the poisonous case

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
WAS IT A SUICIDE OR A MURDER...
(as this is my first story in this field...i think my readers can judge it better...)

Submitted: January 01, 2009

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Submitted: January 01, 2009

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THE POISONOUS CASE\"[untitled.bmp]\"

Detective Roligue D’souza was pacing up and down in his office. His mind was deeply indulged in the case he had most recently ‘earned’- yeh – he believed that cases are to be earned and money to be collected. His assistant, Kumar was sitting on his chair, his head keeping up with the pace of D’souza – moving left, then right, and then left. Kumar
was just opposite of D’souza who was a well-built man, callous, wise, and a ‘deep thinker and a quick actor’. On the other hand, Kumar was a simple young man with still an attitude of a teenager, very sensitive, ‘a simple body, simple mind’ person who cannot think beyond his limits. Besides this, he had an intense appreciation for his biology teacher. D’souza had to explain him everything in detail, which made him a victim of his short temper. There was no match between them, if D’souza was the mighty sky who believed in ruling the world, then Kumar was the simple earth, too emotional – who would blossom several beautiful flowers when happy and would bring in calamities when angry. However, if they were sky and earth then, there must be a horizon, and in fact, there was a horizon – it was their understanding, love and care for each other. D’souza could have easily appointed a wiser person instead of Kumar. But, he was very much fascinated by Kumar’s enthusiasm – he found that his honey coloured eyes had something very different. He believed that Kumar had the potential but needs an opportunity to express it. He found a sense of trust and faithfulness in him. Kumar was not strong but he would never run away leaving him in trouble. And, that made a strong bond, which held them together till date. D’souza wore no emotions on his face but he had deep affection for Kumar. He thought him to be his younger brother and that was the reason why in spite of Kumar’s mistakes and foolish acts, he never turned him out. A man, who would shoot anyone without any thoughts arising in his mind, would regret even after scolding his assistant, such was the intensity of his love.
Meanwhile Roligue had stopped with his ‘walkthinking’ as Kumar described it, and stood beside Kumar leaning over the case file – “so, Mrs Sheela Ranawat, found dead in her residence. A suicide note found beside the body. It read – ‘I am fully contended with my life. I didn’t want any more. I have a loving and caring husband, money and all that one can dream of. I always wanted to die in peace, with all these luxuries. Life is unpredictable, I would not tolerate if life takes a turn and we will be left with nothing. Therefore, I have decided to die now, with no complain in my heart and no desires left to be fulfilled. It’s solely my own decision; no one is responsible for it in any possible way.’
What a reason to die? Was that woman’s heart in right place?” snorted D’souza
Suddenly Kumar turned to D’souza as if to say something but then shook his head and looked back at the file.
“What? …Out with it,” said D’souza knowing very well that it was not worth use.
“Sir, the post mortem report shows that she died of poisoning – arsenic poisoning…”
“So?” asked D’souza annoyed.
“but there is no information about her heart ,I think it was in the middle of chest inclined towards left as I have studied …my biology teacher declared it the appropriate place…” said Kumar trying to explain himself as clearly as possible.
“Oh shut up you fool. It’s just a proverb,” said D’souza who was used to his lack of knowledge about proverbs.
Then he looked at the details of the body. Suddenly something stuck to his mind.
“Look Kumar, this lady’s right hand is slightly bigger than the left one…”
“But sir… my biology teacher said that…” Kumar started giving his own reasons when D’souza interrupted him.
“Yeh, I know it is not a disease, people have right hand slightly bigger because they use them more than the left one. However, look at the handwriting in this letter. These lines are smeared…but one could still read it” he said and looked at Kumar who was wearing a blank ex-pression on his face – so he continued
“I mean, most of the left – handers are taught to spin the writing paper slightly counter clockwise so the lower left corner is to the right of their midsection and to slide the paper from right to left as they go, to prevent their left hand from smearing and make it visible as in the suicide note. Understood. Moreover, that means Mrs. Sheela had not written this letter and hence it is not a suicidal case. I’m not very sure…I mean I can be wrong…maybe Mrs. Ranawat’s handwriting was such…whatever the matter is…I have to get involved in it…Kumar, I smell a rat…” he said and waited to see Kumar’s reaction. Expectedly, he found him bending down and searching something with great attention.
“What are you looking for?” he asked trying to hide his smile.
“Sir, although I can’t smell any rat, but if you can then, maybe I am wrong. Therefore, I am searching that wicked rat and I will throw it out so that it will not trouble you…you carry on sir…don’t worry.” He said and then indulged himself to his ‘rat searching’ work.
“O my god! I have to give you a lesson on English grammar. It’s a proverb you fool!”
Next day, they went to Mrs.Ranawat’s residence. They met her father-in-law. “Sir, I don’t like this man’s appearance. Such a shrewd man”, Kumar whispered.
“Shut up Kumar and don’t ever dare to talk to him…I will manage understand…just stay behind. And remember – no teenage attitude”, D’souza whispered back.
“Hello sir, can we talk to Sandeep.” He asked trying to be generous.
“What? You want to talk to Sandeep. He is out of mind. You want to see him. Out of question!” the old man shouted angrily.
Now Kumar came to the rescue. He straight away went to old man and said, “Listen old man! My sir is very strict... he will make you sleep forever with a bang. It is none of our business whether your son is inside or outside his mind. And don’t try to fool us. My biology teacher told that mind or brain is a vital organ, if it stops working, that is, if you were out of your mind then you would die – understood – die! And by the way, you are not our students that we will ask something out of syllabus and you will answer us.” He said still bubbling with anger. D’souza pulled him back by his shirt’s collar and whispered “Kumar Shut up! Forgot my warning. And it is ‘out of question’ not ‘syllabus’ understood and it means ‘impossible’.” Then he turned to the old man. “I want Mr. Ranawat.” He said looking sterner. This time he let them enter still grumbling.
Mr. Sandeep Ranawat was sitting on the sofa.
“Hello Mr. Ranawat. I am detective Roligue D’souza and this is my assistant Mr. Kumar Desai. I would like to exchange a few words with you and my assistant will have a look on your possessions…I hope you don’t mind. ”he said and gestured Kumar to go inside.
Sandeep said nothing but gestured them to proceed. He sat there for half an hour looking here and there. Then he started his interview.
“So, how long were you married?” D’souza asked.
“Twenty five years.” Sandeep replied shortly.
Meanwhile Kumar returned back hitting his head as if trying to insert all that he saw, into his mind.
“Any children?”
“Yeh, one son.”
“Really!” D’souza almost jumped on his seat.
“Any problem with it?” he asked sharply
“No…nothing. Anyways, was your wife left handed or right handed?” he asked, turning the pages of a notebook kept on the table unknowingly.
“What?” this time Sandeep was astonished by such strange question.
“Am I not clear...? I mean with which hand your wife wrote?” he asked looking professional.
“ri…right hand” he said hesitantly.
“Can you tell me something more about your wife honestly”. He asked
“Well Sheela was a far-sighted person. She would always think about her future and waste her present. However, she was not so foolish to end her life just for such silly cause. She was sensible and happy. Maybe her worry for future overtook her life in present.” Sandeep sighed.
“So, do you think she committed a suicide?” D’souza asked eyeing him with suspicion.
“Yeh” replied Sandeep looking uneasy.
“Well then we must leave” he said and stood up, then suddenly remembering something sat down.
“Umm... if you don’t mind… can you please write your statement for me… actually yesterday my assistant had to encounter a very big criminal and he got his hands injured…and I am not very good at spellings…moreover my handwriting is horrible…even I cannot read it.” He said appealingly. Kumar understood why D’souza had tied bandages on his hand before visiting the Ranawat’s. “Very well.” Sandeep replied and started writing – with his left hand. D’souza exchanged a glance with Kumar and smiled. They then went back.

