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Jessica’s (other) Rubaiyat

The story as we know it is that that Harkness gave a Rubaiyat to Alf Boxall in 1945, three years before Detective Canney knocked on her front door and asked if she had copy. We don’t know if she replaced the one she gave Alf, but given the book’s popularity it wouldn’t be surprising.

“During the first decades of the 20th century, the ‘Rubáiyát’ made its way into nearly every facet of people’s lives,” said Michelle Kaiserlian, co-curator of the exhibition and “Rubáiyát” scholar. “For example, the exhibition documents the popularity of ‘Rubáiyát’ parodies, written on subjects ranging from courtship to automobiles, and from religion to politics. The ‘Rubáiyát’ became a tool to explore both the thrills and the anxieties of modern life.”

https://www.hrc.utexas.edu/exhibitions/2009/persian-sensation/

So maybe she did ..

Perhaps there was a copy of the Rubiayat sitting in a bookshelf at 90A Moseley Street on the night of November 30th 1948.

We know she knew Keane.

And her shock* at seeing his likeness might have been because she’d seen him in the company of Prosper Thomson on the night of 30th of November 1948, sitting in her kitchen eating a late-night pasty that had been seasoned with something other than tomato sauce.

Which would mean the imprint of a code together with the phone number X3292 may have been her doing, or Prospers.

And point to Prosper as being the man seen carrying a man along the Somerton Beach foreshore later the same night.

Leaving the question as to which one of them understood what Tamam Shud meant before removing it and hiding it in Keane’s fob pocket.

* owe you one, Colonel.

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Clive #

    I can’t imagine that Prosper would have known the meaning or cared as to what “Tamam Shud” meant. I’m sure that Jessie would have had no doubts as to what the title meant and, as a parting gesture perhaps, she made sure his fob pocket contained a small piece of paper.

    March 16, 2020
    • Trouble is, I can’t see either of them involved in a straight out murder, so maybe Byron is closer to it with his explanation of Keane’s physical problems and he died at the dinner table. But that doesn’t explain the hidden TS slip … or the code.

      March 16, 2020
      • Пожалуйста #

        Feels to me like there’s a lurching about between extremes that is required to grope our way toward any sort of coherent narrative, let alone plot.

        You either factor everything IN (codes, spooks and all) and arrive at the work of Smersh, or you edit a load of stuff OUT, and end up with an accidental OD or suicide on a lonely beach.

        Instinctively, it feels like the answer is somewhere in between … mundane strife regarding a bad deal, something like that. But there’s always something that doesn’t fit.

        Has anyone drawn a network diagram of the people, places, things, etc that are known? I had a quick go using very simple software and it ended up like a useless bowl of spaghetti within half an hour.

        Now if someone had access to something more sophisticated like i2 Analyst or Clue or similar…

        March 17, 2020
        • The code is the killer to a full understanding …
          I’d like to believe Gordon’s work on the code, but like all experimentation it needs to be independently confirmed. Pelling gave it an unsuccessful shot and he knows his way around the techniques needed .. then it turned into a slugfest with Gordon criticising said techniques …. I’ve got a bloke down the road who runs a photography restore shop who said he’ll have a go but given the times I’ll give him swerve for now.

          March 17, 2020
  2. dude47 #

    If he was murdered at Mosley st it was in a moment of panic. AND Jess a murderer? no not for mine. She was certainly a little odd and fragile but not a killer. She may have however been prepared to protect one.
    Natural causes is a definite possible.

    Carona virus??

    Too soon?

    March 16, 2020

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