The Riviera Grande left the Paris platform puffing smoke all around, and it was heavily guarded that evening for a reason - Princess Emma. The Princess Of France was seated at First Class Compartment 4. But she didn’t like being superior. Grace and poise came after humanity for her.
On the other hand, her personal assistant, Miss Claire wanted everything first-class. As the train started filling up, Miss Claire said, “Mademoiselle! Are you sure this train isn’t full of little flies? I do think all their wood isn’t bona fide. What if they give us canned and not fresh juice tomorrow?” Princess Emma said sweetly, “My dear Olivia, why do you seem to bother? I don’t seem to mind that, then why does it upset you?”
At this time, a young man wearing a bright blue suit, a tie with smiley faces all over it and a weird hairstyle came and opened the compartment door. “Hello, I am Robin Roberts. I am seated at the room beside yours. Just wanted to introduce myself. Hope I didn’t interrupt something!”
He spoke in an eccentric manner, giving an impression of being slightly out of his mind, and he seemed to have just noticed that it was the Princess of France sitting there.
Robin Roberts said, “I’m so sorry, Your majesty! I really - ” “That’s alright, Mr. Roberts. I don’t mind you coming in here. You can feel free to talk to me.”
“That will not be the case,” , came Miss Claire’s stern voice. “What is wrong with you, Mademoiselle, that you wish to talk to such ordinaire men?”
“Don’t worry, Olivia. He’s a good person. Can’t I even talk to others?”, the Princess said in a concerned tone.
“I think I shall leave now, Your Majesty. Do call out to me whenever you are free to talk.” Miss Claire, with a scowl on her face, said, “I really don’t think Mademoiselle will want someone like you for company.”
Robin replied with a grin, “Ha ha. I’ve met many like you, Miss. I mightn’t be sure about her, but it really does matter whether I like to talk to some people, and (significantly) whether I don’t.
After Robin left, there were few more people who climbed onto the compartment. It was soon time for a round of drinks and dinner, and Princess Emma suggested that Miss Claire should go back to her room for a while. After having some of her favourite red wine, she took off her father’s gift to her, an exquisite gold bracelet, with an amethyst set in it. After changing into her lilac sleeping robes, she laid down and took rest for a while.
Before going to sleep, Princess Emma called for a bottle of mineral water. The conductor, in an indigo uniform, immediately rushed in a minute later, fulfilling her request.
Princess Emma woke up to the sound of a gentle knock on her door the next morning. It was Robin Roberts, now with some young lady. The sun was up, and it was time for her breakfast. She sat up on her bed, smoothened her silky golden mane of hair with a diamond - studded hairbrush, and said, “Yes? Entrez if you please.”
Robin introduced the lady, Caroline Evans, as his latest acquaintance onboard, and she was an accountant. She was a young English woman, with a pronounced cockney accent, and curly burgundy hair.
After talking for a while, while leaving, Robin said, “Your Majesty, I thank you for being so friendly. But that lady of yours there (he points to Miss Claire’s compartment) seems to look angrily at me wherever I go. She looks like she wants to eat me up.”
“She’s nothing of the sort, Mr. Roberts,” said Princess Emma, with a pleasant smile, “so I’ll see you at breakfast.”
Caroline Evans said, “Your Majesty, hadn’t you worn a bracelet last night? It seems to have disappeared!”
As Princess Emma searched the whole compartment, the truth of a theft dawned upon her. Her shock was something inexplicable!
Caroline Evans quickly sprang to action and took charge of the whole dining-room that morning. She made a list of the people who had visited the Princess all along the journey till now. The list included -
The Coach Attendant
The Princess had the bracelet on her hands till she retired for the night. So it was obvious that the amethyst bracelet was stolen during the night.
After the investigation of all these people by Miss Evans, Princess Emma was called in again. She went back to the dining-room, where Miss Evans was keenly caressing something in her purse, and then on seeing her, quickly shut it and continued her work. Princess Emma asked, “What’s the matter, Miss Evans? Am I disturbing you?”
“No, Madame, I was - I was just waiting for you. I’m pretty sure that the thief is the bartender. He would have mixed something in your drink, put in a sleeping draught and stolen the amethyst bracelet.”
After the discussion was done, Princess Emma, who had thought the same as Miss Evans, returned to her room and all the actions she had performed till then played in her mind. And suddenly, everything fell in place. Why hadn’t she thought of it before? She had been suspecting the bartender to have stolen the bracelet all along, and now the truth stood right in front of her eyes.
She could no longer control herself. She said, “Miss Evans, I haven’t seen you before today morning, then how did you know I was wearing the bracelet yesterday?”
Robin spoke up, “Yes, yes. Accept it if you have done it. Our Princess here has a hunch. Come on, speak up now, funny lady!”
Angry now, Miss Evans said, “Fine, I accept it! I had taken your bracelet this morning because I was jealous! How can you rich people get all the good things while we have to slog for even a slice of bread! This is not fair!” And then Miss Evans revealed the bracelet from her purse on being coaxed by a smiling Robin, who seemed to have thought of all this to be a joke. While Princess Emma decided not to make an issue about this matter and help her father reorganize the country’s finances, what Miss Claire took back was - never travel again in a train with other people around you!