A who dunnit mystery
The Boot
The Missing Diamond
I ran around the corner and straight into Mr. Helfilop.
“I’m so sorry!” I yelled, and kept running.
“Wait Miss,” he called back in his lovely Scottish accent, “Do you want a copy of the newspaper?”
I ran back, grabbed a copy and finally turned into my workshop, a jewller.
“You’re late,” Charles said in a sing-song voice as if he was mocking me.
I rolled my eyes at him, stuffed the newspaper into my pocket, whipped on my work apron and went to stand behind my work desk just in time. I nodded to Mr. Dunson, my boss, as he walked past. He was eying me suspiciously like he was trying to figure out what I had done wrong this time. He sighed, probably in disappointment that he couldn’t get me into trouble, and continued walking towards Charles.
“I have decided that it is time to give you a pay rise,” Mr Dunson said to Charles, “The company has been getting many customers and is fairing quite well. You are obviously the hardest worker,” he stopped and glanced at me as if saying, improve next time, then turned back to face Charles, “So, you deserve the pay rise.”
Charles smirked at me and stood proudly as Mr. Dunson discussed his new payment. I walked home that day feeling like a complete failure. Only then did I remember the newspaper and pulled it out of my pocket.
I gasped as I noticed the headline on the front page, “a stolen diamond?”
A diamond was worth a lot of money these days, and it was extremely important if one got stolen. Apparently it was stolen right in my work place, and it was stolen at night when the shop was locked. This meant only someone who worked there could get in using their keys and I would be a prime suspect.
I turned the corner and almost had a head-on-collision with James who was walking hurriedly, staring at the same newspaper.
“Oh, Eliza. I’m so sorry, I didn’t see you,” James said, blushing profusely.
“Me neither,” I said with a small laugh.
“Can you believe it? Why would any of us steal?” James asked, he must already have known he would also be one of the prime suspects.
“Only someone like Charles would have the nerve,” I said mainly to myself, but James heard and nodded.
“Oh by the way,” he said suddenly like he had just realised something, “Sorry I wasn’t at work today, I was...” he trailed off leaving me to wonder suspiciously what he was doing.
The next day, I went to work just like usual. I met Mr. Helfilop on the way and he told me he totally knew it wasn’t me who stole the diamond. I was glad to have some support, but what could Mr. Helfilop say against a bunch of super-smart lawyers?
When I arrived at work, I knew I would have to study the place for clues. The police had said that nobody was allowed inside because it was classified as a crime scene, but Mr. Dunson replied with, “Well, I’m sorry but I need to keep my customers, so you can put your stupid rules where the sun don’t shine.”
Somehow, he got away with it. I entered the building and studied the floor, looking for footprints. I hadn’t really expected to find anything so I was shocked when I noticed two prints that looked like they had been made by a pair of boots, which was surprising because everyone at work was specifically instructed to wear work sandals for safety reasons. I made a mental picture of what the boot prints looked like and continued on my day.
Late that afternoon, James invited me to our hill. It was our special place, just beyond the forest, where we always hung out.
“Guess what I discovered today,” I told him through a mouthful of the bread he had brought to share.
“What? That Charles is a complete idiot?” He asked then laughed.
“I already knew that,” I said and cracked up with him, “But what I did find, was a suspicious boot print on the floor.
He looked puzzled then jumped in excitement and pointed towards the horizon. There was a beautiful sunset, the most amazing I had ever seen. I leaned against James and we watched in silence. He adjusted his foot for comfort and what I saw made me extremely confused. The pattern on the bottom of James’s shoe matched the exact pattern of the footprint in the jewller.
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