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Detective Desmond and the Missing Diamond


by chichikokoyamma

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Whooooosh... A heavy blizzard is brewing near the summit of Terror Mountain. In the midst of this blizzard was a small hut painted teal with an orange roof with white polka-dots (these are hidden by the snow, of course). On the door, in bright blue letters, were the initials "P.I." and a magnifying glass. As you might be speculating, this is the home of Bori detective, Desmond.

      Inside the hut, a nicely-dressed plushie Bori was looking over some paperwork. He had ruffled light blue hair that covered his eyes from view, so you could never quite tell if he was paying attention or not. He wore a smart teal coat with large pockets for keeping evidence and snacks. His fabric was well-kept and full of colour, because on Terror Mountain there really isn't too much sun to damage such things.

      Next to him, was his faithful Polarchuck friend, Sherlock. Actually, Sherlock seemed to know more about the paperwork being done than the good detective himself. Which isn't saying much, seeing how Desmond looked as if he were going to nod off any second.

      Suddenly, the door burst open and a young woman hurried in, quickly closing the old door behind her. She was a short and skinny brown Eyrie, garbed in an off-white trench coat with a pale yellow flower pin in her sandy blonde hair. She recovered from the weather and then glanced over at the detective who hadn't noticed her arrival.

      "Ummm... Sir?" she said meekly, stepping forward. "Sir...? Are... ARE YOU ASLEEP!?"

      Desmond shot up quickly and turned to face the girl. He quickly straightened up and tried to look like he was doing something important.

      "No... No!" he stuttered. "I was just... enthralled in my work is all. Going over the murder case of this ghost Ixi. It needs a LOT of concentration. Really."

      "O-Okay..." the Eyrie said, unsure. Her clawed hands fumbled around her small pink purse and her grey eyes shifted around the room uneasily.

      "Have you come to seek the great Detective Desmond for help?" Desmond said arrogantly. The Polarchuck by his side rolled his eyes and mumbled in petpet grunts to himself.

      "Well..." said the Eyrie nervously. "I do need help with-"

      "Don't say it!" Desmond interrupted. He pulled out a magnifying glass and took a moment to look her over. "You are coming to me because you... have a problem, no? Aha! And you need help, am I correct?"

      "Errr... Yes..." The Eyrie winced, suddenly realising this man's incompetence. "My name is Gertrude. Gertrude E. Durtreg. My prized necklace has been... stolen!"

      "About this necklace..." Desmond said eagerly, taking out a quill and a notepad. "What is so great about it?"

      "Well, it's a family heirloom." Gertrude started, fiddling with her small pink earrings. "And it's worth... what was it? Four million neopoints?"

      "F-four million!?" Desmond exclaimed. He sat down (or fell, rather) on the chair at his desk. "Wow... Go on, miss..."

      "Yes..." Gertrude glanced at her feet. "It's about three square inches, round, and clear. It's a diamond, after all."

      "A diamond!?"

      "Yes, encrusted with pearls. Pink ones. It's quite beautiful."

      "Quite..." Desmond said in a far-off voice. "How much would you pay me to track down this treasure?"

      "Two million neopoints?" Gertrude suggested. "Or more, if you want. I'd pay anything to have my necklace returned to me!"

      "Two million sounds good..." Desmond said, still far-off and dazed sounding. After a minute pause, he stood up suddenly. "I'll take the case, Miss Gertrude! You can count on me."

      "I sure hope so," Gertrude said under her breath.

     ~*~

      The next day, the blizzard had subsided and Desmond was eager to check out the crime scene. He trudged through the snow to a rather large mansion near the foot of Terror Mountain. Sherlock had a hard time keeping up, seeing how the snow was well over his head, but managed to stay by Desmond more or less.

      The detective duo headed up the marble steps of the Durtreg Estate. Once at the large oak doors, Desmond lifted the knocker and knocked twice. They waited for a moment before they heard footsteps on the other side. The door swung open to reveal a white Cybunny in a dark brown tuxedo. He had small bronze spectacles at the end of his greyish pink nose.

      "Good morning, sir," he said monotonously. "Here to see the mademoiselle, I presume?"

