The Old Dam went off to bed that night, leaving her nephew Mordecai to sleep it off on the floor of her study. She cackled to herself as she pulled the covers up tight to her chin and drifted off to sleep, imagining her nephew waking in the morning to discover his ruination.
She awoke several hours later to the shrieking of the fire alarm. The Old Dam stumbled from her bed, confused and frightened by the noise. Smoke rolled from beneath the bedroom door and the doorknob was hot when she tried to turn it. She dropped to her knees and crawled across the bedroom to the window. The latch was tight, difficult to open and the window slid slowly, crookedly up on its track. She never opened this window. She never opened any of the windows, the outside air was unhealthy, any fool knew that, but there was a small roof outside her window and if she could climb out she would be safer there.
The Old Dam was rescued from that rooftop by the firefighters who arrived just a few moments later. She was saved, but it was too late for Cousin Mordecai. He was badly burned in the fire and passed away shortly before the dawn of the next day. He never awoke, never knew he had been ruined by his only living relative.
Cousin Mordecai’s funeral was grand affair, presided over by the Bishop himself. Politicians gave long, flattering eulogies, praising his work to improve prison conditions, tactfully avoiding mention of the murder of his wife. Condolences were offered to the Old Dam, now bereft of family, left with only her handyman and her nephew’s dog. She was blessed by the bishop, who prayed that she be granted peace in her time of sorrow, and comfort in her time of loss.
So right now the scores stand like this:
Lord Slogar -45
Professor Helena Slogar 0
Melissa Slogar 0
Elias E. Gorr -30
The Old Dam +20
Cousin Mordecai -10
Willem Stark +10
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