The Presentation




Copyright © 2015 Vikas Rao

All rights reserved.





To all those people who have tried to read a novel till the end and failed far too many times.

My advice to you, my friends, is to write one yourself.

It worked for me.




table=. =. |=.

p={color:#000;}. Acknowledgments
p<{color:#000;}. I
p<{color:#000;}. Chapter 10
p<{color:#000;}. Pg. 104 <>.
p>{color:#000;}. 12
p<{color:#000;}. Chapter 11
p<{color:#000;}. Pg. 118 <>.
p>{color:#000;}. 13
|<>. p<{color:#000;}. Epilogue |<>. p<{color:#000;}. Pg. 126




To say that the story is mine would be true, but to say that the book is mine would be unjustifiable.


I had always wanted to write a book but never believed in myself to start one. I have my friend and classmate, Prajit, to thank who inadvertently inspired me to start writing, who himself used to write during the classes.


I also want to thank my family and friends for their support and honest feedback. I would specially like to mention Arjun Rao who helped me a lot in editing as well as designing the cover, Murali Krishna and Shreyas Rao whose constructive feedback made this book much more transparent to readers. Thank you for the time and effort that you put into this.


Finally I would like to thank my parents for their undying love and faith in me.


All of you have played a part in turning my story into a book, a book that is not mine but ours.




There was complete silence in the room. A fly came in through the window and all heads turned towards it. As it moved past the first few benches and closer to the black board everyone’s eyes followed its path. At last something interesting had happened. Professor Norton was all too involved in his own lecture to notice the fly. He just went on speaking about that old and boring murder, “The Murder of Mr. Cardigan.” Most law schools in the country have a course called case studies which consists of a collection of various cases from around the world and this particular case is usually included. All the included cases are fairly straight forward. Students think that this system is followed with the sole intention of shattering any remaining hope they might have about reading fun and interesting cases within their curriculum.

The fly that came in through the window went out of the door. All their eyes turned towards the board again. Ravi, sitting in the third bench got envious of that fly. He knew he wasn’t alone. He looked back and Kishore’s expression showed just that. Mahesh who was sitting at the corner of the class near the window but in the same column tried to communicate with them. He too probably had a similar feeling. Neha and Ayesha were too sleepy to feel anything at all. Their position at the front row only made it worse.

After quite some time Professor Norton took his gaze off his notes and looked at the class and saw unfamiliar faces but with familiar expressions. It wasn’t his first time teaching this course and he knew that everyone was bored. He continued with his lecture anyway.

Kishore and Ravi started talking about something to kill time which seemed to have stopped moving. Mahesh finally got noticed by them and the three of them started cracking jokes and laughing but just as Ravi turned back to say something to Kishore and Mahesh, Professor Norton saw them and slammed his notes on the table. He noticed that they weren’t the only ones talking, so he told the class that he was not going to give any more lectures and all the cases were to be studied and presented in front of the class by the students. He told them to divide themselves into groups of five and to give a detailed presentation on the case allotted to them. That being said, he asked the three of them to stand up and gave them “The Murder of Mr. Cardigan” and told them to choose their remaining group members. Without much thought they looked at Neha and Ayesha who stood up simultaneously. They were happy to have gotten one of the only two criminal cases in the course.










“What if he was framed?” Asked Ravi while he played his knight in front of his queen.

“Oh please… haven’t you read anything in that report?” And check.

“Yes, but I don’t think anyone is stupid enough to do such a thing without considering the obvious outcome.”

“Now we all know one person who is, don’t we?”

“Come on, I’m serious here. Don’t any of you think it is possible? Oh, and nice move by the way on that check. Didn’t seen that coming.”

“Alright, let’s assume you are right. If someone was to frame him, he would have to have some beef with him. “

“He is a repetitive offender of the law, he probably has hundreds of enemies” interrupted Kishore.

“Let me finish.”

‘Sure, by all means continue.”

