Janet Leigh Scott And The Scared Gentleman
A friend of mine suggested that I write about my adventures, so I thought I'd give it a try. Please excuse me for not writing my cases in order. It happened on May 16th, 1899. I was just finishing my breakfast, when my housekeeper, Juila knocked on my sitting room door. ''Come in'', I called. I don't like being disturbed when I'm eatting and Juila knows it. ''I'm sorry, missus, but there's a man here to see you. His name is Greg Wilkons. Should I admit him?'' she asked. She seemed nervous, I guess she thought I was going to yell at her. I was happy she had come and asked me. I hadn't had a case in ... I couldn't remember how long it had been. ''Juila, you may show him in", I said trying not to sound to excited.
After she had left with the rest of my breakfast, I dug in my desk and pulled out my casebook and pen. I had hardly done this, when a man came in. He was middleaged, of medium height, with light brown hair, and he seemed to have gone through a lot lately by the frown lines on his face. ''Please sit.'', I said as soon as he was in my sittingroom. ''Thank you! I hope I haven't come at a bad time.'', he said. ''Not at all. Now how may I help you?'' ''Well, it happened two nights ago. I would have come sooner, but the police have been investigating.'', he began . ''I understand.'', I said.
''Well, I was at a business meeting, untill late. My wife was already in bed when I got home. I had some papers to put in the safe. So I know they were there then,'' said Mr. Wilkons. ''And what time was this?'' ''Around ten o'clock, then I went to bed. The next morning I got up and went to work and when I came home that evening, my wife told me we'd been robbed. So I called the police, they came and couldn't find anything. One of the officers told me I should come and see you, so here I am'', finished Mr. Wilkons.
''Does anyone else live with you?'' I asked. ''Just Miss Martha. Uh,Martha Williams, but she has been with us for years. I know she didn't do it.'' ''And who else knows the combination?'' ''Just me and my wife, Robin'', he said. ''And you're for sure no one was in the house? Your wife didn't have any guests? '' I asked next. ''Yes, I'm for sure. My wife hardly has visitors, but I made sure and asked her.'' ''Well, I guess it wasn't an inside job!'' I said to myself. I heard Mr. Wilkons sigh, so I looked up. He was smiling for the first time.
''I guess I'd better see the crime scene'', I said getting to my feet. ''Oh, of course. How stupid of me!'' he said getting to his feet. We then took a taxi to ''13 More Place''. When we arrived, he ushered me inside, to his wife and his housekeeper Miss Martha. After I'd been introduced to them, then he said to explain why I was there, ''She's here to see the crime scene. She's a detective.'' ''I don't see what she can see that the police haven't already!'' said his wife. ''My dear, she's supposed to be as good as Sherlock Holmes!'' he said in my defense. His wife was a sort and chuby woman, not at all attractive. She had bright red hair and talked with an Irish accent.
''Ms. Scott, the safe's this way.'' said Mrs. Wilkons. She lead me up some stairs, to the second floor. Then we went down a hall till we came to the office door. ''How much has been touched?'' I asked Mr. Wilkons, who had followed. ''The police dusted for fingerprints but that's all.'' ''And what was stolen?'' I asked. ''All our jewelry!'' this came from Mrs. Wilkons, ''They didn't take anything else. Just my jewels!'' I went over to the safe. I didn't see any signs of forced entry. I knew this, because there weren't any marks. Which mean't that whoever did the robbery probably knew the combination. Otherwise they knew how to crack combinations.
''Did the police find any fingerprints?'' ''No! Well, they found mine.'' he replied. ''I see!'' I said. Mr. Wilkons looked nervous when I said that. ''Did the police figure out how the theif entered the house?'' ''They think he entered through the window, because it was open and it wasn't before." But once again there weren't any fingerprints or marks.'' I moved over to the window [there was only one in the room. It was behind Mr. Wilkons desk.] I looked to see if I could see any marks, but there weren't any, just as Mr. Wilkons said. I then dropped on my stomach and looked at the floor. I couldn't see anything so I pulled out my magnifying glass. I still couldn't see mud on the carpet and I should have. It rained all of Monday, when the robbery took place. I got back to my feet. I walked around the room to see if I'd missed anything, but I hadn't.
''I think I've seen everything, I need to.'' I said to Mr. Wilkons. ''What do you think?'' he asked. ''It'd be useless for me to give you my opinion this early in the case. Good day Mr. Wilkons, Mrs. Wilkons.'' Then I turned and left the room. I hurried down the stairs and out the door. I called a cab. As I climbed inside, I told the driver to take me to the ''Brooklyn police station".
When we reached the police station, I asked the driver to wait, then I ran inside. I was happy to see that lieutenant Brooks was on duty. I had worked with Terry Brooks on some of my earlier cases. "Ms. Scott!" he said brightly, when he saw me. "I have the official report on the Wilkons theft, right here." "Thank you! But how did you know?" I asked. "I'm the one who suggested that Mr. Wilkons come to you", he said. "Well, thank you."
"We weren't able to find much at the house. No sign of forced entry or any fingerprints. We were able to find the jewelry, though." "Really? That's great! Where was it?" I asked. "At a pawnshop a few blocks away from their house. The address is in the report." I said goodbye to lieutenant Brooks, then I went outside to the cab and got in. I told the driver to take me to "Hillman's Pawnshop on 4 and 7th Street." When the cab pulled up outside the pawnshop, I was surprised to see a rundown looking building. There were places where plaster was cracked and missing. The place needed serious repair.
I got out of the cab and entered the small, dirty store. There was a boy behind the counter. I walked up and asked, "were you the one who bought the stolen jewels?" He just stared at me. He looked like he was seventeen or eighteen. "Are you a police officer?" he asked. "No, but I work with the police. I'm a detective." "Yeah, I'm the one who bought the jewelry", he said this like he was ashamed. I couldn't help but feel sorry for him. "My father is sick, so I'm looking after the store for him. I didn't know that the jewelry was stolen, otherwise I'd never have bought it. I thought my father would be proud of me if I could buy those jewels for cheap. As you can see, things aren't going to well. If things don't pick up soon, we're going to have to sell. Uh, my father's going to murder me!"
"Can you tell me what he looked like?" I asked. "He was of medium height, middle aged, brown hair. Oh, and he had a mustache and beard!" "He had a mustache and beard?" "Yeah, but I don't think it was real. He kept touching his beard, as if he wanted to make sure it was still there. Then when he was signing the paperwork, giving up his right to the jewelry, I saw that his mustache was crooked. I said something about it to him, he touched his face and raced out of our shop faster than I've ever seen anyone move." "Can I see the paper he signed?" I asked. "Sure, here it is", he said after he'd dug in a draw. I looked at the signature at the bottom of the page. It read: Frederick S. Hooper. "Did the signature on his identification match this signature?" "He didn't have one", he said nervously. "What?" I couldn't believe my ears. "He said his house burnt down and that the jewelry's all he had left. He said that he'd been to the police and he was waiting for his new identification papers. I decided to give him a break. I know it was stupid! Uh, my father's going to murder me!" he cried. I looked at the address, right above the signature. It read: 13 Faymore Street.
I thanked the boy, told him not to worry, then left. I called a taxi and told the driver to take me to the address that Frederick S. Hooper had given. When the taxi pulled up, I was surprised again. It wasn't a house, but a library.
I walked inside and up to the main desk. There was a young man behind it. He was very tall, with well kept blonde hair. I asked him if anyone named Frederick Hooper had been in here before? He said that he'd didn't know of anyone by that name. I then asked if he knew anyone named Greg Wilkons? He said that he did. "In fact he's over there", he said pointing to a table towards the back.