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As I entered Professor Althorp’s home the reek of pipe tobacco took me back to my childhood.

My grandfather was also a professor, a one-time mentor of Professor Althorp. I am a conscientious worker; the personal connection made me determined to carry out my duties to the best of my ability.

The body had a pen knife protruding from the ribs, the wound leaking blood onto the Axminster staining it beyond redemption. A hefty tome nestled near the head, the professor’s reading material likely part of his demise. The contents of his bookcase were the envy of the faculty, but it seemed an unlikely motive for murder.

I read his laptop screen. In his retirement Professor Althorp had written several academic texts. It was open knowledge in some circles that he had turned his hand to fiction. Using a pen name, he had plucked from his memory archives the scandals he had witnessed or heard confessed, weaving them into novels. I suspect what he unearthed was resurrecting unwanted history.

Despite my gloves I avoided disturbing the scene lest I find myself accused. Being first on the scene afforded me some advantages, speed and opportunity are my friends.

Upstairs the professor’s bed was a tangled mess. A unique odour assaulted my senses, Professor Althorp was not lacking in bedfellows. The one we had in common was useful for the right price.

I removed the scenic obstruction to the safe and typed in the code. I emptied the contents into my rucksack and left the scene.


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