The Maltese Sparrow
By Douglas E. Gogerty
I believed that I knew where the Maltese Sparrow was, but I could use more evidence to persuade others. With two people dieing during this case, I also knew what happened to them. The bird flu death was not just one of those things. Also, the poisoning of Daniel Butler, which was supposed to be me, was clear.
Further, the missing waiter was no mystery to me. I knew he would show up soon. All the pieces fit together. The only problem was that I could only prove bits and pieces of it. Thus, I had a week or so to gather as much evidence to prove what I could.
I began with the threatening note that I received. I had a friend, who was in the forensics business, check the paper for me. She could compare samples and other properties to possibly determine its source. In any event, she confirmed that the paper matched the paper from the hotel where Maxine was staying.
Her friend was a handwriting expert. That expert said the handwriting was from someone unaccustomed to writing. Perhaps the individual was just beginning to learn to write. That is how she explained the illegibility of it. She stated that she believed that it could have been someone writing with their off hand, but she had never seen anything like it. She stated that the strokes were short, unsure, and very off-balance. She would love to meet the individual who wrote the note.
After the note investigation, I turned to another easy aspect of the case. With so few phones on the world, it was easy to determine where the threatening phone call originated. I had a friend at the phone service go over the records for me. It came as no surprise to me that it originated from Rick's Café Américain.
I just had to place the person I believed to have made the call at the location at the time. I asked around, and indeed the hotel security guard was at Rick's at the time. Thus, the who, what, and where of the phone call was solved. I also believed I knew the why of it. I could get that from the guard at the gathering of everyone.
Those things went very quickly and easily. If the rest of the investigation went that smoothly, I would be in good shape.
The next order of business was to get into the dead brothers residence. Like so many places during this case, it looked like two giant birds fought over a sandwich in it. Actually, it looked like they had fought for several sandwiches for several days. I took a few pictures and gathered a few feathers. All of it was going to help me make my case.
That was the kind of thing that I looked into while Manny was away on his little vacation. I attempted to find out where he went, but rather than flying commercial, he had chartered a spaceship. Thus, he could have filed a bogus flight plan. He may not have indeed gone to the Planet Risa, but he could have gone anywhere. To me, the charter, the flight plan, and all could only mean one thing -- smuggling.
With the length of his trip, I calculated where he could have reached in his week. There were plenty of destinations, and a few, I found quite fascinating.
Further, all of the evidence I gathered confirmed my suspicions. The more clues I followed, the more it all made sense. However, I could only prove some things, but it was not enough to prove everything. I would need a few confessions. That is what the meeting was all about. I would confront the ne'er-do-wells with the evidence, and hope they confessed to the crimes.
In any event, it was a great week. I felt like I accomplished a great deal during Manny's time away. Furthermore, most of my meals went uninterrupted. When Manny returned from his trip, I had gathered as much as I could. However, there was the problem with the missing waiter, Marty. He was just as much a part of this case as everyone else.
I did investigate his sudden disappearance, but it seemed he did not tell anyone he was leaving. No one knew where he went or why. To his friends, it was a big mystery. However, just as I calculated, he showed up at about the same time as Manny.
Hence, I had all the pieces gathered, and all of the individuals were available for questioning. Thus, I invited everyone involved to Maxine's room. Perhaps, some of them were lured under false pretenses.
"I know you are probably wondering why I invited you all here this evening," I began.
"I thought Maxine invited me here -- what is all this?" asked Marty.
I ignored him and went on, "The Maltese Sparrow case has been my most difficult case, but now we come to its conclusion."
"You have had other cases?" asked Detective D'Cheuer.
I did not let anyone distract me, so I continued. "From the beginning, there were forces attempting to persuade me from stopping my investigation. However, I persevered."
"Where are da strippers?" asked the security guard.
"I was hired to find a missing sparrow, and this was not some sort of jewel encrusted bird coated in an enamel to hide the fact that it was very valuable. No it was a living animal."
"You know where Mable is?" asked Maxine with hope in her eyes.
"I do, and others in this room know too" I replied.
"My eyes are down here," she responded.
"Before I go into the whereabouts of Mable, I would like to point out some interesting facts about this case. After I began, this case quickly changed from a missing bird case when some people involved began dieing from mysterious circumstances."
"They call it murder where I work," explained Detective D'Cheuer. "When is your trial?"
Again, ignoring the comments from the peanut gallery, I continued, "So what is important about a missing bird? Was it just a pet gone lost? Or, was the bird valuable in other ways?"
"Is this going somewhere?" asked Manny.
"My first clue that there was more to this was when Manny confessed that he conversed with the bird," I stated staring into his fearful, unblinking eyes.
"His eyes are down there," asserted Maxine.
"Maxine hid this fact from me," I stated. "About the relative intelligence of the bird, not the location of Manny's eyes. Why did she not want me to know this? Who else knew?"
"What on Seti-alpha-five are you talking about?" asked Detective D'Cheuer.
"Detective, you are the only one in this room that did not know about the sentience of the sparrow."
"What?" the detective asked.
"So, no strippers den?" asked the security guard.
- "The Amnesiac" - Forth Entry
- Friday Fun
- "The Amnesiac" - Third Entry
- "The Amnesiac" - Second Entry
- "A Bottle of Elixir"
- "The Amnesiac" - First Entry
- "Smith and Wesson" - Chapter Six: Smith Meets Wesson
- "Smith and Wesson" - Chapter Five: Back to Earth
- "Smith and Wesson" - Chapter Four: The Life of Zephenia Smith
- "Smith and Wesson" - Chapter Three: The Escape Continues
About this Entry
This page contains a single entry by Douglas Gogerty published on January 18, 2009 8:19 PM.
"Commander Joe: Chapter Three" - Part 2 was the previous entry in this blog.
"Blaze Mason: Ghost Ship" - Chapter 6 is the next entry in this blog.
This blog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
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