28 September 2013

The Piccadilly Circus murderer. Part 2

Frank was still inside the wardrobe without making a noise. His heart was beating up so fast that he could even hear the pumping of it. He tried to calm down by breathing slow and deep but it did not help much. He knew that the slightest noise would give him away and the chief inspector would put him behind bars. He closed his eyes and cleaned the sweat of his forehead with one of Colette’s polo necks that were hanging down inside the wardrobe.

Colette unrolled the paper and read it. Her exhilaration turned into despair after reading its content. This time, it was Colette who needed a sherry.

“Mon amour, would you serve me a sherry, please?”, asked Colette while she was pushing the piece of paper carefully into her pinkish dressing gown pocket.

“But you barely drink alcohol,” said Turpin while frowning his forehead.

“Well, here you are mon amour,” said Turpin. Colette sat down in the sofa, sipped the sherry and rolled her glass between her hands.

While the chief inspector was talking about the details of the murder, Turpin noticed that Colette looked puzzled, as if she was not in the room with them. He knew very well Colette only drank alcohol in very specific circumstances but he did not ask her anything. After a few seconds, she asked the inspector:

“Monsieur Brown, why are you so sure that Frank the Knife committed those crimes?”

“Yes, Why are you so sure?”, repeated Turpin.

“Well Monsieur Turpin, the banker was stubbed to death with the same kind of knife Frank uses to break into peoples´ flats,” replied the inspector.

“I see,” said Turpin.

“And how do you know what they look like?”, queried Colette.

“Yes, Monsieur Brown. How do you know?”, repeated Turpin in a parrot-like way.

“Err, well, because we found one of his knives near the window of the crime scene”, answered the inspector.

Suddenly, a noise coming from inside the wardrobe was heard. Turpin looked at his wife but Colette behaved as if nothing had happened and offered the inspector another sherry. Turpin promptly asked for another sherry too and said:

“There is nothing like a good sherry when problems arise, right Monsieur Brown?”

“Certainly Monsieur Turpin. By the way, what time is it? I must go to the crime scene again because I left a document there”, said the inspector.

Colette, rather flabbergasted by his question, kept pensive.

“It is ten o’clock”, replied Turpin.

“Do not leave us yet, Monsieur Brown”, Colette grimaced while she was looking at her husband with a slight smile in her face. “Perhaps it may not be necessary to go to the crime scene”. She stood up, put the empty glass on the table and sentenced with her peculiar soft but muscular voice:

“The murderer is in this room. Am I right, mon amour?”, asked Colette to her husband.

Confused but knowing that she had found out who committed the crime, replied:

“Oui, err, yes. There is not need to go and look into this matter anymore.”

A creaky noise came out of the wardrobe. Frank’s heart took a sudden leap and almost stopped beating. Losing consciousness, he leaned over the wardrobe door and his body fell to the ground nearly hitting the inspector’s new black shoes. The chief inspector froze to death. He could not believe his eyes. Frank the Knife was just there, unconscious. 

(to be continued)

20 September 2013

The Piccadilly Circus murderer. Part I

I have written a short story that you may like. 

She lay propped up by pillows as her husband burst into the room to soothe his sore throat with a sherry. The window was half-open and he could easily hear the paperboy reading aloud the newspaper headline: “Dead banker in Piccadilly Circus. Puzzled police call detective Clemont Turpin”.

After gulping down his sherry, he stared at his wife and said:

“Mon amour, how is it possible they know faster than me?”

And Colette replied:

“That is because since Hercule Poirot got retired, the British chief inspector depends on you to solve his most complicated cases.”

Suddenly, there was a knock at the hotel door. The knock was so soft that Clemont did not hear it and after a little while, a noise like a bang was heard. Clemont was approaching the door when he noticed that a man in his thirties was actually entering their hotel room. In panic, Clemont fetched the blue vase from the small brownish table near the door and broke it in the head of the man. The man was so well- built that he barely felt the vase in his head and shouted:

“Please, do not hurt me. I need to talk to you.”

Clemont held him from the right arm in an attempt to retain him but by the time he realised, Clemont was already on the floor, completely immobilized. The man, speaking nervously and not willing to hurt him, repeated:

“Please, please, I do not want to hurt you. I just want to talk to you. The police are looking for me. They think I am the Piccadilly Circus murderer, but I am not.”

The man helped Clemont stand up. Walking briskly, Clemont got into the room and gulped another sherry. The man followed him inside; he looked pale, scared, confused, and even terrorized. He looked as though all those accusations were too much for him, impossible to bear.

Colette, who had been observing all from a distance, invited him to sit down. Her voice was very fine, rounded and soft at the same time. She did not look scared. Actually, she seemed to have all under control.

“Take a sit, young man, requested Colette. Why did you break into our hotel room, and what is all that story that the police think you are the Piccadilly Circus murderer?, she interrogated him.”

The young man gave a deep breath and, with certain nervousness in his voice, he uttered:

“Monsieur Turpin, you are the only one who can help me. They blame me for killing the banker, but I only broke into his home. When I got inside, he was already dead. And if I broke into your room is because I thought you were not in.

“Yes, I can see you are very good at your job,” Turpin interrupted.

“Monsieur, the young man continued, “I simply wanted to leave you a note that explains everything.”

Colette, holding the note very carefully with two fingers, began to read:

                 Dear Monsieur Turpin,
My name is Frank but everybody call me “the Knife”
because it is what I use to break into peoples´ houses.
I am a thief but not a murderer. I have never killed
anybody in my life. I did not kill the banker who
died yesterday night. The police want to blame me.
I need your help.

Colette observed her husband gulping down another sherry. She gave a soft laugh.
Suddenly, somebody rang the door. Clemont stared at his wife in despair and, without losing her temper, she ordered Frank to get into the wardrobe near the sofa where Clemont was holding his empty glass. As he was opening the wardrobe door, a small piece of paper slipped down of his pocket to a black rug. Clemont approached the door and opened it.

“Monsieur Turpin!”

“Monsieur Brown! What a nice surprise! , Colette!”, said Clemont aloud, “the chief inspector is here! Please, come in! Would you like a sherry?”

“Oh yes”, he replied with a soft and typical British accent, “I always loved that French sherry of yours.”

Colette kissed the chief inspector in both cheeks and he sat down in the same chair Frank the Knife had sat down a few minutes earlier.

“Monsieur Turpin,” said the inspector, “the reason why I am here is because I need you to help me find the Piccadilly Circus murderer. All traces point at a man called Frank the Knife, who was seen near the crime scene last night. We believe he is the one who committed such an abominable crime and I am sure that when we find him, we will be able to discover the truth.”

While Turpin was serving the inspector a sherry, Colette stood up and closed the window. She noticed there was a small piece of paper in the black rug and bent down to pick it up. It was the paper that had dropped from Frank’s pocket.
(to be continued)

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