As Violet lay there on the floor with her lifeless body attracting the attention of everyone, I looked around, knowing that someone in the room (with the possibility of Amos) had killed her.
"I'll drive into town right away to go to the police!" cried Miss Douthwaite, still in shock about the dramatic event.
"Oh, no you don't!" yelled Tim, jumping in straight away.
"Why?" asked a puzzled Miss Douthwaite.
"Do you think I'm stupid? You can take the car and be off within an instant, leaving us here with no methods of communication to starve to death, while you leave the country".
"Why would I do that?"
"Because you murdered Violet. Now that you've killed her, you can take Violet's car and drive away, just like your plan!" cried Tim, extremely quick to place the blame on Miss Douthwaite.
"I did not kill her!" she cried. I did not know whether to believe her or not. Everybody else in the room was just watching the pair of them argue, not saying anything else, when Mary interupted.
"Somebody planned this!" she said, with her entire body still shaking, having been stunned like an electric cable had hit her.
"How?" said Tim.
"Because the telephone wires have been cut, haven't they? Do you think it is a coincidence that John could not telephone someone earlier, and now this happens?" replied Mary, who was trying her best to put two and two together.
"But we can still use the car", said Tim.
"I'm not so sure. Somebody here killed Violet, and..."
"They might not be in this room", Victoria interupted, "Amos is not here".
"Thank you for pointing that out", Mary said with a slightly sarcastic tone of voice,"anyway, as I was saying, nobody takes the car anywhere. Until this murder is solved, I am not allowing anyone to leave this house".
"Where does Amos sleep?" asked Victoria.
"I think he sleeps in his little hut outside. He's probably there now, gathering his things together, looking for Violet's car keys".
"You must not jump to conclusions yet. Six people, including you, had the motive to murder Violet. Anyone could have killed her".
"Maybe I can help", I said.
"You?" replied Mary, "how can you help to solve the murder?"
"Well, Victoria and I are studying History back in America. Although we have never been involved in something like this, the study of History involves analysing things and making deductions. We may be able to help", said I, trying my very hardest to persuade the woman to investigate the murder. I had had the sense of foreboding as I entered the house, and I was also warned by Amos that something bad was going to happen in the house, and of course, it did. I could not help but think I could have prevented it from happening if I was more sharp, and did not let my rational mind overtake the stupid fantasies. Although anybody who walked into the house could have sensed the evil around them, but that did not stop me from thinking that I was somehow responsible for the death, so I wanted justice for Violet.
"Of course we can", added Victoria.
"I don't think so. For all I know, you could be the murderer! Isn't it a coincidence that she dies when you two arrive here. It sounds a bit fishy to me!" cried Mary, starting to
make accusations early on.
"And why on Earth would we want to kill Violet?" I asked her. That was an insult. From the moment I had seen the woman, I knew that she was slightly insane. I think that she felt the same way about me, too, because of the way that she looked at me when I entered the room. I did not want to look at her, or talk to her, because I had a strong inkling that she was the person who had commited this horrific crime.
"Don't be silly, Mary, they did not kill Violet", said Tim.
"And why are you jumping to her defence?" said Mary, still showing that her tone of voice had changed from smooth to croaky.
"Well, I know the real murderer will get away with it if these people do not investigate. It is the only hope we have of catching the killer. I'm not the expert on this kind of thing", said Tim, "now listen, your head is all over the place at the moment. I suggest that everybody goes to bed now to get over the shock. Lock your doors. We'll start with things tomorrow".
"What about Violet?" I asked.
"I'm an undertaker", replied Tim, "so I will be able to sort things out for her, and I will arrange the funeral to be in the garden, where the rest of her relatives are buried".
After that, Victoria and I went to my room to talk about things. That was the first time I had heard a little background on Tim's life. I had no idea that he was an undertaker - that meant he was used to seeing dead bodies, so that would not have bothered him. Was that my first lead?
"I don't think we can do this", Victoria said.
"Why not?" I asked her.
"Because I don't think we have the skills to solve the murder!"
"Listen, you heard what that stupid woman, Mary, said. We will not get out of here until the killer is caught, so our only choice is to solve the murder".
"I suppose you're right, but where do we start?"
"Why don't we make a list of all the suspects, and evaluate how likely they are to be the murderer".
"Alright. We can do that tonight, and move on with things tomorrow".
"Let's start with John, the butler. He could have wished Violet dead as she sacked him".
"I don't think he's the murdering type. He's too old", I said, slightly ashamed of what I had just said, thinking myself as an ageist.
"What about Miss Douthwaite? She had the same motive, but do you think she has the character of a psychotic murderer?"
"She was found kneeling over the body, so it seems she was the first one to be there. Unless the killer was able to get out another way, it looks like she did it".
"I don't know. It depends on how long it took for her to get down there", I said, trying to think about things more deeply.
"Or get to the door leading to the basement. It depends on where she was at the time of the screaming".
"What about Margaret, the cook? She had a stronger motive, because she was poorer than Miss Douthwaite and John. She may have done it".
"I do not know what to think of her", said, trying to reserve my judgement of Margaret until I had conversed with her more, "and what about Amos, the gardener?"
"He seemed nice enough. I mean, he took the time to let us into the house", said Victoria, who did not come up with a very strong argument.
"Yeah, I don't think he did it", I added, knowing that Amos was not the usual murderer, "anyway, do you think he found out about his job loss?"
"I don't know. I don't think Violet had the chance to tell him", said a slightly sympathetic Victoria.
"What about Mary and Tim?" I asked, trying to expand more on their characters.
"Well, they would inherit the house when Violet died, because she told me herself that there was nobody else related to her but her cousin, Mary".
"And Tim said he was an undertaker, so that is not the best paid job in the world. It's clear that he has only married Mary for the inheritance and the money".
"He's too old for her anyway. And I think that Mary could easily kill Violet. It's just her character. She's a little bit...untrustworthy".
"I agree", I said, thankful that I was not the only person who had that opinion of Mary.
"Also, I think the position of the body was important. Can you remember how Violet was positioned when you saw her?"
"She was lying on her side, with the knife in the back of the neck, and her head was in the doorway of the wine cellar", I replied.
"So, the murderer followed her down into the wine cellar, with the knife, and stabbed her when she opened the door to the wine cellar".
"What about the bottle of wine?" I said, going into much more detail.
"What about it?" asked a seemingly interested Victoria.
"It wasn't smashed, but I noticed that in the wine cellar, there was a bottle of wine on the floor of the basement. Her hand looked like she had gripped the bottle, and the bottle was at the other side of the room. I don't think anyone else noticed it".
"So the murderer waited until she had chosen the bottle until they killed her. Why would they do that? It would only mean risking more noise because she would obviously drop the bottle. If it was me who killed her - I'm not saying I did - but if I did, I would have killed her before she opened the door, and it was not guaranteed that she would scream. Why wait until she chose the bottle of wine?"
"We'll have to try to find that out tomorrow".
"There is another thing we'll have to find out".
"We need to find out where all of the knives were in the house, and who had access to them".
"That is a really good point", said Victoria, jumping out of bed slightly, "well, I'm going to go to bed for now, not that I'll get any sleep".
"Me neither", I laughed.
I said goodnight to Victoria, and in my head, all through the night, I was thinking about who could have killed Violet.
© Copyright 2017 declan mckimm. All rights reserved.
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