The 39 Clues


Guest Paralysed at Kabra Ball: Poison Involved?

1 November 2007
By Jane Dolan
LONDON — Clytemnestra Van Wickle, an American guest at last night’s Halloween Masquerade Ball at Kabra House in Grosvenor Square, was taken from the party unconscious by paramedics shortly after she arrived. She had been at the party only a few minutes before fainting in the garden while talking with her hostess, Natalie Kabra.

Van Wickle, 16, was not close to the Kabra family and was at the party as the date of Jonathan Smythe III, a school chum of Ian Kabra. Van Wickle would not return our phone calls about her breakdown. Nonetheless, rumours about young Natalie’s involvement began to fly soon after local news picked up the story. The budding socialite is known for her photogenic face and a vicious sense of vengeance.

Guests interviewed by THE MOON claim that last night’s extravagant party was almost brought to a halt by Van Wickle’s entrance through the mansion’s gilded gates at around 9 o’clock. The American had inadvertently worn the same costume as the younger Kabra; both beauties were dressed as Catherine the Great.

Witnesses say the hostess threw a fit, screaming obscenities as she stormed toward Van Wickle down a marble hall lined with four-foot-high jack-o’-lanterns and what many thought were real Egyptian mummies.

After insulting Van Wickle’s parentage (her parents are architects) and belittling her line of study (Van Wickle intends to be a special education teacher), Natalie raced past her now-silent guests, heading for a private spot in the garden so she could fume in private. Her brother, Ian, dressed as Napoleon, made hasty apologies in the stunned wake left by his sister.

After about a half hour, MOON investigators have discovered, Van Wickle asked someone to call for a taxi while she attempted to apologise. A little while later, Natalie deigned to return to her guests — Cate Blanchett, Quentin Tarantino, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and the Princes Harry and William were in attendance — whom she had abandoned in her tantrum. Van Wickle, Kabra claimed, had left by a back gate, too ashamed of her off-the-rack costume in light of Kabra’s Chanel couture Catherine the Great gown to stay at the party.

Upon his sister’s icy return, Ian Kabra did his best to improve the mood of the party by calling on his friends Melanie Brown and Victoria Beckham — formerly Scary and Posh of the Spice Girls—to sing a few favourite songs of Natalie’s. Some have alleged, however, that this impromptu concert was meant to distract the guests from the disappearance of Clytemnestra Van Wickle.

At any rate, Van Wickle was found shortly thereafter by a man in a dashing Shakespeare costume, Nikolay Nikolov, who was carousing near the pool. Though he phoned emergency services at once, later he would not respond to our reporter’s questions at the scene or this morning outside his residence at 73 Clancy Terrace. It seems he had been scolded by employees of the Kabra family shortly after he placed what might have been a lifesaving call for an ambulance.

Annette Wostbelly, a mystic and professional antiquer hired to run a palm-reading booth at the party, said she recognised a ring Natalie Kabra was wearing as one of a small number of such Renaissance artifacts. She claims these rings were used to incapacitate political enemies at balls and dinner parties. They contain a hidden needle dipped in a nerve toxin capable of paralysis or even death.

Paramedics would not respond to THE MOON’s inquiries about this possible weapon, nor would they return our repeated telephone calls.

Rumours are spreading like wildfire through the prairies of London’s social elite: Could such a sweet-seeming girl have been vicious enough to paralyse a guest because of a costume mishap? THE LONDON MOON will not rest until these mysteries have been solved!

ATTENTION: THE LONDON MOON would like to apologise to the Kabra family, and particularly to the charming Natalie Kabra, for this piece of sleazy — even by our standards— reporting. Jane Dolan has been fired. We are deeply sorry for any harm we might have caused. We hope this apology will help, and that you will not shut down our paper.