The Party

The party

When they invited us to that party I was very surprised. These people had always given us the cold shoulder. For years they had remained aloof in their luxurious villa, having their own private parties, and dancing the night away on the great veranda. We were next door neighbours and from my window I often saw the guests arrive in their BMWs, Mercedes and Volvos.

All the parties of Mr and Mrs Harris were, to say the least, grandiose events. From early morning, there was a bustle of activity in front of the massive iron main gate as vans from well known caterers kept discharging endless crates of snacks, cakes, and hors-d’oeuvre. At about noon, a horde of servants armed with mops and brooms would start cleaning and polishing the spacious veranda while in the garden there would be a steady “click click” as the two gardeners, with their shears, started shaping the shrubs into leafy hens, stags, doves and other fanciful shapes.

The guests would arrive early in the afternoon and immediately they would take a dip in the big pool in front of the veranda. From my window I had a good view of their antics. They did not so much swim as splash or paddle about and their shrieks of laughter could be heard in all the neighbourhood. The party would start just after sunset and throughout the night, the men and women moved in the garden like shadows or danced on the veranda under the ashen light of the chandeliers.

When I got the gold edged invitation card requesting our company for the fortieth birthday of Mrs Harris, I was more than intrigued. True, my wife had once known Mrs Harris. But that was nearly twenty-five years ago when she attended the Loreto Convent of Quatre Bornes. We had been living in the neighbourhood for more than ten years but it was only once or twice that I had seen Mrs Harris talk to my wife, Liza, over the bamboo fence.

I do not really like parties but Liza convinced me to go. She said that I needed a break. I was an investigator at the CID and a case had been giving me a tough time lately. It was known to the public as “The case of the blazing car”. In brief, it was about a woman who had been burnt to death in a car that had burst into flame after it had fallen off a bridge. But closer investigation revealed that the woman had already been strangled before the “accident” and that the car had been set on fire before it had been pushed off the bridge. I was leading the investigation and it did give me a lot of sleepless nights… but finally I had enough evidence to arrest my man (a member of the gentry and an ex MP to boot).

When we arrived at the party at eight, it was already in full swing. We were greeted on the doorsteps of the veranda by Mr Harris himself, a man in his early fifties with a chubby face and rather bald on top. But what struck me most were his piercing eyes. At least a dozen couples were waltzing on the mahogany floor and we were quickly ushered into the living room.

“So glad, you’ve come,” Mr Harris said, while giving me a crushing hand shake. Then he took Liza’s hand, raised it to his lips with an affected flourish and kissed it.

“Edwige will be down a minute,” he told her. “You were at school together, weren’t you?”

Without waiting for an answer, he waved us towards a buffet table garnished with an assortment of snacks and a whole variety of glistening hors d’oeuvre. Then he quickly rushed back on the veranda to greet a guest.

Liza gave me a nudge.

“Do you know that man who’s just arrived?” she asked.

The face was all too familiar. As a matter of fact you couldn’t switch on your TV at 7.30 p.m and not see that beefy face and the hooked nose!

I nodded.

“Sure, the minister of Internal Affairs,” I said. “Must be a close friend of his.”

Mr Harris had taken the minister by the arm and was presenting him to the guests on the veranda. The music had stopped. A waiter dressed all in white, wearing a bow tie, appeared as if from nowhere, balancing a silver tray on his finger tips. On the tray was a bottle of black label and a glass. Mr Harris poured a double for the minister and continued with his round of presentation.

“Let’s get out before they come here,” I said.

We slipped out through a side door and went into the garden. There was a milling crowd on the lawn and the air was filled with laughter and chatter. On the far end of the pool, we saw a big cake, at least ten storeys high, on some sort of raft.

Mr Harris and the minister came out. Immediately there was a hush.

“Ladies and gentleman,” Mr Harris said, “in a few minutes Edwige will cut the cake. I’ve just been upstairs and she has assured me she will be here soon.”

Mr Harris made a sign with his hand to two dark heads protruding above the water in the pool. The two heads disappeared and immediately the cake started to move.

Many gasped as the cake started to glide towards them at the other end of the pool. The swimmers had completely disappeared and it was as if the raft was moving on its own. But I was not too sure what had made these people gasp. Was it the size of the cake? Or perhaps, they had not noticed the swimmers and thought that the raft was moving by itself!

Suddenly there was a cry from upstairs.