“As I was saying although he did have many enemies, was there such a person who would risk his own life for just to get his revenge?”

“Maybe there was, these kind of people are ready to do anything” said Mahesh, and it’s about time you made your next move Ravi.

Mahesh had this idea that all criminals are hard wired to ignore the humane feelings and are always plotting some or the other ways to cause misery to others.

After six whole minutes,

Bishop takes knight, pawn takes bishop and its Ravi’s turn again

“Well, here what I think happened” started Ravi –

Mr. Cardigan pulls down the windows, closes the curtains and turns on his T.V to watch the 7 pm show.

At around seven twenty three, the neighbours hear a noise which, to them, sounded like a gun shot.

10 minutes later when they went outside their door, they did not see anything suspicious.

“Nothing surprising there, which killer would wait a whole 10 minutes before leaving the murder scene?” Kishore interrupted again.

“What’s even more interesting is the time ‘seven twenty three”. It is as if they had anticipated themselves being key witnesses in the court a few days later. Tell me, what is the first thing you do when you hear something like that?”

“I don’t know, it’s kind of a spontaneous thing. “

“I am not sure about you guys but I would definitely not look at my watch, and even if I did I would not pay so much attention that I remember the minute hand being in such an odd position.”

“Looking out of their window is out of the question as there was nothing but a wall in front of it.”

“The police records say that they received a call from them at 7:45, a good 12 minutes after they felt no suspicion outside.”

“That means, they probably talked to a few others who heard the noise during that time” Neha made a clever observation.

“Now that begs the question, who among the other 3 witnesses are “others” that Mrs. Smith might have talked to” Saying this, Ravi advanced his pawn two squares pinning Ayesha’s knight and rook.

“It couldn’t possibly be the motorcyclist as he was heading home from his work on his bike when he heard some commotion. This happened around 7:15 pm if I’m not wrong.”

“Of course you aren’t wrong Mahesh, you have the case file in your hand starting right at you” Kishore bluntly pointed out.

There are two things about Kishore everyone was not fond of, one his constant interruption and two, his sarcasm. It’s not that they hadn’t expressed it, just that he wouldn’t pay any heed to it.

“It has to be the janitor of the opposite building as he saw someone running outside. Then again, he was not as sharp as Mrs. Smith to look at his watch immediately. He estimated the time to be around 7:45pm. We can conclude with almost full certainty that it was a few minutes before that and Mrs. Smith had probably talked to him and went back up to inform the police in the span of twelve minutes.”

Neha made a good argument.

However, where then, will the third witness fit in all of this? Were the doubts in their minds.

Mr. Gilbert was a friend of Mr. Cardigan. He said that they had talked on the phone precisely from 7:00 to 7:15 pm. They had an argument and a few heated words were exchanged which ended in Mr. Cardigan hanging up the phone. They had some issue about their business.





















“Clear this doubt for me, now what role does Mr. Gilbert even play in this case? He can’t even be considered a witness. All he did was coincidentally talk to the victim minutes before his death. He is at the most a probable suspect if you ask me.”

“So Mahesh, what you are trying to say is that Mr. Gilbert hanged up the phone at 7:15, and then went to Mr. Cardigan’s house 8 kilometres away and kills him within 8 minutes.”

“It doesn’t have to be 8 minutes. For all we know he might have talked to him en route. Now that gives us an extra 15 minutes and if he had started earlier he would clearly have enough time and also get an amazing alibi too. Also there is no way to prove this theory, so it makes him totally safe from being accused. “

“That’s just brilliant, how did you come up with this?” Says Neha who seemed all too amazed by this theory.

Ayesha however did not share her opinion. She countered Mahesh saying that if Mr. Gilbert really had travelled that far, he should have done so in a vehicle but the janitor had seen the killer running from the crime scene. That clearly doesn’t match.

Clearly none of them realised that there were no mobile phones during those times and talking to someone while travelling was not just impossible but also unimaginable!

