Dancing Suite, part 2: The Consequences of Flight, 5/?
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Fandom: Murdoch Mysteries
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: William Murdoch/James Pendrick
Characters: William Murdoch, James Pendrick, Julia Ogden, Inspector Brackenreid, Georges Crabtree, James Gillies
Additional Tags: A host of OCs - Freeform, A host of historical figures, Diary/Journal, Fake Academic Essay
Series: Part 2 of The Dancing Suite
The following is taken from a recently defended Master’s cognate in History entitled « The Consequences of Flight : The Rediscovered Diary of a Canadian Homosexual in the Late-Victorian Era. »
The Murdoch Diary, part 1:
Sault-au-Récollet and SS Columbia,
13 and 14 March 1900
13^th^ March. Tuesday
Today we met with the ship's First Officer. Our status as 2^nd^ class passengers precludes us from ever meeting the Captain, but our questions about the vessel (mostly James' pestering of the stewards) brought us to his attention. Again, our adopted identities worked in our favour. Much as it was in the village, the two widowers with an interest for engineering and a need for distraction let us to have both lunch and dinner at the First Officer's table, and access to full schematics of the ship. James is currently pouring over the specifications and making Torque calculations. Apparently the ship's twin screws should transfer motion much more efficiently than they currently do. This branch of engineering is far above my scientific ability and I am content to observe. At the moment, James smiles genuinely, there is true excitement for the first time in more weeks than I care to count. It is late. The ships's library will close soon and we may need to move to one of the smoking rooms. There are two that remain open through the night, welcoming gentlemen with the promise of warmth, leather chairs, fine alcohol and no wives. The aft promenade smoking room has two large desks.
14^th^ March. Wednesday.
James is lying to me. Or perhaps he is lying to himself. The ship's plans and our relations are a distraction. I understand his need to forget the reasons behind our predicament --- why we are on this vessel in the first place. I too am tempted to get lost in these simple pleasures. I feel the loss it as much as he does. In most ways that count, we have lost everything, our occupations, our friends, our prospects. Yet I find myself looking forward to the challenge of starting over. I am uncertain about how James feels about this. Not well. I've brought up the topic and he has an elaborate plan for us to settle in Paris, but there is no excitement. True, he suffered the most at the hands of our enemy and took the longest to recover. His left shoulder will never be the same. But he is also the man I found the best equipped for starting over. When a venture fails, he begins another. He has done this countless times in the past. When his wife stole the Rembrandt and his lost his share in the high rise, he recovered. Even after the rape, he recovered^1^. How is our current predicament so different? Is it that we are leaving Canada? Is it that he left his patents and reputation? Or the house and workshop? James assures me that his love has not changed and that our commitment to eachother [sic.] is strong. The same is true for me. I vow to help him through this. We are to begin another life in Paris and we will be together for it, if he will have me. I simply wish I knew how to help him. He has recovered from the physical injuries. He "bounced back" like he has before. What is different? If the most intimate of violations could not break him, what has happened since our enemy that could have broken him now? I cannot find a way to formulate questions that wouldn't makes everything worse. Until I find a way. In the meantime I will simply humbly love him as I must.
- There is no indication of a rape, or any form of sexual violence, related to James Pendrick in the historical record. Nevertheless, Murdoch's sentence strongly implies that Pendrick was the victim of a rape. There is a police report associated with the Sally Hubbard investigation and arrest that speaks of a physical assault Pendrick suffered in his home in the days prior to Hubbard's attempted arson of the Pendrick estate. Perhaps the extent of this assault was kept quiet? For more information on Sally Hubbard's criminal career including her many crimes against Pendrick, see Sarah Burke, "Sally Hubbard, From Seduction to Treason," PhD thesis in History, University of Toronto, 1982.