When was the Rubaiyat lost?
Detective Brown is on record* as saying Detective Sergeant Leane’s filing system was responsible for losing track of the Rubaiyat. What wasn’t noted was the probability that Leane would have had an assistant to help him with this task as his files must have been substantial seeing he was an Administrator of Detectives and soon to be lead investigator in the Somerton Body Case.
On 23 July Leane had his hands on the Rubaiyat, the code and the telephone number.
On 26 July the newspapers knew of Canney’s visit to 90A Moseley Street.
On 29 July Leane sent a photograph of the code and a ‘similar’ copy of the book to Eric Nave. The feeling is a naval officer of Nave’s rank and reputation would have insisted on being given the original. A mere layman might deduce that a code found written on the back of a book might in some way be connected to what was written inside the book and that a man of Nave’s experience would have liked to test that possibility. As far as keeping the evidence secure, no doubt Eric Nave had his own means. And it would not have been the only time Leane allowed individuals other than the police to handle evidence, remembering Cowan and Cleland’s given task.
Was the Rubaiyat lost within six days of days of Leane receiving it?
How else could you have it?
Or is it yet another argument for it never to have existed?