I flew into the Hall after I heard the screams. Standing near the front door, still screaming, was Mrs. Danthorpe, my maid.
"Calm down, Mrs. Danthorpe," I said, touching her shoulder. The touch of my hand caused her to faint. Calmly stepping around her, I pulled the door open to see my old friend Mr. Jefferson, standing at the door, his pistol drawn.
"What is the meaning of this, Jones?" he demanded, waving the gun in the air. I held up my hands as though to defend myself. "Jefferson, it's just the door bell," I stammered, my eyes not leaving his weapon. Jefferson arched his eyebrow in interest. "I don't believe you," he said. "Someone took a shot at me and I'd like to know who."
"I'm telling you that it's the doorbell," I repeated. "Go on, give it another push."
With the barrel of his pistol still pointed at me, Jefferson stuck one chubby finger on the door bell button.
Jefferson jumped. "Is this some kind of joke, Jones?" he asked, sticking the gun inside his jacket pocket. "Not at all," I replied, closing the door. "I was just sick of the same old 'Ding Dong' that I wanted to try something different. This sounded fun in the store. Besides, it may scare off any potential thieves."
"Yes, this weekend I'm hosting the Diamond Bonanza."
Mr. Jefferson arched an eyebrow. "As in the largest diamond show in the world?" I nodded, smiling.
Mrs. Danthorpe began to stir. Reaching down for her, I helped her to her feet. She was a little shaky but otherwise unharmed.
Jefferson stepped over my fainted body. "It's just the door bell," he quipped as he pulled the door open.
Standing before him was Mrs. Withering, another one of my famed guests. Just like Jefferson, she too had her pistol drawn at the ready.
"Don't worry, Mrs. Withering, it's only the door bell," Mr. Jefferson said, extending his hand to her, helping her step over my fainted body. "How rude," sniffed Mrs. Withering. She nudged me with her toe so I rolled over onto my back. "A proper door bell consists of a 'Ding' and a 'Dong'."
Mrs. Danthorpe nodded her head, fanning her face as she lent against the small table. She was admiring the diamond that sparkled on Mrs. Withering's left hand. "My, that is an impressive diamond" she asked casually.
"It's rude to state something like that. But as a matter of fact, it is impressive. It is a flawless emerald cut, 1.30 carats." Mr. Jefferson licked his lips, his eyes lighting up with dollar signs. "Say, that's a pretty looking hunk of rock. How much would you say that it's worth?"
Mrs. Withering stared down her nose at him. He was a brute, completely uncouth. "About eighteen thousand. Maybe more."
Mr. Jefferson looked at Mrs. Withering before sharing a glance with Mrs. Danthorpe.
I opened my eyes, the light from my Hall chandelier blinding me temporarily. I stood up, rubbing my eyes, blinking rapidly.
"Just the door," I muttered, pulling it open.
Standing before me was the beautiful Miss Valmont. Her long blond hair was perfectly straight and her hand was poised in a fist in the air. She had a startled expression on her face.
"Ah, Miss Valmont, did my new door bell scare you?"
"Door bell?" she questioned, tilting her head. "I didn't press the door bell. I was just about to knock."
I froze. "If you didn't press the door bell then what was - " I turned around to see Mrs. Withering lying at my feet dead.
WHO KILLED MRS. WITHERING?