Chapter 9: It hits the fan and the end
October 10, 1971
That morning, Garfield was on his way to the library when he decided to drop by the office of his calculus TAs.
He felt strangely relaxed as he glanced at his watch while standing by the office door, whistling as he did so.
Just as he turned his attention away from the watch, Miss Leitch called him.
"Garfield." She said, and Garfield turned towards her. "I wasn't expecting to see you here at this time on Tuesdays."
"Well, had a couple questions from the latest assignment that I thought I should clear with you and Marv before handing it in at tomorrow's tutorial." Garfield shrugged. "Hope you guys don't mind."
"Oh, we don't." Leitch smiled as she made her way to the office door and added, "Come one in."
Garfield nodded as he followed Leitch into the office where he saw Bernier and a couple other TAs from the other math courses at work at their desks grading papers.
Bernier looked up from his desk when he saw Leitch and Garfield enter the office.
"Hey Garfield." He greeted. "You got any questions?"
"Just a couple regarding the assignment." Garfield replied as Leitch took her seat.
"Go ahead." Bernier nodded.
A short while later, Garfield had gotten clear explanations on integrations of trig equations related to the final question of the assignment.
"Anything else, Garfield?" Leitch asked.
"Well, I thought you guys should know that Professor Moriarty was formally placed in police custody last night for Paul's murder." Garfield said simply. "A barrister has arrived to advise him on the charges facing him and from what I've heard, the police is going to have him booked by the Crown Attorney's Office as we speak."
There was some silence coming from the two TAs as Garfield spoke, and he couldn't tell how they're reacting to the news through their face expressions.
Eventually, Bernier spoke up.
"Ah, that's good to know." He said. "About time that old goat faces the music for his actions."
"How did they get the evidence needed to get him formally charged for the murder?" Leitch asked as she turned to Garfield.
"Well, there's this water pipe from the hole in his office." Garfield said. "While it was covered in rust, which can be mistaken for blood, the police did find a set of fingerprints at the top end inside the pipe."
Both Bernier and Leitch looked on as Garfield continued. "My hunch is that the professor was holding that pipe with both hands, one at the top and the other at the bottom, when he tried to strike Paul in the head."
The two TAs both nodded thoughtfully as Garfield concluded. "The professor had his fingerprints taken when he was booked by the police, and those fingerprints on the water pipe matched them, and when you match the rust on the pipe with the rust found on Paul's body, it's a foregone conclusion that Professor Moriarty was the killer. With that evidence in hand, the professor's going away for a long time for murder."
There was some silence between the two TAs and Garfield, and then Bernier spoke up.
"You gave the old man too much credit, Garfield." Bernier said. "How does he have the strength to strike Paul in the head and bash him like he did?"
"Not to mention that he would need a partner if he actually managed to tackle Paul, strike him out and set him up at his desk to make it look like Paul was killed as a result of heavy books falling off the bookshelf above him at his desk." Leitch added.
"All of that's bound to take up a lot of energy, especially when you consider that Paul regularly works out in the gym." Bernier added. "And there's no way that old goat can tackle Paul single-handed when he ambushed him in his office that night."
"You guys are right." Garfield nodded. "In fact, the professor had an accomplice in helping him commit the murder, though the professor has so far remained as tight as a rock when the police asked him for information on the accomplice."
"Is there anything we can do to help?" Bernier asked.
"Well, now that you mention that, Marv." Garfield paused his lips. "Yes, there is. As Paul was tackled by his killer, he received a kick in the chest."
"Who must be wearing steel toes, or otherwise it wouldn't have left some significant bruising." Bernier said.
"Not to mention that your second killer must've had the proper tools to finish Paul off, since that old goat can't tackling Paul on his own and knock him out with that water pipe." Leitch nodded.
"Of course." Garfield nodded before turning to face the two TAs and added, "That pretty much describes Paul's final minutes here in this office. There's only one problem with it, though."
"What's the problem?" Leitch asked.
Finally making eye contact with the two TAs, Garfield slammed his hands on the desk as he raised his voice, "How on earth did you guys know that the killer was wearing steel toes or the fact that the killer even had an accomplice, eh? I didn't even mention those particular details when I told you guys about the professor's situation, not unless you both were here in the office that night."
