We all waited in anticipation for Mr Fernandez to go on, well Jones, Tia and myself at least, Homer was now in the corner making out with the clock and talking about how he loved a bad girl.
“The truth of where and to what extent our family’s wealth was only came to light 6 years ago, it was a cold stormy night and I was called home to my fathers deathbed with my twin brother Falik. We arrived and were shown to his room where he bade us to enter and lock the door behind.
‘My sons,’ he said, ’10 years ago myself and my close friend Major Jackson Harland were captured in the Indian rebellions. We were held with a group of other British prisoners and we made a small clique with one other prisoner named Martyn Sampson. After a month together he revealed to us he was in possession of a map that would guide us to a grand treasure and he would give us an equal share if we would help him break out of our prison. We eagerly agreed and formed an escape plan, it went off without a hitch. We dug a small tunnel out of the room we three were kept in and out of the grounds of the prison, we drew straws and I went first and was thus entrusted with the map, Jackson followed and Martyn was last but as he was emerging the tunnel collapsed. He cried for help and it alerted the guards. It was at that moment me and Jackson decided that we should flee and now our share of the treasure would grow to a half share each, so shamelessly we abandoned Martyn to his fate.
We made it back to a British encampment and during our leave given for our recovery from our ordeal we followed the map and found a great chest full of diamonds, rubies and gold. We brought it back and hid it within the camp, soon I was able to finish my commission being in the service for a few more years than Jackson. I took the treasure back to Britain and heard little of him for the next few years then 4 years ago he called round saying he had finished his commission and now demanded his half of the treasure, for his family, I was willing to give it to him but when I opened the chest so that we could divide it, at that moment he burst out in anger, claiming I had spent a noticeable amount of it, true I had dived into it a little but not a lot and was going to suggest he take a bigger share of what was in the chest to compensate, but before I could he grasped his chest and fell hitting his head on the table. I rushed to his side but was too late. He had a weak heart and it had failed him, my servant ran in and told me not to worry he had heard the shouting and would help me cover it over, if I could not convince my servant how could I convince others? We dropped the body in the Tay as soon as possible and I hid the treasure, promise me boys that you will do fine by his family, here these pearls by the bedside will do to start and the rest you can give when you retrieve the treasure.’”
Malik took a small breather and a smoke from his pipe before continuing. “It was at that point he told us to come closer and he would reveal the location of the chest, he started by saying it was in the house but before he was able to tell us the location my father rose in his bed, screamed and pointed to the window, there was the face of a man with wild crazy hair. My brother and I ran to the window but the man had fled. By the time we returned to our father he had died, taking the secret with him. We both agreed what to do, each year we would send the young lady a pearl and hope that it would suffice until we could locate the treasure and give her a fair share, and it is my delight to say after years of searching we have found the treasure and we should depart for my brother who is holding it at the family home.”
He ended his story with a smile looking at us, I was holding Tia close as she had started to cry at the point when the fate of her father was revealed. “Well I should hope that Miss Harland will be receiving half of the treasure as was promised to her father.” I posed to Mr Fernandez.
“Of course, of course, if what this chest contains is true then half a share will be enough for me and my brother, she will get half of whatever is in that chest when we open it.” He replied.
I turned to my companion. “Jones, what do you make of this story and of the man in the window?”
“Well,” he said, “The story we have just heard seems very plausible and would account for the events leading up to this meeting, as for the face at the window I have a clear theory for that but I feel we shall know more about that before the night is done.”
“Well put, and what is your opinion Home…. What in the blazes are you doing?!” I yelled. For ‘detective’ Homer was crouched over the clock with his trousers around his ankles, looking very embarrassed indeed.