The eyes seem to be following me as I move around the room. Wretched dummy. Still, it’s come up trumps for me. With that thought uppermost in my mind I pick it up and cram it back into the suitcase. Again, I wonder who it belongs to. Do they have my hotel addressed- labelled case? They must be livid.
Just as I am deciding that as soon as it is light, I will check out of the hotel, a knock comes the hotel bedroom door.
Recognizing at once that this is not the gentle knock of room service but an urgent, open-at- once type of knock, I go hot and start to perspire. Throwing on my outer clothes whilst taking a furtive glance round the room, I open the door to behold two mackintosh-cladded men.
“Good evening, Sir. I’m Detective Inspector Collins and this is Detective Sargent Primrose. Are you Edward Galloway?”
“That’s me. I’m Edward Galloway. What’s wrong officer?”
“Is this your suitcase sir?”
“It certainly is. How have you got it? Did someone hand it in? I picked up the wrong one you see. I didn’t have much time to get off the train and grabbed what I thought was mine but realized it wasn’t when I got here and opened it. I don’t know who this one
“Have you opened it, Sir?”
“Well, yes, yes. I’ve just said I did. That’s how I knew it wasn’t mine. There’s just a Ventriloquist’s dummy-with a broken arm. Do you know who it belongs to?”
“We are very anxious to find that out. We have reason to believe that it belongs to the same person who was involved in a diamond robbery. Would you show us the dummy sir?”
“A robbery? A diamond robbery? Where? When?”
“You don’t have to worry about that, sir. You just leave it to us. Now, did you see any suspicious characters in your train compartment? Can you describe your fellow passengers?”
I do the best I can. There were only three other people. Two males and one female so it didn’t take long. After examining the dummy and the suitcase they thanked me for my co-operation, wrote down my home address and telephone number and said they would be in touch. In the meantime, they would take both the suitcases and their contents for fingerprinting. It would be returned to me in due course. With that, DS Primrose took my prints with his fingerprint kit assuring me it was for elimination purposes only.
So, here I am. No pyjamas, no wash bag, no change of clothes, no suitcase but I did go to bed clutching the four diamonds which I had found concealed in the arm of the dummy.
Next morning, I leave the hotel and make my way home with a spring in my step.
So busy am I in thinking of the ways to spend my windfall that I don’t notice the pulled down trilby and Burberry clad figure following me…
© June Linscott