The Tornado Sojourns (4) – Chapter 04 – Crime Wave
While Bagg, Wisma, Parse and Merri went to the Prefects office to report the loss of her bracelet the remainder of the group were sitting at a table in a restaurant called the Golgothan Orchid and had finished eating by the time they returned.
“You’ve been a long time” Trebreh said to his brother
“It was very busy” he replied
“Were they any help?” Xandra asked
“None whatsoever” Merri retorted curtly
“Other than pointing out that it was more likely to have been stolen than lost because there have been numerous thefts and robberies” Parse explained “But without knowing where it was taken there isn’t much they can do about it”
Pulsat Rad sat very quietly while the others spoke as he had an idea as to where the bracelet may have been stolen, this was unusual as it was normally his friend Vanzyl who had the ideas and Pulsat who relayed them to the others, because he could understand every tone and toot that Vanzyl uttered, as if it were in his own tongue, whereas no one else could.
But he was Prinsloovian and it was common place for his species, and there were very few races he had met on his travels that he couldn’t understand, although he couldn’t speak back to most of them in their language, but he nonetheless understood every word that they spoke, and when he was in crowded places all he could hear was other people’s small talk, which he found quite annoying after a while, but while he had been on Marikya he had noticed a theme and actually tuned in to the chatter when he heard similar tales, and they were all in regard to thefts, but now Wisma had been robbed his eavesdropping had taken on a new significance.
Pulsat turned to his friend and spoke quietly to him of what he suspected and Vanzyl responded noisily in clicks, whirls and whistles, and everyone turned towards the engineers in response and fell silent, and Pulsat looked at the expectant faces, and then clicks and whirls began to emanate from Vanzyl which were clearly directed at Pulsat.
“Ok I say it” he said, and more clicks and whirls followed
“I say, I say” Pulsat retorted and to the assemble group he said
“I know where”
“Vanzyl knows where the robbery happened?” Merri asked and more clicks.
“He not know” Pulsat replied and her shoulders slumped then he added
“I know where”
Merri straightened up in response and Pulsat explained, in his stuttering style, and in detail, what he had heard,
The Prefects had confirmed that a large number of people had had either their pockets picked, or had valuables stolen while visiting the Holy Town.
But with the snippets of conversation that Pulsat had overheard, he had internally collated certain information, such as the location the theft was discovered, places visited prior to the discovery and the place where they were 100 percent sure they still had the stolen item, and with that information he had managed to isolate the crime to a certain area of the town, and the fact that they had all visited the Sisters of Saint Agatha, who were faith healers.
“That can’t be” Bagg said “it can be nothing more than an anomaly”
“I agree” his brother Trebreh added
“That’s where the evidence points” Merri pointed out
“Well I’ve always thought them to be charlatans” Terrel said “but not thieves”
While they were deliberating the likelihood of their involvement an elderly man and woman entered the restaurant and the latter was in tears.
“Is everything alright?” Xandra asked in a comforting tone as she took hold of the woman’s hand who then stopped crying and then a moment later she smiled.
The woman was completely relaxed by Xandra’s empathetic persona and was soon relating the cause of her former distress.
She had decided to visit the Sisters of St Agatha as she had been suffering of late with a touch of arthritis in her wrists.
She had paid her money and taken her turn in the queue and when she entered St Agatha’s chamber she felt immediately at peace.
Then one of the Sisters took her by the hands and began chanting and then she was surrounded by another five who were feverishly praying, and then all of a sudden, she was pain free and she was led out where she was met by her husband and within minutes of leaving the Sisters she noticed her bag was missing.
“So, if she wasn’t lying….” Parse began after the couple had left
“She definitely wasn’t lying” Shiyne said
“Did you scan her then?” Lyris asked
“I did and every word she said was true” she replied “Apart from the arthritis, her aliment is much more severe than that and she hasn’t told her husband”
Bagg was cross with himself for dismissing the Sisters, Pulsat’s analysis had indicated St Agatha’s chamber was significant, but he had hoped it was just an anomaly, but he was wrong.
When he was a boy back on Mars his grandfather used to read old classic stories to him and one of his favourite’s was Conan Doyle, and as he sat in the restaurant he recalled there was an old Sherlock Holmes axiom which went
“When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth”
But he had allowed himself to be blinded by his inherent faith in human nature.
“So, it must be one or more of the Sisters” Bagg surmised, and everyone agreed.
“Well it looks like you were right Pulsat” Merri said, and everyone congratulated him.
“Well done Pulsat” Bagg said and Vanzyl uttered a soft whistle like a plaintive flute and patted his friend on the back proudly.
“So, what do we do now?” Bagg asked
“We should tell the Prefects all we know” Xandra suggested
“They won’t act on it” Parse Sacrod pointed out “they’re stretched too thin”
“So, it’s down to us then” Asti mused “but what do we do?”
“Planning is Merri’s thing” Lyris said
“Ok then let’s put our heads together and plan another adventurous little diversion” she said