      "No, no. We're only here to see Gertrude."

      The Cybunny sighed and put a gloved hand to his forehead. "Right up the grand staircase and the third room to the left." He waited until the detective had walked past before closing the door again. "Idiot."

      Desmond headed up the staircase, which was covered in dark reddish-purple carpeting and the banister was made of finely cut marble. near the top of the staircase was a lovely old chandelier that glowed softly against the "snowy mountain" painting on the ceiling. All of the doors on the first floor were dark oak trimmed with light stone and crystal doorknobs that matched the rest of the room.

      Desmond knocked on the door that the Cybunny butler told him to.

      "Come in!" a meek voice called from inside. Desmond pushed the door open to see Gertrude sitting on an expensive greenish couch, reading a romance novel. "Oh, Mister Desmond! You're here to investigate the crime scene, correct?"

      "Ayup," Desmond said, stepping inside. Gertrude dog-eared and closed her book before setting it down and walking over.

      "That would be my bedroom." Gertrude started out of the door. "I have barely set foot in there since the necklace was stolen, in case I'd disrupt any clues."

      "Did it look like there were any clues?" Desmond asked, following the Eyrie down the hall.

      "I'm not sure..." Gertrude scratched her chin. "That's why I didn't want to disrupt anything."

      "Gotcha." Gertrude led Desmond to a door even fancier than most he'd seen in the house.

      "Go on in and look around." Gertrude opened the door with a small silver key that she took from her pocket. The door seemed pretty old and heavy, for it creaked when it opened.

      "What's that, Sherlock?" Desmond asked the little Polarchuck at his feet, who was talking to him in a strange petpet language. "He wants me to ask how the thief got into your room."

      "I'm not really sure... They could have come in through the door... But that couldn't be it... I would have heard the door open. And I'm the only one with a key, besides Steven."

      "Steven?"

      "The butler. He's a little cold, but a good man once you get to know him."

      "Could he have stolen the diamond?"

      "I suppose he could have..." Gertrude thought for a moment with her brow wrinkled. "How about you look around the scene for clues before we jump to conclusions."

      "Right." Desmond stepped inside the room. "Where were you keeping the diamond?"

      "On this shelf here." Gertrude steeped over to an old wooden cabinet that had many expensive jewels on it. "I kept the diamond right there in the middle. That's the glass case it was in."

      Desmond whipped out his magnifying glass and started looking over everything. Meanwhile, Sherlock stepped over to the side of the cabinet and found a translucent brown bottle. The kind used for keeping medicine. The Polarchuck tugged on Desmond's leg to get his attention.

      "Not now, Sherlock. I'm busy," Desmond said and shot Sherlock a quick glance. "Wait... what's that?"

      "It looks like a medicine bottle," Gertrude said. She picked up the bottle. "And this one's for... allergy to carrots?"

      "Know anyone who's allergic to carrots?"

      "Steven is..." Gertrude said sadly.

      "I think we should look into this Steven fellow," Desmond said, heading out. "He's looking pretty suspicious."

      "His room is four doors down the hall. If he's not there, you should try again later, for he's probably busy at work."

      "'Kay." Desmond headed down the hall to a smaller, less fancy door. He knocked on it and waited a minute or two. "Looks like he's out... Let's check his room out anyway!"

      Sherlock waved his paws around, as if saying "No! No! That's a bad idea and you know it!"

      "Relax, Sher. We're detectives. Practically crime-fighters. And this guy is 99.9% suspicious of grand larceny." Desmond opened the door quietly. The room was plain, with nothing of any value anywhere. All that was on the walls were books. Lots and lots of books. One thing did stand out, though... A portrait of a Cybunny who bore great resemblance to the butler, Steven. The picture looked very nicely made, and the subject was robed in exquisite garments.

      "Steven looks like he's a little on the not-rich side..." Desmond said to himself. "...How could he afford a portrait like this?"

      Then, Desmond's attention was turned to Steven's library of books. He looked over the titles of a few. Suddenly, he came across a sort of an old binder. The spine was labeled "The Proceedings of the Durtreg Case".

