The Greenwood Mystery
By Georgia L.
It all started on a gloomy Friday morning. I was just reading in my bedroom, when the telephone rang, and Mum went to answer it.
“Abigail, it’s for you. It’s Uncle Sam!” Mum called me, interrupting my reading.
“Coming,” I called back. Sam is one of my old friends, but I still call him Uncle because he’s really close. He tells me just about everything. He usually finds jogging through the Greenwood Woods relaxing.
“Something freaky is about to happen at Greenwood Manor. Meet you there,” Sam said, before abruptly hanging up.
“Mum, Sam wants to meet me at Greenwood Manor. I’m going to ride over there with Faith!” I said to Mum as I put the phone back on the hook. Faith is my best friend, who lives next door. We both live in front of Greenwood Woods.
“OK, but take a phone with you as well!” Mum replied, but I was already out the door, knocking on Faith’s door, with my bike in tow.
Soon, Faith and I were off, riding into the depths of the woods. From this angle, looking into the woods, it actually doesn’t look too inviting. Greenwood Manor is at the very heart of the Greenwood Woods, so it took us at least ten minutes to get there. We had a look around the garden and found a distressed man hiding out behind a fern in the greenhouse.
“What happened?” Faith asked him gently.
The man could only speak between frequent sobs. “I… was minding… minding my own… business… when I heard… I heard…”
“What did you hear?” I asked curiously.
“I heard… oh, it’s too terrible… I heard a scream,” he finally said between cries.
“What did you do then?” Faith wondered aloud.
“I… I called… the hospital and police. The ambulance wouldn’t come though cause I… I wouldn’t say… what happened… how the person who screamed was injured… I couldn’t bring myself… I couldn’t go in there in case there was a second… a second man who ran… who ran out-”
“Second man?” I asked.
“Yeah, a bearded man… a man…. he ran out…”
“What did he look like?” Faith curiously asked.
“A beard… I don’t know… why are you so curious anyway?”
“We want to know what happened.” I said passionately.
“Who are you?”
“I’m Faith, and this is Abigail.” Faith replied.
“Oh… you’re… the girls… who solved… the robbery?”
“Yes…” Faith and I replied in unison.
“OK. I’ll tell you everything I know, ‘cause I know you are good detectives. Listen carefully. I work for Mrs. Kelvy; I’m her gardener. This is her house. I was just innocently grooming the hedges, when I saw a man jog past, just by the fence. About five to ten minutes later, I heard a scream-- I think it was a female--and I saw Mrs Kelvy’s lawyer running out of the house. He had a little blood splattered on his… clothes. I’m sure it was him. I think… he… he was the one… the one with the… the beard…”
“Anything else?” I asked.
“Um… oh, yeah. I saw the silhouette of someone in the window, after I saw the man run out. The man who ran out, he looked real scared. Eyes wide, you know.”
“Do you know who that was?”
Faith asked, intrigued about this mystery.
“Maybe her fiancé…?”
“I guess Faith and I had better get going!” I said quickly, as I could see we weren’t going to get anywhere. “Hey, one last thing, do you know Mrs. Kelvy’s lawyer’s name and what’s your name?”
“Um… my name… my name’s Kyle Richardson… And the lawyer’s name is Mr. A. Fitsjeraldi. And her fiancé is… Sam something… I don’t really know…”
That made me gasp. What if this Sam guy, the fiancé, is the family friend I know-- my uncle? He never told us he was engaged; furthermore he never told us he even knew Mrs. Kelvy…
“Bye!” I said half cheerfully.
“Watch yourselves- be careful!”
“Thanks, bye!” Faith called as we rode away.
We were going to go home to tell our parents we were going to Sam’s place. Of course our parents let us-- with the usual warnings of ‘be careful’ and ‘don’t talk to strangers!' We met back up on the street with our bikes and we both took off toward Sam’s little cottage down the street.
“Sam…?” I called as I knocked on his front door. “Sam?” Faith called as well.
We sat down and waited for five minutes, before trying again.
“Sam?” we called, this time banging on the door.
“Looking for someone?” a deep masculine voice called out from behind, causing both of us girls to jump and shriek!
“Um, who are you?” I asked curiously, not recognizing the man beneath the overalls and beanie hat.
“It’s me- Sam! I’ve just got back from the walk I usually go on- oh, and in the future, try not to break my door down!”
“Can we talk to you?” I asked politely.
“Sure- what seems to be the matter?” Sam asked as he led us through the now-open door.
“Why did you call Abigail this morning? How did you know what was going to happen?” Faith burst out.
“Oh- just a feeling I had as I ran past the house. Why? Did my prediction come true?” Sam asked.
“Yeah. Why didn’t you tell me you were engaged?”
“Engaged? To who?” Sam asked, his eyes darting around the room.
“To Mrs. Kelvy,”
“Because it’s just too painful to talk about.”
“We’re not gonna leave until you tell us why you pretended you didn’t know that you were engaged.”
“Fine then. But without Faith.”
“Faith’ll hear whether she’s in this room or not. Now spill it!” I was almost shouting at him. I mean, we shared everything and now this!
“Fine, fine. I didn’t tell you, because… because she left… she left me at the altar.”
