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Can You Solve the Famous "Impossible Murder" of Julia Wallace
On the 19th of January 1931, a chess club attended by insurance agent William Herbert Wallace receives a strange telephone call. The caller asks them to pass on a message to William, giving the fictitious name "R M Qualtrough", stating they wish to see him on a matter of business the following night at 7.30 pm at the fictitious address 25 Menlove Gardens East (an address peculiar in its absence, there being a Menlove Gardens North, South, and West - but no East).
The following night William goes out to the appointment. Unable to locate the address, he returns home to find his wife Julia brutally battered to death in the parlor, and the money from his insurance collection box stolen.
William is initially convicted of murder and sentenced to death, but the decision is later overruled by the court of appeal. The first jury decision ever overruled by the court.
The full trial text: https://archive.org/stream/in.ernet.dli.2015.220695/2015.220695.The-Trial_djvu.txt
Further Evidence Including Post-Morten and Crime Scene Photos:
- Although the crime was an apparent burglary, almost nothing was stolen. Random sheets and pillows seem to have been chucked around in one of the bedrooms upstairs, but the only thing stolen was the insurance collection money in the collection box, and the rings on Julia's fingers (William muttered this, but said she may have left them off that day).
- The cash box, after having apparently been stolen from, was then replaced back high up on the shelf where it was originally taken down from.
- Although R M Qualtrough did not exist, there was an R J Qualtrough who was a client of the Pru which William worked for. Another employee, Joseph Marsden, who William supervised, collected for R J Qualtrough and was potentially fired because of Qualtrough.
- Blood was found only within the parlor. Only two other marks of blood were at the scene, one drop in the toilet pan, and one on a bunch of pound notes in a vase upstairs. However these pound notes do NOT match the amount that would have been in the insurance box. It was widely speculated these marks were left by careless investigators.
- Although neighbors have reported to hear knocks on doors, and the opening and closing of neighbors' doors, and even sometimes conversations next door, NO such noise was reported by neighbors from the time William left until the time he got back.
- In those days gas jets were used for lights, so had to be manually lit with matches.
- Pay-ins for the Pru were on a Wednesday, which meant if someone was planning to steal from that cash box, they would be likely to get the biggest amount if they looted it on a Tuesday night - the same night on which this murder occurred.
- THE POSITION OF JULIA WALLACE WHEN FIRST STRUCK IS UNCERTAIN. There are too many conflicting reports by authors etc. whether she was sitting on the armchair to the left of the fireplace, or the two-seater sofa on the right, and whether her head was turned left or turned right... However, it does appear the violin case referenced is on the armchair in the photos, and therefore would mean it was hypothesized she was sat in the armchair.
The Full StoryThe year is 1931. A man named William Herbert Wallace has been married and living with his wife Julia Wallace for about 16 years at 29 Wolverton Steet, Liverpool, England.
He works for the Prudential Assurance Company, she is unemployed.
THE NIGHT OF THE CALL (19th Jan, 1931):
On the night of Monday the 19th of January, William leaves home at about 19:15 to attend his chess club, though has missed the previous 5 meetings. Samuel Beattie who runs the chess club at Cottle's City Cafe where William is scheduled to play (a chart on the wall in the cafe shows when "W H Wallace" is due) receives an odd telephone call. The call is first attempted at exactly 19:18, apparently there is some error with the call box and operators have to manually put through the message, which they are successful in doing at 19:20. Because of the difficulty in putting the call through (there appears to have been a legitimate issue since even operators struggled and had to get their supervisor), the call kiosk and time of the call is logged for an engineer to look at. The kiosk used is a mere 300 yards from William's home in Wolverton street.
Caller: Is Mr. Wallace there?
Caller: Can you give me the address?
Beattie: I'm afraid I can't.
Caller: But he will be there?
Beattie: I can't say. He may or may not. If he is coming, he will be here shortly. I suggest you ring up later.
Caller: Oh no, I can't, I am too busy; I have got my girl's twenty-first birthday party on and I want to do something for her in the way of his business. I want to see him particularly. Will you ask him to call around to my place tomorrow evening at 7:30?"
Beattie agrees to take the name, appointment time and address. The caller gives the name "R M Qualtrough" and the address "25 Menlove Gardens East, Mossley Hill", repeating both the name and address back to confirm he has got and spelled it correctly.
At roughly 19:45 William arrives at the club. There is a rule at the club that those who arrive after 19:45 are disqualified, but this rule is rarely adhered to. The opponent William is scheduled to meet, Mr. F C Chandler did not arrive that night, so William plays against a Mr McCartney (who he beats, causing William delight). Part way through his match, James Caird, a friend of William's, goes to Mr. Beattie's table to observe his match. Mr. Beattie asks him for William's address, and Caird tells him William is already at the club.
Upon hearing this news, Beattie goes to Wallace and tells that Mr. R M Qualtrough wishes to see him the following evening at 7:30 at 25 Menlove Gardens East, for something in the nature of his business. William reacts:
William: Qualtrough? Qualtrough? Who is he.
Beattie: Well, if you don't know who he is, then I do not.
William: I don't know the chap. Where is Menlove Gardens East? Is it Menlove Avenue?
Beattie: No, Menlove Gardens East.
William: Where is Menlove Gardens East?
Beattie: Wait a moment, I'll see whether Deyes (another member) knows (he did not).
Beattie knew of Menlove Avenue West (sic) but not Menlove Gardens East. Menlove Avenue is a rather well known road in the Mossley Hill area, running alongside Calderstone's Park which William sometimes visited with Julia. The Gardens is a triangular affair with a North, South and West. Menlove Gardens East does not exist.
At about 22:15 William leaves the club, arriving home at around 22:55.
THE DAY OF THE MURDER (20th Jan,1931):
The next day at 10:30 William leaves to begin his collection rounds wearing a dark mackintosh owing to the poor weather, taking insurance money which he will later place into the cash box which was stolen from at the scene of the crime. He returns home at 14:10 to have lunch, hanging up his rain-soaked dark raincoat (a mackintosh) in the hall.
At 15:15 William takes his lighter fawn raincoat, apparently owing to the weather having turned out nicer, and goes on his afternoon collection rounds. During collections, at 15:30, a police constable James Edward Rothwell who had known William as an insurance agent for about 2 years was cycling down Maiden Lane. In a statement he made, he says that he passed very close to William (although William did not notice him), and that William's face appeared "haggard and drawn", and that he appeared unusually distressed. He went on to say that William dabbed his eyes with the sleeve of his jacket and it looked as though he had been crying... Very shortly after this sighting, William called on an insurance client, who in court testified that he was his usual self and was joking with her. The defence at trial brought out a number of client's William had seen including some shortly after this time, and one couple who invited him in for a cup of tea which he accepted. All reported that he seems his usual self and nothing was out of the ordinary whatsoever.
In court the defence attempted to convince the constable that he was mistaken, and that William may have been dabbing his eyes due to the cold weather. However the constable was emphatic that although he considered eyes may water for that reason, that even if 25 witnesses were brought up who all found him normal, that he would stick to his opinion that William appeared extremely distressed to him, as though he had just suffered some sort of bereavement.
At the same time (15:30), Amy Wallace arrives at 29 Wolverton Street to visit Julia (her last visit being the Sunday prior with her son Edwin). Amy Wallace is William's sister-in-law, being married to Joseph Wallace who works abroad in Malaysia and is almost always away from home. According to Amy Wallace, she found out from Julia that William was off to a business appointment somewhere in the Calderstone's district that night. Next-door neighbors the Johnston family claimed they could always hear when Amy was visiting through their walls, owing to her loud voice.
Amy states that she left at about 16:30. At about this time the baker's boy (Neil Norbury) arrives to deliver Julia's bread. He later states she did not look well and was wearing some sort of scarf, but assured him it's just bronchitis. Just after this, Julia emerged in the backyard to pay her window cleaner Charlie Bliss. Neighbor Florence Johnston claimed that she also briefly spoke to Julia at this time.
