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by Arnav
Rated: E · Fiction · Mystery · #2199017
This is a mystery about how detective Marsh solves the mystery of the haunted cottage.
Someone called Detective Marsh to handle a mystery. Marsh asked what the mystery was and was immediately surprised as it was another person complaining about a Haunted Cottage. Marsh had already turned down the mystery twice before as he thought the people proposing the mystery had lost their minds, but this time Marsh agreed to accept the case.

The next day Marsh went to The Haunted Cottage and had a look inside. He was astonished how clean and tidy the cottage was. After discovering this Marsh quickly became suspicious that how could an un-inhabited cottage be so clean? That night he thought he would bring an end to this case by spying and seeing what exactly was happening. Yet that night there was nothing that happened!

In the morning of the next day Marsh rung up the police to help him with the case. He told them what he knew so far, and the police said they were coming to Marsh’s house for a meeting. Once the police came to Marsh's house, the police discussed a bit more with him about what they could do and the left once again for the cottage. At the cottage Marsh and the police set some CCTV cameras and audio recorders around and in the cottage. Through the night, Marsh watched through the cameras and was in for a surprise. At around 3 o clock in the morning Marsh thought he saw a flicker of movement around the door and after a few minutes the lights of the cottage switched on and noises started coming from the cottage, after another few minutes the noises stopped, and the lights were shut off.

The next day Marsh went to the police station to give a report on what he had seen the previous night. The police were astonished by this piece of news but had a surprise to give themselves. The police inspector said " Today morning, we went to the houses of the people who have consulted you to take the case of the haunted cottage. Coincidentally all three were not there and at one of the houses there was also a broken window!" .Marsh was puzzled when he heard this. He asked the police for the addresses of the missing three people, so he could scout for clues. After taking the addresses Marsh went to the house of the last caller. At this house Marsh found some fresh footprints and a coil of rope near the front door. Next, Marsh went to the house of the person who called him second at which he found a pair of the same footprints but this time there was also some red cloth stuck on the barbed fence. At last, Marsh went to the house of the person who called him first at which he found the same pair of footprints again, but the difference was that here there was a broken window as well!

The next day Marsh went to all the shops nearby to find if any of the shops were supplying the same brand of rope. Marsh found two shops supplying the kind of rope, so he checked at both shops to find out who had bought the kind of rope recently. At one of the shops the shopkeeper said that no one had bought this kind of rope for a long time, so Marsh had to cross this out. Next Marsh went to the other shop at where three people had recently bought this kind of rope. Marsh checked the buying records book in the store and then saw the CCTV camera footage of the last few days which showed someone in a red shirt coming in the shop buying 4 coils of rope and leaving. Marsh asked for the address of the person in red which the shopkeeper eagerly gave. Marsh planned to go to this man's house the very next day.

The next day Marsh was under the weather, so he could not to go to the man in red’s house. But he did do some investigation at his home. At his house Marsh checked the rope he had got the previous day and checked it for fingerprint marks and DNA. Much to Marsh’s surprise he found some fingerprint marks on the rope. Immediately Marsh went and checked his file for criminals to see if anyone he knew was behind this. Marsh found no such fingerprint in his files so Marsh called on the police to help him here. The police gave him files of the person with the fingerprint identity.. The next day Marsh planned to go to the house of the person whose fingerprint identity had been found.

The next day Marsh went the house of the man whose fingerprints had been found. Marsh planned on interrogating this man and finding out the truth. At the house, the owner of the fingerprints said " I have indeed touched this rope, but I have not committed any of the criminal kidnappings you speak of." Marsh asked how he had touched this exact rope and the man said " About ten days ago a man came up to my doorstep to ask if I was willing to by the rope he was selling. Since I am creating a small scene of a construction site that required rope, I asked him if I could touch the rope to see the quality. As soon as I laid my hands on the rope, the man suddenly snatched it from me and ran away. He jumped into a car on the side of the road and drove off. I wasn't able to see the car number or anything else concerning the matter." Marsh thanked the man for the information and went home to see if he could get any other clues concerning the investigation.

The next day, Marsh got another piece of knowledge from the police. The police inspector had disappeared overnight. It seemed this criminal would do anything to not get caught. Marsh decided to go to the inspector’s house and checked if there were any clues here. Yet, at this house, Marsh didn’t find a single clue! After this Marsh decided to call the mystery off for the day. Hardly did he know what he was about to find. After reaching his house, Marsh found a letter at his door. He opened it wondering what was inside as he very rarely got any mail. Inside was a ransom note.

Let us work in peace otherwise we will not only start taking more people as hostages but also the people the most near and dear to you. Call off the case with the police if you want the hostages back. Also leave $2000 at your front gate today night by 1 AM if you want the kidnapped people back.

