Superintendent Benedict Blessed of the Firsts had just taken the podium. “Gentlemen, let’s make a start. I would first like to welcome our colleagues from the Ninth who will now be read in on this case, and we will need a little bit of recap to make sure everyone is on the same page.”
The now celebrated Fuller and Binman sat in the first row. Cruikshank and Lifson stood in the aisle next to them, and Wizakowski and Barns rounded out the Ninth’s “Team.”
Two detectives, Spellman and Goodfellow of the “Discovery Branch” sat nearby, and about a dozen other watchmen of the First, were preparing their notebooks.
“As you know, Speaker Moorland was killed in his residence last week. He suffered a blow to the head, though there is no evidence as to who wielded the murder weapon,” Blessed began.
“A candlestick?” Binman asked eagerly.
“Yes, a candlestick,” the superintendent continued. “It was found next to the body, and seems to have been wiped and carefully positioned. At first it seemed that murder was the motive, but we are now leaning towards a burglary gone wrong scenario. Spellman here, picked up on that when he examined Sir Hillary’s collection. It was very well organised and all of the exhibits were labelled in the victim’s own hand. Spellman noticed that three of these items were unaccounted for. Binman has given more credence to this line of inquiry with his discovery of two of the items outside the residence.”
A burly sergeant from the Firsts placed a series of sketches and diagrams on the wall behind Blessed.
“What we haven’t reported to the public is that a fourth stone had also been handled. It was at first missed, but Goodfellow picked up the clue. A black stone had been placed in the jasper’s position leaving its place open, and taking us off the trail for a moment. But it is indeed the jasper that is missing. In fact its all that is unaccounted for now that the pumice and sandstone have been found,” the superintendent concluded.
Sir Orlando then took the podium, “This is a priority case. Inspector Cruikshank your team will further examine the grounds, and the Firsts will reinspect the house.” Detective Goodfellow what did you find on your sweep?”
“We carried out a magical residue sample, sir, and it showed nothing unusual on the keyholes, windows or mirrors.”
“Mirrors?” Montoya questioned.
“Yes sir,” the detective responded. “Mirrors are sometimes used as portals, so we give them a check in these locked room cases.”
“Anything else?” Sir Orlando led.
“Nothing unexpected, there was a little residual around some of Sir Hillary’s statuary, and a really low reading on the gems in his collection, but that’s pretty normal, especially for anything Dwarf or Elven-made.”
“Okay, men get out there, and let’s close this case,” the chief concluded.
The room came to attention, and they headed for their duties.
* * *
“Binman,” Goodfellow called.
“Sir?” The rookie started.
“What made you search the topiary?” The wizard asked.
Embarrassed the watchman replied, “It’s in the Binmans’ blood. I just couldn’t let the piece of rubbish detract from beautiful shrubbery.”
“And the envelope?” Goodfellow inquired.
“I’ve got an eye for such things. Little bits of paper and such.”
“Okay then, off to your duties,” the detective said shaking his head in disbelief.