Salahadin was sitting in his office with his coat off. It was the month of May in Cairo and it was very hot. Salahadin stood up and turned on the fan. He was a young man, only twenty-eight years old. He was not very tall and quite thin. His black hair was cut very short.
Salahadin’s office was in the centre of Cairo. It was in a large building behind the Nile Hotel. it was a small office and Salahadin’s name was not on the door. Not many people knew that he was a detective. But he was not an ordinary detective. Inspector Salahadin protected all the antiquities of Egypt.
Salahadin was waiting for an archeologist called Mr Pearson. Pearson had been in Egypt for six months. He had been working in a valley in the south of Egypt. Pearson had been looking for antiquities. He had come back to Cairo a few days ago and was leaving Egypt soon.
But Mr Pearson had not come to Salahadin’s office. Every archeologist had to see Salahadin before they left Egypt. Salahadin was worried. Pearson had not come yet.
Salahadin picked up the telephone and rang the number of Pearson’s hotel.
‘Nile Hotel,’ said a voice. ‘Can I help you?’
‘Can I speak to the manager, please,’ said Salahadin.
Salahadin waited for a few moments. Then he heard the manager’s voice.
‘Can I help you?’ said the manager.
‘Yes,’ replied Salahadin. ‘My name’s Salahadin EI Nur. I’m a police inspector. I want to speak to Mr Pearson.’
‘Do you mean Mr Pearson, the archeologist?’ asked the manager.
‘Yes,’ replied Salahadin.
‘I’m sorry. You can’t speak to Mr Pearson, sir,’ said the manager.
‘Oh,’ said Salahadin in surprise. ‘Why not?’
‘Mr Pearson is dead,’ replied the manager. ‘He was found dead in his room this morning. Mr Pearson was murdered.’
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