Signed: Anonymous

After reading this, Marsh was surprised. He decided to make a trap for this criminal. He would indeed leave a box outside his front gate, but it would be filled with rocks and Marsh would have people in hiding watching for whoever takes the box of so-called money and Marsh himself would be watching the box from on top of a tree near the front gate! That night nobody came but the next morning Marsh found a letter at his front gate addressed to Marsh and signed by Anonymous. Inside the envelope the letter said:
I told you to leave money, not rocks in that box. Also, why did you leave people watching the box. If you want to catch me, you’ll have to try better. Leave a box full of money this time or face the problems. You do not want the hostages to go hungry, right???

Signed: Anonymous

Marsh wondered how this Anonymous knew so much about the trap yesterday when nobody had come to collect the box. He guessed there was someone in the police force who has betrayed the police. He thought about it and realised there was only one person who could do that. It was most likely Fredrick Logers, as before becoming a police official, Fredrick had been a smuggler. Marsh went to the police station where he made sure Fredrick was questioned. Fredrick realised he was caught and said yes, I have been helping my old buddies. Fredrick didn't answer any more questions so they let him be. Marsh thought he would do the same thing as last night, when he was in hiding, watching the box but this time he wouldn’t tell anyone about his plan and he wouldn’t call the police to help him catch the culprit.
He waited until night again and put the box outside. He went into hiding to catch the culprit. After some time, someone indeed was coming down the land to Marsh’s house. Marsh used his camera and took a photo of that man from a distance to further his mystery. The man came closer and closer to his house, looked around to check if he was being followed and then turned into his driveway. Marsh took another photo of the man. The man walked to Marsh’s front door and picked up the box. He took another glance around and then walked off. Marsh decided to follow this man to get a full identity of this mysterious criminal. Marsh followed this man around the town and much to his surprise this criminal went into the Haunted Cottage, thankfully for Marsh this man left the door open while he went in, so Marsh managed to follow him in, the man went to the second floor and then into one of the bedrooms. After reaching here, the man went to the cupboard and then pushed something inside the cupboard. Suddenly, a small kind of passage opened which the man stooped into and disappeared in the darkness. After this the “passage” closed. Marsh checked in the cupboard for anything to activate the opening of the passage. He found a small red button hidden under a pile of clothes which he pressed triggering the opening of the passage. Marsh stooped into the passage which closed right behind him. Inside was a series of stairs going down. After going down the stairs Marsh entered this room which was kind of like an office.

At the end of the room there was a door out of which there was a voice coming out. Marsh slowly & quietly opened the door. In that room, three people were tied to chairs and there was a man armed with a gun. That man looked like the police inspector. Marsh realised that it was the inspector who he was chasing all this time. Marsh immediately got out his phone and recorded what the inspector was saying. Marsh got to know that this man wasn’t the real inspector. He was acting like the inspector who he had planned to “dispose” as he knew too much about their “plan”. They were going to dispose of the inspector who was on the cruiser the Royal Prince. The fake police inspector went into hiding so it looked like the inspector had been kidnapped as a hostage. Suddenly, the sound of a gunshot rung through house. Marsh turned around to see another person behind him. There was a man behind him. By now, the fake police inspector had come, and both men pushed Marsh into the room and tied him to an extra chair in the room. They took away all his gadgets such as his phone and watch. They also took away his knife which could have been a major help in escaping. Marsh was told that they knew everything he was doing as they had planted a CCTV camera & a bug (the listening type, not the insect). After some time both men left the room and went off, confident that none of their prisoners would be able to escape. After the men had left, Marsh started rubbing the rope which bound his hands together on the back part of the chair. Slowly the rope started breaking apart and soon the rope was in tatters. With his hands now free Marsh removed the bonds which tied him to the chair and then helped all the others in the room in getting their bonds off. After that Marsh motioned to the others to be silent and if they had to communicate, use hand gestures. Marsh led them out of the room. They were almost to the exit of the house when one of the kidnappers came out and saw the small party of people escaping. Before this man could inform the other kidnapper, Marsh quickly slammed him to the wall where he fell unconscious. Marsh quickly checked this man’s pocket where he found his phone, camera and watch. After this Marsh and the other prisoners went out of the door and then Marsh quickly stole one of the kidnappers car and told the others to get inside car, so they could escape. Marsh got into the driver’s seat and then navigated the way to his house where Marsh told the others to settle in for the rest of the night as they would go further in this case later the next day.

