<< Part 3
CHAPTER 7 – Some Investigation
I knew that look, it meant that Jess wanted to know everything that I had done, and she will not be able to be patient anymore. I have to tell her but, after, everyone is asleep, that means that, after mom comes, after she has also slept. Tomorrow is Sunday. So, if we even are awake till, 3 or so, then we will be able to sleep in, as mom and dad usually go to theaters on Sunday, and spend the whole day outside, we may be able to make some excuse and stay home. That would be good. But I think that going there would be better than investigating, as it has so many risks, but that’s what about it makes it so special for me! But I still want to watch that movie. It’s new and we will be watching the first day, first show, it’s name is ‘Quintrim’ I have watched its trailer and it’s great!
But I think that we will have to give away our enjoyment, for Mr. Haffen and the police team. I thought grinning, that if we would be able to crack the murder case before CapColl did, it would be fun to see his angry, but not showing it face.
Mom, came at 11:30. I was very sleepy at that time. But I still remained awake. So, the person who was trying to hack my computer is the leader, or one of the persons working in the smuggling group. So, it was some private information. About the plant drugs, and poisons. Are we stuck up in two mysteries? We haven’t even finished the first one, and here comes the second one. Should I call or text Captain Collin? Or… no, let it be with us.
Let’s try first ourselves, and then if we fail, we will give him the information, he may already know. –plip–there that was mom’s bedroom’s door closing, I will wait for a few more minutes, and then will go and call Jess, or she may also come and call me, it doesn’t matter. I think she is already asleep. She is such a good sleeper!
I remember, that when we were out in the country side and were camping, with all our family friends. We all had heard rattling of snake. Which meant that there were rattlesnakes there. I was pretty scared. Really. And I remember freaking out, while she was calm. I was awake all night. But, Jess! You won’t believe me, she was sleeping soundly, as if we were back in our home, and nothing could go wrong. You will have to believe this, she is not afraid of snakes, poisonous snakes, but is afraid of normal, harmless small cockroaches! Okay no one likes cockroaches, but she sometimes faints, when she sees one, or she screams so loudly, which makes me faint!
Ok I think I will go now, I thought. And as I was just about to get up from bed, there was a click sound, and my door opened, in came Jessy. I said smiling, “Oh! You are not yet asleep? I thought that now I will have to go and throw a bucket of water on you!”
“Whatever, now tell me Ray, what is the matter. I want to know.” She said seriously, and I thought to bug her for some time.
“Wait-wait aren’t you giving some lectures? Or something else? May be tell me how careless I am?”
“Ray! Enough!” I smiled. There you go. But I think that’s enough, she is already waiting for such a long time, and she is awake, such late in night. I know better, not to test her temper now. So I told her everything.
While I was telling her, we were climbing upstairs, of course silently. And then we unlocked our secret base. I mean the attic. It was nice to be in here. There were two chairs in there for both of us, and they were quite comfortable. But it was slight cold here. So that’s the reason we have blankets here, we both sat on the chairs, and wrapped the blankets comfortably. Now we are ready to have some action!
When Cherry told me about the smuggling thing, I was a bit surprised, I was expecting something related to the case we were working on. But this case also seemed pretty exciting. Or at least the starting was good, enough to make us more interested in it. Now we have settled very comfortably on our chairs. It is way comfortable here. I mean it’s too much comfortable, to bring us in working mood. Uh…. I am sleepy, and it’s so nice here. It’s good. I thought, sleepily, until–
“Wake up! You sleepyhead. We need some mind work here.” Ray said. Okay, I am not sleeping, I shook my head. And blinked a few times. That’s better, I thought. And I said,
“Yeah, I know, I am not sleeping! Ok first we have to examine the chemical in the warning note and see what it is. And I was thinking you said plant drugs and poisons, right? So, it means that this chemical must also come from plants. Oh gosh! I did not know that you could make poisons, from plants.”
“Everything is possible in science. And it is not necessary that it has to be plant poison it can be some normal poison too.” Cherry said.
“Yeah, and what kind of poisons are normal? The non-poisonous ones?” I said sarcastically. And we giggled a bit.
As we experimented, and dipped it in the solution, and did some other acidic tests, we found out, that it was some kind of plant poison! We did a bit of research. And we found out that, this type of poisons is taken from the roots, by crushing them and mixing some very dangerous chemicals. Oh man! It was really dangerous. Thank god Ray stopped me at that moment, or I don’t know what would have happened. I thought looking at her, and saw her staring at me. She was also thinking the same, I thought. She smiled, and I hugged her. I really love her.
“Ugh! Your hair Ray! It’s going in my mouth! Gettof!” I said, laughing, we both broke apart.
