Lieutenant Sims was getting sick of this run-around. "Book them all," she snarled. "All three of them. Murder One."
"Really?" Officer Caldoza whispered. This was the first corpse that Caldoza had ever encountered and somehow it made him want to whisper. He looked
at the craggy-faced man lying in bed and could almost imagine he was asleep. "Can we really arrest all three?"
"Of course. One of them put a pillow over their father's face and suffocated him. The other two are covering for him - or her. That makes them
co-conspirators or accessories after the fact. Criminals any way you cut it."
Carol Sims glanced at the three children of the Luther Fieldstone, the 25-year-old triplets who all still lived with their father in the impressive
family home on Elm Street. Liddy Fieldstone stood by the open window, chain-smoking her fourth or fifth cigarette. Larry Fieldstone sat on a bedside
ottoman sipping the last of a beer. The third sibling, Zeke, stood in the corner, his arms folded. Black grease from his hands had tracked its way
onto the arms of his shirt.
"Do all three of them have to be lying?"
"Yes," Sims replied. "Unless you're ready to suspect the visiting nurse?" On the other side of the bedroom stood Mrs. Miller, a 60-year-old nurse
with an impeccable record of caring for the housebound sick. The lieutenant turned to face the fraternal triplets. They must be close, she thought,
sharing so much in life, including a nice little motive for murder.
"All right," she said. "Once more from the top. Liddy, tell me what happened."
"Dad had called us all at work this morning, acting very mysterious. He told us to be here at two o'clock sharp for a little family meeting."
"You knew what it was going to be about?"
"About his will."
"Liddy!" Larry and Zeke growled almost simultaneously.
"They're going to find out soon enough." Liddy turned back to Carol Sims.
"Dad was talking to his lawyer about reducing our inheritances. Everyone's leaving their money to charity these days. It's like a plague."
"You walked here from your office?" Sims asked, checking her notes.
"That's right," Liddy replied. "I work a few blocks away. I stopped to chat with the postman who was just finishing his rounds. He'll be able to
verify that. When I got to the house, Larry and Zeke were just pulling up. Larry pulled around to the kitchen and Zeke drove into the garage on the
other side. I came in the front."
Brother Zeke took over the narrative. "About two minutes later, we heard Mrs. Miller call from upstairs. I was still in the garage, looking under the
hood." He displayed his greasy hands. "My Mercedes was acting up."
"And I was still in the kitchen," Larry inserted. "I went up the back stairs. Zeke went up the stairs from the garage. Liddy went up the main
stairs. On the second floor, we ran into each other - and Mrs. Miller. She was just coming out of Daddy's room."
Lieutenant Sims turned to Mrs. Miller. "I didn't hear anyone come in," the nurse admitted. "I'd been in the upstairs den watching TV while Mr.
Fieldstone had his nap. It was my first break all afternoon, no more than five minutes. When I went back to check on him, I heard someone going down a
flight of stairs."
"Just one person?"
"Yes. I couldn't tell which stairs. But I know what I heard. Then I went in and found him dead. Are you sure it wasn't a heart attack?"
The lieutenant fixed her gaze on the saliva-stained pillow and the new, unsigned will on the nightstand. "The autopsy will tell us for sure," she
said, but the facts were already clear in her mind. The triplets did not arrive at the same time. One had walked into the house a few minutes early
and gone upstairs. The sight of the sleeping invalid, the thick pillow and new provided too much of a temptation. Two of the triplets were covering
for the third.
"We thought it was a heart attack, too," said Liddy. "But we knew we had to call the police."
"You used the telephone in this room?"
Mrs. Miller nodded. "The only time anyone left this room was when I came downstairs to let you in."
Sims thanked them for their cooperation and asked for their patience while she and Officer Caldoza made a quick tour of downstairs. In the entry hall,
they found Liddy Fieldstone's jacket on a coat rack. Several letters were piled on an end table, a water ring blurring the top postmark.
"Luther Fieldstone might already be a winner," Caldoza said, then checked the second piece of mail. "Letter from a law firm." He held it up to the
light. "Could be a bill."
Very little had been disturbed in the kitchen. Larry's suit jacket had been tossed across a chair. A utensil drawer was open and so was the drawer to
the wastebasket. Through the kitchen window they could see a red convertible, its running lights still on. Zeke's Mercedes was in the garage, as
The door was open and the hood was up. Nearby, a portable radio was tuned to a soft rock station, playing at low volume. Zeke's jacket was inside the
car on the passenger seat.
"I don't think we have to make three arrests after all," Carol Sims muttered as she re-entered the house proper. "One arrest will do."
Whom does Lieutenant Sims suspect?
What piece of evidence points to the killer?
Good Luck....I will tell you all who the colprate is..
[edit on 9-12-2004 by Horus_Re]