Addie Kunkel is a 16-year-old teenager who enjoys watching movies, cooking and relaxing. Although she hasn’t finished high school yet she is at the top of her class and is taking multiple A.P. classes. She plans to study interior design in college. Addie has always been interested in mystery novels and movies which has transferred over into her writing. This is the first time she has had her work published anywhere and hopes her story will entertain others like so many other mysteries have entertained her.
I trudged through the snow being careful of the icy roads as I walked dragging my suitcase behind me, snow mixed with hail whirred past my head. I could see a faint glow of a dimly lit house in the distance, now all I had to do was get to it. Just take one step at a time I reminded myself because each one brought me closer to comfort and safety. Just then I remembered that my adopted aunt and uncle live nearby and hoped I would be lucky enough to stumble upon their home. As I neared the house, I was relieved to see it was in fact the home of my Aunt and Uncle Geoffrey.
Walking up to the elaborate house brought back a rush of childhood memories. I came here every summer with my adopted family and had a great deal of fun, even though my aunt and uncle are very old fashioned. Carefully I walked up the front steps yanking my heavy suitcase along and knocked on the door. “Who is it?” said a voice from inside, a voice I did not recognize. That is just my luck! I thought. They do not live here anymore! What am I going to do! I can’t just barge into some stranger’s house! Everything is falling apart! Eventually, I got my bearings and replied. “Margarette, Margarette Geoffrey, I’m Lord and Lady Geoffrey’s niece. Do they still live here?”
Suddenly, the door opened revealing a man in a fancy black suit with a neatly pressed tailcoat. “Nice to make your acquaintance Madam Margaret, if you’ll follow me to the study, I will announce your arrival.” He said gesturing for me to come in. Letting out a sigh of relief I set my suitcase down by the door and walked with their newest butler to their study. The room looked exactly as I remembered it, books filled the walls in antique bookshelves neatly labeled and sorted in alphabetical order, there was a cozy living space in the middle—two armchairs facing each other and a couch off to the side—and reclining in the armchair was my elderly Aunt Mary.
As soon as I entered the room she jumped up and came to hug me. “Margaret! What are you doing here so late at night?!” she cried. “Well,” I explained, “I was here on business and got stuck in this snowstorm on my way to the train station. I remembered you lived around here and just kind of stumbled upon your home.” My aunt sat back down and gestured for me to sit in the armchair opposite her. “Could we have a pot of tea Leonard?” she asked the butler. “Of course, Madam.” He replied and left the room. “I’m glad you are here,” she said in a shaky voice, much unlike her usual speech, “because, I have had a strange feeling that my life is in danger and that your uncle William might be responsible.”
I just sat there in complete silence letting it sink in. “Why would you think that?” I asked. “Well, this letter came for your uncle William about a week ago and I opened it because I thought it was just another person’s resume asking if they can work for William’s company. You know because of the financial problems people are getting nowadays. Well, nevertheless, when I opened it, I realized that it was not a resume but a letter to William. The letter was signed anonymously so I do not know who it was from, but it was what was in the letter that bothered me more. The person who wrote the letter said that they wouldn’t help William kill his wife.”
It was hard to imagine my uncle killing my aunt. He was a kind looking man and everyone he met liked him. He used to have dark brown hair that now is white and also had a white mustache that he curled a little at the ends. On the other hand, my aunt was just as lovable with her white hair always tucked into a tight, neat bun on the top of her head. I couldn’t imagine them turning on each other and I knew they would get past this eventually and forgive each other.
I sat there thinking about it in complete silence just looking at the floor. Then, my aunt broke the silence. “I am sorry to burden you with this,” she said, “I just don’t know who else to turn to.” She started crying. I looked for a way to help her stop, “It’s okay,” I said in as soothing a voice as I could, “I’m here now and I’ll let you know if I find anything suspicious.” She nodded, “Okay,” she responded, “Thank you.” I was starting to warm up, but I was still very cold, “Would it be okay if I were to go up to the guest room, unpack and rest?” I asked. She nodded her head, which I took as a yes.