By 17:45 William was just finishing up his insurance rounds, asking the time before making one final special call and returning to his home by what he estimates to be 18:05, and at 18:30 begins gathering documents together which he feels he may need for his business trip.
Of Critical Importance: At around 18:37 milk boy Alan Close (who is running quite late) claims that he knocks to deliver the milk and Julia answers. She then brings in the milk, returns the jug to Alan Close and tells him to run on home out of the cold, then closing the door on him. This is the final time the front door of 29 Wolverton Street will close!
According to William, he leaves home at around 18:45 in the fawn jacket he had worn earlier.
He claims that Julia followed him down the yard, bolting the gate behind him, which was their usual practice when one of them was going out, since it was more convenient for the tram stops to go out the back door and out the back entry which led onto Richmond Park. With the tram route he states to have taken, the absolute latest he could have left home to make this journey would have been at 18:50.
The Tram Rides:
He is not seen until the third tram, which he boards.
The conductor of this third tram Thomas Arthur Phillips later gives a statement to police. He states that William boarded, asking, "does this tram go to Menlove Gardens East?", he said no but that he could later switch. William told him that he had "urgent business" at "Menlove Gardens East", emphasizing the "east" and stating that he is a "stranger in the district". As Phillips went to collect his fare, William said "you won't forget Guard; I want to get to Menlove Gardens East."... At a later point William again speaks to Phillips, asking "how far is it now and where do I have to change?" and Phillips told him he would need to change at Penny Lane.
Upon arriving at Penny Lane, Phillips saw a No. 7 tram and told William to take that one. However, instead he saw William go towards a 5A tram and shouted: "Not that one! The No. 7 in the out loop!" He saw William go towards the No. 7 tram but could not tell if he boarded it. In actual fact he did NOT board it, instead he went back and boarded the 5A tram he was originally walking to when Phillips corrected him. Notably, in his own statements, William is insistent that conductor Phillips had told him to take the 5A.
He asked the conductor of the 5A tram (Arthur Thompson) to put him off at Menlove Gardens East. Upon arriving at Menlove Gardens West, the conductor put him off saying: "‘This is Menlove Gardens West. Menlove Gardens is a triangular affair, three roads. There are two roundabouts off on the right. You will probably find it is one of them." William thanked the conductor, adding that he "is a complete stranger round here."
The Wild Goose Chase:
Having arrived at Menlove Gardens at 19:20, he begins the snipe hunt for the mythical Menlove Gardens East. He began walking down Menlove Gardens North when he encountered a person leaving one of the homes. He asked this person if they could direct him to Menlove Gardens East, but unfortunately they said they "do not know where it is but that it might be further up in continuation of Menlove Gardens West."
He then walked back down Menlove Gardens West until he reached a road to his right – Dudlow Gardens. Retracing his steps, he arrived back at the junction of Dudlow Lane and the top of the lower part of Menlove Gardens West. Here, Wallace approached a young man, Sidney Hubert Green.
He asked Green (who described William as 5'10 and thin, wearing a darkish overcoat and trilby - though William is 6'2) if he knew where Menlove Gardens East was. In one of the more prolonged of the conversations he had with strangers that night, Green told him that Menlove Gardens East does not exist, but that there is a Menlove Gardens West. William said he knew and then went to knock on the door of 25 Menlove Gardens West, apparently suspicious Beattie may have got the address wrong.
The residents of 25 Menlove Gardens West answered his knock, and he asked them if a Mr Qualtrough lived there. The residents said he did not. Wallace then told them the tale of the call and the name of the man he is meant to meet, but they said they did not know anybody of that name.
He then went to try Menlove Gardens South and North, but discovered they only have even numbers, and walked to the end of Menlove Gardens North which led onto Menlove Avenue. After asking another stranger where the address is and finding himself at the top of Green Lane, it is here that William alledges that he ONLY NOW realized where he was (he was on the street where his supervisor Mr. Crewe lived). Though Mr. Crewe on trial claimed that William had only been to his home 5 times for violin lessons, this was in fact untrue, and William had also called a number of times for business reasons, and at least once a week at some point for a 2 month period.
William knocked at Crewe's door, but unbeknownst to William, Crewe had gone out that night to the cinema.
Finding that Crewe was not home, William went walking down Green Lane and came across a police officer. He asked him where Menlove Gardens East was, to which the officer replied no such place exists and that he'd never heard the name Qualtrough in the district. William then went on to tell the officer of the whole saga, how someone had placed a call to his chess club calling themselves R M Qualtrough and how he was meant to meet him at Menlove Gardens East... The policeman told him he should try 25 Menlove Avenue. Wallace went to turn away but then turned back and asked if the officer knew where he could find a street directory (which at the time worked like a modern day phone book). The officer suggested the Post Office. William then drew out his watch, saying to the officer: "It is not 8 o'clock yet." the officer did the same and confirmed that it was a quarter to 8.
At the post office there was no directory, but Wallace asked the clerk there if they knew of Menlove Gardens East or Qualtrough. They said they had not but to try the newspaper shop. William noted the time on the clock of the Post Office and then went across the road to the newspaper shop where there was in fact a newspaper directory.
He asked the assistant who had approached him to see if he needed any help "do you know what I am looking for?", the assistant responded in the negative, and William told her the reasons behind his journey and that he needed Menlove Gardens East. The assistant told William that there is no Menlove Gardens East. Only a North, South, and West. She even checked the accounts to see if a Mr. Qualtrough or residents of Menlove Gardens East had ever had an account there. She came up with nothing.
At this point, William left and took the tram home. Nobody noticed him on his journey home.
The Discovery of the Body:
Though William stated that he never spoke to anybody on the way home, a local, Lily Hall, who knew Julia from church and had known Mr. Wallace by sight for years, gave a statement not too long after the murder which contradicted this. Apparently saw the very distinctive figure standing at the back entry to the homes of Wolverton Street, in a darkish overcoat and trilby hat (the same outfit Green had described) talking to another figure, who was about 5'8 and of stocky build, wearing a dark overcoat and cap. However William denied this.
Back to the story, William says that he tried his key in the front door but found it would not open, he knocked to no answer. He went round to the back, finding the back gate open, and went up to the back door with his key. He attempted to open it, but it was bolted, knocking again he found no answer. He then went round to the front door again, and once again could not get in and nobody answered... One more time he went around to the back of the home, and at this point, his next door neighbors Florence and John Sharp Johnston are coincidentally just leaving their house to visit a relative. In court Mrs. Johnston would testify to have heard William knock gently on his back door.
William asks them if they've heard anything suspicious tonight and they say they haven't. He tells them he's unable to get into his home, so John tells him to try to open it again, and if he can't, he'll go and get his own key. "She won't be out, she has such a terrible cold..." William muttered.
In their presence, the door opens which William signals by calling out "it opens now". John says that he and Florence will wait outside as he goes and looks around. They watch his passage through the home by the lights, and hear him call out "Julia?" twice inquisitively as he searches around. Eventually he enters the dark parlor and finds her dead. He hurries outside and tells the Johnstons: "Come and see! She's been killed!"
"What's wrong? Has she fallen down the stairs?" Mr. Johnston asks. Following William inside they come across the body in the parlor. Though no furniture has apparently been displaced, blood has been sprayed as high as 7 feet off the floor over the walls (although most no more than 4 feet high), and a giant pool of blood has collected under Julia's body, with brain matter around her skull. "Oh you poor dear!" says Florence Johnston. "Is she cold?" asks Mr. Johnston to which Florence shakes her head. William continues to repeat "they've finished her... They've finished her."
According to William, the parlor was only used for entertaining guests or when he and Julia had musical evenings, where she would play the piano while he accompanied her on the violin.
