Sunday, 30 January 2011

The sign of the Pi part 4

“First rule of detective work my friends keep your friends close and your enemies even closer.” Said Homer as he stood, “now is not the time to question my methods, I think we have to set off if we hope to get Miss Harland’s share of the treasure.
“For once he is right,” said Jones, “we must set off now, if you please Mr. Fernandez.”
We all got up and followed Mr. Fernandez who led the way out to a coach, with Homer leaving his card on the clock and telling it to call him. We stepped into the coach and much to our surprise homer also took a seat in the coach, however he sat upside down for the journey, but it was the best we could hope for. The journey was longer than expected as we made our way into the suburbs. The house whose drive we eventually pulled up onto was a grand house with 3 floors, and the lights were on downstairs and one lone room on the second floor. It was at this point that I wanted to ask Jones about the theory he had developed on the identity of the face in the window on the night the Major had died.
“Ah I would have thought it quite clear when one knows the whole story of the treasure, I bet even our upside down detective could tell me who the man could be, could you not Homer?” Jones asked.
Homer took this chance to give his opinion with delight “Well from the story we all received I would move away from my usual line of guessing and put the blame clearly one the shoulder of one man, Count Blackula!”
“Who the devil is…. Never mind,” retorted Jones, “the man at the window will undoubtedly be none other than Martyn Sampson. His whereabouts were never mentioned but from the fear it put into the Major of seeing the face it must have been someone who he knew but did not expect to be there and in relation to the story that mean the person would either be Major Harland or else Mr Simpson. With us knowing the former to be dead it could only be the latter.”
“A good point and series of deduction there Jones. Will we have to keep a look out for this fellow?” I asked.
Jones had a sombre look upon his face as he replied, “he is certainly a fellow who we should be careful of. We have no idea what the betrayal of the Majors and subsequent years as a prisoner of war did to his mind, hopefully after not being able to find the treasure he has given up, but we cannot expect that to be the case.”
We got out of the coach and Mr. Fernandez ran up to the house and had a conversation with the maid who answered the door, then ran back over to us. “Quickly then, my brother has been up in his room since last night. He came down this morning for food but other than that has not left the side of the chest, we will go up to him and get our part of the fortune,” he said.

We entered the house. I did not take much in as Tia was positively bouncing next to me, I felt a pang of pain as I realised that with this treasure she would be out of the reach of a simple doctor who only brought in several hundreds of thousands of pounds in his ever growing practice. When we reached the second floor we proceeded to a door at the end of the corridor. Mr. Fernandez knocked twice and after waiting a while for a reply decided to proceed into the room. The sight that greeted us was a horrific one, in a chair facing the door was sat an identical copy of Malik Fernandez yet he was slumped back eyes wide open and a knife protruding from his chest, Falik Fernandez lay dead.

“What, what has happened here?” cried Malik in despair.
“A murder mystery party?” suggested Homer, with a look of hope on his face.
“Not quite,” said Jones, “there has been murder. Look here upon the floor, there is distinct marks that a heavy item once laid here, it would have been the chest with the treasure and over there the window is open with a rope out of it. Clearly someone climbed up and killed poor Falik before making off with the treasure, and I would bet all of my money that the person is Sampson.”
I went and examined the body. “He is still warm. It could not have occurred more than a little while ago, maybe even when we pulled up in the coach.” I said.
“Look, there is someone exiting the garden with a chest, it must be the rogue!” cried Tia.
“Quickly Gentlemen, after him! Miss Harland and Mr. Fernandez, it would be best if you remained while we get the vagabond and return the treasure,” Jones reassured them.
“You have my word as a gentleman and a part-time cobbler,” Homer imputed.
“You have put my mind at ease Detective Homer, please catch the one responsible for the death of my brother.” Mr Fernandez pleaded.

We ran quickly down to the garden and made pursuit but as we reached the end of the boundary we saw the man load the chest into a hansom and set off, we ran back to the coach that had brought us and told the driver to give chase. Back into Dundee we followed him, he gained some distance and reached the river before us yet he was loading a boat when we arrived. I jumped onto the deck and made a swipe at him, but missed grabbing him, so that he had time to jump off the boat and into the next one and set off down the river. “Quickly,” yelled Jones, “we must catch him or else we will look over our shoulders ever more.”
We made off after him but his vessel was faster than ours and slowly he built up a lead. “We must shed some weight or else this chase is done. Quickly Doctor, Homer, throw over some of the cargo that is not needed.”
I quickly picked up some bags and barrels and dumped them into the river, Homer was on the other side of the boat throwing out the contents of some of the boxes. We started to gain speed and soon pulled alongside, Sampson pulled out a pistol and shot at us. Myself and Jones hit the deck but Homer had sprung aboard Sampson’s ship and had tackled him to the ground. The boats slowed and Homer held the criminal down as Jones put handcuffs on him.
“For once, Homer you do deserve some credit, good job. Quickly Sexy, fetch the police, we must get this thief into custody.” Jones said turning to me.
I soon returned with the officers and we were joined by Tia and Malik who had got a cab down to the city. Jones spoke to them first,
“Well Mr Fernandez, Miss Harland, we have apprehended the man who stood between yourselves and the fortune you both deserve, how about we find the chest and finally get your fortune.”
We boarded the boat once again and found the chest stored at the back, Jones stepped forward and opened the chest, and we all gasped for it was empty.
“Where is it?” cried Jones
“Well,” piped up Homer, “you did say to get rid if anything unnecessary, and with the current plight in Africa are diamonds and gold really necessary?”
“You fool!” cried Jones, “the treasure was the whole point of this adventure, you acted like an idiot and you’re not even listening are you.”
And indeed he wasn’t, distracted by a speck of light reflecting off the button of my waistcoat ‘detective’ Homer was lost to the world. Mr Fernandez was sad at the loss of his brother and treasure but was happy to finally be free of his burden of the secret he had concealed for years. With the treasure lost Miss Harland was actually happy for now she would be able to continue to seek the company of a lowly doctor who had nothing to offer apart form a small fortune.

Several weeks later.

I entered the rooms in Perth Road to find Jones slumped in his chair by the fire, I greeted him with a smile, “Tia has agreed to my proposal of marriage.”
Jones looked up gloomily, “Congratulations are in order, but I am sorry I am not happy for I realise that this means you will have to look for a family home and move out of here and without a roommate I shall sadly not be able to keep the rent for this place, to which I have grown fond in the years we have occupied it.”
“Don’t worry,” I said, “I already thought of you my friend and before returning here I posted an advertisement in the paper and it was answered before I had returned, I have got you a lodger, I told him to call this evening in fact if that is the bell it should be him now, please enter sir.” I called out to the man in the hall.
“Who is this man you have got for me” said Jones, rising out of his chair with a smile on his face that fell faster than the Italian economy, as the lodger stood in the door smiling from cheek to cheek.
“Hey roomy, I hope you don’t mind that I keep squirrels in the toaster,” said Homer.

The End

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