Meanwhile, upstairs in the prestigious guest room, the Conningham Ring rested glowingly in its glass casing like the treasure it was. Over the treasure stood two very powerful men; Mr. Parlow and Mr. Conningham. Both were middle aged men with a particular taste for red wine. Mr. Parlow was of average height with neat black hair streaked with white; his body was remarkably firm for his age. Mr. Conningham was not as much a picture of health, as notified by his three chins and rapidly receding hairline. Both men, however, were remarkably wealthy, and spoke often of the long and prosperous partnership that would come out of this marriage.
Miss Sylvia Parlow leaned against the edge of the balcony, gazing eternally into the blissful twilight of the city. She had on her – for the night of the wedding party – a snow white dress similar to the fashion of her own wedding dress, but smaller and much more practical. She had not been herself since she awoke that very morning, and even now she failed to identify is she was nervous about running away, or conflicted by it.
Her husband was a remarkably tall man with blonde hair and a chiselled face. He carried himself with the confidence of a man without wants, and was undoubtedly the heir of the Conningham family. He seemed almost perfect – to the point where there were speculation at the time of his birth as to whether he had been the subject to genetic experimentation. Mr. Conningham obviously denied all accusations.
But despite the high standing of Mr. Parlow and Mr. Conningham, they were – much like the rest of Pearl Isle at the time – very easily drawn to the gossip of recent events. “Have your associates in Victoria City provided any updates on the incident of the disappearing vessels?” said Mr. Conningham to Mr. Parlow.
“They have indeed,” Mr. Parlow replied. “They are terribly afraid that one of their military frigates, the VS Falcon, I do believe, has failed to make contact and has not been seen for at least a few weeks. They have to choice but to assume that it suffered the same fate as all those that came before.”
“Gods be good!” Mr. Conningham replied. “I have been meaning to set up a fund to unravel this mystery once and for all. All those lives gone! It’s terrible for business, I say, and a terrible tragedy in general.”
“Much agreed, my friend. You know, I had a nephew in the military who was good friends with the captain of the VS Falcon. Yes, Captain O’Brien, his name is. A remarkably vibrant fellow for a military man. His life is much too good to be wasted at sea, I think.”
Their conversation flew on in that general direction for a time, and then Miss Sylvia watched anxiously as a man quietly rushed into the room and whispered something into Mr. Parlow’s ear. “Sir, I am afraid we have received a potential threat to security. It is the Blue Bandit, sir. We believe he is after Mr. Conningham’s ring.”
“Nonsense,” Mr. Parlow said out loud.
“What is it?” Mr. Conningham asked.
Mr. Parlow turned to him and smiled. “My men appear to have uncovered a plot to steal your ring, my dear friend. Do you recall the thief who had been plaguing our homes these past few months; the Blue Bandit?”
“Why yes, but I thought he was apprehended by the police?”
“He was,” said Mr. Parlow. “It appears he might have a doppelganger, or perhaps an imposter. Either way, you can be assured that my security will find the wretched fool and bring him to justice.”
Mr. Conningham did not share the same careless attitude. “I would not take these thieves lightly. This ring has been the pride and joy of my family for generations. Although these people may be criminals, there are always one or two who prove themselves to be most impressive. I have learned to never underestimate them. If I may be so bold as to request that my ring is moved to the security of your private vault until this menace is apprehended.”
“Why, of course. We shall transport it down immediately. I respect your items as if they were my own, and I assure you that this lowlife will not get the better of us!”ns 18.104.22.168da2