ELEMENTARY MY DEAR CONAN
Disclaimer: Once you eliminate the impossible, the improbable is that I am using the characters of Detective Conan (Case Closed), and Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century to write a story for pure enjoyment.
< >: Thoughts
Never Assume Anything
“But you can’t cancel now! I’m this close to solving the case! What do you mean it’s been solved already? No! Please! I...”
Richard Moore bowed his head down and sighed in depression as his client hung up. Standing nearby, Rachael looked on in concern. Things had taken a very bad turn since Conan had moved out of their home. The teen wondered just how their situation had come to this.
It had been three weeks since Conan Edogawa had argued with Richard Moore and angrily left their home. She had later learned that Sherlock Holmes had taken the boy under his wing and amazingly, had begun bringing Conan along on all of his cases. The media had been having a field day, touting the so-called fictional detective and his pint-sized partner as the new ‘Dynamic Detective Duo.’ She had been quite surprised to discover that Conan possessed a kind of intelligence that reminded her of her absent boyfriend Jimmy Kudo. She had begun to think that he had something to do with her father’s recent decline in his detective work.
Richard Moore had not been his usual brilliant self since Conan’s departure. In fact, he had begun making wild accusations and jumping to conclusions more frequently during his cases. Naturally this did not impress the clients, who had expecting the great detective Moore to solve their problems without fail. His reputation as a famed sleuth began to erode and business had declined. They were eating more ramen noodles over the past few days. Everything had to be carefully budgeted, due to the lack of income. Lately, Rachael had been considering of getting a part-time job after school to help out with the finances.
The detective had been assuring his daughter that he was just in a bit of a slump, but by now, Rachael wasn’t buying it. Her father always seemed to be at a loss during his cases and it looked as if something important was missing from his investigations. Then she had thought back on all of the cases that he had solved when Conan had been living with them. She had previously joked that he had been a good luck charm to her father’s climb in the detective world, and had generally dismissed the idea that Conan was any kind of detective. However, with his departure and new fame as Sherlock’s associate, she began to have second thoughts.
When Conan had been living with them, he had displayed on occasion, moments of perceptiveness and brilliance. At crucial times, he would innocently say something that would give her father the clue he needed to solve a case. And she couldn’t remember a time when he was not present whenever Richard Moore found out the criminal. One more fact was that her father could never recall how he solved the mysteries.
<No, it can’t be... because of Conan... can it?>
“And there we have it, Inspector McGuire.” Sherlock said as he held up a piece of paper. “This receipt is dated one hour before the murder occurred. It is irrefutable proof that Mr. Senshima is the murderer, since only he could have purchased this knife at the store, when he was supposed to have been at the restaurant across town.”
Beside him, Conan nodded as he added in his input. “You can see the slight thumbprint stain on the left side. It matches the paint on his left hand, so it couldn’t be anyone else’s. It was a good thing that I managed to get it before he had a chance to destroy it.”
McGuire couldn’t help but smile at the youngster, then addressed his mentor. “Well, I got to admit, you two did a great job on this case and you’re brilliant Holmes. I can see where Conan is getting his detective skills. I was getting worried on who to call since Moore seems to be losing his touch and I still can’t find Jimmy Kudo. Now there was a detective, no offense to you, Mr. Holmes.”
“None taken, Inspector.” Holmes assured as he smiled down briefly at Conan. “I too acknowledge the abilities of Jimmy Kudo, and I assure you that he appreciates the compliment.”
“Really? You mean you know where he is?”
“Let’s just say, that I have a good connection with him and I assure you that his talents will be available when they are needed.”
“Why did you say that you knew about me and that I’m helping you?” Conan asked as he, Sherlock and Watson walked back toward the office.
“Well it is the truth, isn’t it?” Sherlock replied. “Furthermore, if it is known that Jimmy Kudo is still alive, then perhaps we can smoke out the men who had poisoned you. Since you are no longer residing with the Moore family, then there is less chance of them being endangered. Just so long as we are careful never to let on that you are Jimmy, then we will always have an open option. Having you as my disciple will further dissuade those who may suspect your identity. People will simply assume that you are learning your skills from me, which in a sense you are. Though I am merely guiding you to become an even better detective and I couldn’t be more proud at the progress you have made.”
“Thanks. It’s been really great working with you so far and I’ve learned a lot.”
“Good. Now how is that Holo-Learner working out for you?”