The guest room was just how I remembered it, the curtained bed in the middle of the room, my suitcase at the end of it on a long, backless, fancy bench, and a few books on a bookshelf in the corner—also in alphabetical order. I opened my suitcase deciding to take a bath to warm myself up, grabbed out my toiletries and a change of clothes and went to my bathroom. Turning on the hot water I thought about how wonderful it would feel to get into the steaming bath and warm up my frigid body; however, when I turned the faucet on, nothing came out. I grabbed my things from the bathroom and was about to go ask my aunt about the faucet when I heard hushed voices outside my door.
They belonged to my uncle and the butler! “Leonard, I know you have only worked for me for a couple of years,” whispered the voice of my uncle, “but I really feel I can trust you literally with my life.” “Of course, sir.” Leonard replied. I put my ear to the door so I could hear them more clearly. “The truth of the matter,” my uncle was saying, “is that I feel something is really wrong between me and my wife. Whenever we are together, she glares at me and she has even moved out of our room. I think she might be plotting to kill me.” Letting out and almost inaudible gasp Leonard replied, “Sir, what part do I play in all of this? What are you telling me all this for?” I could hear my uncle put a hand on Leonard’s shoulder. “I need you to spy on my wife for me and tell me if she does anything suspicious. I might also need you to restrain her if she attempts to take my life.” Sputtering Leonard replied, “I cannot do that! It is against all my principles as a butler to spy on my employers even if it is for you. I am sorry sir, but I cannot help.” Voice rising now my uncle replied, “Well, then you’re fired! Go pack your bags! You leave after suppertime tomorrow.” I listened to their footsteps as they walked away not believing what I just heard.
Picking up my toiletries and clothes I went back down to the study to ask my aunt about the bathtub. She was sitting exactly where I had left her an hour before, I walked over to her chair and sat down across from her. “My bathtub isn’t working, and I was wondering if you know why.” My aunt looked up from the book she was reading and replied, “Oh, the pipes must be leaking again! You can take your bath in ours if you want.” After thanking my aunt, I gathered up my things and headed up to their bathroom; I would finally get to take my warm bath.
When I woke up the next morning the sun was shining in my window, the snowstorm was gone! I was relieved, I could finally go home. Then, I thought about what I had heard last night between my uncle and the butler and what my aunt had told me. I decide to get dressed and go down to the kitchen, make myself a cup of tea and see what was going on. Walking down the stairs I was careful not to make too much noise so as not to disturb anyone. As I neared the kitchen, I could hear someone had beaten me there and was already making tea. Just as I was about to open the door, I heard voices the voices of my aunt and the butler who must have come in the other door that opens into the kitchen.
“Hello madam, making a cup of tea for yourself I see.” Said the voice of Leonard the butler. “Oh, no,” said my aunt, “this isn’t for me I’m making it for William.” Then I heard the clink of sugar cubes being dropped into the tea, and then an unusual fizzing sound. “Madam, is that what I think it is?” Asked Leonard, “Are you going to poison Lord Geoffrey?” Then, I could hear the unmistakable sound of my aunt crying. “Yes, I know I am a dreadful human being, but I need to kill him before he kills me! You see I found this letter from one of his friends saying that he wouldn’t help William kill me, so I just figure it’s just a matter of time before he does it himself without accomplices.”
I could hear my aunt Mary crying quietly while Leonard took in the situation; then, Leonard broke the silence. Leonard must have felt bad about refusing to help my uncle, so he said, “Madam, your husband isn’t trying to kill you, he loves you very much! In fact, he thinks you are trying to kill him. I told him that it was an absurd thought, but I might have been wrong. Please don’t do this to him.” My aunt stopped crying, “Are you sure?” she asked him, “Are you sure that he isn’t trying to kill me?” Leonard replied, “Of course madam, why would I lie to you about something like that?” Aunt Mary let out a sigh of relief, “You don’t know how relieved I am to hear you say that!” she cried, “I’ve been worried sick for the past week!” I could hear her dump the tea down the sink and leave with Leonard to go to breakfast.
