Because of the arm’s size. That arm was large. And the tissue was firm as well. Muscule, not fat. Too muscular to be a woman’s. Unless, of course, this room’s occupant was a woman overdosing on anabolics.”
“Steroids,” Chuks clarified for the LIPD detective. “And you said you saw all that from just the arm?” The arm he hadn’t even seen?
“I observe, Chuck. You only see.”
The room’s cameras had come up while they were talking. The timer now read 02:02. This time, even with artificial lighting from the camera, it wasn’t hard to see the shape of somebody under the duvet, tucked in from feet to neck, with a pillow over his head so they couldn’t see any part of the person.
“Just like that? So you’re telling me this man has already killed the woman by this time. This person on the camera here?” Ronald said. Nobody needed to answer him. Mrs Felicia Durojaiye had been six feet under for months. “So where is the long gun you were talking about?”
“Look at the way the man covered himself so the camera cannot get a good look at him,” Kunle snapped. “You think he will just leave the gun lying around where anybody can see it?”
“True enough. I do not think it is likely,” dé Crozon agreed.
“I think there might be a way for us to know who lodged in this room,” Ronald said suddenly. “Any receptionist on duty normally wears a name tag. That name tag has a microphone embedded in it. You can search for any word or sentence and get what time of the day someone said it at the counter and how many times. So we just have to find who the receptionist spoke one word in particular to— ”
“The number of the room,” Kunle said.
“And get what time the person checked into his room,” Ronald finished.
“Okay, do it, then.”Visit www.pobsonline.com for more amazing stories
The man typed, clicking every once in a while.
“Okay, here it is. I searched for “eighty-four”, the number of the room in question. It wasn’t spoken on May fifteenth, which means no one lodged there the day before the woman died, but it was spoken once on May fourteenth, at 7:06p.m.” He clicked on an mp3 file icon, and a progress bar appeared, reading as the audio file played.
“Okay sir, this is your keycard. Room eighty-four. Please enjoy your stay.”
That was it. It wasn’t hard for Chuks to recognize the voice of the woman who had brought them in here. She was the same person who had given the murderer a room.
Immediately the clip finished playing, Ronald began typing again. He highlighted two or three folders, right-clicked on the mouse, and clicked on “Play Selected”. The clip that came up was one of the lobby outside, from a high vantage point. The man sped it up, and they watched people come and go from the lobby and the counter in fast-forward, then when the timer read 07:05 he slowed it down, just in time for them to see a man with full hair streaked with white and wearing an unbuttoned suit on jeans walk from the door straight to the counter, leaning on a wooden walking stick with a big one-strap bag on his shoulder.
The camera was too high on the wall to tell the man’s true height, but the moment he reached the counter, Chuks could easily see that the man towered over the receptionist, perhaps by a whole foot, and looked large enough to break her over one knee if he wanted.
CCTVs had no audio, so they just watched the mute clip, saw the man receive a keycard, and turn and walk to the elevator. Ronald switched cameras so they could watch him.
“Just look at how he is dodging all the cameras,” he said, and it was true. Not once from when the man walked in through the door had he shown more than his back to the cameras or his side. Not even in the elevator, where there was one just opposite him. He just kept his head down, showing the camera his grey-streaked Wole Soyinka-like hair and leaned on his stick.
“And you knew the man was tall and muscular, how?” Ronald asked in amazement.
Well that is because I observe, but you only see, Chuks thought, but what Mr dé Crozon actually said was,
“I have explained my methods, no?”