“What’s that?” Conan asked as Holmes brought out what appeared to be a CD player and headset.
“This device is called a Holo-Learner.” Sherlock explained as he took out a vid-disc that Watson had just downloaded from the Internet. “It was most useful during the time of my revival in the 22nd Century, since I needed to be re-educated from the era of the 19th Century. It is quite easy to operate. You put in a vid-disc, then put on the goggle-phones and... you learn.” The detective then placed the headset on Conan’s head and adjusted it to fit his smaller size.
“That’s all I have to do?” Conan asked.
“Well, of course you still need to think, in order to learn, but I am confident that you are more than capable of that task.” Sherlock amended as he turned on the device.
“Whoa! Cool!” The young boy exclaimed as he saw the virtual reality scenes which were even more realistic than any video game he had ever played.
End of flashback...
“It’s really neat! I wish I had it during my algebra classes in high school.”
“Bear in mind that I am letting you use it to help develop your deductive skills, and so that you can keep up with your former classmates at Titan High. Eventually, we shall return you to your normal state, and it would not do for you to have missed out on your education. Now then, have you completed your studies in criminal footwear and clothing?”
“I finished last night, though I don’t know why I need to know about what criminals wear in prison.”
“Never discount the value of all types of information. The more you know, the more you can apply in finding answers.”
Then Conan began to think about how Rachael and her father had been doing. So far, he had been hearing rumors that Moore had been getting less and less business and that he and his daughter had fallen on harder times. He couldn’t help but feel somewhat responsible for their recent misfortune and hoped that things would turn around for them soon.
The next day at Conan’s Elementary School...
“Hey Conan! I saw your picture in the paper this morning!” Amy said as she, Mitch and George crowded around Conan’s desk. Since joining up with Sherlock and becoming more active with the cases, he had begun to gain fame as the Little Detective. Though he didn’t care for the title, it was still satisfying to be recognized for his skills as a sleuth. With Sherlock Holmes beside him, he was being taken more seriously in front of others.
“I think it’s really cool that you’re able to take part in all those cases.” George said with a bit of envy.
“Yeah.” Mitch agreed. “Though I wonder why you never got to do very much when you were staying with Detective Moore.”
“Ah who cares about that nobody?” George said. “He doesn’t know what he’s doing any more. I could do better than him as a detective.”
<You’re not that far off George.> Conan thought as a small sweatdrop appeared on his forehead. <It would be just about even.>
“Conan, do you think you could introduce me to Mr. Holmes after school?” Amy asked with a hopeful expression. “I want to get his autograph.”
“Yeah, do you think you can introduce me to him, too?” Mitch asked excitedly. “Sherlock Holmes is really awesome, just like in the books!”
“Hey, I got an even better idea!” George declared. “Why don’t we come along with you and Mr. Holmes on a case?”
“Yeah! That would be really cool! We can show Mr. Holmes what the Junior Detective League can do!” Mitch cried out.
“I don’t know...” Conan said nervously.
“What’s that?” Amy asked as she pointed to a small device on Conan’s belt. It was about the size of a lighter and resembled a pager.
The Little Detective reached down and plucked the device from his belt, then spoke into it.
On the other end of the line, Sherlock nodded as he spoke into the new mini-communicator and tracking device that Dr. Agasa had made for him and Conan. It was far more efficient than the modern cell phone and walkie-talkies, thanks to some 22nd Century technical help from Watson. It even had a video screen to allow two people to see each other as they spoke.
“That is so cool! You even got a video-cell phone!” Mitch cried out.
Sherlock smiled as he spoke, “Ah Conan. Good lad. I have a case which will require your presence after school today. Do you think you can meet me and Watson at the Shinata Estate on Tsuka Street at 5:00 p.m.?”
“You bet, Mr. Holmes, I‘ll be there as soon as possible.” Conan replied.
“Yeah! We’ll all be there!”
“You can count on us, Mr. Holmes!”
“The Junior Detective League is on the case!”
Conan quickly turned off his communicator and then looked nervously at his classmates, who were now wearing really silly grins and expectant expressions.
<I’ve got a bad feeling about this.>
Conan rode his skateboard hard, trying desperately to lose his eager friends. He certainly did not want them to tag along on what could be a potentially dangerous case. However, they managed to keep pace on their bicycles as they called out to him.
“Wait up Conan!” Amy said as she pedaled hard.
“Yeah!” Mitch was pumping hard.
