Porcelain Rose chapter 4

Chapter 4

Because the case was decades old, the investigation technology at the time was outdated, so very little material evidence was kept. They were extremely fortunate to have even found a little box of material evidence, which was only left behind due to the negligence of the administration.

Amongst the items was a wrist watch; when the deceased had fallen from the building, the watch was damaged and the police had used the time on this watch to determine his time of death.

No wonder the time of death was precise to the second. Arthur thought.

Arthur found that Clarence Hall currently held the position of a literature professor at Y University. They purchased tickets for the next flight there, but it was for the next day so they could only go back…work overtime, rest a little and set off tomorrow.

Returning to the office, Stephen put on his glasses and said to Arthur, “Sort through the evidence we have so far.”

Arthur filled up the whiteboard with writing. “Right now, there are four suspects.”

“First, Allen. The motive is bullying behaviour caused by scorn towards Bertrand’s impoverished state.

Currently, he is a well-known good Samaritan, but from the records of the crimes he had committed as a youth, Mr. Allen wasn’t the obedient, trouble-free type. Perhaps it was due to the guilt of killing someone and out of a sense of atonement that he became compassionate later on.

“Second, Clarence. A name provided by the father of the deceased.  Motive is jealousy of Bertrand’s good grades. Furthermore, this suspect was also the first to discover the scene of the homicide.”

“Third, Orlo Sr. The father of the deceased. Motive is currently unknown. Low suspicion, but I suspect that he is concealing something important. Further investigation of his alibi is needed to find out what it is that he is hiding.”

“Fourth, the unknown person who had a verbal disagreement which escalated to physical violence with the victim in the victim’s house and then fled on the afternoon of the crime. We will refer to him as X for now. We need to find who this person is.”

Arthur used X as the codename for the unknown person.

Stephen asked, “Who do you think is the most suspicious?”

Arthur circled Clarence in red, “Clarence Hall. The probability that the first person to discover the scene is the perpetrator is already quite high and his motive is ample. It is written on the case file that he reported the case near dawn and he discovered the homicide less than half an hour after the deceased had passed. There’s no explanation as for why he would arrive at the scene at this time, it’s quite abnormal.”

Arthur continued, “Also, Orlo Sr. insisted that he is the killer, isn’t there that old saying, ‘a father would always know who it was that hurt his child*’? I think we should focus on investigating this person.”

*uhh I think this might be a Chinese saying but I’ve never heard it

Arthur listed him as the primary suspect.

Stephen didn’t express his opinion as he nodded, “Orlo Sr. provided us with Clarence’s work and home address. 20 years have already passed but he still knows the specifics, what are your thoughts on this?”

Arthur was enlightened, “He must have already investigated this before!”

“He seems to have completely broken down from the enormous shock of his son’s death and from our conversation with him, it can be seen that his personality is rather extreme. I suspect he’s gone to find Clarence before.”

Stephen spoke, “I think, if we were to investigate it, perhaps we would find that the court has already had a restraining order issued against him for Clarence. To a father who only has his child left, he can be very crazy when he loses this only child.”

“Right, this is very reasonable.” Arthur agreed almost reflexively, “I will investigate immediately.”

Stephen shook his head helplessly, “I meant, even this desperate father couldn’t find any new evidence on Clarence. Had he found anything that could send Clarence to jail, do you think he would’ve hidden it? But he’s also hiding something. No one would cover up for someone else.”

“We need to investigate this father.”

“In short, we will still go to Y University tomorrow and visit Clarence Hall first.”

They arrived at Y University in the afternoon, before classes ended.

The campus was filled with young men and women, bright and full of youthful energy. Their black FBI suits attracted many stares and everyone walked around them. As the hounds of the president, they were quite unwelcomed by these literary circles.

After asking for directions, they found Clarence in his lecture hall.

Arthur obtained Clarence Hall’s graduation photo from the university.

The Clarence in the photo was a handsome youth. He seemed to have Italian heritage, pale skin with black hair and black eyes, a deep gaze that seemed to hold an impenetrable melancholy, as if he was done with the world.

At a glance, this was a gloomy, introverted person. It wouldn’t be surprising if someone like this had killed someone else due to jealousy.

But when Arthur actually saw Clarence, he was shocked. If he wasn’t mistaken, Clarence should be 38 years old this year but he actually had a head of white hair!

He was writing on the black board with beautiful and elegant calligraphy.

His figure was thin, with unhealthily pale skin and a ghastly pale face, as if he was an unbreathing vampire. Unexpectedly, this appearance actually gave his temperament a unique tranquility. It made people feel that this was a man of few words, with charisma and erudition.

Arthur and Stephen didn’t intend to interrupt the class, and it would end soon anyway, so they just sat down in the back row. As long as Clarence didn’t panic and run away in a fluster when he saw them, they planned to wait until after class to take Clarence away secretly.

If Clarence wasn’t the perpetrator, openly arresting him could affect his reputation negatively.

Clarence also discovered their presence and only lightly glanced at them as he unhurriedly continued his lesson with grace.

The bell, signalling the end of the class, rang.

Clarence called a student’s name, “Ann, could you help me with an errand? Please help me bring my lesson plan and notes back to my office.”

A girl helped him take away his lesson plan.

At this time, the two detectives had already walked up to him.

Arthur got right to the point, “Hello, you are Professor Clarence Hall, correct? We are investigating the case of Bertrand Emilio Ferro from 20 years ago. Could you please come with us and cooperate with the investigation?”

The desolation that seemed to shroud Clarence’s face cleared like clouds dispersing[1] and a gentle yet sorrowful smile appeared on his face, as if he had waited far too long for this moment. He spoke calmly, “I am the murderer.

The words Arthur had been preparing to say were suddenly cut off and he blankly asked, “Pardon?”

Clarence repeated, “I said, I was the one who killed Bertrand. You didn’t hear wrong, please arrest me.”


[1]云开月明 – Clouds dispersing to show the bright moon.

Author’s note:

Although at the beginning of this chapter, the protagonist felt that this case was really old, but the setting of this novel is in the early 80s. At the time, computers had just begun to be used widely in offices, investigation techniques were rather outdated compared to now. I was obsessed with mystery novels with this type of dated setting for a while.

TL’s note:

????? This doesn’t seem to match up with what Orlo Sr. said??? Also, is Orlo his first name??? Orlo Ferro? Also, its not actually Orlo Sr., its old Orlo but Mr. old Orlo sounds weird. I am confusion, confusion defines me o.o


Porcelain Rose

Porcelain Rose

玫瑰瓷
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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