فصل 04

مجموعه: کارآگاه لنی ساموئل / کتاب: زنی که ناپدید شد / فصل 4

فصل 04

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Chapter four

A Very Tidy Apartment

I rang the bell beside the door of Apartment 716 and waited.

There was no answer. I rang again, but there was still no answer. Then I took a small, square piece of plastic out of my pocket. I looked around. I was alone. I pushed the piece of plastic into the space between the door and the door frame and moved the plastic up and down. In a minute, the door opened and I went into the flat.

I stood still and listened. There was silence. I switched on the light and looked around. It was a modern apartment. I was standing in the living-room. Through an open door on my left, I could see the bedroom which was very neat and tidy. I looked in the wardrobe - it was almost empty.

‘That’s funny,’ I thought. ‘People who disappear don’t usually take most of their clothes with them. They only take their clothes if they’ve been planning their disappearance for a long time.’

I walked back into the living-room and searched it carefully. But I found nothing to explain Elaine Garfield’s disappearance. Then I went into the kitchen. The kitchen was also very clean and tidy. There were no dirty plates or cups. There was no old milk in the refrigerator. Everything was in its place.

‘Well,’ I thought, ‘there’s only the bathroom left to search now.’

The bathroom, too, was empty and clean. I walked quickly around the flat, making sure that I hadn’t forgotten anything. I wiped everything I had touched with my handkerchief, because I didn’t want to leave any fingerprints. Then I switched off the lights and opened the door to leave.

But I didn’t leave. There were two men standing outside the door. One of them was short and had red hair and a nasty smile. The other was quite tall and was wearing a hat pulled down over his face. The one with the hat was holding a gun and the gun was pointing at me.

I tried to close the door, but the red-haired man put his foot out to stop the door closing. I let go of the door. The door opened and both the men came in. The one with the hat was in front and he was still carrying the gun.

‘Hold your hands up in the air,’ said the man with the gun.

Then he turned to the red-haired man.

‘See if he’s got a gun on him, Jo.’

Jo, the red-haired man, came over towards me. I waited. When Jo was between me and the man with the gun, I jumped. I jumped forward and caught Jo around the neck. I held him in front of me. The man with the gun couldn’t shoot because he would hit his friend.

‘Right,’ I said to the man with the gun. ‘Get out of the way. I’m leaving now and I’m taking your friend with me.’

Holding Jo in front of me, I walked slowly towards the man with the gun. Then something went wrong with my plan.

The man with the gun started to laugh. He put the gun back in his pocket and stood laughing.

‘Why are you laughing?’ I asked.

‘I’m laughing because you’re so stupid,’ the man with the gun said and walked up to me.

‘Stop,’ I said, ‘or else I’ll…’

‘What will you do?’ asked the man with the gun. ‘You can’t do anything. I’m the one with the gun.’

As he said this, the man leant forward. He pulled Jo out of my hands and hit me in the face. I must say that I wasn’t expecting to be hit in the face. It hurt. It hurt even more when he hit me again and I fell on the floor. I lay still on the floor, hoping that the two men would go away. But they didn’t go away. Instead, they picked me up and hit me hard on the head. Everything went black. I lay on the floor - I was unconscious.

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