|Mysteries of Twinbrook|
|Name:||Mysteries of Twinbrook|
Mysteries of Twinbrook is a short story written by JM9193. It's a murder enigma whose protagonist is the detective Arlette Clucky who had already been mentioned for her solving the murder of Gisèle Dortheimer's boyfriend and aunts.
- Arlette Clucky: A perceptive yet snobbish detective. She has a huge taste of luxury and only shows up in the classiest dresses and the most expensive jewels.
- The other characters are all canon sims from Twinbrook.
Milly Pidgin sat in her luxurious lounge along with her daughter Dilly. Those two were known in Twinbrook for the wealthiness but also for their peculiar clothing and alikeness. Milly was a sweet elderly lady whose kindness was only equaled by her thoughtlessness and her strong sense of justice, and Dilly was somehow childish and she was indulged to her passion for reading by having a look on the local newspaper.
-Hey Ma! Did you see that? The municipal elections were rigged! Some people voted in the name of many deceased persons!
-People might do anything for politics. What a shame. They all voted for Holly Greenwood?
-That's weird. I wouldn't have guessed that those ruffians were ecologists.
-I wouldn't have either. I wouldn't even have guessed that they were interested in politics.
Sinbad Rotter and Cathy Stielburg were indeed scoundrels who spent their time causing havoc around town.
Dilly continued reading the paper until something caught her attention in the obituaries. -Ma! Timmy's dead! Timothy DeBleu was a renowned egyptologist. He lived near Twinbrook and recently discovered along with fellow twinbrookian archaeologist Tina-Patricia Copper the tomb of the King Raymundo Rodiekhkare in the Pyramid of the Burning Sands, Al Simhara. -Timmy DeBleu? Poor dear! He was so young. How did this happen? asked Milly.
-They say it's a blood poisoning. But... don't you think there might be something fishy about it?
-Why would there be something fishy about a septicemia? asked Milly, surprised.
-Well, said hesitantly Dilly, you remember what happened to the archaeologists that opened Tutankhamun's tomb... They all died mysteriously. And some of them also had a blood poisoning.
Milly couldn't believe what she just heard. Despite being a bit childish, Dilly has always laughed at supernatural.
-Those pharaoh's curses stories are pure rubbish, dear. A septicemia might happen to anyone.
A Curse! What an Idea!
Two weeks later, Miss Arlette Clucky attended Tina-Patricia Copper's funeral. She wore a long black velvet dress, and an onyx surrounded by diamonds adorned her throat. She was visiting her best friend Mollie Kewell, who was a scientist who was passionate about bugs. Arlette couldn't see what Mollie could find in those critters except the fact that one might create some magnificent jewels with them, but she liked her anyway.
-Poor Pr. Copper, Arlette thought. She must've been the world's most unlucky person.To have a small meteor fall directly on her head. How unfortunate! She has been found in the swamps by her friend Pixie Carlton. The police first thought to a murder, but the lack of suspects, the emptiness of the swamp (the only person there was Pixie, who moreover had no mobile) and finally the proof that the rock that killed her was a meteor finally led the police the conclusion that Tina-Patricia Copper was effectively killed by a falling meteor. And by the way, the other Egyptologist was dead, too! That will surely spread some idiotic rumors about some 3000 years old curse. People are so gullible in this town! However, it's still strange.
At the end of the funeral, everybody went to the collation. There, Arlette asked Mollie about the other persons that were present.
-You know, Mollie, all these people appear to be very special. What do you think about them?
-I do think that many of them are kinda nutty. For example, you see that woman, there?
Arlette looked at her. She was in the middle of her fifties and still wore a short skirt and outrageous makeup.
-That's Katherine Hunter. An awful virago coupled with a cougar. Her boyfriend just turned twenty. I hate her. She's mean, she's rude and she's unbearable. She once married Clark Peddler, but they divorced, and now they can't stand each other. Clark's at the bar, with his best friend, Penny.