“Help me …”

It was Mrs Harris. I saw her husband dash towards the house and heard him rushing up the winding stairs. After some time we heard a door being flung open and almost immediately we heard Mr Harris scream. Then, at the top of his voice, he shouted:

“Murder!”

For a few seconds it was so silent that you could hear the crickets chirping in the grass. Everybody seemed dazed and stood still as statues. Then I felt Liza’s hand digging into my ribs.

“Stir up man,” she said. “You’re a police officer, aren’t you? Go and have a look.”

Fortunately, whether I am working or not, I never leave home without my badge. Taking it from my breast pocket, I brandished it in the air.

“Police,” I said.

The word had its effect and the crowd parted to let me through. I got inside the house and dashed up the winding staircase. Up the stairs, a door was wide open. I rushed in.

A woman was lying on the floor and Mr Harris was kneeling beside her, moaning softly. She had a glazed look in her eyes and she was quite still. There was no doubt: she was dead. I tapped Mr Harris lightly on the shoulder.

“Excuse me sir,” I said. “But from now on, you will have to leave everything to me. I am a police officer.”

I helped him to get up. He was rather unsteady on his feet and I had to hold him. By then, a few people had arrived. Among them was the minister.

“Could you take Mr Harris downstairs,” I told him. “Some fresh air would do him so good.”

He shot a sharp glance at me.

“Do you know who I am?” he asked rather gruffly.

I had forgotten that when you talk to these people you had to be extremely careful. They are so quick to take offence if they are not addressed according to their rank.

“No disrespect, sir,” I said. “Err… I’d be very much obliged if Monsieur le Ministre could take Mr Harris downstairs in the garden.”

That did it. He took his friend by the arms and slowly descended the stairs.

I looked more closely at the yellow haired woman lying on the floor. She was dressed in a black satin dress, her legs were slightly parted and her feet were bare. There were some red marks on her throat and saliva at the corners of her mouth. I knew right away that she had been strangled. But one thing struck me as rather odd. The saliva was not watery. It had already dried up.

I touched her forehead. It was warm but not that warm you would expect for somebody who had just died. I am not a coroner but I had this feeling that at least half an hour must have elapsed since that woman had been murdered.

But how could that be? We had all heard her shout for help less than a minute ago!

I heard a low hum. I looked up. It came from the air-con in the wall. Well, perhaps that explained why the body was not so warm and why the saliva at the corner of the mouth had dried up.

But immediately that struck me as rather odd. It was early in July and the evening was rather cool… hardly the moment, I think, to use an air-con. I mulled over this for a few seconds. Then I shrugged my shoulders. Anyway, I was not Mrs Harris. Perhaps she was one of those people who, whether it’s hot or cold, must always use the air-con.

There was a box of jewellery lying on the bed. It was empty.

I beckoned to a maid who was standing by the door. She was a young woman in her mid twenties, with a nice oval face and she wore her hair in a tight bun. She appeared shaken but her large brown eyes exuded trust. I was going to need her.

“We’ll have to cover Madame,” I said. “Do you have a sheet?”

She took a white sheet from the wardrobe and we covered the body.

“Did Madame have any jewellery?” I asked.

Dabbing a tear from the corner of her eye with a handkerchief, she said:

“Yes Monsieur, Madame had a pearl necklace. Monsieur Harris brought it for her on his return from France and she was going to wear it today, Monsieur. She told me so this morning.”

She pointed to the jewel box on the bed.

“Did Madame put any other jewels in that box?” I asked.

“No Monsieur.”

“Where does she keep that jewellery box?”

“She keeps it in her closet, monsieur and …”

She stopped in the middle of her sentence to wipe another tear.

“Yes?” I prompted.

“She considered that necklace as her most precious piece of jewellery, Monsieur… Her rings, she would keep in the drawer.”

She went to the wardrobe and pulled a drawer.

“All the rings of Madame are here, Monsieur.”

I went to have a look and I could not help gasping. I was as if looking into a treasure chest. There must have been at least fifty golden rings in that drawer. But what struck me was the sheer size of the stones mounted on them. Most of these precious stones, I reckoned, were diamonds. But there were also quite a few red and green stones, which I imagined were rubies and emeralds.

I thought: “This is a clear cut case. Mrs Harris has been surprised by a burglar while she was putting on her necklace. She must have struggled with him. He strangled her and made away with her necklace. But he did not have time to steal her other jewellery.”

I asked the maid, “Can a stranger climb up the stairs without being seen?”

