“Watson how many times have I said that you see but do not observe?” asked Sherlock Holmes, interjecting into my thoughts.
Confused I looked up and asked, “What?”
“Well you have been staring at that stick for the past 2 hours and yet have not come up with any theories about the owner of this stick. You are seeing, but not observing,” Sherlock said, standing up and taking the stick in his hand.
“Really Holmes. Then what do you make of it?” I asked, somewhat miffed by his careless attitude. Yet again he had managed to make me feel like an imbecile. Sometimes I wondered why I still stood by him after so much time.
“Hmm…now that you ask, I cannot tell you much about the owner,” Sherlock started.
If I hadn’t been so used to his ways, I would have fallen for his tricks again. But I knew that he was about to astound me again, “Go on Holmes. I know you’ve got a lot to tell me about this owner.”
However, I was doomed not to learn about the owner of this stick, for there was a knock at the door. Sherlock simply shrugged, “maybe another time Watson”, put the stick down, and called out, “Enter.”
A middle-aged woman came in with Mrs. Hudson. The woman was sobbing and Mrs. Hudson was trying to calm her down. Sherlock pointed to the sofa and Mrs. Hudson steered the woman there, “There, there Emma. We’re here now. You tell Sherlock exactly what happened and I’m sure he will help you.” To Sherlock, she asked, pointedly, “Won’t you Sherlock?”
Sherlock usually lacked in the department of emotions and barbs, but somehow, here he caught on, and immediately agreed, “Of course I will Mrs. Hudson. Any friend of yours in need will get help from Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson.”
I should have known then. He usually never mentioned me. But I guess I am an imbecile at times. Nonetheless, Mrs. Hudson managed to get Emma calmed down and then she told her story. I have presented it here word-for-word. Emma said, between sniffles, “My name is Emma Thatcher. My husband, Emil, and I have been married for 10 years now. Emil was a criminal lawyer and I would run the household. For the past few weeks, Emil had been very disturbed. Usually his cases didn’t disturb him so much, but his latest case was causing him many grey hairs. He was also staying up quite late into the night working on it. Or at least that’s what I think he was working on.”
Emma paused to catch her thoughts and Sherlock asked, “What was the case about?”
“I do not know all the details. Just that it was some type of a murder case. I think. Emil wouldn’t tell me much about his cases. I would just catch snippets here and there. Whatever it was, it was disturbing him a lot. He mentioned once or twice that he suspected his client wasn’t telling him the entire truth and that he had indeed committed the murder,” Emma replied.
“How did he die?” Sherlock asked.
Emma responded in a low voice, “The detectives are saying it was suicide.”
“But you think otherwise,” Sherlock prompted.
“My Emil was a good man. He was a happy man. This case had disturbed him, but not enough for him to kill himself. Oh, Mr. Holmes. I am sure that he could not kill himself. Please help me before his case is closed as a suicide,” Emma moaned.
“Why don’t you think it’s a suicide?” Sherlock asked.
“Because Emil would and could never kill himself. The detectives are saying that he shot himself, but Emil didn’t even have a gun! When I told them that, they said he could have bought it without telling me. But Mr. Holmes, Emil was in a jovial mood yesterday. Despite his biggest rival visiting him, despite his client visiting him, despite our fight, he was in a very happy mood,” Emma responded, earnestly.
“You said Emil was a criminal lawyer. What type of cases did he usually fight?”
“Murders mostly. Especially those that came out extra-marital affairs. He said that those were the worst kinds because they involved not only killing a person, but also killing trust and humanity,” Emma responded, in a low voice, wiping tears with her handkerchief.
There was a silence that engulfed the room after that. I expected Sherlock to ask more questions about the case, but instead he asked, “Who is investigating the case?”
“Detective Inspector Lestrade,” Emma replied.
“And has the body been moved? Or any evidence removed yet?” Sherlock asked.
“I don’t think so. When I left 20 minutes ago, everything was still in the room,” Emma responded.
“Ma’am please go back and let Lestrade know that you have hired me on the case. He will know to keep everything as is until I get there,” Sherlock instructed.
“That means you’ll take the case?” Emma asked, happily.
“Of course I will. I said as much earlier,” Sherlock said. Then he turned towards me, effectively dismissing Mrs. Hudson and Emma. Once the two had left, he said, “Watson I cannot leave these rooms.”
“But what about this case?” I demanded.
“I have already solved it,” Sherlock shrugged.