Arlette stared at them. Clark was the typical hoodwink, with a wide, unfaithful smile, extravagant and colourful clothes, sunglasses... His friend appeared to be younger.and discrete. However, an unpleasant, calculating flicker shone in her eyes that was almost unnoticeable. During this time, Mollie continued her lampoon against her enemy.
-... and finally I once saw her swatting a poor scarab that did absolutely nothing to her! That's cruel!We nickname her Kat. Kat Hunter matches her personality, don't you think?
-I do, Mollie, I do... But... isn't it DeAndre Wolfe , the rock star? Nice! I didn't know he lived in Twinbrook.
-Well, now you know. He is a true womanizer. Almost every woman in town was after him: Milly Pidgin, Penny Pincher, Sofia Carlton...
-Who is Sofia Carlton?
-This girl, near the phonograph, dressed in pink. She is with her mother, Pixie.
Mollie indicated two women: the first one was in her mid-twenties and obviously loved hot pink. The other was fifty and had a very short hair and enormous earrings.
-Sofia and Pixie are despised by almost the entire community. Pixie's only friend was the professor Copper. She spends her entire time spreading scandals.
Arlette then paid attention to the old-fashioned couple next to the buffet.
-And who are them? she asked.
-They are the Castors. Beverly, the wife, is the mayor of the town. Poor Mrs. Castor. She had some tough times before being tha mayor.
-I heard about it. Some malevolent beings tampered with the votes in order to make her lose the election.
-Yeah. A group of ill-disposed rapscallions votes multiple times in the name of various deceased people. However, no one knows why they did this. Some think that they are ecologists. However I do have some doubts. I think they are members of a big crime syndicate in the town, and Beverly, who was a member of the municipal council, and had done lots of things in order to destroy the organization. That's probably why they didn't want her to win.
However, those small details didn't interest Arlette. The thing that interested her was the crime syndicate himself.
-There is a crime syndicate? In this small town?
-Why wouldn't it? There was once S.T.A.I.N., in Huntsville, and Huntsville is much smaller than Twinbrook. No one knows who runs it and even who the members are. However, there are some strong suspicions against the Racket clan. This family, around there. They are mysterious and they aren't much liked around there. They literally swim in cash. They are diabolically bright. The two elders, Max and Marigold are probably the ones who command everything. No one has been able to prove anything. They have three sons, but one is gone away, and died some time later. There also was Max's brother, Stephen, but he was struck by lightning some time ago. Finally there are the grandchildren and the daughter-in-law, who appear to be more "normal".
-Speaking of normality, this family appears to be normal...
-The one at the buffet, next to the Castors.
-Oh, you mean the Greenwoods? They are fierce ecologists. Holly is the one that lost against Beverly Castor at the municipal elections. She is the one who got the votes of the Dead. However, she was pretty shocked by the affair. She is now member of the municipal council.
-Yeah, Arlette thought. This town seems to have more than one secret. She was intrigued by the Rackets, a dark, gloomy and powerful family. Arlette then wondered if they could get away with their actions that easily indefinitely...
Three days later, Mary Baker, gifted cook who worked at the local brewery, went out to get her newspaper. She thought of that whole curse story. Many people thought of that whole curse story. And psychosis was about to strike in town since many people were more gullible than me, she thought. As if the entire town was now cursed since two egyptologists who opened a tomb lived there! Preposterous! Many of them were certain that death would strike again. This is all that darn fortune teller's fault. She said that there would be more deaths. As if I was about to encounter a corpse, right now!
Mary gazed at the Racket's manor.
-If something terrible happened, I wouldn't have any doubts about the killers. Those ones fiddle evil things.
Then she saw somebody lying on the ground behind their hydrangea parterre.
-That must be Silver trying to get a tan. What a dimwit. She didn't realized yet that she is whiter than an aspirin!
However, Mary realized that it wasn't Silver Racket. The woman's skin was slightly more livid... Mary approached and discovered with horror the lifeless body of Pixie Carlton.
-In this case, at least, there is no ambiguity, decreed the inspector Deena Tex.