“Not today sir,” she said. “Madame has told Deven to wait at the foot of the stairs just in case somebody wants to go to the bathroom and the toilet. At every party, this is always Deven’s responsibility, sir. He stays there on stand-by.”

“Hmmm… I see.”

I walked towards the window and looked down into what looked like a back garden. I noticed that there was a climbing plant that hugged the wall. It looked quite sturdy and the branches were thick.

“Well,” I thought, “the burglar must have used this plant to scale up the wall and get into the room.”

I had to go down into the backyard and have a look. If the burglar did get into the room that way, he might have left some marks on the wall. I turned round. There was a small crowd of people at the door.

I went towards them and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, as you can see, there’s been a great tragedy. But I must ask you to leave. The Police will be here shortly.”

I heard some murmurs and grumblings. I am used to that. People do not like to be ordered about, especially not this beau monde.

“Ladies and gentlemen, please, you have to go.”

I had spoken these words with a firm voice and I looked at them sharply. They knew I meant business. Slowly they began to move down the stairs.

The maid also started to leave the room. I stopped her.

“Not you Miss…” I said. “Stay here, I still need you.”

“Nella, you can call me Nella,” she said.

“All right Nella, first thing we’ll have to call the police.”

“But you are the police, are you not?”

“Sure, but I’m going to need help. The police photographer will have to be called in and I must ask my chief whether I can carry on with the investigation.”

She took up a mobile phone that was lying on the dressing table and brought it to me. I called the police right away. I also got in touch with my chief. Not surprisingly, I was put in charge of the investigation.

I then asked Nella, “Do you have a torchlight here?”

“Yes sir, there’s one in the chiffonier.”

She went to a furniture that looked like a tall filing cabinet. She pulled out the bottom drawer and handed me a torch.

“It’s a marine torch,” Nella said. “It’s very powerful and it was given to Monsieur by his nephew… he is a deep sea diver, sir.”

I took the torch, descended the stairs and went into the back garden. I lit the torch. Nella was right, it was quite powerful and it pierced the darkness of the night. I ran the beam of light all over the wall and examined the climbing plant. I saw that it was an ivy. But strangely enough it did not look bruised nor battered. There were no twigs that had been broken or snapped. I moved the beam on the ground at the foot of the wall. I saw a patch of tomato plants. No, they too looked okay. They had not been trampled upon. The soil had been freshly watered, too but I could see no foot prints in the damp earth. How odd! That burglar couldn’t have come flying through the window – like a witch on a broomstick! Intrigued, I shone the beam of light all over that patch of earth that ran against the wall. I spent a long time, examining every inch of ground. Nothing… absolutely nothing: no clod of earth had been flattened, no pebble had been overturned.

This convinced me that the burglar had not scaled the wall to get into the room. I found this rather puzzling. The only way, then, to reach the room was to take the stairs… unless, of course, there was some secret passage.

I went back to the house. Three police officers were already in the room. The photographer had already taken several pictures of Mrs Harris. Before they took her away, a police officer chalked a line on the tiled floor round her body.

“Now, everything is yours,” a police officer told me as he was leaving.

I knew the guy, his name was Suresh. I left the room and took a few steps with him along the corridor.

“You know Richard, I don’t envy you,” he whispered. “That’s a tricky case, to be sure.”

“Yes, I know, these people of the gentry would expect me to catch the murderer soon. They’ll be quick to criticise if I don’t.”

“Yea, they’ll say that you are dawdling on the job.”

He took a deep breath and added:

“And they rub shoulders with the demi-gods, I’ve seen the minister of Internal Affairs in the garden. You better watch it! That guy has a big mouth. He’s always running after journalists and reporters. You mark my words, he’ll not hesitate to berate you in public…”

Suresh’s words could not have been more timed.

A voice bellowed out from the stairs below. It was the minister!

“What’s this Cassius and Casca conspiracy? Get cracking inspector, get cracking!”

I turned around and saw the minister and Mr Harris arriving up the top of the stairs. Mr Harris, his face livid, was leaning heavily on the minister. His eyes now had a glum look. Clearly, he was in a state of deep shock.

They went directly into the room. Leaving Suresh abruptly, I rushed in after them.

I saw the minister take a CD from a rack beside the TV set.

“Excuse me sir,” I told him, “you can’t take anything from this room.”

I saw his face redden with anger. Clearly, he didn’t like to be told what he should do… and still less what he shouldn’t!