“What? But how? I heard the same details you heard and yet I have no idea who committed the murder,” I demanded. I knew that it was impossible for Sherlock to have already solved the case. He was fibbing.
“Because as usual you have not observed. But I cannot leave these rooms and catch the murderer. You know the case of the vanishing cat has been occupying my time and for that I have to be in these rooms all the time. Until I do not solve the case I cannot leave. You will have to do the groundwork for me. Find the evidence, question the suspects, and catch the murderer. Take that new assistant, whatever their name is. I will be here for consultations if you get stuck, but I cannot leave this room no matter what,” Sherlock said.
“But you accepted this case! Mrs. Thatcher will be expecting you there! And what about Mrs. Hudson?” I exclaimed. I didn’t bother providing Sherlock the new assistant’s name. Not that there was any assistant, it was just a wannabe Holmes that I had mentioned once in passing.
“I will explain the situation to Mrs. Hudson and Mrs. Thatcher will be happy to see you as well. Now go before Lestrade gives up waiting for me,” Sherlock all but pushed me out of the door.
I got out of the cab and turned to Player, “Remember keep your eyes open for any important clues. We have to solve this case together and show Holmes that we are no less than him.”
Lestrade came out of the house and sighed, “Well, well, well. If it isn’t Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson here to prove Scotland Yard idiots.”
“Lestrade you know that’s not what we do. We just help people out,” I objected.
“Yes and make Scotland Yard look like a bunch of fools. Fine. The crime scene is intact inside. You can only look, no touching, and no taking anything away,” Lestrade warned. Then he looked around, “Where’s Holmes?”
“Stuck in a pressing matter. It’ll just be myself and Player. He will help us, but we will have to go back to the rooms to call on his help,” I responded.
“Well good luck then,” Lestrade shrugged.
He stepped away and I made the way to the door, looking at the ground carefully for footprints, just like Sherlock always did. Not seeing any, I stepped into the house, followed by Player, and made my way to the crime scene, Emil’s study (or office).
“Well Player, we have managed to find the clues and Lestrade has got everyone working on getting more information. And we will have to dig into Emil’s life. We need to find out more about Emil and what his past and his life is like. For that we will need to go hunting or digging for information.”
“What are we looking for?” Player asked.
“Information. Whatever we can find about Emil and why someone would want to kill him. We’ll need to go on a treasure hunt of sorts.”
“But what information will we get from the clues?”
“Well think about this way. The gun. We can get a license number from it. From that we can get the owner’s name. The shoe is interesting because it belonged to Emil, but it was found so far away. And just one shoe. Why? Was there something in them? And even if there was something in them why did the murderer remove the shoe? They could have removed whatever they wanted and put the shoe back on. We would never have known."
Player commented, "Well maybe they wanted to make it clear that the shoe had something in it."
"Why would any murderer do that?"
"Moving on. The desk phone had blood and fingerprints on it. Something useful could come from that. The document was almost burnt. There has to be a reason for that. Examining the document or whatever is left of it can give us a reason. And the book with the blood on it was on the right hand side of the table, when all of the blood spatter was on the left-hand side. It could be the perpetrator’s blood.”
“Oh so now what?”
“Now we go digging. We find what we can find about Emil. Emma told us about Emil’s latest client. Let’s find out more about him. We also have a rival who visited him yesterday. We have a lot to find out. So let’s get cracking.”
“Alright so to recap, what have we learnt so far Player?” I asked.
“Umm…can I just share my notes with you. There are too many details to go through,” Player asked.
“Fine,” I sighed.
Player handed me their list and I went through the items one-by-one. Then I said, “Well this will give us 3 possible suspects then.”
“Who are they?” Player asked.
“Emma, Jimmy, and John. They all had something to gain from killing Emil and there is some evidence that supports each of their deaths. Go through the list yourself once,” I pointed out.
1. The gun belonged to the victim, Emil. According to Emma, Emil kept it in his study’s safe, but he also took it out every Wednesday to clean it. However, she doesn’t know why he took it out today – a Friday.
2. The shoe had a false bottom. Forensics had found traces of a metal and an outline of a key. The safe was opened with a key and often contained sensitive or confidential information.
3. The fingerprints on the phone did not belong to Emil.
4. The document appeared to be information about Emma and her past life, but not a lot could be discerned from the document.
5. The blood is not Emil’s.
6. Based on neighbours’ statements, Emma and Emil were getting a divorce. The lawyer fighting the case for Emil said that Emma had cheated on Emil and thus they were demanding that Emma give alimony, not the other way around.
