Bruce Graeme: Epilogue

Published:  Hutchinson & Co. 1934

The Mys­tery of Edwin Drood is fa­mous not only be­cause it is by the im­mor­tal Charles Dick­ens, but also for the fact that, owing to the au­thor's un­for­tu­nate death, the story was never fin­ished. Who killed Edwin Drood? who was Dick Datch­ery? who was Princess Puffer? are ques­tions which re­main as much a mys­tery now as upon the day of Dick­ens' death. Since that time there have been many clever sug­ges­tions as to what Dick­ens' so­lu­tion might have been, and now, in this pre­sent story, Bruce Graeme sug­gests an­oth­er ver­sion, but — with that touch of orig­i­nal­i­ty which is un­de­ni­ably his — in such a to­tal­ly dif­fer­ent form that we feel sure his con­tri­bu­tion will be re­ceived with de­light.

How does he at­tempt to solve the mys­tery? Not by en­deav­our­ing to see the so­lu­tion through the eyes of Charles Dick­ens, but by imag­in­ing the re­sult after in­ves­ti­ga­tion by mod­ern C.I.D. de­tec­tives. The in­fi­nite pos­si­bil­i­ties of this method are eas­i­ly ap­par­ent, and Bruce Graeme makes the most of them. Once again Su­per­in­ten­dent Stevens (of A Mur­der of Some Im­por­tance and The Im­per­fect Crime fame) is the cen­tral char­ac­ter.

Here is not only a high­ly imag­i­na­tive story which in­tro­duces many fa­mous char­ac­ters, but one which sparkles with wit, hu­mour, satire, and some thrills, too. One does not have to be a lover of Dick­ens or even to have read "The Mys­tery of Edwin Drood" to enjoy this book. It is a novel which will suit the taste of all lovers of a sound en­ter­tain­ing story.

The Crime Committed by a Criminal Choirmaster
all for the sake of a pretty rosebud
Told in Rhyme
Price 2d.                                             Price 2d.

Dear Reader, pause and think awhile
Before you read this tale so vile,
Of how, on the morning of Christmas Day
Ned Drood was killed in a terrible way
                     By his wicked old Uncle Jasper.

Some hours before, young Ned did sup,
And share with Landless a loving cup.
And the one who had asked them there to dine,
Especially to drink some opium wine,
                     Was that cunning old Uncle Jasper.

For Ned and Neville both did love
(And Jasper, too) a winsome dove,
Whose name was properly Rosa Bud;
Peculiarly known as just Rosebud,
                     Especially by vicious old Jasper.

Now Ned and Rosebud were betrothed,
While Jasper by Rosa was truly loathed.
So, hearkening to the devil's advice,
He planned for Satan a sacrifice,
                     Did monstrous old Uncle Jasper.

He told these young men to the Weir to go,
To see a midnight water show,
Though what there was that they could see,
Remains to this day a mystery,
                     Known to infamous old Uncle Jasper.

As soon as poor Ned was home once more
From seeing young Neville to his door,
He pledged his uncle one more drink.
Then to unconsciousness did sink,
                     Watched by evil old Uncle Jasper.

That was the moment wickedly planned.
John Jasper took a careful stand:
A mighty blow and poor Ned was dead.
"Now Rosebud will marry me instead,"
                     Said that murdering old Uncle Jasper.