Shot Dead – Episode 2

Episode 2

 

“So… What do you think about the case, Chatur?” Chatur Nath was called to the Commissioner’s house early that morning to discuss the victim, Sudha’s death. Chatur though, was annoyed for being woken up from sleep. He understood that the Commissioner was under pressure. Shravan’s influence had complicated things.

“This is a strange case Sir. We didn’t get many clues. The killer was quite clever”. Chatur then explained about the slippers.

“So you believe that this is a murder?”

“Of course, sir. I explained it to you over the phone yesterday”

“What about the gun?”

“It is Sudha’s”

“Then how…” Before the Commissioner could finish his statement, Chatur pulled out the pistol from the Commissioner’s case, aimed it point blank at his head and spoke in a Calm, cool voice: “Will it be a murder or a suicide if I shoot you and plant the pistol in your hand?”

The Commissioner looked as if his eyes would fall off his socket. Speechless, he took back the pistol that Chatur pointed at him and placed it as far away as possible.

“Sometimes I just can’t predict what you’re about to do.” Chatur grinned.

“Who are your suspects, Chatur?” “As she was an orphan, Shravan’s family is the prime suspect. Shravan’s brother Vinayak Ram, sister Mythili, Sister- in-law Nandhini and Shravan himself. There may be business enemies too”

“But Shravan was out of town”

“Sir, what if he hired someone to kill her? Right now, everyone’s a suspect.”

“Hmm…” the commissioner shook his head, thinking and asked, “The dogs… Did they trace anything?” Did that lead anywhere?” “Sir, the scent of the pistol was already contaminated with Sudha’s. The scent of the slippers lasted till the airport. We checked the list of people who had taken off that day. Didn’t find any suspicious names”, Chatur stood up.

“Sir, tell Mr. Shravan to contact me hereafter regarding the case. And trust me more than you trust the dogs” he said and left. When he came outside, he saw the sun slowly rising. “What a nice time to investigate!” he chuckled and started his motorcycle. The RX100 roared through the silence.

“Mythili?” Chatur asked, as a short women clad in a cotton Sari opened the door. Her eyes were dark red, almost as if she was up all night, crying. Mythili nodded. She was Shravan’s sister who had eloped with her collegemate, now working abroad to make ends meet.

“You have heard about Sudha I assume.” She nodded again. Clearly, she was uncomfortable having a policeman at her house.

“Have you been crying?” Chatur asked. “No” she said meekly, shaking her head and looked away as fast as she could.

Chatur cleared his throat and started his questions.

“How long have you known Sudha?”

“Ever since when she married my brother”

“How is your relationship with her?” “Good.” She replied, with a pause and looked away. Her in-laws stood by the side, shocked. Obviously no one would like to have a police investigation happening early at their home in the morning. But Chatur was so eager, to a fault even, that he had started his work at ungodly hours.

“Mrs. Mythili, I didn’t ask ‘How are you?’ for you to reply that you were good. Answer properly. How did your sister in law Sudha treat you?”

“She treated me very well. Sh-She was like my mother” she said, quite unsure of herself.

“How about your brother?”

“Shravan is a very good person, very caring. He didn’t like me getting married without his consent but even then he assisted me financially and helped my husband aquire a job abroad.” She didn’t stutter this time. Perhaps, the truth doesn’t cause a stutter.

Chatur sighed and took out one of the slippers that he got from Sudha’s house. “Please try on this slipper?” “Why?” she asked hesitantly. Chatur didn’t answer. He didn’t need to. He was just staring at her,coldly. Then she slowly wore the slipper. It fitted her perfectly. Chatur narrowed his eyes. Mythili certainly had to explain this, and it better be good this time.

You can read the previous and the next  episodes by clicking on the respective links :

Episode 1

Episode 3

Shot dead – is an exclusive bilingual crime novel series, jointly written by Swathi Mohan and Anirudh Ramesh (English) and Arun Balaji, Kishore and K.Pavithra (Tamil).