From: Edward Spartacus (Lamjackswastedlife@hotmail.com)
To: Sterling Pons (firstname.lastname@example.org)
CC: Diana Jones (email@example.com)
Sterling, old pal,
Thank you for your email of the 14th. Julia has just been here rattling on about you “going to the conference in Yorkshire, or Derbyshire, or wherever it is” (I don’t think she even knows – although, as you always tell me, the furthest north she’s ever been is Wimbledon). I tried your mobile, but I didn’t get any answer (as usual – I know you never turn it on, so that doesn’t really worry me). But this email is a warning, of sorts. I know you’re going to say that I’ve really gone off the deep-end this time. Looked at the internet for too long, or whatever. Smoked one too many of these medicinal cigarettes. I don’t care – this could be important.
You can think what you want. I’m just passing on to you what I’ve been told. Seeing as you said you ran into the Starling woman in London working for Lenny Valentino, it might be relevant to you. It concerns her brother, Roger. As you know, he started out working for Harry Rubik but later on went on to be a successful businessman in his own right and now stays out of the running of our late friend’s family affairs – or so it would seem. But appearances can be deceptive. My sources tell me that Roger Starling, or whoever he is, is running a hippy cult something like the scientologists who believe in the literal truth of Harry Rubik’s science fiction movies – something like that. The cult are secretive, and no one has been able to get inside and emerged with any real details. But the listed address for this Starling character’s business is Coxwald Hall – just about a mile or so outside the town where your conference on human origins is due to take place, I believe? Co-incidence??
Another funny thing – A Roger Syrus Starling was supposedly arrested on the Isle of Wight for pistol-whipping a man in a road-rage attack in the nineteen eighties, but he seems to have made the case disappear somehow. There is a police report, along with a newspaper cutting from the time which I’ve seen (you know I have sources)… hard to say if it’s the same man, as the character in the article is described as middle aged back then and our Mr Starling is only forty or so, and there aren’t any current photographs known to exist, but… your friend Varley lives on the island, doesn’t he? Do you think it could be related? Maybe this cat was trying to intimidate Varley or… something? Either way, be careful around this character.
OK, enjoy your trip up north. I’m back in Surrey, so won’t be able to come down to Brighton for a bit. That is, assuming you make it back in one piece…