The memory was still fresh in her mind. She was still worried if Mrs Anonymous had seen her when someone kept their hand on her shoulder. She gasped and turned.
“Mrs Esmerelda!” she sniffed.
“Bless your heart, my child!” Mrs Esmerelda. “You are just the spittin’ image of me! I was once like you my child, not knowing what to say or not! But time taught me everything I needed to know! And don’t cry!” she added. “You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar! Now cut the lights off and come out! Valarie wouldn’t want her daughter-in-law to be in her room during her great-great-great grandfather’s party.”
She came out of her room to the party back. Mrs Judith was speaking something when suddenly Lady Valarie took out her phone and called someone and stepped out of the party hall towards and gave Lyric a stern look on her way out.
Mrs Judith was standing close to the jewel and the others were close to her. She was tapping her feet on the floor and fingers on her glass goblet. Everything was normal and everybody left one after the other and when the last person left, Lyric decided to sleep rather than wait for Clifford who was late to come back from his business office.
“Do you doubt someone?” Enif asked Lyric.
“There is one person!” Lyric said suddenly. “Mrs Judith!”
The first person they investigated was Mrs Judith who, as said by Lyric was zooming around the jewel.
She was called to the interrogation room for investigation. She sat there nervous.
“My first question-Who are you?”
“The wife of the honourable Sir Raymond!” she said proudly twirling her hair and tapping inaudibly her feet on the floor.
“My second question-Why were you continuously walking around the Jewel box?”
“I wasn’t doing it on purpose! I was just talking with others when Valarie suddenly took out her phone and walked away in the middle of one of the favourite jokes! It was such a huge insult!” she continued jerking her legs.
“It wasn’t the first time she had done something like that! She always thinks of herself above us all! Always prides on being a descendant of Lord Francis and Lady Frances!”
“So, you stole the jewel, the gift of Lord Francis to Lady Margaret, to prove that she was careless and did not deserve to be their descendant?”
“Me, no! How could you think such a thing! I-daughter of the great Lord Harold!” she stood up tapping her feet vigorously on the floor.
“Then why are you running away?”
“I am not-!” she started but Lyric interfered.
“She is not running away! She is telling the truth! She hasn’t stolen it!”
“What makes you say that?”
“Look at that-!” Lyric pointed first at those jerking feet and then her hair clutched in her fist, her fingers twitching. “She has restless legs and fingers syndrome! She needs to keep both of them moving at least a little. So, she couldn’t have possibly done that! Pricking the lock and all that!”
“Ok, someone else you doubt?” he said opening the door for Mrs Judith to leave.
“Maybe we should just call everyone one by one and investigate!” Lyric replied.
“I like that idea!” Enif replied. “Call Mrs Esmerilda!”
“I don’t think she is guilty! She was with me during the time of thievery!” Lyric uttered nervously knowing that someone like Mrs Esmerilda cannot do something that could harm their respect.
“We don’t actually know when the theft took place and interrogation is an important part of the investigation.”
“Can we just at least go to get her ourselves, that would help!” Lyric urged hopefully.
Enif agreed. They all sat in the big car of the cops. Enif sat in the front beside the driver while Lyric sat in the back seat checking her phone. There was a message from Cliff. How are you and how is the investigation going? I will be late as I have to check on a business deal with an old client.
“Both are fine. At least for now. Enif reckons it’s Mrs. Anonymous’s one of the traceless thefts. If it is really her then I don’t think it is going to be fine.” She texted back.
There were at the huge residence in about fifteen minutes. It was even bigger ten Lady Valarie’s mansion. That explained why Mrs. Esmerilda addressed Lady Valarie directly by name. They approached the huge house that was nearly the size of a castle. It was ancient but beautiful. There were guards at the entrance of the gates. Enif took out his identity card to show the guards but the guards, at the sight of Lyric, opened the metallically carved gates.
“The royal blood I suppose!” Enif muttered putting back his identity card. Lyric scoffed.
There was no doorbell near the door. Instead, there was a knocker. Lyric reached out a hand to knock. She expected Lady Esmerilda’s maid to come and open the door but instead found herself face to face with Lady Esmerilda as the door opened.
“Oh! Lyric Bouvier isn’t it!” Mrs Esmerilda cheered happily. Lyric peeped inside. Everything was made up of metal or few things were made of wood. Not a sight of glass. It felt strange to Lyric but she remembered what Lady Esmerilda said at the party “It doesn’t amount a hill of beans!”
Lyric entered. Chandlers encircled the sitting area and lightened up the whole hall and engulfed everything in a flickering radiance. The illustrations of Paris in the sky on the bowed ceiling danced in the flickering light while stone effigies and carved images look down upon the oaken floor of this beautiful hall.
A magenta rug ran from the doorsteps down through the centre and split the hall into two paths leading out while ribbon banners with adorned ridges draped from the walls. Between each banner stood a large candlestick, a few of them lit and in turn illuminated the sculptures of heroes and leaders below them. Grand windows were covered by curtains coloured the same magenta as the banners. The curtains were adorned with burnished corners and decorating tips.
“Over yonder-” Lady Esmerilda gestured at the couch. Lyric sat at one side of the couch with Enif while Lady Esmerilda commanded her servants to fetch water. “So, what brings you here?”
“Um…we are here to ask you few questions about the thievery at Lady Valarie’s mansion at the night when the party took place!”
“Heavens to Betsy! Thievery! At the party! What are you talkin’ ‘bout?”
“You don’t know about the theft?”
“Of course, she does! She is trying to act innocent!” Enif sneered.
“Act innocent? What are ya talkin’ ‘bout?”
“Nothing! Enif I told you she cannot do something like this! We should go and interrogate the other guests!”
“Lyric! This is what I am talking about!” her voice suddenly clear. “You need to learn. If you are interrogating the other guests then you oughta interrogate me. It is important!”
“I get it!” Lyric nodded.
“Well, I need to confess then!”
“Confess what?” Lyric asked confused.
“That I did try to steal the jewel.”