At 7:00 A.M., two hours before the Orient Express was due to arrive in Milan

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At 7:00 A.M., two hours before the Orient Express was due to arrive in Milan

Post by heroisthai on Fri Nov 11, 2011 8:36 am

At 7:00 A.M., two hours before the Orient Express was due to arrive in Milan, a series of piercing screams rang out. They came from Cabin E 70, and they awakened the entire car. Passengers poked their heads out of their cabins to see what was happening. A conductor came hurrying along the car and entered E 70.

Silvana Luadi was in hysterics. "Aiuto! Help!" she screamed. "All my jewelry is gone! This miserable train is full of ladri--- thieves!"

"Please calm down, madame," the conductor begged. "The other---"

"Calm down!" Her voice went up an octave. "How dare you tell me to calm down, stupido maiale! Someone has stolen more than a million dollars' worth of my jewels!"

"How could this have happened?" Alberto Fornati demanded. "The door was locked--- and Fornati is a light sleeper. If anyone had entered, I would have awakened instantly."

The conductor sighed. He knew only too well how it had happened, because it had happened before. During the night someone had crept down the corridor and sprayed a syringe full of ether through the keyhole. The locks would have been child's play for someone who knew what he was doing. The thief would have closed the door behind him, looted the room, and, having taken what he wanted, quietly crept back to his compartment while his victims were still unconscious. But there was one thing about this burglary that was different from the others. In the past the thefts had not been discovered until after the train had reached its destination, so the thieves had had a chance to escape. This was a different situation. No one had disembarked since the robbery, which meant that the jewelry still had to be on board.

"Don't worry," the conductor promised the Fornatis. "You'll get your jewels back. The thief is still on this train."

He hurried forward to telephone the police in Milan.

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