‘There were two cups!’
David repeated to himself as he tried to get his head around the latest revelation in the murder case. A lot of questions and theories swarmed around his head, but being the man of logic he’s always been, David chose to focus on getting answers and facts, rather than dawdle on questions and theories. He picked up his phone and called up Jane.
“Hi Jane. Did you check the cups collected from the Coker’s murder scene for traces of poison?” David asked.
“Hold on, let me check the report Emmy filed.
Uhm…no we didn’t. Emmy was supposed to handle that. We split the work and he was supposed…” Jane was about to explain when David cuts her short.
“Just get it done, okay? Call me as soon as you finish up.” David instructed.
David knew very well the importance of being tactful at such a point like that. Despite what he had seen in the picture, he still didn’t have anything strong to convict Jannice for the crime.
The second cup might have been empty. Even if it did contain the drink that night, Jannice could easily deny drinking from it.
Even though it wasn’t much, David regarded the latest revelation as the biggest lead he’s gotten so far into the case.
The next morning, David went to the station to sort out some paperwork. Once he finished, he hopped into his car and drove off to visit Esther. Jannice had given him her address the previous day, when she mentioned her as the person who was responsible for setting up the couple’s things in the hotel room.
After a long drive, David arrived at the front of a bungalow apartment which was supposed to be Esther’s residence, according to the address Jannice gave him.
David knocked several times, but no one responded. After a while, he decided to check around the back for any opening or any presence in the house. He was just walking around the corner when someone opened the door.
“Hey, who are you and what do you want?” said the grumpy-looking lady who opened the door.
David observed the woman who seemed to be in her fifties or sixties as she stood still with arms akimbo, waiting for him to vindicate his disturbance. ‘This could be Esther’s mum’ he thought to himself.
“Morning ma’am. I am David.” he said, showing her his ID.
“I’m here to see Esther. Is she around?” David inquired.
“Which Esther?”, she asked, rather rhetorically.
“There’s no Esther here. You must be lost or something. I live here alone, and if you don’t mind, I’d like you to step off my land.” she demanded impudently.
“I’m sorry for disturbing. I’ll be on my way now. Do have a bright and colourful day. You need it.” David sneered as he walked away.
David got back into his car and tried to call Jannice, but was unsuccessful in doing so. Each time he dialed her number, he got the prompt that her line was busy.
David was getting quite agitated, and he had to calm himself by checking out some comedy clips on YouTube. He had intended to pay Jannice a visit, but he wasn’t sure if she could be trusted, so he opted for an alternative, and called up James.
After getting the real address from James, David realized that Jannice had given him the wrong house number in the address she wrote, and Esther actually lived in the same street where he was.
Just as David approached the front door of Esther’s apartment, he saw two ladies emerge from inside the house. David introduced himself and announced his mission of wanting to have a word with Esther. One of the ladies who identified herself as Esther ushered David inside the house, while the other lady hurried off.
“Hello Inspector. Please have a seat.” Esther said as she motioned to a chair.
“Jannice told me that you would be coming.” Esther pointed out.
“Is that so?” David asked.
“Yes. She asked me to answer all your questions honestly.” she added.
“How thoughtful of her, but she didn’t have to. Who would want to lie to an officer of the law in the course of investigating a crime, and risk being punished with a prison sentence of up to fourteen years?” David asked rhetorically.
“I was made to understand that you were responsible for conveying drinks and other items to the hotel room where Samson Coker was eventually murdered.” David recounted.
“Murdered?” Esther repeated, looking shocked.
“Yes. Samson was murdered. Poisoned actually. And the poison was contained in one of the drinks you dropped off in the room. So, do you have anything you want to tell me?” David asked.
“What do you mean?” Esther inquired, looking perplexed and worried.
“When did you drop off the items at the hotel room? Where did you get the drinks? Did you convey them to the hotel alone? Did anyone else have access to them aside from you?” David asked in succession.
“It was on the day of the wedding. I took them from the bunch that was bought for the wedding. Mrs. Johnson was the one who bought all the drinks. I hired a car to convey the drinks to the room, and no one else accompanied me. I don’t know who else had access to the room, as I returned the room key to the hotel receptionist once when I was leaving.” Esther explained.
“I didn’t poison the drink. I don’t know who poisoned it.” Esther added, looking rather nervous.
“Be at ease ma’am. I haven’t accused you of poisoning the drink, have I?” David pointed out.
“See, I just want you to help me here. Is there anyone else who had a business in the room on that day? David asked.
Esther was hesitant in giving a response, as she looked even more troubled.
“I really need to get something from our meeting ma’am. So far in the web-like situation of solving this case, the strongest thread points at you at the moment. Now, for both our sakes, tell me something I don’t already know.” David implored.
“I can’t tell you what I don’t know. I’ve already told you everything I know.” Esther replied, looking more assured.
For some reason, David was of the belief that Esther knew more than she admitted. However, he got up and thanked Esther for sparing some of her time to answer his questions. David was almost at the doorway when he suddenly turned.
“Pardon my inquisitiveness, but may I know who the lady I met earlier with you is?” David asked politely. And for some reason, Esther seemed startled on hearing his question.
Esther wasn’t sure whether to tell David the truth, as she didn’t want to invoke anyone’s wrath. She reasoned that David would later figure out the identity of the lady, since he had seen her face earlier. She however concluded that it would be irrational to lie to the Inspector.
“That was Josephine.” Esther confessed.
“She’s Jannice’s twin sister.” she added.
To be continued…
Click to read Chapter 6