“What if he had parked it somewhere nearby so that no one would notice his vehicle?” Kishore pointed out.

“Possible. But why would he want to murder him is the more important question here. And even if he did, Mr. Cardigan’s home would be the last place for it. Many people in the neighbourhood know him. Why would he risk being recognized over there? “

Anyway, let’s see what their argument was about.

Mr. Gilbert said in the hearing that they were arguing about whether or not to fire Richard Bagwell, who had recently joined their newly founded company.

He had quite a few fights with him, they were always ready to pounce to each other every chance they had. Cardigan was tired of him and told me his decision to fire him. As our company was already in a crisis, I suggested to him to wait another month or so. But he was stern on upholding his decision and told me that he couldn’t stand him any longer.

A few days earlier, Bagwell had approached me about his dissatisfaction with the boss.

“Did he use that exact word Mr. Gilbert?” the defence had asked him.

He said that that the exact words were “I swear, I will kill him if it’s the last thing I do”

“A man of his word indeed” said Kishore showing his usual behaviour.

“Unless of course he was framed.”

Ravi got back to defending his deductions just before Ayesha made her next move after a long time.

“Rather lose your rook than your knight?” Strange.

“Just make your move” she tells him.

“Now where was I?”

“Criticizing her move?”

“Very funny. I was talking about the case.”

“Mr. Gilbert also mentioned that he would ruin Cardigan but he had considered them as empty threats back then. Little did he know that Bagwell was an ex-convict.”

“I still think that it was an empty threat, who announces their plan of a murder out loud? That would be stupid even for a guy like Bagwell. He was just unlucky that coincidentally someone killed his victim just a few days after he told his plan to Mr. Gilbert.”

“Are you trying to say that Mr. Gilbert did it?”

“All I’m saying it that it is not impossible. How many times have we seen or read instances where partners become enemies and end up doing some crime like this? This very well could be one of them. Bagwell’s statements could have only helped.”

“Let’s see this from Bagwell’s point of view.

If you were in his situation and wanted to let out your anger on somebody who would you talk to about this matter?”

“Someone who hates him too” said Neha


“Now if Gilbert and Cardigan were friends and were not ireful to each other, why then would Bagwell go to Gilbert to gripe about his friend? Would he not be scared losing his job over it considering that he had recently been appointed?”

“Why do you all think it is so uncommon for a person to express his opinion to somebody? Why couldn’t it have been just a casual conversation?” Questioned Kishore

“Because one simply does not go and talk ill of his boss to his co-boss who also happens to be his close friend. That’s why Kishore, we think it is uncommon.”

Kishore was not convinced by Ravi’s answer.

“So if a student complains to the Principal about one of their teachers, does that mean he is plotting something against them? And should he or she be expelled because of that?”

“It is not the same here Kishore.”

“Of course not, but the general behaviour of people is the same.”

“Not really, in your case it is an innocent student who is angry because his teacher punishes him more that his classmates.”

“In this case, however, it is a criminal who is more than just angry at his boss.”

“You can say that now, but he was not a criminal at that time right?” Countered Kishore

“Actually he was, remember? Just that nobody knew about it.”

“Alright I’ll give you that. But even so, I still think it was just a casual conversation. And Gilbert does not seem like a person who would kill another man based on a colleague’s confessions.”

“You obviously seem to know Mr. Gilbert very well, don’t you Kishore? “

Everyone had a good laugh at Kishore’s expense.

“Mock me if you will but I’m quite sure we will rule him out as a suspect very soon.”















“Alright, listen up.”

“If Gilbert really did do it, then why would he bring up all the details about their arguments over the phone? He could very well have told them that they were chatting about a funny scene in a movie and get it over with. The argument will cast him as a probable suspect in the court right?”

“True, but maybe he just wanted to avoid getting caught lying which would make him even more a probable suspect. And it’s not like they can prove him guilty over a confessed petty argument over the phone. It was a risk worth taking.”

