Cram In Russet

My name is Duce Roy. My friends call me Duce. My weight is 73.02 kg and height is 5 feet 8 inches. I am a right-handed person with a fair complexion. My hair colour is black and green is my iris colour. I have a slim athletic body with a spectacle at my nose.

I had an ancestral home which I sold for earning MD degree in medicine from the Oxbridge University situated in London, England and then returned back to Kolkata, India in the year of 2000. As I am homeless, I boarded a hotel and looked for a flat in rent. I was even prepared for sharing the same room with others.

One week, two week passed without any progress. Then one day I was walking through the streets of Bowbazar when I met with my old classmate at the Calcutta Boys’ School. His name was Ronnie Dasgupta. He was 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighted 80 kg. He was fat with a tummy at the stomach. He had a dark complexion with black hair and black iris colour. He asked “Hey Duce when did you arrive from England?”

I replied “Two weeks.”

He asked “So where did you checked in?”

I replied “Well now I am in a hotel but I am looking for a flat at rent.”

He asked “Are you ready to share a flat?”

Meanwhile we arrived near a papri chaatwala and I ordered two papri chaat.

To his question I replied laughingly “Who on this world will share a flat with me.”

He smiled and replied “You are the second person to ask me this question.”

I was interested as well as curious and out of curiosity I asked him “Who’s the first?”

Then the papri chaatwala handed us tow papri chaat and with mouth stuffed with papri chaat Ronnie replied “Met me tomorrow at half past three in the afternoon at Barista Coffee Shop in New Market.”

I nodded to show my approval and we ate the rest of the chaat, paid the chaatwala and went on our ways.

The next day at half past three in the afternoon I entered the Barista Coffee Shop in New Market to find that Ronnie was already seated with another person whom I thought as my flat partner. He was 6 feet 1 inch tall with a weight of 78.32 kg. His hair colour was black and the colour of the iris was green. He had a slim athletic body with fair complexion and was a right-handed person. He was wearing a white shirt and a black trouser with a blue sneaker shoe.

I went up to the table and bid them a good afternoon and then I took a sit. Then Ronnie said “Duce this is Conan”, pointing to the gentleman who was seated at that table, and then pointing towards me Ronnie said to Conan “And this is my friend Duce Roy.” Then Conan and I shook hands. The waiter arrived and three coffees were ordered. Then after few minutes the coffees arrived and we helped ourselves. Sipping the coffee Conan said “So Duce you are a doctor by profession and an author by hobby or vice versa.”

I was shocked and asked “How do you know that? I am a doctor by profession and an author by hobby.” and I looked towards Ronnie and Ronnie signaled me that he has not told Conan anything about me and smiled.

Conan replied “Simply by deduction.”

I was confused and asked “By deduction?”

Conan replied “Yes yesterday I was in a library and I found your book called ‘Mysterious Mars’, a science fiction novel as well as an interesting one and today I am seeing your stethoscope in your pocket. Well do you carry your stethoscope all the time?”

Hearing this I was impressed and I asked “No, I do not carry my stethoscope all the time. I came here after visiting a new client. Well what do you do, I mean your profession?”

Conan smiled and replied “I am a private detective.” and asked “What happened to your ancestral home situated at Esplanade  where you lived five years ago?”

I was dumbstruck and wondered how he knew my previous address and replied “I had to sell it for earning a seat in Oxford University, London.”

Then Conan asked “Duce I think you have no problem in sharing the flat? When I am disturbed I do not speak for a couple of days.”

I asked “Who said about flat sharing?”

He replied “I told Ronnie about flat sharing about a couple of days ago and now he is present with his old classmate. So what does it imply?”

I was dumbstruck and thought of concentrating on my remaining coffee and after few minutes Conan said “I know about a room too big for me but not for two. We can share the room if you like. ”

I said “Conan as we are going to share a flat so I need to ask you only one question.”

Conan nodded to show his approval and I asked “Do you smoke?”

To this Conan smiled and said “I do not smoke I am addicted only towards coffee and music but I can distinguish between cigarettes as well as cigars just by looking at the ashes.”

I was amazed and asked “So how many kinds of cigarettes and cigar ashes are there?”

Conan simply replied “243.”

I was impressed and replied “Can we have a look at the flat?”