No words could describe the silence in the office when Garfield made that last remark. The other two TAs in the office paused from their work and turned towards the trio, while both Bernier and Leitch's mouths hanged wide open as they realized that they had just walked into an ambush.
Not mincing any words, Garfield continued as he glared at the two TAs. "Am I right? You guys were here in this office with Paul that night, isn't it? And you guys murdered Paul here and set the professor up to take the fall for the crime, is that right?"
Although the office was quiet saving Garfield's outburst, an observer can hear two careers crashing down the minute Garfield moved in with the kill.
"Paul alerted the professor to the flaws in your paper and you didn't appreciate the feedback and believed that your figures can't be wrong, isn't it, Marv?" Garfield glared at Bernier. "You felt that Paul cheated you out of your postdoctoral studies and scholarship, all because you felt that you can't be wrong and that your ego is the size of the Moon, eh?"
Without missing a beat, he then turned to Leitch.
"As for you, May, you didn't like the way Paul was teaching the tutorials, even though many in class has taken a liking to his approach and felt that he made the tutorials more engaging to them, and you complained to the professor and said that he was stealing your thunder." Garfield continued with a huff. "Complaints which the professor dismissed as he could see that you and Marv were simply jealous of Paul's successes. Isn't that right?"
As the two TAs sat there in silence, Garfield turned towards the two other TAs in the office and nodded at them, the look on his face telling them to leave the office before it hits the fan.
The two other TAs both nodded back and stood up without another word, and their timing couldn't have been more better, because it was that exact moment that Bernier hit back.
"You don't have any evidence in your accusations, Garfield." He snapped.
"And neither of you have solid alibis on the night of the murder." Garfield countered evenly as he folded his arms. "You guys don't, not after the police checked up with the campus bar and grill and the phone company, both of them disproving the alibis you guys have set up for each other."
He then glared as he looked down towards Bernier's shoes and said, "In fact, I'm looking right at evidence that you were the one who attempted to tackle Paul that night, only for Paul to dodge your attacks and tried to knock you off before May walked into the scene with a wrench in hand, knocked Paul out and then you gave him a kick in the chest. You worked in a warehouse, eh?"
"So I can make ends meet ever since that dirt bag costed me my scholarship." Bernier gritted his teeth as he noted that Garfield was looking at his steel toes.
Turning to Leitch, Garfield then added, "As for you, May, the police has searched through the garbage centre and found the blood-soaked jeans you wiped Paul's blood off from the wrench in the garbage, and I'll bet that as we speak, they're going to find the wrench you used to strike Paul in your apartment, a wrench that came in handy for your work as a handy man."
Then, looking squarely at the two TAs, Garfield said, "All of this because you guys couldn't accept what you perceived to Paul's swipe at your egos and costing you your postdoctoral scholarship."
Folding his arms, he finally asked, "Tell me. Was going through the trouble of murdering Paul and setting the professor up to take the fall worth it?"
Eying no responses from the two TAs and noting the looks on their faces, Garfield huffed as he glared. "I've thought so."
Without missing a beat, Garfield grabbed his belongings and turned to walk towards the door.
On his way out, he added, "Oh, and don't bother threatening me with my life, because you guys are only digging yourselves into a deeper hole, especially when you consider the fact that we're not alone in here."
Garfield opened the door and said, "You can come in now."
The police constables at the other side of the door nodded back at him before they made their way into the office with their handcuffs ready.
Garfield stepped out of the office and saw some people gathering to watch the drama unfold, then he turned and saw Inspector Atkinson, Sergeant Ironside and Professor Moriarty.
The inspector nodded at him approvingly as the constables arresting the two soon-to-be former TAs can be heard reminding the duo that they have the right to seek counsel and to remain silent.
A short while later, the two disgraced TAs were escorted out of the office and paused when they saw Professor Moriarty.
Moriarty clearly looked disappointed at the sight of his two TAs, and he shared Garfield's glare as he and the two TAs made eye contact.
There was some silence before one of the constables said, "Let's go."
