Secret of the Family Tree: Digging Up Old Roots

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Chapter 26: The Case for Mr. Peter Lin

Chief Bevin and Officer Roberts stopped by the Fairland home the next afternoon. The reason for their visit was to wrap up the details surrounding the case of Nanna and Ameara Fairland and to discuss Peter Lin.

“His story seems to all check out,” Chief Bevin said, taking another sip of green tea. “Twenty-six years ago, a young Peter Lin came into this country hoping to reconnect with distant relatives, your family the Fairlands.”

Chief Bevin didn’t need to explain Mr. Lin was a relative to Samantha’s family. Kitchet spoke to Mr. Lin earlier at the hospital, questioning how he’d come into possession of the book and the pendant. He told Kitchet he was a direct descendent of Raoul Arborden Fairland Pépin. When Mr. Lin’s grandfather died, he left the book and pendant to him. According to Kitchet, Raoul Pépin is in fact the name of the relative the Fairlands lost contact with long ago.

“When Mr. Lin arrived in America, he made arrangements to meet with Professor Fairland,” Chief Bevin continued. “However, when Mr. Lin knocked at Professor Fairland’s office door, he states she shouted for him to run before he could enter. Mr. Lin then states a man pursued him, but he was able to get away when he ran into the woods adjacent to the university.”

“Kenneth Randall did say whoever was questioning Great Grandma Nanna, ran out of the room,” Samantha added.

“This sounds about right, because according to your and Alexzender’s statements, Samantha,” Chief Bevin said, “This is when Kenneth confessed to entering Professor Fairland’s office.”

“Yeah, Kenneth was really pissed off that Great Grandma Nanna didn’t tell this big wig guy from some organization, what did Kenneth call this group again, Samantha?” Zen was propped against a mound of pillows on the sofa, switching his icepack from his eye to his lip.

“Sentinels, Sentinels group,” Samantha said.

“Yep that’s the name. I guess this group was interested in finding some tombs and junk. Kenny wanted this Sentinels group to give him some sort of high-powered position that his father once had. Since Great Grandma was a respected geographer with the university, I guess he got it in his crazy head she could help him,” said Zen.

Boy, Zen handled that well, Samantha thought. Kitchet had already warned them to tell Chief Bevin the truth, but nothing that may point to hidden locations or records that may endanger the family again.

“Well, I ran a check for any organization going by the name, Sentinels, and found none,” Chief Bevin said. “I even had Interpol run a search in their database, and they came up with nothing.”

“So why would Kenneth Randall and his mother give Samantha and Zen the name of a fictional organization?” Craig asked. “What was the purpose of that?”

“May I offer an explanation?” Officer Roberts asked his superior. Chief Bevin nodded and Officer Roberts stood up to present his theory. “I discovered Birchem Randall, Kenneth’s father and Mrs. Emily’s husband, lived a very lucrative lifestyle as a genealogist with a background in geography. The Randall’s traveled a great deal when Kenneth was a boy, but when Birchem passed away, Emily Randall had to sell many of her possessions to pay the bills. When we searched the Randall’s home yesterday, we discovered many rare antiques. My guess is Kenneth was involved in the black market antiquities trade. He was trying to give his mother the lifestyle she loved before Birchem died. Maybe there is a group he was working with and the name Sentinel is code for something else, hiding their illegal dealings.”

Officer Roberts sat down before adding, “Most of this is guess work, you understand, since we have no way to question the suspects. However, from the Randall’s own confession, I’m pretty confident this was the reason behind the murders.”

“I agree,” said Chief Bevin. “I think Professor Fairland found out what Kenneth was doing and confronted him about it. Then when Ameara arrived on the scene, Kenneth must’ve felt she also knew something about his illegal dealings and went after her too. Unfortunately, we all know what happened to her when Kenneth caught up with her in the woods.” Opening up his notepad Chief Bevin read. “Mr. Lin was a witness to the whole incident, and he states, I quote.”

“While I was in the woods, a woman walked past where I was hiding behind some trees. I was going to say something to her, when a man approached her, grabbed her by the neck. I must have made a sound because he turned and looked at me, I recognize him now as the man who put me in the trunk, Kenneth Randall. He let her go and I saw her fall to the ground. He started to walk in my direction so I started to run. I was scared. I am not sure if I lost him, or if he was even chasing me, but I got out of the woods and asked someone for a ride to New York. I stayed in New York for two days, and I tried to contact Professor Fairland at her home, there was no answer. After I learned from the papers she was murdered, I boarded a plane for China that same day. “End quote,” Chief Bevin concluded. “I guess the police did get one piece of this case right back then. Mr. Peter Lin did leave the country, but he was not the murderer of Ameara and Nanna Fairland.”

Samantha felt Chief Bevin and Officer Roberts pleaded the case quite well for Mr. Lin, but she still had a question. “But what brought Mr. Lin back into the country after so many years?”

“Guilt, but not of murder, guilt of not reporting what he had seen happen to Ameara all those years ago,” Chief Bevin said, looking directly at Anna. “I know, Mrs. Keen, Mr. Lin is anxious to tell you how sorry he is. However, he did say he was glad he had a chance to apologize to Innis before he died.”

“It was Mr. Lin who called Grandpa Innis,” Samantha and Zen said at the same time.

“Yes,” Chief Bevin confirmed. “Mr. Lin called Innis and they met at a diner halfway between here and Maynard County. Mr. Lin told me that Innis appeared happy in finally knowing the circumstances surrounding the death of his wife. At the end of their meeting, Innis told Mr. Lin he would arrange for him to meet with me at the police station to clear his name. As we all know, Innis died before this could happen.”

Samantha smiled to herself. This is why Grandpa felt at peace before he died, he finally knew what happened, because Peter Lin told him. But, I wonder who this Maskhim is that Grandma Ameara was wondering about? And Kenneth seemed to know about them. Samantha wriggled her brows, but then she smiled again. Well, now that I know who Peter Lin truly is I’ll just ask him what he knows about Maskhim. Case closed!

“Case closed,” said Chief Bevin, as he stood to leave with Officer Roberts. “By the way, Samantha, Alexzender, did either of you have a gun that you fired at Kenneth Randall?”

“No,” they both answered.

“Why would you ask these kids if they had a gun?” Craig asked. “We don’t own a gun and neither of them would know how to use one. Anyway, I thought you said his own mother Emily Randall shot Kenneth by mistake?”

“Sorry Mr. Keen, I had to ask,” said Chief Bevin. “Here’s the thing, the bullet that killed Kenneth was not fired from the gun that we recovered with Emily Randall. No matter, we’re thinking Emily must have had another gun and we just haven’t been able to locate it yet.” Chief Bevin smiled. “You folks enjoy the rest of your day.”

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