Shot Dead – Episode 9

 

RECAP:


Industrialist Shravan Ram’s wife Sudha is dead. Detective Chatur Nath is given the case. As Shravan’s family is his prime suspect, he investigates his family members first. He finds a knife in Sudha’s house and an old photo of Sudha with a man. He then meets Chembian who reveals another side of Shravan and Sudha. Then, when he returns home, he finds his wife in his house. She, after hearing this case, tells him to talk to Sudha’s friend. With a clue, he gets closer to the murderer.


Episode 9:

Chatur rested on the headrest. In about 40 minutes, he would reach Bangalore. He thought about his little adventure in Srinivas’ house. With no proper Clue, without knowing Srinivas’ destination in Bangalore, Chatur couldn’t take a flight to Bangalore. So he chose another way.
The backyard wall of Srinivas’ house wasn’t too big for him to jump. Being an athlete himself, it was a cakewalk. He broke into the house with the tactics of a thief, without making any noise that would attract distraught neighbors. It was a 1 BHK house – not much furniture but enough for a person. But soon he found out, there wasn’t only one person in the house. There was a picture of Srinivas who looked fatter than usual with a beautiful woman in their wedding attire. He found her name from their marriage certificate: Madhavi. He searched for more in their cupboard, closet and throughout the house. He was confused and surprised to see a drawer full of prescriptions and medicines. The prescription carried Srinivas’ name. Chatur could hardly make anything out from the prescribed medicines. So he started his RX100 to the hospital as mentioned on the prescription sheets.
“Srinivas? Why do you want to know about him? May I know who you are, please?” Dr Kalidas asked.
“I’m detective Chatur Nath. I’m assigned a case of a person’s death. That person has an old connection with Srinivas. So I need to know about Srinivas. I was told that you were the doctor whom he consulted”
The doctor nodded and said, rubbing his chin with his thumb and forefinger, “Sir, he had attempted suicide and went into coma. We couldn’t provide high-level medication here. So I suggested his wife to take him to Bangalore Manipal Hospital.”
“When did they leave?”
“Uh…” he rubbed his chin more intensely. “I never knew that we could remember anything by rubbing our chin.” Chatur thought.
“Two days back… 23rd I think.” Chatur nodded. The doctor, relieved, started to walk away from him.
“Was Mrs Madhavi with Srinivas all day?” Chatur asked so suddenly that the doctor jumped, making Chatur grin.
Chatur grinned even on thinking about it in flight. The flight started to descend. As soon as Chatur landed at the HAL airport, he hired a taxi and reached Manipal hospital.
“Mr Srinivas?” he asked in the reception. He couldn’t hide his excitement as he moved closer to the culprit.
“Special ward, room 13” the receptionist said.
He walked towards the room and knocked the door. There was no response for almost a minute.
Then, the door was opened slowly, which gave a creaking sound. There stood a woman, probably of Sudha’s age. But her face was pale and there were dark circles around her eyes which revealed that she was in grief and had had many sleepless nights.
“Mrs Madhavi?”
“Yes. You?” she asked. Her voice was so tired.
“I’m detective Chatur Nath, investigating Sudha’s death.”
“What?” she asked. Her face became paler than it had been. “I’m forced to investigate you ma’am despite your state now” he said but he wasn’t guilty. “After all she’s a murderer” he thought.
“Okay” she said. It came out as a mixture of sob and whisper. “We are leaving for Madras” he said.
“What? I can’t come. I can co-operate for your investigation. But I can’t come to Madras. My husband is…”
“Ex-lover of late Sudha” Chatur finished. “And you are her murderer”
“What?! NO!” she shouted. Then she calmed herself, realizing that she was in the hospital. “Sir, believe me. I didn’t kill her” she said, holding her hands.
“Then where were you while Srinivas was taken to the airport by Dr Kalidas on 23rd May. He told me
that you went somewhere and joined them in the airport later.”
“I… I went to the temple… to pray for my husband”
“Oh okay. Sorry for the trouble ma’am. By the way, is this slipper yours? I found it outside the room” he said casually, taking out the slipper from his bag.
“Oh yes… I left…” the blood had drained from her face. “No… this is not mine… my slipper is here” she pointed towards the corner of the room.
“Liars always stutter Mrs Madhavi. Also, a lie to cover another lie comes at the cost of absentmindedness. Dr Kalidas remembered you getting down from an auto which was driven by a man with one hand. He told that you even praised his hard work and dedication. So I searched for him and investigated with your photo,” Chatur grinned and said, “which I stole from your house obviously. Since it had been just two days, he perfectly remembered where he picked you up. It was nothing but the street next to Sudha’s house. To the extent of my knowledge, there was no temple in that area and hardly any house” he finished and got some oxygen before continuing, “What is your explanation for this?”
Madhavi shook her head. She was taken aback by Chatur’s case study.
“Mrs Madhavi, why are you silent? Explain or shall I take it as a confession?” he said smirking.
“Sir, I didn’t kill her. I just threatened her with a knife but when I was there, someone else rang the doorbell. I fled away” she said , hurriedly.
Chatur’s face changed. “Who was that?”

 


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

Episode 8

Episode 10

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).