Garfield and the professor continued to look on as the constables continued to escort the two TAs out of the building, where through the nearby window, they can see Bernier and Leitch being ordered onto the squad cars.
October 11, 1971
That day, Garfield arrived at his calculus tutorial at the usual time with his completed assignment in hand and ready to be submitted.
As he took his seat, he heard a lot of whispers in class about the arrests yesterday and that the professor's likely going to take over the tutorial himself for the time being.
Sure enough, two minutes before the tutorial began, Professor James Moriarty, Jr. walked into the classroom with stacks of files in hand.
The professor first made eye contact with Garfield, and he nodded back at him before the professor got the files in order and cleared his throat.
As things turned out, the professor began the class by simply stating that he got called away for some important business at the last minute, hence the reason why he wasn't able to make it to last Friday's lecture.
As the professor carried on with the tutorial, Garfield simply began writing into his notebook paper as he followed along with the class.
That afternoon, Moriarty had wrapped up the lecture at the usual time and most of the class were on their way out.
Garfield was speaking with Kate and Robert when he saw the professor, who had just finished answering a question to another student, nodding at him, motioning him to come join him.
"Ah, gotta go now, guys." Garfield said. "The prof and I have an appointment with the police and we don't wanna be late for that."
"Does it have something to do with the 'important business' he mentioned during the tutorial?" Kate asked.
"Pretty much, yes." Garfield nodded. "See you guys on Friday."
"Yep." Robert raised his hand in reply. "See you, Garfield."
Soon, the professor and Garfield were at the Riverside station, where they promptly met with the investigators.
"Well?" Garfield asked Atkinson in greeting.
"Mr. Bernier and Miss Leitch both confessed to murdering Paul Prentice and setting up the professor to take the fall for the crime." Atkinson replied.
"I'm sure they did." Moriarty nodded. "Heck, they had the nerve to blame me for letting all of this happening in the first place."
"Some people just holds grudges and never lets go of them, Professor." Ironside said. "Anyhow, if it weren't for Mr. Wu's help, we wouldn't have been able to take your claims seriously and clear your name."
"Oh, yes." Moriarty nodded as they all turned towards Garfield. "You sure were of great help in clearing this whole affair, Mr. Wu."
"Ah, it was nothing, Professor." Garfield waved his hand dismissively. "Important thing is that the cases are now closed."
"And we also owe you an apology for the way we treated you earlier, Professor Moriarty." Atkinson added.
"No need." Moriarty waved his hand dismissively. "You gentlemen were only doing your jobs, and I would've done the same thing if I were in your positions."
"Anyways, what has become of the blue binder Bernier claimed to have contained notes on the detailed planning of the robberies?" Garfield asked. "I take it that such notes didn't really exist and were, in fact, Paul's notes detailing the questions he had raised on Bernier's postgraduate thesis paper."
"That's exactly it." Moriarty nodded. "I remember Mr. Prentice using the blue binder frequently when he discusses topics and questions with me during our meetings, and that trouble maker Mr. Bernier sure had the nerve to falsely state that the blue binder contained evidence of the robberies that had occurred the past while."
"Robberies in which he had only learned about through the news and have no role in the planning or execution of it whatsoever." Ironside nodded. "And speaking of which, Professor, you did good in setting the investigation into that security firm's fraudulent practices in motion in the first place."
"It's what I do, especially when I noticed a number of discrepancies in my financial statement which couldn't be explained by the bank when I raised the issue." Moriarty said. "I used to audit a number of financial records when I worked at the University of Edinburgh when I was living across the pond, before the war, so such discrepancies can be noticed by me at first sight."
"Was that part of your own post-graduate studies back in the day?" Garfield raised an eyebrow.
"Yes." Moriarty nodded. "I can go into great detail of my thesis that led to me auditing the university's books, however it's a long story that I'm afraid would have to wait for another time."
"And what of the postcards of the Girl with the Gazelle that were found at the scene of those robberies?" Garfield asked. "How did the racketeers managed to get those postcards into your office?"
"Well, one of the officers involved in the scheme happened to have a university-aged child that was good friends with Mr. Bernier." Ironside said.
"Huh." Garfield remarked with his arms folded. "So it turns out that Mr. Bernier was involved in those robberies, though indirectly."