“So, what do you think Kumar?” asked D’souza after returning to their office.
“Sir, I don’t know about Sandeep, but I don’t like that old man a bit. He is having a murderous look.” Kumar replied, looking very serious.
“Whatever the matter is, but right now evidences point to Sandeep.” Said D’souza.
“And I never understood why you asked him about children?” asked Kumar.
“Yeh, you see Mr. Sandeep Ranawat said that they had a son but there was no mention of him in the suicide note. How can this be possible?”
“Maybe she had forgotten…” Kumar tried to reason out.
“What nonsense. No women would ever forget to mention her son, no matter how forgetful…”
“But sir…you said that the note was not written by Mrs.Ranawat…and besides, we had seen Mr. Sandeep writing with left hand.”
“No Kumar, we were wrong. When I was interviewing Mr. Sandeep, I just unknowingly turned out the pages of a notebook…then I noticed that it was written by Mrs. Ranawat…some recepies…with the same handwriting as in the suicide note… she really had a horrible handwriting,” said D’souza.
“Anyways, let’s go through the forensic reports. Traces of arsenous oxide were found. Arsenic was also found in nails… ok Kumar, now lets check your observation skills. Can you tell me what was there in Mr. and Mrs. Ranawat’s room?” He Continued.
“Umm… few medicines, perfumes, cosmetics…fruits, biscuits…accessories… few soft toys and some other decors…and then of course wardrobe items.” Kumar said still thinking.
“Very good! You remember them all. Now can you tell me exactly what medicines were present there?”
“Yes sir. They were domperon10, calphol, dart, streptomycin, pantac40, zintec…and apart from all these… it seems she took betain hydrochloride.” Said Kumar.
“Betain hydrochloride…that means hypochlorydria…her stomach did not produce HCl acid…without medicine she couldn’t digest anything. Umm…could you tell me something more?”
“Yes sir. One bottle contained fowler’s solution.”
“Great job Kumar! You are getting intelligent day by day.” Said D’souza, being cautious not to use any proverb.
“Hey! See here…the report says she had traces of cyanide in her stomach…but fortunately it was not in her intestines i.e., she was not able to digest it. Poor dear, she was poisoned from all four sides,” said D’souza, suddenly realizing his mistake.
“But sir…”Kumar began
“I mean she was poisoned more than once” he replied trying to correct his mistake as soon as possible.
Suddenly something struck to D’souza mind.
“Can you tell me exactly what the decors were?” he asked.
“Umm... they were antiques. It seems Mr. Ranawat had great sense of antiques. They were very costly and tremendously beautiful. They were artificial flowers playing cards, hat liners and many more of nineteenth century.” Said Kumar still unable to believe that he had collected so many information and was very happy that D’souza was finding his information very helpful.
“But Kumar, how do you know that it was Mr. Ranawat who bought all those antiques?”
“Because sir it was written on them – ‘to my dear wife from Sandeep.’ Wasn’t he a very good husband? I wish I could b like him some day.” Kumar was completely lost in his thoughts. However, D’souza who called out “time to be back from fantasies, Kumar” broke his chain of thoughts!
“OK now we have to find more about that son of Ranawat.” Said D’souza planning for the interesting future of the case.
Next day they were back to Ranawat’s residence.
“Listen Kumar. This time we have to search secretly…we will not be allowed to go through the rooms once again…you remember that old man…,” he said.
Once again, old Ranawat opened the door. “Come in.” he said coldly on seeing Kumar ready for action and went inside still grumbling.
Mr. Ranawat was sitting on the sofa deeply lost in some thought. D’souza gestured Kumar to enter Mr. Ranawat’s room.
“Hello Mr. Ranawat. How is your life going?” he asked trying to begin the conversation.
“How would it go?” snorted Sandeep his face showing immense anger.
“So what work do you do? I mean your profession.”
D’souza asked trying to carry on the conversation as long as possible.
“Business. I have to travel out of India several times for business purposes…in fact I could see my wife once in three months.”
“How old is your son?”
“18 years”
“Tell me something about your business.”
Well, I deal in medicines. It is our family business. My dad is a master in it. I have a widespread business. We are whole seller as well as retailer…” Sandeep said, for a moment the sadness of his face was overtook by proudness.
Kumar entered the drawing room with a broad smile showing a thumb up. D’souza glared at him as if to say ‘no teenage attitude’, which he at once understood.
“OK then, I must leave” D’souza said standing up.
“Hey, that boy was with you? I never saw him!” asked Ranawat astonished.
“I…er… I was there throughout the conversation. You – you must not have noticed me. I was standing right behind you. I am not so short that you never saw me …hey, wait a sec that means YOU IGNORED ME…HOW DARE YOU?...” snorted Kumar pretending to be angry.
“I… I think… you were going somewhere,” said Sandeep, taken aback by Kumar’s strange behaviour. D’souza and Kumar rushed out with D’souza laying a praising hand over Kumar’s shoulder.

