Sleep With One Eye Open
The day had been great. Edward and Rebecca had spent the day windsurfing, tanning and swimming. They went back to their room, covered with sunburns.
“What should we do now?”
Rebecca answered from underneath the bed covers. “Sleep.”
Hours later, while the two were heading to dinner, Edward asked Rebecca; “do you notice that something is different around here?”
“In what way?”
“Well, for instance,” Edward started. “The whole staff seems to be on edge, as if a dreadful event has occurred.
And, there's more guards around than usual and while we were heading downstairs, two rooms were roped off with police tape.”
Rebecca said nothing, still contemplating this conspiracy.
Drew spent the day holed up in his room. Instead of interacting with other humans at lunch, he order it up to his room.
Drew knew he should go outside and spend his time doing something other than reading, but since his main reason for going on this cruise; the interview with Robert Van Doren, was gone,
the trip had no purpose.
A loud knock at his door brought him back to reality. Now who could that be?
Paul Orman stood on his doorstep with a grim expression on his face. To Drew this scene felt strangely familiar.
“Mr Rockefeller, I'm afraid that I need your help to solve another case.”
“Another passenger has been murdered?”
“Yes,” the captain nodded his head. “This guest’s name is Hannah Abbot, like Mr Van Doren, she was found in her room, 6849.”
They walked to room 6949, having to take the stairs because all the elevators were full.
“When did this happen?”
“About two hours ago.
We've already combed through the crime scene, and I assure you, Drew, that the killer has not left his wallet this time,” the captain said with a faint smile on his lips.
“Oh, that reminds me,” Drew said turning towards Paul. “Do you still have Marcus Rothchild in custody?”
“Yes, there was always someone guarding him. Although this does complicate things because now there's a possibility that Marcus is innocent.”
“Yes, it does,” Drew said, lost in thought.
“Maybe Marcus Rothchild was framed. It would have been easy for the killer to steal his wallet, then stage it and the gun near the crime scene.”
“Agreed,” the captain said. “Here we are now,” he said pointing forwards to the hallway blocked off with police tape.
Inside, the late Hannah Abbot lay in a heap on the floor, a pool of blood trailing from her skull. Joseph Astor was already there, examining the body.
“Look at this,” he said, pointing to the back of Hannah’s head.
Fragments of broken glass peered out of the bloody skin.
“She was clearly killed by a blow to the head,” Joseph said, gesturing to the body and the glass littering the floor.
“We should look for fingerprints.”
“I've already done that. None were left.”
“They didn't leave any last time either.”
Drew and Joseph combed through the room and surrounding area multiple times over.
“We could talk to the people in the rooms nearby,” Joseph suggested.
“No, it's about 5:30. Everyone is at dinner.”
“We should be anyways, it's not like the corpse is going to walk away.”
They locked the door and headed downstairs. Their footsteps echoing through the silent halls. Drew was reminded that two had died there, at the hands of someone on this very ship.
And he could be next…
Dinner was almost finished. Paul Orman stood near the front of the room, pacing. When he saw them enter he ran over and spoke in a hushed tone.
“Did you find anything?” He sounded desperate. The news he was about to give could lose him his job.
“Nothing, though we have determined the cause of death,”Drew said.
The captain nodded. At this moment, the sounds of forks on plates ceased and people stood up to leave.
“Wait a moment!” Paul Orman ran up on the stage, capturing the audience’s attention.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I am sorry to have to inform you this… But late last night and earlier this afternoon, two guests were murdered.”
The crowd both gasped with shock or stayed completely silent.
“Your safety is our number one priority. And I assure you, no more guests will be harmed on my ship.”
Mutters of shock and outrage flowed around the room.
The atmosphere in the room seemed to grow tense; guests fled from the dinning hall and the captain walked off stage, his expression unreadable.
“Let's go,” Joseph turned towards Drew. “We should take another crack at solving the case.”
“Well that was unexpected.”
Rebecca and Edward had caught up to Drew and Joseph.
“I know…” Drew said letting his words trail off.
“Who are these people?” Joseph whispered to Drew.
“We sat with them yesterday at dinner, remember?”
“So guys, do want to play a board game in our room, or in the library?” Rebecca asked.
Crap, Drew thought, I don't want to be rude, but we can't bring them with us.
“We have business to take care of,” Joseph said, thinking the same thing as Drew.
“Ok,” Rebecca said, the hurt on her face clear.
“Well bye,” Drew called over his shoulder as Joseph dragged him away.
“That was close. No one is supposed to know that we're trying to solve the case.”
“Yeah but,” Drew argued; “how will we question people, if we can't talk about the murders?”
Joseph said nothing. They reached room 6949, stepping over the yellow police tape that surrounded the crime scene. Inside, the room looked the same, though the smell had worsted.
“So, what do we do now? Look for clues again?”
“Yes, maybe we'll find something this time.”
And they did. Fifteen minutes later, Joseph called over excitedly; “hey, I found a footprint here.”
Drew rushed over.
“You know, if you measure the length of the footprint itself and the length between each footprint,” Drew started to say,.
“You'll get the approximate height of the owner, yeah I know,” Joseph interrupted.
“According to my calculations, our killer is just over five and a half feet.
But I did the same thing with the footprint I found at Robert Van Doren’s room and that measurement was about six feet.”
“So our killer could be two killers?”
“Yes, they could even be working together. I mean, what’s the possibility of two murders on a cruise ship not being connected?”
“So all we know about our killers is that one is about five and a half feet, and the other about six”; Joseph said.
“That's not a lot to go on. It could be anybody on this darn ship!”
“Calm down, like (find out author of Bird by Bird) says, just take it bird by bird.”
“Okay, you're right. Where should we start?”
They made slow progress by talking to the surrounding residents; but gained little useful information.
“Man, this guy is good,” Joseph said to Drew during one of their breaks.
“Yeah…” Drew mumbled, lost in thought.
“This the truly perfect crime.”
“No it isn't,” Drew argued. “No crime can ever be prefect. Because if it was really prefect, no one would had heard of it.
And besides, it can't just be one guy; two people are probably working together.”
Little did they know; but Drew and Joseph had just established an critical factor in solving the case.