*Complete* Part one to Elephas. The story of a strange sickness that begins to kill elephants in captivity and in the wild. When Adilyn finds herself forced into the heart of this mystery she realizes that she might be as interested and in it for the gold as the other players.


9. Chapter 9

“Morning paper! Just $1.50! Get your paper, Murderer on the loose! Killed three elephants and a zoo keeper Saturday night at the San Diego Zoo!” Raz walked up to the young man pulled out his walet.

“Goodness, that sounds awful.” He said as he handed over the money for the paper.

“It sure was sir, all of America knows about it by now.”

“Have they caught the killer yet?”

“No sir, what I heard is that they don’t even know what he looked like!” Raz shook his head.

“Shame, what a shame. Well I hope they catch him soon, sure is unnerving to have a killer on the loose.”

“Yes sir.” Raz and Adilyn walked off, headed toward one of the casinos.

“How did you keep a straight face through that?” Adilyn asked curiously as they entered the building. Raz shrugged,

“Habit I suppose. But this here, this is where we’re going to get some real answers, I can feel it.” Adilyn could only feel her own uneasiness. She hated Vegas and the whole feeling of the city.

“How do you know Roberts spent time here?”

“We once came to Vegas together, before traveling to India. He told me this was his favorite casino.” They sat at the bar but neither ordered anything. Adilyn hopped Raz would find his evidence fast so they could get out this place. On the other side of Raz was a woman ordering ‘the usual’. Adilyn assumed she must have been a regular customer. Raz must have caught onto this too because he turned to face her, and putting on his (Get ready to fall in love) face said,

“Excuse me Darling, but I was wondering if I could ask you about someone.” She smiled and batted her eyelashes.

“Ask away, you never know, I might be able to help.”

“Have you ever heard of a man by the name of Roberts?” The woman looked away as if thinking hard.

“It's hard to say,” She said with uncertainty.

“One does meet so many people around here.” Raz set a twenty dollar bill on the table.

“Oh now I remember!” She said with new enthusiasm.

“Roberts! Thats right. Blonde fellow, average height, works at the san diego zoo? Or used to I should say, he was killed a few days ago, poor thing. Isn’t that right?” Raz nodded.

“That’s the one. What do you know about him?” The woman looked away again with the same distent expression.

“I can’t really remember, he was just another face in the crowd.” Another twenty dollar went onto the table.

“Wait, a little fizz memory is coming.” Raz set another twenty down.

“Oh yes! Roberts, I met him about a year ago, at this bar. He comes about every weekend, gambling away.”

“Is that all?” Raz asked suspiciously.

“I dunno, it might be, it might not. One does hear a lot of rumors.” Raz set a hundred dollars on top of the sixty already on the counter.

“That’s right! It’s all becoming clear now! Well I heard, that Roberts wasn’t the sharpest tool in the box, or whatever expression you want to use. He was addicted to gambling and with the job he had, there was no way he making as much as he spent. Some say he stole the money, others think he had an illegal business. But what I’ve been told, is that he borrowed it off the owner himself. Somehow he had the money, but when the fellow died, the owner decided he would take charge and find Roberts stash for himself.”

“And you know where his treasure is?” Raz pressed, but the woman laughed.

“A pleasure doing buisness with you sir, but that’s all I have to tell.” She picked up the money on the counter and her drink was set down in front of her.

“What’s the name of the ower here?”

“Mr. Brad Sans.”

“Well thank you, Miss umm,”

“Call me Isabella.” Raz nodded,

“Yes, thank you Isabella, you’ve been most helpful.”

“Sure thing honey, if you need anything else you know where to find me.” She winked, and Raz got up and left, followed by Adilyn.

“Awful places, casinos.” Adilyn nodded, grateful that they were out of there at last.

“But at least we found our first bit of real information.” They got into the car and Raz started the engine.

“Roberts was gambling away Brad Sans’ money. Now the question is, why would he gamble with someone else’s money if he had his own, and where is Mr. Sans now.”

“Where are you going to go to get answers to those?” Adilyn asked him.

“I’m not sure, but I think the next place with answers is going to be where this all started.”

“India?” Raz nodded and hit the gas as they merged onto the freeway.



Adilyn looked at the newspaper Raz hadn’t touched to pass the time of their drive from the airport, to the rundown hut where Raz had cared for Dorothy. The story came pretty close to the real event, but lacked detail since Adilyn hadn’t given them any. One part of the story was new to her however.