Conan replied “Yeah lets go.” Then we paid the price of the coffee and left Barista Coffee Shop and boarded a cab. Then Conan said to the cab driver “Bhaisaab can you take us to 133A A.P.C. Road.”

Then the cab driver started his cab and drove past Freeschool Street, Moulali, Sealdah, Rajabazar, Sukia Street and then we arrived at 133A A.P.C. Road. It took us about half an hour to reach there. Then we shared the cab fare and dismissed the cab. There was a three storey. It was of striking colour – violet with pink and light blue lines going from left to right and the grills were white. Conan pressed the doorbell and said to me “The landlady as well as the caretaker is an elderly lady named Mrs. Potts.”

Then an elderly lady in late fifties opened the door. She was fair short heighted with blonde hair and a tummy at her stomach. She was 4 feet 8 inches tall and weighted nearly 75 kg. There was lot of wrinkles at her face and was wearing a white salwar kameez. Conan said after bowing “Good evening Mrs. Potts, sorry to disturb you again. I want to show Duce the room.”

Mrs. Potts nodded to show her agreement and then led us the way into the flat. It was a huge hall with two large windows, one furnace, two bedrooms with attached toilet and one dining room with modular kitchen. After few minutes Conan asked “Duce what do you say?”

I was speechless about availability of such luxurious room in this city so I replied “It’s nice and we can share only if the rent is affordable.”

Then Conan asked Mrs. Potts “What is the rent for this flat?”

Mrs. Potts replied “Rs. 5000.”

Then Mrs. Potts left us to decide. Then after some discussion we agreed to share the flat as well as the rent in 50-50 manner. We then selected our bedroom and decided to shift the next day.

It was nine ‘o’ clock in the morning when I reached Metro Street with all my belongings and started settling down. Conan also helped me to ease my work. After that I started writing letters to my friends about my new address and also about my new contact number.

When I finished Conan asked me “Can you write a letter to Inspector Kumar of Lalbazar on my behalf, as he is my only friend apart from you.”

I was amused that we barely knew each other and he already accepted me as his friend but I nodded and wrote his letter but did not question him further about regarding me as his friend without knowing me properly. Conan offered to post the letter so I handed the letters to him and he left. After nearly twenty-five minutes he returned. After few moments our caretaker entered with breakfast on a tray and laid it on the table and then she left. The breakfast consisted of four slice of bread with cheese, one boiled egg, boiled vegetables and a glass of orange juice per head. While eating breakfast Conan said “Well tell me about you, Duce.”

I gave one sip at the coffee and replied “Well you know my name and former address and occupation. I am not addicted towards anything. I had a sister who expired at childbirth. My parents died in a car crash tow years ago. I passed my I.C.S.E. and I.S.C examination from Calcutta Boys’ School then went to N.R.S. Medical Collage for the M.B.B.S. degree and then  to Oxbridge for my M.D. degree. Then I started writing stories in my past time.” Then Conan asked “Why did you sell your house?”

I replied “It was the will of my great grand father that I should go to Oxbridge and if necessary he told my parents to sell that house for collection of money.” Then I said Conan “Now tell me about you.”

Then Conan replied “I also passed my I.C.S.E. and I.S.C examination from Calcutta Boys’ School then went to Presidency Collage for B.A. then to Calcutta University for M.A. then to Oxbridge University for M.PHIL and DR degree in Literature. I also passed from Central Detective Training School. I am a private detective or you may call private investigator. Kumar is my school friend and only friend apart from you. I am addicted towards coffee and music. I also know a little bit of forensic science, know telephone directory by heart and loves to be in a case and get honorarium from it as an income.”

Practically I was impressed but still I asked “We know each other for barely a day and you regard me as a friend. Are you not rushing in making friends?”

Conan smiled and replied “I know psychology and human nature. You are a good person, straight forward and friendly. Hence I am not rushing.”

Then I asked “Well I am an author so if you want to share your experiences I can write a book of your adventures.”

Conan replied “That’s fabulous. You are a doctor so you can give me a company because I may need medical help in solving the cases.”

I agreed and said “Positive.” By the time both our conversation as well as our breakfast ended Mrs. Potts entered and took the breakfast tray away.

After few hours there was a knock at the door and after sometimes Mrs. Potts entered and said “Inspector Kumar of Lalbazar wants to talk to you.”