7. Emil’s latest client, Jimmy, was fighting a case to get a man imprisoned for killing his parents, but according to the other side’s lawyer, the case was bogus and they had evidence that Jimmy had actually killed his own parents. They had also provided this information to Emil who had apparently confronted Jimmy.
8. John Rockfort and Emil used to be partners at one time, but then Emil broke off the partnership when he caught Rockfort embezzling funds. Rockfort went on to become Emil’s biggest rival and it was possible that he might have killed Emil because Emil took many of the elite class with him as they had liked Emil better.
9. The blood found on the book belonged to a man.
10. According to Emil’s family, Emil used to love his secrets and would often hide them in plain sight.
After a few minutes, Player asked, “Okay what do we do from here? Talk to the suspects?”
“Correct. We’ll have to question them and see what we learn from them. They may give us something that can tell us which of them is the murderer.”
“Why would they give themselves up as the murderer? That’s just impossible.”
“Doesn’t hurt to try. At the most we can get one of them to confess. At the least, we can get some more information that can help us narrow in one of them. Holmes didn’t even have all this information and he solved the case. We can solve the case with this information. Though I have my doubts.”
“What doubts?” Player asked.
“This case seems too simple. The evidence is out in plain sight for us. We found 3 suspects too quickly and too easily. Would the killer really be so stupid as to leave the evidence out for us to find? And Emma lied. She said to us that Emil didn't have a gun. And now she's changed her statement. Again while she seems suspect is she really the killer?”
Player and I exchanged glances at a loss of words. But then I shrugged, “Oh well. Let’s go interrogate our suspects.”
“What do you think we should do next Dr. Watson?” Player asked.
“First let’s go over what we learnt from the interrogations. What did you understand from Emma?” I asked.
“Based on the interrogation, Emma was alone at home with Emil and she knew that the key to the safe was in Emil’s shoe. She agreed that she had cheated on Emil and that they were getting divorced and that she would lose access to his money and property. She lied about the gun simply to ensure that Mr. Holmes and you would investigate. She didn’t know anything about any documents about her past, but you are convinced that she was lying.”
“Yes that makes sense to me. What about Jimmy?”
“Jimmy claimed that his parents were killed by his ex-boyfriend because they found out about his true nature and told Jimmy which led Jimmy to break it off with him. He refutes having killed his parents and says that his ex-boyfriend’s lawyer is lying. The only thing they could possibly have is a letter he wrote to his ex in which he was frustrated with his parents. He refuses any knowledge of the blood on the book and says he had nothing to hide so he didn’t need to get into Emil’s safe. You believe him.”
“Alright and what about John?”
“John agrees that he stole some money, but claims that he needed it to pay off a gambling debt. He had planned on returning in with his next cases before Emil learnt of the theft. He visited Emil to discuss a potential case with him and partnering with him on it. He wanted to get back together with Emil and he had been calling Emil on that often and had then also met him. He also accepts that the blood on the book is his. He gets nosebleeds from time to time and while he was in Emil’s office, his nose started bleeding. Emil had cleaned up most of the blood, but there was some blood left on the book. You think he’s lying about something, but also believe him at the same time.”
“So what do you make from that?”
“Well I don’t trust any of them. But we need evidence now to get to the culprit. So how do we get that?”
“I’m at a loss as well. Maybe it’s time to call Holmes.”
But before I could do that, there was a knock at the door. I opened the door to see Lestrade standing there. He said, “I came to get you. Emil’s office was broken into and things have been thrown about. I thought you both might want to see it.”
“We have 3 new clues to help us out now. This key. It wasn’t there before. Where did it come from and why did the robber leave it behind? These legal documents. There has to be something in them. They were thrown about the room. Or did the robber take the important documents with them? Finally, this photo frame. We had removed the original photo and replaced it with a nature photo. Now that photo is missing. There must be something important in the original photo then,” I noted.
“Emil’s family did say he loved secrets and puzzles. Maybe he hid something in the photo and these legal documents. We could try to look for those details,” Player suggested.
“Good point. What do you want to go through?”
“The legal documents. I like legal jargon and searching for hidden messages.”
“Okay. In the meantime, Lestrade is testing that key out in every place in the house. He will find what that key is for and why it was left behind.”
“Unbelievable! All 3 of our suspects are criminals. This key led to evidence that Jimmy is a terrorist. And one of those legal documents and the photo had the messages that Emma is cheating with John and they are planning his death. So case solved! Emma and John are the murderer!” Player exclaimed.