“Hey, when you can count a random person’s say about him hearing a commotion on the street on his way home as a testimony then even a petty argument must count!”

“I have an interesting theory” said Ayesha jumping up from her chair.

“How can we be so sure that it was Gilbert who called Cardigan and not the other way around?”

“Umm, call history?” Ravi made a sarcastic remark.

“There were no mobile phones back then. And neither Mr. Gilbert nor Mr. Cardigan had telephones which could store call history. Ergo we can’t be sure genius. However they could still find out the call duration and locations through records stored at the main offices of the service providers.”

And that made Ravi to not open his mouth for a few minutes or so.

“If that is the case Ayesha, then Gilbert might as well have hid their conversation from the police. Why bring it up and then lie about it?”

“Maybe he had another intention. What if he made the call only to make use of it later in some way?

Maybe the whole argument was just to create a backup plan or a cover up for something else.”

“Or maybe there was no argument at all! It probably was just a chat about a movie which Gilbert later told everyone as a fight between them”

“Okay. Now we are totally deviating. What happened to the ‘Not sure who called who’ theory?”

“Yes, getting back to that.”

“Let’s recall some of the facts about Mr. Cardigan.”

“From what we know, he never missed his 7:00pm show. According to Mrs. Smith, his neighbour, he was so drawn into it that he wouldn’t notice an earthquake in that half hour. He never missed one show. Why would such a man make a phone call at seven just as the show is about to start? “

“By your logic, he shouldn’t receive a phone call at that time too. Then again, receiving is more probable that making a call.”

“Either way this confirms that whoever called, it must have been important. So talking about movies is ruled out. It must have been about an issue in the office.”

“By issue you mean about Bagwell.”

“All we need to figure out now is who made the call…”

There was a silence in the room for two or three minutes and Ravi seized this opportunity to make his next move.

“Pawn takes Rook”.

“Knight takes Pawn’.

“Oh! I see what you did there. Now my bishop will have to go. Smart.”

Ravi moves his king one step avoiding the Rook and King pin only to lose his bishop the next move and also losing the option of castling.

After that long pause they went about stating each other’s theories and ruling them out one by one. Mahesh hadn’t spoken for quite a while now. Maybe he was building up a ground breaking twist to the plot or he was out of ideas.


Visit: http://www.Shakespir.com/books/view/710153 to purchase this book to continue reading. Show the author you appreciate their work!

The Presentation

You cannot change the past, but you can alter its consequence! "The Presentation", revolves around five law students who are preparing a report on an age old open and shut murder which they have to present in their class. Ravi casually suggests that the offender, Richard Bagwell, might have been framed. Each of them looks into the case with their own perspective and soon discover that there is more to the case than meets the eye. They look deeper into the case and their suspicion grows with it. The five friends come up with various interesting theories and make some mysterious discoveries. What started as a boring case report becomes a challenge to them, who imagine themselves fighting for the offender who was sentenced to death for a crime he did not commit. The story involves a combination of seriousness and humor, guile and honesty. The five of them lose themselves in a century old turn of events in search of a hidden mystery. Excerpt- Ravi heard his door opening slowly from the outside. He heard the key being removed from the knob. He hesitantly said “Who…Who is that?” His heart suddenly started beating faster as he saw him, he tried to run but his legs held him back and he started to sweat at the sight of the pistol pointing at him. He stammered some words but he knew it wouldn’t matter. The clock showed 7:20. Kishore was walking up and down the hallway. The decision was not made and the time was running out. He was tired and wanted to sleep but it was still 7:20. Neha dropped her knife when she heard a loud noise. She was scared to go out and find its source. She ran to her brother to see if he was safe. “10 more minutes” she said, “It’s 7:20”.

  • Author: Vikas Rao
  • Published: 2017-03-10 19:35:12
  • Words: 18665
The Presentation The Presentation