Some Live, Some Die

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The Third Party: Investigation

Adrian went back to the reception after he was told that there had been further developments with the case. There, he met with one of the police officers and the receptionist. The receptionist also confirmed that she had seen Ivan Walsted enter through the reception to head to the washrooms.

“Detective Powell,” said the police officer. “We were re-examining the crime scene and found what appears to be a bundle of a disguise that had been discarded in one of the bins on the terrace.”

He produced the disguise which consisted of a large jacket, a pair of black gloves, a thick scarf and a hat. So that’s why there were no fingerprints other than Maurice’s on the weapon. Thought Adrian as he inspected the disguise.

“Now that I think about it,” said the receptionist suddenly. “I just remembered that after seeing Mr. Walsted head to the washrooms, I saw a mysterious figure wearing those clothes leave the washrooms and head to the terrace. Ten minutes later, Mr. Walsted left the washrooms and went back to the courtyard.”

“The killer must have disposed of the disguise after killing Mr. Maurice Higham, and most likely had planned to retrieve the evidence after the party ended,” said Adrian.

“I also found this,” added the receptionist as she reached into her pocket and pulled out a folded piece of paper. “When I saw Mr. Walsted leaving the washrooms, he dropped this on his way back to the courtyard.”

Taking the piece of paper from the receptionist, Adrian unfolded it and read the contents. It was a bank loan signed by Ivan Walsted, requesting a loan of five-hundred pounds.

“Take the disguise back to Scotland Yard and have it examined by forensics,” Adrian instructed the police officer. “In the meantime, I’m going to have another word with Mr. Ivan Walsted.”

Adrian returned to the makeshift powder room. Victor and Ivan were beginning to become restless. Leslie was nervously twirling a loose strand of her light brunette hair, eager to know if the murder had been solved.

“Mr. Ivan Walsted,” said Adrian as he approached Ivan. “I believe this document is yours?”

“Where did you find it?!” exclaimed Ivan, “I’ve been wondering where that piece of paper went! Did you look at it?!”

“When a murder has occurred, I cannot let things go amiss,” replied Adrian. “It says here on this document that you requested a loan of five-hundred pounds. Does it have anything to do with the business you and Mr. Maurice Higham were attempting to establish?”

“It was that scoundrel’s fault!” shouted Ivan, “I lost everything because of him!”

“What happened?” asked Adrian.

“Maurice betrayed me when his business failed,” said Ivan. “Due to his financial situation, I ineptly offered to invest in his business. We agreed that if his business was a success, he would pay me back once he earned the profits through his company.”

“And I suppose he ran away like a coward when it all fell apart,” guessed the detective.

“He sure did!” scoffed Ivan, “Maurice was too much of an imbecile to allow ourselves to be conned by some shady trickster. Didn’t even read the paperwork nor did he listen to my advice! Since then, I’ve been applying for bank loans and working extra hours in order to pay back my debts.”

“Well, betrayal can cause anyone to resort to vengeance,” said Adrian. “I hope you didn’t kill Maurice because he ruined you.”

“Detective Powell,” interrupted Victor. “How long do you plan to detain us? Most of us are becoming restless by our current situation.”

“I want to go home already,” grumbled Ivan. “Need to hit the sack cause of an appointment with the bank tomorrow.”

“Very soon,” replied Adrian. “I know who the killer is, but I just need to find out how they managed to get back into the party unsuspected.”

Leaving the makeshift powder room, Adrian headed back to the reception and exited the building onto the terrace. He observed the view of the Thames along Embankment. The entrance from Embankment is usually quiet at night. He pondered. No passerby came into sight. There was another exit from the terrace just round the corner on the right. It led to Lancaster Place.

He exited the terrace onto Lancaster Place and turned right again to head up towards the Strand where he entered through the Strand entrance. The guests did not seem to notice him re-entering the building, but he could tell by the atmosphere that they were becoming impatient and wondering when they could leave. Looks like they were not aware that another murder had occurred at Mr. Hange Hurston’s third party.

Adrian snuck through one of the doors in the main building and hurried down the corridor. The Fortnum & Mason staff had remained in their places in the showrooms, including some of the guests who had been in the building at the time of the murder. No one saw him walking down the corridor.

He completed his journey by entering the reception and exiting it onto the courtyard. So that’s how the murderer managed to kill Maurice! Thought Adrian to himself. The murderer had taken advantage of the building’s layout in order to complete this crime. However, they had made one big mistake that prevented it from being perfect.

“The murderer is definitely that person,” muttered Adrian to himself. “But I need one more piece of evidence to wrangle them.”

Just then, the police officer whom he had instructed to find out if Maurice had purchased any Fortnum & Mason products before his death approached him. He was out of breath from running around and visiting the showrooms inside the building.

“Detective Powell,” he panted. “I asked every staff in all the showrooms… and according to them… Mr. Maurice Higham visited the jewellery section and purchased a pearl necklace. I’ve got the cheque right here.”

Reaching into his pocket, the police officer pulled out a cheque. Taking the cheque, Adrian examined the writing and then pulled out the suicide note. Comparing the pieces of paper, he noticed how poorly the murderer had tried to imitate the victim’s handwriting. He then recalled seeing the writing in one of the documents he had found during his investigation. Pulling it out of his pocket, he compared it with the writing from the cheque and the suicide note.

Finally! Thought Adrian to himself. He had found the last piece of evidence he needed to confirm his suspicions. All that was left to do now was to confront the killer with the evidence.

“Did you figure out who the killer is already?” the police officer asked Adrian.

“Yes,” he replied. “I’ve got everything I need to expose them.”

“Who is it?” questioned the police officer eagerly, “Give me a hint!”

“Alright,” said Adrian. “I’ll give you a list of hints. They involve; a set of disguise, the gun and it’s silencer, the left-handedness of the victim, the fake suicide note, the victim’s cheque, the terrace exit that leads onto Lancaster Place, the Strand entrance to Somerset House and the various entrances and exits from the building into the courtyard. With these hints, you’ll be able to figure out who the murderer is. Now, if you’ll excuse me.”

Adrian then hurried back to the makeshift powder room. He could not wait to confront the murderer to unravel their almost perfect crime.

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