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Chapter 30

Police cars sped through the traffic on the road. The loud, piercing police sirens unsettled the surrounding. Traffic was giving way for them to go. Due to the sirens and all of these police vehicles moving at the same time, a fearful curiosity spread amongst the people watching. Making their way thought the traffic and taking turns abruptly, they reached somewhere around George’s neighbourhood. As the vehicles stopped, a team of police came out in a hurry.

“Come on! Surround the whole area. Quick, the killer cannot escape” Sam ordered.

The police team ran to surround the area. Their movements created a tense atmosphere, which could be seen on the neighbours’ faces, peering through their windows. 

With a few police officers, Sam moved toward one particular house. The man who told George’s story was already outside his house, astonished, looking at what was going on. Sam went over to him. 

“Would you please tell us from which houses George’s activities can be seen and heard?” Sam asked him.

The man went forward and showed Sam, pointing to the houses, 
“Those two.... and the third one is mine”

“We need to seal off those areas” Sam said, taking few team members to those houses.

Apart from those three houses, Sam added three more houses to his list. One after the other, they started to visit the houses. If the door was closed, they would knock. When the house residents came out, the expressions of fear and surprise could be seen on their faces. In between, Sam promptly gave his team members the appropriate instruction. After inspecting the houses, one after the other, at last they reached their final house. They knocked on the door. There was no response although they waited for a long time. They suddenly became alert and prepared for a possible attack with their loaded guns. Again, one of them knocked on the door, only this time a little harder. Still there was no response. 

Now Sam decided to give an order, 
“Kick it open.”

A member of the police team, Jeff, who was expert in such activities, kick opened the front door.  As soon as the door broke, as caution, all of them backed away before slowly entering the house, guarding each other. 

No sign of life was apparent inside the house. The kitchen and the foyer were empty.
Slowly, they went into the bedroom. The door was open.
They peeped in; nobody was there. Only a table sat in the corner. 

As they entered the bedroom, all of them were stunned. On the table, there were pieces of skin, loafs, blood spread everywhere. Detective Sam's eyes widened. Everybody looked at each other with a ghostly silence. At once, everybody had a lot of questions on their minds. However, they didn’t have the courage to discuss them out loud, not even among themselves. Sam looked at the bedroom window. It was open. 

“Collect information about the resident” Sam ordered.

One of the team members went outside and returned back after a while holding some documents.

“Sir, we've contacted the landlord and he's on his way, but he said the house was being rented out to one Ewen Foster” the officer said. 

“Make sure I see him first when he arrives. Call forensics. I don't want anyone else to enter this apartment until everything is bagged and printed” Sam instructed.

Outside in the crowd, a murmur started “The landlord has arrived. The landlord has arrived!” 

“Who is the landlord?” Sam asked.

An aged person came forward and fearfully responded in a low tone, “I am”

“So, you must have all of your residents’ information then, like address and all?” Sam asked him.

“Yes, I have.” He handed over to Sam a paper slip. 

Sam took the slip. It contained Ewen Foster’s address, phone etc.

“ But seeing all of this, I am afraid it may be fake” the landlord said in hesitation. 

“Have you not verified it before renting it out?” Sam snapped back. 

“ No… I mean.. I was about to do it” He said, clearing the sweat from his face. 

... continued ...

Original Novel by Sunil Doiphode
English Version by Adam Hughes


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