As they all went into the living kitchen (back in those days, the "living kitchen" was where people would spend most of their days), William pointed the direction of the Johnstons to a cupboard door which had been wrenched off. On the floor were a few coins. "Is anything missing" asked Mr. Johnston. William then reached up and took down his insurance collection box from atop a shelf, and noted that it had been looted (everything aside from a single dollar bill he kept, and four stamps). John asked how much was missing, and he gave a rough estimate but said he couldn't be sure until he'd checked his books.
Mr. Johnston urged William to go upstairs and check everything is in order before he goes for the police. William went upstairs, returning a little while later saying that everything was in order and that there were five pounds in a dish that they hadn't taken. With this, Mr. Johnston went off for a doctor and then to the police.
As Mr. Johnston went off for the police he coincidentally bumped into his daughter Norah's fiancé George McElroy close to the house, who had been on his way to see Norah.
William and Florence returned to the parlor, where Florence again felt Julia and noticed that she had become cooler. "Whatever have they used (to kill her with)?" Florence asked, while glancing around the room. Something very peculiar, that in court this line was attributed to being said by William, and was used against him by the prosecution. His defence team did not pick up on this, disgracefully.
As Florence and William examined the body closely William suddenly noticed something and said: "Why, whatever was she doing with her raincoat; and my raincoat?" (the actual word is mackintosh but I'm making it American-friendly), "why, is it your raincoat?" asked Mrs. Johnston. William confirmed that it was.
At this point the two go back to the kitchen. According to Florence she didn't know what to do with idle hands so said "well, we'll have a fire then!" and put the kitchen fireplace on.
The ORIGINAL Body Positioning: Julia was lying on her right-hand side, almost diagonally across the rug, her legs slightly parted, her feet lying flat on their sides close to the right-hand end of the fender, toes pointing toward the window. Her right arm was hidden beneath her body; her left arm lying against her body, was bent at the elbow, the forearm resting over her chest, the fingers almost touching the floor. Approximately 18 inches from the open door, Julia’s head lay on its right side, her eyes staring out toward the window. Surrounding her head was a 9-inch border of congealing blood, brain tissue and bone. Just above, and in front of her left ear was a huge, cruel opening in her skull, 2 inches wide by 3 inches long, through which what remained of her brain could be seen.
- Gannon, John. The Killing of Julia Wallace . Amberley Publishing. Kindle Edition.
The Police Arrive:
At 21:10 the police arrive. Curiously, Julia's beloved black pet cat also randomly shows back up, which had allegedly been missing for 24 hours in the harsh January weather. As the cat walks down the hall Florence Johnston cries out "don't let it see her!" but fortunately the cat simply ambles past and does not enter the parlor.
The body and some items of furniture are moved, making the police photographs of the crime scene somewhat inaccurate. According to Florence, when shown the photographs in the court, she claimed it looked like "a faked room".
The first policeman to arrive at the scene is a PC Williams (who I will refer to as constable W to avoid confusion). Constable W follows William around the home. Finding the laboratory in order they go into the bathroom where there is a light on. "We usually have a light on in here" William says. They then go into the middle bedroom where the Wallaces slept, and the gas light in this room is also burning. Constable W questions this. William says that he changed himself in this room and that he himself had probably left the light on. He then goes to a vase, and pulls out 5 pound notes (the ones later found with blood smeared upon them): "Here is some money which has not been touched." says William. Constable W tells him to put it back where he found it.
In the front bedroom there was no light but a scene of disarray, random clothing and sheets were thrown around, though nothing had been taken according to William, and all drawers were shut.
After inspecting the kitchen - with William reporting the money looted from the cash box, and apparently something about the money in Julia's handbag which the constable could not make out (nothing had been taken from it), they went back to the parlor and inspected the body.
The constable asked William if any lights were on in the house when he returned. He explained that apart from the two upstairs (in the bathroom and middle bedroom), the home had been in complete darkness.
Professor MacFall was the main forensic investigator in this case. He made a massive error by basing the time of death on only rigor mortis, rather than using the much more accurate rectal temperature. Another error is that Julia was believed to be in her early 50s, when in reality she was lying about her age and was in fact very nearly 70.
Based on rigor mortis MacFall at first put her time of death at 8 PM, but then made it 6 PM, which put William himself in the frame for the killing.
Report of the Post-Mortem on the body of Julia Wallace, found murdered at 29 Wolverton Street on 20.1.31
 On 21.1.31 at Princes Dock Mortuary, I made a P.M. examination of the body of Julia Wallace. Woman about 55 years, 5’ 3/4”, lightly built, prominent abdomen. No linea abicantes [stretch marks on the skin that often follow pregnancy]. The external genital orifice was quite clean with no evidence of blood.
 There was a small recent bruise mark on the inside of the left upper arm. There were no other marks of violence on the trunks or limbs. The hair was matted with blood and brain tissue. The hair was removed. Two inches above the zygoma was a large lacerated wound 2” by 3” from which brain and bone were protruding. On the back of the head on the left side were ten diagonal apparently incised wounds.
 On removal of the scalp the left frontal bone was driven into the front of the brain corresponding to the external wound. The whole of the left side of the back of the skull was driven in and broken into pieces. The injury extended into the middle and rear fossae, fracturing and breaking up the rear part of the cerebellum, bursting the tentorium cerebelli and breaking up the left part of the cerebellum. The left lateral sinus was broken across, also the meningeal arteries.
 The appearance was as if a terrific force with a large surface had driven in the scalp, bursting it in parallel lines, with the appearance of several incised wounds, but the edges of these wounds was not sharp.
 The lungs, heart, kidney and spleen were normal. The stomach contained about four ounces semifluid food consisting of currants, raisins, and unmasticated lumps of carbohydrate. The small bowel was normal, the caecum ascending and transverse colon were enormously and chronically distended – typical constipation bowel. Uterus virginal and clean. The vagina clean and no evidence of bleeding. The right ovary normal, the left 3½ by 2½ fibroid.
 I am of the opinion that death was due to fracture of the skull by someone striking the deceased three or four times with a hard large-headed instrument.
Opinion was later changed to state that Julia had been hit 11 times in a "frenzied" attack. In a later report he states:
On 20.1.31 at 9:50pm, I was called to Wolverton Street, Anfield. In the parlour I saw the dead body of a woman… The hands were cold but the body warm; rigor mortis now present only in the upper parts of the left arm but by about 1 o’clock had extended to the right arm and right leg, but on no part was there any marked rigidity. From these two observations, it was most likely that death had taken place two hours before my arrival.
By his above report his initial estimate as to the time of death was 19:50 at the earliest. However, he later changed his mind without explanation and stated that the time of death was 18:00. However, this earlier time of death would be inconsistent with the sighting of Alan Close reported, as well as the sightings of several others who had seen Julia before Alan Close's arrival.
The SuspectsWilliam Herbert Wallace - William was the husband of Julia, and originally convicted of her murder. The time he left his home and arrived at the chess club is consistent with him having made the call himself if he had taken a different tram route than the one he claimed (although his tram route on this night was never checked). One operator said the voice sounded like an older man... The prosecution asserted William had called the club himself using a disguised voice to provide himself with an alibi for the following night.
William also had admitted to visiting Calderstones park with Julia, which Menlove Avenue runs adjacent to, and Julia had allegedly told Amy that William was off to the "Calderstones" district for business that night. At the same time, William told tram conductors that he was a "total stranger to the district" and claimed to have not realized where he was until he happened upon the street his supervisor lives on.
Although the ailing William would have had at most about 12 minutes to kill his wife, ensure he was free from any blood, and stage a robbery (although the latter could have been done in advance), the prosecution alleged he had donned the raincoat as a shield from blood and brutally beaten his wife to death.