Hearing this Conan smiled and replied to Mrs. Potts “Please send him in.” Then Mrs. Potts left and he continued “Duce we may have a case in our hand.” Then entered a Mrs. Potts followed by a Kumar. Kumar was tanned. He was 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighted nearly 55 kg. He was slim, black hair as well as black iris. He has curly hairs and a crook nose. He was wearing white shirt, black trouser and a black blazer with the Kolkata Police logo at the front pocket of the blazer. Conan introduced us to each other and then Kumar and I shook hands. Then Kumar said “Conan I have a case in my hand it is driving my wits out.”

Conan laughed and said “Well driving you out of your wits go on.”

Kumar continued “There has been a murder of a man who lives at a bungalow all alone. We could not find the murder weapon but what we found was only a ring.”

Conan interrogated “Only a ring?”

Kumar replied “Yeah. Please come at my rescue.”

Conan replied with a smile on his face “Sure, Duce and I will come only if Duce has no problem.”

I was surprised at suddenly going to an adventure but I replied to Conan “It will be my privilege to accompany you.”

Then we left in a police car. The scenery outside was amazing. The sun was setting and the sky was of russet colour. Both the sun and the moon were visible at that time and the city was being bathed in a golden colour. The lamp-light of the roads were being switched on and the peoples were on their way back home. The clock showed it was nineteen minutes six in the evening. It was a murky evening. The car drove past cars, bikes, cycles, auto rickshaws, buildings with the hooter on and neglecting traffic signals and after few minutes we drove past Victoria Memorial. The address of the venue of the murder was 4 Red Road. The clock showed it was twenty-two minutes past nine in the evening. We dismounted from the car. There stood an ancient two-storied bungalow before us. Many parts of the building were broken. The garden was unattended and the garden looked like a wild place. The surrounding place was calm and quite. Then we proceeded through the garden path headed towards the bungalow when Conan said “Kumar and Duce go inside, I will join you later.”

I asked out of curiosity “Why?”

Conan replied “Tell you later.”

So Kumar and I went into the bungalow while Conan still stood outside the boundary wall. After few minutes Conan joined us at the hall and said “There was a horse cart through which a visitor precisely a man came the previous night.”

Kumar asked “How do you know that?”

Conan replied “Oh! That was simple. On the road there is a track of a pair of wheels. The imprint was deep; in fact so deep it indicated that it was the wheels were heavy. In between the track there is an imprint of an animal’s feet and the footprint indicated that it was a horse. So there was a vehicle and a horse. The vehicle moved when the horse moved. So it was a horse cart.”

Hearing this I said “Well then it closes the area of investigation to horse cart drivers and in Kolkata there are practically two place were horse cart are available for rent namely at Raja Bazar and near Victoria Memorial, which is nearby.”

Then Conan smiled and replied “The carriage waited outside for a long time.”

Kumar was puzzled and asked “How can you say that?”

Conan replied “Cannot you observe. Outside near the gate there is one spot where faeces are still lying. There was a horse cart nearby and fellow neighbor say there is not a single dog or cat in this region. So obviously it was the faeces of a horse. There is something more. A man left the carriage and again re-entered that same carriage. “

Then Kumar replied “Well that is a problem. Throughout the garden what we could find is only a footprint of a single foot and nothing less.”

To this Conan replied “Yes I have seen it and the size of the print shows that the size of the person’s foot is nine. The person is well built and heavy so he left a deep imprint of his foot on the ground but he was clever enough to wipe out all his foot print but he forgot this imprint. The distance between this visible and scarcely visible imprint shows that the man is five inches.”

I was practically flattered by Conan’s analysis and I replied “So a ring and a man, is there anything more.”

To this Conan replied “Not for the moment ok let’s go inside.”

Then we went up the stairs to the second floor and turned right. The whole place was dimly lighted. There was a large corridor with poor lightening condition. We went down the corridor and entered the first room. It was also dimly lighted and the only source of that light was the fireplace was nearly fuming. The corpse was lying down on the floor. The man was bald, in mid fifties. He was wearing a crimson nightdress and had a pipe in his hand. There were no marks of injury inflicted on the body.

After having a glance on the corpse Conan asked “Kumar why do you think it is a murder?”

Hearing this Kumar replied “Well because of the ring which did not belong to this man.”