The forensic specialist found out that Mrs. Carlton was poisoned with mercury. One had found a broken thermometer in the hydrangeas. The case appeared to be clear. The Rackets must have been guilty. However, the constable Copperfield had some doubts about it. And he shares these doubts with the inspector.
-Dee, are you sure that the Rackets have done the deed?
-Who else might have? Deena asked.
-I think that it's the daughter, Sofia. She has a mobile.
-True. I don't see why Marigold & Co would have killed Pixie. However, she could have discovered something against them. This is highly unlikely, since the police have been seeking evidence for years. But Mrs. Carlton was a notable gossip.
-This is possible indeed. However, I still doubt it. The Racket are almost undeniably criminal geniuses. We are searching a single valid clue against them for nearly thirty years. Would they let a corpse and the murder weapon in their own bush? That would equal suicide: it would be a horrible mistake! After all what they accomplished? This is absurd! I would rather investigate Miss Carlton.
-You're probably right, reluctantly admitted Deena.
Sofia Carlton was subsequently arrested for her mother's murder. The thermometer was identified as Sofia's by a neighbor. Sofia had no alibi despite claiming having one. She however had a mobile. And some slight trace of mercury in her garden.
However, Sofia's alibi occurred to be real: a young botanist, named Matthew Smith, claimed to have gotten out of fuel in front of Miss Carlton's house (she and her mother did not live together), and asked her for some gasoline approximatively at the time of the crime. He then fled to France and didn't hear about the murder until he came back. And Sofia now had an alibi. And she had to be released.
-I desperately need you help, miss Clucky, said Deena.
Arlette listened carefully what the desperate inspector said. Every single track has been followed for Mrs Carlton's murder, and all of them were proved to be false, the wackiest and the most likely alike.
-Hmm. I've already thought about this case. Miss Carlton's innocence has sadly been proven. She would be the perfect suspect.
-The assassin is undoubtedly very bright. He provided two false tracks to follow. The only problem was that unexpected botanist.You see, I need you since possible witnesses would rather talk to you than to the police. Moreover, I'm overwhelmed with work. I already have to solve a case of embezzling in the SPA. The ideal culprit was Max Racket, but at the time, he was in a small town in France, called Orgueil, or something like this.
-Mmmh. Who are the other suspects?
-You wanna take a bet? asked suddenly Arlette. I write the name of my prime suspect on this paper, and you open it when you solved the case. If I was right, you owe me £6. If I wasn't, I owe you £6.
-Well, that's interesting. At least it takes me out of the routine. I have to go, now.
The inspector Tex took the envelope and went out, and Arlette wondered about her first visit. She decided to question Sofia's neighbors first. She took her hat and her gloves, and went out.
Arlette's first visit was for the local cougar Kat Hunter. Whe, she arrived, she was screaming at the little newspaper delivery girl who just nastily send the newspaper on her cat.
-Out of my sight you dirty little pest! Next time you throw the paper on my little Rondoudou, I'm gonna knock you out with a shovel, Dee!
She turned around and noticed Arlette.
-Oh, you're miss Arlette Clucky? My Buck told me that you're that detective everyone talks about. I'm sorry about this shouting. Is it in French that Désirée means desired? Because this Desiree is really undesirable. She intentionally throws the newspaper in the worse place, like in a puddle or in flower parterres. Please, do come in! Make yourself at home.
Arlette crossed the door. The house wasn't that big, but appeared to be comfortable. She then saw Katherine Hunter's boyfriend, and Arlette (who wasn't that much younger than Miss Hunter) envied the cougar. His tan skin, huge smile and black hair along with his youth made him very attractive. He greeted Arlette and said nothing else. Katherine was obviously the one that was going to talk.
-I suppose that you want me to talk about that gruesome murder. I won't mince: I'm convinced that the murder is Sofia Carlton. She have inherited lots of money thanks to her mother's death.
-She has an alibi.
-Twaddle! Do you believe those nonsenses? This incredible luck does only happen in novels. I'm certain that Matthew Smith is in the know.
