The Case of Double
Spark of CautionThe group suspects was comprised of everyone who had been staying at the house on the night of the theft. Questioning them was at first unfruitful: most of the people were upset about the whole affair, and for some that would be to say the least. Thus, not too many of them were very cooperative. But, Jack was able to gain some helpful information upon questioning the major and his son. Though questioned separately, what the two said was perfectly cohesive.
“Well, Mr. Mason, the most likely suspect I can name,” began the major, without much facial expression, “although I don't like saying it, is my son James. You see... well, we've not really been on the most intimate terms, ever since... well, ever since I refused to give him his full inheritance, his request of which was quite premature, I must say. After all, I’m not dead yet, Mr. Mason, as you can clearly see!” Jack laughed and agreed.
On questioning the major's son:
“What, uh… what were you doing the evening before the theft, Mr. James?” Jack inquired. Yes, although a pretty generic question, it was indeed necessary. He tried to say it in a sensitive way, not being overly straight-forward.
“Ehh, working on one of my cars. That's a hobby of mine, you see.”
“Ah. And, what kind of work were you doing?”
He seemed pretty casual... too casual... Anyone else would have been offended if asked such a question. And it all fit too perfectly. The son grows angry at his father for not giving him a no doubt large sum of money; the son is doing engine work the evening before the robbery of a very large sum of money from the father; and the key used to unlock the safe was smudged with motor oil. Yet, the father and the son had both told Jack exactly what he needed to know, and little else, in order for him come to the conclusion that the son had indeed stolen the money. Why would the son be so casual about it! So, Jack concluded, either it was all a coincidence and his suspicion was unnecessary, or something was going on behind the crystal evidence.
This sparked a vague sense of caution in his mind. It was somewhat of a long-shot, but...