Return of James

It’s me again!

First of all, Hugh (like old times), let me just say I’m glad to see you’re safe and that you’ve kept yourself busy. I wish I could speak to you personally so I could hear more of your exploits than you write on your blog, but alas! I will have to keep with only what you tell me.

Second of all, I want to reassure that I am doing well, and that I am safe. You should know that your involvement in the Leslie Okogwu murder was resolved by DNA evidence linking the murder to someone else, and my connection to you, once grounds for investigation, no longer makes it viable. However, since you have been away, I have done my best to do some sleuthing (surely not as good as you, though) so I could figure out, if it wasn’t you, who killed Leslie Okogwu and why. For a while I had no leads, until two days ago when – by an incredible stroke of luck – I stumbled upon someone who reminds me of a sort of knobhead version of you. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that he stumbled onto me, or that his wardrobe stumbled onto my foot, but likewise it is perfectly accurate to say, he is a knobhead.

But onto the dire matter at hand: speaking of knobheads, this man was on route to deliver a rather dull wardrobe with unmatching doorknob – and one of them struck my immediate interest. You see, I remembered even after these weeks that Les was bludgeoned the use of a blunt ornate object that greatly resembled the particular make of your cane, a cane which, my research has revealed, replicates a Victorian orb cane or knob cane. I’m sure you can already tell where this was going, but I must go on: the door knob of the wardrobe matched, almost exactly, the style of your cane’s head, only older and tarnished over. And to make matters more interesting, the doorknob fell of the door because it was not secured with a screw but rather was adhered on with glue!

Taking the clue I immediately asked where he got this wardrobe, and he led me to the old lady he was delivering it to, which led me to, of all people, my old Aunt Claire! Of course, we had a quick recap about this Belgian person who was staying with her (and with whom you are apparently well acquainted) but I immediately moved to the subject of the wardrobe and exactly where she got it. She related to me that she got it from some nice gentleman who came to the old community centre where the nan went with other pensioners to play bingo and bridge – he only came twice, and by the second time he apparently had to leave for the States and needed to give his larger items away. She obligingly took the wardrobe from him, even though she regarded it as rather ugly.

Claire indicated that she didn’t remember much, but I pressed her on.Finally she relented that the only other thing that she remembered about the man was his insistence on getting her to play a game of chess. Claire agreed, since she fancied herself a good chess player though she hadn’t played for years. She played white, and he black; she did not remember the details except that the a game was incredibly short, and the beginning was superficially dull, and despite his (rather attractive) confidence they appeared tied. Then he said something about how “sometimes the best way to win a game of chess is to appear predictable, uninspired and formulaic, and thus lull your enemy into the same behavior. Then, when the enemy has let down their guard and everything is place, you then do something unexpected.” With this, after appearing on the defensive for most of the game, he suddenly used his black knight to attack the center white pawn. Care to guess what square the second white pawn was located, Holmes? And within no more than four moves all of the sudden, the man pinned and checkmated Claire.

Seems like we’re dealing with something of a chess player, aren’t we?

More importantly, if this cane head ends up being actual head used to kill Les, then the murderer is connected directly to the effort of framing you for this crime, as early as his effort to get you to meet Les; furthermore this vindicates Poirot, since Claire would have recognized this person as Poirot; and finally it implies that this person was trying to set up both you and Poirot! I haven’t figured everything out, but that isn’t bad for an amateur, is it? :)

James Raikes

8 thoughts on “Return of James

  1. James! Fabulous to hear from you, and to know you’re doing well.

    Yet from what you have described I do not understand why the perpetrator would use such an obtuse method to get rid of the murder weapon. Why go through the trouble of removing the head from the shaft to attach it to the doorknob? Why would he not just bring the weapon out of the country, or even throw it away?

    • I cannot infer, but my guess is that the removal of the knob on the front was not intentional. My guess is that the murderer underestimated how difficult it would be to murder Les, and did not anticipate the struggle. In the process the head may have been broken off. Remember how I said there was DNA evidence linking to someone else? A struggle is how I imagine it got there.

      As to why he didn’t remove it in some other way, maybe he had to go back to someone who would figure out the murder, in whose mind he did not want to be implicated as a way of keeping some cover. I’m not sure; but he couldn’t have just thrown the head in the trash where it could be found and vindicate Holmes, and if he was unable to keep it, maybe it was useful for him to disguise it and give it away. Does that make sense?

      • It certainly makes sense to me…

        I need to do some research, Holmes, and I’ll get back to you shortly. I suspect, however, that first of all, we are dealing with Moriarty here, and secondly, this puts him on a VERY bad playing field…

        Moriarty and his fellows are watching us, and assuming that the more benign ones are truthful in their claims that they only wish a peaceful life here, Moriarty will shortly be out some allies. Should they not care too much, well…

        Let’s just say I do not think my group will have many more issues with people considering siding in favour of the Cabal. Great work. This will be a huge help.

      • Thanks for clearing it up. We’ve read about your encounter with that wardrobe-carrying man from his own blog, but we couldn’t figure out why the knob piqued your interest.
        Also, it’s good to know Holmes has been proven innocent.

    • Well, if you must know, shortly after Holmes fled the police came looking for Holmes. When I refused their entry, they got a warrant, searched my apartment,and brought me in for questioning. They asked me what I knew about Holmes and his alibi, and instead of pointing out that I didn’t know Holmes’ alibi, I requested a lawyer, at least so I could give Holmes time to flee. Ultimately, my lawyer was informed that the case against Holmes was dropped on account of genetic evidence they obtained at my apartment not matching the evidence they obtained on Leslie Okogwu. They didn’t go into great detail about it, but as I said it seems as if there was some sort of struggle before Les died.

  2. Do you have any idea of the motive? Les had clearly got mixed up with some criminality involving drugs, but the intricacy of the killings suggests it was not connected. Is there any possible reason you know of?

    • I do have an idea, though it is informal; you see, this cane head was a proper antique – that is to say, the wear and style implies it is over a a hundred years old. Whoever bought this cane went out of his way to find and purchase an item that would implicate Holmes particularly – not just anybody associated with Les. So I suppose the main motive here is to try and frame Holmes for the crime…?

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