Breakfast was much more pleasant than I would have anticipated given the circumstances. They must have forgiven each other for the most part; however, I did catch a few glares between them when the other was not looking. We sat around their dining room table in complete silence eating our eggs and toast. Are they ever going to say anything? I wondered, after what happened between them, I would have thought they would fight or something, but they are just ignoring each other and pretending nothing ever happened.
After the awkwardness of breakfast was over things seemed to get better between them but I was not entirely sure they had completely forgiven each other. Deciding that they would make up after I left, I went up to the guest room to pack up my things and look at the train schedule. It took me less than five minutes to pack up my things but then when I looked at the train schedule there wasn’t a train leaving for London until seven tonight. So, I grabbed a book off the neatly organized bookshelf to pass the time and flopped down on the bed.
Suddenly, I heard a blood curdling scream from downstairs, I looked at the clock and saw that I had been reading for about two hours. Throwing the book down on the bed I ran downstairs to see what had happened. When I got to the bottom of the staircase, I saw the maid running out of the study screaming. I followed her until she stopped running, “What happened?” I asked her. She turned her tear stained face toward me. “Go and see for yourself.” She said in a thick French accent, pointing to the study.
I followed her instructions and walked towards the study wondering what I would find inside. I hesitated by the door not knowing whether I should go in or spare myself the horror I was sure to find. I decided to go for it, I slowly opened the door and stepped inside. I immediately noticed what she was screaming about, sitting in the corner in the two armchairs, facing each other were my aunt and uncle. They were sitting completely still, eyes open, unblinking. They were dead.
I had never seen a dead person in my life, but I had to pull myself together and figure out what happened. Next to them on an end table were two teacups, my aunt still had her hand resting on her cup. My uncle just sat there looking as if he were about to start an important meeting. I went over and took a closer look, they did not have any marks on their bodies from a knife or a bullet; therefore, they must have been poisoned. I knew no one had entered or exited the house since this morning because there was a bell on the door. So, the only thing to figure out then was who in this house would have had the motive and opportunity to commit this crime.
Then, I remembered the conversation I had overheard between my uncle and his butler. Leonard had both motive and opportunity! The motive being that he was just fired and usually gets paid a lot of money, but only Lord Geoffrey knew. So, he decided to kill him, then realized that Lord Geoffrey might have told Lady Geoffrey about it and decided to kill her too. Then no one would know he was fired, and he could work for whoever inherits the house. He also had the perfect opportunity; he must have poisoned the tea!
I ran upstairs to get my coat, I had to tell the sheriff what I had discovered! Running downstairs, I almost bumped into the sobbing maid. “Everything is going to be alright!” I told her, “I am going to get the sheriff!” However, that didn’t seem to calm her down. Instead she cried even harder. “What’s the matter?” I asked her. She turned to me and through her tears managed to say, “The-the sheriff is *sniff* out of town and hi-his deputy *sniff* is filling in for him.” Then she burst into tears again. “What’s so terrible about that?” I asked her. She looked at me now with a very serious face, “Because, madam,” she said in her thick French accent, “because out of all the tools in the shed he is a feather. He is the most clumsy, idiotic, dim witted, and ignorant man I know!” she turned away then looked back at me and added, “And I know a lot of people.”
I ran outside to find a cab, thankfully I didn’t have to wait too long, after waiting for about five minutes someone drove past. “Hello!! I need a ride!!” I yelled frantically. I did not want to wait out there in the freezing cold too much longer. The car didn’t seem to notice me, so I started run to catch up with it waving my arms. The driver must’ve noticed me then or realized I wouldn’t give up until I got a ride because, he stopped in the middle of the road and let me in. the cabbie was a strange looking man with long hair and a cap on his head. “Where to?” he asked me.
