Richard Butler, PI – Chapter 7 (a will and a way)

Wow, been about three weeks since I’ve written anything… I blame it on finals. But those are done now. Anyways, this author’s note is already too long.
Butler fished his keychain from his pocket and searched for the one fitting this door. Enough keys occupied this ring to make up a small archipelago, but Butler knew his way around and found the one he needed. He carefully turned his head, putting the detective nose-to-nose with Inspector Bagley, who had been looking over his shoulder.

“I assure you, Inspector, there’s nothing to see here.”

“My hunch says otherwise, so open the door!” Bagley replied angrily. Bagley never appreciated anyone questioning him.

Butler sighed, “no, I was referring to the keys. A little personal space, please?”

Embarrassed, but not so much that anyone not trained in detecting could tell, Inspector Bagley shied a few steps away from the private detective, who proceeded to open the way into the room, which Bagely thought to be the way to solving this case. Butler, of course, already thought he had it solved — although he was not closed off to other possibilities.

The private detective and the police detective entered the room that, until recently, Albert O’Connor had called his office. Papers littered the desk, filing cabinets overflowed to the ground, and books stacked from the floor to ceiling. Various iterations of his final disposable water bottle habited the shelves, and other unfinished inventions filled the room. The room was a mess.

The two detectives slowly walked into the room, carefully observing their surroundings. Bagley spoke up:

“Seems like he was in the middle of something big before he died.”

Butler, never one to pass up an opportunity to best Bagely, suggested “or maybe… he was looking for something. That would explain the overturned files and papers. He was looking for something — something incriminating — and then he couldn’t find it, it was too late… he got killed.”

Bagley took Butler’s deduction and raised him a piece of evidence, asking “well, that doesn’t fit in too well with this suicide note, now does it?”

Butler laughed at the absurdity of Bagley’s suggestion, “you don’t really think O’Connor wrote that, do you?”

Bagley stared at Butler, raised his chin, and squinted his eyes as if to say ‘no, what, do ​you?’ He then proceeded to actually say it: “No… what, do you?”

Butler turned his head slightly, took Bagley’s squinting and raised him a lifted eyebrow.

“So,” Bagley suggested, with only a hint of questioning and a dash of faux-confidence, “we both don’t believe O’Connor wrote that…”

“Yes…” Butler confirmed, matching Bagley’s tone precisely. The two investigators stood there for a full minute, staring at each other in contemplative silence, both preoccupied trying to determine what the other was thinking. Both inspectors thought themselves to be playing the other. Bagley, deep down, wondered whether he was the one being played. Butler, of course, knew he was doing the playing.

Simultaneously, they looked away and began to individually inspect the room. Inspector Bagley walked over to the desk and began inspecting the many objects that took residence there. Butler made his way over to the closet, which held O’Connor’s spare suits and his safe. He was nearly ready to leave this scene, after finding nothing of note in the closet. But then he noticed something.

“Someone’s opened this safe recently,” Butler declared as he pointed to the handprints in the dust where it had been gripped.

Bagley seemed to take little interest in Butler’s revelation. Without turning around, he continued his searching and simply asked “is that so?”

Butler once again took his key-ring from his pocket, this time to open the safe. He came back from the closet with a single item: O’Connor’s last will and testament.

“Well, what do we have here?” Bagley raised his question playfully. Butler was about to brag on his finding, until he saw the smug grin on Bagley’s face.

Bagley stood, arm outstretched, displaying his own prize. He brought it up level with his eyes as he read the label. The small capsule was nearly empty, but it did have a small layer of pills lining the bottom.

“Flunitrazepam,” he read, before asking “now why might this be here?”

“That’s… not important!” Butler stammered as he regained his composure, “O’Connor suffered from insomnia, that’s probably just his medicine. Nothing else to see there.” Bagley’s face sunk into a snarl before he put the capsule in his coat pocket. Butler continued, “but this, this you’ve got to see.” He held up the will and pointed aggressively, “O’Connor changed his will — he’s giving everything he has to his son. Even better, the safe was opened recently… someone found out about this!”

Bagley laughed, “yeah, well how do you know that wasn’t just O’Connor opening?”

“Check the prints on the safe if you want, they’re much too fresh for this. This will was signed months ago!” Butler countered.

“Yeah, okay,” Bagley retreated, “so someone knew he changed his will. That doesn’t necessarily mean they would want him dead. People loved O’Connor!”

“Is that what they’re telling you?” Butler asked, astonished. “I can tell you, from experience, that’s not exactly true. Not to speak ill of the dead, but I worked for him… O’Connor was not the most pleasant guy.”

“Alright, do what you want,” Bagley said, “I’m following up with Dr. Steinberg on this Fluni… medicine.” Bagley looked at the label before trying again, “trazi… flunitraz…” Finally, he just shook his head and left the room.

Butler waited until Bagley was just out of sight before saying, to no one in particular, “there’s one nuisance gone… time to go find another.”

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About thomasbwhite
Writing, Photography, Jamming, Violin-ing, Hiking, Musing, Reading, Learning, Sketching, Frisbee-ing, Rambling... just a few of my favorite things.

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