-That's highly improbable. Matthew never came to Twinbrook, lived in Riverblossom Hills and never left it, while Sofia rarely get out of town in fear of straying in a place without a mall. Or at least, that's what Mollie says.
Mollie indeed didn't carry Sofia in her heart.
-Moreover, she continued, there was not a single mention of Matthew Smith anywhere in Sofia's or Pixie's house.
-What? And you believe this? shouted Kat mockingly. I saw him. Last month. He was walking in the wealthy neighborhood.
-Are you sure? asked Arlette, incredulous.
She didn't imagine that nice Matthew Smith as a murderer or an accomplice.
-If I wasn't sure of it, I wouldn't tell you. If you want to, you can ask the Sargeants. Those two know everything about the town.
Ten minutes later, Arlette moved toward the Sargeant's home, amazed by what she's just heard. As a matter of fact, no one could prove that Matthew never came to Twinbrook. But she couldn't believe it.
She arrived near the three house that belonged respectively to the Sargeants, 3 geeky guy, that went on a three-month trip to China and an elderly, sneaky author, Anna-Liza Riddle. In the latter's attic, Arlette distinctly saw a telescope aimed at the neighborhood. From this point, Miss Riddle could see anything, except the Ivy Hill Graveyard, located behind the house, on a hill. She appeared to be spying on everyone, and she might have seen something.
Arlette decided to pay her a visit, but no one answered when she knocked at the door. This piqued Arlette curiosity, and she went to the French window on the left side of the house. What she saw through it made her skin crawl.
-Another body! sight the inspector Deena Tex when Miss Riddle's corpse was taken away. I'll perhaps believe in that damn curse if all this nonsense continues! She's been smashed with a fire poker. She probably never knew who iced her.
-What does the forensic say? asked Arlette.
-Anna-Liza Riddle got murdered at 3 pm, something like one hour ago. The murderer had all the time he needed to get in and out without being noticed. The next-door neighbors are gone and the Sargeants couldn't see anything: the house between theirs and Anna-Liza's is much too big.
-Any suspicions? asked Arlette.
-I thought you's already figured out who iced that old lady, ironized Deena Tex, obviously referencing to the bet they've made earlier that day.
-No, I did not. I'm just pretty sure that this murder is related to Pixie Carlton's.
-I didn't need you to figure this out, Arlette. This is so evident! But why would someone kill HER?
-I think she learnt something. And she must have talked about it to the wrong person. Did you see the telescope in her attic?
-No, I didn't.
-She could see the entire town through it, excepts from the cemetery. She apparently enjoyed spying on the twinbrookians.
-That's why she was not liked by her neighbors.
-What? asked Arlette.
-Most of her neighbors couldn't bear her. One of them is gone. And the Sargeants literally hated her.
-Speaking of the Sargeants, we can ask them if they saw something, said Arlette, thinking about Katherine Hunter's words..
-Yeah. I know them. They are two very successful investigators. They sent countless criminals behind bars. However, they still have a lot of work. Criminality never decreased in that town. That's weird.
Arlette and Deena want to the 336, Sterling Street, and knocked at the door. A woman in unsophisticated yet flattering clothes with a perfect brushing opened it.
-Good afternoon, Madame, said politely Arlette. Are you Mrs Sargeant?
-Indeed, I am. Oh, good afternoon, Dee. How are you?
-I'm fine, Scout. You probably heard about Miss Riddle.
-Yeah, she's dead. However, I won't miss her. Come in, don't remain on the threshold. Do you want something to drink?
-Yes thanks you. I'd take a cup of tea, said Deena.
-And I'd take a good nectar, if it's possible, added Arlette.
Scout turned around and yelled:
-Bobby! Could you please pour two glasses of nectar and a cup of tea? Deena and another woman are here! You know, for that old hag's murder!
-She then turned toward Arlette.
-Oh, you're Miss Arlette Clucky? We've heard of your investigations.
-Indeed I am, smiled Arlette.
