All the guests and hosts in the Queen Victoria sat down to eat, just past sunset. The yacht was so big it had a decent sized dining room, enough for all twelve guests. As people sat down, they greeted Johann Ronson, the owner and part-time captain of the vessel. He was the magnate that had bought the boat and had invited his closest friends to wander the Egean Sea with him for a week.
The main course, served after a shrimp cocktail and a couple of glasses of champagne, was king crab. It was fresh and only served with a butter sauce and a special fork to eat it. Everyone enjoyed thoroughly. A lot of crab, of wine and champagne and a lot of conversation. Even millionaires would start talking a little bit too much after such a meal.
It was a certain English lady that spilled the fact that her husband had made many stupid investments over the years and now they had absolutely nothing. Those who weren’t as drunk as her had heard it perfectly and had made a mental note never to deal with the woman or her family again.
Late at night, everyone went to bed. They were all full and tired. Only the captain stayed behind in the dining room, drinking and coursing the day he had bought the boat. The reality was that he needed somewhere to go, to escape from all the responsibilities he had with his family and numerous investors in his company. He felt so much money didn’t gave him as much privilege as he would have wanted.
He felt asleep right there and, for a good time, the ship was silent, anchored near a rock formation were a large amount of seagulls nested. It wasn’t until the next day, early, when a scream woke everyone up.
It came from one of the rooms in the stern. As people got near, they could distinguish that the voice that screamed was the one of a woman. Actually, everyone knew who was screaming. They found her on the bed, looking at her side. The scene was simply too much for anyone.
The lady that had no inheritance finally fainted, just besides her husband who was covered in blood from legs to neck, where he had been cut with a knife or something.
A couple of woman, helped by the staff of the boat, took Lady Emerson, the now poor and widowed woman, out of the room and into another one, until she woke up. When she did, she looked as if she had lost her mind, babbling nonsense and trembling uncontrollably.
The men passengers check Lord Emerson’s body, as the crew had been ordered by the captain to call the police but not to move the boat from its current location. He told them that if a crime, and that seemed to be the case, had been committed on board, they should call the police and wait right there to avoid the killer to escape.
But what was done had no way to be undone. They covered the body with a large blanket and waited for the police, who had been called on the radio. Lunch was served, as normal, but no one was really in the mood for sea bass. A dead body was only rooms away and it may prove insensitive to eat, as a murder had been committed.
The police finally arrived late in the afternoon. They had sent a translator with them and the inspector that had been sent with them was half American, so he had a way to talk to everyone in the boat.
The first thing they did was to get the body out of the yacht, as the smell was beginning to take a toll on the people in the nearest rooms. A young girl had already vomited profusely overboard, leaving the Greek waters a little bit more polluted than they were before.
The room were the crime was committing was closed and checked thoroughly all night. When it got too late, two officers were left there to protect the place from been contaminated. Before leaving, the inspector said he was sure he would find the murderer as he or she was still on the boat.
When he said that, everyone realized it was true. It was silly, but everyone had treated the murder as a natural death or something of sorts. But no, Lord Emerson had been killed when one of the passengers had slit his throat from behind, assuring he would not yell and no one would hear anything.
At breakfast, the next day, the Captain had to order the kitchen staff to serve everyone in their rooms, which was exceptionally annoying as breakfast was a buffet. So now, they had to go room by room to ask what people wanted and then bring it to them. In the kitchens there was also the discussion: “What if were serving the murderer”? To answer that, a boy who cleaned the bathroom only said “We’re all working for a killer right now”. Everyone laughed but it was certainly not funny.
The police came back during breakfast to commence the sweeping of the place of the crime and they found the sheets full of blood, the seal of a bottle of wine that had slipped beneath the bed and a stain near the back side of the bed, where there was a window.
When they finished, the captain was told his ship would be escorted back to Rhodes, where they had the equipment to do a full search on the yacht. Mr. Ronson was sad and even depressed but he had to accept if he wanted all of it to end soon. So by sunset, they were already in the island. To ensure the investigation, they were all put under “house arrest” in a hotel by the police station.
All the passengers were rich and had more interesting things to do than waiting for a murder investigation to finish. They had only reserved a week to travel to Greece to spend some time with old Ronson, because he was wealthier than any of them could ever be. If they ever ran into financial distress, it would be him who could be able to save them from it.
Ronson was known worldwide because of helping people that needed him: saving companies from bankruptcy, hiring the best lawyers, paying mortgages… The man was the savior of the rich, or so he was called in many economic magazines that praised and despised him, all at the same time.
The police told Mr. Ronson, that his boat was not going to be dismantled as the crime didn’t seemed planed or that structured but that they did need to search every single inch of it, as the be sure of what the investigation was pointing to.
So all the crew and passengers had to spend one more week in Rhodes, trapped in a fancy hotel, waiting for the results of the probe. The crew was especially happy as they didn’t have to work any more and they were the ones being treated to beautiful restaurants, an elegant swimming pool and all the drinks they could handle.
The wealthier guests almost always remained in their room, already trying to book flights or boats out of the damn island for the day they had been promised to be released. To be honest, they were looking forward more holidays and sunny locations, but away from all the fuss and annoying aspect of a murder.
The truth was none of them really cared about someone being killed just doors away from their rooms. They didn’t mind at all. What made them grind their gears, was the fact they couldn’t keep behaving as they always did and as what they were: rich spoiled brats who needed to be able to do whatever they wanted, even if they had no intention of doing anything.
Happily for them, not as much for the members of the crew, the boat was released on the promised date. However, they were all summoned to be present in the press conference were the murderer would be announced, as the evidence against that person was irrefutable.
The police babbled even more than most of the rich passenger of the yacht but, when it finally got to it, it was revealed Lady Emerson had been found guilty of the crime.
According to the police, it was found that only her could have been able to enter the room and kill him, as there were no traces of anyone else doing so, not the day of the murder or before. The stain found by the bed, was left there by Lady Emerson, as she opened the window to throw the murder weapon to the ocean. Of course, the weapon was nowhere to be found.
As for the seal of the bottle of wine, the police claimed they had found the bottle on a trashcan on the kitchens. Apparently, Lady Emerson had gotten her husband drunk before killing him with a knife and then, she went insane because of what she had done.
The inspector announced Lady Emerson would pay for her crime in the Attica prison for women, near Athens, and that she would do so in the psychiatric ward of the prison, for the next twenty years. He declared they had gotten a psychiatrist to run some tests to her, all of which certified she was beyond insane, losing all grasp of reality.
The yacht went back to the sea, with only Mr. Ronson inside and a few crewmen. The rest of the passengers left for Athens or London, or other destinations in the Mediterranean.
The actual murder? He left for Cyprus and then for Israel. As it happened, an old lover of Lady Emerson had been the real killer. She thought he had married another woman to spite her but he had married her to get close to her and to his husband, who he hated for having put her through so many bad times. So he killed her with a knife and she went mad when she woke up to see his lover, arms covered in plastic, killing her husband.
Lady Emerson died, insane and in pain, in the Attica prison. She had no children or real family. Her former lover lived in Eilat for several years, until one of the many wars in the region, in which he died.