I was known as a great detective. The lads called me “The Gardener”. I understood flowers and people exceptionally well. “The Gardener just keeps digging,” the lads were fond of saying about my half-finished cases, which were always eventually solved.
What the lads didn’t know was that I also had a touch of The Sight. I kept that to myself. It was a great help in my cases, especially the last one. The master of Karana House had disappeared. Some said he ran off with another woman, some said he was buried in those magnificent gardens.
I happily gazed at the pale lavender muhly grass on that late autumn afternoon. It was other-worldly, ephemeral, a delicate haze of color edging the beds. Suddenly I saw a young woman kneeling, patting the fresh spring soil into place around the new muhly clumps. She loved the soil, the garden, and especially the feathery plumes of ornamental grass. She reached to caress the blue-green foliage, but was jerked away by an angry older man. “Off the ground, Flora. The lady of the house is not a gardener. Your servants will do the dirty work.” His violent slaps crisscrossed her lovely face with red streaks. The image faded, but the garden seemed to weep at the memory.
Inside the house later, after preliminary questioning, I sent the lads back to the station. There was only one question that mattered and I wanted to ask it in private.
“Who named this house?” A lot depended on Flora’s answer.
“I picked the name, soon after the marriage.” Her eyes held a future of blue-gold summers, fire-lit winters, and lovingly tended gardens. She briefly shaped the Karana Mudra – the yogic sign to ward off evil. In a flash, I saw how her despicable husband died, and where he was buried. I had solved another case.
The Karana files identified the other woman and the two deaths at sea. Case closed.
Soon after, I left the force, and became Flora’s second husband and fellow gardener. Happily ever after, with no one else ever digging at Karana House.