I took the cab to the center of town, “That will be 12£ ma’am.” The cabbie told me when we arrived. I gave him the money and went out in search of the police station. As I walked down the street, I could not believe that my aunt and uncle lived here, it looked so rustic and quaint. There were shops on both sides of the street and a park in the middle of town. As I walked, I took in the diversity of people walking around me, some looked like tourists with their maps and cameras, others looked like locals not looking too long at the wonderful sights because they’d seen them every day. “Hello?” I sked one of the locals, “Where is the sheriff’s office?” “It’s right over there.” They said, pointing to a building across the street. “Thank you!” I said as I ran across the street.
Opening the door of the sheriff’s office I could tell there was not much crime in this little town. There were only two cells, both of which were empty and sitting at a desk in the corner was the deputy. “Excuse me,” I said, “I need to talk to the sheriff.” Even though I knew he was not in town. “Well,” the man in the chair replied, “the sheriff isn’t in town right now but I’m the next best thing.” He then attempted to put his feet on the table to look cool but instead got flipped backwards onto the floor. “Are you alright?” I asked him, helping him from the floor. “Yes, yes I’m fine just uh… dusting the floor.” I looked him up and down, he was wearing a deputy uniform buttoned up except for the last four buttons and it was very wrinkled like he had just pulled it out of his drawer.
“Why don’t we start over?” I suggested. Looking relieved he replied, “Yes, I think that would be best.” His face turned red. “Hello,” I said putting out my hand, “My name is Margaret Geoffrey.” His eyes got big. “My name is Allen Baily,” he said putting his hand in mine to shake, “are you the same Geoffrey that lives in the big, elaborate house on the hill?” Pulling my hand from his I responded, “Actually, that’s why I came to you. You see, I am their adopted niece, and something happened.” He looked at me a concerned look passed over his face. “What happened?” he asked me. “Well, I stayed the night at their house last night because of the snowstorm and both thought the other was trying to kill them. They apparently made up this morning but when I came down from packing my bags, they were both dead in the study, poisoned.” I watched his facial expressions as I recounted the events of the past couple of days. “Is there anything else unusual or not that you are leaving out?” he asked.
“Well,” I said, “I did hear my uncle ask his butler to spy on my Aunt Mary for him and let him know if she was up to anything. He said no and my uncle fired him, but then later he told my aunt not to poison my uncle. Also, the pipes were leaking in the house. I had to use their bathroom!” He looked intrigued, so I kept going. “I think it was the butler because he had both the motive and the opportunity.” Allen looked at me, a very confused look on his face, “I understand that he could’ve poisoned the tea, but what I don’t understand is what motive he had.”
I got a glimmer in my eye, “You remember when I told you about the conversation I overheard between my uncle and the butler?” he nodded his head, “Well,” I continued, “his dismissal was not official yet and only my uncle knew about it. Now, this wouldn’t be a solid motive on its own but if we consider how much he is paid which is about 100,000₤s a year it would be a major recession that would be difficult to deal with. So, he decides to kill my uncle to cover up any evidence that he was fired. I’m guessing that when he realized that my aunt and uncle had made up, he thought that my uncle must’ve told my aunt about his dismissal, so he decided to kill her, too.” I looked over at Allen who was contemplating what I had just said, “Well,” he finally said, “that would fill in all the blanks. However, to convict him of this crime we would need some evidence. So, I still want to come to the house, ask the staff some questions and poke around a bit.”
We took Allen Baily’s car to the house, got out and knocked on the door. The maid came to open it, she was still crying. “Oh, you’re back!” she said when she saw me at the door. Then, she noticed Allen, “And I see you’ve brought a friend.” She said in a voice that sounded both hopeless and angry. Allen, who didn’t seem to notice her change in tone, or just ignored it replied, “Hello, I see you’re from France, what’s your name?” She looked at him, a confused look on her face and replied, “Martha, Martha Rose-Leray” When she said her name her French accent became more prominent.