“But inspector, you are going to put that room under seal, won’t you?” he lashed out. “And before you do that, my friend has come to get a CD. He won’t be able to sleep tonight and some soft music would do him some good. Surely, there’s no harm in that!”

He pointed to Mr Harris.

“Look at that poor chap,” he said. “He’s in a state of severe shock and he’s in dire need of some solace. Surely, anybody can see that!”

His arrogant tone was vexatious to the core. But I was not going to be provoked.

“Believe me sir, I fully sympathise with Mr Harris,” I said calmly. “But I’m sorry, the regulations are the regulations. Nothing can be taken out of this room.”

“You and your damn regulations, you just follow them blindly like automats. There’s not the slightest bit of common sense in all of you. That’s why this country is going to the dogs! Are you implying that this CD has something to do with the murder of Edwige?”

“I don’t mean that sir, ” I said. “But there might be finger prints all over the place. That’s why you can’t take anything out”

“And you think, he would be that stupid to leave finger prints!” he scoffed. “I’m sure he was wearing gloves.”

“Perhaps he was, sir, but you can’t take that CD,” I said. “If I were you, I would put it back in the rack.”

I had spoken these last words firmly while looking at him straight in the eyes.

I saw him hesitate for one or two seconds. I continued to look at him without batting an eyelid. His hands were shaking slightly. Slowly, he put the CD back in the rack. I saw him put it in the top slot and had the time to glance at the cover. I saw the picture of a bloke with a crown on his head and the word: “Macbeth”.

“Have it your way,” he said, shaking his finger at me. “But let me tell you one thing: I’m a friend of the Police Commissioner and we’ll be watching you closely.”

I had a good mind to say “suit yourself”. But instead, I said:

“Thank you for cooperating, sir.”

He looked at me, his lips curling with contempt. Holding Mr Harris by the arm, he slowly went down the stairs.

It was well past ten o’clock and it would be tomorrow before I got the coroner’s report. I decided to put the room under seal and go home.

While a police officer was busy affixing the seals on the bedroom’s door I saw Nella in the corridor watching us.

“Ah, Nella, I’m so glad you are still here,” I said. “Tell me Nella, if you were a burglar, how would get into the bedroom?”

“Through the window, sir,” she said without hesitation. “Didn’t he get in through the bedroom’s window?”

“Perhaps, Nella, perhaps” I said, in a matter-of-fact voice. “Err… tell me Nella, is there some other way he could have got in?”

“I don’t think so, sir,” she said. “Before the party, Madame told me to shut all the other windows looking on the back garden.”

“Hmmm, I see.”

I walked along the corridor and tried to open the doors of the rooms looking on the back garden. But they were all locked.

“All the doors are locked, sir,” Nella said. “But if you want to go in and have a look, I can open them sir. I can assure you sir, all the windows are shut.”

“Thanks, Nella, but that won’t be necessary. But, tell me Nella why do you lock up all the doors?”

I saw a coy smile on her face.

“Well, sir, during the last party Madame surprised a couple in one of the rooms and she has given me strict instructions to close the door of every room, sir.”

“So, since the windows are closed, and the doors are closed, the only way to gain access to the bedroom is up the stairs.”

“But the burglar couldn’t have climbed the stairs, sir. If he did, Deven would have seen him.”

“Yes, yes how stupid I am,” I said. “Please don’t take any notice, Nella, I was just thinking aloud. Of course, the only way to get into Madame’s bedroom is through her window.”

She readily acquiesced by nodding her head. But I had already ruled out that possibility.

I saw Liza coming up the stairs.

“Everybody has left. So I’ve come upstairs to see you,” she said.

“Well, I think we better leave too,” I said. “There’s not much I can do right now. There are one question or two I’ll have to ask Mr Harris but I’d better leave that for tomorrow.”

I slipped my arm round Liza’s waist and started to go down the winding staircase. At the foot of the stairs, I saw Deven, a tall guy, standing straight as a sentry.

“Goodnight madam, goodnight sir,” he said.

“Goodnight Deven,” I said. “Tell me Deven, were you here all the time?”

“Yes, sir, I’ve been standing here since seven o’clock.”

I looked at my watch. It was a quarter past ten.

“So, you’ve been standing here for more than three hours.”

“It’s my job sir.”

“So, if somebody went up the stairs you would have seen him.”

“Precisely sir.”

“Tell me Deven, before this terrible misfortune took place did you see anyone go up the stairs?”

“Nobody sir.”

“Nobody?” I asked him. “Are you sure?”