“Okay, listen we need to visit Chloe. We thought of going but we still haven’t met her.” She said. And a jolt of guilt came in my stomach. Yeah, we still haven’t gone to meet her yet. Oh no!
We both decided we will go to her house tomorrow, or you may say today, it’s 1 am. We did a bit more discussing of our first case, the murder case. About how we will go and talk to their house’s servants. And Cherry also told me about how she found out, that Mr Halperin was breaking down in business. And needed money.
That meant that he had a great motive to kill his own brother. But the question was, that was he smart enough? Or was it someone else? We start thinking about the three servants there. They are treated as family members in the house. And those three people are super kind. One is the cook, Jennifer, second one is who is in charge of everything. Her name is Christina. And last one, is David. He is very nice. He was the personal assistant of Mr. Haffen. And they were pretty close. We will have to talk to him too tomorrow.
We finally went to sleep at 2am in the morning, and surprisingly, I was alive!
Because normally we don’t wake till such night. Actually morning, anyways, I was asleep the moment I hit the bed. I don’t know about Cherry. She takes time to sleep. As she doesn’t need her beauty sleep, she is already
In the morning it was a bit hard to tell mom and dad that we didn’t want to see that film. It was such a famous one, but still I managed to make my mind. Our cases are more important. And then it was easy as we already had a great excuse, that we wanted to visit Chloe. Actually, it wasn’t an excuse, we really wanted to meet her. As mom and dad left the driveway in the car, I sighed, and completed my breakfast. Cherry was quiet, and I knew why, she was still on sleep mode. I smiled, and then said,
”Now who is the sleepy head?” I asked, grinning. And she mumbled,
“It’s still you…… I am way awake than you” she replied, sleepily,
I asked her, “What’s 2-2?”
“4” she said, as if it was the most obvious answer.
I started giggling.
We walked to the house, quietly, each lost in their own thoughts. I stopped Ray as we were just about to take a turn to their street. And she raised an eyebrow.
“We have to make sure, CapColl isn’t there. Last time I saved us both, but not this time, according to him we have already visited Chloe.” I replied her questioning look.
We both looked both inside the house, I mean the backyard, and the front driveway, to make sure there were no police cabs, or motorcycles. We had a clear way. Good, I thought as we started walking towards the house, again I got a creepy feeling as if someone was watching us. I looked around. Nope, again, then why do I feel this thing, is it because of Mr. Haffen? I thought, or someone was really watching us?
We pressed the bell button twice. It was a big house, and old too. I thought as I listened hard for some footsteps. But none came, where had they gone?
Isn’t no one at home? I thought. Meanwhile Ray was looking around. She tugged my top, and nodded at the right-side backyard. We exchanged a look in which she made it clear, that we must not make any noise. I nodded her back, and we both silently, moved.
There were trees here and it was nice. We have been here many times, with Mr. Haffen of course and sometimes, with Chloe. But there were leaves everywhere, and it was not easy to walk on them without making a crunching noise. But there was already a noise coming, someone was moving there ahead. Someone, I thought was it that person who killed Mr. Haffen? My heart started thumping in my chest. As we grew closer and were just about to take a turn, we bumped into–Chloe! She cried in surprise, and a seed bag fell out of her pocket. Then when she recognized us she became embarrassed and said,
“Oh! Oh my gosh! I am so sorry Jessy and Cherry! I didn’t mean to scream! I am so sorry I just got a bit, nervous. I am sorry. “She pleaded. Well let me tell you she is just not like us. She is so kind, so patient, and of course, so polite! I answered hurriedly, “No! No, we are so sorry to scare you. We are sorry. Actually, we thought that you will like some company, we are sorry!” Cherry joined in, “Yeah sorry! Are you okay? You don’t look so good.” She said, and I noticed that her face was pale, and beneath her eyes were dark circles. She said, “Um… yeah, I was awake last night, I was, I couldn’t sleep, actually, I mean-I was actually-“she stammered shyly.
“Yeah we understand. It’s okay.” Ray said. I smiled, poor girl. She is my age but looks younger than me. She is cute. And she is super kind, it’s actually sometimes sickening. I noticed, suddenly her face turned, a bit serious, she said, sharply.
“What are you both doing here?”
“Oh! No-no actually, we were ringing the bell and no one was coming, and we heard a noise here, so we just came to check out. If-if everything was okay.” Cherry said, breathlessly. Okay did I say, that she is very bad at telling lies. And hiding things sometimes. But this was not entirely a lie though. We had come to check if everything was fine. Chloe’s face relaxed.
