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She received a phone call at eight pm. It was the resident of senator Joash. The message from the caller was straightforward and simple. She was to go to the resident of the senator as soon as possible. Ann Metan wondered why she was needed. Of course, she already had a clue. As a detective, she did not have to possess the brains of Albert Einstein to know why she had been called. The only thing that puzzled her was the nature of the crime.
Ann Metan was a 28-year-old detective. She stood out as an excellent investigator having solved some mega cases in the past three years she had been practicing. In a male-dominated field, Ann had carved out a niche for herself and was solidly established. She was not what was displayed in movies as an ideal detective. Quite the opposite, she was soft spoken, quite gentle and introverted. She held a degree in criminology from Harvard. After university, she had joined the police force, but her independent mind could not allow her to serve there for long. She quit and opened her office as a private eye.
Her breakthrough came when she solved the puzzle of smuggling drugs across the border. The limelight media gave her served to propel her career. She had stayed for five months without solving any crime, and the call from the senator set adrenalin rushing through her system. She locked her house, double checking to confirm everything was securely locked. She debated whether to carry a gun but decided against it and left driving her car at a leisurely pace.
Some few minutes to eight, Ann was welcomed into the compound of Joash by a guard. She was directed where to pack, and the guard took her to the door and rang the bell. After some seconds, the door has opened the wife of the senator. Her name was Esther Joash. Ordinarily, she was a happy woman always bubbling with joy. Today, however, she was quite gloomy. Her bright eyes had lost their brightness, her gait slightly stooped. She appeared to have suddenly aged. Ann was sure she could tear welled in the eyes of Mrs. Joash.
Esther tried to be jovial as she ushered Ann into the house. They walked into the living room where Ann was welcomed to sit on a soft chair directly opposite the senator. The senator too was in a mood similar to the wife’s .Ann detected this immediately. She studied the well-furnished room. It was a sign of opulence. The senator was rich and lived a significant life. Wealth had been flowing from a great-grandparent who owned an oil field. Ann approximated that her room could fit five times in the living room of the senator.
The senator who was talking disrupted her thoughts. “Today is a dark day for my wife and me. We had a gold ring worth 3 million dollars that I gave my wife as a wedding present. We always keep it in a safe near the bed. Today, we came from visiting a family friend and found the gold ring gone. I would like your assistance in tracing it.” Have you reported the theft to the police?” Ann asked. “The police left just before you came in. I believe you can carry out a parallel investigation to find the ring. You will work without the bureaucracy in the police force.” Senator said.
After making agreements with the senator in terms of work, Ann left and went back to her house to start working on the case. She first called her friend Edwin who worked in the police force and had been at the scene of the crime. She got little information from Mike. According to Mike, she safe where the couple kept the gold ring was broken into, and the ring was taken away. There were no fingerprints there except those of the owner. All the employees in the compound had a solid alibi. It would be a tough case to crack.
Ann decided to go and interrogate the employees by herself. To her surprise, she found out that the family butler had resigned that day. Nothing illegal but it raised her eyebrows. Why would the servant quit less than 24 hours after the crime had taken place? She had come with several hypotheses to try and get the criminal. She had narrowed them down to three probabilities. First, the Joash family could have hidden the ring to be compensated by insurance since they had inssured it. The second probability was one of the Joash’s taking, it without the knowledge of others for personal gains. The third was a domestic servant stealing it to sell.
Earlier Ann with Joash revealed that the servants were aware of the gold ring. Her instinct convinced her third probability was the way to pursue. She dragged out information about the butler and learned his name was Kevin Nicholas. He was born in Minneapolis but had moved to work in Texas. She also discovered that Kevin had worked as a butler in various places but resigned just before or after his employers lost something. Nothing has ever been linked to him, a smart thief. But Ann believed that perfect crime could not exist. The criminal was bound to make some mistakes that would make him easy to trap.
Ann continued pursuing ways of having Kevin arrested, but he seemed a smart thief. He did not try to sell the gold around. He acted as nothing had happened. Ann sat down and brainstormed on the best way to retrieve the gold from Kevin. She had practically followed all his ways and was convinced he was hiding the ring in his house. She hatched a plan in her mind. It was illegal but perfectly worth it. She needed to involve the police to execute it. She called Edwin and shared her plan with him. He was hesitant but said they would give it a try if it would trap the jewel thief.
That night, Ann hid her car and reported to the police that her vehicle was missing. It was then announced all over that her car was missing. Three days later, Kevin was woken up with loud knocks on his door. At first, he thought he was dreaming then reality hit him when he heard it was the police. When he opened the door, his right was read for him and was surprised he was being arrested for car theft. When he looked out, he saw a strange car parked behind his house; here he was being accused of stealing the car.
He was booked and taken to the police station where he was grilled for hours and given a chance to either confess he had the gold ring or be charged for car theft and a search warrant was drawn to search his house. They threatened him that they were sure that more than just the gold ring would be found on his premises. Reluctantly, he confessed.
He had come visiting his friend in the neighborhood when the story of the Joash owning a gold ring emerged in their informal conversation. He had then developed an interest in the family and looked for ways of getting employed in the family, thus getting a job as a butler came as a blessing because he had access to the house. On that day, he had waited until the family left the house. Since he knew they would be gone for some time, he broke the safe where the ring was, took the ring to his house hid it and came to the house. He was planning to go travel to Europe and sell it there once things cooled a bit.
Anne proved her prowess as an investigator again. She was handsomely awarded by the Joash’s as she waited for the next event which eventually turned out bigger than all she had solved.
Bierce, Ambrose. An Occurrence At Owl Creek. The Francisco Examiner, (1890)
Crane, Stephen. A Dark Brown Dog. Dodo Press, (1901)
Henry, O.The Gift of the Magi. Simon &Schuster, (1905)
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