Detective Inspector Duncan stepped out of the police car. It was another beautiful morning and already it was quite hot. He looked up at the deep blue sky. In the distance, high up, he saw some tiny shapes. Slowly the objects grew larger. ‘Racing pigeons,’ he said finally. ‘Where are they going?’ Suddenly, the birds turned away and flew towards the west at full speed. He watched them go and soon the sky was empty once again.
‘Sir? The sergeant is waiting for you upstairs,’ said a constable.
Detective Inspector Duncan nodded. ‘Back to work,’ he thought and climbed the stairs to the third floor.
‘Morning, sir,’ said the sergeant there.
‘Good morning,’ replied Inspector Duncan and stared at the body on the sofa.
‘We found him a few hours ago,’ said the sergeant.
‘How did he die?’ asked Duncan.
‘The doctor said heart attack, probably.’
‘Who is he?’
‘His name is Green, sir. I found a letter in his pocket and there’s also the newspaper.’
‘What do you mean?’ asked Duncan.
The sergeant pointed to the newspaper on the table and the photograph. ‘It’s the same person,’ he said.
‘I see,’ said Duncan, ‘and how did we find him?’
‘The school’s headmistress called us. She saw smoke from the chimney and came to the school.’
‘Smoke from the chimney?’
‘Yes, sir. Mr. Green started the boiler.’
‘How do you know?’
‘We found his clothes in a room next to the boiler and we found keys to the boiler room in his pockets.’
‘So was he the janitor here?’
‘Well,’ said the sergeant, ‘that’s the strange thing. The letter was a job offer and it came from a Mr. Thane at Birnam County Council. We called the council but Malcolm Thane doesn’t work for them. There is no Malcolm Thane. The letter’s a fake.’
‘That is strange,’ agreed Duncan. ‘We have a dead man in an empty school. We have a fake job offer and we have a newspaper from two years ago with a picture of Mr. Green in it.’ He scratched his head. ‘We even have a dead pigeon….so where did he get the school keys from?’
‘We don’t know, sir. Usually the keys are with the headmistress and Birnam Council.’
The inspector breathed in deeply. ‘Do we have any witnesses?’
‘Not really, sir.’
‘What do you mean?’
‘Coming here, the headmistress said she almost crashed into a car. It came from the school car park,’ replied the sergeant.
‘I see. Did she get the license plate?’
‘Did she know the driver?’
‘Can she tell us anything about the car?’
‘Yes, sir. It was red.’
‘Anything else?’ asked Inspector Duncan.
‘Yes, we found this on the stairs,’ said the sergeant and held up a clear plastic bag
‘Whose is that, I wonder?’
The sergeant did not know. Inspector Duncan took the plastic bag from him.
Inside it was a long, silver earring with a red stone in the centre.