Next morning, Anna reached the palace. Looking sleek in her black trousers and white shirt. The guards neither stopped her not uttered any words, as if they were stupefied by her looks. Though they were not supposed to let anybody enter except the officials, they didn’t check her identity by asking for her badge or identity card.
She crossed the yellow tape and entered the palace. Robert was already there. The chalk outline reminded her of the body lying on the floor, from last night. She asked a forensic expert about the finger prints analysis report, and about the murder weapon. The expert told her that it was going to take a couple of days. She never relied on forensic though, as she believed that killers usually don’t leave their fingerprints. And if you somehow you get some fingerprints, it usually belongs to some innocent person. She saw 6 forensic experts, taking the finger prints from every corner of the palace. She smirked on the frivolity of it all. She knew there would be thousands of finger prints. All the glasses, walls, floor, bathrooms, rooms, curtains, windows. She could understand why the killer chose the day to kill. It would be difficult to find the culprit this way. She realized that the killer was smarter than she had originally thought if this was a planned murder. Hoping no help from the ‘expert team’ to surprise her even this time, she assigned Robert to get the call records of the deceased and all the five suspects.
She reached Susanne’s bedroom and went straight to the closet that she had walked in night before. She looked through each drawer and cabinet. And kept shoving important stuff in the black evidence box, while Robert documented all the evidences picked. She started checking the pockets of trousers, dresses, and jackets. She found several receipts of concerts, plays, tube tickets. She rummaged through Tom’s clothes and cabinets too. She found several bills and concert tickets there too.
She glanced through the evidences collected in the black box. There were enough receipts for her to quickly conclude that Tom Smith was keeping a close watch on his wife. She sensed soon that he was aware of the ‘Fling’ that David and Susanne were having. She checked for more clues. Suddenly, her eyes beamed as she read one of the papers. She turned to Rob and said, “I must see Mr Smith.”
Anna immediately left for the hotel where Mr Smith checked in last night.
It was afternoon by the time she reached the hotel. As walked to the reception, showed her badge, and asked for Mr Smith’s room. The receptionist immediately complied Anna’s instruction.
Anna walked to the room and rang the bell. Mr Smith opened the door with a smile on his face and a glass in his hands.
“Mr Smith, were you expecting me?” she asked.
“Indeed, I was. But I almost forgot how you look.”, Tom tried flirting.
“Mr smith, had I not known that your wife passed away yesterday, I would have assumed you are celebrating something.”
“Well, I am. Celebrating my freedom. I needed it. Do you want to join the celebrations”, he asked gesturing towards the champagne bottle.
“I don’t mind”, she accepted the offer. She thought it was a good opportunity to extract information from a man like him by chatting with him over the drink.
“So tell me Mr Smith,” she asked as she sipped her chilled champagne.
“Tell you what? Let ‘s cut this Mr and Ms thing. Call me Tom. What should I call you?”, he asked.
“Anna”, she smiled, “Tom, tell me. Yesterday you professed your love for your dead wife, today you are celebrating.”
“Yesterday she had just died, and I did love her, but then last night I asked myself why I should mourn her death. She was having an affair with Clark, that bastard. Pardon my French. But they were having the affair right under my nose. They thought I was blind. Well, I knew she was incapable of loyalty. I didn’t care until the day she told me that she wanted divorce. I didn’t want to end up like Brown. So, I followed her around the town. I needed to find the evidence of her extra marital affair. She went with him to concerts and plays, and to other countries under the pretext of buying art. David didn’t love her. He loved her money, ” he hissed.
“Like you?”, Roy interrupted.
“I like beauty with brains. Yes, like me but I was her husband. And I wasn’t wasting her money the way he was. That stupid woman couldn’t tell Picasso from Beethoven”, he said.
“Beethoven?” Roy interrupted.
“Exactly. She didn’t know Beethoven was not a painter but a musician. She was spending millions of monies on that bastard”, he said.
“So you doubt David Clark?”, she questioned.
“I doubt everyone. But mostly yes Clark, and Brown too. Do you know once Brown attacked her in the middle of the road? That drunkard, he almost pushed her to death. Had I not been there she would have been dead, then only”, he finished his sentence and sipped his drink.
“Why did he do that?”, Anna said, sounding surprised.
“You are smart enough to figure out yourself, Anna!”, he answered.
“Mr Roy, I mean Tom, did she share her new will with you?”, Anna asked.
The glass almost slipped out of Tom’s hands, “What will? Where is it?”
“I am sure you are smart enough to figure out yourself. Tom!” she smiled.
“See you soon.” With that Anna kept the glass on the table and left the room, thinking about the twists and turns through the day.
to be continued…
*This is the chapter # 3 of the series Murder in a Palace
(c) 2018 PRIYA BAJPAI ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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