“Familiar? Since you find her familiar, it must be someone you know,” Natalie said. Alice nodded her head in agreement and added, “I think so too. If I am not wrong, she must be from the high-society circle. Otherwise, how could she promise such a huge sum of money?”
“From the high-society circle…” Natalie stole a glance at Shane, then continued asking, “Which of those rich ladies are you acquainted with?”
She believed if Alice could name them all and she checked on those ladies, she would be able to find the mastermind.
Actually, Natalie already had a suspect in mind.
It was Jacqueline.
Jacqueline had revealed her true colors to show that she was not the gentle girl they met in the hospital but was a she-devil instead. What happened at the stairways had sufficiently proved that she was capable of being vicious, so it was not unimaginable that she could resort to killing.
As per Natalie’s request, Alice named all the rich socialites she was acquainted with – every single one of them, regardless of how close they were to her. Natalie had to do a voice recording so she would not forget any of the names in the long list.
Shane, who was quietly watching by the side, was also memorizing the names. He planned to get Silas to look into those ladies.
Soon, Alice had finished naming the suspects, but Jacqueline was not on the list.
Natalie frowned as she contemplated on that. There were only two possibilities. It was either Alice did not know Jacqueline, or Jacqueline was not the culprit.
However, her intuition told her Jacqueline was very likely the one. Unconvinced, she asked Alice, “Are you sure that’s all? Could you have missed out on anyone?”
“Yes, that’s all. I am positive.” Alice nodded affirmatively. The circle of socialites was small, so she could not have missed out on anyone.
Natalie was disappointed.
Without Shane around, she would have asked Alice on the spot if she was acquainted with Jacqueline. But alas, she could only remind herself to find another opportunity to confirm that with Alice some other time.
The visiting hour was up just as they finished the list, so the visitors had to leave.
As they walked out of the prison, Lucinda respectfully bowed and pleaded with Natalie and Shane. “Please help my daughter and find the real culprit, Mr. and Mrs. Thompson.”
Natalie helped her up, but before she could say anything, Shane coldly remarked, “Your daughter deserves the plight that she is in now.”
Lucinda was taken aback by that piercing comment. When she came around, she started tearing.
Despite that, Natalie understood where Shane was coming from and thus did not speak up in their defense.
“Your daughter may not be the killer, but have you thought about the consequence of her agreeing to take the blame on behalf of the killer? That freed the real culprit to continue with their vicious acts. What if that person decides to kill again? You may be relieved of your debt burden, but someone could die as a result. Do you think that is justified?” Shane chided, his hands tucked in his pocket in an aggressive posture.
His speech touched Natalie, and the look in her eyes softened.
Upon that, Lucinda was weeping remorsefully. “I know that. When I realized what Alice did, I told her off as well. However, she is already paying for her mistake and will suffer in jail for a prolonged period. We are really sorry. Could you please forgive her, Mr. and Mrs. Thompson?” She gave her heartfelt apology and lowered her head in contrition.
Natalie supported her up again and assured her, “Let’s forget about it. As you said, she is already paying for her mistake, so I shall forgive her.” She could tell Alice was having a hard time in the jail as the latter was on the verge of breaking down and even had wounds on her neck; she was paying a high price for her folly.
Shane glanced at Natalie and kept quiet. Since she already said she had forgiven Alice, it would be inappropriate for him to make things difficult for the Browns.
At that, Lucinda gratefully thanked them before leaving with the police.
Natalie was about to leave as well when Shane called out to her. She obligingly got into his car but turned away to look out of the window in silence.
Shane threw a glance in her direction and pursed his lips briefly. “I will look into the investigations to find the real culprit. You stay out of the matter,” he commanded.