“Slow down!” George gasped as he lagged behind his compatriots. He began to wish he hadn’t had all of those snacks before racing after Conan.
Conan wanted to lose his pursuers but as he saw the Shinata Estate come into view, he decided that it was of no use and slowed down. His friends soon caught up to him as he came to the front gate, where Sherlock and Watson were waiting for him.
“Ah, Young Conan. Right on time, as always.” Holmes greeted, then noted that his protégé was not alone. “And who might these fine youngsters be?”
“Uhm... sorry about this, Sherlock. I didn’t mean to bring my friends with me but...”
“Tut, tut. No need to apologize, Conan. Any friends of yours are mine as well. Now then...” He then knelt down and gazed upon Amy first. “Hello, Amy. It’s a pleasure to meet someone who just scored perfectly on today‘s grammar test.”
Amy’s eyes opened wide as she gasped. “How did you know my name and that I got a hundred percent on the test?”
“Elementary, my dear. Elementary school that is.” Sherlock replied, chuckling slightly at the pun. He reached toward her backpack and pointed to a leaf of paper that was protruding from under the top flap. It had gotten jostled during the chase after Conan. “Here we have your name and your test score.” He then turned to Mitch. “Now then, young man, what is your name?”
“Er, it’s Mitch, Mr. Holmes.”
“Pleased to meet you, Mitch. You must be more careful when riding your bicycle down Shinba street. That shortcut from your home in the Nerima district is quite treacherous and it is not worth the danger of injuring yourself just to come in on time.”
“How did you know where I lived and how I went to school today?” Mitch asked in astonishment.
“Once again, I say elementary.” Sherlock replied as he pointed to Mitch’s bicycle, specifically the tires and pedals. “There is some construction going on between the Nerima district and the school where Conan attends. They are laying fresh cement on Shinba street and there are some traces of formally wet cement on your tires and pedals. Conan’s school is the only elementary school near the Nerima district and the shortest route from Nerima is through Shinba street.”
“Ooh! How about me?” George asked excitedly as he began jumping up and down.
“And your name is?” Sherlock inquired.
“It’s George, Mr. Holmes!”
“Very well George. I must say, that you’re quite spry for someone who had just wolfed down a bag of potato chips, some powdered doughnuts and several raspberry sours.”
“Gee, how did you figure that out?”
“For the third time, elementary. Your shirt has some fresh oily stains in which you wiped your hands on and here we have some crumbs and some powdered sugar.” He plucked a small particle of food that was stuck to the front of George’s shirt and then gestured to other stains before pointing to George‘s tongue. “Furthermore, your tongue has been stained purple from the raspberry sours.”
“Whoa! That’s amazing!”
“Not at all.” Sherlock said as he stood up. “I simply used my eyes and my brains.” He then addressed Watson and Conan. “Now then, are we ready to begin the investigation?”
“Ready Holmes.” Watson responded.
“I’m ready.” Conan said.
“We’re ready too!” Amy, George and Mitch cried out in unison.
At this point, Sherlock was quite surprised as he gazed upon Conan, who could only look down at his feet in embarrassment.
“Conan, would you like to explain yourself?”
“Ah... eh heh.”
A few minutes later...
“Holmes, are you certain that this is wise?” Watson asked as Holmes led his little group of followers toward the mansion.
“Nonsense Watson. We can always use some extra sets of eyes and brains.” He then glanced over his shoulder and addressed George, Mitch and Amy. “Just so long as the three of you follow my instructions. Agreed?”
“You bet Mr. Holmes!” George said excitedly.
“You can count on us!” Amy vowed.
“We won’t let you down!” Mitch promised.
Conan could only watch nervously and hoped that his mentor knew what he was doing.
“I’m certain that you won’t.” Sherlock said as he and his party arrived at the front door of the mansion. He gently knocked on the wood and waited until a servant came to greet them. The elderly butler bowed to the great detective.
“Mr. Sherlock Holmes I presume?”
“I am. And I would like to introduce you to my associates, Dr. Watson, Conan Edogawa and... the Junior Detective League.”
“I am Jarvis, the Shinata family servant. This way sir.” The butler then led the group into the hallway and toward the main conference room. There they met with a portly, elderly-aged man, his wife, his business partner Akira Shinji and several other servants. Inspector McGuire and some of his officers were present. Holmes and Conan were quite surprised to see Richard Moore and Rachael there as well.
“Aw c’mon Inspector McGuire, I can solve this case! Just give me a chance!”
