Murder on a cruise.
Humphrey, twenty six years old, was killed on February the fourteenth, while
she was spending her holidays on a cruise with her relatives. Her boyfriend, Chuck
Bass, had organized everything to ask her to marry him. Everyone but her knew.
Here is the list of all the persons who were on the boat when the murder
Jenny and her boyfriend Chuck, her mother Carol Rhodes (divorced from Rufus Humphrey), her best friend Vanessa Hills with whom she previously had a quite violent argument, her governess Dorota Waldorf, and finally the captain Dan Van Der Bilt, with whom Jenny has been friends since childhood. All of those people are considered suspects!
--What did the victim look like? ... after her death of course?
--We found her in her bathroom, with the throat cut, so the culprit could reach her room…
--Meaning that Ms. Hills and Mrs. Rhodes are innocent.
--Exactly! Now I want you to go and question the other people about what they were doing that night, meanwhile I’ll go and see where the scientists stand.
THE FOLLOWING DAY
--Inspector! Can I come in? I’ve got news!
--Of course you can! Tell me.
--We have the kitchen’s surveillance videos proving that Dorota Waldorf was preparing the dinner when the murder was committed.
--Good job! So we still have the captain and the boyfriend…
--Mr. Bass wouldn’t have killed Jenny as he was about to ask her to marry him!
--You’re never sure about anything…
-well thank you, good bye.
-- I’ve just
been told that we found the captain’s tablet in the dust bin of his cabin… Dan
Van Der Bilt was not taking his medical treatment!
Have you questioned Mr. Bass and the captain?
--Mr. Bass I did, he maintains that he was at the bar but nothing can prove it... However I haven’t met Mr. Van Der Bilt, his cabin was locked.
--We must open it! And have a look inside!
--That’s what I did! The scientists are on the job but it will be long because it’s the biggest room.
--Well done! Let’s wait for the results.
IN THE EVENING
--Inspector! May I come in? I just had a call from scientists.
--Yes please do, what did they say?
--The captain killed himself! They found him in his bathroom too and there are no marks on his body. Scientists sent the body to the morgue for an examination and they found traces of poison in his blood and said that he died exactly twenty minutes after jenny Humphrey! They found the smocking gun in his cabin as well: fingerprints, DNA, everything is matching! The captain is Jenny Humphrey’s killer!!
--By asking Ms. Vanessa Hills, I learnt that Dan Van Der Bilt was fond of Jenny from the beginning, he was certainly resenting her to have chosen Chuck…
It seems quite correct! Thanks to you, you have resolute the affair Jenny
She left out fishing for ducks where she won a superb magic stick. Her parents wanted to take her to the merry-go-round but she didn’t mind because she had her fairy stick which could transform passers in frog and litters in candy-floss. She hopped, she turned, she flew with her golden rod so she moved away from her parents. She was arriving next to an inflatable castle when she saw a ring with a blue stone. She approached it, she admired it and she put it on her young fingers. That was beautiful! With that ornament she looked more like a fairy. She detached her eyes from the jewellery and she saw an old lady having a nap on the ground. On the ground! But the old lady will stain her clothes! So she decided to wake her up.
She stepped forward and she called her: “Madam, wake up you’re sleeping on the ground! I’m sorry but you must get up or you will stain you dress.” But the old lady didn’t move and said nothing. Strange.
She was coming closer when she saw the old lady’s eyes wide open. Stranger.
She came still closer and she discovered a black circle around her neck. Really strange.
An idea began to rise in her mind but she didn’t accept it. She called her anew but the old lady didn’t reply. Abnormally strange.
She took the woman’s wrist and she felt nothing. No moves, no palpitations, no life. She pulled back quickly as possible and she ran to inform her parents.
Now, let’s observe another character, Patrick Jane, the detective. He arrived on the crime scene at ten am. As he passed under the black and yellow strip, his assistant Mr Rigby came and told him everything they knew about the murder. “It’s Anna Dorkshore an old lady aged 54, she died by constriction with, I suppose, a leather belt. She has no legal antecedent. She lives in Edinburgh in a modern flat with her husband. They had two children, communicate Rigby
-Yes they had, they both disappeared five years ago.
-That’s terrible! Who found the body?
-The little girl named Dora, she is with her parents next to the big tree.
-Okay thanks I’ll interrogate her.”
He went and asked her to explain how she had found the cadaver. And she told him everything she saw or she thought, from the taste of her candy-floss to the colour of the clown’s cravat.
