Three well-dressed men and a woman were sitting in a closed room. They were all waiting for someone and wasn’t talking with each other. The room looked empty as there was only four chairs in which four of them were already sitting. There was a clock hanging on the wall which showed the time 8.59 am. As soon as the clocked ticked 9 am, a light appeared in the next room and there was a man standing behind the glass wall. He was also well dressed. He looked at everyone through his oval specs without a smile on his lips. The room which he was standing was empty as well. The man started speaking. His voice appeared to the next room as an electronic generated one.
‘Good morning, lady and gentlemen. Welcome to the 221B recruiting process. Only four of you have passed the tests conducted so far. Today Bobby be the final test which Bobby test your personal skill. I would like you to remind you that this Bobby be the final chance for you to join 221B. There Bobby be a question put in front of you during the test to which we require a proper and reasonable answer at the end. If the same answer is repeated the person who said it first is considered. Only one of you Bobby come through the door behind you guys and the rest Bobby go out through your left. Wish you all a good luck.’
Everyone remained calm. As soon as he finished talking the lights on the other room went off and lights in front of the very front row of chairs became on. Now there lie a desk in front of them with an envelope and a timer which was counting backwards from 5 min.
Said Mr. Shankar and rushed towards the table. He was followed by all three. They all were stopped by Ms. Angelina.
‘Listen, don’t fight over this. I think they are testing our behavior skills as well. There is 5 min left for us out of which 20 seconds is already gone. Each of us have right over that thing. So let’s divide the time between us with one minute each.’
Ms. Angelina looked at everyone. Everyone thought for a moment and agreed with her. Mr. David was looking at Ms. Angelina the entire time.
‘So who would like to go first?’
Ms. Angelina was waiting for a response. Mr. Shankar and Mr. Steve were looking at each other because they knew the person going first Bobby lose some time opening the envelope. Mr. David’s eyes were focused on Ms. Angelina only.
Said Ms. Angelina and moved towards the table. The timer reached 4:00. She opened the grey envelope. It contained a photograph and a note. The photograph was of 3 teenagers standing inside a well-furnished room. Ms. Angelina had a brief look at the photograph before she took the note in her hand.
‘Good Morning, Detective. The picture in front of you is of 3 teenagers named Bobby, James and Jude. James has been killed in his apartment while celebrating his 18th birthday. He was stabbed onto his left back and the wound reached all the way to his spine. One among Bobby and Jude is the murderer. Find the murderer.’
Ms. Angelina kept the note on the table and and took the picture. The picture had 3 boys standing facing the camera. All the three looked happy and were well dressed, thus made it difficult to identify who is James. One of the boys was wearing a t shirt that displayed letter J on it. Ms. Angelina looked at the timer. There was only 20 sec left for her. She almost her calm.
‘Sh*t, sh*t, sh*t’
As soon as the timer reached 3:00 Mr. Shankar pulled Ms. Angelina backwards. He took the note and read it. His eyes moved faster. He then took the photograph and looked at it. Mr. Isaac looked at the timer and got up when the timer reached 2:30. He searched his pockets. He took out a small hand magnifying lens. The timer almost reached 2:10 when Mr. Shankar took the picture and note and placed it inside the envelope, which he thought Mr. Isaac Bobby lose time taking it out. Mr. Shankar came back at 2:01. He came and sat in the same row Ms. Angelina was sitting.
‘I lost it’
Said Ms. Angelina.
Said Mr. Shankar looking at the table.
‘I didn’t think it would be this hard. I couldn’t even find who is the victim.’
Ms. Angelina had her hope lost. Mr. Shankar turned his face towards Ms. Angelina and said.
‘Hey, chill. May be a bad day for us.’
Ms. Angelina looked at the table.
‘Look at him.’
Mr. Isaac had his eyes all over the picture. His eyes looked large through the magnifying lens. He turned himself rather than turning the picture. The timer hit 1:00. Mr. David slowly got up from his chair. He moved towards the table. He held the note up till his eyelevel. He read it and thought for a moment. He then took the photograph in his hand and had a brief look. The lights on the next room became lit when the timer reached 00:00. All three who were sitting came in front and waited.
‘The test is over. Now we require an answer. Remember, if the answer is repeated, the person who tells it first is considered.’
Said the man inside the room.
‘How are we supposed to find the murder and the victim with only a photograph?’
Ms. Angelina shouted. The man standing had no reaction for that. His eyes moved towards Mr. Shankar.
‘Good Morning sir. It was difficult to find the murderer. But not that difficult for a man like me. The note says James is stabbed onto his left back and wound touched the spine. This happens only if the killer is left handed. Now if we look at the picture carefully you can see the boy at the center is holding something on his left hand which is a knife to cut the cake. That proves the boy wearing the t shirt with J on it is the birthday boy, James. Now we have Bobby and Jude. The boy standing right to James is wearing his watch on the left hand, which says he is a right hander. Thus the boy standing on the left is the murderer.’
Mr. Shankar after completing his answer took a step back. Ms. Angelina looked at him as he lied to her. He seemed to have become proud of himself.
‘I am very sorry Mr. Shankar. The answer you said is entirely wrong. You said you looked at the picture carefully but you didn’t. There is a photo frame on the wall to the right of the picture. The frame had gone out of the picture but if you look carefully you can see it’s a family photo with a boy in it. Its blurred but still an intelligent man can notice that the boy on the photo frame is wearing the same dress as the boy on standing on the left is wearing, which means the boy standing on the left is James. Mr. Shankar has made the rest easy for me. The only left hander left in the scene is the boy standing at the center, Jude. Sir, I have a name for the murderer, Jude.’
Mr. Isaac made his statement and came back. Mr. Shankar looked angry. Mr. David was the only one left to answer. He seemed like he was thinking something. He came forward. After few seconds of silence, he said.
Everyone got confused. Mr. Isaac had a smile on his face.
‘So you are telling that you murdered James.’
Said Mr. Isaac in an annoying way. There was a total silence in the room which was broken by Mr. David’s voice again.
‘Good Morning, Detective. The picture in front of you is of 3 teenagers named Bobby, James and Jude. James has been killed in his apartment while celebrating his 18th birthday. He was stabbed onto his left back and the wound reached all the way to his spine. One among Bobby and Jude is the murderer. Find the murderer is not a question. It’s a task, which leaves the only question asked to us during the test to be who would like to go first by Ms. Angelina to which my answer is I. I would like to go first.’
Everyone was shocked for a moment. The man standing at the next room had a smile on his face. Ms. Angelina came forward they both shook their hands.
‘Welcome Mr. David to 221B. Let me walk you through. This way please.’
Ms. Angelina guided Mr. David to the door while the other two remained shocked.
‘But I solved a murder. I think that’s more important right.’
Said Mr. Isaac looking at the man standing at the next room.
‘Mr. David. Do u have an answer for that?’
Asked the man. Mr. David stood there for a moment and then turned back and said.
‘The boy standing at the left is the same boy as in the photo frame on the wall which shows us who is James, and the boy standing at the right is wearing his wrist watch on the left hand which proves he is a right hander. Therefore, the boy in the middle is the murderer like said by Mr. Isaac if the starry nights wasn’t flipped.’
Mr. Isaac looked confused.
‘Starry nights by Vincent Van Gogh, on the wall. Its flipped. It cannot be flipped. Therefore, the entire photograph is flipped. Therefore, the child in the middle, Jude is not the murderer. The murderer is Bobby. Hope you got it.’
Said Mr. David with a smile. He then looked at Ms. Angelina and walked away with her. Mr. Isaac and Mr. Shankar stood there with disappointment.