Dr H.H. Holmes - last part
I had taken quite a lot more of an interest in Benjamin’s wife and seriously considered the dirty with her, fraudster that she was. With the life insurance scam, we were intending to take $10,000 and split it, me, her, Jeptha, and Benji, if it worked. The scam was that Benji would take out the policy in the name of B. F. Perry, a factitious inventor who would die in a lab explosion (as it happened, Benji had exhibited at the Expo this shitty excuse for a coal bin, that was somehow novel, as if coal bins hadn’t actually been properly invented and here was the real thing – it looked like a woman’s bonnet). So, I had to find the cadaver to take his place. But I couldn’t; for some reason, the hobos had fled the vicinity – I guessed they’d come to fear for their safety, the sight of me coinciding with the losses of their ilk. But $10,000 was a lot of money, so someone had to step in.
After giving it considerable thought, I decided to kill Benji and use his body to represent “B. F. Perry”, which was ironic, poetic justice, and just damn hilarious.
Our notional character was set up in Philadelphia, in some shack that had been rented for six months. I took him there to help arrange the accident we’d planned whereby the place went up in a blast and burnt down, and the cadaver would be burnt beyond recognition, except it didn’t matter anyhow, since it would be him, ‘B. F. Perry’. It was in the early evening that I zonked him with C, then poured the benzene we’d stashed there over him. After dark, I set him and the premises ablaze and fled the scene. I thought I’d heard some screaming coming from the blazing place, if so, I wasn’t moved at all, well not emotionally.
The insurance came good that time. It went to his wife via the lawyer you see – since my name and my aliases were starting to raise suspicions of course. His wife Elanor was a daft creature. She gave me most of the proceeds from the scam, through various crooked demands, while Jeptha got his stakes in full, obviously. But Elanor started asking questions about Benjamin’s whereabouts, and I sincerely felt she thought I’d dispatched him, and wondered if she actually cared. When I tried to intimate the dirty with her, she become quite harpy and started to make some alarming noises about informing the authorities about her suspicions concerning Benjamin. I simply couldn’t stand that. I wanted some kind of security on her so managed to get her to hand over three of her children to me, which was as easy as taking candy from a baby, saying that I’d take care of them on Benjamin’s behalf, while she conducted her search for him, presumably believing he’d fled with an amore or just fled and left her high and dry.
I took Alice, Nellie, and Howard with me on a great trip throughout the Northern states. And into Canada. Myrta, as ever, simply believed I was off on business, and said nothing about it (she was one seriously dumb woman – I’d married another while on the run before, a Georgiana Yoke.)
Well, Dear reader, this cannot go on forever…I mean how much of this sordid story do you want to know! I was starting to lose my mind. It was as if it was a hive of crazed bombinating baldis came for me from inside. I was going allover the place under different guises with those Goddamn grubkids as if they were mine, wanting their nutrition all day long it seemed. It got to the point where in Toronto, I’d had enough – I killed them, gassed them in a large trunk, buried them in the cellar. My wife, Myrta or Georgia, or maybe even Clara, or another I’d married, maybe even Elanor was my wife, since I didn’t really know (but there was someone who claimed to be one, staying with me), anyhow, they had no idea what I’d done, and I’d hoped that neither did I, but I did.
I just kept moving from place to place, allover the shop, as if harried by the authorities, and by myself – just perpetual vamoose. Harried by the Hive, by hymenoptera in general, the buzzing, stinging cretins of gaudy color-scheme meant to ward you off – poison pie. When they’re in your head, where can you go to escape them! I was like a man afire, aclatter, chased by his tail. I would turn up in some shitheel town, and the first thing I’d see was the baldis about their nests, a cloud of them, and it looked like they were trying to form a physiognomy of me in their swarm. And once I got chased by a gang of them, into the scrub and into another baldi nest, which I butted with my noddle and down it came, and out they came to sort me out with their buzzing and stings, and I looked like a poxy thing and hurt like a toxic human pincushion. And, I ended up in Texas in that house I’d defrauded the onetime actress out of. And there were baldis under the eave. And there were European hornets in the rotten old tree, who came and acted like the Black Hand, threatening me with their garish/hideous color scheme, like a dreadful bunch. And I fled, realizing that wherever I went, they’d find me. And it seemed I was chased by them wherever I went.
A hatless man runs down a Boston street screaming, as if fleeing some terror that might be himself, waving his hands about his head as if to ward off some harrying force invisible, or exorcise whatever is in his head. He’s slapping himself, mostly his head. The Pinkerton agents working on behalf of various concerns know who he is despite what he calls himself. When they capture him, he is wild-eyed, spittle-foam about his chin. He makes a strange buzzing noise but says naught. He thinks it is about time he was held in an asylum, somewhere where the baldis in particular – hymenoptera in general – can’t find him. If they do convict him, he wishes the electric chair, convinced that it hums – he is out of luck there.
Last edited by Ed Dazere; 09-10-2018 at 02:36 AM..