Elementary Novels

The Railway Crossing by John Escott

Dunstan was planning a murder. A man was standing at the train station. There were thick trees around. Trains often passed there; it was very noisy. Dunstan’s house was not far away hidden behind the trees. The whole setting was very comfortable. The man himself was very nervous. He could not sleep so he had to use drugs. Some blackmail did not let him live in peace. But it would be over soon. Dunstan was going to kill his offender. This whole story began a few years earlier. The man worked for a big company. He had enough money, although he was not rich. He loved a beautiful girl and wanted to marry her. But Dunstan did not have enough money to pay for the wedding, and he stole it from the company: he changed a few numbers in the forms and became the owner of thousands of pounds. This was the starting point.

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The Railway Crossing by John Escott

Dunstan Thwaite looked at the railway crossing and decided that it was time for John Dunn to die. It was a very suitable place for a murder. There were trees all around, and they hid the trains which came so fast along the railway line. The nearest house was Thwaite’s own, and this was also hidden by the trees. People and traffic did not use the crossing very often, and the big gates were kept locked. There was a small gate used by passengers going to the station, but at night it was always quiet.

The Railway Crossing by John Escott

Thwaite was a worried man. He had to use sleeping powders to help him sleep. But after tonight, things were going to be different. The time had come to stop the blackmail. The time had come for John Dunn to die.

It all began five years earlier…

Thwaite worked in the offices of a large company, and his only money was the money that the company paid him. It was not much, but it was enough. Then he met the beautiful Miss Hilda Lorraine and asked her to marry him.

She came from an important family who were supposed to be very rich, but in fact they had less money than Thwaite had thought. He learned that he would have to pay for the wedding himself. And he did not have enough money for the expensive kind of wedding that Miss Lorraine wanted. So Thwaite stole a thousand pounds, by changing the figures in the company’s books. He planned to put the money back after he was married, but someone discovered that it was missing.

Thwaite kept quiet. Another man was thought to be the thief, and he lost his job. Thwaite still said nothing.

But John Dunn worked in the same office. He worked closely with Thwaite and guessed Thwaite’s crime. He searched through the company’s books until he found what he was looking for. Then he went to Thwaite.

‘Sorry to have to ask you, Mr Thwaite,’ he said. ‘I need a hundred pounds… for my son. He’s in a bit of trouble, you see…’

‘But you don’t have a son,’ said Thwaite.

Dunn just smiled. It wasn’t a very nice smile. ‘A hundred pounds,’ he said again.

And then Thwaite knew that he was being blackmailed…

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