"Yes, especially since he and Miss Leitch both have access to my office." Moriarty nodded.
"Anyhow, what are you going to do next for your courses, Professor Moriarty?" Atkinson asked. "I'm sure it's going to be a lot of workload for you to teach and manage three courses without the assistance of teaching assistants."
"Well, I've asked my colleagues for assistance, and they told me that they can lend me their assistants for the remainder of the fall term until I get some new TAs on board." Moriarty replied. "I've already put out the notice and from what I've got from my colleague Larson McKeller, a lot of the candidates have a lot of promise."
"Considering your reputation, Professor, I'm sure that a lot of TAs are willing to work with you and be happy to have the experience of working with someone who's related to a criminal mastermind." Garfield interjected.
"Pretty much, yes." Moriarty smiled as they all chuckled.
November 2, 1971
Several weeks has went by since the dust surrounding the whole Moriarty affair has settled and things had gone back to normal for Garfield.
While he continued with his studies and work in assisting the police in solving crimes, he also began making a name for himself in the university as several professors noted that they're very impressed with the way he helped clear Moriarty's name.
With his high academic achievements, his Intro to Engineering professor mentioned that he should consider applying to be his teaching assistant for the course in the winter term, a suggestion that Garfield stated that he would think about it.
Anyways, that evening, as usual, Garfield was at RCAF Station Uplands for his twice-weekly cadet training.
He and Dave arrived at the usual times, though for his case, he was called over to meet with the wing's CO when he arrived.
"What's up?" Garfield asked in greeting when he met with Wing Commander Dalton Henderson, who succeeded Lester Turner as the 6th Wing's commanding officer, along with the squadron COs in attendance.
By this point, the other cadet parade commanders of each of the other squadrons of 6th Wing had also arrived for the meeting.
"6th Wing is going to host a reviewing officer as we always do on our monthly COs parade, Mr. Wu." Henderson said. "This month, though, as we approach Remembrance Day, we're going to host a reviewing officer from another branch of the Canadian Armed Forces in recognition of the sacrifices made by the other branches during the wars."
"Canadian Army?" WO1 Bernard Lambert, the cadet parade commander for the Rockcliffe squadron, asked.
"Exactly, WO1 Lambert." Henderson nodded before turning to Garfield and added, "That being said, considering what you had tangled with this past month, WO1 Wu, I'm certain you're going to be intrigued by who our reviewing officer for tonight's COs parade is."
All eyes settled onto Garfield as something clicked in his mind, and he chuckled.
"Man, these coincidences just wouldn't stop, would it?" Garfield asked.
"I'm afraid not, WO1 Wu." Henderson shook his head with a small smile.
"What coincidences are we talking about here?" WO1 David Larrison, the cadet parade commander of the Connaught squadron, asked.
"Namely the fact that Wu had tangled with the grand nephew of Professor James Moriarty, the Napoleon of Crime at the turn of the century London." Leclerc explained. "The grand nephew who is his calculus professor and is named after his infamous grand uncle."
"Oh, that." Larrison nodded.
"And let me guess." Garfield added. "Our reviewing officer is Colonel Sebastian Moran, isn't it?"
"You guessed it, WO1 Wu." Henderson smiled. "Colonel Sebastian Arthur Moran, who commands the Royal Canadian Regiment at Garrison Petewawa, is going to be our reviewing officer for tonight's closing parade."
"And I take it that he's related to and is named after the infamous Sebastian Moran, who was Moriarty's chief of staff, isn't he?" Garfield added.
"He comes from a military family, yes." Henderson nodded. "But anyways, here's what the wing's activities are going to be for tonight, in preparation for Remembrance Day..."
As the wing commander continued on with his discussion, Garfield drew out a breath and shook his head at himself.
He then shrugged before returning his focus back to the meeting on hand, during which the scene shifts to the back of the nearby grandfather clock.
From the back of the clock, one can notice the name of the clock maker.
Garfield & Stephenson Clocks Ltd., 1921.
The adventures of Garfield Stephenson Wu continues in my FanFiction story D4 Scooby-Doo! Le Fantôme dans le Place des Arts.
Please read and review!