After a whole night of trying to think things through, Tammy knew that she was getting closer to solving the murders, but she knew that everybody would have the motive to frame Rupert Christen.
When she got up and got ready, she went into her back garden, where Vera was sat.
"Have you figured out what had happened to my headscarf yet?" asked Vera.
"Unfortunately, no", said Tammy, "but there is something more important for me to ask".
"Oh, what's that?"
"You had a rope in your back garden the other day, didn't you?"
"Because the thing is, Anna Barclay was murdered with a rope looking very similair to the one that you had, if not exactly alike".
"And? It doesn't prove I killed anybody!" laughed Vera.
"So, where is the rope now?" asked Tammy, getting rather suspiscious of her next door neighbour.
"Well", replied Vera, feeling under pressure, "it was here the other day..."
"So, where is it now?"
"I can't remember".
"So that's it? I need you to tell me where that rope is. If it's not in your back garden, then it must be in your house".
Vera's voice grew quieter. "I don't remember taking it into the house..."
"So, if it's not in the house, or back garden, it must have been taken our of your house, so where is it now?"
"Alright. I admit it! I've lost that, too!"
"So why didn't you tell me earlier?"
"Because I knew that you'd suspect me, when I haven't done anything wrong!"
"Well, I suspect you even more now than I would have. You should have been honest, but now, I think that you probably killed Anna Barclay!"
"You're wrong! You're wrong!"
Rupert Christen was watching in the background, grinning.
"You're loving this, aren't you?" said Vera, looking in Rupert's direction.
"Well, if you murdered my wife, you deserve to go to jail for it!" yelled Rupert.
"I didn't kill anybody!" cried Vera, "and you know fine well!"
"Before you imply that I killed my wife, let me remind you that all of the evidence is going against you, Vera".
"Well, for one thing, the missing rope, the strong hatred towards us, the fact that you had a gun, the fact that you were under the influence of alcohol..."
"Before you go any further, let me remind you that the gun used to kill your bitchy, slutty wife was that of the Gardiners, and even though I was drunk that night, I was perfectly aware of what I was doing. Besides, I know better than to play your own games, Rupert. If anyone's the murderer, Tammy, it's Rupert. I can guarantee that!"
"We'll see about that, won't we?" said Tammy, going into her house.
Tammy got another knock at the door later that day. Again, it was the other investigator.
"We've got another new lead", he said.
"What is it?"
"That young boy who lives round here, Harry Gardiner?"
"Yes. I know him. What about him?"
"Well, he's found a yellow suit in the park, all torn and placed in a bush. Harry said that he spotted it easily, because it was hanging out of the bush".
"So, is it definitely Rupert's suit?"
"It looks that way. We would have to assume that this is not a coincidence, and the clothes that that stranger looking into the house that night wore is the same as the clothes Harry found in the park".
"So, somebody is definitely out to frame Rupert".
"But we knew that already".
"Yes, but we can now tell that this person is desperate to see him behind bars, and they have come up with this elaborate ploy of seeing Rupert Christen go back to prison!"
"So, I'll carry on with the investigation, if you keep trying to catch people out".
"I'll do that".
Later, when Danny returned home, he told Tammy yet another crucial piece of information about the case.
"All I need is one more scrap of information, and I think I can work it all out!" cried Tammy.
"How close are you to solving the case?" asked Danny.
"I think I'm close...very close".
"Well, I know you'll crack it. You've never failed yet, have you?"
"I know this is a stupid quesiton, but did you see anything suspiscious on the night of Alesha's or Anna's murder?"
"Well, come to think of it..."
"It's probably nothing, but..."
"Go on. I might need this".
"It's just, on the night of Alesha's murder, about five minutes before the shot, while I was outside smoking a cigarette..."
"Well, I heard the sound of smashing glass. I don't know where it came from, but I heard that Alesha was found next to a broken glass".
"Yes. That is something to think about..."
Then it struck Tammy. She did not know for certain, but everything suddenly started to make perfect sense - all of the clues that she had obtained fit into the puzzle, all except for two.
"I need to round all of the suspects together", said Tammy, "I think I know who the murderer is!"
"Was it something I said?" asked Danny.
"Yes, and without that information, I would still be going in the wrong direction, but I think I know what's happened, so we need to round up the original eight suspects. There is one more question I need to ask you".
"How sure are you that the sound of the glass breaking did not come from number 1?"
"It did not come from number 1, I am one hundred percent certain. It came from somewhere like 3,4 or 5, I think, but it did not come from number 1".
"OK, are you ready?"
"I'm coming too?"
"Of course. I might be announcing the murderer now, if I get the right answers to these questions".
"What questions? What are you talking about?"
"I'll explain when I get there!"
Tammy and Danny went to the middle of the circle of six houses, so there were police cars blocking every exit. One by one, the suspects arrived. The Strattons, the Gardiners (although they were not suspects now), Danny, Vera, and of course, Rupert. There was also the investigator who Tammy had worked with.
"Before I begin", said Tammy, "I have to let you know that I might know who the murderer is, but I need everybody in this room to answer honestly these next two questions".
"What are they then?" asked Vera.
"Number one - does anybody want to admit to running around the outside of the Gardiners' house on the night of Alesha's murder?"
"Somebody here did. It's alright if you did, because it does not necessarily mean that you are the murderer. I just need to know".
Still, nobody spoke.
"Very well. I'll move on. On the night of Alesha's murder, five minutes before the shooting, did anybody drop a glass?"
Nobody spoke again.
"Did anybody break any glass at all? Whether that was a vase, or a drinking glass, or a glass bottle? No?"
"So, just to verify, nobody at all wants to admit to smashing a glass?"
"Well then, people. Thank you for your co-operation. The murder is solved".
Everybody suddenly gasped.
"I'm just going to take five minutes out to get my explanation ready".
"You mean, you know who did it?" asked John Gardiner.
"Go on, give us a clue", said an excited Eva Gardiner.
"Very well", said Tammy, "if you want to solve the murder yourself, consider everything that has been said or done very carefully. Also, consider the following objects with great thought: Rupert's hat, Rupert's yellow suit, the front door of number 4, a pair of high heels, a rope, a headscarf, a window, a glass, the three guns, and a bottle of champagne. From those objects there, you should be able to deduce who the killer is".
Everybody, including the police, stared at Tammy with very confused faces.
"I'll be back in five minutes to announce the murderer", said Tammy.
© Copyright 2016 declan mckimm. All rights reserved.
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