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William Martin had spent most of his working life in Uganda. In 1912 he returned to England and purchased a cottage in Paddock Wood in Kent.

In 1913 William Martin insured his life for £50,000 with the Empire Assurance Company. Two months later his body was found on a railway line near the Sevenoaks Tunnel in Kent. In some way he had fallen out of the moving train; had been killed possibly by the fall; and had certainly been run over by a train passing on the other side of the track. The carriage he had been traveling in was identified. The carriage door was open. In the rack above the seat was Martin’s brief case. It contained business papers that he intended to discuss with his lawyer in London and a phial of atoxyl. The only other object in the carriage was a very small empty box that had been pushed down the side of the seat. The lid of the box was missing.

Martin lived in Paddock Wood and got on the London train at Tunbridge Wells. According to a friend, Frederick Dillon, he had seen Martin alone in a second-class compartment as it pulled out of Tonbridge Station, on the day of his death. Tonbridge Station was only five miles from Sevenoaks Tunnel. It was a second-class compartment and it would have been impossible for anyone to have entered his carriage before he left it at Sevenoaks Tunnel.

Empire Assurance Company claimed Martin had committed suicide and refused to pay the £50,000 to his niece, Elizabeth Butler. However, he had been murdered by someone he had known in Uganda. How had he carried out the crime?

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William Martin had spent most of his working life in Uganda. In 1912 he returned to England and purchased a cottage in Paddock Wood in Kent.

In 1913 William Martin insured his life for £50,000 with the Empire Assurance Company. Two months later his body was found on a railway line near the Sevenoaks Tunnel in Kent. In some way he had fallen out of the moving train; had been killed possibly by the fall; and had certainly been run over by a train passing on the other side of the track. The carriage he had been traveling in was identified. The carriage door was open. In the rack above the seat was Martin’s brief case. It contained business papers that he intended to discuss with his lawyer in London and a phial of atoxyl. The only other object in the carriage was a very small empty box that had been pushed down the side of the seat. The lid of the box was missing.

Martin lived in Paddock Wood and got on the London train at Tunbridge Wells. According to a friend, Frederick Dillon, he had seen Martin alone in a second-class compartment as it pulled out of Tonbridge Station, on the day of his death. Tonbridge Station was only five miles from Sevenoaks Tunnel. It was a second-class compartment and it would have been impossible for anyone to have entered his carriage before he left it at Sevenoaks Tunnel.

Empire Assurance Company claimed Martin had committed suicide and refused to pay the £50,000 to his niece, Elizabeth Butler. However, he had been murdered by someone he had known in Uganda. How had he carried out the crime?

You know?? I just realized that I could really look stupid with the guess I'm offering---

The toxic effects of Atoxyl resulted in the subject becoming blind.(side effect of this drug) He stumbled out of the train because he couldn't see. I think the box lid went out when he did, and the box had been pushed down the side of the seat when he was moving around, not able to see. He may fallen looking for the lid.

B)

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The toxic effects of Atoxyl resulted in the subject becoming blind.(side effect of this drug) He stumbled out of the train because he couldn't see. I think the box lid went out when he did, and the box had been pushed down the side of the seat when he was moving around, not able to see. He may fallen looking for the lid.

B)

When he left the train he was fully fit.

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The toxic effects of Atoxyl resulted in the subject becoming blind.(side effect of this drug) He stumbled out of the train because he couldn't see. I think the box lid went out when he did, and the box had been pushed down the side of the seat when he was moving around, not able to see. He may fallen looking for the lid.

B)

When he left the train he was fully fit. In fact, you could argue that is why he left the train. He wanted to remain that way.

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Guest Mark Valenti

This takes place within a few years of the discovery of atoxyl as a cure for syphillis (1909). William Martin had contracted syphillis from his lover, Frederick Dillon, while living in Uganda. He left Uganda, seeking a cure, leaving an angry Dillon behind.

Martin had been taking atoxyl to cure his disease. Now healthy again after this brush with mortality, Martin felt it was important to do those things that prudent people do - like purchase life insurance. He was on his way to meet with his lawyer, seeking to dissolve a lucrative partnership with Dillon.

A now-deranged Dillon, who recently arrived in Paddock Wood from Uganda, had been stalking Martin. He followed Martin onto the train and into the second-class compartment. In the five minutes between Paddock Wood and the Sevenoaks Tunnel, Dillon produced a small box containing a poisonous King Baboon Spider.

Martin, deathly afraid of this Ugandan native species, made a mad dash for the exit and jumped off the train. Dillon tossed the spider and the lid out the door but in his haste, couldn't find the box itself.

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there was hidden in the little box a tse tse fly. He opened the box and recognised it and panicked.

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This takes place within a few years of the discovery of atoxyl as a cure for syphillis (1909). William Martin had contracted syphillis from his lover, Frederick Dillon, while living in Uganda. He left Uganda, seeking a cure, leaving an angry Dillon behind.

Martin had been taking atoxyl to cure his disease. Now healthy again after this brush with mortality, Martin felt it was important to do those things that prudent people do - like purchase life insurance. He was on his way to meet with his lawyer, seeking to dissolve a lucrative partnership with Dillon.

