The Box

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The constable hovered above the blood-stained sheet covering the dead body. The lifeless corpse of the old professor was laid out on a grimy, little cot in the corner of the room. The bookshelf and the desk were knocked over in a tangled heap, books strewn everywhere, table legs scattered across the floor. The strangest was a large box placed in the center of the room. It had every appearance of a child’s toy box, yet there was something sinister and menacing about it. Moonlight streamed through the minute window that looked over Victorian London, bathing everything in silver-grey light.

“Waddya think happened, copper?” inquired the young waif standing behind the officer.
“The same thing that happened to all the previous victims. He comes home. The man is there. He ended up dead. The murderer places the box here to taunt us.”
The week before the deaths began, Scotland Yard had received an extremely strange letter.
You think you’re so high and mighty at Scotland Yard, don’t you? Well I have a mystery you can’t solve. Starting next week, look out for the toy box.

It had taken a fair bit of thinking and puzzling to discern the message and now that they had, there was nothing they could do. The author of the note was just too clever.
The constable stepped outside, closely followed by the urchin boy. The night air was cold and crisp but the sky seemed heavy with some tragic secret. The pair strolled down the street, each lost in their own theories. All of a sudden a grubby hand descended on the policeman’s white jacket.
“This way. I need to show you something.” The waif pulled the officer into a darkened alley.

The young boy lead the officer into a maze of passageways, twisting and turning until they found themselves in the very heart of London. A decrepit, rundown building loomed above them, casting the street into the shadow. He turned to face the waif.
“What is it? Why did you have to drag me here?”
A ferocious grin lit up the urchin’s face.
“I know who the killer is.”
“Who?”
“Someone we both know. And he’s standing in this very street.” A revolver appeared in his hand. The police man did not flinch.
“Tell me. Who is it?”
“When I get to him, the murders will be over.”
“No, they won’t be.”

“What?”
“They won’t be over. They’ve just begun.”
A silence. Then a roar of fear from the waif. And a gun shot.
A few days later Scotland Yard received news of the disappearance of constable Thomas Crepton and orphan George Smith. With the news came a toy box. A letter was pinned to the top. It read:

This isn’t over. It’s just begun.





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