THE SCENE – Whitechapel, 1888.
SICKERT: Well done, William Gull, the Queen’s physician. Another prostitute murdered and no one’s any the wiser.
GULL: Thank you, Impressionist painter Walter Sickert. At this rate, nobody will know Prince Albert Victor’s terrible secret.
SICKERT: You mean the one about the piercing?
GULL: No, that’s fairly common knowledge.
SICKERT: Then his consorting with harlots, trugmoldies, blowzabellas and the like?
GULL: No, that too is a fairly open secret. I mean the other one.
SICKERT: Oh, right. Yes, that secret is safe as houses. And all it took was five ritual murders and the involvement of a large number of unconnected people. You’re a smooth operator, Gull.
GULL: Thank you, Sickert. But… one thing troubles me. I think that, despite the fact that these killings appear, on the face of it, to be the work of a nutjob with some knowledge of anatomy, it might be too obvious that there’s a conspiracy behind it.
SICKERT: Are you sure, Gull?
GULL: One cannot be too careful. In order to cover our tracks, I think we should leave a series of cryptic clues. I shall write “THE JUWES ARE THE MEN THAT WILL NOT BE BLAMED FOR NOTHING” above this murdered whore. In reference to Jubelo, Jubela and Jubelum, who as you know, figure very strongly in Masonic lore.
SICKERT: Really? I don’t see what they have to do with –
SICKERT: Oh. Okay.
GULL: Also, you should add some clues into your paintings.
SICKERT: Well, if you say so.
GULL: I do. Also, retroactively, I should develop arthritis in my hands and you should be in France.
SICKERT: What? How can I retroactively do something like that?
GULL: I’ll use my Masonic powers.
YR. HUMBLE CHRONICLER: Do you know, I have no idea how to end this entry.
SICKERT: Oh no! Rasta Squid!
All are devoured. Curtain.