Excerpt from the book called The Frisby Waterless Murders
“Why do you say that, sir? What makes you think she has changed her name?”
“It’s a hunch I have about her; I might be wrong, of course, I probably am.”
“I will do as you ask,” said Barnes, wishing he could have more hunches. He hoped they’d start coming when he’d had more experience in these types of investigation. He suspected it involved doubting what everyone said and thinking the worst of all the suspects – something he found difficult to do. He believed most people were inherently good.
“Marie Stellen was in Seat 12 and she was interviewed by PC Wang,” said Smythe. “She was going to be the murderess in the murder/mystery and so she felt she had to move around the carriage a little during the journey. She was the sister of the murder victim and was concerned she would be written out of the will and lose the family home to the victim’s recently returned son. So she dropped strychnine in a vol-au-vent as she walked by the table. She also noticed two people were talking to the Major as she walked by; they were from the two seats closest to him on the other side of the train – that means 18 and 20 I think – David Yeung and Mrs Cridge. When she was walking to the kitchen/dining car she also noticed none of the Trimbles were in there seats…”
“Seats 23 to 25,” interrupted Barnes.
“…and she didn’t see them in the dining car, so they must have been at the other end of the carriage.”
“That means they walked past the Major,” observed Knowles, “so that is two more who could have done the deed.”
“Wouldn’t they have had their child with them, sir?” asked Smythe.
“Yes, they probably did but if she’d walked ahead, she wouldn’t have noticed anything. Anyway, I am pretty sure the dart was fired during the smoke, so all the child would have seen would have been one of her parents shaking hands with the Major; nothing unusual in that.”
“Whilst Marie was walking around, she didn’t happen to notice anything about the windows being open or closed?” said Barnes.
“She didn’t mention anything specifically according to this, no.”
“That’s a pity, but then again if the windows were opened deliberately by the would-be murderer in order to create confusion so that they could attack the Major with a dart, if you’re right sir, then this is a minor issue compared to investigating who shook him by the hand earlier in the journey.”
“Yes, I believe we must find out who shook him by the hand and when. You should ask Mrs Harkness about this when you visit her tomorrow. Don’t forget we are probably investigating two crimes here, murder and attempted murder; we should also remember there are at least two people who believe their plan to kill the Major has been successful.”