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"The Diamond Murders."
Chief Inspector Howard Bell looked more harassed than usual as, without greeting them, he waved them to sit and said “early this morning a man’s body was found in the Serpentine by a gentleman walking his dog, a constable was summoned and he managed to recover the body from the water…”
“Good man” interrupted Hadley.
“Quite so, the deceased was obviously a gentleman, well dressed in expensive clothes, but he had nothing on his person except a gold fob watch and a letter addressed to him at the Piccadilly Hotel.”
“So we know his name, sir.”
“Yes, Hadley, the dead person is Mr Klaus Detrekker, and here is the letter that was recovered from his coat pocket” replied Bell as he handed the envelope to Hadley
“If he had been the victim of a robbery, the watch would have been taken” said Hadley.
“That’s very true.”
“So was it an unfortunate drowning accident, sir?”
“No, Hadley, the man was murdered and his body mutilated, I don’t know anything more than that.”
“Anything important in the letter, sir?”
“Yes Hadley and that’s why you’re investigating the crime” replied Bell as Hadley opened the envelope, took out the note, which was from Sir Robert Salisbury of Cavendish Square, and read it out aloud.
“Dear Klaus, I am pleased to know that you have arrived safely in London and I look forward to dining with you here on Thursday evening, when we can discuss matters of mutual interest. Yours, Robert.”
Hadley looked up at Bell and said “I don’t understand what’s so important about that, sir”
“The note is from Sir Robert Salisbury” said Bell.
“So I see.”
“He’s the under secretary of state at the Home Office, Hadley.”
“And you think he might be implicated in something illegal, sir?”
“Anything is possible, Hadley. I’m going up to brief the Commissioner on what I know so far whilst you begin the investigation and whatever you do, try and keep the Press from wild speculation because the news of the murder has already leaked out and they’ve been here this morning asking damn fool questions.”
“Right, I’ll do my best, where is the body now, sir?”
“It’s been taken to the Marylebone and I imagine that Doctor Evans has it in the mortuary.”
“We’ll get over there right away, sir.”
“Report back to me as soon as you can, Hadley.”
“Yes, sir” he nodded as he arose from his chair and headed for the door.
Doctor Evans looked up from his paper strewn desk and smiled at the detectives as they entered his office.
“Morning, Jim… Sergeant.”
“Morning Doctor” replied Hadley as Cooper nodded.
“I’m sure that you’ve come to view our foreign gentleman who decided to take a dip, fully clothed, in the Serpentine this morning” said Doctor Evans with a smile.
“Well, it is the weather for it” replied Hadley.
“Indeed it is, but it’s a shame he’d been murdered first though” said the Doctor as he stood up and made for the door. They followed him out into the mortuary where the naked body of Detrekker was laid out on a marble table.
“How did he die?” asked Hadley.
“A single stab to the heart, but then, as you can see the killer slashed at his face and neck after he was dead” replied Evans.
“A maniac then” said Hadley as he peered down at the multiple knife slashes across the face.
“Possibly or the killer didn’t want him recognised” said Evans.“His face is sun tanned, but his skin is white everywhere else”