Tread cautiously. You are walking on a thin line. You don’t want to join Mrs Smith. Anna received an email, another threat? It always meant that the culprit was scared, very scared.
She called Rob and asked him to call Mr Alex Brown to Rob’s home.
She reached Rob’s place. Alex was waiting for her.
“Hello, Ms Roy. I guess I’m here as you guys must be seeing me as one of the prime suspects. But believe me I didn’t do anything”, Alex started before Anna could ask anything.
“Mr Brown, please have a seat. You do not need to worry if you haven’t done anything. So, calm down. And let’s talk slow”, Anna tried to put him at ease, “You care for tea/coffee?”.
“Yes please. Tea would be great”, Alex replied.
Anna waited for Robert to leave to make some tea.
Then she asked, “How did you become homeless?”.
Alex answered, “She was a royal heiress. I was a businessman. I dealt in carpet import. We imported beautiful carpets from around the world. It was going great till our largest client defaulted after a fire in their showroom. A month later, I discovered a financial fraud by my accountant. I fired him and hired a new, expensive replacement. This was followed by a dramatic decline in the price and the demand as new machine woven cheaper carpets became more popular. In no time, I was neck deep in loan. I asked Susanne for help, as we had a joint account. Instead of any help, I learnt that she had cleaned out our joint account. I had to pay last penny from my account to pay off all the debts”, he stopped for the tea served by Rob.
He continued after a sip, “Our marriage was not going well but it was not broken either. One day she served me a divorce notice, unexpectedly. She threw me out of her life, almost like a vestigial organ that has no use anymore. She didn’t think twice.”
Anna interrogated, “Was that the reason you attacked her?”
“I don’t remember attacking her. I was under the influence of alcohol. I don’t remember anything at all. She only told me later about that incident”, he explained.
“Did you love her?”, Anna asked.
“Yes, I loved her. I was shocked. It took me a little while to let go of her, and the idea of her. A part of me still loves her. I guess, a part of me will always love her”, he looked down and said softly.
“Why did you gate-crash the party?”, she asked
“I gate-crashed because I wanted to talk to her. I had to warn her about someone”, he answered.
“Who did you want to warn her about?”, Anna investigated.
“David Clark. I knew she wanted to divorce Tom and marry David. However, I had to warn her that he was not the right man for her”, he looked dazed.
“And you chose the day of party to warn her”, Anna asked.
He interrupted, “I didn’t know she had a party. I learnt about the it only when I reached the palace that evening, and she asked me to stay for the party. Then she got busy with the guests, and I with my drinks.”
“What do you know about David?”, she probed.
“That behind his charming demeanor, David had a perilous side too. His art business was a cover-up for his illicit money dealings with the mafia. I learnt it from horse’s mouth- one of David’s customers, whom I met at a bar. He was not to be trusted. He may be well behind the killing”, Alex revealed.
She needed time to process all the information. Her mind was linking the new pieces of information with threats she received through the email and the note wrapped in stone.
to be continued…
*This is the chapter # 4 of the series Murder in a Palace
(c) 2018 PRIYA BAJPAI ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Read my previous posts for #BlogchatterA2Z
Horrific Holocaust, I’m II, Jigsaw Puzzle, Killer , Love, Mia of Maya, Neil’s Shoe , Oseye- Archaic world II, Parallel Universe, The Quiet Room, Rain starts to Pour…, Shh.. Sleuth is Hunting, Twists and Turns, Unicorn Friends