During their conversation was taking place I bent down to have a close look at the corpse and found that near the neck there were two prominent puncture marks. Such mark can be produced by a snake and also there was white foam at the mouth of the corpse. The corpse was too cold that it indicated that the person has died at mid day. The clock showed it was fourteen minutes past twelve in morning. Then I told Conan “This man died due to snake bite near his neck.”

Hearing this Conan exclaimed “What the visitor brought a snake!” Then Conan bent down to have a look at the corpse with his magnifying glass and after few moments he pointed to us that between the marks of snakebite there was a one more mark naked to human eyes and it was a mark of a syringe and was older than the marks of snake bite and Conan continued saying “This complicates the matter. Let’s have a look upon the ring.”

Then Kumar showed him the ring. It was a gold ring studded with diamond, ruby and sapphire. After having a look upon the ring Conan said “Well the design is ten years old so the ring must be at least ten years old and it belonged to a woman because it is a woman’s ring.”

Conan then said by looking at the corpse “He is from South America. He seems to have a slow painful death with horror in his face which states that he saw something which he did not expect to see. May be it was the snake but what was the syringe mark doing there?”

Kumar was puzzled and asked “Why South America?”

Conan smartly replied “The pipe, the tobacco is from South America and the label from the luggage bag shows he was a citizen of Brazil.”

Kumar replied after checking his passport “His name is Simon Hasting. He is from Brazil.”

Conan replied “But still why the mark from the syringe?”

I replied “May be for medicine.”

Conan replied “So according to Duce some sort of medicine was injected to his body and later a man came with a snake and made the snake bite where the syringe was place. Is not it weird?”

I nodded to show my approval just then Kumar exclaimed “There was a struggle and there is a splash of blood stained on the wall.”

Hearing this I replied “It must be of the visitor because the victim had no sign of injury.”

After few more minutes Conan said “Send the corpse to post-mortem. The clock shows it is one ‘o’ clock. Well Duce we have to spend few hours here before dawn.”

I agreed and then we placed ourselves in a sofa of another room and dozed of.

Next morning sun entered through the ventilators of the room and chirping sound of the birds could be heard. I stood up to find Conan was already awake and seeing me get up he said “Let’s go for a walk and also call Kumar. I will be downstairs.” and he left. The clock shows it is ten ‘o’ clock

After few minutes Kumar and I were downstairs and rejoined with Conan. Then we headed towards Victoria Memorial. All the morning walkers were on their rounds. The horse cart drivers were washing their horses as well as their carts. Conan walked up to a horse cart driver and asked “What is your name?”

That person was five feet six inches tall. He had a moustache, black hair with dark complexion and was medium heighted and was wearing a white pajama-punjabi.

The cart driver replied “Karan Shaw.”

Conan asked “Yesterday at midday a horse cart was standing at a house at 4, Red Road. Did you notice it?”

Karan replied “No sir at that time I was at a round with visitors.”

Conan asked “Can you tell me whether anyone of you gone there yesterday at that time or anybody saw it?”

Karan replied “Sir, can you excuse me please.”

Conan replied “Yeah sure.”

Then Karan left and after few minutes he returned with another cart driver. He was five feet tall with dark complexion and black hair. He had a tummy. He was wearing a blue shirt and a white trouser. Karan introduced him as Tamir Khan and said he was the one who went to 4, Red Road at midday yesterday and stayed there for three hours.

Conan said “Thank you Karan and you may go.” Then he asked Tamir “Were you hired in advance or in spot.”

Tamir replied “On spot sir.”

Conan asked “You had foreign visitors but why did you agree to go there and waited there for three hours?”

Tamir replied “Sir, we are poor people with hardly a tourist per day. This man offered me Rs. 10000 for that time period so I agreed.”

Conan asked “Did you see the man’s face?”

Tamir replied “No sir, his face was covered by a veil through which only his blue eyes were visible.”

Conan asked “Can you describe the man?”

Tamir replied “The man was six feet tall and was a foreigner. He wore a black dress and a cloak. He was slim and athletic and wore a golden colour spectacle. He used a pocket watch and had a bag and a basket and was speaking to himself. He seemed to be wealthy but was not interested in visiting tourist spots.”

Conan asked “Can you describe the bag?”

Tamir replied “It was a doctor’s bag.”

Hearing this Kumar said “This explains the syringe mark.”

Conan asked “Can you describe the basket?”

