A Story From AmericaAugust 14th 1960, I was working late at the office that night. It was like one of those nights that gives you shiver, when you think about them. The cold air was tickling me in the neck, when it slowly blowed into the room from the open window. The lights from the street made me so annoyed that I hartly could find and read the papers I was looking for. Finally I found them, they were hiding in my personal archive of cases connected with murder. My attention suddenly breaks when my secretary, a young talented woman with many unusual skills, approaches the office.
She always talks, normaly I just pretend to listen, but this time I could feel something was different. She had an idea, maybe she had found a clue, in the case which had gone on my nerves for the last three weeks. “Cooper !”, she manages to pronounce before she throws some papers on my desk. “Do you remember, when we were investigating Mrs Alpher’s apartment ?”. “Yes, what is it ?” I say, trying to find out what’s on her mind. “You see, until now we haven’t found anyone that possibly could have gone into Mrs Alpher’s apartment, without anyone noticing him or her”.
“You’ve got a point there”, I responded, what was on her mind ? That blue dress certainly showed her fine curves, actually I coundn’t get her of my mind most of the time. “Well, her apartment lies on the corner of Main Street and Baker Street, there’re three windows, one on Baker St. and one Main St. plus one in the middle.
That night Mrs Alpher was shot, it was very warm, and if she then had a window open. A person could have shot her in hers apartment, from his or hers own window”, she looked satisfied after finishing her composing. “So what you’re trying to say, is that we maybe could find the murder in one of the apartments opposite Mrs Alpher’s windows”. The idea wasn’t bad at all I thoungt, she opened the new cupboard to get some files. “OK. we’ll go over to her apartment right away”.
It was quite strange to enter the apartment, it had an unusual structure, but also it had a certain charm with it’s three windows in the end of the living room. I tryed to picture what had been going on that evening Mrs Alpher was shot. First she had come home after a dinner with her lover, to relax herself she starts to change her clothes. Then she opens the windows because of the heat, the murder is sitting in his or hers window frame, waiting for Mrs Alpher to stand in the right spot where he or she can fire the gun. No one will notice the shot, because of loud noise the trafic usualy makes. The pieces finally bagan to fit, now there was only one thing left to do, cross-examine those with windows opposide Mrs Alpher’s apartment.
Luckily there were only three real suspects, Mr Appleton, Mrs Sherly and Mr Edwoods, my secretary and I went out to find the murder. Mr Appleton 33 years old, lives opposide Mrs Alpher’s apartment on Baker Street. Has a good point of view to the apartment, and have permission to carry a gun. He was alone home watching television the night of the murder.
Mrs Sherly 25 years old, lives opposide Mrs Alpher’s apartment on Main Street. Do not have a good point of view, but have been jealous of Mrs Alpher, because of her new lover (according to other close friends). She was home, but was sleeping at the time of the murder. Mr Edwoods 34 years old, lives nextdoor to Mrs Sherly.
Has a good point of view to all three windows, but wasn’t home at the time of the killing. After hearing all three alibis, I sat down trying to find out who had the best reason for killing Mrs Alpher. Mr Appleton was apparently the headsuspect, because he had permission to carry a gun. But all murders didn’t always have permission to carry guns, so Mrs Sherly with her jealousy was also a headsuspect.
Mr Edwoods whom said he wasn’t home at the time of the killing, has the best point of view to the apartment, also he could have do it, if he was lieing. Suddenly the phone starts ringing, I pick up the receiver hoping something incredible had happened. “It’s the downtown policedepartment, Agent Cooper ? One of your suspects was confessed the murder of Mrs Alpher”. I went down to the police department right away, but who could it be ?To my surprise, I saw Mr Edwoods standing at the counter. He looked confused, also he couldn’t look me in the eye.
“Mr Edwoods ?”, I couldn’t complete what I was about to say, when he cryed out “It was me, yes I admit it, it was me who killed that crazy woman”. “But why Mr Edwoods ? Why did you kill a woman you hardly knew ?”, “I couldn’t stan her, she was a bitch !” he said with conviction in his voice. “Well Mr Edwoods, why don’t you tell me what had happened “, “ok. I’ll better do that”.
I lean back in my chair, and started listening. “For a long time I had been following Mr Alpher, I dreamt every night of her and then she finds this lover”. He stoped talking for a moment, so I asked him with no consideration “But why didn’t you at least talk to her ?” “You see, I wasn’t the kind of man she wanted”, he looked up with tears in his eyes. “The only way out I could find was to abolish the lover, but at the time I was going to kill, I couldn’t see the difference between her and him.
I didn’t mean to kill Mr Alpher, it was a mistake, a terrible mistake. But I’m the one how shall be punished, and I’ve got nothing more to say”. His face was all white, so I asked him to take it easy. Few minutes alter a policeman came to collect Mr Edwoods, I saw him being taken away with handcuffs on his back. I needed a rest, and the only place I knew where I could rest, was at the Johnsons’ Hotel.
Maybe I should call my secretary ? No, she already knew what had happened. I opened the door to the hotel lobby, two women were sitting down in the white chairs, maybe waiting ? Or just relaxing themselves. One of them, was reading a book. She also had the same blue dress as my secretary, no another mistake, the dress wasn’t quite the same. But anyway, I wasn’t here to look at women, but to relax myself.
It was not very warm in the hotel lobby, so I keept my coat on. There were no to see behind the counter, but I was patient. Suddenly a man runs into the lobby, he stops infront of on of the ladies. When he takes his coat off his arm, I can see he holds a shotgun in his hand. I’m paralysed for a few seconds, then he fires the shotgun, and runs out of the backdoor.
Just when I’m about to rest, something always happens. I start running alter him.