It was the end of a long day at the office when I got the call. A shrill voice met my ear as I put the phone up against it. I recognised the caller immediately. Mrs Avery. She was convinced that her husband had been murdered two weeks ago, in what was supposedly a car accident.
“Mr Homes, I knew it! I told you there was foul play, but you didn’t believe me. Well, I’ve got proof now.”
I shook my head. Although she wouldn’t be able to see it, I hoped that she could sense my frustration. “As I have told you many times, Mrs Avery, I never said there wasn’t any foul play. I merely said that there was insufficient evidence for us to take the case. That can easily change. What is this proof you speak of?”
“I’ve just received the results of the car repairs. Hobart Avery was murdered, there’s no doubt about it!” screamed Mrs Avery. “They say there are definite signs of sabotage, not possible in an accident. Slashed tyres, dents and damage impossible from the official report.”
Perhaps she wasn’t so crazy after all. “Hold on, Mrs Avery. My assistant and I will be right there.”
I snapped my fingers to awake Whatson. He bolted up and said, “What? What is it Surelock?”
“Get up and prepare our vehicle. Make sure there is no car air conditioning. Hobart Avery was murdered, and I want the drive to be at the perfect temperature on the way to investigate. My mind must be at its sharpest when we arrive.”
But the investigation did not go as planned. As it turned out, the case had not been a murder. Mrs Avery had made the whole thing up to lure us there. It was a trap. She was, in fact, a puppet for my arch-nemesis, Doctor Mortimer, intending to kill us.
But alas, my time runs short, and that must remain a story for another day.