“Sir this is the address of Ranawat’s son’s college. St.Stephens University, Delhi” said Kumar after reaching their office.
“Grand! Let’s hurry up.” Said D’souza.
Soon they were walking through the corridor of St.Stephens hostel heading towards room no 201.
“Mr. Yuvraj Ranawat?” D’souza asked.
“Yeh” he replied, a little puzzled.
“May we come in?”
“Sure”
“Do you know your mother is no more?” asked D’souza.
“My mother was dead long back,” he said ex-pressionless.
“What! We mean Mrs. Sheela Ranawat,” said D’souza, trying to explain.
“She is not my mother,” snorted Yuvraj.
Hold on… are you not the son of Mr. Sandeep Ranawat, a businessman who deals in medicines” asked D’souza, irritated. “Of course I am… but she is not my mother. She hates me and I hate her much more than she hates me. My mother was long dead. Sheela was my step mom…”
“Hey – hey mind it. Don’t you have any respect for your mom? How dare you take her name?” shouted Kumar.
“She –is – not – my – mom,” Yuvraj shouted back angrily.
“Calm down you both. Yuvraj were your mom dead before Mr. Ranawat married Mrs. Sheela.” Asked D’souza.
“Nope. My mother was still alive…she was very good…I was only nine years old when that stupid sheela killed her. She was jealous of my mother.” Yuvraj said with asperity.
“Why did your father married her then?” asked D’souza puzzled.
“I don’t know.” He said
“Very well, we must leave now. You continue with your studies.” Said D’souza and they both returned to office.
“You know Kumar, while interviewing Mr. Ranawat I saw a cake container on which it was written ‘to papa – from Yuvraj’ anyways you must leave now. Give me sometime to think over it.” D’souza said.

