Porcelain Rose chapter 3

Chapter 3

When Arthur raised his head, he could just barely see the sky-scrapers in the distance.  The splendor of those tall, luxurious buildings was a stark contrast to the old, run-down home in front of him.

This tattered house looked as if it had not been maintenanced in a long time; the locust tree in the yard had long withered, the weeds overgrown, and the sound of flies revolved around the piles of junk and trash.

Arthur glanced at the wooden door barely hanging from the hinges and yelled at the house for quite a while before he finally heard sounds coming from inside the room and someone opened the door.

This disheveled old man looked nothing like the Bertrand from the picture.  He wore a loose shirt that had yellow stains on the sleeves and collar, his hair was unkempt and his nose was red.  The information stated that he should be around sixty years old, but this man in front of him looked to be seventy or eighty and there was a putrid coming from him, as if he had just crawled out of a rotting coffin.  Perhaps it was because he hadn’t yet sobered, he stared blankly at the two uninvited guests and cantankerously asked, “That bitch* from next door reported me again?”

*good children shouldn’t swear

Arthur flashed his FBI badge and politely spoke, “Hello sir, are you Mr. Ferro? We are investigating the case of your son, Bertrand Ferro, do you mind if we ask you some questions?”

At the mention of the name “Bertrand”, he seemed to come alive, sobering up a little as he stared dully for a moment.  Suddenly, his eyes opened wide, glaring daggers as he burst out in rage. “My son has been dead for so many years and you only come to investigate who murdered him now?”

Arthur’s face was sprayed with spittle but this was a common occurrence so he endured it.  “Sir, could we talk inside? If not, then here is fine too.”

Mr. Orlo Sr.* took a look around and, seeing the passers-bys and neighbours who were drawn over by his yelling, he restrained his fury, inviting the pair of men in black, one tall one short, one old one young, into the room.

Naturally, it was a mess inside the room.

*Initially, his last name was 费尔罗, which is Ferro.  For some reason, it called him 老奥罗先生 here, which translates to Old Mister Orlo.  Maybe it’s his first name? Anyways, I decided to call him Mr. Orlo Sr. unless indicated otherwise

Carelessly tossing the dirty clothing on the sofa to the ground so that Arthur and Stephen would have somewhere to sit, Mr. Orlo Sr. retrieved two grimy cups from the dish rack in the kitchen, casually rinsed them, and poured two cups of tap water for the guests.

Like a puppy following its mother, Arthur trailed after Mr. Stephen.

He watched as Mr. Stephen lifted a frame that was face down on the cabinet.  The photo inside was dusty, the background vaguely seemed to be the house they were currently in, but the house in the photo was brand new, beautiful and full of life, and standing in front of the house were the Orlo father and son.  Inside the photo, Bertrand wore a high school uniform, his bearing tall and straight, full of vigour and youth.  The Mr. Orlo Sr. of the time hadn’t fallen into decline and wore a well ironed black suit.

Arthur faintly wrinkled his brows and secretly glanced at Mr. Stephen beside him before composing himself.

Arthur waited for Mr. Orlo Sr. to sit down and was just about to start questioning but was cut off.  Mr. Orlo Sr. asked, “Did you really come to investigate?  You aren’t the hounds of the bigwigs, are you*?

*I thought maybe he speaks uhh informally because he’s living in the slums but decided to just stick with the raws and not add embellishments cuz i’m not all that familiar with it anyways.

Arthur immediately felt awkward.

Stephen’s expression was stern, “Do you know what the FBI is?”

Mr. Orlo Sr. glared at him and the two stared at each other for a moment before he backed down. He exhaled slowly and spoke mournfully, “Bertrand was murdered, he didn’t suicide, that’s absolutely impossible.  I know who the murderer is, I’ve always known, but what of it?  His family has power and influence, you guys still let him go.”

Arthur’s notepad was already out and he asked, “Sir, who do you think the perpetrator is?” Mr. Allen?

The name that Mr. Orlo Sr. spoke was one that Arthur had never heard of, and the former spoke through gritted teeth with such loathing, it was as if he wanted to grind their flesh*, “It’s Clarence Hall, he’s the one who killed my son!  His father is a senior official and his mother’s family runs a large corporation, do you dare catch him?”

*I took liberties o.o

Arthur quickly jotted down this name.  He felt like he had heard it somewhere before, but there wasn’t time to think carefully about it now.  He continued to listen attentively to Mr. Orlo Sr.’s words.

Stephen asked, “You think he killed your son, but what evidence do you have?  Just because he was the first one to discover the scene of the crime?  There must be a motive to kill someone, no?

Arthur immediately remembered; of course, he just knew the name sounded familiar*. On the case file, it was the name of the person who called the police. In a murder case, the probability of the person who discovered the crime scene actually being the perpetrator wasn’t low.