Moore was in a sorry state. His clothes were a bit shabby and it looked as if he hadn’t slept well in the last few days. If one could smell closely, the lingering scent of alcohol was on his breath. The Inspector noted the smell as he came close to him.
“I don’t know if I should Moore. Lately you’ve been slipping and haven’t been very reliable.” McGuire said. “And you’re not exactly in the best of shape to solve anything. Maybe you should wait until the booze wears off.”
“Ahhh, I’m fine! Just watch! I’ll solve this case in no time!”
Behind her father, Rachael became even more worried. Even she could see that her father was in no condition to solve this case or anything. However, Richard Moore was nothing if not stubborn and once he got wind of this case, he had barged his way in and demanded the Shinta family to give him the opportunity to solve the crime. His reckless behavior frightened the elderly couple and the police had been called in. Moore had become especially angry when he had been informed that Sherlock Holmes had been given the case. He was about to get violent as he caught sight of Holmes and his party.
“You! Stay out of this, you nut! This is my case!”
Richard was prevented from lunging at Holmes as his daughter grabbed him from behind and held him back.
“Dad! Please! Calm down!”
After a bit of a struggle, she managed to get her father to back down as Sherlock was informed of the crime from the Shinata family.
“So you say that someone had stolen a very important set of documents from your secret safe?”
Mr. Shinata nodded. “Yes, they were the blueprints for our newest microchip board. They’re the only copies in existence and are worth billions. Only myself and my vice-president Mr. Shiji know the combination of the safe, and the safe is...”
“... located in the secret compartment in that overhead chandelier.” Holmes finished as he pointed with his cane at an elaborate crystal chandelier above the conference table.
“My word! How did you know?”
“Simple observation and deduction. I used my eyes and my brain.” Sherlock then looked down at his junior partner. “Conan, I believe that you can also deduce the whereabouts of the safe.”
Conan smiled as he looked about, then nodded while pointing up. “That chandelier is missing a piece of crystal in its lower row and I can see a slight outline of a panel. I guess normally, the crystals would hide the safe.” He then looked down and saw something lying on the floor under the table. “Here’s the broken piece.”
“That doesn’t prove anything! It was probably knocked off when one of the servants dusted the chandelier.” Moore scoffed as he tried to take control of the investigation. He just had to show up Holmes and that traitor Conan.
“I find that hard to believe, Mr. Moore.” Sherlock said calmly as he gestured at the carpeted floor below. “I would surmise that a cleaning person would need a ladder in order to reach the chandelier and I see no indication of one being used recently. Also judging from the slight coating of dust on the chandelier, I would presume that it had not been dusted for at least two days.”
“Yes, I’ve had this room closed off since yesterday for an upcoming renovation.” Mr. Shinata stated. “I had placed the plans in the safe the night before, then when I came to retrieve them this afternoon, they were gone!”
“I see.“ Sherlock nodded. “And when did you place the plans in the safe?”
“It was around 1:00 a.m. and the hidden cameras had shown that no one had entered the room until I came for the plans at 4:30 p.m. this afternoon.”
“Hmmm, interesting. The thief went through a lot of trouble to get past all that security. Furthermore, look at the lack of footprints on the table, which eliminates the possibility that the thief or anyone else had stood on it to get to the chandelier and the safe.”
“So how do you figure the thief had gotten to the safe, Mr. Know-It-All?” Moore sneered.
“Elementary, Mr. Moore. He came in from above.” Sherlock pointed up toward the ceiling and the skylight.
“And what proof do you have that he used that route?” Moore asked angrily.
“Simple. Young George happens to be standing on it.”
At that moment, George looked down and let off a sound of disgust. “Ewww. I stepped on something!” He raised his right foot while hopping on his left.
Conan went over to him, took hold of the shoe and looked at the substance stuck to the sole with his magnifying glass. Using his index finger, he scraped off a sample and showed Mr. Holmes, while releasing George’s foot. “It’s some kind of epoxy, Sherlock. Looks like it‘s been melted several hours ago.”
The detective nodded. “Ah yes, as I suspected. Watson, would you please head up to the roof, and check out the condition of the skylight?”
“At once, Holmes.” The compu-droid headed toward the stairs as Sherlock continued.
“As you may or may not know, epoxy is a common weather sealant. No doubt that it came down from the skylight as the thief melted through it to open a glass panel and lower himself to the safe. Congratulations George. You have found a vital clue to this case.”
