware.
Dr Cattrell lowered himself carefully onto the straw in the corner of his cell. It was not advisable to attract the attention of Norton or one of his colleagues at the moment. So far, they had not touched him yet. He did not give them any reason to do so, but he was sure they also had their orders from Chilton to leave him alone. Chilton wanted his brain. Undamaged. And as long as he was still alive, Chilton wanted to study him, to assess him.
The thought amused Dr Cattrell. Pompous little Frederick Chilton did not even have the mental capacities to study a housefly.
But the young man what a surprise! A beauty for a good painter. He seemed to be aware of it, but it seemed to embarrass him more than anything else. A shy, frightened child and a sharp mind at war. Bravery and strength, appearing quite unexpectedly. And tenacity. Others would have been crushed by what had been thrown to him. But not this young man. He had stood his ground, although every arrow had found its aim. This was something Dr Cattrell had not encountered so far. Besides, the young constable had remained polite and respectful. But obstinate. He had taken Miggs insult remarkably well. Such commitment to the cause might deserve a bit of co-operation on his part...
It would be interesting to talk to him again. Maybe he would give the young man what he wanted. That was to be seen ...
© 2002 by Heather Sparrows
Part 1 of 3 / Part 2 of 3 / Part 3 of 3
H I N W E I S :
Diese Fanfiction dient zur Unterhaltung und ist ohne jedes finanzielles Interesse.
Verantwortung und Copyright verbleiben bei den jeweiligen Autoren.
Die Figuren aus den Romanen Red Dragon,
The Silence of the Lambs und Hannibal gehören Thomas Harris.
Keine Verletzung von Urheberrechten ist beabsichtigt.
© HopkinsVille. All rights reserved.