The next morning, Detective Jones arrived at John’s stately mansion where he was welcomed by the multi – millionaire himself. He was escorted into the living room where he had some refreshments before getting to work.
He put on a pair of gloves and retrieved a magnifying glass from his bag. He was directed to the room containing the jewels. He bent down and examined the metal padlock on the door. It was opened. Sure enough, as John had described, there were no signs of forced entry. How could the robber have gotten the keys? Had he stolen them? How did the robber obtain the code? He stole a quick glance at the damaged security camera. It would be of no help to him. Did the person know there was a security camera? Detective Jones was full of questions, however, he knew he would only be able to obtain the answers if he found the robber. He heaved a sigh and stepped into the room.
The room was simply furnished. Nestled in one corner was a table and chair. The only source of light was a ceiling light. The safe was located at the far end of the room. Detective Jones could see the empty space inside the safe. That only made him more determined than ever to recover the stolen jewels and find the culprit.
He carefully dusted the room for fingerprints. His search turned up none. He snorted in frustration. The robber must be either very skilled or clever – he left no clues to the jewels or his identity. For a moment, Detective Jones was clouded with doubt. Could he really solve the case? He shook his head, assuring himself of his ability. After all, he had solved more difficult cases than this one. He would surely be able to uncover this mystery.
He knelt down onto the floor to inspect the safe. All of a sudden, a drop of water landed on his back. Startled, he glanced up. A hole in the ceiling caught his eye. How could he have not noticed it before? What was it there for? Another drop of water landed on his face. The water must be coming out from the hole.
He quickly ran out of the room and climbed up the stairs to the room above. It was the attic. His hand hovered above the brass doorknob. He took a deep breadth and pushed open the door. He could feel it, even in his bones, that he was going discover something important. Detective Jones walked around the attic, taking note of the layer of dust that coated the boxes. After half an hour, he still had no result. Exasperated, he sat down on a box. He gave a start. The box, unlike the others, had no dust surrounding it. It must have been moved recently. What was the reason and who had done it?
He pried open the box and to his surprise, inside the box was a brand new telescope. He was even more amazed when he found a crudely cut hole in the floorboards beside the box. He gingerly lifted the telescope out of the box and positioned it near the hole. He looked through the telescope and was astounded to realize that he was looking at the combination wheel of the metal safe.
Stunned, he rubbed his eyes to make sure he was not hallucinating. He was not. He could clearly see the numbers on the combination wheel. He whistled in surprise. That must be how the thief learnt the code. No fingerprints were found on either the box ore the telescope. Detective Jones was not surprised. He had been investigating the case long enough to know that he was dealing with a very clever and careful person.
Smiling grimly to himself, he left the attic and called John, the gardener and the butler to the living room. He asked the butler and the gardener, “What were both of you doing on the day the jewels were stolen? Sunday, right?”
The butler piped up, “Sir, I was at the post office collecting the letters as usual.”
The gardener stammered, “Uh, um… I… was… busy cleaning the tools in the shed. Some… of them had… um… red stains on them.”
Detectives Jones instructed him, “Fetch me the key to the room containing the jewels.” The gardener quickly hurried away.
John whispered to the Detective Jones, “Who is the robber?”
Detective Jones answered grimly, “It is too early but I have a suspicion.”
The gardener returned, with the key in one hand. After inspecting the key with his magnifying glass, Detective Jones announced,” They are not real, they are fake.” The butler gasped while the gardener stood trembling all over.
Detective Jones turned and stared at the butler, “Why did you steal the jewels? Because I am pretty sure you did it!”
The butler snorted. “How can it be? I will never do such a thing. What is your evidence. Co on, show it. I am telling you, it is not me!”
Detective Jones calmly said, “I suppose you think that post office is opened on a Sunday?”
The butler blushed a deep red but did not back down. “It was just a habit. Natural old habit. You cannot accuse me of anything.”
Detective Jones was not frazzled. “You not only stole the jewels but also killed the maid. You knew that she will be suspected as the robber and wanted to divert suspicion from yourself.”
The butler’s face crumbled but he continued defending himself. “I don’t know what you are talking about. I am telling you, I did not kill her or steal the jewels!” He glared with hatred at Detective Jones.
Detective Jones explained to John and the awe – struck gardener, “You see, he cut a hole in the floorboards of the attic to spy on you when you are opening the safe. He knew that the maid will discover the hole when she is dusting the attic. He wanted to kill her so that she will not mess up his plans. He is constantly ‘disappearing’ to the attic in order to see the code for the safe. You used the garden tools and bashed her skull. That was where the red “paint came from. That was really blood. You were not afraid of your fingerprints on them as you said ‘you were fixing your bike’. No one will suspect you.”
He looked at the butler square in the eye and stated, “In fact, I know that you dumped her body into the Thomson River.”
That was a wild shot in the dark but it had an effect on the butler. He did not say anything but look down at the floor.
~End of Part 2~