He asked for seeing the ring she found. Patrick observed it closely and he noticed a symbol, inside the ring behind the blue stone, looking like a star with six arms. He was sure it was an important clue for the investigation.
A few minutes later, he was walking with Mr Rigby to examine some suspects in the amusement park. Mr Rigby was a man aged about 35. He was quite educated which is important for a detective. He never got married but Patrick knew that he had some adventures. This is normal because Rigby was a lovely man, not very talkative but carrying. Patrick and him were not really friend but they liked being together. They shared the same political opinion allowing them to criticize the government at the time.
They met a couple both crying. They were working at the park’s biggest and scariest attraction. Patrick asked them if they knew Anna Dorkshore. “Of course I know her, answered the man, it’s our boss but first our best friend.
-My condolences, but do you have an idea about the killers?
-Yes maybe the mechanic, she almost sacked him because he had not tightened the bolts so they had an argument.
-Mmmm… reflected Patrick
-I think we have to meet him, do you know where we can find him?
-His hut is next to the Ferris wheel, you turn right and you are there.
-Thank you very much.
It’s weird… Mrs Dorkshore almost sacked the mechanic only because he had not tightened the bolts. She was so rigorous! On the way, Rigby was put into his mind to see the fortune teller; maybe she will know who the killer was, he insisted.
But Patrick Jane thought it was a stupid idea which only wasted their precious time. Because everybody know fortune tellers are impostors. They tell you all the beautiful things that will happen in your life so you hope. And it never happens. They don't beautify the life, they destroy it.
Therefore Mr Jane never goes will to ask for the predictions to a fortune teller. When Rigby heard that, he decided it was the time to prove he was not a kid and he could judge what was good or bad for the investigation. That's why he launched: “Who do you think you are? You’re not my dad, and I’m old enough to manage an investigation! Trust me a second!
-Don’t worry, I trust you it’s just I…
-You trust me, well. So I choose to go to see the fortune teller because she saw passed all strange people and maybe someone told her he noticed something anomalous.”
He didn’t let time to Patrick to answer and he headed to a starry tent.
It was dark but it was not frightened, like the darkness on a summer night, this comforting and warm dark, when you see the reflect of the light on the calm water. Rigby felt secure. His eyes took time to get used to the darkness and when they succeeded he could see a beautiful carpet with geometric shapes. Right in the middle, a shape was looking like an odd star with six arms. Like on the ring found next to the body.
He was right; it was a good idea to go to the fortune teller. He wanted to talk about that to Patrick but when he turned his head, his chief was not there. As usual.
Then he noticed the old woman sat on a carved dark wood chair. He immediately asked her what the star on the carpet meant. “Oh this, it’s the Astrologic Star. It shows all the signs of the zodiac. Each arm is a sign and every union of two arms represents the other signs, making a total of twelve signs like the zodiac.
-Interesting and how does it work?
- You begin on the top of the star, this arm is the Aries. And next, the union on the right is Taurus. After another arm, Gemini. Understood?
-Great! But what is this weird form in the centre of the star?
-It’s the mythological sign. It is called Ophiuchus. Ptolémé found it a long time ago. Very few people are Ophuichus. It can happen only if you were born on the day of an eclipse. For us, fortune tellers, that sign is synonym with destruction and Devil.
-Oh god, fortunately I’m a simple Scorpio!” Then Rigby showed a picture of Anna Dorkshore. “Do you know this woman?
- Obviously it’s my boss, she created the park a long time ago and now she manages it.
-Does she often come here for predictions?
-No she doesn’t, she absolutely doesn’t believe on astrology
-It’s normal, you’re an impostor!” Rigby didn’t need to turn to know it was Patrick. “Hi Rigby, are you better? I am back from the mechanic’s hut. I am sure he didn’t kill Anna. He has an alibi and he couldn’t murder anyone, he doesn’t have this mental madness which the killers usually have.
-Mister, you’re not allowed to say that in front of me! I was going to tell you Anna came yesterday afternoon. She said to me she had some difficulties and she needed my help. Apparently she was about to find her children! It’s incredible I know, it has been five years since they disappeared, and she was not discouraged. I tried to help her but I didn’t know what I could do. She asked questions about Ophiuchus. I told her everything I knew about that. She was very interested. When I ended my story, she whispered me that her children were Ophiuchus sign and she suspected friends of hers to keep them prisoners, as we are supposed to do if we met some Ophiuchus people.
-Rigby, we are leaving, come with me. Hurry! ordered Patrick.