Tamir replied “It was made of cane and sometimes there was a sound of dry skin against the cane as well as a hissing sound.”

I said “That explains the presence of snake bite.”

Conan asked “Did that man say anything to you?”

Tamir replied “Only the address and nothing else.”

Conan asked “Did you hear him specking to himself?”

Tamir replied “Yes sir.”

Conan asked “What was he speaking?”

Tamir replied “Do not worry Anne your murderers will die. I love you and I miss you. May your soul rest in peace?”

Kumar said “Hmm. So this person is taking revenge for the death of his beloved.”

Conan asked “Tamir did you ask him his name?”

Tamir replied “No Sir.”

Conan asked “Did he pay you here or he called you at his residence?”

Tamir replied “He paid me here.”

Conan said “Ok Tamir thank you. You can go now.”

Then Tamir left and the body of Simon Hasting was taken to N.R.S. Medical Collage for post mortem. Then Conan told Kumar “Get the names of all the people who came to India from South America.” and Conan said “I think Simon died due to injection and the snake bite was to mislead us. Let’s get back where the incident happened.”

Then after few minutes we were back at the place where this ugly business of murder took place. At that room there was a small table with two cups of tea served in it which was not consumed and pointing towards it Kumar said “Simon must knew this man.” Then Kumar’s mobile phone rang and he walked away. After few minutes Kumar appeared and said “Simon died of cardiac arrest and not because of snake bite and when the snake bit him he was already dying.”

Conan suddenly exclaimed “Eureka! I was right. The snake bite was there to mislead us. The murderer must have inserted an air bubble in his veins which led to slow, painful death and then he used the snake so that it look that he has died due to snake bite.”

Hearing this I replied “Being a doctor he knew where to insert the air bubble.”

Conan replied “Precisely a forensic doctor. He knew his footprint will led us to him so he removed all the evidence and also he did not drink the tea but he forgot to wipe out only one footprint which will now lead us to him. Kumar make a copy of that footprint.”

At that moment a message came in Kumar’s phone and Kumar showed it to us. It was from airport officers.

[It contained]

The four people came to India from South America. They were

  1. Akash Coelhio from Peru,
  2. Canieo Camero of Brazil,
  3. Camero Cavelio from Argentina,
  4. Simon Hasting from Brazil.

After reading the message Conan said “Kumar find out the addresses of the others as well as amongst them who are doctors.”

Kumar replied “Ok.”

I intervened “Guys are not you all hungry because the clock shows it is five minutes past twelve.”

Conan replied “Yeah lets go and have a meal first.”

While we were on our way to Peter Cat restaurant situated at Park Street Conan in police car, took out his phone and began using it. I asked “What are you doing?”

Conan replied “We need more information about Simon Hasting so I am using Facebook, Orkut, Google+, Google Search and Yahoo people.” and after few minutes Conan exclaimed “Oh my God! According to Google Search Simon Hasting was the gang master of Fordenden City in Brazil. He has slew 257 people and abducted 120 and molested 75 females. He is one of the world’s active criminal and also deals with drugs.”

Hearing that information we all were in shock and I said “A master criminal died in Kolkata maybe he was taking refuge.”

Kumar replied “So Anne was murdered by Simon Hasting and also by another person who is not known to us. Her beloved is simply taking revenge and has done a great act for humanity but we still got to find him.”

Then we reached Peter Cat, we entered the restaurant and ordered three House Special Sizzler – the specialty of Peter Cat. The meal was served within fifteen minutes. It consisted of a pair of chicken’s liver, a pair of sausage and a pair of chicken’s breast. All of these were boneless. Along with there were potatoes, carrots, beans, cucumber, tomato and little bit of cabbage along with a special gravy. The total bill was Rs 885 and we shared it equally.

Then we headed for Metro Street in a cab and it took about half an hour. We entered our flat and Conan locked himself in his room and through out the afternoon odd sorts of noise was being heard from his room and it continued till night. Then at nine ‘o’ clock in evening I knocked his room asking him to have some dinner. He merely declined and starved through out the night.

Then next day at nine ‘o’ clock in the morning he came out from his room. His eyes were red and sleep deprived. Mrs. Potts was serving us the same breakfast we had the first day. I asked him “Are you all right?”

Conan replied “Yeah”, eating the breakfast.

Then Conan dialed a number and said “Hello Kumar, do you have the impression of the footprint?”

