A a teen-ager boy named Satyaraj is a lover of detective books and mystery. What will he do when a mystery is taking shape in front of him? Will he be able to find out the culprit? He knows that his mother will thrash him if he indulges in all these.
Read The Stolen Papers of Mr. Robert Alder – Part 1 and 2, to find out what he does, how he will find the actual culprit and also escape his mother’s wrath.
Also read, The Last Breath – Part 1 and 2 from Satyaraj series here : https://tellmeyourstory.in/the-satyaraj-series-2/
I had just passed class ten that time; I used to go to school all alone. Since my father was in military, he was sometimes transferred to other cities or towns. In the beginning of April my father got a letter from higher officials that he would be transferred to Kolkata this year. We were having a great time in Punjab; I didn’t want to leave the place and my friends. But soon, after two months, we shifted to Kolkata. My father had already booked a flat at Park Street block-D. This area was very clean and away from the noisy traffic. In front there was a studio and in the right, there was a grocery shop. After walking for five meters to the left there was a mansion, probably 100 years old. One day I went near the mansion and asked the people around, “Do you know who owns this mansion?” An old man said, “Son, this used to be owned by Mr. Robert Adler. He was a great scientist of his time, he had researched on animals and their habitat. But his friends thought that he would be a millionaire if he was successful in his research. So his friends killed him ruthlessly in his own house but they could not steal his papers.” The explanation ended with a huge sigh from the old man. “His papers are still there and people are still trying to steal them.” The man sat down beside me. “Now no one lives in that house, only a watchman is there to guard it. His grandson comes once a year to check.”
I came back to my house sadly. It was dark soon after. At night I decided to study for my admission test. It was 11p.m. I went to my study table and opened my books. My mother and sister were already sleeping. Around 12 o’clock I heard the cranking of gates. I peeked through the window but could not see anything. Again I heard a sound but it was the sound of a bike. I again peeked through my window and saw a bike coming at full speed from the left side. I could not see the faces of the riders because they were wearing helmets.
In the morning a crowd had gathered near the mansion. I could see a police van parked aside. I changed my clothes and went there to see what had happened. To my surprise, I saw that the door of that mansion was wide open and the things inside it were jumbled up. Besides the door was lying the dead body of the watchman of the apartment next to it. I asked some of the people around. They said, “Someone has killed the watchman and has taken away all his research papers.” I was shocked to hear this.
Suddenly a scene flashed in my mind. I remembered that the night before I had seen a bike coming from that side. My body started to shiver with fear. I understood that they were the thieves who had committed the murder and theft. After sometime the police came out of the house. They looked tensed. They started asking everybody about the crime, if they had seen or heard anything suspicious. When it was my turn, I told them all what I had to say. The head of the police force asked me, “Do you suspect anyone?”
“No sir, I am new in this locality so I cannot suspect anyone without reason.” I said. Soon after the police left, we all came back to our job. It was a sad start of the day for me. Even the weather seem to be like that – gloomy, full of rain clouds. I soon went for my admission test at the school situated near College Street. I came back home at 11: 30 a.m. and told my parents about the incident that happened in the morning. It didn’t take me long to realize, that I had made a mistake! My mother shouted at me on top of her voice. I got a punishment from mom and what was it? I was not allowed to step out of my room.
I lay on my bed and started thinking about the whole chain of events. Though I couldn’t see their face last night, I tried to understand their figure. I was deep in thoughts when suddenly an information came to my mind like a flash of thunder. It was too dark the night before to see anything but I had somehow managed to see the number plate of the bike. This morning I had seen the same bike with that number plate parked near the apartment. Now, this case seemed to take one more turn. The question is, who had committed the murder and stolen the papers? Was it someone from the apartment or someone from the locality?
My mind was getting jumbled up thinking about all these questions.
A few days passed. We came to know that Mr. Robert Adler’s grandson was coming to our locality to see what had happened. It was Friday when his grandson arrived. A large crowd had gathered near him. After all he was an Englishmen! Although he was from England, he knew how to talk in chaste Bengali. He started asking questions to the crowd and everybody seemed eager to answer him.
Now it is important to tell you how I came out of my house. Actually I didn’t ask my mother. I just somehow managed to get out of the house and roam around. After all I had been room-bound for three days, phew! What an escape!