      "The... Durtreg case...?" Desmond said, looking over the cover. He opened up the book and began to scan over it.

      The book described an attempted theft of the very same diamond that was the target of this case. It explained that a Cybunny named Winston Durtreg tried to steal it from his brother, an Eyrie named Charles Durtreg. He was caught in the act and prosecuted. As punishment, he was to give up the riches that he and his immediate family owned to his brother.

      Charles decided to let Winston be the butler of his household, after his brother had come begging for work. And, according to the data in the binder, Winston had a son by the name of Steven, and Charles had a daughter by the name of Gertrude.

      Desmond turned back to the portrait to give it a second look. Under the subject, in neat, gold letters was a name. "Winston Durtreg."

      "I've got it!" Desmond said aloud. "Steven stole the jewel to regain his father's former wealth. Now, we just have to-"

      "Hey!" a voice shouted from the doorway. Standing there was one angry Steven. "What are you scoundrels doing in my room!?"

      "I'd like to ask you the very same!" Desmond said, standing up and pointing at Steven accusingly.

      "What in Neopia is THAT supposed to mean!?"

      "We know you did it. Cough up the diamond, butler."

      "Oh my..." Steven sighed. His ears drooped down as he looked at the old binder that was open on the floor. "I hoped a day like this would never come..."

      "Then why'd you steal her necklace?"

      "Listen and listen well." Steven looked Desmond square in the eye. "There is a lying ne'er-do-well in this house, but it's not me. That Gertrude-"

      "Gertrude!? What are you saying!? It was HER diamond that was stolen!"

      "Let me explain. She wanted to make sure I never got back any of my father's riches. To assure that, she had to get rid of me. If I was found guilty of stealing a precious family heirloom- one my father was caught stealing, nonetheless- I'd be out of here sooner than you can say butterscotch pudding."

      "You're saying that Gertrude framed you?"

      "That's what it looks like..."

      "But we need evidence to prove it! Or else, we can't bust her."

      "You're going to have to figure that part out." Steven led the two detectives out of his room and closed the door behind them. Sherlock had snatched the old binder before they left.

      "I guess it's back to headquarters to figure this thing out."

     ~*~

      Back at Desmond's house, he went over the contents of the binder multiple times. Eventually, he fell asleep.

      Late at night, Sherlock, who had been looking over the information himself suddenly came to a conclusion. He took out the old medicine bottle and dusted for fingerprints. The results were exactly as he expected. Now, all that he had the proof he needed, it was time to tell Desmond about it and expose Gertrude for the n'er-do-well she was.

     ~*~

      "Come in, come in!" Gertrude said, as Desmond and Sherlock stepped into her sitting room. "You look well rested, Detective."

      "I've-" Desmond began, but Sherlock nudged him in the leg. "WE'VE come to a conclusion about the case."

      "Oh, that's great!" Gertrude said happily.

      "Yes, it is. But not for you."

      "Wh-what!?"

      "You framed Steven, didn't you?"

      "N-no! Why would you think that!?"

      "You wanted to keep him out of your hair, that's why. You stole your own diamond and framed Steven for it."

      "You don't have any proof to back that up!"

      "Quite the contrary." Desmond pulled out the old medicine bottle.

      "But that's STEVEN'S medicine bottle! Why would it have anything to do with me?"

      "We found your fingerprints all over it. You planted it at the scene of the crime, didn't you?"

      "So!? It was in my room for a day and a half! I could have easily gotten my fingerprint on it then!"

      "You said yourself that you had barely set foot in your room since the crime."

      "You... you..." Gertrude broke down and put her face in her hands. "YOU ROTTEN DUNG-FACE!"

      "Ouch," Sherlock mumbled in petpet grunts.

     ~*~

      Soon after, Gertrude was taken by Terror Mountain authorities to the nearest prison to serve some time. Steven was given a good deal of her riches, including the four million neopoint diamond (which was found planted in his own room by one Miss Durtreg).

      As for Desmond? He got a good reward for helping to find a criminal. Enough to buy his slushies for the next four years, anyway.

The End

 
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