Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 160 )
‘And what of Capetown itself, was it impressive ?’ Fred inquired. ‘Well to be perfectly honest, I saw very little of it as I passed through, what little I saw seemed pleasant enough.’ was my reply.
‘And this err…. Concentration Camp, what was that like?’ he asked. ‘Hell on Earth, ruled over by a Commandant who was himself addicted to opiates. He held the power of life and death over his prisoners, and took pleasure in their deaths.’ ‘ It sounds a grim sort of place, were there no redeeming features at all? he asked.
‘There were two actually, when I arrived there, the Doctor I was teamed up with was none other than the famed author, Arthur Conan Doyle, who amongst his other qualifications was a trained Doctor. He was very interested in writing a novel about his character Sherlock Holmes apprehending The Ripper, but I assured him that if anyone were to apprehend the Ripper it would be none other than my friend Inspector Fred Abberline of Division 11.
‘That was very kind of you to say so, and the other redeeming feature?’ ‘The visit and tour of Inspection by Miss Emily Hobhouse, who changed the way the camp was run almost single-handedly, she arranged for the Commandant to be replaced, better food and medical supplies for the prisoners. Due to her ministrations the mortality rate has decreased, especially amongst the children. All this from a one-woman crusade.’
‘She did not stop there, when she returned home, she almost bought about the fall of the government with her complaints about Kitchener’s heavy -handed treatment of the Boers.’ ‘I’m not at all surprised, she was a veritable dynamo.’ was my reply.
(C) Damian Grange 2019