Truth comes to light

Woman's World - - Personality Insight - — Kathy L. Matisko

H

e watch!” short, stole wiry my The fel­low wear­ing an ex­hibitor’s badge yelled again at the top of his lungs. “I did not!” The burly se­cu­rity guard bel­lowed back, his face red with rage. De­tec­tive Ned Ol­son looked at po­lice of­fi­cer Barry Doyle and sighed. They’d been called to the An­tiques, Jew­elry and Art Show at the el­e­gant New Hamp­shire Hills Ho­tel in re­sponse to a rob­bery. Sur­round­ing them in the grand ball­room were dozens of an­tiques deal­ers, ea­ger to sell their wares to an elite group of last-minute hol­i­day shop­pers. “Now, gentle­men,” De­tec­tive Ol­son said, spread­ing his arms to sep­a­rate them. “Shout­ing won’t help things. I need facts. What have you got, Of­fi­cer Doyle?” Doyle read from his notes: “Mr. Roy Fry here”—he ges­tured to­ward the smaller man—“says that a valu­able piece is miss­ing…” “That’s right,” Fry in­ter­rupted. “A vin­tage, 18-karat gold Rolex watch worth $10,000.” He pointed a fin­ger ac­cus­ingly. “And that ly­ing, no-good crook took it!”

not a crook!” “I Ol­son am quickly sur­veyed the room. Booths dis­play­ing col­lectibles, jew­elry and an­tiques were ar­ranged in rows along the main floor and three in­te­rior walls. The fourth wall, fac­ing west, had a long bank of win­dows and dou­ble French doors lead­ing out­side to a ve­randa. Ol­son shot an in­quir­ing look at Doyle, who re­ferred to his note pad. “This is Oliver Kratz, em­ployed by Re­li­able Se­cu­rity Ser­vices. He was as­signed to this event two weeks ago.” “When did you dis­cover the theft?” Ol­son asked Fry. “This morn­ing. I woke up early and came down­stairs to grab some break­fast.”

Ol­son stud­ied him. “What time did you come down?” “Seven a.m. sharp. I thought my items were safe be­cause the ball­room was locked—and they’d hired a se­cu­rity guard and all,” Fry said, glar­ing at Kratz. “But when I looked in through the ball­room doors, I saw him snoop­ing at my booth.” “You’re “Pos­i­tive.” sure He it was he nod­ded. Kratz?” “The sun was just com­ing up through those French doors, and I saw him swipe my watch and stuff it in his pocket.” “He’s ly­ing!” the guard ex­claimed in­dig­nantly. Fry ig­nored him. “I shouted and tried to open the ball­room door, but it was still locked. By the time I found some­one with a key, he’d dis­ap­peared.” “I didn’t dis­ap­pear,” Kratz coun­tered. “I was pa­trolling the other side of the room when Fry and the man­ager came in and or­dered me to empty my pock­ets.” “All they found was my wal­let and keys.” Fry shrugged. “So he hid the watch some­where.” “That’s not true!” Kratz in­sisted. “I

didn’t take that watch, De­tec­tive. Please—i can’t lose this job,” he be­seeched. “See, De­tec­tive?” Fry counted off on his fingers: “One, mo­tive: He needs the money; two, op­por­tu­nity: He was alone in the room; and three, there’s a wit­ness: me. What more do you need? I de­mand you ar­rest this man!” “I don’t think we’ll be do­ing that, Mr. Fry,” Ol­son calmly re­sponded. “In fact, I don’t even think a crime has been com­mit­ted here. In fact, I be­lieve you are mak­ing the whole theft up to de­tract at­ten­tion from you.” Doyle’s head swiveled to­ward the de­tec­tive in sur­prise as Fry blus­tered. “This is out­ra­geous. I’m a tax­pay­ing cit­i­zen—” “—Who prob­a­bly has a hefty in­sur­ance pol­icy on that watch, right?” Ol­son fin­ished. Fry’s face turned beet red un­der “Let the me de­tec­tive’s give you some gaze. ad­vice, Mr. Fry,” Ol­son con­tin­ued. “In­sur­ance fraud is a crime with a stiff pun­ish­ment. You might want to come clean be­fore we in­ves­ti­gate fur­ther.”

Q: What tipped off De­tec­tive Ol­son?

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