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The Chapel - Part 20
by Theodore K. Nasos
2016-03-21 10:11:06
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Chief Inspector Bennett left the paper in front of the pastor and lit another cigarette quietly waiting for him to read it.

“Science my dear Harold. You don’t mind if I keep calling you Harold, do you? No collar no pastor, right?” The man gave him an angry look from the other side of the table and the same time touched his neck, somehow looking for the missing collar.

jogn01_400“Finger prints, that’s how he called it Harold. We had absolutely no idea what he was talking about. Strange fellow though this scientist Harold. Funny hat, long cape and a pipe constantly in his mouth. Big pipe, bad smell Harold. Disgusting habit.” Bennett said while taking deep inhales from his cigarette.

“Bad habit, Harold. Don’t really remember his name anymore. I was too young that period. Sherman, Sherlyn something like that. But he sat right there. The office on the other side of the wall. And with some dust and some smoke and a magnified glass he shown us the little secret we all hide between our fingers. Funny that I remember how badly his smoke smelled and not remember his name. Life is weird, Harold.”

Saying that he reached closer from the other side of the table and pulled the paper. “And guess what science says in this paper, Harold. Please do. Don’t you have faith in science Harold or is it all about God?” the pastor continued to say nothing, looking angry.

“Fine Harold, you don’t want to guess, so let me tell you. This paper says that your finger prints are all over the knife that killed this gentleman outside the Chapel a few hours ago. Not mine, not Constable Johnson’s, not Sir John’s, not my neighbour Emily’s finger prints. Just yours, Harold. And that’s the best part Harold. The glory of science Harold. Not a single one of us has the same finger print. Yes sir. All different. How many different millions of people out there? So many different fingerprints. Millions. Each one his own. And you Harold, yours.”

Bennett took a deep breath before continue. “That how I know for sure that it was you who killed the poor man.” The pastor in a sudden hit of energy stood up, totally pale in the face with his fists tied hard in front of him like he was ready for a fight and he screamed. “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”


Sir John and I had heard the whole exchange. From inside the room more screams and noises came to our side. Obviously policemen had entered the room form the other side trying to hold the pastor who was in a rage, hitting everything and screaming. Mr Okoye had sat down keeping his ears shut with his hands.

“Sounds like a trapped animal.” I said to Sir John trying to say something to occupy both of us from all the noise and the screaming.

“Exactly,” said Sir John thoughtfully.

“Oh come on man,” I exploded. “Don’t make it more difficult. You have a solution and now is Bennett’s work to take a confession for the rest of the murders. With a little of luck our job is over. We helped the police, let them short out the mess now.”

“This is it, there is too much mess and too much luck.”

“Not my mess, the pastor’s mess.”

“Elementary my dear friend. Elementary.” Murmured Sir John and left the room. I was not planning to follow him. The noise in the room had stopped, obviously the policemen had managed to quite the pastor and Bennett seemed ready to start again. My curiosity was stronger in this direction that Sir John’s doubts.

jogn02_400But nothing really happened for a bit and after a while Bennett stepped out of the room.

“Where is Sir John” he asked when he saw my drying the sweat from his forehead. “Not sure, he said something about the mess and he left.”

“Did he tell you where he was going? “This time Bennett looked at me angry. “Of course not, do you know Sir John ever giving report of what he is thinking or doing?”

“No but why didn’t you follow him?”

“I wasn’t invited.”

“Strange!” and with this word Bennett moved to the other room.

“Please, don’t tell me that you also have doubts?”

“Is this what Sir John said?”

“Sir John said that there was too much mess.”

“Right, right!”

“And what?”

“You should have followed him. But it doesn’t matter, I know where he is going.”

I had no idea what I was missing so I followed Bennett out of the police station and straight to his car that started immediately. Ten minutes later we were standing in the Chapel’s kitchen looking at Sir John who was standing in front of the big butcher island with 4 knives in front of him. All identical with the one that had committed the murder, all with stamps of blood from different uses.

“He sounded trapped, didn’t he?” He said like that was the magic phrase that explained everything.


Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5 - Part 6 - Part 7 - Part 8 - Part 9 - Part 10 - Part 11 - Part 12 - Part 13 -Part 14 -Part 15 - Part 16 -Part 17 - Part 18 - Part 19 - Part 20 -

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