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It is October 31, 1936
The European continent is poised to either create a legacy of political order or unravel a system of post-World War checks and balances.It has been nearly four months since the Italian Duce, Benito Mussolini, ordered his troops into Abyssinia. Two weeks later, civil war broke out in Spain and Generalissimo Franco called up Adolph Hitler and his Nazi legions to aid the rebel troops.
Even today, the German Luftwaffe is practicing a new type of warfare called blitzkrieg because of the lightning fast speed which it takes place. Less than a week ago, Il Duce's son-in-law, Count Ciano, concluded the talks with Hitler that created the Berlin-Rome axis of power. In England, King Edward VIII's coronation is being planned for early next year. His affair with American divorcee Wallis Warfield Simpson is well-hidden from the public as the British press has agreed to publish nothing about the relationship to avoid a scandal.
And, at the English country estate, Conifers, Sir Hugo Smythe Armbruster's 70th party took place last night. Sir Hugo had been knighted after The Great War for his contributions to the war effort. His brilliant sense of both history and propriety established him as an able publisher whose newspaper, The Daily Truth, kept the citizenry informed of what was happening at the front.The assembled guests celebrated the event with enough food and drink to choke the proverbial horse. But, it seems, the horse may have fought back. This morning, Sir Hugo was found dead in the stables. Although the death was at first viewed to be accidental, Scotland Yard took little time in declaring that, indeed, evidence pointed toward murder.
The old gentleman had been a cat fancier, priding himself in the rare breeds that freely roam the grounds of Conifers. It was said that he preferred cats to humans. He had even threatened to leave his vast fortune to The Royal Feline Society rather than have his millions squandered by "fools and scoundrels." One could only imagine what surprises would unfold when the will is read.
He was deadly serious about the King!