The crime scene was mayhem. The technical division in their white suits where all over the place. Inspectors and chief-inspectors conversing nervously. It was after all the major of the city that was murdered.
‘Any enemies?’ Watson asked taking out his notebook.
‘The mobility plan to get more space for bikers got some angry reactions. People told they would get lost in the city with all those ridiculous one way roads. And they would have to drive longer to get somewhere. When we installed cameras to fine them all hell broke loose. Our email accounts were flooded with dead threats.’ the Deputy Major said uneasy.
‘Why is his leg missing?’ Holmes asked.
‘It was a prosthesis. He had only one leg,’ the chief-inspector noted. He wasn’t a big fan of Holmes. The fat man with a beard and an angry look on his face always tried to humiliate him and scorn his talents.
‘Still doesn’t explain why it’s missing.’
‘Maybe the killer took it with him as a trophy,’ Watson stated.
‘Possible, but this blood trail tells me something else,’ Holmes answered.
He followed it, stopped at the back of couch, went down and fetched a blood-stained wooden leg.
‘I rolled all over there?’
‘Since the major put up a struggle I would suggest so. He is beaten severely but a gun wound was what did him in. There were two killers. One strong one and another rather feeble.’
‘Why you say that?’
‘The first one used his bare fists, the other a pistol.’
Holmes skimmed the room. He opened the agenda of the major.
‘Look at these X’s, what are these mysterious marks?’
‘Maybe he didn’t want to reveal the identity of who he was meeting,’ Watson tried.
‘I think our mayor had an affair,’ Holmes said producing a ticket for a flower arrangement to be sent to an apartment ‘who lives there?’
‘His secretary, I believe,’ the Deputy Major said.
‘Go question her, and ask her who her strong friend was.’
‘Holmes, we don’t have much to go on.’
‘Do it delicately, I’ll watch her body language.’
The body language of Nessie Taylor didn’t leave much to the imagination. She was fidgety, crumpling her handkerchief. Her tears where crocodile tears.
‘Where were you between 10 PM and 12 am, miss Taylor?’ the inspector asked.
‘Anything interesting on?’
‘The Queen’s gambit was pretty good.’
‘Funny,’ Holmes stated ‘they deleted the contents a week ago.’
‘We can verify that,’ the inspector said.
‘Alright,’ she yelled ‘I had a blackout, I have a drinking problem.’
‘Do you have a lover or a brother, miss Taylor?’ Holmes wanted to know.
‘No,’ she said faintly.
‘So who is this lad then on the kitchen counter in the photo frame?’ Holmes asked.
She refused to say anything without her lawyer. Then Sherlock got up. His keen senses had alerted him to something.
Holmes started to sniff. He followed a trail incomprehensible for his colleagues.
He opened a closet and took a box out. Inside was a gun.
‘Do ballistics, I believe it is recently fired. There will also gunpowder on her hands. Quite a dunce to keep a murder weapon laying around.’
She did have a brother without an alibi. A tall, strong men with wounded knuckles. He was arrested too.
But about Miss Taylor he wasn’t quite sure. She had lied on several occasions. But the possession of the gun bothered Holmes. Also there was no gunpowder residue on her hands. He went to the tenant of the building and asked if miss Taylor got any visitors.
‘Oh, Brenda is much to herself. But there is the cleaning lady who comes over every week when she is at work.’
‘And where can I find this cleaning lady?’
‘She lives downtown. I’ve got her address laying here somewhere. Can you wait a minute?’ said the overweight man chewing his cigar. His tie hang loose around a crumpled white shirt with sweat stains.
At the address of Conchita Acosta he saw the building was dilapidated. It was riddled with cigarette buds, empty beer cans and syringes.
Minding where he stepped he went up a creaking, old stair in bad condition to apartment 1B.
He knocked several times.
A chain was pulled from the door.
A petite Latino woman opened the door.
‘Yes?’ she asked suspicious.
‘I am Sherlock Holmes and I believed you killed the major. See he wanted to rat you out to immigration after getting you pregnant.’
It took some interrogation but she caved in pretty quickly. Sobbing she said she had loved him. She told her brother Emilio. He was furious and decided to go knock some sense in the major. He gave Conchita a gun when she insisted on coming along.
Afterwards it was only a question of hiding the gun in the secretary’s apartment. She had gotten to know her while cleaning the offices of the major’s staff.
Convinced he had found the right killer Sherlock went home. He had the Queen’s gambit on DVD, he decided to binge watch it.