The Blue Idol
Lorde Glinter, um milionário colecionador de obras de arte, resolve dar uma festa para apresentar ao público sua mais recente e valiosa aquisição. Com medo de ladrões, convida o detetive Harry Lynx para protegê-la. Não imaginava, porém, que seu convidado fosse tão competente.
Hello. I’m Harry Lynx, private detective. That’s a good name. You see, I never miss a detail. Why don’t you come with me and see how I work? It’s going to be fun.
Right now, I’m going to a party at Lord Glinter’s mansion. Lord Glinter is a famous millionaire. He collects works of art, a very expensive hobby. People say he’s not very rich now.
Well, he’s giving this party tonight to show his latest acquisition. It’s a precious statuette from India, the “Blue Idol”. But Lord Glinter is afraid of thieves. He wants me to be there to protect the statuette.
When I arrive, the millionaire comes to greet me, a smile on his face. He’s an old man, and he walks with the help of a stick.
“Detective Lynx! I’m so glad you’re here! Now I feel perfectly safe.”
We are in large room decorated in oriental style. The Blue Idol is inside a glass box, in the middle of the room. Lord Glinter’s guests are looking at the statuette with admiration.
-Hmm… but it’s so small!
-Don’t say that, Mr. Lynx. It’s priceless!
Lord Glinter introduces me to an archeologist, Mrs. Sands, and to the consul of India, Mr. Bharat.
“There is an interesting story about the Idol,” Mrs. Sands says. “They say it brings bad luck to his owner.”
“I don’t believe in these silly things,” Lord Glinter says.
“They’re not silly,” the consul says. India is a magic country. That’s why everybody wants our treasures.”
“In my opinion, Lord Glinter is very lucky,” says a little man near me. “The Bleu Idol is fantastic!”
I know who the little man is. His name is Joe Cappuccino, a famous art collector. He and Lord Glinter are great rivals.
“You see, Cappuccino, my friend, I always win,” says Lord Glinter. “But look! It’s show time!”
At this moment, exotic music begins to play, and a beautiful young dancer comes into the room, performing a typical Indian dance.
Everybody is having fun, but I can feel something strange in the air. And I’m right. Suddenly, the lights go out. We’re in the dark, and we don’t know what’s happening. Then we hear a noise, and a terrible scream fills the air. Somebody falls down.
Then I have a brilliant idea. I light a match. We all see the young dancer on the floor. There’s a broken wine bottle by her side.
Lord Glinter seems to be nervous, but, but he tries to have the situation under control.
“A doctor! Quick! And James, turn on the lights!”
James, the butler, is near the electric switch. He turns on the lights. Then we all hear Lord Glinter’s shout.
“Oh, my God, no!”
He is looking at the glass box. It’s broken and empty.
“Where is the idol? My precious Blue Idol?!”
Well, it’s time for me to get into action. I start my investigation by examining some pieces of glass. And I’m lucky. I immediately find a clue, something I put in my pocket. Nobody notices it, they’re all busy.
The dancer is on her feet again. The doctor says she’s lucky. After a bottle blow on her head, all she has is headache.
“I have a terrible headache,” she says. “Can I go home now?” she asks Lord Glinter.
“Yes, of course,” says Lord Glinter with a sad expression. “You can all go now. The party is over.”
But I have something to say.
“No, Lord Glinter. No one leaves this room. The criminal is still here.”
“Are you sure? Who is it, then?”
“Well… I have some suspects…”
-Mr. Cappuccino is one of them. Maybe he wants the idol for himself.
-That’s a lie!
-Then we have the consul of India. He believes the idol belongs of his country.
-Oh yes, but I’m not a thief!
- And Mrs. Sands, too. She loves old things.
“I propose we go back to the moment of the crime, “I say. “What happens when the lights go out? Someone breaks a bottle of wine. At the same time, the criminal breaks the glass box. The noise is the same! He steals the statuette. Nobody notices that, because that’s when the dancer screams. Still in the dark, he criminal has plenty of time to hide the Blue Idol and join the others. Clever, very clever…”
“But who attacks the dancer?”
“Nobody. It’s just a trick. In the dark, the girl breaks the bottle, screams, and makes believe she’s hurt.”
“Is she the criminal, then?”
“No. She’s just an accomplice. The criminal is…” and then I make a pause. I like suspense. “The criminal is Lord Glinter!”
Everybody is astonished, except Lord Glinter. He’s furious!
“What?! Are you crazy? The Blue Idol is mine! I don’t have to steal it!”
“Well, everything is possible when you are in desperate need of money. Insurance companies know all about those tricks…”
“But you can’t prove that!”
“Oh yes, I can. Look at this!” and at point I take a piece of wood out of my pocket.
“A piece of wood, Lord Glinter. From your stick. I’m going to remind you of some details. When you break the glass box with your stick, you are not very careful, and you break your stick, too. See? The fragment fits.”
Lord Glinter’s face is as white as his hair now. He has no way out.
“Very well. Then you know everything. But don’t you try to follow me!”
The old man begins to run. But he slips on a piece of glass and he falls down. Now it is easy for me to tie his hands together. Then I call the police. They say the idol brings bad luck. That certainly seems to be true!
Inspector Crossfire and his men arrive, and they take charge of the situation. Before we leave, Mr. Cappuccino has a question.
“There’s something I can’t understand, detective. Where’s the idol?”
“Well,” I say with a smile. “Cherchez la femme*, as they say in France.”
Then I walk over to the Indian dancer. I remove her strange hat, and there it is: the Blue Idol. The statuette is inside the girl’s turban.
Midnight. In front of the police station, my old friend Inspector Crossfire shakes hands with me.
“Congratulations, Lynx. You’re brilliant!”
“Thank you. You know, I never miss a detail, but… oops! I have to run!”
“Well, I never miss a detail… but sometimes I miss my bus. Goodbye!”
*Procurem a mulher
A LITTLE HELP
To arrive: chegar
Bad luck: azar
To belong: pertencer
Below: golpe, pancada
Clever: inteligente, brilhante
To collect: colecionar
Dark: escuro, escuridão
Electric switch: interruptor
To fill: encher
To fit: servir
To follow: seguir
To go out: apagar-se
To greet: saudar, cumprimentar
Headache: dor de cabeça
To hide: esconder
To hit: bater, atingir
To introduce: apresentar
To join: juntar-se a
Latest: mais recente
To leave: deixar, partir
To light a match: acender um fósforo
To make believe? Fingir, fazer de conta
To miss: perder
To move: mover
To notice: notar
Oops!: epa!; Interj. De surpresa
To perform: executar
Plenty of: bastante
To propose: propor
To remind: fazer lembrar