On a quiet sunny afternoon, when the determined chins of the two young potential spies, was glistening with sweat, they had their task cut out. James and Melinda (two of the select, elite and lucky few to have received training under Captain Mike) were on the threshold of their dreams. The most intricate details of the covert world were imparted to them under the surveillance of the legendary Mike Martin.
"Melly, Remember never be precipitant in your actions." With this Captain Mike activated a bomb. "See, this bomb presents you 5 seconds of grace time. Utilize these. Never hasten. At 4th second Captain Mike, with a flick of his wrists let the dynamite go. A stream of water with a booming sound was what it resulted.
Captain Mike! Mike! This was Captain Andrassy who blurted out these words. Panting, as he was, it was impossible to make out what he was trying to reciprocate. After getting his composure back he said "Our topmost agent has been found dead today morning in his apartment and to complicate matters further up we have just now received a cipher, which he wrote presumably before his death". We are at a loss of ideas. Would you care to have a look???
Melly, James your espionage has started. Visit the place; observe every minute detail and turn over your reports to me in the evening .In the meantime let me see this cipher. Good luck.
Captain Mike was sure that these two would unravel the mystery revolving around the death. Unorthodoxy is what they adopt quite freely rather than the tedious orthodox method always. James always had a flat foot on the facts, the practical nuances associated with it whereas Melinda was amazingly quick in her uptake without taking least pains on the sundry details. It was courage and cheerfulness where they were never found wanting.
That's why they formed such a lethal combination.
On entering the room, both had a careful look of the room, searched for footprints Alas! Some criminals don't leave that. Excited as they were, both started off into their respective works.
James questioned the policeman at the beat about the exact positions of the things as first seen. He told him that all the doors and windows were locked barring one which was slightly open (not large enough for a snake to slide through). James asked him about his opinion on the case. The policeman with a cunning smile said "You don't expect a man to lock himself from outside, he himself being inside and getting killed". This is preposterous and it really beats me off. Something in his tone caught James ear. He began to brood over the problem. Finally with a triumphant ringing voice he said to himself "What villainy" "It has to be that, what else?"
Meanwhile, Melinda was feasting herself on the weird looking water spots spread throughout the walls of the room. It had been raining incessantly for last three days so such a thing was natural. But Melly's gaze was fixed on one spot. It was a dry patch in the wall. "How could the whole of the wall be soaked in water and this small part remain dry"? This was the question which she engaged herself in. By the end of the hour she also had seen the dawn of hope and intuitively assumed it to be correct.
They returned back to report to Captain Mike .After listening to them he asked James "how do you think that guy would have the key in his pocket?" James obligingly ventured to answer. "Sir, it is obvious that it was not he who locked himself from outside .So it has to be the murderer. I think by some means the key was put back in his pocket. I guess it has been done through the thread because I found many frayed string ends scattered on the floor. Presumably he might have fixed a small load to the string and put it into the dead man's pocket, keeping the other end at the window. After locking the door from outside he might have slipped the key from the string into his pocket.
Melinda: - I think I can picturise the whole scenario. The dry place there can mean only one thing, that the other part of the wall had not received rain which in turn points to a drainpipe or sorts. I think the murderer suspected this man, so he waited there while he was outside. He killed him and went off no one being wiser about his identity.
Captain Mike: - I think you both have hit the truth. Now I suppose it's my turn to tell you something about the formidable protagonist you are up to. I don't expect you to work without the full possession of the facts. "This man was our main informer from Wayne's office." He had helped us to prevent many crimes. Reverting to Wayne; he is the lynch pin on which the crime world hangs. He is like a spider, who webs his net slowly around the victim's neck. Assaults, murders, kidnaps everything is done by him. Just a word is passed to him and he arranges for the results. It is this antagonist we are after.
By the way, let me see if you can crack this cipher, which was causing problems in the office:--
VEAK YILRPX ::
"This cipher is quite a departure from his usual doubly encrypted ones. I can read this as easily as I read my palms. Luck is what we spies always envy. But it seems for once, we are on the vantage. Fortunately, we are now aware of the identity of the person whom they are targeting. This is one the most elementary ways to decode a cipher - just shift each letter right or left keeping certain rules in mind. At least here he had the sagacity to progressively increase the common difference of the two consecutive letters. V had been obtained on two right shifts so S was what he intended to convey. Similarly E was the outcome of transferring three letters so A must have been the original alphabet." Deciphering the cipher in the light of the above rubric the cipher spells out -
"It is Rachel, the great actress they are after. But what beats me is how such a dainty figure is associated with crime. I didn't expect Wayne's escapades to stretch to this part of the world. Oh God! Save the world from his clutches.
"Melie, you have to undertake the job of a governess there. It is the one position that will suit you admirably. A character-certifying letter will be arranged for you from the Countess of Poffosky. It will pertain to your work experience with her as a caretaker of her children.
"James you need not drop in there as an outsider. Utilize your acquaintance with Rachel's brother to secure a place as a friend. This Saturday is when I expect matters to come to a head. Until then try to secure your places and keep a strict vigil on the place. We can't launch this in the official format because of Rachel's strong dislike for the regular police force. Once upon a time she had to lose her parents forever due to the negligence of a cruel hearted officer. So you are on our own now. I can't help you in public; you have to remain clear of prying ears and spying eyes."
