Man In Black Episode 54

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“This is the place?”

“Yes sir,” said Kunley said as he undid his seatbelt.

“Very rich woman, wasn’t she?” Clyde said as he peered through the windscreen at the exquisite blue-painted house. In most parts of Europe, but most especially in the States, majority of the population lived in general apartments. For someone to have a house like this, a duplex house, walled and gated off and with such magnificient pillars holding up the front porch, he— or she, in this case —had to have had a lot of money.

They both got out, and Kunley brought out a large ring of keys from his pocket and opened the smaller gate. They went in, and he locked it from behind. The ground was interlocked, with dried-up hedges lining the walls. They started up to the front entrance and unlocked the doors. Their footsteps echoed within the big house. The sitting room was very big, as it alone was one-storey, empty of anything up to the ceiling of the first floor where a chandelier was hung.

“This way to the bedroom, sir,” Kunley said, indicating a staircase to the left of the living room. Clyde stood staring at the regal chairs, fifty-incher flat-screen and framed photographs on the walls. Exquisite on the inside as well as on the outside. 

He joined Kunley on the staircase, a winding staircase with steps of polished wood, steps which hung down from the ceiling on shiny steel cables. Upstairs, they entered a tiled corridor not much different from a hotel corridor, with doors only on the left. The whole house, the sourroundings outside and the sitting room downstairs, all bore the signs of a place closed off due to police investigation: dust and cobwebs, and a general air of disuse.

They walked to a door at the end of the corridor with distinguishable yellow crime scene tape across the doorpost. Kunley pushed open the door and ducked under the tape, with Clyde immediately behind him.

Everything in the bedroom they entered screamed female, from the bright pink walls to the manicured bed with the purple velvet headboard to the multitude of make-up equipment on the dresser. The bedsheets were still bloodstained at the area where the deceased woman had lain her head. Clyde walked round to the crimson patch on the sheets and looked thoughtfully. Then he looked at the scratched spot on the wall across from the bed that the detective had told him about, the white undercoat now dusty from from the time interval. 

He had seen photos of every angle of this room, and had been able to visualize all the details even before coming here. He mightn’t have bothered, but he wanted to get a feel for the place. He hummed excitedly. He could feel himself slipping into the mind of the killer, whoever he was, into the mind of the long-dead victim, as he got ready to work the case from the beginning: the very first crime scene.

His brain was like a supercomputer when he got down to it, but he always felt a need to put all of his thoughts into words, to help him organize all of it.

The young detective who had brought him stood at a respectful distance close to the door. Clyde walked to the table with the mirror and make-up things, pulled out the chair in front of it, spun it about and patted the seat.

“Kunley, do sit down, make yourself comfortable and be treated to a once in a lifetime criminology session with Clyde dé Crozon,” he said. The young man walked over and sat, his expression making it obvious how hard he found it to believe that this was actually happening. That was exactly what Clyde needed. A willing audience. 

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“Okay. A person wakes up one morning and for some reason— which we will be sure to find out —sets his heart on taking the life of this particular woman. Now, he has probably ruled out making an appearance at the house, apparently for safety purposes. In fact, he has probably ruled out making physical contact at all. If that is so, then he is a shrewd one. Very smart. 

“The method he chooses will depend on the resources available to him, of course. The kind of training he has, as well. If it were up to me, Kunley, I would either just plant an explosive at a place she goes to and detonate it remotely, or find a good location, a good sniper rifle and,” he mimed pulling a trigger. “The deed is done. That is because of the resources available to me, you understand, yes?” 

He didn’t wait for an answer, because an answer wasn’t what he needed. All he needed was just to lay it all out and put each thought where it needed to be.

“But that would depend on our killer, of course. Whether he has access to sophisticated explosives or whether he is a trained sniper or not. Obviously, he is, because having fufilled these two conditions, he set about his work.

“But no sooner had he set up the rifle and succeeded in acquiring his target than he was posed with a problem. The target— the dead woman —did not sleep with her head to the wall, facing the window, as he might have expected, but with the window to the back of her head.” He patted the headboard. 

“You can see where this would get in the way, yes? Of course he might have miscalculated this little fact. There was no point in trying to guess where to put the the shot. Imagine for an instant you were this woman. A sound near your head, and you wake up to see a bullet in your pillow. What will you do? You sound the alarm, in the end perhaps the perpetrator can be caught. Whatever it is, the main point is, the kill is, how do you say in English, bungled.