She looked around her. Bobby's and Sabina "Scout" Sargeant's house was as plain as Mrs Sargeant's clothing. No trinket, nothing unuseful. It was clean and tidy. This matched Sabina's and Bobby's job, that needed organization.
The three woman sat on nice, striped brown and white armchairs, and were joined by Bobby who was bringing the drinks. Arlette tasted the nectar, and this was a pure delight.
-You probably know, preluded Bobby, that we couldn't care less about that old shrew's actions.
Arlette was surprised by Bobby's tone. Sabina remarked it, and explicated:
-Whe couldn't stand that elderly woman. She was a true viper. Always snooping in other people's business. Did you see the telescope in her attic?
-Yes. That's why I wanted to visit her, said Arlette.
-She used it to spy on her neighbors. All of her neighbors. We were fed up with her gossips. Especially since our job need a lot of caution. She must have discovered one's big secret. And that person probably assassinated her.
-It's surely related to Mrs Carlton's death. She was a notable gossip. In fact, ALL of the gossips are dead. Miss Copper, Mrs Carlton and Miss Riddle. We called them the Infernal Three.
-What? asked Arlette.
-Those three were friends and they loved nothing more than spreading scandals.
-Interesting, said Arlette. But let's get back to the main topic. Do you have an alibi between 2 and 4 pm?
-We both worked in our lounge. No witness. Do you still have questions to ask us?
Deena was about to give a negative answer, but Arlette was quicker.
-Yes, we have. I just met Katherine Hunter, and she spoke about and interesting thing, and that you could give me some details. She told me that Matthew Smith, who is Miss Carlton's alibi, has already been in town, and possibly knew Miss Carlton, despite saying otherwise.
Deena stared at Arlette. She visibly was very surprised. Bobby answered.
-That's very possible. And I think it's even the truth. I think I indeed saw that guy once, in Puddlewick road, just next to her house. I didn't pay attention to it, but now that you tell it to me, I think you're right. And that would correspond to the scenario. The two know each other, and he accepted to help her to get an alibi (or else, why would he say he's never been there?). And Riddle saw them. She make an allusion, and Sofia knows that she knows. She then has no other choice than to kill her.*
Five minutes later, Arlette and Deena were back in the street.
-Would you please explain to me why you didn't tell me about Mr Smith, asked Deena, visibly upset.
-I just learnt it. And I didn't want to spoil the surprise.
-Perhaps were we after the right person since the beginning.
-The first suspects you got were the Rackets. And it's highly probable that they're innocents.
-I'd like to see Miss Carlton, said Arlette suddenly.
-I guess we will have to see her, in order to arrest her. The Sargeants's words were perfectly clear. And they are kno to be very perceptive persons.
Arlette thought then about the Infernal Three, as Mrs Sargeant called them. She, despite Sabina's unhonorary description of them, wished to have known those three women. The first one died before she arrived. She briefly saw Miss Riddle, with her salmon pink dress, lilac Pullover, hat and large, square-shaped glasses, and the same for Mrs Carlton, with her short hair and silver earring. All three were pushing up daisies, and two of them were assassinated.
Suddenly, a small idea came in Arlette's mind. And if...? But she shook her head and tentatively forgot it in order to focus on Miss Carlton.
Arlette and Deena arrived in front of a large house, and the young Sofia opened the door.
-Miss Carlton, I do have an arrest warrant against you and Mr Smith for Pixie Carlton's murder, said Deena.
-What's this nonsense? abruptly asked Sofia.
-Many witnesses saw Mr Smith in town one month ago, and he was near your house! You knew him and asked him for an alibi! Mrs Riddle probably discovered it, and you also killed her!
-No, I didn't, cried Sofia! That's a vicious lie!
-Do you have an alibi? grinned Deena sadistically.
-How could I? I was there, alone, all the afternoon! That's imossible! Not again!
She then burst into tears, and Deena Tex handcuffed her.
The next day, Deena stormed in Mollie's kitchen and charged toward Arlette.
-HOW DID YOU GUESS? she vociferated. How did you guess that Penny Pincher was the embezzler! Everything accused Renee William-Brown!
