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Donaldson was last seen alive buying a lottery ticket in Kensington, central London. He was found dead by his wife when she got back from bingo at 11.30pm. A door key for a hotel in Milan was next to Donaldson’s body. His wallet had been stolen.

The police suspected Dickey Bird, a small time drug dealer and security guard at the Notting Hill Bingo and Social Club. Bird and Mrs. Donaldson were having an affair.

Rick however, had his doubts. Mrs. Donaldson was paying him to investigate her husband’s murder. Rick walked up to Inspector Jim Corner of Scotland Yard who was in charge of the murder investigation. Rick took off his sunglasses and looked the inspector in the eye.

‘I’m Rick Mansworth.’ said Rick. ‘You must be Corner of the Yard’.

‘Yes, that’s right Mr. Mansworth’ replied the inspector, ‘Scotland Yard. How did you know me?’

‘You’ve only got one eye. You lost the other one drinking coffee.’

‘Yes, that’s very clever of you Mr. Mansworth. But now I always take the spoon out of the cup.’

Dickey Bird ‘So, who have you arrested for this one inspector?’ asked Rick. Looking around the crime scene.

‘Bird of course’ replied the inspector, laughing. He’s the only suspect.’

Rick walked away and left Corner of the Yard laughing behind him. A blue BMW was parked outside Donaldson’s flat. Rick looked through the window and saw a map of Milan on the passenger seat. There was a white hotel towel on the backseat. Rick looked closer and read the writing on the towel ‘Hotel Valiente, Milan’. Rick took out his mobile and phoned Air Italia. He was going to Milan.

The Hotel Valiente was on of the worst Hotels Rick had ever seen. As he walked into reception he saw mice and cockroaches packing their bags to leave! The receptionist checked the coffee-stained register for the name of Donaldson. There was a newspaper next to the register. Rick’s Italian was bad, but he managed to translate the headline; ‘$6 million in cocaine stolen from Milan Police’

‘Yes Sir’ said the receptionist in an Italian accent, ‘he was.. a here for.. a two days. He a…checked out.. a.. yesterday.

‘Did you notice anything unusual about him?’ asked Rick, nervously watching a cockroach coming out of the lift.

‘I sure..a..did.’ said the receptionist, ‘He..a only had..a.. one eye.’

So that’s it! Thought Rick as the taxi flew through the streets of Milan to the airport. Corner used his police identity to steal the cocaine from the Milan police. Then he used Donaldson’s connection with Dickey Bird the drug dealer to put the suspicion on Bird.

As Bird was being questioned Rick arrived at Scotland Yard.

‘You’ve got the wrong man!’ shouted Rick, as he ran into the police station. ‘He did it!’ Rick was pointing at inspector Corner.

‘Be careful Mansworth.’ warned the inspector. ‘I’ve got my eye on you.’

‘Too late Corner’ said Rick. Your fingerprints were found on the map in Dickey Bird’s car. The hotel bill in Milan is on your visa card and the bullets taken from Donaldson’s body came from your gun.’

Success. Rick had solved another case and, as he sat on his balcony with a whisky and a cigarette, he looked at the busy London streets below and thought about dinner. Fish in the microwave, or chicken in the pub? He finished his drink quickly and put on his jacket. Tonight he didn’t feel like being alone.

La Mansión del Inglés.
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