Martha made way for us and we stepped inside, handing her his coat Allen asked, “So, where is the study?” Both Martha and I looked at him, Isn’t it obvious? I thought. Martha stopped crying for a second and let out what seemed to be a faint snicker. “It’s right over there.” She finally replied, pointing to the only room that was open. “Oh,” Allen replied his pride a little damaged, “right!” He walked into the room his head held high. I looked over at Martha, “You coming?” I asked. She shook her head, “No, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to enter that room again.”
I strolled into the study just in time to see Allen pick up the teacup next to my uncle and send the saucer crashing to the floor. “Dangnabit!” He exclaimed, “Do you have a broom?” He asked me. I went and got a broom from Martha, handing it to him I asked, “Have you found anything yet?” He looked at me, “Not yet, I was just about to test the tea for poison.” Ooh this was getting interesting, “How do you do that?” I asked. He turned to me looking proud that for once someone was interested in something he had to say, “Well, what I do is I take the tea, find an indoor plant, pour the tea on it and see what happens. If the plant shrivels up, then I know it’s poison if not I look for another way they could’ve been poisoned.”
He picked up the teacup again and went over to a potted plant. “It’s time for the moment of truth.” He announced, really milking this, “Five- four-three-two-one!” He poured the contents of the cup onto the plant. Nothing happened, we just stood there looking at the plant. Oh no! I thought, this is terrible I really wanted to be right about this! Then I could leave and go home! I turned back to Allen, “What are you going to do now?” I asked. He looked over at me and replied, “I’m going to have to interview the staff.”
He left the room and I followed, “Martha, will you come with me please?” he said. Martha looked at me pleadingly, she obviously thought that he was going to ask her dumb questions and keep her for hours. I motioned for her to follow him, she looked at me one last time and walked down the hallway after him. Once they had entered a room and closed the door, I snuck down the hall to eavesdrop.
I pressed my ear against the door and listened, “What’s your full name again? I need it for my police report.” She started crying, “Police report, I never thought I would hear that from a police officer in my entire life!” I could hear Allen pat her on the shoulder, “It’s okay, I know this must’ve been a scary experience for you. All I need is your full name and your account of the past couple of days.” I could hear her breathing slow and her crying turn to a sniffle, “Okay,” she said, “my full name is Martha Acadia Rose-Leray.” I could hear Allen writing down her name, “Well, Martha Rose-Leray, please tell me what you remember from the past couple of days.”
“Where to begin… well, the past couple of days were quite ordinary, except for Margaret coming.” She began. Allen cut her off, “So, this visit from Margaret wasn’t planned?” I could tell she was surprised by the question, “No, she was on a business trip and was on her way to the train station when she got stuck in the snow. She came here and stayed the night, I guess she was planning to leave today, until this happened.” I could hear Allen, I guess nodding to himself, “Hmm, so tell me what happened since Margaret showed up and don’t leave out any details.”
She took a deep breath and started her story, “Well, yesterday after dinner apparently while I was cleaning up Margaret showed up and Leonard the butler here opened the door for her and showed her to the study where Lady Geoffrey was sitting. They had a discussion, I am not totally sure what it was about, but I heard Lady Geoffrey say, ‘the letter said that they wouldn’t help William kill his wife.’ I thought that that was a weird comment for a conversation, but I didn’t know the context of the situation, so I didn’t think much of it. Later that night I helped Margaret draw a bath, but her bathroom had sprung a leak, so she was in Lord and Lady Geoffrey’s bathroom. I then went to bed, on my way to my chambers I passed Leonard who seemed upset, but I was not sure what it was about, so I just brushed it off and went to bed.
The next morning, I woke up and came upstairs to cook breakfast, I heard Lady Geoffrey making tea and I didn’t want to disturb her, so I started to clean the house. When I came back Lady Geoffrey was leaving with Leonard, I assumed he was just escorting her to the study until breakfast or had politely asked her to leave so I could go make breakfast. Anyway, I went into the kitchen, made toast and eggs, and served it to them in the dining room. After breakfast I remember Margaret went upstairs to pack and Lord and Lady Geoffrey went into the study. I then brought them their morning tea and medications. They liked to take their pills with their morning tea. After tending to anything they needed I left to go clean the rest of the house. When I came to the study, I knocked beforehand to let them know I was coming in, usually they tell me if they want me to come back later, but I heard no response. Thinking they had gone somewhere else or did not care if I came in, I entered the room. It did not quite go through my brain yet that they were dead, so I started cleaning. Then, I looked over, realized what had happened, and ran screaming out of the room.”