-I observed this young woman during the funerals said Arlette while wiping Mollie's dress on which the latter spilled her coffee during the inspector's sensational arrival. She appeared to be normal, but she had an unpleasant, calculating glow in her look. When you told me she worked at the Spa, I was certain that she was the guilty one. However I had no proof, nor did I have clue. That was just an intuition. And you owe me £6.
-You just had luck, grumble the inspector while giving the money to Arlette. At least we finally got Miss Carlton once and for all.
-I'm not sure, Mollie told. Letty told me that she had somebody else in mind.
-WHAT? screamed Deena, this time almost scaring Mollie enough to drop her tartine on her friend's purple, satined dress.
-That's true, said Arlette. I told Mollie that Sofia might not be guilty. I'll tell you how this probably happened.
Arlette arrived at the Pidgin's house at 3 pm. She got a phone call from Dilly Pidgin earlier that day, that said that she had something important to tell her. The house was gigantic, and greenish, a color that clashed with the immaculate white houses in the surroundings. She rang the doorbell, and a woman opened.
-You're Miss Clucky, the detective? I'm Anne Tricia Septik, Milly's and Dilly's maid. Please do come in. They are waiting for you.
Arlette followed the maid in a long hall that opened on an immense lounge. And she remember the day Mollie told her about the Pidgin's awfully peculiar tastes. She was below the truth. The room was filled with various, light pink chintz armchairs, mahogany furnitures, a white piano, multicolored tulips and some hideous, motley old paintings, all this surrounded by a spiceberry carpet and green and orange, sunflower ornated wallpaper. She then observed the three ladies that were presents. It was not difficult to tell which ones were the Pidgins. Those two were pretty much alike and their outfits matched he surroundings. Clashing, motley and eccentric. The third one was merely wearing a blue pullover and a beige dress. She manifestly was stressed a lot.
-Good afternoon, Miss Clucky, said Milly Pidgin. Please take a seat.
Arlette obeyed and sad in one of the armchairs. She vainly tried to ignore the monstrosity of the room.
-I asked you to come in order to help you to fight the many criminals that are in town, she continued. And I think that you're as much convinced than me that this curse story is pure idiocy.
-Do you know Miss Alma Drill? asked Dilly.
-I don't have this honor.
-Miss Drill is a teacher at the Stary Community School, said Milly. And I invited you since she had had some information she kept secret in fear of being silenced. She finally told me about it since I'm apparently the one the trusts the most. She was too scared to talk to the police.
Alma didn't seem to want to talk, paralysed with anxiety.
-C'mon, Alma! encouraged Dilly. Tell her! You can trust her. Or else, Ma will tell her instead of you, and you'll look like a cowardly fool.
Alma sure was anguished, but she however seemed to react to the taunt.
-Well, she said hesitantly, the day Pixie died, I saw that creepy old witch, in Sofia's garden.I didn't see what she actually did, and I thought it was another of her annoying and evil pettinesses. But when I learnt that Pixie had been poisoned and that Sofia's thermometer had been found on the crime scene, I knew what she had done.
-Who is this creepy old hag?
-Who, you ask? That was that dire Marigold Racket! I'm sure she is involved with this.
-But Why didn't you tell anything? asked Arlette.
-If she and her clan learnt that I knew something, she would have killed me! Her henchmen are everywhere! No one can be trusted in this town as long as Marigold and her organization there! Except from Milly! Everyone KNOW that Marigold is the master of the Twinbrook Crime Syndicated, but no one could ever prove it!
-You know, said Milly, I really hate that little Carlton, but I would not accept seeing her arrested for a crime she did not commit by my or Alma's silence. I hope that You'll be able to arrest the true culprits quickly.
While getting away, Arlette thought of what she just heard. If Alma was right, then the original track was the right one. The Rackets were the culprits. However they weren't in town at the time. No, that was during the Spa fund's iembezzlement. They were in Germany. No, in France, in a small town, Orgueil as I recall.