However he had given his tram route before he knew the telephone booth location had been traced (if this tram route was correct, he could not have called), and the timing seems very tight for a murderer to get away so clean. The chess club captain Samuel Beattie had known for many years and stated emphatically it was NOT William's voice.
William was a keen chemist and botanist, and was buried with his wife Julia in Anfield cemetary. He suffered most of his life with severe kidney disease, and was probably aware he did not have long to live.
Richard Gordon Parry - Richard Parry was a petty thief and local "badboy". He was William's own prime suspect. He had worked for the Pru where he was supervised by William, though he had fiddled the accounts book and eventually left the Pru to join another insurance firm.
He gave a COMPLETELY false alibi for the night of the telephone call, although he had a solid alibi for the night of the murder which covered him from 5:30 PM until 8:30 PM. He had been with a Mrs. Brine, and was also seen by another individual, and had been to a Williamson's. He performed other menial tasks that day.
According to a garage man Parkes, Parry had gone to his garage that night and requested his car be hosed down. Parkes claimed he found a blood-covered glove in the glove compartment and that Parry had grabbed it saying "if the police found that, that would hang me!" then apparently randomly volunteered the information that he'd dropped the murder weapon down a grid on Priory Road. Parkes also claimed that Parry had come wearing fishing gear and wading boots. However, police noted that the crime scene was not consistent with blood dripping off of a waterproof surface, and Parkes gave his statement on a radio show after Richard Parry had died.
Richard Parry was though, known to be a member of a drama club which met at the same cafe where William's chess club met, and a schedule posted on the wall could have easily been seen by him, which would have told him which dates William was set to go to the club. He was also known to enjoy making prank calls.
He is a friend of Joseph Caleb Marsden (the man for whom R J Qualtrough was once a client), and referred to by William as a family friend. Supposedly Julia had doted on him.
Richard had been into the Wallace's home on several occasions, had seen William put money into the cash box (which was always kept in the same place), and knew that Prudential pay-ins were made on Wednesdays, so one could expect the biggest bounty on a Tuesday after William had returned from work.
John Sharp Johnston - John and his wife Florence were apparently leaving their house by pure coincidence just as William came back around to the back door for the second time. It has been asserted by some that John had in fact still been in the house when William got home, and when William went back around to the front for the second time, John slipped out the back, and he and his wife "intercepted" him. We know that they had a key which would allow them entry into the Wallace's home.
John and Florence moved out the very next day. They said the move was already planned.
The issue is that the name R M Qualtrough strongly ties to someone from the Pru or someone who knew R J Qualtrough. The first letter could be coincidence, and the person may have used the "Qualtrough" name which was the name of a butcher who owned a store 3 miles away, but it would be a rather considerable coincidence.
He matches the description of the man Lily Hall reported to see talking to William in the back entry, an encounter William denied.
Joseph Caleb Marsden - Almost nothing is known about this man, except that he was friends with Richard Parry and had got a job at the Pru through Richard, who had recommended him to William. He had also been to William's home and covered for him while he (William) was sick.
R J Qualtrough was one of his clients, and may have been the man who caused him to lose his job with the Pru.
Joseph's alibi for the night of the murder is that he had "flu".
He married a wealthy woman shortly after the murder.
A Former Lover or Family Member of Julia - If it had been a person known to Julia who she admitted into the home willingly, she may well have supplied them with information which they could use to get William out of the home.
Supposedly it was Julia who convinced William to go on the trip. He alleges that he was uncertain but she urged him, saying they could do with the money.
Julia was completely estranged from her family. Her sister Amy Dennis requested her jacket, but none attended her funeral. She lied about her past, faking her age by almost 20 years and stating she came from a well-to-do French family with a mother "Aimee", which was all a pack of lies.
Joseph Wallace - A very outsider and unlikely suspect since Joseph Wallace was supposedly in Malaysia at the time, and only sailed back to the UK when he had heard what had happened. However I can't actually find 100% proof of this (I'm sure someone would be able to).
William and Joseph looked so alike, all except for the height (William being 6'2, Joseph 5'11), that they were often referred to as the "Wallace twins". It is interesting that Green described William as being "5'10" considering... Also the very little known fact that at around 7 o'clock on the night of a murder, a man very much matching the description of Joseph hailed a cab to Kingsley Road wearing a dark overcoat and carrying an umbrella. He was around 50 and well spoken, with hair that had just started to turn grey. The driver reported him to police because he had asked before getting in the cab in a very agitated manner "you won't kill me will you?!" Then, when reassured by the cab driver, said that he's sorry he's just in an agitated state.
Kingsley road is just a 10 minute walk from the third tram William supposedly took on the night of the murder, and the first tram he was actually seen on.
However, if Crewe had been in and he really had knocked there, surely Crewe would have realized this was not William.
Motives?Affair - At the time rumors were flying that William was having an affair with Amy Wallace. Joseph Wallace was indeed away almost all the time and of course she had needs. At the same time, Julia was near 70 and may not have the same sexual desires as a younger woman. William also looks identical to Joseph, her husband.
Interestingly, when police arrived at the home and asked what was missing, aside from the missing money from the cash box, William randomly said a "dog lash" was missing from the hall and had been missing for about 12 months. A dog lash is often used as bondage equipment, although people sometimes kept them for protection... The Wallaces never owned a dog.
Amy Wallace was rumored to have indulged in "beating black boys" with whips while she herself was in Malaysia for sexual gratification.
Homosexual Coverup - At the time, homosexuality was still a huge deal. There has been a couple of tip offs that William was in fact bisexual and hiring rent boys including Richard Parry and Joseph Marsden. With Marsden engaged to a rich woman, exposure may possibly have been strong enough of a motive to commit murder.
Robbery - Apparently at the time some believed penny-pinching William was hiding something of a "nest egg" in his home. And of course, those familiar with his insurance business would probably know that he kept insurance takings in the home. Anyone who knew the location of this cash box may have felt inclined to try and steal from it.
Anyone very familiar with his business may have purposefully targeted the tuesday night to maximize the amount of money in the box.
William stated that when he AND Julia left the home together, they would actually take with them ALL the money in the house, including the insurance takings. So for someone who knew them very well, they might also know this curious fact and therefore know that they need one person to be in the home.
However, if it was a robbery, unless aborted very soon into it, then it appears not much attempt was made to seriously burglarize the place.
More InformationMore on the case: https://inacityliving.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-wallace-murder-case.html
2 Wrongs Make 1 Right: Prologue 7 (Prologue Finale)
Might be a long chapter guys, so buckle up ;)
New Feature: Italics mean speaking in Japanese.
Without further ado, let's begin.
Prologue 7: Land Of The Rising Sun
I was woken abruptly by the plane’s loudspeaker announcing that they had arrived at Chicago. An air waitress told me to essentially leave everything as we were going to be back anyways. I only had a backpack so I just took it along with me.
After wearily, and kind of unwillingly sliding out of my chair, I repacked my things and left. I walked down the entrance to the airport, where I was blinded by the bright lights. I didn’t do much at the airport, considering a 5 hour layover wasn’t so bad. I just roamed around the airport until I found a coffee shop and waited there. After about 4 hours and 34 minutes I was called onto the flight over the loudspeaker, and made my way back onto the plane.
I was really kind of out of it. A short 2 hour nap when your body is already programmed to sleep a few hours ago didn’t really help either. I trudged my way to the gate, showed them my necessary documents, and made my way to the plane. The air hostess I had been accustomed to looked at me and helped me gather my things and into my old seat.
She didn’t ask if I wanted anything, which was fine, considering all I really wanted was a nice nap. I whipped out my phone from my right pocket to check if there was anything happening.
“2:04 AM - Saturday it read.” I put my phone onto the counter of my seat as the usual safety demonstrations took place.
“Good Morning everyone! Hope you all had a nice layover stay at O’Hare International Airport here in Chicago. Right now it is 2:05 AM, and our flight to Tokyo will take around… 12 hours. Again, my name is Captain Shin Hayata, and I thank you for flying with ANA.”
