Double MurderMystery teasers are little stories where you need to figure out what happened based on the given clues.
Colin Hammond was working in his study before dinner. As he sat at his desk filling out paperwork, the door behind him opened slowly and silently. Peter Wall was in the room with the door closed behind him before Hammond became aware of his presence.
Hammond stood to confront the intruder. "What are you doing here?" He inquired, trying to conceal his annoyance at the intruder's presence in his private office.
"What do you think I'm doing here?" Wall answered with another question.
"Any business we have will be handled at our appointment this evening. Please leave right now and come back later as I asked you to do. How did you get up here, anyway? The doors are all locked and nobody gets by my guard, Bruce. Get out of here!"
"Not just yet. Do you know how much it hurt me to discover that my own brother-in-law planned to turn me in to the police?"
"You embezzled the firm's money! I would never have let you join the firm if you hadn't been Diana's brother! I never trusted you, but I always thought that you were simply incompetent, not a thief."
"Thief? I deserved that money by putting up with your arrogance all these years. I am not going to jail for simply taking something I earned!" Wall punctuated his statement by producing a revolver from his pocket.
"Don't be a fool, Peter! Put that stupid gun away!"
As Peter Wall drew a threatening aim on his brother-in-law's heart, there came a pounding on the office door.
"Sir! Mr. Hammond, sir! It is I, Bruce. I heard voices. Is everything all right?"
Wall yanked the door open and jerked the astonished butler into the room.
"Too bad you had to interfere, Bruce; now you'll have to go too. Too bad; goodbye, Bruce."
The two shots that killed Bruce and Colin Hammond were fired.
Wall muttered to himself, "All right, take both wallets... that big jeweled ring... anything else? Bruce has nothing more. Empty the drawers. Ransack everything as a proper robber should, and then descend out the window."
Three men descended the stairs toward the front foyer after investigating at the scene of violence on the second floor of the Hammond home.
"A clear case of robbery, I think, Mr. Johnson," Inspector Lewis said. "It would seem that the unfortunate Mr. Hammond and the butler Bruce stumbled upon the intruder and it cost both of them their lives."
"That is the obvious explanation, Inspector... you did say that it was Mrs. Hammond, Colin Hammond's wife, who found the bodies?" Detective Gregory Johnson asked.
"Yes, sir, Mrs. Diana Hammond," replied Inspector Lewis. "She found them very much where you saw them yourselves."
"That must have been quite a shock for the lady," Mr. Wilson interjected. "Where is she now?"
"Upstairs in her room with a police physician," the Inspector answered. "Excuse me, but I must go back upstairs and assist at the scene. I should not have bothered you with such an obvious case of murder associated with robbery. Have no doubt, sir, we will find the murderer."
"I'm sure you will, Inspector," Johnson agreed. "Let us be about our business, Mr. Wilson."
"Thank you, gentlemen," Inspector Lewis said. "Could you please show yourselves out?"
"Very well," Mr. Wilson called to the Inspector, turning back towards the murder scene.
As Mr. Johnson opened the front door, he found himself confronted by a dismayed stranger.
"Who are you?" the stranger asked.
"Why, I'm Detective Gregory Johnson and this is my friend and colleague, Mr. Wilson. Who are you, if we might ask?"
"I am Peter Wall and I have an appointment with my brother-in-law, Colin Hammond. What are you people doing here?"
"I regret that I have to tell you that your brother-in-law is dead," explained Johnson.
"Oh my!? What happened?"
"I'm afraid that he was murdered," Johnson explained.
"Oh my God! Murdered? Who could have done such a horrid thing?"
"There seems to have been a robbery, Mr. Wall."
"Oh no! Where is my sister? Is she all right?"
"Yes, Mrs. Diana Hammond is upstairs in her room with a physician. She was not injured. The police are upstairs, but their investigation of the scene is nearly finished and there shouldn't be a problem with your going upstairs to speak with sister now, if you wish to do so."
"The police are still here? I would like to talk to them and see what progress they are making in this horrible matter! Is my brother-in-law still here? Have they removed the bodies yet?"
"The police are still in Mr. Hammond's office upstairs. You should ask for Inspector Lewis, who is in charge of the investigation. Actually, when you see him, would you please ask him to come see me? I would like to have a word with him."
Within three minutes after Peter Wall vanished up the stairs, Inspector Lewis appeared in the foyer.
"Lewis, this crime might not be a simple as we had thought," Johnson suggested. "I believe that we are faced with a case of cold-blooded, premeditated murder. I strongly suggest that you interrogate the dead man's brother-in-law, Mr. Wall. I have reason to believe that he, and not some nameless burglar, had a hand in this gruesome matter."
Why did Detective Johnson think Mr. Wall was part of the crime?
Answer"So, Johnson, I was surprised to hear you virtually accuse that Peter fellow. What on earth led you to believe that he had a hand in the murder of his own sister's husband?" Mr. Wilson asked as the pair left the Hammond mansion.
"Really, Wilson, I can't believe that you would ask me such a thing. You see, and yet do not observe. It would seem that you also hear and yet do not observe."
"What did you hear that I did not, Johnson?"
"Nothing, old friend. I merely drew an inference which you did not from something we both heard. Did you not hear Mr. Wall ask if the bodies had been removed? Did you not wonder about his choice of the plural noun? We only advised him that his brother-in-law was dead. We never mentioned the demise of the butler, Bruce. How could Wall have known that there was more than one body to be removed unless he had greater knowledge of the events than he had learned from us? And how, old friend, would he have gained such information unless he had a hand in the matter? If I am not mistaken, Lewis's interrogations will reveal the truth."
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