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The Case of his Headless Highness

The Janus Mystery Jigsaw Puzzle

"Well, that proves it" Ellery Queen was heard to mutter, as he looked at the headless body of His Royal Ex-Highness King Musaka of Zharkan, on the floor of the dingy rooming house. Inspector Jiggs, irritated enough by the baffling crime, whirled angrily.
"Proves what, mr.Queen?"
"That royal blood isn't blue," Ellery said apologetically. 
Inspector Jiggs turned to Igor, the sparrow-frail servant who had discovered the body, and asked for the third time: "Are you sure the King never admitted anyone to this room?"
"I swear, I swear! Igor said, making a sign in the air. "I was the only one his Majesty trusted, the only one he would admit. Not once has anyone but myself set foot in here!"
Ellery was making a circuit of the room, a minor excercise since it measured less than fifteen feet square. the boarded-up window made it appear even smaller. There were three doors; one led to a closet, another to a bath, the third to the front hallway. The hardware display on that door was spectacular.
"Mr.Queen!" Jiggs snapped, "That door hasn't been dusted yet!"
"Fingerprints," Ellery said musingly. "No... a criminal clever enough to steal a man's head couldn't let me down by leaving fingerprints"
"Let you down," Jiggs grunted " So you consider this your case already. Sorry to disappoint you. The only reason I asked you here was because you knew the King."
"Sorry to disappoint you, Inspector. But in Zharkan, the only royalty I met was the present ruler, Prince Hock. "But you do know the political situation"
"Yes," Ellery said " I knew that when King Musaka made his escape to America after ther revolt Prince Hock put a very high price on his head. He looked ruefully at the body "And evidently, someone is trying to collect"
"But it's impossible!" Igor quaked "His Highness was a complete hermit. Look at that door- one of the strongest locks you can buy. And that peephole! He would never admit anyone unless he looked through the peephole. And if the person wasn't me, bringing his food and wine, they'd never enter!"
"Well, he admitted someone," Jiggs growled. "He let someone in here with a weapon big enough to chop his head off!"
"You can't mean me!" Igor gasped, "I was the King's friend, his loyal servant!"
Ellery interposed gently, "Don't worry igor. The inspector knows very well you were asleep when this happened"
"All right,all right" jiggs said "Then one of the other five people we rounded up did it. It had to be one of them!"
"You're sure of that, Inspector?"
A prowl car was in the vicinity when they heard a scream. It took them a few minutes to locate the victim - and by then, the head was chopped off and removed. That there were only five people in the area that time of morning, and every one of them has been taken into custody"
"Perhaps I can talk to them." Ellery said mildly "I know it's your case, Inspector..."
"You're darn right it is!"
"Certainly, All you have to do is demonstrate how someone convinced a hermit in deadly fear of his life to open the door and admit someone with a fearsome weapon..."
Jiggs swallowed
"Oh, all right," he said gruffly. "It can't hurt for you to talk to them, Mr.Queen." Ellery was brought into the parlor of the small rooming house and learned that the first suspect was the lady who owned it. Mrs. Emma Hathaway was as plump and apple-cheeked as a storybook landlady should be. But her eyes were black olives and het mouth a slice of lemon.
"Yes I knew about the reward for that man's head," she said "But to accuse me of such a thing - that's insane!"
Ellery gave her a placating smile and turned to the second woman in the room; his smile became low deliberate.
Adela Doone was in her twenties, and spent all of her years perfecting her figure "The only reason I was awake so early." she said, "was because I hadn't been to bed. I was just arriving home from the Leopard Club. I sell cigarettes there"
"Only cigarettes?" Ellery asked pleasantly.
"Cigars, too" Adela Doone said.
Ellery gave her a slight bow, and turned to the man with the briefcase.
"Edgar Krepps is my name," he said. "I'm with Intercity Bank, I came to see King Musaka on business -- I've been trying to see him for a year! But every time, he looks at me through that peephole and tells me to leave!"
"And, of course," Ellery said, "this time was no exception."
The fourth person who received Ellery's attention was also a woman.
"Miss Irene Wallaby," she said, as if correcting a mistake. She was fifty, with china-blue eyes and the face of an antique doll.
"You don't live in this house, Miss Wallaby?"
"No," she said "I was just passing by. I don't know this house or that man, or anything at all about this ghastly business"
Ellery looked at the man beside her, a thickset man with a long raincoat.
"I don't believe I caught your name"
"Barry Dalton," he said, twisting his mouth in a grimace. "And I don't know the first thing about this I never met this King What's his name. I just happened to be in the neighbourhood, looking for a room."
"That early in the morning!" Ellery asked casually.
"I work nights," Dalton said.
"I see," Ellery said but his eyes were closed.
A few minutes later, Ellery rejoined Inspector Jiggs in the hallway outside the opened door of the ex-King's room.
"It's impossible," he was mumbling. "It's simply impossible... . He turned as he heard the sound of Ellery sniffing the air behind him. "What the heck are you doing?"
"Why, solving the mystery," Ellery said. "All I needed was one piece of the puzzle," he said, sniffing again, "and now I have it."
"You mean you know who did it?"
"Yes," Ellery said, "I know who did it,and how. If I were you, Inspector. I'd arrest the person right now."
"Arrest who!"
"Why, Mr.Dalton of course. Tell him his ruse was very clever. But he might as well tell you where he's hidden that poor man's head. He'll never be able to enjoy his reward."
Inspector Jiggs gasped at him
"How did you know it was Dalton?"
"Why, it's obvious." Ellery said with a smile, resisting the impulse to say "elementary" "Dalton is the only one of the five who could have gotten away with the trick.
"Aren't you going to tell me what it was?"
Ellery put a hand on his shoulder.
"Why don't you put the piece together yourself?"

How was the murder committed?
Solve the Janus Mystery Jigsaw Puzzle and find out!Spoiler Warning

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