Next day, D’souza and Kumar went to Ranawat’s residence. They found Yuvraj at home; Mr. Ranawat was still looking sad and the old man as usual busy with his grumbling.
“Hello everyone. The case is almost solved. I have heard that you are Master in medicines Mr. Ranawat,” asked D’souza to old man.
“Any doubt in it?” he grumbled
“No, in fact I have a question. Can you tell me which chemicals are contained in fowler’s solution?” he asked.
“Yes why not. Its potassium arsenate.”
“Thankyou. That was the only thing left. So, my friends the case is now fully solved.”
“What! Tell me who has murdered my daughter-in-law. I will kill him.” Shouted the old man.
“Very well then. Mr. Sandeep, you gifted your wife antiques…you had a great interest in it. Isn’t it. That means you knew everything about it. Am I right?”
“Almost”
“ then you must be knowing that most of the nineteenth century antiques contain a lethal amount of arsenic – you found it a very easy to spread that poisonous substance around her.”
“What nonsense!”
“Shut up! And that was the arsenic found in lady’s nails. BUT THE LADY DID NOT DIE BECAUSE OF IT. Poor lady, she was unlucky. Not only her husband poisoned her but her father-in-law also did the same. Am I right old man?”
“What…”
“Yes…you knew that prolonged treatment with fowler’s solution might prove fatal and as it is a medicine, sheela would not suspect it. What an intusion Kumar. BUT THIS WAS NOT THE CAUSE OF LADY’S DEATH”
The old man only grumbled.
“And last but not the least, the third one… what… Yuvraj didn’t you send cake containing cyanide. You named it to your father and sent it at the time when he was not at home? That’s because you knew your mother would not suspect it if it was for your father and hence she consumed it. Am I right?”
“She – is – not – my – mother. And yes, I killed her. And I am very happy at that.”
“I am afraid you can’t be happy. Because you had no idea that your mother was out of medication at that time…so, she was unable to digest your cake, which resulted in vomiting. Anyways it gave a chance to your grandpa to use his medicines…I mean the fowler’s solution. And you all did it just because sheela didn’t liked Yuvraj – your only heir. You know Kumar sheela was the luckiest one to escape all those poisons, do you know why...because she poisoned herself…and the reason was of course, as Sandeep suspected…her far sightedness. Anyways I arrest you three in charge of attempt murder.”


© Copyright 2020 tammanna. All rights reserved.

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