So he was asking all of us a lot of questions. When he came to me, I said the same thing but not the latest information I had discovered. My mouth started paining, repeating the same things again and again. I slipped away quietly from the crowd and went to the parking area of the apartment. I searched thoroughly but the bike was not there. I was devastated. Just then, I saw a something behind the wooden store room. I went there to see what it was. To my surprise there was a pair of shoes hidden behind it. I took out the shoes and found that it was full of blood stains!
Now this case seemed somewhat clearer to me. I came back home escaping my mother’s vigil. I went to my room and started noting down all the things. From that bike to the pair of shoes, I noted down all the clues I had pocketed till then. I went to the police station to source further information, though I doubted whether they would divulge anything to a teenager. I went there and spoke to the superintendent. Thankfully they parted with some of the information I wanted. When I was returning from the police station, I saw the bike parked near a hardware shop. I immediately went to the shop to see who the owner of the bike was. To my surprise it was Mr.Raghunath Pandey. He was staying in an apartment of our locality.
The case was now crystal clear to me. But I knew that I cannot register a complaint against him as the culprit because I do not have any proof. I would have to wait for the right time to hand him over to the police. I decided to meet Mr. Ross Smith, grandson of Mr. Robert Adler, who was staying at the Grand Hotel in Rashbehari. I took an appointment with him for 12p.m.
At sharp twelve o’clock I was there at his hotel. I knocked his door. A voice came from inside, “come in”. I went inside and found him sitting on his arm chair, listening to songs on the gramophone. He was a tall man with a French cut beard and a golden colour spectacle. I asked him, “Do you know with whom your grandfather worked?” He said, “I don’t know all of them but some I know.” I again asked, “Do you know their names?”
“Wait,” he said, “My grandfather had a dairy where he had all his records written. I will give you that. I think that will help you, wouldn’t it?” He went to the other room and came back with a red colour diary. He handed over the diary to me. I thanked him.
It was Tuesday. The sky was full of rain clouds. I was sitting in my room doing my work when I heard a huge commotion outside. I peeked through my window to find out what it was. I saw that everyone had gathered again near the mansion. I also came out of my house and went there. The shoes, which I had found yesterday, were now discovered by the people living around. I knew that this was the time to discover the truth.
I stood in a place observing around. I saw the man I had met some time back. He was sweating profusely and seemed to be much tensed. I understood that the shoes belonged to him, which was a good clue. I came back home and went to my room. I took out the diary and started going through it. In all those, one name seemed to be familiar with someone. I made an enquiry about this man named Rajendar Pandey.Mr. Ross Smith said that Mr. Rajendar pandey was one of the closest friends of his grandfather and he also had a grandson named Raghunath Pandey. I was shocked to hear this.
When it was lunch time my mother called for me. I came down to see that everyone was staring at me with anger in their eyes. I got a heavy blow from my parents which made my head pain. They had got to know about my expeditions.
I took up the case more seriously after this. I called the police and had a long talk with the police officer. In the evening the police van came and stopped in front of our house. I had told my mom about this case being solved by me; she was about to shout at me again. But when I said I was helping the police, she stopped.
I took a constable with me and went to the fourth floor of the apartment. I knocked at his door but no one answered. I pushed the door hard. It opened but there was no one inside. I went and discovered that someone just ran out of the fire exit staircase. I told the constable to run after him while I took the lift and went down. When I reached downstairs he was already arrested. Looking at me he asked, “Why have you all arrested me?” In reply I said, “Is it fair to kill someone unnecessarily?” My question made him freeze like ice, his body started to shake with fear.
I went on, “You were the one who stole the papers but the watchman came into your way, so you had to kill him. Am I right?” He did not say anything. I again said, “Your grandfather had told you to recover the papers on the day of his last breath. And from that day you were after it. You shifted from Rajarhat to Park Street just for this, am I right?” He was sweating profusely. He was looking like he was already dead. “The shoes were proof to your misdeed, and even the bike. You had hidden your shoes so that no one knew about it.” He shouted at me. “Stop! Please stop this. I confess that I have committed the murder and stolen the papers. Officer, please take me to your custody.”
Soon after, he was taken to the lock-up. Everybody praised me; even my parents were proud of my bravery. After some days I was awarded by the government for my outstanding achievement. After this, my mother also started admiring my ability.