The knife hit the ground with a clang.
"Well, that just wraps up this case, eh, detective?"
The man in the mask laughed. I picked up the knife and threw it.
He sidestepped the blow easily as his armed goons lowered their weapons.
"Let's be a little more careful now, detective. We wouldn't want anything to happen to Alice now, would we?"
He paused as he glanced pointedly at the woman, who was sobbing gently behind me.
"Before the police get here, I believe it might be good to let you know just who I am. I do believe we've met, but we were never very..."
He paused in thought, as if thinking what the next word would be.
The face mask dropped silently to the floor, as the man slid his hood back. Standing before me was a tall form I had seen so many times before.
He laughed. "Of course. I believe you must be quite confused at this point, but you must have some idea. You put me out of business, George. You have jailed and killed so many of my customers I have no more income. But I knew there was one thing I could do. I ransacked the girl's apartment as a favor to a friend of mine."
He smiled down at the body tied to the pole in the ground.
"I knew you would get the case, George. You were the only detective in these parts, and the police are so unreliable in little cases like these. So I planted the cocaine, knowing you would come to talk to me. I let you think that you extracted the information that I didn't want to give you, but I was happy to give it to you all along."
"I sent some goons after you to make you come back to see me. I never intended them to be any threat to you, but in the unlikely event that they were, I was standing with a sniper rifle on the building across the street, looking in your window. You can't imagine how worried I was when Alice here got in the way of my shot. If you died, the plan would be ruined. The goons would be traced back to me by the police. You can't imagine how relieved I was when Alice did my job for me and killed the one threatening you."
"So you came to see me and I caught you. Alice was so gullible."
He looked at her. "Your sister is dead, I'm sorry to say. We had to kill her so if you called her no one would answer."
Alice broke into a fresh cycle of sobbing now, much louder then before. He walked over to me, taking the gun out of my pocket.
"I was counting on you bringing your revolver like you normally did, but you brought your shotgun. I spent a lot of time looking for this gun. Your apartments wreck. But I guess that's just how criminals live."
He took out a bullet and placed it in the magnum, spinning the chamber around so it would fire.
"So now you know the story. I had to give you the magnum because it was the only thing you could open the door with. Leaving the door unlocked would not give us enough time to prepare ourselves for what would need to happen next. We chased you into this room, and I knew you would kill John here, thinking it was whoever was talking. But as a great mastermind, I needed to think of one more thing. Why would you kill John? What reason would you have?"
He looked back at Alice.
"You were cheated on. Your lover, Alice over there, cheated on you with John. So you tied him up and killed him."
He raised the revolver and fired before I could do anything to stop him.
Alice never even had a chance to scream. She hit the floor, dead, a bullet hole in her chest.
"But you were also mad at Alice for cheating, so you killed her, too. How very cruel of you."
He looked around at the carnage he had created.
"The police will be here soon, detective. I must be going."
He tossed the gun to me and walked out of the room.
The lock made a clicking sound.