“I did? I mean, yeah I did! It was no problem!” George scratched his the back of his head and laughed.
Sherlock then continued. “Now then, getting back to this investigation, the thief went through a great deal of trouble to go through the skylight to get to the safe. This leads me to suspect that the thief not only knew of the safe’s location, but also of where the security safeguards are and the combination to the safe. In other words, it was an inside job.”
“What?!” Mr. Shinata gasped.
“That’s absurd!” Mr. Shinji agreed. “Only President Shinata and I know the combination to the safe and the security measures! We were both away at a meeting today, so neither one of us can be the culprit!”
“He’s right.” McGuire said. “Their alibis checks out. Both were nowhere near the safe all day and the surveillance cameras didn’t show anyone entering the room since 1:00 a.m.”
“Improbable perhaps, but not impossible.” Sherlock pointed out. “Why would the thief go through all the trouble of entering through the skylight, unless he knew that there were security measures on the floor? I would presume that this room is either equipped with infrared sensors or pressure plates on the floor?”
Mr. Shinata couldn’t help but nod. “Yes, actually we have both infrared and pressure plate sensors. And the skylight is wired to the alarm system as well.”
Moore then jumped in. “But there’s no way he could have gotten through the skylight. The spaces in the metal framework are too small for a normal man to fit through! They can‘t be more than a foot wide! And I don‘t see any of them bent out of shape! And why wasn't the alarm tripped?”
“You are basing your theories on the ASSUMPTION that we are dealing with a normal thief, when it is obvious that this crime involved a lot of planning in order to get past all of the security measures.” Sherlock pointed out. “As a detective, you should never make any conclusions using assumptions, until you have all the evidence. Since there is no evidence of a ladder or any other means of reaching the safe from the floor, then the only logical alternative is from above.”
At that point, Watson called in from the roof, causing everyone to look up.
“Holmes, I have completed my analysis and there seems to be one panel which has been removed and replaced. The epoxy has been recently melted away.”
“Excellent Watson. We shall join you shortly.” Sherlock then addressed his infuriated rival. “You are free to make your own investigations, Mr. Moore. I wish you the best of luck. Come Junior Detective League. The game is afoot.”
As they left for the door, Sherlock looked up and spotted another clue.
Moore was left steaming mad as he watched Holmes, Conan and the others leave the crime scene. His eyes were seeing a red haze as he thought angrily.
<I’ll show them who’s top detective here! Nobody out-deduces the Great Richard Moore!>
Behind him, Rachael continued to look on worriedly. She also gazed at Conan as he followed his mentor. Already she had been surprised by the show of intelligence in him. Could he really be the genius that her father had once suspected him of being? And why did he remind her so much of Jimmy Kudo?
On the roof of the estate...
Sherlock and Conan were examining the skylight as Watson and the Junior Detective League had been sent to question the servants and look about the property for any clues.
“Now then, as you can see Conan, this pane of glass has indeed been removed and replaced as the epoxy has been melted. It was quite hurriedly put back into place.” Holmes pointed to the edges.
“Yeah, but I hate to admit it, but Richard may have a point. I mean, this space is pretty small for someone to squeeze through. Even for someone of my size.”
“Ah, and there we have the key word, Conan. The word ‘squeeze.’ Note the edges of the framework where the pane had been removed.”
Conan looked closely with his magnifying glass. His eyes widened as he saw certain details. “Hey! It looks like there’s some kind of lubricant on the sides.”
“Indeed. And look over here.” Holmes gestured toward the chimney at the part which joined the roof. “Note this straight line imprint here. This indicates that the thief had tied a rope from here and used it to lower himself down toward the safe.”
“Yeah, it does make sense but...” Just then, Conan saw something near chimney and pointed to it. “Hey! Look at this! The thief left some footprints in the dust here!” He knelt down near them and gazed upon the prints with his magnifying glass. “I don’t believe it! These shoes are...”
“Yes...” Sherlock said with a grin as he waited for his apprentice to make the connections.
“I recognize these kinds of soles! There from those holo-vids of criminal footwear, worn by inmates of the Osaka prisons!”
“Very good, Conan. You see. I told you that all kinds of information would come in handy, sooner or later. Now then, what else can these prints tell you about our thief?”
“Well, he wears a size eight-and-a-half and it looks like he’s pretty light on his feet, judging by the size and shape of the imprint. Hey, what’s this?”