“12 hours? More time to sleep.” I happily thought. I rested myself onto the chair, covered with a warm fleece blanket as the plane started to move for a bit, then rumbled and took off. I couldn’t help myself but to observe the outside scenery of Chicago. There were still lights on, even though it was pretty early, accompanied along with the dark glossy sky. It was quite the aesthetic I thought. I leaned back, nestled myself into the chair, and fell into a nice sleep, as the plane flew into the night.
I gently opened my eyes to the bright lights of the airplane. I groggily blinked as I rolled over to check my phone. “1:19PM - Saturday” my phone showed back. There was still about an hour left to the flight when the air waitress approached me.
“Good afternoon young man!” She cheered, “would you like to wash yourself up while I prepare you a nice lunch?”
Eh? Wash-up? I was confused. I knew planes had bathrooms, but not that big I thought.
As I stared blankly the air waitress giggled back.
“Yes, our planes, well this plane, does have a shower and a bathroom.”
I was stunned out of my stare and quickly apologized. She played it off as it was nothing as she helped me gather my things. I gathered all my toiletries when she pointed to the way of where the bathroom was.
I thanked her as I walked away when she she called back
“First time?” she asked.
“Yeah sorry.” I said as I scratched the back of my head.
She laughed as she walked away. I couldn’t help but crack a little smile as I went into the bathroom. It was spacious and I mean very spacious. It was bigger than my bathroom back at my old house that’s for sure.
Locking the door behind and undressing myself, I turned on the water dispenser as it gushed out hot and warm water. It was like a dream. So this is what hot water is, so relaxing.
As I showered and cleaned myself, I couldn’t help but reminiscence on my past. I tried for myself to let go, but all I heard was his voice. Her screams. I turned around to see a figure standing outside the shower. I yelped back in surprise as he approached me.
“D-Dad?” I stuttered back.
He got closer and closer to me. I tried to lean back to no avail, as my back pressed against a hot wall. I was scared, frightened. Exactly opposite of who I was on the outside. He got closer and closer to me as I screamed for him to back away, throwing a soap bottle in the process.
My head jots back. I look around the shower. It was bright and vibrant, with no sign of anyone else in sight. I was standing like a statue as I was drenched with hot aqua. I felt like my feet were drilled to the ground. I pinched myself on the side of my arm as it stung for a bit. I let out a sigh of relief as I went back to showering.
After showering and making sure to disinfect my cut, I dried myself off, changed into a new set of clothes, grabbed my things, and stepped outside. As I made my way to the exit, I couldn’t help but notice the soap bottle still laying on the ground. I picked it up and set it back to where it was.
As I opened the door, a cold wind brushed against my silver hair as I walked back to my seat.
I felt a hand on my shoulder as I looked back. It was that same air waitress. I didn’t even bother to get her name. I observed her name tag. “Diane.”
“Are you ok sir?” She asked. “We heard a scream in there, and something hit and fall and wondered if you were ok.”
I nodded back, but didn’t say anything. She gave me a look of concern, as it flashed to a soothing smile. She reached for a menu in the front of my seat and handed it to me.
I looked over the menu. There was a wide variety of selection as my mouth started to salivate from the choices. Japanese and international alike.
“I’ll have the Matcha and foie-gras terrine, with a side of crab and caviar, along with a roasted “Wagyu” beef fillet, with a shallot melting cream, with some seared bluefin Tuna.”
Diane nodded happily as she took down my orders on a iPad. “And anything to drink and to have dessert?”
“Oh. I’ll try the Strawberry agar with gyuhi Japanese rice cake, and for drinks i’ll have…”
“The peach juice?” She chimed in.
“Yeah, that.” I said as I smiled back.
She nodded again and went away.
I slumped back into my seat. I pulled out the note that Mr. Miner had left me. Reading it over I was particularly stuck at the word “forgive.” I sighed and closed my eyes, as I put the note back into my bag. Why? Why is it so hard? I stared at my hands. It won’t wash off. The memories, the thoughts. Tears started to flow down my eyes as I quickly seeked for tissues to dry them with. I decided to take my mind off things and enjoy the things handed to me right now.
I stared outside the window. Emanating from the outside was a patch of white, fluffy clouds being illuminated by the radiance of the sun. The blue sky fit in perfectly, like a missing puzzle piece in a whole gigantic conundrum. My thoughts were broken by the fresh smell of the aromatic food. I knew exactly what it was. Looks like my foie-gras had come, along with some other delights. Diane, the air waitress, placed a tray in front of me nicely as she poured me a glass of peach juice.
I thanked her again as she received it with welcome, and walked away.
The food smelled amazing. I got my fork and knife out and started digging in. It was like an orgasm in my mouth. The combination of foods complimenting each other so well, I heard many things about airplane food but this was much different.
After gobbling down my meal Diane took the tray away from me. A message broke over the loudspeaker as I was busy tidying up my things.
“Attention all passengers, this is your captain speaking. We will arrive in Tokyo shortly so make sure to fasten your seatbelts, have your tray tucked, keep your seat upright and windows open. We thank you for flying ANA and we hope to see you again.”
I checked my phone to see the time. “1:55 PM” it read. I peered out the window to see a beautiful city below me. Full of infrastructure and capital. There was a nice body of ocean around part of the city as the plane descended. I sat in my seat as the air waitresses walked down the aisles to check on everyone. Shortly after, our plane descended and landed into Tokyo.
I gathered my luggage and started to head out. I thanked all the staff as I exited the plane as they took a warm response to the gesture.
“Oh, young sir, can I speak with you for a moment?” Diane asked.
Oh no, did I do something wrong? I thought.
I walked over as she went into a corner of the plane. I followed suit.
She sighed and laughed as she looked at me. “It seems you don’t remember me do you?”
I gave a confused and blank look.
“No… I don’t think so-”
I looked at her face.
Oh my god.
“Mrs. Diane?!” I asked.
We both laughed at this short reunion.
She was my old 5th grade teacher. The only one I ever liked. I didn’t really like the other teachers. They always complained about me being so antisocial and disliking others.
She tousled my spiky hair in her soft palms.
“I knew that silver hair would be recognizable anywhere.” She said.
“I. I didn’t know that after you left, you went and got a job here.” I said.
“Yeah. I still love that old school. But something was calling to me. Another passion I suppose.”
She looks at me intently.
“I guess the same for you then. I saw that one-way tag on your ticket.”
“Yeah. Mr. Miner had told me about a transfer program that they do. So I decided to jump at that offer.” I said back.
She nods and places both of her hands on my shoulders. She was shorter than me so it looked a bit weird, but I didn’t mind.
“You are strong and wise and I'm very proud of you.” She says. I smile a bit at that.
She looks behind and me sighs. “Well then. I wish you the best of luck.” She said as she ushered me out of the airplane.
I look back and smile.
“In my experience, there’s no such things as luck.” I respond.
She smiles and we wave each other goodbye.
“Oh and another thing!” She calls out.
I turn back and face her. My body standings inches away from the metal exit.
“It’s… not always about you.” She says.
I look down at her, then down sadly as the cold air conditioner of the plane breezes through my body and hair.
I then meet her gaze again, and give her a little smirk as I exit the plane, and walk away.
I leave the jet bridge and onto the marble flooring of the entrance. It’s beautiful. Everything is so organized. I leave as I am guided to an automatic passport scanner. I was confused at first, considering I wasn’t even a Japanese citizen, but I guess they’re just that advanced. The place is efficient and fast I notice, like a well-oiled machine. I pass smoothly as I identify which belt my suitcase is on and retrieve it. Looking around, the place is quite empty, as I only see the people who left from my plane. I followed the signs to the exit of the airport.My eyes were still not fully adjusted yet as I am blinded by the gleaming lights of the airport.
