Sherlock Miller Investigates – Man In Elevator Pt4

Margret Rice and Sherlock Miller cross the street from Rita’s Diner. They turn right and walk to the next corner when Margret turns to Sherlock. “Why didn’t you just tell Captain McGregor we weren’t sleeping together?”

“That would be a lie and I don’t lie.”

“You said, ‘We will limit our activities…’ That implies we have been sleeping together.”

“To be exact, we don’t sleep together. When we have sex, you get up and leave.”

“Yes, for good reason. After we have sex, you go to sleep and snore. Your snoring is so irritating, I can’t bear to be in the same room with you.”

“So, in all truthfulness, we are not sleeping together.”

“Technically Sherlock. Let’s get down to business. Carlos’s tent should be in the park up here on the left.”

A Hispanic male with a dark tan sits in a lawn chair, among several dome shaped tents. Carlos notices Sherlock Miller and Detective Margret Rice approaching. He stands up and walks toward them. “Mister Miller, I had heard you are back in our city.”

Sherlock reaches out to shake Carlos’s hand. Carlos pushes it aside and gives Sherlock a hug. Sherlock stiffens. “Okay, I am glad to see you, too.” Sherlock said.

Margret Rice steps back, observing the two with a smile.

“Mister Miller, since you here with Detective Rice, I take you have some work for me?”

“That is correct. What I need from you and your associates needs to be done within the next twenty-four hours.”

“It is such a nice day. Let’s go to a place to sit and talk.” Carlos directs to a section of the park with several picnic tables.

The three sit around a picnic table under a large white oak. Carlos sits opposite Sherlock and Margret Rice. Over the next hour, they tell Carlos about what has happened and what they believe will occur in the next couple of days.

Carlos asks, “Mister Miller, what do you want me and my friends to do?”

“We need your associates to spread out across the city to find any middle-aged couples who came to Portland in the last thirty-six hours. They most likely be staying in a hotel on the third floor. As soon as you find them, report back to me. I will be at The Kenworth.”

“I will get right on it, Mister Miller.” Carlos immediately gets up and heads back to the tent city.

Turning to Margret, Sherlock states, “Let’s go back to my hotel room. Bring your laptop. We have some research to do.”

Five hours have passed when a knock is heard on room 210 of The Kenworth. Sherlock Miller opens the door. “Good to see you, Carlos. Did you find the couple I am looking for?”

“Mister Miller, are you testing me with this assignment?”

“No, my dear man. Detective Rice and I are looking to stop the death of another individual by the hands of this couple who we suspect to be serial killers.”

Carlos swallows hard. “Mister Miller, the only couple who fits the description of the couple you are looking to find is staying on the floor above you in room 306.”

Hearing what Carlos had just said, Sherlock grabs him by the arm and pulls him into the room and shuts the door. Sherlock sits Carlos at the table between him and Detective Rice. “Give me the details of how you come to believe this couple we are looking to find happens to be staying on the floor above us.”

Carlos takes up the next half hour explaining the process he and his group of unhoused persons followed. “After not finding any couple fitting your description, I stopped by the desk clerk down below. I expressed my frustration to him about not finding the couple. That was when the desk clerk told me, A couple fitting that description checked in here three hours before you, Mister Miller. Two things about what the desk clerk said concern me.”

“What was that, Carlos?”

“The couple checked in as Mister and Mrs. Smith. They even presented IDs to match at check in.”

“Sherlock taps his fingertips together and asks, “What is the second thing?”

“They are due to check out tomorrow.”

“Carlos, by any chance, did you ask the desk clerk if there are any other notable guests staying here besides myself?”

“Yes, I did, Mister Miller.” Carlos’s pearly white showed with a big smile. “The owner of the pot dispensary located around the corner happens to be renting a room down the hall in room 206. The desk clerk said the guy likes to be close to his work.”

“By any chance, did the desk clerk say anything about the couple in 306 requesting that room?”

“Yes, they did Mister Miller. Strange thing about that. The couple made a reservation for that room a month ago.”

Sherlock Miller turns to Detective Rice. “Hurry, I need you to intercept the dispensary owner before he goes to his room.”

Turning to Carlos, “I will need for you to retrieve for me a gas mask, a wig with the same color as the owner’s hair and clothes similar to what the owner wears.”

“What do you have in mind of doing?” Detective Rice asks.

“One more thing, I need you to get me a key card that opens room 206. I need both of you to be back here before the dispensary closes.”

At three o’clock in the early morning hours, a key card opens to room 206. Two figures wearing gas masks walk into the room and close the door.

On the bed, face down, a long hair figure appears to be passed out. A male voice is heard, “We must act fast before he wakes up.”

The figure on the bed turns over, removing his gas mask. “The gas you put into the room didn’t work on me and my little friend,” Sherlock said, waving the gas mask.

The shorter of the two figures pulls out a 22-caliber revolver with a suppressor attached. Pointing it at Sherlock Miller. Sherlock Miller extends his right hand. His extended fingers close to a fist. The intruder’s gun hand cramps, and the revolver falls to the floor.

Sherlock looks to the adjoining room door. “Detective Rice, you can come in now and arrest our contract killers.”

Detective Rice motions to the two uniform officers behind her to take into custody the two. “Why did you call them contract killers and not serial killers?”

“My dear Margret, think about the planning. You will find the revolver and other materials needed for them to fulfill their contracts were purchased in the city of the specific killing. Thus, not risking being caught with any of the tools of their trade while traveling.”

“Who would hire this couple? It couldn’t of have been an individual.”

“Stop and think about it, Detective Rice. They have been going from one major city to the next, killing off legitimate dealers in marijuana. Considering the money and resources it takes to travel from one location to the next mean they had to have sustainable financial backing. The only resource that could offer such financial backing would be from a drug cartel wanting to eliminate any legal sale of marijuana. The legalization of marijuana has cut into the drug cartel’s profits. Thus, the drug cartels hired these contract killers to eliminate the competition.”

“How did they find which victims to target and subdue them so easily?”

“Because most banks won’t accept monies from marijuana sales to be deposited on their bank. However, certain privately owned hotels have a large cash business. These dealers in the legal marijuana trade use their cash proceeds to live in hotels like this one.”

“How did you figure out how this couple would subdue their victims?”

“Trace amounts of sevoflurane in previous victims told me they use this well-known anesthetic because it’s availability in most all hospitals.”

“But how did they administer it?” Detective Rice asks, dumbfounded over Sherlock’s explanation.

“Our contract killers would first drill a tiny hole above our victims’ bed, then pump just enough sevoflurane into the victim’s room to knock them out. In certain circles, they refer to sevoflurane as knock out gas. After a certain amount of time, they would enter the room and fulfill the contract they were given.”

“Wouldn’t the knockout gas affect other rooms in the hotel?”

“If the guests in the adjacent rooms happened to get any of the gas, they would attribute it to the good nights’ rest and a plus for the hotel.”

As Detective Rice heads out of room 206, she turns, pauses, and sheepishly looks at the floor. “I take it you will head back to Boise in the morning?”

“I have made a commitment to stay another two days. I want to make sure you don’t have any other mysteries for me to solve.” Sherlock Miller smiled while walking past Margret and out of room 206 and over to 210.