-You make me worried what happened?
-I’ll tell you when we are outside.
Once outside, Patrick revealed: “She killed Anna or if she didn’t, she knows something. Did you notice the clear stain on her middle finger, it’s the stain of a ring she was wearing all the summer and it has been removed. The ring which Dora found belongs to her! I think she captured Anna’s children, and as she knows Anna was about to find her children, she felt in danger and she decided to murder her.
-Yes you’re right! She is an assassin! Let’s arrest her.
-You see, fortune tellers are always impostors.”
I was sleeping but my phone rang and woke me up very early. This time it was an old woman found dead at the amusement park. I live in Edinburgh and this park is very near. It was « the day before Halloween », it sounds very terrifying, doesn't it ? The police called me because they were stuck in the investigation and thought it was a murder. I went to this park where a policeman explained to me what had happened, the woman had been found by a lost little girl who said that she saw the murder but , of course, she was very shocked so they couldn't really interrogate her yet. The woman's husband told them he caught sight of that little girl walking around the park at about ten o'clock at night, he was asking her what she was doing when he saw his wife dead, on the ground and he had immediately called the police. I asked him if I could see the crime scene, then he led me to the scene. I saw the victim and the cross-examining team told me they didn't know yet how she had died, they only found her like that, on the ground, with fight marks and a clover in the hand. I looked around and saw the « Ghost Mansion » and something shining on the roof :
« What do you think, sir ?, told me a policeman
-You're not searching at the right place, I answered ».
I wanted to check out on the roof but before I wanted to know what the husband said. The policemen were convinced he was the culprit because he actually was the only heir now that his wife was dead. I asked an inspector who the different suspects were and their alibis. At the time of the crime, in the park, there were only a couple of owners of the Big Wheel, a mechanic and the husband. The owners had said that they had been getting the Wheel ready for Halloween ; the mechanic had been repairing the merry-go-round and the husband had said that his wife had told him the fortune-teller wanted to tell her something. They had come here so late to see what the park looked like in the night and his wife went to see the fortune-teller. He also said that he had offered his wife a ring but she wasn't wearing any ring when he had found her. There was also the fortune-teller but the police didn't have time to speak to her. Then I decided to ask the little girl what she had seen. She was shocked, obviously. When the police asked her what had happened, she only said that she was lost and that she wanted to see her parents :
« Do you know who her parents are ?, I asked
-No we don't know yet, but a squad is responsible to search who they are, answered me a policeman
-Please let me speak to her, I requested ».
The policemen left and let me with her :
« Listen to me, I'm a detective from the police. We will find your parents and we will call them. But, before they come, I have to ask you something. Do you agree ?, I said very softly.
-I'm lost, I want my parents, the little girl wept.
-They will come, don't worry, where were you when … it … happened ?, I hesitated.
-They were fighting on … the roof. I was down... and she fell..., she spluttered
-What did you do then ?, I continued ».
She didn't answer and she looked at the floor. I left and told the policemen it was finished. I went to see the fortune-teller. Her caravan door was locked. I knocked on the door and she opened it. She looked very … strange and stressed, I also noted that she had a broken necklace, then I asked her :
« Excuse me, miss, but what were you doing when that poor woman died, I asked her.
-I … was here when she fell, she answered calmly.
-Thanks, that's all ».
I went out the caravan and told the policemen to arrest her but she escaped through the rear door. I didn't tell her anything but she said by herself the reason of the old woman's death. I knew where she could possibly go. I went to the mansion. On the way, I realized the clover was probably on the seer's necklace and, during the fight, the victim had snatched it. I reached the « Ghost Mansion » and I came in. I'm usually not paranoid, but this time, I was a bit scared. I was walking very slowly when I suddenly heard a big noise from behind me, as if something was broken. Then, I moved backwards but there wasn't anything, it was just dark. I was standing watching everywhere in the dark and remembering these ghosts stories from my childhood. This moment was terrifying, I was like a blind and weak man, I didn't see anything when I heard someone running, certainly the fortune-teller, and I ran that way too. Finally, I saw her and I jumped on her. I brought the culprit to the police … We found the murderer and the little girl found her parents. All was ending well, but I wasn't happy. The fortune-teller revealed us the motive : she saw the old woman's fabulous ring and then, she decided to attract her onto the roof of the mansion but the woman fell and there was a little girl watching them so she ran away... A stupid story indeed... That's how the investigation finished and how the amusement park could welcome the people for Halloween.