And then, Arlette understood, and knew what really happened. Everything would correspond! However, in the case, the others were guilty too! That's amazing!
She then ran to the police department and aked to see the inspector Tex.
-You were right! said joyfully Deena Tex. We got them! The criminal organization is finally behind bars! Margigold Racket was the one who learnt all the tricks of the plot! However, I still don't know how you did know.
-That's Alma Drill who brought my attention back on the Rackets. She saw the old Marigold in Sofia's garden the day Mrs Carlton died. However, she was too scared to talk, and said that her henchmen were everywhere. And she apparently was so true. Moreover, I recalled that the Racket once were in Orgueil, France. And a big meteor falled there some time ago, probably leaving some fragments around.
-I don' see how this is related to Pixie's murder.
-That's the key of the murder! Mrs Carlton has never been the main target. We were wrong all the time. The main victim was Tina-Patricia Copper. We first thought of a murder, and we were right. Their plan was very ingenious.
-Stop! Could you explain it to the poor, silly woman I am, since I don't even know what you're talking about.
-Tina-Patricia Copper had not been killed by unluck. She was a sneaky gossip, and she probably learnt something very important and very detrimental for the Racket's and their organization. They had to keep her silent. But they used a very special method.They are vile but very clever. They wanted to use the unexpected, accidental death of the other egyptologist who suddenly died of blood poisoning. He and Copper opened an ancient Egyptian tomb, and they knew that people here could believe in a curse. A curse might allow the to use some extraordinary, unprobable, unfortunate yet possibly accidental way of killing her: if she's been curse, absolutely EVERYTHING might happent to her. Like the falling of some small meteor. Such an unluck might only be seen in cinemas. However, since she might have been curse, everyone would think that she was killed by unluck and fatality. Everyone fell in the trap, except from Milly Pidgin. Even the most skeptical persons, who don't believe in those things, tend to subconsciously admit it. That's what I did. Tina-Patricia Copper totally disappeared from my thoughts. And Mrs Sargeant hopefully reminded me that she also died, else I would never have thought about her again. You remember? She talked about the Infernal Three, and two were killed. Why not three?
This whole think has been carefully planned. No one would try to know where the meteor came from, since it might have fallen from the sky, unlike most other things. I had it analysed, and it is the same type of meteor that fell on Orgueil in 1864. And meteors of this type are somehow rare. A coincidence would be too enormous to be true. One of the Rackets (probably Max. He is by far the most experienced along with his wife, and strongest) discretely followed her in the misty fog, and smash Tina-Patricia's head with the meteor, without letting a single print. And he got away, hidden by the mist. He also took care of not letling any footprint behind.
However, they learnt that Pixie Carlton quickly discovered the body, and they were scared: and if she heard or saw something? They couldn't take a single risk. They then developed a bold plan. First, they had to find a black sheep. Easy. They found it as Sofia Carlton, dimwitted, and with a mobile.
First, Marigold steals a thermometer at Sofia's home, and is unknowingly seen by Alma Drill. She breaks it, takes the mercury, invites Pixie, kills her by making her drink the mercury, put the corpse in her own garden as well as the thermometer's wreck. She know that it can be identified as Sofia's. This was diabolically bright. The Rackets knew that they were known as evil genius, and that the police avidly searched a single proof against them. They used this reputation. After all the incredible things they did, how could they, the Rackets, leave such an irrefutable evidence behind them. Everyone would think that they are too clever to do such and horrible mistake, and that someone awkwardly tried to accuse them. Once again, they lured everyone.
-I know. The constable Copperfield was the first one to fall in the trap, and he made me fall into it too.
-This worked perfectly, and Sofia was inculped for Pixie's murder. And no one linked this murder to Copper's death. However, Arlette continued, there was a problem. Sofia has been proven to have an alibi, and once again, they were in trouble. The alibi relied on a total stranger. Then they had to convince that Matthew Smith lied and knew Sofia Carlton, making him an accomplice. And they used their organization in order to lure us. And they do have a strong support in their ranks: a couple of well-known and trusted investigators, the Sargeants. No one would even suspect them of lying. They have helped the police on many occasion.
