فصل 10

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فصل 10

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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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CHAPTER TEN

The Arrest

Inspector Ainsworth glanced at his notebook again.

For a moment he said nothing, then he looked at the people around the table.

‘I wasted a lot of time trying to work out why Mr Pryce had lied to the police. I should have been thinking more about the murder itself. Things became clearer when I started to do that.’

‘I don’t see what you mean, Inspector,’ Patricia Markham said. ‘Remember the Mowbray Murder game?’ the Inspector asked. ‘It always starts the same way, doesn’t it? The general’s body is found in the library, isn’t it? And the murder weapon is always the same, isn’t it? The general’s own revolver.’

He paused.

‘Just like the murder of Arthur Mowbray, you see. That made me think that perhaps the person who murdered Arthur Mowbray wasn’t interested in money. The murderer was interested in the games themselves! That made me think of you, Mr Johnson.’

‘Me?’ the Production Director asked in surprise. ‘Why me, Inspector?’

‘You love your work here, don’t you?’ the Inspector asked. ‘The Mowbray games are very special to you, aren’t they? They’re not just games to you: they’re your whole life. Then Mr Larkin gave me an idea.’

The Inspector turned to the Finance Director.

‘Do you remember what you told me about the argument between Mr Mowbray and Mr Pryce?’ the Inspector asked. ‘You heard Mr Mowbray say, “All right, we’ll do it your way, Mr Pryce. I don’t like it, but we’ll do it your way!” You thought they were arguing about the workshops again, didn’t you?’

‘Yes, I did,’ Mr Larkin agreed. ‘They were always arguing about that.’

The Inspector looked at the Production Director.

‘You also heard what Mr Mowbray said,’ he reminded him.

‘Of course!’ Mr Larkin exclaimed. He looked at Mr Johnson as well. ‘I was in your office at the time. You heard what Mr Mowbray said.’

‘What are you trying to say, Inspector?’ he asked. ‘What does that prove?’

‘It proves a motive,’ the Inspector said firmly. ‘You loved the games, and you thought Mr Mowbray was going to close the workshops. That would have been a disaster for you. You told me yourself that the workshops had been your “life’s work”. Revenge can be a powerful motive for murder, Mr Johnson.’ The Inspector paused for a moment. ‘You were a strong suspect for a while.’

‘For a while, Inspector?’ Mr Larkin asked. ‘Do you mean Mr Johnson didn’t do it?’

The Inspector smiled.

‘No, sir, Mr Johnson didn’t kill Arthur Mowbray.’

The Inspector looked at his notebook once more.

Then I thought of something else. There was something that bothered me about Arthur Mowbray’s new game,’ he said. ‘It was a game about the stock market. But Arthur Mowbray couldn’t have invented a game about the stock market by himself. He didn’t know anything about business or finance. Somebody helped him. I wanted to know who that person was, and then I remembered a little conversation with you, Mr Larkin.’

‘What conversation, Inspector?’ the Finance Director asked nervously.

‘It was at the beginning of the investigation,’ the Inspector explained. ‘I asked you if Arthur Mowbray played an active role in the financial decision-making of the company, do you remember? You smiled, and said the idea was ridiculous.’

‘I don’t see what that shows, Inspector,’ Mr Larkin said. ‘Arthur Mowbray didn’t know anything about company accounts - everybody knows that.’

‘I agree,’ the Inspector said. ‘But then you said something a little strange. We were talking about company finances, and you suddenly said, “He didn’t even know the difference between a bull market and a bear market. I had to tell him.” Bull markets and bear markets don’t have anything to do with company accounts, do they? You must have been talking about the stock market. Arthur Mowbray was asking you for information about how the stock market works, wasn’t he? You helped him with the new game, didn’t you?’

‘You’re quite right, Inspector,’ Mr Larkin admitted.

‘Why did you tell me you didn’t know anything about it?’ the Inspector asked.

‘I thought the murderer killed Mr Mowbray because of the new game,’ Mr Larkin said. ‘I didn’t say anything because I was frightened.’

‘I thought so, too,’ the Inspector told him. ‘But we were wrong. The murderer wasn’t interested in the new game at all. You knew that, didn’t you, Miss Markham?’

Miss Markham laughed.

‘Surely it’s time to stop all this, Inspector?’ she asked scornfully. ‘Why don’t you just admit that you don’t know who killed Arthur Mowbray? Then we can all get back to work.’

