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Being the son of an highly-esteemed anthropologist, Emmett stood to inherit a considerable amount of money upon his father's death. By 1868, Emmett was engaged to Virginia, who worked for his father at the university. Professor Byng, however, did not approve of the engagement, believing Virginia to be after Emmett's inheritance. Nevertheless, Emmett believed that his father and fiancée would come to befriend one another if given the time.
Before that could happen, however, Professor Byng died of a heart attack. Emmett made all the necessary arrangements for the funeral, and locked up the family tomb after his father had been laid to rest. The following day, after incessant pounding on the door, Emmett and Angela, the maid, witnessed Professor Byng stumbling into his own parlor, severely injured, before he collapsed and died again.
The Assassins Jacob and Evie Frye investigated the death of the professor, unveiling how his first 'death' had merely been a comatose state induced by spider venom. Emmett was interrogated, but proved to be innocent of the crime.