The next day Marsh told the police to do a search on the cruiser to check of any place where it was possible to perhaps throw a man off the cruiser or hide a man. Marsh then got an idea that he would tell some of the policemen to put a disguise of a sailor on and pretend to work on the ship while they would be investigating and searching around the ship. Marsh told his idea to the other policemen who thought it was a good idea and worked to get on with it. Before the cruiser departed all the policemen who were meant to be disguised as sailors just got on board. After this Marsh went to his house to check on his guests who had escaped with him the previous night. At his house the escapees who had escaped with him were ready and refreshed from the previous day’s ordeal. Marsh decided to ask all of them what had happened when they were kidnapped. Marsh got to know that the fake inspector and the other man had kidnapped them from the front door. The broken glass, etc. was just something to put anyone investigation off track. Marsh then asked them what all had happened in their kidnap. He was told that they were always kept in that room and they were given 2 meals every day. One meal would be given to them at 7:00 in the morning and one at 7:00 at night. One of the men would usually be watching them all the time. The fixture they were stuck in made it almost impossible to escape from. The men would usually come and tell them how they were getting ahead in their plans to tease them. In this way, they got informed of the kidnappers plans. Marsh asked them for the plans they knew of. They told him that one of the plans was to store the real police inspector in a small room which was hidden right inside the hull of the ship. Another of the men’s plans was to then start capturing police officers so then they would be in pretty much no fear of being caught. Marsh thanked them for this information. He immediately called on of the main officers on board the Royal Prince tell them about the secret room in the hull of the cruiser. The police on board assured him they would check the hull immediately for anything suspicious. Marsh also told them to be aware of anyone trying to capture them as it was part of the kidnappers plan. The police said they would be careful of this. After Marsh was done communicating with the police, Marsh went to the cottage to investigate the passage which went from the cottage, underground. He decided on going to the cottage the same day in the evening. He told the people he had escaped with that if he wasn’t back by late night (1’o clock) they should call the police to investigate the cottage. They agreed to calling the police and so after some time Marsh set off to investigate the cottage. At the cottage, something was going on. There was a flickering light coming from the 2nd floor. Suddenly, some noises started to come the cottage. The noise was kind of creaky and sounded like something heavy moving around. Marsh slowly crept into the cottage. Marsh heard some people talking from the floor above. He didn’t really understand what they were saying but he did understand some words such as machine and fortune. Marsh now got to the 2nd floor where he saw the light coming out of one of the rooms in the very end of the floor. The noise was now ear splitting for Marsh. At last, Marsh reached the end of the floor to the room where the light was coming out from. Marsh peeked into the room and Marsh now understood all this effort to be very secretive. Inside the room was one of the most valuable machines in the world. It was stolen about a month ago from the machinery exhibition in England and people were still searching for it, as the promised amount of pay given was $1,000,000. The machine could make pure diamonds without having to go and mine them. This feature was very valuable as it is not easy to get pure diamond things such as jewellery and decor. It was the first of its kind in the world that could make pure diamonds. The machine was not finished when it was stolen from England, so Marsh guessed that was the reason it was causing so much noise and making weird lights. Marsh decided that the very next day he would get some of the police officers to get to the haunted cottage with him to get the machine safely away and catch the criminals involved in its disappearance. Marsh decided he would inform the police of his plan the next day in the morning and check out the passage in the afternoon.

The next day everything went as planned until going to the cottage. At the cottage they got to the room where the passage was and went through the passage. In the area through the passage Marsh led the police to the room where the machine had been kept. The machine was still there as good as ever. With all the police Marsh managed to lift the machine up and get it through the passage although at the end of the passage they got a nasty surprise. At the end of the passage was the fake police inspector & about 20 of his men. The fake inspector said to drop the machine and surrender to him if they valued their lives, but even the police had some tricks up their sleeve. One of the police threw a smoke grenade which gave them about a minute to escape. One of the other men also had three smoke grenades which he gave to Marsh, kept one himself, and gave one to the man at the back in case of the men trying to follow them. After this the police quickly picked up the machine and then escaped the house. All the police headed to Marsh’s house as they knew that was the safest place for the machine. After the police got the machine into Marsh’s house, Marsh and the police arranged multiple safety arrangements. The next day Marsh and the police decided on informing the people who had overseen the machinery exhibition about the discovery of the machine. The people who had overseen the exhibition said they would come and check on the machine the very next day. The next day the people who had overseen the exhibition came the next day only to be greeted with a surprise. Overnight the machine had been stolen and one of the windows were broken! In a gesture of sorry, Marsh let the exhibition overseers stay at his place till he was able to locate the machine once again.