Conan picked up a small particle of what appeared to be a rose petal, which was on an imprint of the right shoe. He also found what appeared to be rose thorns.
“Interesting.” Sherlock remarked as he took the clues from his disciple and gazed upon it. He then pocketed the petals and thorns away and motioned for Conan to follow him and meet up with the others.
“Well Watson, what have you and the Junior Detective League discovered?” Holmes asked as group met up in the estate’s garden.
“I’m afraid that we did not find much Holmes.” The compu-droid said. “All of the servants at the mansion were all accounted for during the supposed time of the theft.”
“I’m sorry we let you down Mr. Holmes.” Mitch said dejectedly.
“Yeah, we didn’t find any clues.” Amy sadly added. “We asked the butler, the cook, the gardener...”
“Tell me about the gardener.” Sherlock asked.
Amy perked up a bit as she related her meeting with the nice man.
“Why hello there little lady.” Kenji Makana the gardener greeted as Amy entered the greenhouse. Currently, he was tending to the roses. “Can I help you?”
Amy shyly looked up at the man and said, “Did you see anything strange happening today?”
The gardener smiled as he cheerfully replied. “Strange, well I don’t think I see very many strange things in the greenhouse. I’m hardly ever out of this place, since I constantly have to take care of Mr. Shinata’s prize roses.”
“Ooh, they’re pretty!”
“Yes, they are.” He then reached behind him and picked up some pruning shears, without turning around toward the table. His arm twisted slightly at an odd angle to pick up the instrument.
“Wow. I never thought an arm could bend like that.”
“Well, I am pretty flexible.”
End of flashback...
Sherlock smiled as he patted Amy on the head. “Very good Amy. You have just found another vital clue to this case.”
“Really?” The little girl’s eyes lit up at the compliment.
“Indeed. Conan, let us pay a visit to this gardener. As for the rest of you, I want you to go to the surveillance room and study the camera footage. I’m counting on you.”
At the greenhouse...
“Look, I don’t know why people are coming here and asking me questions. I’m telling you that I had nothing to do with anything and I got nothing to hide!” Akira angrily reached behind him for his pruning shears again, once again bending his right arm at an extreme angle.
Sherlock shrugged as he motioned Conan to follow him. As they were leaving, he winked at him, then said over his shoulder to Mr. Makana. “I suppose that aside the fact that you were a former professional contortionist...”
“... who happened to have spent some time in prison in Osaka...” Conan added.
“... then you indeed have nothing to hide.”
Akira became as white as a ghost and stiffened up at their words. The two detectives stopped and turned around to face a shocked gardener.
“H-how did you know about that?”
Sherlock and Conan smiled as they began to interrogate him.
The security room...
“Ah, this is getting to be a compete waste of time.” George complained as he and his friends watched the surveillance video. “It’s nothing but the same thing. I don’t see anything wrong.”
“Patience, Young George.” Watson said. “A good detective will find the most important of details, if he waits long enough.”
“Yeah, but we’ve already looked at this thing for more than an hour, and it hasn’t changed. All I see is an empty room and...”
“Hey, wait a second! I think I see something!” Mitch said as he pointed to the lower left corner.
“What is it?” Amy asked.
“Allow me.” Watson said as he used his computer skills to zoom in on the object. The looks of anticipation on the children became one of disappointment as they saw what it was.
“Aw, it’s nothing but a stupid fly.” George said as he watched the insect buzz about near the skylight.
However, Watson started rewinding and pausing at a length of tape as something caught his attention. He then took note of the time frame and nodded. He smiled at Mitch and said, “Well done, Mitch. You have just uncovered a clue as important as the ones your compatriots had found.”
“I did?” Mitch said in confusion.
“Indeed. We must inform Holmes about this.”
“Well done, Watson. And a hearty well done to you, Junior Detective League. Now, all we need to do, is to bring the true criminal to justice. Conan, are you ready to set the trap?”
Conan nodded as he held up his bowtie. He then picked up a nearby phone and dialed a certain number. He then used his voice-emulator to speak in the gardener’s voice.
“It’s me. I’ve got the blueprints, but the deal’s been changed. I want all the evidence you’ve got against me and one million in cash for my silence. Or else I go to the police... all right. Meet me at midnight at the greenhouse.”
“Wow, Conan. That’s really cool! Is that another device from Dr. Agasa?” Amy asked.
Conan nodded as he looked up at his mentor. “Should we inform Inspector McGuire?”
