This is the concluding part of the Detective Nag story – The Man with the scar. You can read Part 1 here – The Man with the scar – A Detective Nag story: A Robbery and a clue and Part 2 – The Man with the scar – A Detective Nag story: A Stroke of luck and an Arrest
The Chief was not disposed at first to grant the rather unusual request, but seeing that the man was obdurate, and getting a nod of assent from Detective Nag he yielded.
Shetty advanced, put his key in the irons, and opened them. As they slipped from the man’s hands, he caught Shetty by the wrists in a vise-like grasp, wrenched away the handcuffs and before any of the dumfounded officers could spring to their superior’s help, clasped them on the surprised Captain with the dexterity of a veteran.
The men in the office were petrified. The Chief, the officers, the prisoners all sat staring, open-eyed, open-mouthed, amazed. The perpetrator of the deed himself was the only smiling, self-possessed man in the assemblage. But finally the spell was broken, and two officers sprang at the man of nerve. They came on, evidently expecting herculean resistance, but when they met with none, they looked foolishly at each other, then at their captive, and finally turned their eyes questioningly at the Chief who had regained his composure.
He now addressed the man. “What does this mean, sir?”
“I charge this man with complicity in the recent bank robbery, ten other big robberies, and murder,” he said, calmly pointing to Captain Shetty. The latter who seemed to have been struck dumb at the first surprise, now started, turned scarlet, then white, opened his lips to speak, and then sank with a moan into a chair, and covered his face with his hands.
It was an evening of surprises. The inexplicable turn events had taken, the apparent absurdity of it all, had dismayed and astonished everyone, everyone except Detective Nag, who slowly began to see the light. He smilingly advanced with outstretched hand.
“Well, well, Tanmay, let me congratulate you,” he said heartily.
“Thanks, Lalith, sorry to cause you all this trouble,” responded Mr. Tanmay Tiwari, the most brilliant and daring detective in the region. Then he advanced to the Chief.
“If it is your pleasure, sir,” he said, “I will explain briefly the happenings here tonight.”
The Chief nodded his desire and the detective began:
“A month ago I was sent for by a high official of this city, whose name is withheld by request. From some vague reports that had accidentally come his way, he suspected Captain Shetty of intimacy with a gang of clever thieves. He commissioned me to make a thorough investigation. I assumed a disguise, and after much trouble succeeded in getting into the good graces of a gang of thieves, the greater part of whom is now in the hands of the law. It was no easy matter but by dint of exhibiting my physical powers, and a great deal of boasting, I managed to be taken into their confidence. Then my work was fairly easy as I was constantly advised of the actions of every man in the gang. The crimes of these men for the past year or so were all told me, and I have a memorandum of nearly all the big burglaries of the past twelve months which were never cleared up. After I had completely gained the men’s confidence, they made it known to me that they were able to commit their deeds with such ease through the protection of a friend in police circles, who planned the robberies and then arranged the patrolman’s beats, so that they could not interfere. A week before the recently attempted bank robbery, this official came in the dead of the night to arrange the job. This was the first time I had seen him. The men called him Subbu, but,” here Tiwari lowered his voice, “the man was Captain Shetty.”
A low moan from Shetty interrupted the detective’s story. After a pause he proceeded.
“I was introduced and seemed to make a favorable impression as the entire job was left to my management. Shetty arranged all the details, furnished the necessaries and gave the final instructions. On the night of the affair I was perplexed. To feign sickness would hardly have been compatible with the stand I had taken, and to refuse to lead the men in the work, would have ruined my chances of gathering further information. So for the moment I had to play the thief.
Our work was progressing rapidly when we were surprised by the officers. How Shetty came to be the leader of the party I am even now unable to explain. My men too, were surprised, and that they did not let Shetty’s complicity escape them in their anger at his apparent treachery is also a mystery. Shetty resisted me only enough to keep up appearances and told me himself to give him the blow on the jaw and escape. Then I went back to the den, roared and raged at our bad luck, and was soothed and comforted by my ‘pals.’
And so we have lain low for the past few days, and have gone out but little. How your officers trailed us down is something I would like to have you explain. As for my story I guess you’ve heard all that’s important.”
“A very neat piece of work,” commented the Chief as Shetty and his associates were led below. “Poor Shetty! Well, you never can tell.”