She started sobbing again, and again I heard Allen pat her on the shoulder. “It’s alright, I just have a couple of questions for you.” Said the voice of Allen Baily, “Then it will be all over.” She stopped crying for a second and said, “Okay.” Allen Baily asked his first question, “Do you have someone who can vouch for you that you were cleaning before you found them?” Her crying turned to a sniffle, “Yes, I passed Leonard in the hallway many times. He will vouch for me.” I could hear Allen squirm in his chair, “Now onto my second question. Where’s your bathroom?” Before I heard her tell him where it was, I quickly pulled away from the door and got out of there as fast as I could so he wouldn’t know I was eavesdropping.
I went to my room and picked up the book I was reading earlier, again I plopped down on the bed to read. I was starting to get good, I seemed like it would be the kind of book where you could not tell where the climax was. I had read a lot of it that morning and I was getting close to finishing it. It was one of those books where you can get stuck in the plot and lose track of reality. Then, suddenly, a noise brought me back to the guest room, I marked my page and looked up. “Hello Allen Baily.” I said, sitting up. “Hello,” he replied, “I was wondering if you could show me where your uncle and aunt’s bedroom is.”
As I left the room with Allen Baily I glanced at the clock and saw that I had been reading for an hour. “Why do you want me to show you where their room is?” He looked at me, an amused look on his face, “Well, first of all I’ve never been here before so I don’t know where their room is. Second of all, Martha is a complete wreck and I just finished interrogating Leonard.” I looked at him, “How did it go?” I asked him. “That is classified,” he responded, “but I did get all the information I needed from him.” We were outside of their room, so I stopped walking and opened the door.
Their room was as clean as the rest of the house, their bed was made, and their mail pile was even stacked according to size. Allen started looking around, he had a bag with him and was putting different things in it, evidence. He grabbed all the mail and put it in the bag, then went through their drawers looking for any other evidence. Once he was satisfied, he closed the bag and looked over at me, “I’ve got all that I need, I’m going to go back to the sheriff’s office to review the evidence. I’ll be back tomorrow with the sheriff to arrest the guilty party if I figure out what happened.”
I walked him to the front door. “I just want to check on the plant before I go.” He said. I followed Allen to a potted plant. “Darn it!” he cried, “it’s completely fine!” I put my hands on his shoulders and turned him around, his cheeks turned red. “Oops,” he said, “wrong plant.” Looking at the plant I could tell something was wrong with the tea, the plant was completely dead. “Now, I definitely have all the information I need.” He said. I showed him to the door, and we said goodbye.
Then, I grabbed a snack from the kitchen, figuring that Martha wouldn’t be up to making dinner in her state and went up to bed. I read my book and finished it; the ending really surprised me. Then, I looked at the clock it was 6:30, I can catch a train tomorrow I thought to myself I want to see him come and arrest Leonard. So, with that decision made I fell asleep.
I woke up to the sound of birds by my window, and a sunbeam lighting up my room. I went downstairs to make myself breakfast and a morning cup of tea. As I walked down the stairs, I could hear a faint sniffling from the kitchen. When I entered the kitchen, I saw Martha making breakfast. When she saw me enter, she said, “I’m sorry I didn’t make you any dinner last night. I was just feeling so down. I will make you breakfast though.” I remember thinking to myself how thoughtful that was. “Okay, thank you! You’ll just let me know when it’s ready?” I asked. She turned to me, “Of course.” I went upstairs to pack my things. I would leave tonight once this whole thing was settled.
