I Sense A Presence – XXIV

Investigator to Henry: Is it a new bluff, its better be not.

Henry replied with a smirk: Neither you are my friend nor this is a place and time to be bluffing around. I would rather choose to prove my innocence, I trust your intelligence, don’t question mine.

Investigator (sighed): hmmm, how can you prove your point, and does Sally know about her step-sister? How can step-sisters crop up all of a sudden, over the night? I am not ready to buy your fantasy fiction yet, keep trying till you drop and the truth finds its way out.

Henry gave a detailed account of when and how the secret was revealed to him by the family lawyer and put across a few valid cross-questions. He was not going to be a passive spectator of proceedings that clearlyspelledt doom for him and his love.

“Extra-marital relationships are usually less spoken about or completely kept under wraps, no matter how progressive we think we have become. I don’t blame Sally if she is unaware of her relationship with Tracy(He also stated that he doesn’t remember the lawyer mentioning anything about Sally’s knowledge of Tracy). Had she known about the same I don’t think she would have kept obscured from me. She let Tracy stay in her home” Henry put forth a strong point.

Investigator: Letting someone stay at home doesn’t acquit you directly especially when the person gets murdered on your premises and no traces of any outsider’s involvement has been found. Tell me one thing, was Sally never bothered by Tracy’s presence in the house, to be precise around and with you? Even if I give her a benefit of the doubt when it comes to her relationship with Tracy but no woman can tolerate a strikingly good-looking woman constantly making her presence around her spouse. Can you deny that? wasn’t there a single moment in all these months where Sally was wary of your closeness with Tracy? I bet you that can be a big motive enough to commit this “accident” as specified by you. I need you to speak up NOW (he placed his fist with a certain amount of force on the table as he looked intensely into Henry’s eyes, as if he wanted to scare him of consequences of holding onto the information).

Henry remained unfazed. “Yes, Sally was a bit disturbed and it was natural for her to be so, also given the trauma she had been into. She imagined things and I suppose after her medical condition has to do more with it rather than anything else. And on the given day when I entered the house, it was Tracy who was trying to attack Sally. What happened then was a tragic accident. I had to save Sally, but unfortunately, I couldn’t do it for Tracy.

Investigators are really finding it hard to break Henry’s defense. They will need more evidence and probably a reverse psychological game to ascertain the modus-operandi and the motive behind the crime. For this moment it seemed to be an open and shut case where these two people are under trial by a conspiracy of fate.

Meanwhile, each and every detail of Sally, Tracy, and Henry were being dug up. No matter how hard they tried there was nothing that could even remotely associate Sally or for that matter Henry to this murder. It was proved that Sally didn’t have any idea about Tracy as the investigators cross-checked with the family lawyer. “Mr.Pattinson was a man of secrets and this secret settlement of property is not an exception. I couldn’t settle it immediately or for that matter bring it to light due to my own professional and personal reasons. I did meet Sally after her father’s demise and spoke about other settlements but she completely seemed to be aloof” the lawyer concluded.

To add to the testimony for Sally and Henry, Tracy’s own stint with illegal activities, her act of disappearance from the city, owning a gun illegally proved quite helpful, receiving petty sums of cash from an anonymous account that traced back to Sally’s father proved quite a big point against her. Josh also chipped in with his statement “Sally always complained of someone trying to attack her, someone watching her. We can completely squash those fears as illusions or imaginary but given how things have shaped up now, how Tracy used her relationship with Henry to enter Sally’s life says a lot of things”.

On the other hand, Sally’s condition improved. She gave an account of what happened that day. She also showed a few injuries that she received in the scuffle. Sobbing and trying to regain her composure Sally said “I was alone when that night when Tracy attacked me. She was repeatedly saying that I took from her what was rightfully hers. I didn’t get what she was trying to say. She said her only motto in her life was to get revenge for her mother who died in misery and poverty and it was my father that caused her so much pain. Things seemed to get clearer then. But before I could apologize to her…”

Then why did you say “It was Anne who made you do this,” the investigator asked Sally?

“I am sure by this time you all know my condition. Chaos all around triggered voices in my head” and she hid her face in her palms.

After two months of rigorous investigation when the cops failed to prove anything substantial they did let Henry and Sally go and it was the case was recorded as an accidental death in the course of self-defense. An undertaking was taken that Sally will continue her treatment.

Feeling comforted to be in their house, Sally and Henry embraced each other tightly. Sally softly whispered into Henry’s ears “Thank you for being on my side”. Henry kissed her passionately and picked her up in his arms and took her to the dining table, where he laid her on the table, looking lovingly into her eyes. Caressing her hair softly, kissing her forehead, he was indulging himself in the moment as past few months have been nothing less than catastrophic to their relationship. He was just mending everything. Suddenly he asked in-between their lovey-dovey talks “You never had an idea who Tracy was? What has actually happened that night honey?”.

And Sally looked right past through Henry and said “Anne you are here again?” and she stabbed Henry with a knife from the basket nearby…

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