Seventy five years ago today, a stalker was looking for a wounded stag on the upper slopes of Ben Avon, the sprawling massif on the eastern edge of the Cairngorms.
Scanning the ground in the remote burn of Allt an Eas Mhoir, he found instead a badly decomposed human head. A little further upstream, he found the body of a man dressed in a dark suit with a light check. Nearby lay a plain walking stick and a brown leather attaché case.
The contents of the case were as follows:
- one pair of pyjama trousers
- two starched collars
- one toilet roll
- one pair of scissors
- one box of safety matches
- one receipt from Simpson’s two day coach tours
Also adjacent, on a small ledge of rock were found: a razor; a shaving brush; a bar of soap; a bowler hat; toothpaste and toothbrush.
Extensive police enquiries at the time failed to either identify the man or establish how he came to grief.
I find myself less interested in the life and death of the deceased than in the effect of this discovery on the stalker. We know nothing of either.