“After the death of the three elephants, doctors examined them and discovered that their deaths were due to a large dose of Botulinum Toxin.” Adilyn put the paper in front of Raz,

“Read this, read this!” She shouted as he began to swerve and swipe the paper out of the way.

“My gosh Darlin’ are you tryin’ to get us killed?!” He took a deep breath and looked back at the road.

“Just read what it says to me.” Adilyn reread it outloud and Raz risked a glance at her with a shocked expression on his face.

“So that’s what Roberts used to kill them then?” Adilyn nodded,

“Is that what he used to kill Dorothy?”

“I can’t remember. But we’ll find out.” They pulled up to the old hut and Raz stopped the car.

“This one’s on you.” He said, taking out the box of donuts they’d purchased earlier.

“Offer him some of these. The kid should be eight by now and sugar will soften him up. Then you need to find out if he’s ever seen Roberts before.”

“Why do I have to do it? Why can’t you?”

“He thinks I killed his elephant. I don’t think coming along would get a lot of information out of the kid, with or without donuts.” Adilyn nodded,

“Alright, fine.” She took the box of donuts and walked up to the door. But there wasn’t much of a door. The door was hanging on by one hinge. The paint was peeling off the walls, all the glass had broken from the windows, and the only way to get upstairs was a ladder rather than stairs.

“Hello?” Adilyn called out cautiously. There was a flicker of movement and then a boy fell from the ceiling onto the floor, landing on his feet. Adilyn hadn’t noticed him watching her on a board high above. She gasped when he fell in front of her. His hair was long and dark, his skin was deeply tanned. He was wearing shorts, but no shirt, and he was very dirty.

“Are you a new missionary?” The boy asked slowly in english.

“No, I’m Adilyn.” She held out the donuts cautiously as if he were a wild animal ready to attack. The boy crept forward and took the box from her. Sitting on the floor he began eating them.

“You know english?” Adilyn pointed out, though it was already obvious.

“A missionary lady teaches me. She comes a lot.” Adilyn felt bad for the boy. It was clear he was an orphan and had lived in this awful dirty hut most of his life. But he didn’t seem to mind.

“What’s your name?” Adilyn asked him.

“I don’t have a name.” The boy replied with his mouth full of donut. He swallowed, then said,

“But I’m sometimes called Ari.”

“That’s a nice name.”

“Yes, it is.” He set the box of donuts down and stared at Adilyn. They were both sitting on the floor, almost eye level.

“Why are you here?” The boy asked, tilting his head a little.

“I came to talk about your elephant, Dorothy.” Ari’s shoulders tensed and he looked angry.

“She is dead. A bad man poisoned her.” Adilyn nodded,

“I know, Ari. I’m sorry about what happened to her. My elephant died too, just a few days ago. That’s why I’m here. I’m trying to find out who poisoned our elephants.” Ari relaxed a little, but was still sad.

“He went to prison. Then he left here. It was a long time ago.”

“Yes, but I just need you to tell me about the people you saw. Before Dorothy died, did anyone come to see you?” Ari shook his head.

“No, only the doctor before she got sick. The missionary lady hadn’t come yet.”

“A doctor came before Dorothy got sick?”

“Yes, a man with blonde hair, an american. He said elephants were getting sick, and he could give Dorothy medicine that would keep her healthy. But the medicine didn’t work. Dorothy still got sick. Then the bad man came to fix her. But really he just poisoned her.” Adilyn’s heart started racing.

“The doctor, did you ever see him again?”

“Yes, he came after Dorothy died and said he was sorry that the medicine hadn’t worked. He said he could take her body away to be buried.”

“Did you let him take her?” Ari nodded,

“Yes, he took Dorothy. He buried her far away.” Adilyn put a hand on his shoulder,

“Ari, that man, the doctor, he might have killed Dorothy. Do you know what kind of poison the doctors found after she died?” Ari nodded,

“They said she had eaten a lot of Rat poison, someone had been feeding it to her.”

“Thank you Ari, you don’t know how helpful that was.” She got up to leave and Ari handed her the box of donuts,

“No, you keep it.”She said, and Ari grinned from ear to ear. Adilyn was pretty sure he had never had so much sugar to himself.

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