Rachel. The word had become a synonym for beauty. Her exquisite slimness was what other damsels envied. The well proportioned body to carry with that would have made any poet go crazy over the foolscap. Once you see the eyes, so feminine, so expressive, you get mesmerized and sense a new world forgetting everything else.
Captain Mike had predicted that the mystery would unfold on the Saturday, a day on which Rachel had thrown a party at her grand house. Everything till the weekend passed awfully well for both Melie and James. They won over the confidence of the household with their cheery attitude. The guests for the party consisted of Rachel's lawyer, financier of the movie, her pen pal and a few distinguished personalities of the city. Saturday was no exception to any other; it was only Captain Mike and co. who sensed the looming air heavy with expectancy.
The party unfolded quite well. But all of a sudden, at about midnight, a bullet sprang out from nowhere and just missed Rachel. At this sudden shock, she fainted. Everybody gathered around Rachel and helped her to her bedroom.
The only matter worth pondering on was that the whole room was inaccessible from outside but still a bullet managed to infiltrate in!!
Next day Melinda and James report it to Mike. Mike's expressionless face, his farsighted looks made both the young detectives stand in awe. Mike advised them, "Soak in everything letting the minimum possible out. Never show your course of action for you never know who your adversary is." Mike introduces them to a man sitting in the taxi. "He is monsieur Fabien. The greatest ever detective the French Surete had. They never desist in talking about his achievements. We are lucky to have him as our companion in this case."
"Hello, Mademoiselle, I'm quite delighted to meet you. I always held the opinion that it takes an amateur's bubbly enthusiasm and energy and a professional's tact to bulldoze a formidable foe. I am on the trail of my life now. I fervently hope that all my past glory will be outshone by the glow of success I will receive in this case." He enumerates some of his close encounters with Wayne. Once, he had every passenger in a plane checked up twice, all luggage thoroughly searched but still Wayne evaded his clutches, in the disguise of the pilot of the plane. This was the closest he had ever come in terms of catching him. "This incident pricked me as if he had spat on my face. Take my word for it that we French hold these as a blot on our souls. I am here because I am on sure grounds that he his here in desire of the world famous carbuncles her parents had. This was the place which her parents had as their last abode. Probably, they were killed for the diamonds too. Mike, don't be so surprised. You will receive the full facts tomorrow. Till then, let me have a look at the little mystery revolving around that shot."
When Melie and James were within few paces of Rachel's house they saw a suitcase being flung out of a taxi. Fabien with a triumphant look in his face was coming over towards them. "Hey guys, see this is Monsieur Fritz's attache (lawyer)." With his deft fingers he began to work his way through the suitcase. Therein lay the revolver, which had caused the hullabaloo the previous night. Fabien argued it was only Fritz who had the knowledge of the diamonds. Probably he wanted to get rid of her to claim them legally. And it may not be a far-fetched assumption to believe that he is in close hands with Wayne. Melie got swayed by his talks but somehow James picked up a strong dislike towards this French detective. Suddenly he realized that somebody was trying to hold a sneeze. Tip-toed he went behind the bushes and discovered that it was Bob (pen pal).
This had channelised his brain in a different direction. Bob left them with a tame excuse. This swept James mind to a different direction, more monstrous than the first one.
Unanimously they conjectured to rummage the whole place through in look out for the diamonds. Melie took off for the servant's quarter. James asked for the secret panels, cellars to Rachel's brother. In one of the closed cellars he found a soiled paper with an address on it. While emerging out of the cellar he met Rachel; who with a careless air put forth. "What's the matter? It seems there has been a positive boom for the secret places today. Just now I had been through this place with Bob. Are you thinking that the gun or for that matter the murderer to be found here???"
James went off on his lonely vigil towards that place pointed by the address. It was one of the dilapidated outhouses in an obscure place. With a delighted heart longing for some action he entered the room. Alas! Wayne's comrades were a bit weak in that part. Having Wayne's mates in his mercy he decided to ransack the place. On the top floor he saw a man gagged and lying down. At the moment he heard a grin from his back. Feeling the cold muzzle of the automatic in his temple James ventured to look back. It was Bob!
The day next, to everyone's surprise, they got an invitation for another party at Rachel's house. Rachel's brother on James's express demand had thrown a party, with an instruction that all who attended the last one were invited.
James and Melinda took the centre stage and explained their real purport of being there. Melie went on that eventful day when a murder was averted it was none present here who discharged the bullet. It is this watch; see it sideways it has the provision for the cuckoo to spring out every hour to twitter. But that night it was loaded with a pistol and at midnight it fired off and the vociferous twittering of this cuckoo negated the sound.
James who until now assumed an innocent look began with his usual suave fashion. "Once I had recognized Bob as a Scotland Yardie, the sailing was smooth. Now let me introduce you to the real Monsieur Fabien from Surete". Lo and Behold! It was the same person who was lying in that dilapidated house. The whole story became crystal clear to everybody.
James discreetly avoided further questions. Finally he held a card which, he was sure, would confound Captain Mike himself. "Sir, we presume that you had never seen your agent in Wayne's office due to his extracting confidence from you for that extent." Mike with a stunned look said "No, why? What's the matter?"
James dryly said "Sir, this is the notebook we found in Wayne's pocket when we arrested him. Care to take a look." "THERE WAS NEVER ANY AGENT. IT WAS HE WHO WROTE THE MESSAGES."
"These policemen believe their job is just to crack ciphers and some minor crimes. It is really saddening to know that they are ignorant of such huge crimes taking place when their mind is focused on petty things".