“Oh that’s way too bad! I can’t believe it,” I said disbelievingly.
“Did you see anyone acting suspiciously during your morning walk?” Faith interjected.
“Well, I did see one man hiding behind a tree, and I saw a shadow in the window, and I heard a scream…”
“We don’t need anything else at the moment. Thanks for your time, and if you remember anything else, just give us a call!” Faith replied. “And I’m really grateful you shared the information with us!”
“My pleasure” Sam said, adding another word under his breath, “Not.”
“OK, so we’ve got a couple of facts so far,” I later conferred with Faith.
“Yeah, Sam could’ve killed Mrs. Kelvy. We have a reason, and no alibi!” she said back. “And the gardener said he had blood on his clothes.”
“I still think he wouldn’t have. And we didn’t see any blood on his clothes later, did we? I know him--”
“Yeah, but then why didn’t he tell you he has a fiancé?”
“He said why: it was too painful!”
“I think it was him.”
“What about the gardener?”
“What about the gardener?”
“Maybe he was angry that Mrs. Kelvy didn’t pay him enough? And he was there at the scene of the crime.”
“What about the lawyer?”
“Why did she even need a lawyer?”
“Maybe because she left Sam at the altar?”
“Let’s go and see the lawyer.”
“This must be Mr. A. Fitsjeraldi’s house. You knock,” Faith ordered me.
“No, you!” I ordered back.
“NO-” Faith started to shout when the door opened.
“Good evening ladies. What can I do for you?” a slow and innocent voice wavered in the air.
“We’re looking into the murder of Mrs. Kelvy-”
“Why, yes, we presume so,” I said.
“You’d better come in,”
“You see, Mrs. Kelvy had a few… issues… with relationships. She was engaged to Sam, although she never told me, and left him at the altar because of me-”
“Because of you?”
“Yes- we went out for dinner before their marriage, I thought she liked me, and then she accidentally let it slip she was engaged. She tried making it up to me, by leaving him at the altar, but it never worked. I’m personally very glad she’s dead- though I would NEVER kill her.”
“Were you at the Greenwood Manor this morning?”
“Yes, I had to ask Mrs. Kelvy what time she wanted her next FORMAL meeting.”
“Why did she even need a lawyer?”
“Problems to do with a robbery- highly confidential.”
“If you got the chance, and if there was no such thing as jail, would you kill Mrs. Kelvy?”
“Yes, on those circumstances, I guess I might consider it. Who are you?”
“Faith and Abigail-”
“Oh wow! You’re the girls who solved that other case- the one about the robbery!”
“Did you see anything suspicious happening when you were at the Manor?”
“Um… I saw another man, sneaking into the back door, and I saw a gardener gardening…? Oh, and as I was climbing the stairs, I heard this scream, so I ran out, and ran for my life to my car, and as I did I saw the gardener dart behind a tree and when I got to my car, the other man was running out… Is that good enough?”
“I guess we’d better get going.”
“Thanks for your support in finding the murderer!”
“I guess you were right; it must be Sam,” I said, to my great dismay.
“You should never put personal lives in front of jobs; especially when there are serious lives on the line.” Faith said, with a proud glint in her eyes.
“Yeah,” I said, “I guess we’d better get a-heading to the police station, then!”
“What about lunch?”
“Oh, well! We’ll have that later- we’ve got work to do!”
“… So that’s how we figured out that it must be either Mr. Fitsjeraldi or Sam who killed her.” I explained to Private Eye Jarn.
“And Mr. Fitsjeraldi states he saw Sam going into the house the back way,” added Faith.
“Mr. Fitsjeraldi could have killed her because he was furious she never told him she was engaged to Sam. And Sam could have killed her because she left him at the altar. And I don’t believe it was the gardener, because he was just gardening in the garden.”
A cop stuck his head around the door of the DI’s office. “Mr. J. Greenman, Mr. A. Fitsjeraldi and Mr. S. Hakey are here.”
“Thanks Policeman Harvey. Send them here,” said the Private Eye, instructing them to line up.
“Mr. Greenman here, he saw two people in the Manor. That would be the lawyer and Sam.”
“He said that Sam had blood on his clothes. Can you explain this?”
“Well… I… I saw Mrs. Kelvy lying here on the ground, so I went over to her to get a pulse. Unfortunately she had been stabbed in the heart, so I then wiped my hands on my clothes.”
“Why didn’t you phone an ambulance or the police?”
“I was scared… I didn’t know what to do…”
“But the gardener didn’t report blood on you, Mr. Fitsjeraldi. If you were to stab her from behind, then your blood would be everywhere. But why were you in the Manor?”
“I told you, we had arranged to have a meeting.”
“When you saw her, why didn’t you call an ambulance?”
“I thought that I would be suspected if I did.”
“You are going to be more suspected if you don’t. I declare that it was, indeed, Sam Hakey.”
At this, Sam tried to make a run for it. He shot out the door, straight into the hands of Policeman Harvey!
The next day, the newspapers were full of pictures of Faith, Sam and myself. Private Eye Jarn gave Faith and I special little certificates, to go with the certificates we got given on the robbery. Maybe when we are older, our walls will be full with certificates from the Private Eye!!!