They Do It With Lenses- Chapter IV
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Dr Cliford’s clinic was rather plain. The walls were white. Only punctuated with pictures of babies laughing. Some medical charts detailing the process that takes place within the mother's body also hung on the walls. There was a chart showing the process of formation of embryo post-pregnancy. There was also a chart showing the process of caesarean. The wall also had some medals and trophies. Dr Clifford entered the room a few minutes later, He was a plump doctor with short cut hair. His beard was well trimmed. His appeal was very plain, the white doctor coat worn on scrubs. He wore two pins, one which announced his name. The other was a golden pin with two fishes pointing who were both facing a plant with a small silver gem-like structure. His pocket hoisted an expensive pen.
“Thank you...” Harvard was wishing
“You're welcome. What brings you, gentlemen, here?” Dr Clifford asked.
“If it won’t be any trouble to you, I would like to talk to you about the death of Leyla Gardner,” I said.
“So the media is correct?” Dr Clifford asked.
“About what?” Harvard asked.
“That Leyla was murdered.”
“We believe so.” Harvard grimly said, “And we suspect you had some involvement in it.”
Dr Clifford lost his calmness. He banged the table with his hands, “What in the damn world makes you think that way!”
I was startled, but Harvard retained his cool. “Dr Clifford, You were a close friend as well as Leyla’s doctor. I hope you understand why we suspect you in a case of Strychnine poisoning.”
“I do.” The doctor said as he sat down and gulped some water, “How was it administered?”
“Through eye-drops. Eye drops we believe you prescribed.” Harvard told a lie.
The doctor spitted out the water, “And there you go throwing crap again! Why in the damn world would I kill Leyla? Why don’t you both think before throwing out accusations.”
“We are not accusing you of the crime. We are just considering the possibility that one of the medicine you gave happened to contain Strychnine.”
The doctor slammed the bell on his table. He said nothing until a nurse came. “Escort these men outside.”
“Textbook narcissistic doctor,” Harvard said as he drove his Evija.
“Why didn’t you call him into the interrogation room?” I asked.
“Because that would have the exact same result as now. Dr Clifford would have denied all allegations, speak nothing about the case and possibly would have called a lawyer.”
“And the lawyer would have asked him to shut up,” I added.
“Exactly,” Harvard replied. Then after some thought, he suggested, “Let’s recount the case.”
“Leyla Gardner was found dead in her room due to Strychnine poisoning. The poison had entered through the eyes. Before her death, she had a writing circle meeting which was made up of close friends and authors. Everyone in that meeting is a suspect. We had Keith Willard, her husband who left soon after. We are yet to meet him but I’ve sent some officers to the airport to collect him as soon as he lands.”
“Let’s refer to him as A,” Harvard suggested.
“Then there was Elisa Seymor, her friend and a successful screenwriter. She was incredibly disturbed when we talked to her but was open about the details. She also suffered a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction while talking to us.”
“Let’s call her B.” Harvard said, “I’ll add to her profile. She was presumably given the nuts by somebody who knew of her condition. Possibly as an attempt on her life.”
I nodded in agreement before continuing, “There was Dr Clifford, a medical fiction writer and practising OB/GYN. He was defensive when we talked to him. At this point, he is our prime suspect.”
“We’ll call him C,” Havard said.
“Josh Nikolson, Elisa’s agent is also a suspect. He had an argument with Leyla on the night of his death. While Elisa states it was a common occurrence, it may have led to an impulse decision to kill.”
“Let's call him D.”
“Mr and Mrs Witherson were also present at the party. We have zero information about them, due to the fact that Elisa collapsed before she could tell us more about them.”
“E and F,” Harvard said before he abruptly stopped the car.
“Strychnine. It entered the body through the eye. Did you guys check all the eye drugs in her house for Strychnine?”
“I did order it. The results are yet to arrive.”
“I just had a brain wave. What if the person who attempted to kill Elisa was the same person who killed Leyla?” He said.
“Why didn’t we make that connection earlier?”
“Because we were thinking of both the occurrence as two mutually exclusive events.” He said.
And then my phone rang.
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Text (c) 2022 by Arjun Agarwal.
Header image is art by phluso