فصل 05

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فصل 05

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CHAPTER FIVE

The Card

Just then there was a knock at the door. Mr Pryce looked quickly at Inspector Ainsworth, and then called out, ‘Come in.’

A young woman entered the office. She was about thirty years old, slender and dark-haired. She was dressed in a business suit.

The woman stopped when she saw the Inspector.

‘I’m sorry,’ she said to Mr Pryce. ‘I didn’t know there was anyone with you.’

‘This is Patricia Markham, Inspector,’ Mr Pryce said. ‘She’s our Director of Marketing and Sales.’

The Inspector stood up to shake hands with the young woman.

‘What a terrible thing this murder is!’ the young woman exclaimed. ‘I really can’t imagine why anyone would want to hurt Arthur Mowbray. It doesn’t make any sense at all.’

‘Not at the moment, perhaps,’ the Inspector agreed. ‘But we’ll find out everything in the end, I can promise you that. That’s why I’ve been talking to Mr Pryce. He’s told me quite a lot about the company.’

The Inspector thought he saw Patricia Markham exchange a quick glance with Mr Pryce while he was speaking. She looked worried.

He stood up.

‘I won’t take up any more of your time just now, Mr Pryce,’ he said. ‘We can continue our conversation later.’

He turned to Miss Markham.

‘At some point I shall have to ask you some questions as well,’ he said to the young woman.

Patricia Markham looked at him in surprise.

‘Me, Inspector?’ she asked.

‘Of course,’ the Inspector told her. ‘I want to talk to all the directors, Miss Markham.’

The Inspector left Mr Pryce’s office, and closed the door behind him. He stood outside the door for a moment. He could hear the two directors talking. They seemed excited and nervous, but the Inspector could not hear what they were saying. They were talking in low voices.

‘I wonder what that’s all about,’ the Inspector thought. ‘Those two seem to have a secret.’

He went back to the dining room. The Sergeant came up to him.

‘We’ve photographed everything, sir,’ he told the Inspector. ‘Can we take the body away now?’

The Inspector looked down at the body on the floor. How small the old man looked!

‘All right,’ he told the Sergeant. ‘Pick him up, and carry him away. Gently now!’

Two policemen stepped forward and began to lift the body. Something fell out of the dead man’s hand.

‘Wait!’ cried the Inspector. He moved forward quickly, and picked up the fallen object carefully with his handkerchief. He showed it to the Sergeant.

‘What do you suppose this is?’ he asked.

‘It’s a card, sir,’ the man said slowly. ‘It looks like one of the cards from the Mowbray Murder game. You know, sir,’ he went on, ‘the cards with the clues written on them.’

‘You’re right, Sergeant,’ Inspector Ainsworth said. ‘But the cards in the Mowbray Murder game are all blue, and this one is yellow. Let’s see if there’s anything written on the other side, shall we?’

The Inspector turned the card over. There were some hand written notes on it. The Inspector read:

“57 Press reports frighten investors DOWN 30.000 pounds”

‘It looks as if Arthur Mowbray was working on a new game,’ he said thoughtfully. ‘I wonder if that’s why someone killed him, Sergeant?’

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