“Not so fast. Watson I told you to call me if you ran into any trouble,” Sherlock said, from the door.
I looked at Sherlock in surprise, “Holmes what are you doing here?”
“Lestrade visited me last night. He told me that you both had decided that Emma and John are the killers but you have no evidence to arrest them. He wanted my help. Given I had solved the case of the vanishing cat, I was more than happy to make myself useful in this case, especially given that you both have arrived at the wrong conclusion,” Sherlock said, in his usual insufferable way.
“But we have the motive. Both were cheating on him! And he knew they wanted to kill him and they did!” Player objected.
“Player you have a lot to learn on observations. Answer me this – if Emil knew that Emma and John wanted to kill him, then why did he meet John the night before? If he knew they wanted to kill him, why didn’t he take measures to protect himself? No Player. Those messages were fake. In fact this entire case is fake. Well maybe not fake. But I told Watson on Day 1 that I knew the killer and I stand by my statement. I know the killer. But I will not give you this case on a platter Player. This is your first case with me. I will give you the name of the killer and motive and you will give me the proof that they are the killer. Agreed?”
“Okay,” Player agreed, hesitatingly.
“The killer is…Emil Thatcher. And he did so because of the motive you gave Player. His wife was cheating on him and he was not going to let her get away with it. He set up the entire scene to frame her and John.”
“WHAT?” Player exclaimed at the same time as I said, “Holmes that’s preposterous.”
“It’s the truth. Aren’t you both suspecting Emma and John? Anyways, go and find me the proof,” Holmes ordered.
Tags - Koeli
In Game Pics - 18shabbo
Awards and Siggies - proteeti
“Good job Player. You got that absolutely right. Watson, Player isn’t all that bad. Maybe something can be done after all,” Sherlock praised, something that was rather rare for him.
“But Holmes how did you know that Emil killed himself? You didn’t even have all the evidence we had!” I exclaimed.
“Elementary, my dear Watson. Elementary. Women’s intuition is actually a very real thing. Emma Thatcher named 2 possible suspects and she herself could have been one. But if she was the killer, then she wouldn’t have brought the case to us. No matter how clever criminals are, even they know that coming to Sherlock Holmes means that they will get caught eventually. Then Emma’s body language. When she told us Emil didn’t have a gun, she fidgeted. She was lying. She knew Emil had a gun and she had seen the gun. She knew Emil had died by his own gun. But if she told us that, we might have sided by Lestrade. So she hid that fact from us. When she told us that Lestrade thought it was a suicide, her voice was low, she was looking down, and her hands were clenched tightly. She was the dutiful wife, claiming her husband hadn’t committed suicide, but somewhere she didn’t believe her own statement. She had an inkling that her husband had committed suicide. And finally, Emil handled murders mostly. Many of them dealt with extra-marital affairs. A man like that would know when his own wife is straying and would do something to put an end to it – even if it meant killing himself,” Sherlock responded.
“But that break-in! That evidence!” I exclaimed.
“All planted. Emil wanted his wife and John to be caught and tried for murder. His murder. He planted the evidence. When John bled all over the book, he left the book where it was as evidence that John had been there and had gotten hurt. He took his shoe off and got rid of the safe’s key. He planted the fingerprints on the phone. And he left those “hidden” messages in plain sight. I had the Irregulars do some digging. They found a thief, who had been hired by Emil before his death. The thief had been hired to break-in, make it look like someone was searching for something, and leave some stuff behind. He had been instructed to do this no matter what. Emil wanted it to look like the murderer was getting anxious and was looking for something. In the process, he also got a terrorist caught. But his wife and his ex-partner are both innocent of the heinous crime they were being accused of. A simple case really,” Sherlock shrugged. Then he stood up and said, “Now then let’s go over to Mycroft and let him know that I have solved the vanishing cat’s mystery as well.”
Tags - Koeli
In Game Pics - 18shabbo
Winner and Award Siggies - proteeti
Well there you have it players. The mystery has been solved and the murderer has been caught. Congratulations for getting so far and congratulations for solving the mystery. Unfortunately we can only have one winner. Presenting the final leaderboard and the winners are tied - Beautyful_Mess and Zeal17! The runner-up is Alexia_Wilson!
Zeal and Kifs here is your winner siggy to flaunt (made by Proteeti).
And Lexi/Junior here's your siggy to flaunt (also made by Proteeti).
Topic started by Minionite
Last replied by Unique.Sheep