Upstairs I gathered my possessions: my clothes, toiletries, books, and I even took the book I was reading because I figured they wouldn’t need it. I didn’t know how I was going to close my suitcase; it was so full. I pushed the top down and then sat on it only then was I able to latch it shut. Then, I heard Martha’s voice, “Breakfast is ready.” She announced. I went downstairs for breakfast. I was expecting eggs and toast again but instead I was met with biscuits and jam. This was surprising because weekdays she always served eggs and toast; I remember from my summers here. She must’ve decided to switch it up because that was the last meal she made for my aunt and uncle. However, I wasn’t complaining I love biscuits!
After breakfast I went to the library to have my tea and look for another book to read on the train back to London. I found a couple and somehow added them to my collection I already had in my suitcase; however, not without siting on it again. When I came downstairs Allen and the sheriff were standing at the door with Leonard and Martha, who they had called out for the arrest. I was ready for Leonard to get arrested, he deserved it. I looked over at the sheriff who obviously respected the job more than his deputy. His uniform was neatly pressed, unlike Allen’s whose uniform was very wrinkled, and he had a stern look on his face, also unlike Allen who obviously was excited about something.
The excited Allen took a step forward, “Hello Margaret, thank you for joining us.” I smiled, “Of course. Does this mean you’ve solved the case?” He nodded his head, “Yes, I did.” He replied. The suspense was killing me, “Well?” I asked. He looked at Leonard, “Leonard, please step forward.” After stepping forward Leonard was standing right next to me. I heard a jingling in his pocket. Allen continued, “Margaret, please turn so your back is facing Leonard.” What!? I thought to myself turning ninety degrees to the right This is weird. Allen is a strange person. Maybe he doesn’t want me to see Leonard arrested? Again, Allen continued his weird instructions, “Leonard, please empty your pockets.” I heard the same jingling sound as earlier. “Now, Margaret clasp your hands behind your back.” I did as he said thinking the whole time how ridiculous it was.
Suddenly I felt metal on my skin and heard a fast ticking sound. I was being handcuffed by Leonard! How did he know? I was so careful! I thought I timed it perfectly so I would be here the couple days the sheriff was gone! I gave him a solution and the tea had poison in it! I even took the risk of staying today so it wouldn’t look suspicious! I can’t believe he figured it out! I’m going to go to jail, because knowing the deputy no matter how dumb he is he must have some evidence!
I looked at Allen now, “How do you know it wasn’t Martha? What about the case against Leonard?” Allen looked back at me still grinning, “It couldn’t have been either of them because first of all Martha is a complete wreck who has also worked for them for many, many years. It seems if she was going to kill them she would’ve done it already. As for Leonard the case you had against him fell apart during our interrogation. He told me all about the secret conversation in the hallway and about being fired, which was his only motive.” My heart dropped, “How did you know it was me?” I asked. “Well,” he responded, “first of all you seemed to be doing pretty well considering your aunt and uncle just been murdered when you came to the sheriff’s office.” I knew I should’ve tried fake crying!
Allen looked at us, “Here’s what happened, Margaret was running into some financial trouble and remembered that her rich adopted aunt and uncle didn’t have any kids so they would leave everything to her. I realized this because I found their will in their bedroom. Anyway, right there Margaret starts planning, she doesn’t really care about them, she’s adopted after all, so if they die she will be rich! She remembered the staff that works in the house and knew that her aunt and uncle would get suspicious if she started poking around. So, she sent a letter to her uncle knowing her aunt would open it because her uncle was always very busy. Then, she picked a date to come down here to visit them saying that she was just in the neighborhood for business and decided to drop in.” Then he looked at me, “You know the contents of the letter would make your aunt and uncle suspicious of each other because upon reading the letter your aunt would suddenly act very strange around your uncle and he would get suspicious of her. This would let you do whatever you wanted without any suspicion.