After a few seconds, I rub my eyes as I grip my suitcase and just stare. I look around me. I just stare at my surroundings. Decorations everywhere, kids playing around, adults talking in Japanese, busy people on their commute to their destination. It was amazing. The airport was covered with plants and decorations for the aesthetic outlook, as the spacious area played and complimented it nicely. I just gazed around the whole airport as I strolled my luggage to the exit. Except that now that it was so massive, I had no idea where to go from here.
I decided that why not kill two birds with one stone, and to explore the premise while looking for an exit. I walk around when I accidentally bump and knock over a small girl who looks about 12. Short as well, around 5’ 0”. She has these amber eyes staring up at me with black hair tied into pigtails using thin yellow ribbons.
She starts mumbling and it looks like she’s about to cry when I approach her. I bend down a bit and extend my hand when it gets slapped out of nowhere.
My hand stings for a bit. I can feel this person, or rather, him looking at me even with my head facing down rubbing my hand.
I look up and see a blonde haired person standing in front of her, sort of like a guardian. He’s shorter than me, around 5’ 7”? I couldn’t really tell. I stand up and glare into his eyes as he takes a step back, but still adamant on protecting this girl.
“Hey! You apologize to my sister right now!” He growls.
Some of the airport members are looking at us now.
“I was going to say sorry and help her up, clown.” I bark back.
He’s stunned. Oh right. I’m in Japan. He looks like he’s trying to find the words to respond to me, or even comprehend what i’m saying.
“Uhh, onii-san? He’s probably a foreigner so that’s why he spoke english.” The girl pipes up from behind.
Brother? Oh. So overprotective I guess.
The brother grits his teeth as he says brokenly “You say sorry, now.”
I look at him with a dead stare as his gaze meets mine. I walk towards him as he plants his feet firm into the ground. I don’t want to start a fight, especially not here and now. I walk closer now as he tries to push me, but I grab his wrist and hold it above him. He’s now more stunned than ever, but still not letting up. He squirms as I notice his other hand clench into a fist. The airport patrons are now staring intently at the altercation.
I sigh and maneuver my way around him to offer my hand to the sister.
I clear my throat. “Sorry. I was just in a daze about finding where the exit was.” I say in Japanese.
The sister stares at me and says nothing as I gesture for my hand, which she takes. I let go of the brother’s wrist as he yanks it to his side.
“Are you ok?” I ask in Japanese.
The sister is mesmerized as I talk. “Y-Yes, i’m fine, thank you. Sorry about hitting you earlier.”
The brother walks up to me, “I didn’t know you could speak Japanese.” He says.
“It’s ok. I’m sorry if I caused you any trouble.” I respond
He says it’s ok and that he was sorry for getting so worked up.
Well that went 100-0 real quick.
I turn to leave when I notice the sister saying sorry again. I bend down a bit as I motion to her brother.
“You know. You’re really fortunate to have a brother like him.” I say.
The brother smirks and gestures for the sister to come follow him. The siblings walk away as they wave back at me, with the brother sneaking a thumbs-up and wink to me.
I am so enamored and baffled at the same time by this country.
I realize suddenly that I should really change my currency, so I quickly find a currency changer, exchange all my USD to Yen, and pocket the cash.
I eventually find my way to the exit. I step out to be met with a moderately-cold temperature. I look around, where I spot my name on a sheet of laminated paper. I make my way to him as he spots me and shakes my hand.
“You must be Mr. Peter right?” He asks.
I nod as he continues. I notice he speaks quite good english.
“My name is Mr. Shinkawa. I’m just the transferedriver around here, or more specifically in the school. We’re very excited for you to come to a new place and come join our school!” He says cheerily.
“Oh, umm… thanks.” I responded back.
He motions for me as I follow behind him. He opens the trunk of his sedan as he reaches for my suitcase. I intended to put it there myself but since he insisted, I let him. I slide in the back as he gets in the driver’s seat.
“So. There’s just a few basic things that need to be run-down.” He says as he starts his car and begins to drive.
“The school is about 1 hour from the airport. The Head of School wants to talk to you personally so we’re heading there first. Most if not all of your questions will be answered there.” He says.
I nod and thank him as I plug in my earbuds for the short road-trip. I look outside the car window, observing the scenery around me. The trees are fresh and green as the roads are nicely paved with cars following the correct lane. The water reflects the sun beautifully as the canvas of the bright blue sky helps enhance the whole thing really. I stare at the environment as I get driven away to my new life.
“We’re here! You must be pretty jet-lagged huh?” He claims as I rub open my eyes.
Right. Jet-lag. I must’ve slept through that whole ordeal. I whip out my phone to check the time.
“4:01 PM” it shines back.
I stretch myself awake and slide out of the car. Mr. Shinkawa hands me my luggage as he motions for the security guard to open the gate.
I unplug and keep my earbuds as the automatic gate slides open to the left. I get myself ready as Mr. Shinkawa motions for me to follow him. He also hands me my suitcase and I stroll it behind me.
I follow him as I look at the security guard. He stares at me as I stare at him back.
“Stay out of trouble kid.” He says.
Mr. Shinkawa looks behind and sighs.
“Hey, he’s new. Lay off yeah?” He asks.
The security guard scoffs as he goes back to his phone.
“Sorry about that. He’s kind of an on-edge person.” He says.
“Oh, no worries.” I responded back.
He laughs as he nods his head. “Understood.”
He guides me around the school to the Head’s office. I can’t help but take in the whole school right now. It’s big, modern, clean and dashing looking, it’s honestly quite nice and cozy. Similar to my old school, but this one has long hallways instead of, whatever my school had.
He points me outside the head’s office as he knocks on the door.
“Come in!” I hear a voice say.
He reaches for my hand as we give each other a nice handshake.
“He’s in there. It’s nice to have you here Peter.” He says.
I smile and say likewise. He laughs as he walks away, waving at me. Honestly, it’s the ones with the obscure jobs that have the most heart.
I slide open the door as I see him working and typing on his laptop. I let myself in as I close the door behind me. He looks up and closes his screen as he reaches for a handshake.
“It’s nice to meet you Peter. My name is Takeshi Yamoto.” He says.
I reach for his hand as he gives a firm handshake, which I return.
“It’s nice to meet you too, Mr. Yamoto.” I responded.
He smiles as we both sit down. He’s a tall man. Not as tall as me, but relatively tall, almost to my height actually. He dawns brown hair with black eyes, with also some nice clothing.
“Well. Welcome to Tokyo Private High School. We’re very excited to have you on board.”
I nod in agreement as he continues.
“Looking at your transcripts, it’s quite obvious that academic wise, you excel. Of course, this is something we value here, but we also value societal works as well. I trust that you can adapt and adjust to your new environment?”
I nod once again as he claps his hands.
“Good! Well, then…” He reaches in his drawer and hands in front of me some files.
I glance over them. It’s the usual, medical information, all that good stuff. He hands me a pen as I fill them out as per usual.
“Oh, and the documents you filled out back in America. Can I also have those please.”
I unzip and reach in my backpack and hand him the files. He looks over them and nods.
“Fantastic!” He says. “Ok, well, that’s about it. Just some more things for you to take home. Also remember that school starts in 2 days.” He hands me some papers as I quickly glance over them. Usual, school rules, uniform dress code, classes etc.
“That’s it for today. We are very excited to have you on board, starting high school here. Oh, down the hallway to the right is the school store, you can pick up your uniform there.”
“Thank you for everything.” I say.
He nods as he gets up and opens the door. I exit down the hallway as he waves goodbye to me and I wave to him back.
The hallways are vast and empty. Well, there aren't supposed to be any students at this time anyways. I see the orange sunlight break through the windows as I walk towards the school store. I open the door to the sound of chimes.
“Hello young man, how may I help you?” A voice behind the counter asks.