“I should think so.” Sherlock said as he led his party back to the main conference room. Earlier, he had called the police and Mr. Shinata. He was also curious of what kind of conclusion Richard Moore had come to.
“The criminal is YOU!” Richard cried out in triumph as he pointed to Jarvis.
“Oh really, Mr. Moore.” Sherlock said while rolling his eyes. “You believe the butler did it? That is so cliché.”
“Hah! Laugh all you want, Sherlock, but I have the proof! And it’s right here!” Richard held up a folder and showed it proudly to Mr. Shinata. “Here we have your missing blueprints, Mr. Shinata. I found them hidden in Jarvis’ desk drawer. He’s your thief!”
Mr. Shinata took the folder and looked through the contents. “Well, yes these are plans...”
Moore’s expression became even more smug as he looked at Sherlock and Conan. Inspector McGuire became amazed. Perhaps Moore was finally out of his rut?
“But these are only the first drafts of our new microchip board. Look at the date. These are two weeks old and contain a flaw that rendered this particular design worthless. These wouldn’t be worth anything.” Shinata stated.
“As I recall, I did give these to Jarvis to shred after I put the final drafts in the safe.”
Jarvis nodded. “Yes sir, but I was unable to do so since the paper shredder was out of order at the time. I had been planning to burn it in the incinerator later this evening.”
“Moore...” Inspector McGuire said in a very dangerous warning tone.
At that moment. Richard felt extremely embarrassed. Behind him, Rachael could only watch in disappointment. Her father had been so certain that he had solved the case, but now...
At that point, McGuire turned to Sherlock. “So have you and your junior partner made any progress in this case, Sherlock?”
“We have. In fact, you will have the villain in your custody by tonight.” The sleuth turned to Mr. Shinata. “Where is your vice-president?”
“He was called away to one of our corporate offices in Hiroshima on some minor business and won’t be back until tomorrow.”
Conan smiled as he said, “I assure you that he’ll be back sooner than you think and this business of his is anything but minor.” He then turned back to his elementary school friends and said, “Mr. Holmes would like to thank you for all of your help. He told me to tell you that you can go home now.”
“Aw, but can’t we stay until the end of the case?” Mitch pleaded.
“This might be dangerous and Sherlock doesn’t want you to get involved in what’s going to happen tonight. I’ll tell you everything tomorrow afternoon, okay?”
Akira Shinji angrily looked about as he stealthily entered into the greenhouse. In one hand, he had a suitcase of money, and hidden in his suit pocket was a gun. He then heard a familiar voice calling out from the darkness.
“Have you got the money and the files?”
“Makana? Where are you? I’ve got your blackmail money right here!” Akira cried out angrily.
“And the files?” The voice asked.
“Yes, it’s all here! No one will know about your dirty little secret or how I had you do the job for me in stealing those plans! Now show yourself and hand over those blueprints! My clients are waiting!”
“I think they can wait a little longer until after I get all the evidence you have on my about my past... and the money. Though it‘s probably chump change compared to what your clients are offering for these plans. You‘re a real piece of work, Shinji.”
“Oh spare me! It’s no less than I deserve, especially after all the trouble I went through to get you past the security measures around the safe! Ten years of slaving away under Shinata and he had the nerve to tell me that I was going to be replaced! Well, with the money I get from this sale, I’ll be able to live the easy life! Now show yourself, so you can get what’s coming to you!”
At that moment, someone did appear from the shadows. Two people actually... Sherlock Holmes and Conan Edogawa.
“Good evening, Mr. Shinji.” Holmes said as he and his partner confronted the man. “I must say that your plan to steal the blueprints and sell them to your rivals was most creative. However, the game is over, and I must conclude that you’ve lost. You may as well surrender.”
“Oh yeah? And where’s your proof?” Shinji sneered as he reached into his coat for his gun. However, at that moment, Watson came up from behind and grabbed him in a vice-grip, causing him to drop his weapon to the floor.
“You should know that Mr. Holmes is always correct in his conclusions.” Watson said.
“Good work, Watson.” Sherlock said then nodded to the shadows. “Did you get all that, Inspector?”
McGuire appeared, along with several of his officers. He held up a tape recorder. “We got it all.”
Conan smiled as he looked up at his idol. “One truth prevails!”
The very next day, Conan and the Junior Detective League were walking together.
“I still don’t get it. How did you find out that the vice-president was the mastermind?” Mitch asked.