I don’t know why there was that change, but I forgot, about it at as I noticed, her hand, when she was just about to pick her fallen bag. It was a bit burned and bruised at the side. It’s weird actually, because her parents are super caring. And they don’t let her do anything alone, except gardening. I thought, as I looked around. There was no one here. And it is also a bit weird. I had also noticed that when we both bumped into her. She had hurriedly hid something. I didn’t see it, because she was totally falling into me. Maybe Cherry saw something. I glanced at her. She was frowning, but her face cleared and replaced a smile as Chloe got up.
I thought, what is it that she is hiding? Cherry said, “If you don’t mind can we help you here with all these things. I mean if you want some help. We will like to do some gardening we haven’t done it for ages.” She said, and I saw that she was looking behind Chloe, at the other side of the backyard.
And then she gave me a side glance. I understood, it meant that I have to join in, and also offer help. She wanted to go to the other side of the backyard. So, I said, “Yeah, it would be nice to do it.”
And I again saw that hard look on Chloe’s face, what is wrong with her? I think she is just too tired. Or sad. So, she is acting so weirdly. I thought. It’s so bad, maybe, we could do something for her. I felt sympathetic.
CHAPTER 8 – Single or Double?
Why is she carrying a syringe with her? I thought. Maybe giving the plants some pesticides. But Mr. Haffen never gave such things in his plants. I don’t know is it this reason, or something else is going on? I was just about to ask her about her burned mark on her wrist. When Christina came at the spot. She apologized for opening the door lately. She said she was busy on the second floor. Okay, she was busy or doing something secretive. I thought. Jess and I exchanged a glance, in which we made it clear that we are going to investigate separately. I nodded to tell her that she should take Chole, away so that I could spend some time talking with Christina. Jess nodded. So I understood that we were on it. Jess said, “Listen Chloe, why don’t we do some gardening? I really want to spend some time here please!” She pleaded, and made it impossible for Chloe to refuse.
Jess has her way. Anyways, I said,
“Um.. I don’t know. I don’t want to do gardening today. Um… maybe I will just go with Christina.” I said.
And Christina smiled, we both started walking towards the door. Good. Now time for some fire round.
“Why were the police here? Last day?” I asked, in a normal and curious tone. And I studied her face.
“Oh! Yeah, they were here to investigate something about Mr. Haffen. You know they asked us where we were when that-that thing happened. And asked us if we saw someone coming in or out.”
Okay, so it is clear that it is a murder. I thought. But we already knew it from like ages ago.
“Who saw him first? Like that I mean, you know.” I asked and she replied, “Chloe”
Okay. So, Chloe saw him first. What was she doing down there anyway? Maybe coming to call her uncle, for something. I hope that Jess gets some information out of her. I know that she is our least suspect but still, one thing, being a good detective has taught us that we should never trust anyone.
I asked a few more questions and found out that Chloe was just about to go and call her uncle for something she needed, when she sees him like that. And that’s the moment when Jennifer was calling her name. Because she had made her favourite snacks. But when she doesn’t gets any reply. She goes forward and sees the door open. When she comes out, she sees, Chloe standing over there, and Mr. Haffen lying on the ground. She screams and that brings all of them down. Okay, I thought. Everyone goes out. So, no one was out. But how is that possible. Someone has to stay out, so that they can do the murder. Or have we taken it wrong from the starting?
Maybe I am missing something. Or Christina is forgetting to mention something. Or intentionally not mentioning something. Or, there is something wrong with that Jennifer part of the story. May be she was already there in the backyard, and killed Mr. Haffen and then ran all the way towards the back door, and then without making any sound, she again went to hall and then went to the front door as if everything was normal, without even becoming breathless, and then screamed. So that she will do her freaking out part, and then according to her the suspicion on her will decrease. I have to question her too, or maybe Jess would. Jennifer likes her more than me because she is better in cooking than I am. I know that’s a silly reason to differentiate someone, but still.
I said bye to Christina, and that I would like to meet David, so she told me to go upstairs. I was climbing the staircase. Maybe I would go and ask him, something, anything and probably David—talking of him I just bumped into him, “Uuahhgaa!”I screamed, I was on the top of the staircase, and because of the bumping I was just about to fall! All the way down! But at the last moment, he caught me. Thank goodness! That would have been a bad fall, and I was not attentive enough to grab something. I was thinking something else. Phew!
“Oh my gosh! Oh, thanks.” I said, and he started apologizing.
“O my god! Cherry! I am so sorry, I didn’t notice you here. I am sorry! Are you okay?”
I told him I was, while Jess shouted from down,
“Everything okay? Cherry?” I shouted back,
“Yep! Okay!” She must have finished her gardening. And hopefully gotten some clues. At least more than me. As I was just about to start a conversation with him, he started to move back, and said, “Um… I am a bit busy right now. Cherry, can we talk later? I have just got the will of Mr. Haffen, and I need to take it to our lawyer. He has to pass it. So there is a lot to do. Um…. maybe we can talk after the separation of everything?”