Back to where the police were boarding on the Royal Prince to try to find the inspector. After getting the information from Marsh about the location of the Inspector, the police went to search for anywhere the inspector could be in the hull. While examining the hull of the ship, one of the men noticed a handle in the hull. The man pulled the handle and found that there was a kind of door here. He called all the other police to check out the hidden door. The police decided they would send a few of their people to check what was inside this door .They discussed and came to conclusion that six men will be sent into the door with seven backups standing outside in case of emergency. The six men went into the door and found two doors in side that passage itself. The men went into the door that was going straight ahead. That door led to a small room. Inside the room the men saw about 10 people having a kind of meeting. Tied to one of the seats was the police inspector! The men were discussing how to dispose the police inspector as they were worried to keep him in custody for a long period of time. They decided that they would throw the inspector off the ship and into the ocean. Gripped by rage one of the policemen scrambled into the room and started untying the inspector. To help, the other policemen distracted the other men long enough for the inspector to be untied. After the inspector was untied the policemen launched themselves at the other people in the room. But they were outnumbered. The officers decided to retreat through the passage as a bait to get the criminals to follow them out of the door where the backup policemen were waiting. So, when the criminals from the room came through the passage, they were greeted by some handcuffs and policemen!

The next day Marsh got a lead on the missing machine. Recently some crystals and diamonds were being used as payment all over the country. Marsh asked one of the policemen to find one of these minerals that had been made on get them to him.

The next day the policeman returned with a crystal and diamond that he had found. Marsh tested both for fingerprints and found that indeed there were some fingerprint markings on both. Unfortunately, these was just the fingerprints of the shopkeeper who had provided these minerals. Marsh suddenly got a thought. What if this shopkeeper was part of the gang? As it was, the old shopkeeper had not been at the job for the last few days and coincidentally, a new shopkeeper was appointed only when this case begun.

But he decided to throw this theory aside and perhaps find something else behind this mysterious case. At first Marsh was disappointed as he only found the fingerprints of the old shopkeeper. Marsh decided to run another round on the minerals and this time found some new fingerprints. After testing these new fingerprints, Marsh found out that these fingerprints belonged to the new shopkeeper. Marsh thought that he must go and interrogate this new shopkeeper on who was in possession of these minerals. When Marsh went to the store, he cornered the shopkeeper with his questions. the new shopkeeper was very scared and answered all of Marsh's questions- “when we ask for payment, the people transfer the minerals in a package which we take as payment and use.” Marsh asked if the he had the address of the people transferring the minerals.

The shopkeeper had the address of these people on the courier box and willingly gave it to Marsh. Much to his surprise, Marsh found out that these couriers were coming from the so-called haunted cottage! Marsh took the courier box to his house for a few days to examine it for clues. Marsh wasn’t really expecting to find anything in the box, but he ended up finding fingerprint markings of some people who had shipped the box. When closely examined, Marsh found out that these fingerprint markings were those of his previous kidnappers! Marsh decided to check out the haunted cottage from a distance, so he could be safe but at the same time he could get a probable insight on the cottage. Marsh decided to do this at night as there would be less people around. At night Marsh went to his second house near the cottage from where he looked inside the cottage. In the cottage the machine was fixed it seemed and there were people producing minerals in the bedroom upstairs! While looking through the window, Marsh recognised two of the men in the room as they were his previous kidnappers. Now that Marsh knew all about this case and who were involved, he went to the police station, so he could get the police force to help him capture the criminals now that he also knew exactly where they were lodged, it would be much easier to capture them and bring this case to an end. The police inspector quickly sent 20 of his men to go with Marsh to stop and capture the criminals. But it wasn’t as easy as it sounded as what Marsh didn’t know was there were guards outside the door of the cottage to stop any such attempts of capturing the criminals! As soon as Marsh went near the gates of the door, he was suddenly pushed down onto the ground by the hidden guards. Marsh realised all of this too late as he was now pinned to the ground by 2 guards. But luckily for Marsh, a man from the police force saw this happen and Marsh was rescued. Marsh and the police also got some information from those two guards on ways to secretly enter the room. There was a tube from the ground floor up to pass the diamond boxes up, and it would not be used at this time. Also, it was big enough for humans to pass through. Marsh and some of the police force decided to take this route while there were five officials put in-charge of taking care of the guards who had stopped them at first. Then the rest of the police force started patrolling all around the cottage so there was no escape route. After all of this, Marsh and a few policemen looked for the tunnel leading up. There was indeed a tunnel that led to the room but what the guard didn’t tell them was that the opening at the top was usually surrounded by many people at this time of the day. So as soon as Marsh and his fellow policemen popped up at the top of the hole, they were amid many people. Even though after realising this Marsh tried to flee, he and 3 other policemen were caught. Marsh realised that he had fallen into this trap and now, once again he was with the criminals in their base. But then there were also the policemen with him who had the walkies-talkies to communicate, so one of them quickly said 'Backup required, we are caught.’ The criminals noticed this and snatched their walkies-talkies but it was too late! More policemen came through the main entrances and were able to capture a few of the criminals and help release Marsh and the others. Even though this happened, most of the criminals were still able to escape through a room with a ladder leading downwards and out of the house. But then there were many police guards down, who were able to capture and stop all the criminals attempting to escape. At last this case had come to an end, and after lots and lots of investigation these criminals had been caught.
© Copyright 2019 Arnav (arnavagarwal at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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