Horror on the Orient Express
Research on Comte Fenalik
Remi was able to find a number of court histories that refer to some unspecified scandal in the queen’s court on the eve of revolution. A man of minor nobility was involved in some indiscretion with the queen, and after a palace uproar, the man was executed without trial. The man was a German count named Fenalik.
Remi finds a diary of a member of the Queen’s Court. It has been damaged by water, and parts of it are illegible, but there is mention of an incident involved “Comte Fenaliceque” in June, 1789.
Remi suggests a trip to the Bibliotheque de l’Arsenal, close to the Bastille. The library is so named because it is housed in an ancient arsenal of Paris, built by Henri II. There is a diary here of the captain who led the assault on Fenalik’s mansion in Poissy, a suburb west of Paris. The journal gives a close enough description of the mansion that Eugene and Bella can figure out where it is.
Back at the Bibliotheque Nationale, Remi comes across the journal of Lucian Rigault, a physician to the Queen.
Researching the Asylum
The asylum at Charenton still exists. In fact, it is the where The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade is set. Remi finds among recent newspapers an obituary of the asylum’s director, who died a week before.
Researching the Villa
The Comte’s villa is a well documented architectural oddity. It is described as “a potpourri of architectural styles”, from classical Greek, to Gothic, to medieval. Remi is able to find a set of plans made by a Parisian builder outlining the layout of the house, including a set of stairs that lead into an unmapped cellar area. He also finds an etching of the mansion’s front view. The lines of the etching do not seem to be the product of a rational mind — it’s as if the building is in the process of changing, or moving.