I walk over to the marble desk, “Hi. I’m a new transfer student here and was wondering about the uniforms…?” I ask.
“Oh yes, the new transfer student. Peter right? Sorry if I spoke in Japanese” She says.
I tell her it’s no worries as she gets up and goes into the back.
“What size are you, Peter?” She calls out.
“I’m an M.” I say back.
I hear the rustling of some boxes as she comes out with about 3 sets of uniforms in hand.
“Is it ok if I can just speak Japanese to you?” She asks.
I nod my head as she goes on.
“Right. So our school uniform here contains a warm gray blazer, with a brown sweater vest, a white collared shirt and a red tie.”
It was a change. The uniforms here are quite complex compared to the ones back home, I thought.
“It’s a size L by the way, as the size chart compared to America is one up.” She adds.
I thank her as I pack the uniform in my suitcase and head out. As I leave I see the Head of School outside smoking a cigarette. He spots me and quickly steps it out.
“You didn’t have to really do that. It’s ok, really.” I say.
He says it’s fine as he hands me a paper.
“Sorry. I forgot to give you this. It’s a map to where you will be staying. It’s not really a traditional apartment, but it’s similar. You can talk to the landlord, he’ll give you your key to your complex. Your house from what I see is really just a 10 minute walk from here, would you like me to call Mr. Shinkawa to drop you off?”
“No, I can manage. Thanks again.” I say.
“Don’t mention it.” He says back. “I look forward to seeing you on Monday.”
I nod back at him. I walk and stroll my luggage away as I exit the school with the gates closing behind me. I roll out the map given to me, to see that I just have to head straight down, take a right, then head straight down again.
I start walking. My journey takes me through paved roads and across a bridge. I see 2 people around my age run past me. A blonde girl carrying a violin and a black haired boy with glasses carrying what looks like sheet music zooms past me as they look over the bridge and into the river. They start talking and yelling, teasing each other as the girl pushes the boy into the river (luckily he dropped his music at the bridge) with the girl laying down her violin case as she follows the boy in. I look at them, as they’re splashing and having fun. I was kinda worried considering it was a low-tide, but they seemed fine. I walked past their items as I picked up one of the sheet music that had fallen out.
It was Clair De Lune. Quite a famous piece actually. I don’t listen that much to classical music, but I knew some. I studied the score, it looked way different from my drum sheet music, but that was to be obvious, as the sheet was made for piano. I bent down and slid the sheet music back into its case and walked away. I looked at them as they made it to shore and laid down in the grass, holding hands and staring lovingly at each other.
Music couple. Nice.
I stopped looking at them and started walking away to my home. On my way home, I passed a bakery with a playground across from it. I looked down at the map to find out where I was, using the landmarks as guides. I pass a collection of houses as I finally make it to my apartment. It’s one of those long ones, but I didn’t mind.
I knocked on the door labeled “landlord” as it opened with a man inside. I showed him my documents as he reached inside a glass cabinet and handed me my key to the complex.
“Just up there, first door.” He said.
I thanked him and walked away as he shut the door. I walked up the stairs as I opened the door to my new home.
It wasn’t much. I walked in, turned on the lights and removed my shoes and socks. A bed frame with a mattress sat in the corner plus a wooden desk next to it. Additionally, with a kitchen area to the right from the entrance of my house. A little table in the middle as to the left was a room to a bathroom that had a washing machine, and a storage room. There was also a window with shades to the front of me, with a balcony with clothes hangers outside. I closed the door to my house behind me and found the remote to an aircon. It was like a dream. It was like I was holding the holy grail.
I beeped my air-con on as I put down my things and started to unpack. I sat down on the wooden floor and started unzipping my things when I see a note left on the table. I pick it up and read it.
“We decorated your house a bit. Hope you like it!”
One thing I was excited about was the kitchen. Gas powered stoves, nice sink, spacious area, all much to my liking. I checked underneath and in the cupboards to find nothing. Looks like i’m shopping tonight.
I check my phone to see what time it is. “6:32 PM” it reads. Wow, time flies by fast. I decided to, again, kill 2 birds with 1 stone and get dinner and shop at relatively the same time. My stomach was rumbling as I took my phone and my wallet. I decided to leave my headphones to really experience the vibe here. I change into some fresh set of clothes, just a plain long black sleeve shirt and some pants.
Oh, and almost forgot to take my keys and the map.
I wear my shoes and step outside and lock the door. I pull out my phone, only to remember that I don’t have service. Great. I open the map given to me and observe it. There’s a street west of me not too far from where I am, where there are food places and supermarkets.
I fold the map, keep it in my back pocket, and start walking west.
I walk for about 20 minutes, admiring the scenery, the view and the overall atmosphere until I arrive at a district that’s bustling with people. You have your collection of workers, students, children, all that fun stuff. I occasionally bump into one of them by accident but they don’t seem to mind. They all keep to themselves, minding their own business, which I like. I move off to the side of the walkway to see the options given to me.
“Alright. We got a liquor store, a restaurant, a supermarket, and a convenience store… I think I'm gonna head for the restaurant I guess.” I say to myself.
It’s sort of filled to the brim with people as I look in, but I spot a few empty tables ready to be snagged. I walk in to be greeted by some chimes as a waitress comes up to me.
“Hello welcome to Kanzaki’s! How many people are there at your party?”
“Just one.” I say back.
Crap, why do I keep fucking forgetting I'm not in America?
She looks confused for a second, then immediately nods her head reassuringly.
“Table for one…” She says as she writes something down on her iPad.
She smiles and gestures for the way into the heart of the restaurant. I follow her as some people look at me while I'm walking. I always kind of found that weird. The waitress kindly points a single table for me to sit at, with a chair on one side and a couch on the other. I take my refuge at the couch side as I get handed a menu.
Alright. Let’s see what we have here.
I glance over the menu. Curry, sushi, ramen, udon, yakisoba, bento boxes, the typical staple traditional Japanese food. The images look appetizing, but I know that trusting images isn’t exactly the best thing to do at a restaurant. After some long and hard decision making, I decide to go for just a bowl of tonkatsu ramen. It’s relatively cheap I guess, so that’s a plus for me.
I call a waiter as he jots down my order on his pad, thanks me and walks away. I sit there with my arms on the table looking around. The restaurant is packed, with all sorts of people. To the left of me, a married couple with a little child around 4, and a group of girls around my age talking and giggling to each other. With nothing better to do, I decide to just take in my surroundings. The couple both have brown hair and green eyes with the child having it as well. The child is minding his own business, having fun with his food as the parents talk in the background. It takes some power, but I manage to not be a dick and eavesdrop on them.
I look to my right to see a group of 4 girls talking amongst themselves. One with blue eyes and short coral pink hair with a red bow to the side downing her third glass of Sprite, another one next to her with long purple hair with purple eyes drinking what I guess is hot tea, along with a short, small statured girl with short pastel pink hair, pink eyes along with pink braids in ponytails sipping strawberry milk, and a girl with opposite distinctions with long brown hair tied with a white bow, green eyes drinking a coke.
I procrastinate on my phone when my food arrives quite fast. It smells quite good as I am told to enjoy my meal by the waiter. I thank him as I pull open my wooden chopsticks and prepare to dig in, until I feel a little sput on the side of my face.
I touch the side of my face and feel a little fishcake slide down my left cheek and bounce onto the couch as I just stare confusingly at my food. I look to the table to the left of me, as it starts making a bit more noise as the parents break their conversation to see their child laughing hysterically and pointing at me.
They quickly remove the utensils from their child as they look into my eyes. They shudder for a bit as they quickly and very repeatedly apologize to me.
“I’m so sorry sir, I fully apologize for the actions of my child.” The mother quickly says.”
“Oh no, it’s quite alright.” I say back.
I look at the fishcake as I take it and wrap it in a paper towel. I place it on my desk as the parents are quite embarrassed and talk to the child. They then call for the bill as they motion something to the kid.
