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"The Gold Bullion Murders."
When they arrived at the hospital, the rain had eased to a fine, grey drizzle and Hadley was not in the best mood when he entered the Doctor’s office.
“I’m glad your Chief sent you, Hadley” said the Doctor as he looked up from his paper strewn desk.
“Why is that, may I ask?”
“This case is unusual, I am somewhat overworked and I really would prefer to explain to you rather than one of your less enlightened colleagues” replied Doctor Evans and Hadley smiled again at the compliment. The day was improving.
“Make a mental note of that, Sergeant” said Hadley and Cooper grinned as the Doctor arose from his desk. They followed him out into the examination room where the corpse was laid out on a marble slab. The man was aged about forty, dark skinned and with a mop of black hair, some of which had been cut away from the top of his battered skull. The torso was covered in elaborate tattoos of dragons with the French Tricolour emblazoned by the head of two of them. Hadley and Cooper studied the naked body for a few moments.
“It’s not often I get a body with illustrations” said the Doctor.
“Indeed” replied Hadley.
“If you look closely at the two dragons with the flag you can just read liberty, equality and fraternity, in the body of each, but it’s all faded somewhat” said the Doctor.
“So, he’s French, how did he die?” asked Hadley.
“By a massive blow to the head.”
“He didn’t drown then?”
“No, there was only a very little amount of water in the lungs, so he was dead when he went into the river.”
“What makes this such an unusual murder case?” asked Hadley.
“When I examined the skull I was certain that he had been struck on the top of his head by a house brick…”
“A house brick?” interrupted Hadley.
“Yes, look for yourself” and Hadley peered down at the indentation in the skull.
“You can see definite corners in the wound and if you look carefully where the brain has leaked through, it is quite sharp” said the Doctor.
“I’m glad I didn’t have porridge for breakfast” murmured Hadley.
“The interesting thing is that I was wrong about the house brick” said the Doctor.
“You were wrong, Doctor? I find that hard to believe” smiled Hadley.
“I think our friend here was struck by a solid gold bar…”
“What?” interrupted Hadley.
“I found a flake of gold embedded in the fracture of the skull, I removed it and it is over there on my table” the Doctor pointed at his instrument table “it’s in the kidney dish, look for yourself.”
Hadley and Cooper went over and peered down at the flake of bright gold laying in a solution in the dish.
“Good heavens” said Hadley.
“So, in my opinion, Inspector, someone has committed murder with a gold bullion bar!”
“He might have had the flake of gold in his hair and then it was driven into the skull by your house brick” said Hadley.
“Possible, but doubtful, in any event, it will be an interesting investigation” replied the Doctor and Hadley nodded.
“We believe that he’s a mate on a ship called the ‘Arabesque’ moored where the body was found, the Captain reported him missing” said Hadley.