He said in his old voice, but I caught the note of nervousness. Why is he breathless? And nervous? Was he doing something secretive? Or wrong? It will be very bad, to know, that he was the murderer. He is like a brother to us, Jess and me, just a bit younger than Mr. Haffen. And he is normally very charming. That was the reason why Mr. Haffen liked him so much. He was also among the people who are friendly to like everyone in this world!
But then why? There can’t be any other reason. Maybe something related to the will? Maybe he was tampering anything. But he can’t possibly do that, or think that will help. Because everyone knows that a record is kept. Always. And he is smart. You have to know, that he is way smarter than he looks. From his look you will guess he is a normal middle aged, charming man. But he has been an agent and worked for FBI! He has retired, as he was exposed, in his last mission which took place a few years ago. 4 years, yes. And he has, from then told us frequently that he really missed all that fun. Well from this thing you must have guessed that it must be very diifficult, to read his mind. Jess could have missed the signs. But I am not silly. And I am attentive. Okay, I wasn’t at that time. But now I am.
So, what could have been the reason? What was he hiding? I thought, as I watched him go downstairs. He was a bit out of mind, I noticed. First, he went to the door, and then kept the papers at the side table started taking his jacket on. He then, started, going out. He was fully out, when he again jerked his head, and hurriedly came in and took the papers. Then he started to go out, and then realized he hadn’t put on his boots. What’s the matter with him? He never forgot anything! Was this because he was thinking something very hard. Something about the sabotage of the will. Or something about the murder. Or something about hiding clues. OR, I
thought, it can be possible, that he was just a bit depressed. About Mr. Haffen, just like Chloe. Uh…. it is that reason. Really, I don’t want anyone of them, anyone of this house to be the murderer.
I saw Jess motioning me to come down. I started to go downstairs. So, who next? Mr. Halperin is not at home. But Ms. Halperin is so I guess, her only.
As I was just about to ask her this, I noticed that she was looking concerned. I thought, why? Had something happened? What was the problem? She said, “It’s Chloe. Something is definitely wrong with her. She was not like that. She has become a bit touchy and harsh too.” And I replied,
“Same with David. I don’t know what’s the matter with all of them.
Maybe…… it’s just because of Mr. Haffen, I guess.” It surely looked like that. I mean I hoped that. Anyways, I told her about the will, and about how I thought that he was a bit breathless. She said carelessly, that it must be that he was just worrying about Mr. Haffen. But I don’t think that’s the problem with everyone. Because one of them has to be our man. —Or woman. Whatever, it’s definitely one of them. I sighed. Are we going on the right track? We also have to see the smuggling thing, there is so much to do, and of course I have to complete my physics work. I thought, rolling my eyes. BORING!
“Okay, so? What do we do now?” I asked Cherry. We were back at home. It’s late afternoon. Dad had called to say that they both will be late, they will be having a dinner OUT! And we are to make a dinner ourselves. Okay, we are definitely not doing that. Who is going to cook when you can order a pizza home? We have lots of savings for these moments.
We save it together. And now it’s actually kind of empty. We were buying secret snacks, and chocolates. We both are chocolate lovers. Really, and that’s one of the things that is common between us. Anyways, there was enough to buy a ‘large’. We decided it with a look, in which we both made it clear, that mom and dad are definitely not going to know this. A secret! She was looking very thoughtful. We had got nothing more to know. It was the same news.
Only I got to know that the thing that Chloe was hiding was a syringe. I had asked her things. But she was quiet. And she had really totally changed. And that’s something to say, because Chloe is always very kind and a soft person. Whatever happens. I think the change is because of her uncle. From what Ray told me about David forgetting things, it seems that every one of them are affected by it. I still don’t know, whom to suspect and whom to cross off the list. But our prime suspect is still Mr. Halperin. It’s just that we didn’t get to meet him. That’s when Ray started saying. Finally, she was quite for like ages and I was getting impatient with every passing moment. She said,
“Um……You know, I was thinking, is it a coincidence or just the fact? Have you noticed? That Mr. Haffen died by getting hit by a bullet which had a liquid substance in it. Green colour. So probably came from plants. Second, I was looking at the inner page about the smuggling group. It said that it smuggled drugs and poisons, which came from plants. Next, we get a warning note, from the smugglers head. To kill us. With a plant poison in it. Then we see Plants in the backyard. The place from where Mr. Haffen was running from. So, it is clear that both the cases are related. Did you see there was a small room type thing there in the corner? What do you think, is that a secret base thing?”
Okay that’s a lot to think about. Okay. Yeah actually if you see it that way, yeah! Oh my gosh, so both the cases are related!
Part 5 >>
By Hiya Pahari, Mumbai, India