Kumar replied “Yes.”

Conan said “Come here within one hour and also bring the impression.” and also disconnected the call.  Then within half an hour Kumar arrived at 133 A A.P.C. Road with the imprint of the foot. Conan gave a look at the imprint and said “This is a footprint of the left leg and the size of the shoe is number 9.” and asked Kumar “Did you manage to get the foreigners addresses?”

Kumar replied “Yes.”

Conan replied “Let’s go”. We boarded the police car once again and Kumar said to the driver “123, Mahatma Gandhi Road.” and the car passed through Phoolbagan, Kankurgachi, Maniktola, Amherst Street, and Girish Park and finally we arrived at 123, Mahatma Gandhi Road. It took about half an hour. It was a white single storey bungalow with a very beautiful and well maintained garden. The name plate showed the name of Camero Cavelio. I rang the bell and a servant opened the door and Kumar asked “Is Mr. Cavelio at home?”

Servant replied “Yes sir. Please come in.” and the servant led us to the drawing-room. There was a three armchair and a sofa. There was a drawing table with a set of glass chess decorated on the table. We settled ourselves and the servant went away to call his master and after few minutes his master appeared. He was an elderly man, bald with little white hair, wrinkled skin and fair complexion ad walked with the help of a walking stick. He was wearing white dhuti-panjabi.

Camero Cavelio said “Good Morning. Who are you people?”

Conan replied “Sir we are from a shoe company came regarding a survey of maximum size of shoe demanded. I want to ask you one question only.”

Camero Cavelio replied “Proceed.”

Conan asked “Sir what is the size of shoe required by you?”

Camero Cavelio replied “Number 7.”

Conan replied “Thank You sir.” and then we left and boarded the car again. Kumar said to the driver “41B Daker’s Lane” the car started moving. Conan asked “We are heading for?”

Kumar replied “Canieo Camero.”

Conan asked “What is the address of Akash Coelhio?”

Kumar replied “132 A.J.C. Bose Road.”

Then Conan dialed a number on his mobile phone and told “Keep an eye on 132 A.J.C. Bose Road. Inform when somebody locks the door and leaves.” and then he disconnected the call.

Kumar asked “Who was it?”

Conan replied “Secret Agent.” The car went past through Mahatma Gandhi Central Avenue Crossing, Victoria House, K.C. Das Mistanna Bhandar and Great Eastern Hotel and then we finally arrived at 41B Daker’s Street.

Kumar asked “But why?”

Conan replied “While interrogating with Canieo Camero if Akash Coelhio flees, that’s why.”

We dismounted the car. Before us stood a single storey bungalow with a swimming pool and a garden. I knocked the door and after few minutes we were greeted by a lady. She was in mid fifties, wrinkled skin blonde and curly hair dark complexion and was four feet tall. She was wearing a blue salwar-kameez.

Conan said “Good Morning is Mr. Canieo Camero at home?”

Lady replied “No. My husband is at hospital.”

Kumar asked “What happened?”

Mrs. Camero asked “Who are you?”

Kumar replied “We are from police.”

Mrs. Camero replied “He was swimming in his pool where by accident he drank a lot of water causing him difficulty in breathing. Being a doctor he used self medication but his condition worsened so I admitted him to Colombia Asia Hospital at Salt Lake and his room number is 107. From Sunday that is from past seven-day he is state of paralysis.”

Then Conan’s mobile phone started ringing. Conan received it and talked over the phone in secret. After disconnecting the call Conan came running and said “Kumar, Akash Coelhio is fleeing. He is waiting for a private launch at Ahiritolla Ghat.” Then Kumar dialed a number from his mobile phone and said “This is Inspector Kumar from Lalbazar. I want a police launch ready in half an hour and it is an emergency.”

Then we left for the car. We boarded it and Kumar said to the drive “Quick to Ahiritolla Ghat and use the hooter.”

Then the driver started the car as well as the hooter and the car dashed past cars, trucks, trams, bikes, cycles, buses and taxi. Conan took out his Glock -01 and inserted the bullets and Kumar also did the same with his Colt .32. Seeing this I asked them “Do you expect gunfire?”

