Caroline is Arrested

The gazebo was a sizeable sanctuary. It was her favorite place on the estate. It was where she liked to read or merely reflect on life. However, today, she found no solace there. Her mind was in a turmoil. She was still in shock over losing Charles and learning that his death was caused by Cyanide poisoning.

The atmosphere at the estate was heavy and oppressive as everyone tried to come to terms with the tragedy. Margaret was beside herself with grief. Robert was still inconsolable. Clive was flying in that evening from Windhoek. When she had called his flat with the news, she had spoken to his fiancee, Ndeshi. After recovering from her shock, she promised to relay the message right away to Clive who was in Cape Town on business.

And it was here, in her sanctuary where Margaret with the police in tow descended upon her. Before she had a chance to say anything, Margaret stepped forward, pointing an accusing finger at her. “It was you!” she cried.  “You killed Charles.”

Caroline was mortified. It took several minutes for her to recover from her shock and protest vehemently, “That’s not true!  Why would I do kill Charles?”

“You meant to kill me.  The Cyanide was in my cereal which Charles ate.”

Why would I want to kill you?”

“You hate me because I married Charles.  You’re in love with him and after your sister died, you hoped that he would marry you but he married me instead.  You couldn’t stand me being the new mistress of this estate so you concocted a plan to murder me but it backfired.  You killed Charles instead.”

Caroline looked at Detective Chief Superintendent Allen, her eyes wide with desperation.  “She’s lying,” she cried.  “I admit that I don’t like her but I would never resort to murder.”

Margaret glared at her. “Agnes said that when she went into the kitchen that morning you were there.  While she wasn’t looking, you could have easily put the Cyanide in the cereal.”

“I didn’t!”

“Why were you in the kitchen, Miss Taylor?” DCS Allen asked.

“I went to get myself a cup of tea.”

“There was a pot of tea on the table.  You could have helped yourself to that.”

“I wanted to have my tea on the patio before having my breakfast.”

Just then Detective Sergeant Moore entered the room.  He went over to DCS Allen.  He handed him a plastic bag with a little bottle inside.  “We found this in one of her chest of drawers, tucked behind some scarves.”

“Mrs. Whitmore?”

“No, Sir. The other lady–Miss Taylor.”

“Do you know what it is?”

“It smelled like bitter Almonds, Sir.”

Cyanide.  “Thank you, Detective Sergeant Moore.”  He held the bag up for Caroline to see.  “Miss Taylor, do you know what this is?”

She shook her head, looking bewildered.  “No.  I’ve never seen it before.”

“It’s Cyanide. Perhaps you would like to explain what it was doing in one of your drawers.”

“I don’t know how it got there.  Someone must have put it there.”

“You see that I was right, Detective Chief Superintendent Allen. She murdered my husband.  She meant to kill me but she killed him instead.”

“That’s not true.  You have to believe me.  I don’t know how that bottle got in my drawer.  I didn’t put it there.  I’ve never seen it before.  Please…I’m telling you the truth.”

“I’m afraid the evidence says otherwise.  Miss Taylor, you’re under arrest for the murder of Charles Whitmore.”

“No!” she cried as they escorted her from the room.  “I’m innocent!”  Her eyes fell on Margaret. 

Margaret turned away.  With her back turned to them, no one noticed the exultant smile on her face.  Now only one person stood in her way–Clive’s fiancée, Ndeshi.     

Posted for August 2020 Writing Prompts – #11 – A sizable sanctuary

6 comments

  1. I knew it. Poor Caroline. Unfortunately, she wasn’t in the presence of mind to recall the conversation that was supposed to remain secret. She should have opened the conversation of her having a relationship with her “dearly” departed husband’s son. Cruel B**ch.

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  2. Which brings me to Charles. What is it with some men and them going for the wrong woman when there are perfectly good women around? What was the attraction? Margaret is, however, a typical psychopath. Why did she marry Charles? Seesh. I’m just upset.

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    • Trust me if Charles had any idea of the kind of woman Margaret was, he would not have married her. People don’t usually show their true colors. And even up to his death, Charles still didn’t have a clue about Margaret. Perhaps, Caroline should have told him or maybe Clive should have but neither had foreseen the tragic outcome. Sometimes, the decent men end up with the rotten women and vice versa. Try not to let the story upset you too much.

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  3. Yeah well. I suppose they were trying to “protect” his feelings. You know, people have a habit of not telling you important stuff because they don’t want to “hurt” you. I don’t do that. Yes, I don’t have many friends because I tell them the truth. This story proves me right. There are always so-called little things that warn us about possible outcomes.
    But we underestimate people who have questionable character, we take things at surface value, we don’t want to be seen as a conspiracy theorists. But at the root of it, most times is we keep mute about bad stuff because we are afraid that we might lose the closeness we share with the people we love when we expose the bad things someone else they love is doing.
    I would rather you stop talking to me and be alive or at least be forewarned, than for you to be harmed because I couldn’t tell you the truth.
    Silence may be golden at times, but the truth makes one free.
    No matter how “good” the reason for Clive and Caroline’s silence, it’s not worth it now. They have both aided and abetted a criminal, as well as being an accessory to murder with their silence.

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    • I agree with you. My mother once had a friend whom she respected because she was always frank and outspoken. Caroline should have had a frank talk with Clive and advised him to tell his father about his past relationship with Margaret or Caroline should have said something to Charles, even at the risk of losing his friendship. He might have resented what she may have told him but it might have put him on guard. Forewarned is forearmed. There are times to keep silent and there are times to speak up. It says in Proverbs 27:6: Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. Those wounds would have healed and Charles would have still been alive. And Margaret would be history.

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