*uhh I know it said the name was completely foreign to him just 3 paragraphs ago but itsokay

Mr. Orlo Sr. seemed to sink into a painful memory as his entire face wrinkled and tears appeared in his bloodshot eyes, “I shouldn’t have let Bertrand go to that school at all, they looked down on him, so many people bullied him.  Especially that Clarence……he envied Bertrand, because Bertrand took his first place, in many many competitions, Bertrand beat him and took first.”

Stephen nodded, leaning forward slightly to hand the other a cigarette, lighting it for him.  His voice was low as he added to this story, “……Bertrand was so kind and naive, he only knew how to study.  Those rich bastards, just because they were born from a good family, looked down on him, humiliated him, and even killed him.  Unforgivable.”

Arthur stared in shock as he listened to cultured and polite Mr. Stephen calmly cuss, but quickly calmed down and secretly took notes.

Mr. Orlo Sr. sobbed as he spoke, “Bertrand was a good child, he should have been able to get into a famous school, make a name for himself, but those son-of-a-bitches harmed him……During that period, he often came home injured.  I asked him but he wouldn’t tell me where he got the injuries from.”

Stephen asked, “Do you remember an Allen?  A brunette.”

However, Mr. Orlo Sr. stilled, then answered, “I……I don’t remember.”

He only grabbed at Stephen’s wrist. “Those other people are insignificant, it’s Clarence, listen to me, you can’t go wrong. It was Clarence who killed my son!  You must catch him!”

Naturally, Stephen wouldn’t promise him and asked, “I still have a question; at the time of the crime, where were you?

Mr. Orlo Sr.’s gave was evasive for a moment, then angrily accused, “What the fuck do you mean?  Are you suspecting that I killed my own son!  Do you think I’m crazy?”

Stephen spoke, “Just a mere formality.  Since you didn’t do it, then why not tell me what you were doing at the time so we can help eliminate you from the list of suspects.”

Mr. Orlo Sr. finally answered, “On that day, I was working overtime at the factory and returned home very late, you can ask my boss.  The police asked me this question back then too, I have an alibi.”

Arthur and Stephen had obtained enough information and left.

Arthur held his little notepad. “I will investigate Clarence Hall immediately.”

Raising his head, however, he discovered that Stephen had disappeared so he turned and ran to catch up.

Stephen was walking towards an elderly lady walking her down.  He had noticed her walk by the area multiple times and when they were going to get in the car, she was staring at them, as if she had something to say but was hesitating.

Stephen spoke very cordially, “Good day Madam, you were staring at us before, do you have something to say to us?”

The old lady asked, “I just overheard, did you come to investigate Bertrand’s case?  Should have investigated it properly a long time ago, I also think there are many fishy points!  He wasn’t the type of boy who would suicide!  He was a very determined and courageous boy!”

She seemed to have held it in for too long and directly threw out an explosive piece of information, “On the noon of the day of Bertrand’s death, his dad wasn’t home and I heard sounds of arguing and fighting, it was very loud! I was taking my noon nap and it startled me awake.  I got up to see what happened and saw a boy around the same age as him hurriedly run out of his house.  I also went to his house to check on him, saw something shattered on the ground, along with a knife, and Bertrand’s hand was covered in blood.”

Arthur hurriedly noted it down.

Stephen asked about the appearance and distinctive characteristics of the boy who ran away, but unfortunately, twenty years had passed and the old lady didn’t remember clearly.

The difficulty of this case was also this, back then, the police hadn’t collected evidence properly and after twenty years, it was very difficult to dig out material evidence, so only witness testimonies could be investigated.

This was a brand new lead.

The old lady spoke with pity and regret, “Bertrand was such a good child, when he had free time, he had even helped me clean my yard before.  He lived with his dad and from a young age, he took care of all the house matters in a neat and orderly fashion.  During breaks, he would work part-time to save for school, so hardworking and diligent.  Alas, really such a shame.  You must investigate who that boy who ran away was, I think he’s very suspicious.”

Finished with his notes, Arthur asked, “Madam, why didn’t you tell the police back then?”

The old lady replied, “No one asked me.”

Arthur, “……”

TL’s note:

More info is given this chapter! The dad is a little suspicious since he got all shifty eyed when they questioned him, but he has an alibi. How much do you think he knows? His comments on Mr. Allen and his classmates back in the day doesn’t seem to match up with how Mr. Allen acted last chapter. We also have the new suspect, Clarence Hill, who supposedly has motive hmm…

Also, Bertrand sorta kinda reminds me of Haruhi from OHSHC? Except he got bullied a lot more and didn’t get a glamourous makeover then bombarded by women.

Porcelain Rose

Porcelain Rose

Score 9
Status: Completed Type: Author: Released: 2019 Native Language: Chinese
This is a mystery short story about an age-old case


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