I measured the piano wire and then I measured the staircase. A piano wire would be long enough. Then I lite a lamp. Then I felt where the cold spot was. It was positively icy. Then I knelt down and peered very carefully along the wood of the wall and the wood that anchored the bannisters. On each side, exactly across the step, I saw and felt two tiny holes where two screws had been screwed. Standing up on the icy step I could imagine how it happened. The murder.
The second wife was coming down the stairs. Why? Night. It had to be night. Someone rang the doorbell. She would be flustered, she would only have a candle. She would be coming down the stairs to see who is ringing the doorbell. In the darkness she would not see the piano wire strung across the step. When her foot reached the piano wire it would trip her up and she would miss a step and stagger and then fall headlong down the stairs to the lower floor. ‘Help me! Oh Help me!’ the ghostly voice said softly. ‘Help me’. She was the mistress and later the second wife and the Jasmine perfume, more expensive, was probably a gift from the lover husband. Philandering husbands always give their lovers more expensive gifts than their wives. Then I entered the drawing room and played scales on the piano accenting the missing note of the missing piano wire.
So that is what happened to wife number two. What happened to wife number one? I went upstairs to the attic and searched the piles of junk. I had noticed two large steamer trunks. I forced them open and found them full of clothes. A woman’s clothes. The same size and style. I sniffed. Rose. Then I found the many lavish rose potpourri sachets of every type that had been tossed into the trunks along with the clothes and toiletries and hair brushes and ribbons and silk hose and shoes and hats. I found the toiletry case and opened it. There it was: rose water cologne. Wife Number One.
Maeve, and Mary, Alex, and I dragged the two steamer trunks downstairs to the drawing room. I wanted that bastard to know I knew exactly how he did each murder. It made a huge amount of noise but I did not care. It was about time the ghost was disturbed by our noise. Mother came out of the parlor and stared. “Mother. Go back in your parlor and pray.” She saw the open sliding doors into the drawing room and she abruptly retreated into her parlor and shut the doors leaving us to handle things all by ourselves.
I opened the trunks and left them to accuse the guilty. Then I commence the hunt. Where did he put the body? Where would I put a body? I picked up a shovel from the scullery and went out into the tiny walled in yard where the latrine was located as well as the tiny patch of dirt covered by some sickly bushes and some paving stones. Maeve had planted lucky clay gnomes all over the place as if instinctively warding off evil. I had felt the evil too but you don’t expect evil to smell of phantom roses. I could smell it. Rose. I yanked up the paving stones. Fortunately I was becoming quite strong. Alex and Mary helped me as Willie and Charlie watched from the upper window of the nursery. Then I started digging as Maeve clutched all of her lucky charms and recited every magic spell to fend off evil she knew. After one half hour of furious digging I found her. I sent Maeve off to fetch the police. They finished unearthing her skeleton. The gold wedding ring was still on one bony finger.