Conan replied “Cannot be sure.” Then we arrived at the Ahiritolla Ghat and a beggar in ragged clothes approached us. Kumar said to the beggar “Do not disturb us.” But the beggar ignored Kumar’s words but approached Conan and said to him “The target is in that launch” pointing towards a launch floating at the Ganges, heading for Howrah. Conan paid him Rs. 500 and the beggar saluted him. I said “Well good Secret Service.” Then we boarded the police launch and Kumar said to the launch driver “Drive quickly and try to stop that launch” pointing to Akash’s launch. The launch started and headed for the other launch and slowly gained speed. As we approached that launch it started to move away. Kumar to a loudspeaker and said “This is police, stop your launch or we will fire canons.”

I asked Conan “Are there really canons in this launch?”

Conan laughed and replied “No just to frighten that launch’s boarders.”

At that moment a bullet went passed my head. We headed for cover and many rounds of bullets were being fired from both the sides. At last Conan’s bullet hit the shoulder of the man on the deck of the other launch and that man fell into the river. Conan dived into the river and swam towards the drowning man while the police launch overtook the other launch. Conan helped that injured man to climb the deck o0f the police launch and then he climbed him. I attended the injured man and gave the minimum fast aid possible. The bullet went passed the skin causing small injury. Then man was five feet five inches tall, black hair and fair complexion with a slim athletic body. He was wearing a red t-shirt and a blue jeans trouser. Kumar asked to that man “Are you Akash Coelhio from Peru?”

That man nodded. Then Conan asked “What is the size of your shoe.”

Akash replied “Number 8.”

I asked him “Are you a forensic doctor?”

Akash nodded.

Conan said “I believe it was you who killed Simon Hasting.”

Akash nodded.

I asked “Who is Anne?”

Akash replied “Anne was my girl friend, my fiancé but…….”

Conan asked “’But…..’ What?”

At that moment the launch was heading back to Ahiritolla Ghat. The sun was setting and the outside colour was russet. It was a spectacular view, the reflection of sun in river and the cool breeze flowing across the face.

Akash started crying and replied “It started in the year of 1998; Anne was the daughter of a merchant in Brazil. They lived in Fordenden City which was ruled by a gang master called Simon Hasting. In the year of 1999 Anne attended the age of marriage. We first met each other in a pub and fell in love in first sight and felt that we were made for each other. After few months I proposed her for marriage which she agreed. His father was also happy and we had an engagement. Then one day Simon and his partner Robert de Silva came to their house and asked for Anne’s hand in marriage though each of them were married 5 times. Anne’s father disagreed and then they threatened him to kill him and gave him two months time to think about it. Anne’s father told me about this problem and we decided to leave the colony when night falls. Somehow this news reached Simon and Robert and when we started our journey they started to follow us and showered lots of bullets upon us. Unfortunately one bullet struck Anne’s father and while counting his last breath he ordered us to flee so we rode on our motorbikes. Ill fate that we did not know that there was a trap ahead laid down for us. When we reached the end of the city suddenly a rope came two feet above the ground the motorbike toppled and we were eating the dust. Then Simon and Robert closed in and started kicking me while their men dragged Anne away. Then they molested Anne and finally shot her in her head. I begged them to kill me but they spared me so that I can spend my rest days with pain. At that moment I vowed to kill them, I will avenge my Anne’s death. I became a forensic doctor and then I joined New Scotland Yard. After few years I killed Robert by injecting an air bubble and then biting him by a snake and the forensic report stated that the cause of death is snake bite. Then in 1999, I learnt Simon has migrated to India with a visa of 5 years. I reported Interpol about Anne’s death and his activities in Fordenden City but they said that it was not of international threat and they neglected it. Then I came to India and murdered Simon by the same way but I also learnt that I made a mistake of not wiping out my left foot’s one footprint and here I am.”

We reached the shore of the Ganges River. Conan handing the ring over to Akash “Assuming it is her?”

Akash replied gratefully “Oh! Thank You for returning it to me.”

Kumar said “Well you murdered a criminal. Though you cannot take laws in your hand but I will try my level best to see that you do not get death sentence from the judge.”

Hearing this Akash again burst into tears and pleaded “I want death sentence as I have nothing to live for.”

We dismounted the launch. Kumar and Akash boarded the cop’s car and left for Lalbazar Police Station. Conan and I boarded a cab and headed for 133A A.P.C. Road.

This is how my journey began with Conan, Conan de Souza, a consulting private detective who helps police to solve cases when they are out of their depth.


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