The Nattle Mansion: A conspiracy unmasked- Part-I


6th January 1907, Sunday was an unpleasant and unfortunate day for Mr. Nattle. His wife had just died in the morning, the assassin, remaining to be found. Many people had come to his house to say that they were sorry for him but he thought that none of them was related to the assassin. He felt as lonely as ever as him and his maid were now the only ones left in the mansion. A young man, Dr. Ritesh had come in the evening, saying that he was the detective hired for this case. The maid had told the detective that she felt sad because she thought that no one would address her politely by her nickname like her mistress used to. The detective Ritesh went back to his house to get his stuff as he would be staying in the bedroom next to that of Mrs. Nattle, the very exact place her dead body was found. It was his first case and he was astonished as no detective in history had got the first case as a murder mystery. Many people were greeting him warmly. Once he started greeting people in their native language, they realized that he was a linguist. “Bonne journée monsieur”, he replied to the French person. “Saludos señor y señorita Lexambor”, he said to the famous Spanish Lexambor couple who were across the street. He hid his happiness and excitedness for the case when he reached the mansion.

Ringing that bell the second time that day, he found that the neighbors had come to visit Mr. Nattle. He made a mental note to keep an eye on the neighbors who, as they saw him coming, started saying that they will depart now. It had become a serious and silent environment as the neighbors departed. Nobody was in the mood to talk.  It would be difficult to find clues in this long and spacious house, he thought. The autopsy report was yet to come but he was sure that the mark was made by a small dagger of around the length of 6 to 8 inches. His organization, having more authority, had told the police to stay out of this until Ritesh gave up, so he had a lot of pressure on him. He had been given a revolver with a bag of 10 magazines. As told by the head of ‘The Detective Agency’, he had to make sure that no one would ever see them. His seven years of training had to help now. As he was going to the living room where the Mr. Nattle were, he inserted a small bug at the side of the huge carpet, making sure that nobody noticed. The bug had been invented a year ago but immediately started being used in the detective agency. The bug would record sounds and he would be able to hear them. He declined the maid’s offer to take his luggage saying that he would take the luggage on his own, too careful not to expose all the things he was carrying in the luggage. Ritesh sat down and started scanning the surroundings. His eyes focused on an old shotgun hung on the wall.

 “Please show me the shotgun and the license for it”, he requested Mr. Nattle while drinking a sip from the already cold tea. Mr. Nattle was deep in thought and was suddenly brought back to earth. This left him a bit agitated but one glance at his maid gave the detective what he wanted. Seeing this, Ritesh asked, “Do you always tell the maid where the important papers like the gun license are kept?” Mr. Nattle frowned and then smirked, then finally said, “Oh no, the thing was that she accidently found out where the papers were when she was cleaning.” This raised the detective’s suspicion on the maid but he decided not to ponder upon it now. If she could “accidently find” some very important papers like this license, could it be possible she found something personal or important and killed her?

A person would come to share the will of Mrs. Nattle on Thursday, which happened to be his deadline for finding the murder weapon. The truth was that he himself had set a deadline for the case. After almost an hour of serious questioning and answering, out of which he got nothing, he was told where his room was and he started going over to the guest room. On the way, he inserted many bugs. When he opened the door, he found a very decorated room in front of him. He took out his dictograph and phonograph to record all the voices from the bug. He had inserted 10 bugs in total. It was difficult hiding wires, but he was able to do at last. He had to find the murder weapon; it would help him find the culprit. Knowing that the fingerprints of criminals had been recorded, he thought it would then become easy. He took out his Moccasins and sat down. Making notes of what all he knew, he started recording what all noises the bugs were catching. He was looking around the room, still deep in thought about the behavior of the neighbors.

Why were they like that? Were they uncomfortable around him because he was a detective and people were not used to hanging out with detectives, or because they could be part of a certain murder? Still in thought, he found his energy draining, and adrenaline getting countered, and he soon drifted off to sleep.

He woke up from the maid calling him and serving him tea. He wished to be like his mentor and idol, the person who had allowed him to take this case, MK Acton. He had allowed him to go on this case alone, without the help of any other detective, so that he becomes comfortable with solving cases himself. He had a record of being stupid when he was in his village, but he loved the special attention given to him by his mentor. Mr. Acton held the record of solving a robbery case within two hours. He was just remarkable. He tried to focus on the case and tried to stop fangirling (or rather fanboying in this case).

He got ready and started walking around in his room. His had to go to the place of the murder and find clues there. There would obviously be something that the murderer would have left. He went in the room and found everything misplaced, as it was the last time he had seen it. He had asked the maid not to clean up the room and he relaxed a bit, realizing that she had obeyed. He could not see anything important but his eye caught a calendar fallen on the ground. It had only one note on in, that also on the day of the murder. He gasped as he read the note. It was a note by the murderer. It said, “Find me if you can, you are near me but very far away. And as for who got you, he got you because of me.” He had no idea what it meant but tore out the page and slid it into his pocket before going back to his room where he placed it on the side table.

He thought of listening to the recordings of yesterday and he started with the recording of 9:00 in the evening from the bug near the main door. He could not hear anything. Then he went to 10 and the result was the same. He did the repeated the process until he reached the midnight recording. After a few minutes of desperately searching for sounds, he was about to close the recordings but then, a knock was heard on the door via the bug which was followed by the hushed sound of someone walking. “What are you doing here? You should not be here, not now at least”, whispered someone. The voice was strangely familiar. “I had to come to ask the progress of the stupid detective. I bet he would not even know that we murdered her because it is his first case”, the other said, rather loudly than the first one, the voice also familiar. “He could not find anything. Asked for the gun license and then did nothing special. Plus, he has no clue that we have given him a hint also. Please go now. Bye”, said the first voice again. With that, the door closed with a loud creak. In Ritesh’s mind, a lot was going on. They got to know that he had asked for the gun license. Were they close by? You are near me but far away… Is that what it means? There were two murderers! Or was it one murderer and his helper? His mind was racing with thoughts. He had no idea why the murderer had not hidden the body. Maybe the assassin had underestimated us detectives. He thought like that as to hide the fact that the person had called him a stupid detective, though he was sure it was not that.

He was going to go back in the room of Mrs. Nattle when his eyes focused on something small. A COCKROACH. He was always disgusted by insects and he hated cockroaches. He grabbed his moccasins to kill it and it fled under the bed for its dear life. There was a lot of dust under the bed so he could not see where it went. Still, he started hitting his shoes on the carpet randomly, trying to kill it by his luck. Every time his shoe went down with a thud and each time he failed to kill it, resulting him to feel more miserable than he already was. Clink. Ritesh was startled by the voice the shoe had made on impact with the carpet this time. Curiosity kills the cat, slowly, he went to where the carpet had ended. He lifted the carpet to find a metal sheet where there should have been a tile. He tried to open but it was of no use. He wanted to check what was inside. There was a wooden latch at the side of it, restraining it from opening. So, he went under the bed, and started banging as powerfully he could, trying to break the wooden latch. He kept on banging so hard that the maid came to check on him. He did not care about that. Asking the maid to leave, he took out his revolver and put on the sound compressor, which was also known as a gun silencer, on the gun. He did this so anyone else would not know that he had a revolver. Then he shot the latch, opening it immediately. Moving the debris of his shot aside, he looked closely at the thing which was kept inside, no wait, it was not a thing, it was THE thing. In front of him were 2 pairs of gloves with dried blood on it. He had to send this to the agency for recording and checking the fingerprints.

Part 2 coming up. Who do you think is the assassin? Comment and even let me know why did they kill Mrs. Nattle. I will be waiting…

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