“I mean apart from Monsieur, I saw nobody sir. But then at every party Monsieur always goes up the stairs to see Madame, sir.”

“At what time did you see Monsieur go up?”

“I did not look at my watch, sir. But it must have been about half an hour before Madame called for help… And of course when Madame called for help, I rushed upstairs to see what was the matter but I could not get in. The door was locked sir. It was only when Monsieur came that we managed to push the door open. But then it was too late sir. Madame… Madame was already lying on the floor…”

He tried to stifle a sob.

“That’s all right Deven,” I said, patting him on the shoulder. “Thanks, Deven you’ve told me what I wanted to know.”

We walked across the garden, opened the main gate and stepped on the street.

“I can’t explain it but something tells me that Mr Harris has got something to do with it,” I told Liza.

“Why would he do that?” Liza said.

“You know, when I got their invitation, I felt that something was afoot. Somehow, these people have never forgiven me for the arrest of their friend, the ex-MP.”

“You’re referring to the case of the blazing car?”

“Exactly… and I felt that they would try to get even with me at the slightest opportunity.”

Liza pressed my arm.

“And, if I may ask, how would they do that?” she said.

“Well, I don’t know… By making a fool of me… By putting me in front of a murder that would drive me bonkers… err, something like that.”

We arrived home. I got into the living room and flopped into the sofa while Liza went to brew up some tea in the kitchen.

“You know,” I called out, “I had a row with the Minister, he wanted to take a CD out of the room for Mr Harris. He said that his friend was in dire need of comfort and that music would help him relax. But you know, I had the time to glance at the CD. It was not a musical record. It was a play!”

“A play?”

“Yes, ‘Macbeth’ it was. Macbeth is a play, isn’t it?”

“Of course, it is! Even the most ignorant person knows that!”

I sensed a note of irritation in her voice. Unlike me, Liza read avidly and at college had won several prizes in English Literature.

“But why would Mr Harris want to listen to that play?” I said.

“If I remember, his wife once played Lady Macbeth during the festival of English drama and as a matter of fact that play was even televised. I think I have a CD of that play.”

The kettle started to hiss. There was a clinking of cups and I heard water being poured.

Liza came into the room with two cups on a tray. She put the cups on the small table in front of me and started looking at the CDs in the rack beside the TV. She took one and showed it to me.

“Did the CD look like this one?”

I took the CD from her.

“Yes, that’s it!” I said, nodding my head.

On the CD cover, was the same picture of that bloke with a crown on his head and the word “MACBETH” was written on top in gothic letters.

“So, Macbeth was a king?” I asked.

“Of course, he was, you ignoramus and …”

She had stopped in the middle of her sentence and I saw her become quite pale.

“Anything the matter, dear?” I said.

“Do you remember the words that Mrs Harris shouted?” Liza asked. She came to sit on the edge of the sofa, her eyes had become quite big and she gripped my arm.

“Yes, she said: ‘Help me’ but I don’t see why you are getting so edgy.”

“I could have sworn I heard the words: ‘Help me hence oh,’. But, of course, everyone just heard the first two words! The ‘hence ho’ was barely audible.”

“What on earth does that mean?” I said.

She gripped my arm tighter.

“These words come from Lady Macbeth in the play,” she said excitedly. “She was falling into a swoon when she said that, and that’s why you can barely hear the finishing words. You know Richard when I heard those words, it struck me that they were somehow theatrical! Richard, what you heard was not Mrs Harris shouting… it was… it was just her recorded voice!”

I rose up from the sofa and hit my fist noisily in the palm of my hand.

“I knew it,” I said loudly. “Yes, I knew that the murderer could only have come up the stairs. Now it all makes sense. I told you that Mr Harris has something to do with it. He’s the murderer all right and he sent me that invitation just to ridicule me. He would commit a murder right under my nose and feel sure that I would never catch him!”

I stopped and thought for a few seconds.

‘But did he have to kill his wife just to spite me?” I went on. “This guy must be a cold blooded monster!”

“Richard, Richard, come on… don’t you know?” Liza said softly.

“Know what?” I said rather sharply.

“Oh my! You must be the only one in the locality who doesn’t know that Mrs Harris was having an affair, do you?” Liza said. “But you must surely know that Mrs Harris is very rich. So, by getting rid of his wife, he’s killing two birds with one stone: getting revenge for being a cuckold husband and at the same time, lay hands on her money.”