‘I’m afraid you won’t be going to work for a very long time,’ the Inspector told her. ‘In a few minutes I shall ask the Sergeant to arrest you for murder.’

‘This is too much!’ Miss Markham protested. ‘What makes you think I killed Arthur Mowbray?’

‘It was a number of little things,’ the Inspector said. ‘I should have put them together earlier, hut I didn’t. I couldn’t see a motive for the crime. At first I thought the motive was greed. That made me think of Mr Pryce and Mr Larkin. Then I thought the motive might be revenge, and that made me think of Mr Johnson. It was confusing, you see. Then I realised that the motive was greed and revenge. Once I saw that, it wasn’t difficult to identify you as the murderer, Miss Markham!’

The Sergeant came quietly into the dining room. He was holding the piece of paper that the Inspector had given him. He looked at the Inspector, and nodded his head.

Mr Pryce now spoke. He looked very angry.

‘This is absurd, Inspector!’ he said. ‘Why do you think Miss Markham is the murderer?’

‘The first piece of evidence is the book you showed me, Mr Pryce. You remember the title, I’m sure - Marketing Organization and Consumer Behavior. The spelling in the title is American. The publishing company is American as well. Did you ever think about that?’

‘What does that prove, Inspector?’ Mr Larkin asked.

‘It made me wonder if Miss Markham had ever been to America,’ the Inspector said. ‘And that reminded me of something. The Sergeant told me that Arthur Mowbray had a son called Charles. Apparently he had an argument with his father over a girl he was in love with. Charles went to live in America. He died there in a car accident. Isn’t that right, Miss Markham?’ he asked coldly.

Everyone looked at Patricia Markham.

Then the Inspector spoke again.

‘Or should I say, Mrs Mowbray?’ he demanded. ‘Mrs Charles Mowbray?

Patricia Markham went very pale. She began to cry.

‘All right, Inspector, you don’t have to say any more. I can see that you know everything,’ she sobbed. ‘It’s true about Charles,’ she said. ‘We met in England, and we fell in love. We wanted to get married, but Arthur Mowbray said Charles was too young. He wouldn’t even meet me! Charles was very angry with his father, and he went to live in America. He found a job there, and then he sent for me. We got married. It wasn’t easy for us. I studied at the university, and I did very well. Then Charles had a terrible car accident.’

‘What happened then?’ The Inspector asked her gently.

‘He didn’t die immediately,’ she explained. ‘He was in hospital for three weeks. I wrote to Arthur Mowbray. I asked him for money to pay for the hospital treatment. He never replied to my letter, Inspector. Charles knew that his father had never forgiven him. He died unhappy.’

‘Is that when you decided to punish Arthur Mowbray?’ the Inspector asked.

‘Yes,’ Miss Markham agreed. ‘I hated him for what he had done to Charles. Then I read in the paper about Lord Sheffield’s death. I guessed that the company would be in trouble, and that gave me an idea. I applied for a job here. Arthur Mowbray had never met me, you see - he didn’t know what I looked like.’

‘Did you plan to murder him?’ the Inspector wanted to know.

‘Yes, but I didn’t just want to kill him,’ she confessed. ‘I hated him, and I wanted to make him suffer. That’s why I shot him with his own revolver, like in the Mowbray Murder game. But before I shot him, I did something else. I humiliated him, Inspector. I told him who I was…’

‘It wasn’t just revenge, though, was it?’ the Inspector wanted to know. ‘It was greed as well, wasn’t it? You haven’t told us everything yet, Miss Markham.’

‘Isn’t that enough, Inspector?’ Patricia Markham said. ‘I’ve told you I killed Arthur Mowbray. What else is there to tell you?’

‘Mr Larkin told me someone was making a lot of international phone calls,’ he said softly. ‘Tell me about those, Miss Markham.’ Patricia Markham said nothing. She began to cry again.

The Inspector made a sign to the Sergeant. The Sergeant came forward, and gave the Inspector the piece of paper. The Inspector read it quickly.

‘I said the motive for this crime was revenge and greed,’ he said. ‘We’ve just been in touch with the authorities in America. They confirm that you and Charles had a son. That’s why you killed Arthur Mowbray, isn’t it? Your son was his closest relative - you wanted him to inherit all Arthur Mowbray’s money!’

The Sergeant led Patricia Markham away. Inspector Ainsworth sat back in his chair, feeling very satisfied. He had solved the Mowbray Murder… again!

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