The snowstorm was just a lucky coincidence that helped to portray innocence on your part. I thought it was weird that your pipes had sprung a leak but your aunt and uncle’s had been working fine. You pretended your pipes were leaking so you could discreetly get into their bathroom without raising suspicion. You needed to get in there so you could plant the poison in their pill bottles. Then, you went to bed and just let the events unfold in front of you. You were lucky enough to have overheard the conversation between your uncle and his butler and thought that if you came to the sheriff’s office once they died and told me your solution that I would just come, test the tea, and arrest Leonard.
It was cleaver how you framed him because you knew they always took their pills with their morning cup of tea. You knew that when they drank down their tea some of the poison from the pills would dissolve into the tea. That’s why it took so long for the plant to shrivel up! There was just a tiny bit of poison in the tea. Once I came to investigate you told me to test the tea thinking the poison would work faster than it did so I wouldn’t interrogate the staff. Because then Leonard might do exactly what he did and admit he was fired taking away any motive he had to commit the crime.”
I was astonished, flabbergasted, amazed, dumbfounded! He had actually solved it! There were a few things I still didn’t understand, however. “How did you know the letter was from me?” I asked Allen. He grinned at me, “You weren’t at all confused why I asked you to take me to your uncle and aunt’s room? I knew that if I asked to poke around your room, you would hide anything of importance, so I just walked in and looked before asking you to show me their room. Once I found the letter, I knew I had seen the return to sender address somewhere. It was on your suitcase.” I couldn’t believe I had forgotten to take it off!
There was still one thing I was wondering, “How did you know I tampered with the pills?” Again, he grinned at me, his eyes sparkling, “I asked Martha where the bathroom was knowing she would show me to your aunt and uncle’s bathroom. When I entered, I looked around and immediately found a couple things out of place. This house is completely organized, everything that can possibly be alphabetized is alphabetized except for two bottles of pills in their bathroom and I knew that Martha would know where they go. I bet if we look in your toiletry bag, we will find the poison that killed your aunt and uncle.”
The sheriff looked at Allen Baily and nodded his head, “Nice job Baily! Do you want to escort this criminal to the squad car? I’ll call Scotland Yard and have her picked up tomorrow.” Allen smiled, “It would be my pleasure.” He came over to me and grabbed my shoulders. Still smirking and holding me tight he guided me to the car and pushed me into the backseat. He closed the door and got into the car, the sheriff started the car and drove us back to the sheriff’s office. They put me into the second cell and closed the door with a clang.
I sat in the cell until around lunchtime the next day when an important looking man in a trench coat came into the sheriff’s office and took me to London to be put on trial. I was convicted and sentenced to 15-life in prison. After the trial they took me away and sent me to a woman’s prison in Surrey called Bronzefield. When I first arrived, my cell was dank and dark, but I have books and posters now that brighten up the place. My cell mate and I have become very close, she was also convicted for murder but not for the same reasons. She has some anger problems but is working past them, we laugh about our experiences and think of what we could have done differently.
I keep going over my plan in my head wondering how it all went wrong and how the idiot deputy was able to ruin my plan and figure out the truth. How could I forget the tag on my bag? Why wasn’t I able to put the pill bottles back in the right order? Why didn’t I try fake crying, I would have been much more convincing? I still can’t get the memory out of my head of when Leonard handcuffed me, and Allen split my plan wide open.
I bet you are wondering… “Why did she write her autobiography with such innocence at the beginning and saved the truth for the end?” Well, I wanted you to see what it was like for me and how I felt throughout those couple of days without jumping to conclusions about me. I wanted to share with you the experiences I had without casting a shadow on my personality or reputation. Another question some of you might be asking is… “What book was she reading at the house that was so interesting?” I can answer that as well. I was reading “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd” by Agatha Christi.
Now that all you innocent people’s questions are answered let’s get on to you criminals and murderers out there. I have some advice for you, don’t make the same mistakes as I did. If you don’t want to be convicted, you need to be more careful than I was. You can never think you are home free because something can always go wrong. Always stay on guard even after you have committed your crime, because you can still be caught and most of all don’t make the worst mistake I did. Don’t underestimate the “village idiot” because they might be smarter than you think.