-Not really. We prove than most of the persons that were arrested thanks to them wre innocents, the xxCENSOREDxx! That's why criminality in Twinbrook never decreased.
-Yeah, and Alma Drill was right. No one could really be trusted as long as Marigold's organization exists. Everyone could've been in that thing. However, they once again were in trouble. Miss Riddle found out something that might have ruined their plans. No one would ever learn what. The must have blathed in front of the wrong person, and they had to kill her. They send one of the Sargeants to smash her with her fire poker and Bobby and Sabina then insinuated that Riddle's discovery concerned Matthew Smith. Bright! There were no deaths left to incriminate the Rackets since Sofia's been found guilty for all the murders. However, Mrs Sargeant has done a mistake. She shouldn't have mentioned the Infernal Three, or else I'd never thought about Tina-Patricia Copper anymore. That's what led me to think that Copper might also have been murdered. And I'd never have found out that she was the main victim and the problem couldn't have been solved yet, despite Alma's sayings. The Infernal Three. They are the ones who really convinced the talented, clever and powwerful Rackets for murder, Even when they were deceased. It's sad that they died. Oh, and by the way, who were the members of the sydicates?
-There are plenty of them. First there was Katherine Hunter.
-Of course. She is the first one who have mentioned Matthew Smith as a liar and that send us to the influential yet evil Sargeants.
-There also was Clark Peddler...
-I could have guessed, pensively said Arlette. His appearance totally matchs this.
-I know. These are the ones who falsified the votes, aren't they?
-Of course, but you don't know everything. Some though they did it because they were ecologists.
-And other, like Mollie, thought it was because of Beverly Castor was a dreaded threat to the organization.
-Yes. But the truth is different. They tried to place one of their syndicate to the town hall. I'd never thought that Holly Greenwood would be some kind of criminal. If they had succeeded, The mayor of the town would have been a criminal and the organization would have completely taken over the town. Oh, and there also was a firefighter, Bernadette Sprinkle. She has already deliberatly set ablaze three buildings. But now, we got all the documents that prove that all those people are in the organization.
-At least, conclueded Arlette, Twinbrook is now as peaceful as it once was, during the periodd between the flood and the Syndicate.
Dilly Pidgin was once again reading the paper next to her mother.
-You see Ma, Beverly Castor will hold a ceremony in honor of Arlette Clucky to thank her for having gotten rid of the criminals.
-She deserved it, answered Milly. Twinbrook was filled with evildoers for nearly thirty years. And partly because of these damn Sargeants. That poor Penelope must have turned in her grave.
-Penelope, Bobby's sister?
-Yes. A lovely young woman. She died years ago in a massive fire. She hopefully never learnt about her brother's and sister-in-law's actions. Beverly was lucky to have had Arlette in her town.
-Without hern no one would ever have sent the Rackets behind bars.
-And moreover, she has definitely elucidated the affair of the rigged election.
-I still can't believe that Holly Greenwood was among the criminals. She seems nice and... normal!
-Yes. But appearances might be misleading. The Rackets would have reigned over town through her.
-God am I glad that that awful old crone is behind bars!
-I am too, but one has to acknowledge that this Marigold was a true genius. Even is she is evil. A few people might accomplish what she had done.
-Oh, by the way, Silver and her kids, who weren't in Marigold's crime syndicate moved out to Riddle's house. The manor remembered Silver of her family-in law. And I read here that the old manor has already bought by an othe wealthy heiress.
-I heard it. She will move in in three weeks. She appears to be perfectly normal. I can't remember her name, though...
-As if one heiress in town was not enough. At least, Sofia might get some other frends... For now, she just has Amy Bull. And her husband. She married Matthew Smith.
-I know, answered Milly. They didn't know them for a long time, but they still had gone through a lot with each other. Oh, I remember the name of the heiress! I's Dortheimer! Claudette Dortheimer! I don't think SHE will cause much havoc in town...