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  • Aaliya Ganguly

The Jewels of Ardon

Five people were seated in the study of Ardon Manor, where just two days prior, a theft had

taken place. The people were all nervously seated in painful silence as the man before them went over his thoughts.


Lord Ardon came from a long line of barons, but due to the advent of a modern mindset,

the power of royalty was fading, and with it, the wealth of the Ardon family.

The man observed the four people before him.


To the far right sat lady Ardon, a woman of remarkable character. She had neither wealth

nor status before her marriage to Lord Ardon. To her left sat her husband, Lord Ardon,

impatiently waiting for the man’s verdict. Next to him sat Mr. Derby, a childhood friend of Lord Ardon’s who had come to stay for the summer. And lastly, there was the butler, who had only served the family for two years.


Mr. Derby wondered what was taking the man so long. To him the answer was obvious. It

was the wife! Her family was constantly requesting the Ardons to loan them money, buy

them a house, or gift them the latest car. Bunch of greedy people, they were, thought Mr.

Derby. Right thing, Aron did, cutting off ties with that lot.


The butler was especially nervous. A theft, on his watch! And he was the ‘outsider’! A friend

had offered the job, and he had jumped at the chance. Oh! Should never have left home! Should have stayed an innkeeper!


Lady Ardon sat impatiently. Lady Wittenberg claimed that this man was a genius, and yet, here he was, thinking and thinking. Perhaps calling the detective to solve the case was a mistake. Her husband certainly hated it. Said it was a waste of time and money. But she didn’t care. She knew how much those jewels were worth. She would not let the thief go

scot-free!


“Well?” she questioned.


The man once again went through the facts of the case.

"On Thursday morning, Lord Ardon opened the safe in his study, where he had kept the jewels

and some other documents. After finishing his work, he locked the safe and left the study. The butler saw Lord Ardon leaving when he was bringing tea to Mr. Derby. This occurred at

8:30 am. Upon his return, at 11:30 am after playing golf at the club and having his breakfast there, Lord Ardon came home to find the jewels missing.


Therefore, we can say that jewels were stolen between 8:30 and 11:30 am.


The house staff never went to the study and are hence not suspects.


During this time, Lady Ardon was strolling in the garden and was seen by one of the maids.


Mr. Derby was reading in the library.


At 9:30 am, breakfast was served. The butler stood by for the first hour after which Lady

Ardon dismissed him. He then went to instruct the maids to clean the fountains, but left rather suddenly.


At 10:45 am, both the Lady and Mr. Derby left the table. Mr. Derby retreated to his

chambers and was not seen for the next thirty minutes, according to staff.


After leaving the table, Lady Ardon went to the sitting room to read the morning paper. She

was later seen conversing with the butler.


At 11:15 am, Lord Ardon returned. The butler offered him juice, while Lady Ardon informed

him of the latest news. Mr. Derby also joined their discussion. At 11:30 Lord Ardon opened

his safe, only to find his jewels missing.


The case was bizarre. Everyone had a motive, but no one had the opportunity.”


“So, you could not solve it!” exclaimed Lady Ardon.


“I told you he was a fool, Cilia!” said Lord Ardon to his wife.


“Now, now, let us not be so quick to dismiss my wits. I have solved the case. Just one final

question to the butler. The friend who referred you to this job, is he a member of Lady

Ardon’s family?”


The butler nodded.


“I thought it was Cilia, but her knowing the butler proves that they took the jewels!” said

Mr. Derby.


“How dare you-“ began the lady.


“Lord Ardon, I believe you left your house that morning with something more than a golf

club. Perhaps some precious stones were in the bag as well?”


“What?” he replied.


“It was you. You stole the jewels.”


Lord Ardon laughed. “Really you are proving yourself to be the most marvellous fool.

Derby’s right, most likely it is that butler fellow and Cilia. Poor thing, the family pressure

must’ve gotten to her.”


“Not really. The poor butler, as you call him, is the only way Lady Ardon can talk to her

family now. The last thing she would do after ‘stealing’ jewels is call a detective to

investigate. You, however, took the jewels out of the study this morning. If we look at you as

the criminal, everything fits into place.”


“And why would I do that my dear fellow?"


“The Ardon family’s wealth has been long declining, Sir. I am sure the large insurance

amount you were to receive for the jewels this evening would solve many problems.

Unfortunately, they received a call from me this morning, and have decided that they will

not be paying you anything. Good day Sir.”


With these last words the man walked out of the study, leaving behind a stunned audience.





The Stolen Jewels


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