*****

I got the coroner’s report the next day. It was quite long but three things struck me in particular. Firstly: the marks on Mrs Harris throat revealed that she had been strangled by a left hander. Secondly: Mrs Harris had been murdered before 8.00 p.m (and it was around 8.30 p.m when we heard her alleged cry for help). Thirdly: there was a bit of human skin under the nail of her right forefinger.

I went to Mr Harris’ house soon after. It was Nella who opened the door and she informed me that Mr Harris was not in.

I did not waste any time and right away asked her:

“Tell me, Nella. There’s something I’ve been wanting to ask you. Yesterday evening it was rather cool and yet the air conditionner was on in Mrs Harris’ room. Rather strange isn’t it?”

“I thought so too, sir. She never switches on the air-con, sir. But Mr Harris always does that when he goes to her bedroom. They’ve had quite a row about it, sir. Mrs Harris can’t stand that air-con at all and she always switches it off as soon as Monsieur leaves the room.”

For a few seconds, I was silent.

“That guy is as guilty as hell,” I thought. “He climbed up to her room, switched on the air-con, murdered her and left. He simply forgot that his wife always switches off the air-con after he leaves. Even when he rushed back to her room, he left it on… Yes, that was one of his fatal mistakes.”

At that very moment, I heard a car stop at the main gate. A few seconds later, Mr Harris entered the living room.

“Inspector, how is it going on?” he said. “You are on a trail?”

There was no mistaking it. I could sense sarcarsm in his voice… His eyes had regained their piercing look and he looked rather cool. A bit too cool, I dare say, for someone whose wife had just been murdered! There was a letter on the table – it was a telephone bill – and I saw him pick it up with his left hand!

I scrutinised his face. There was a tiny scratch just under his left ear.

“A trail, sir?” I said. “Perhaps, sir. Tell me, sir, may I use your computer? You have a computer, do you sir?”

He tried to remain impassive but I was observing him intensely. I saw him blanch. But he quickly regained his composure and forced a smile.

“You want to send an email to your boss, inspector?” he said.

“Not exactly sir,” I said. “But I would appreciate if you allow me to use your computer, sir.”

I had a good reason to ask that for I knew exactly what he had done. He had copied that CD of that Macbeth play on the computer’s hard disk. Then he had deleted all the dialogue in the play, leaving only the words “Help me”. With an engraver, he had then copied this “new version of Macbeth” – if I could call it like that! – on a new CD. And he had used this CD to commit the perfect murder, or so he must have thought.

He remained quite calm while I switched on the computer. As I thought he would, he had deleted the incriminating file from the hard disk. But what he did not know was that, anything deleted off the computer’s hard disk could be recovered – as Pascal, my computer wiz kid of a nephew, had told me the night before.

I had gone to my nephew’s place to get the data-recovery software (on CD) before I came. I slid the compact disk into the computer’s CD drive and sure enough recovered the deleted file. I located the words on the file and turned on the volume.

From the loudspeaker, Mrs Harris’ voice blared out: “Help me…” And just after were the barely audible words “hence ho” – although, to hear them, you had to listen very carefully. (I doubted very much if Mr Harris did.)

I looked at Mr Harris and said:

“As you can see sir, the game is up! I formally accuse you of the murder of Mrs Harris!”

There was a deep quietude on his face. But I was not surprised. During my training at Scotland Yard, we had been told that this often happened when a murderer is confronted with the irrefutable evidence. At that moment, we had been told, his conscience stops to torment him and he feels a great sense of relief.

But I had to ask him something.

“Why did you come to get the CD of that play, sir? If you hadn’t, I would never have found out!”

“It was Tony, it was Tony who told me to go and get it,” he blurted out. “He told me that I shouldn’t leave any clue behind!”

Epilogue: The minister, too, was arrested as an accomplice. He had to resign from office and is now awaiting trial with Mr Harris. After an extensive search, the CD with the recorded voice of Mrs Harris was discovered under a pile of old newspapers and the necklace was found buried in the garden. As for me, I have been transferred to a clerical department at the Line Barracks.

Jean Lindsay Dhookit

Click here to download the story in pdf: The Party

One response to “The Party

  1. Amin

    I enjoyed the story when I read it in INVESTIGATIONS some time ago.
    I knew your late father who was our Chief Finance Officer at the Ministry of Agriculture some 25 years ago. He was so cool, nice and down to earth person. He never wanted to purchase a car for official travelling and preferred to travel by bus to outstations of the Agricultural Services all over the island.
    I enjoy your website and have bookmarked it.

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