A now-deranged Dillon, who recently arrived in Paddock Wood from Uganda, had been stalking Martin. He followed Martin onto the train and into the second-class compartment. In the five minutes between Paddock Wood and the Sevenoaks Tunnel, Dillon produced a small box containing a poisonous King Baboon Spider.

Martin, deathly afraid of this Ugandan native species, made a mad dash for the exit and jumped off the train. Dillon tossed the spider and the lid out the door but in his haste, couldn't find the box itself.

Excellent stuff, Mark.

I've never heard of a King Baboon spider but I think I can guess what it looks like. Uganda has just been struck off my travel list.

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William Martin had spent most of his working life in Uganda. In 1912 he returned to England and purchased a cottage in Paddock Wood in Kent.

In 1913 William Martin insured his life for £50,000 with the Empire Assurance Company. Two months later his body was found on a railway line near the Sevenoaks Tunnel in Kent. In some way he had fallen out of the moving train; had been killed possibly by the fall; and had certainly been run over by a train passing on the other side of the track. The carriage he had been traveling in was identified. The carriage door was open. In the rack above the seat was Martin’s brief case. It contained business papers that he intended to discuss with his lawyer in London and a phial of atoxyl. The only other object in the carriage was a very small empty box that had been pushed down the side of the seat. The lid of the box was missing.

Martin lived in Paddock Wood and got on the London train at Tunbridge Wells. According to a friend, Frederick Dillon, he had seen Martin alone in a second-class compartment as it pulled out of Tonbridge Station, on the day of his death. Tonbridge Station was only five miles from Sevenoaks Tunnel. It was a second-class compartment and it would have been impossible for anyone to have entered his carriage before he left it at Sevenoaks Tunnel.

Empire Assurance Company claimed Martin had committed suicide and refused to pay the £50,000 to his niece, Elizabeth Butler. However, he had been murdered by someone he had known in Uganda. How had he carried out the crime?

This seems harder than the arm in the package.

At first glance I say the lawyer is the murderer. Or the lawyer in cahoots with the niece.

The how and why will require more information, John.

Am I correct in assuming that the reason Martin's niece was the beneficiary was because he had no wife and family?

What was his occupation?

How long had he known the lawyer?

Are the contents of the business papers in his briefcase relevant?

Was the friend, Dillon, acquainted with the niece?

Was the phial of atoxyl small enough to fit within the box?

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This takes place within a few years of the discovery of atoxyl as a cure for syphillis (1909). William Martin had contracted syphillis from his lover, Frederick Dillon, while living in Uganda. He left Uganda, seeking a cure, leaving an angry Dillon behind.

Martin had been taking atoxyl to cure his disease. Now healthy again after this brush with mortality, Martin felt it was important to do those things that prudent people do - like purchase life insurance. He was on his way to meet with his lawyer, seeking to dissolve a lucrative partnership with Dillon.

A now-deranged Dillon, who recently arrived in Paddock Wood from Uganda, had been stalking Martin. He followed Martin onto the train and into the second-class compartment. In the five minutes between Paddock Wood and the Sevenoaks Tunnel, Dillon produced a small box containing a poisonous King Baboon Spider.

Martin, deathly afraid of this Ugandan native species, made a mad dash for the exit and jumped off the train. Dillon tossed the spider and the lid out the door but in his haste, couldn't find the box itself.

there was hidden in the little box a tse tse fly. He opened the box and recognised it and panicked.

Sorry for taking so long to get back to you on this. Mark Valenti and John Dolva have basically solved this puzzle. It is taken from a short-story by Max Rittenberg that was published in the London Magazine in 1913. At that time, atoxyl was the only known antidote against sleeping sickness. The murderer knew that William Martin had an obsessive fear of this disease. He therefore got on the train at Tunbridge Wells with Martin. He jamed the the box by the side of the seat. Inside was a tsetse fly. The murderer got out at Tonbridge. Seconds before leaving the train he carefully removed the lid of the box. He knew that Martin would immediately recognize the tsetse fly and try to escape from the carriage.

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Guest Mark Valenti
Sorry for taking so long to get back to you on this. Mark Valenti and John Dolva have basically solved this puzzle. It is taken from a short-story by Max Rittenberg that was published in the London Magazine in 1913. At that time, atoxyl was the only known antidote against sleeping sickness. The murderer knew that William Martin had an obsessive fear of this disease. He therefore got on the train at Tunbridge Wells with Martin. He jamed the the box by the side of the seat. Inside was a tsetse fly. The murderer got out at Tonbridge. Seconds before leaving the train he carefully removed the lid of the box. He knew that Martin would immediately recognize the tsetse fly and try to escape from the carriage.

John solved it - I embroidered it.

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Ah..but Mark, you gave the idea. Your 'story' was very amusing and clever. So then looking up Atoxyl and finding a direct connection to (then)fatal sleeping sickness, Uganda and the tse tse fly made inserting it in a simplification of your scenario easy.

that, plus John Simkins "When he left the train he was fully fit. In fact, you could argue that is why he left the train. He wanted to remain that way."

Edited by John Dolva
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Guest Kathryn Foong

So ...not really a "puzzle" as such...more based on whether you had heard of the story before..

Oh well...: dont' think I would have got that one anyway:P

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