Conan nodded as he explained. “On the roof, Mr. Holmes and I found fresh rose petals and thorns near some footprints. I recognized those prints were made from a type of shoe used by inmates at an Osaka prison. We also found the sides of the skylight panel that was removed was coated with some kind of lubricant.”
“Lubra... what?” George said while scratching his head.
“Like oil and grease, to make things slippery.” Conan explained. “It was used so the thief could squeeze through the tight space of the skylight. We deduced from the rose petals and thorns, that the gardener was the one who committed the actual theft. He turned out to be a former circus performer, a contortionist.”
“What’s a contortionist?” Amy asked.
“Well, it’s those people who are really flexible and can bend and squeeze themselves into really tight spaces.”
“Oh yeah! I saw someone like that at the fair last year!”
“Right. The gardener had been recently released from prison and was trying to make a new life for himself. The vice-president had found out about it and threatened to expose him if the gardener didn’t steal the plans for him, while he made his alibi to keep from being suspected.”
“So how did he steal those plans without the surveillance cameras showing it?”
“That’s because the vice-president had tampered with the video-recordings before the robbery. He replaced a length of the video with a previous sequence which showed an empty room. So when the gardener came in through the skylight, the cameras only showed an empty room. The vice-president had also given the gardener the combination to the safe and a way to get in, by preparing that open window panel in the skylight. However, what he ignored was the fact that a fly had flown into the open panel. He didn’t think something so small and tiny would go noticed. But you did Mitch. And that was solid proof that the video film had been tampered with. Watson noticed that the fly suddenly appeared in sight as if by magic. That’s impossible, so that meant that the video of the fly coming in through open skylight and buzzing about had been removed and replaced with a scene of an empty room.”
‘Whoa. Who would have thought that?” Mitch let off a low whistle.
Conan nodded as he finished. “We confronted the gardener and he confessed to everything. So we laid out a trap and caught the vice-president with a solid confession. The gardener is willing to testify against Mr. Shinji.”
“Can you believe this? We actually helped solve a real case!” George said excitedly.
“You sure did and Mr. Holmes would like to thank you guys personally.” Conan said as he led the group to a very popular ice cream parlor. Sitting at a nearby booth were Sherlock and Watson.
“Welcome Junior Detective League and congratulations on a job well done!”
“Mr. Holmes!” The kids cried out as they ran toward the booth. As they were invited to sit down, Sherlock signaled for the server to come take their orders.
“Order anything you like and you may have seconds if you wish. It’s your reward for finding the clues to solve this case.”
“All right!” Mitch cried out as he ordered a double-dip hot fudge sundae with the works.
“Great!” George ordered the largest banana split on the menu.
As for Amy, she excitedly ordered a cherry parfait with lots of whip cream and nuts.
A few minutes later, the group was enjoying ice cream goodness. As Conan sipped his root beer float, he couldn’t help but grin at his new life as Sherlock’s apprentice. However, a sad thought crossed his mind and he wondered just how Rachael and her father were doing. Yesterday’s embarrassing episode must have surely damaged if not destroyed any remaining credibility that Richard had as a detective.
The Moore Residence...
“I can’t believe Holmes and those kids beat me out!” Moore lamented as he drowned his sorrows in another beer.
“Please Dad, you’ve got to stop.” Rachael pleaded as she tried to keep her father from getting too drunk.
However at this point, Richard didn’t care any more as he drained the can, then promptly passed out.
As she gazed upon her father with pity and disgust, she thought back to a certain missing member of their household. After seeing Conan in action at the Shinata Estate, she had no doubts that the youth had been somehow responsible for making Richard a great detective. At first, she didn’t want to believe it, but by now, she couldn’t deny it. And now, with Conan gone, her father was backsliding into his old persona as an incompetent drunk.
Yet, there were still so many unanswered questions. Why did Conan help her father in the first place? Where did he come from? And why did she always think about Jimmy Kudo whenever Conan was involved? Could he have something to do with Jimmy’s absence.
Rachael felt tears welling up in her eyes as she left her father in his drunken stupor and went to her room. Then she let the tears flow freely as the Moore family sunk ever deeper into despair.
To be continued...
Well, for my first time in writing a mystery, I hope I didn’t do too badly. It sounded like something out of Scooby-Doo but I think it was appropriate for the Junior Detective League. In any case, Moore is going to hit rock bottom pretty soon as I introduce the Detective of the West. See you there!