I was right about to go back to eating as the child tugs on my shirt.
“I’m sorry, sir.” He says quite cutely.
I give a little smile as I reach for an extra plate and place a fish cake out of my ramen bowl and onto the plate. I see the child looking at me with attention as I pass him the extra food.
“It’s ok. I think you forgot something though.” I respond.
His eyes beam as he thanks me profusely as devours the fishcake. His parents smile at him and thank me again for the hospitality. I say it’s no problem as they exit the restaurant, with the kid saying “bye-bye!” To me as he walks out. I can’t help but crack a smile as I wave back to him and go back to finally begin eating.
I must admit. The ramen was ok. It wasn’t the greatest I had ever tasted, but it wasn’t the worst. Then again, this wasn’t a ramen specified shop so I didn’t have much expectations to begin with anyway. I couldn’t help but notice that some of the girls at the table to the right started to giggle. The ones with coral pink hair and pastel pink hair looked at me and started to laugh quietly, as the one with purple hair told them to stop quietly as well. I met the gaze of the girl with the pink pastel hair as she quickly diverted her eyes off of me and onto her food. She was blushing a bit as she stared and ate her food, which I thought was a bit cute, but didn’t think too much of. I went back to finishing my meal as I called for the bill as well. I was stuffed as the ramen was quite a lot and the complimentary ice water didn’t hurt either.
The bill came as I paid and gave some extra as a tip, which is normal where I come from. I start to pack my things and leave when the waitress comes up to me and hands me the extra money.
I stood confused as I told them that the money wasn’t miscalculated and that it was a tip. The waitress started to get a bit embarrassed until I just finally caved and took the money back, with obvious confusion still in my head. I thank the waitress for her troubles as she bows and says sorry. I bow back and leave still quite visibly baffled.
I whip out my phone to connect to a free WiFi service as I googled about tipping in Japan. Oh. You DON’T tip in Japan. That’s good to know as I chuckle to myself. I then look for the supermarket and enter. It’s quite packed as well, but there’s enough space. It’s like your local supermarket. I grab a basket as I pick up exactly how many cooking tools I need. Ladle, pot, spatula, pans etc. I also grabbed some simple basic essentials like toiletries, snacks, all that fun stuff. I then paid the amount needed, which was quite a lot, actually around 33,000 Yen as I asked for a door delivery service. The cashier guides me to a counter, where I whip out my map, fill out my specific address and leave them with my things. I exit the supermarket as I walk down the way back to my house. I spot the same girls exit the restaurant as I pass it as they look at me.
I look at them back and away as I walk myself home, when a voice calls out.
“HEY!” A voice says behind me.
I stop dead in my tracks and look back.
It’s that same pink-haired girl, staring directly at me, with her arms and hands to her sides.
“Can I help you?” I say back while approaching her.
Like that person in the airport, she slowly steps back I guess out of fear, but with her posture not backing down.
The coral-pink haired girl and the brown-haired girl quickly shush her as they ushered her away to the opposite direction, with the purple-haired girl apologizing to me, following her friends.
I sighed and made my way back home.
Crossing the same landmarks I had marked I looked up at the bright, crescent moon that dawned over me. Looking and peering around me, I saw a giant student dormitory. Maybe I could’ve lived there I thought, but it’s kinda too late now. Plus, I think my room is quite good enough.
I made my way back home and opened the door to my house. I started to take off my shoes when I was startled by a knock at my door.
“Delivery!” A voice called.
I opened the door to see a man holding a paper with the bags of my purchased things on the ground behind him. I kindly confirmed my items as he helped me get them inside. I thanked him for his services and closed the door.
Wow. That was damn quick.
I unpacked the items and kept them in my kitchen storage. With nothing else better to do, and with it already getting quite late, I quickly washed myself up in the bathroom and slid into my old clothes, and went to bed. I put my hands behind my head as I stared up at the concrete ceiling.
“So this is it.” I said quietly. “New place, new life, new start.”
I closed my eyes as I tossed and turned under my silk blankets.
“I hate jet lag.”
I awoke to the sound of birds chirping outside my house, as the sun shone through the curtains of my room. I didn’t have much to do today, considering all I had to do was get myself mobile service, buy some fresh groceries and wait until tomorrow. I got myself out of my bed as I washed and changed and opened my map to see where to go next.
Ok… shopping mall, shopping mall…
With the help of Google and the map, I figured to go to one not far from here. By train that is. I headed out of my room, locked the door and got myself ready for the day.
Using the Japanese metro system was quite easy. Just pluck in some bills, push a button to where you want to go, catch the train and just wait. I swear, either this country is super advanced, or I must be so underneath a rock… I think both. I went out of the train and onto the surface to be greeted with a whole crowd of people. Slithering my way through, I got into the mall unscathed as I stared at the vast beauty of it. I walked around as I spotted a directory for me to use.
Ok… third floor… technology.
I made my way to the escalator as I saw such diverse shops around me. On one side there was Gucci, on top there was Sony, I had never been to many shopping malls in my life so this was probably one of the best things I have ever experienced. I whipped out my phone to take some photos when I was stunned by the time.
Holy shit! It was already 6 PM? How long was I out for?
I figured like yesterday, to get my things after dinner, so I just decided to have an early one. I slid into a udon restaurant as I was again, greeted by a friendly waitress and some stares from other people. The food was actually quite amazing, the texture of the noodles, the taste of the broth, oh my it was quite subarashii. I pay my bill (with remembering not to tip), and make my way to the tech store shortly after. A man with glasses greets me as I greet him back. I ask for mobile service as he is initially startled with my Japanese, but takes it lightheartedly. We go over some plans as I get a 2GB plan for 550 yen per session and leave.
New number… 0904...28...3549. Alright, time to get my goods and head back.
I made my way to the supermarket section of the mall as I bought all the essentials I needed. Herbs, spices, vegetables, bread, eggs, lobst-
Fun fact, I will legitimately kill anyone for lobster.
I look at the price intently. “4800 Yen per kilogram?! Man i’m gonna go broke at this rate.” I say quietly.
Eh, fuck it. Tomorrow will be the start of a new school day so I might as well treat myself right I guess. I picked up 3 lobsters as I made my way to the cashier and paid the tab. I walked over to the delivery section, gave them my address and went on my merry way.
After the bustful ambience of the crowds and the dead silent subway ride, I make my way back home and take off my shoes. I was quite excited for the day ahead, considering it’s the first day at my new school-
“WOAH, FUCK!” I say startled. I look out through the peephole.
“D-Delivery…” A man said.
I sighed in relief. What’s with the quick-ass deliveries? Not that i’m really complaining.
I opened the door as I signed a delivery notice as he helped me bring my things into my kitchen. I thanked him as he left and locked the door. Unpacking my items into the shelves and fridge, I finished and made my way to the bathroom. I washed myself and changed as I made my way to my bed. I set an alarm for 6:00 AM to prepare for my own breakfast and lunch making as I once again stared up at the ceiling.
Tomorrow’s the start of a new day. A new chapter in my life. How was I going to fit in? What would tomorrow bring for me? The only way to answer these questions was to just find out for myself. I closed my eyes and took in a deep breath as I went into my usual slumber in my new setting.
Greetings again everyone! I hope you guys once again enjoyed my fanfic work as we conclude the last of the prologues with a banger of a lengthy one. Again, I cannot thank you guys enough for those who have embarked on this journey with me. If there are any thoughts, comments or concerns, or if you just want to speak your mind, leave a comment below and I will get back to you! The real juice comes in as chapter 1 will come soon and I hope you guys will enjoy that as well. I sincerely pray as well that you guys are doing well during these trying times and keeping yourselves safe. Once more, thank you so much again for those boarding on this journey with me and I hope you guys will continue to enjoy my work. Thank you all again, and I'll catch y'all later :)