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“Y’know Sgt. Bullock.” Columbo paused and took a spoonful of chili. “This is really good chili. Where was I?” “Look Lieutenant'' Bullock's voice dripped with sarcasm, “you were explaining what we're going to do next on the case.” Bullock spoke between mouthfuls of powdered donuts. “Right… right. We are going to look through Dr. Elliot’s office. I want to look at phone records, appointment books, his calendar, everything.” Columbo emphatically gestured as he took another spoonful of chili. “Because Dr. Elliot must have been there at a specific time. He must have been meeting someone who would have known he would be there and who had planned to kill him.” “I still don’t see how you could have come to that conclusion. You going to eat that?” Bullock asked his question as he took Columbo’s donut that was waiting for him and began to shovel it into his mouth. “Well… as I see it. The party is attended by many wealthy and powerful people. People who are going to bring their own bodyguards and security. Do you burgle the manor at that time? Well, maybe, but it seems like a burglary gone wrong is unlikely. It’s not a good time to burgle the house. Whoever was let in through the window must have been expected, which means whoever killed Dr. Elliot was someone he trusted or was expecting to meet. The killer had to arrive and leave in a perfect 10 minute window to avoid the security at the party.” “But you think there will be some clue at his office? Why would he write down, meet with my murderer at the Wayne party is his dairy?” “I don’t know what we’re going to find Sergeant, but I do know, that our best bet of finding Dr. Elliot’s killer is to look at people who know him.” Columbo turned to the waiter, “Could we get the check please?” “He’s paying.” Bullock interjected. Columbo looked up at him and nodded. It was an unusual occurrence for anyone to actually let him pay for his meals on a case. “Yes, that should be everything. Thank you.” Fugate handed the clipboard with a new duty schedule to the receptionist. “At least until a replacement for Dr. Elliot can be found this should ensure every patient meets with a doctor at their scheduled time. Fugate had taken care to remove the day of Dr. Elliot’s murder from his event planner. Even now that page of his planner sat carefully folded behind Fugate’s immaculately pressed handkerchief in his suit’s breast pocket. “Mr. Fugate! Isn’t that a coincidence? What are you doing here?” Columbo came over and affably shook Fugate’s hand. “Yeah, what are you doing here?” Bullock said in his usually abrasive tone letting a little spittle fly into Fugate’s face. “I was just helping Alice rearrange the duty schedules for the doctors and nurses to cover for Dr. Elliot’s absence.” Fugate reached into his suit’s inner pocket and produced a handkerchief to wipe the spittle away before returning it to the inside of his coat. “That’s very nice of you sir.” “Not at all Lieutenant. Dr. Elliot’s practice has been a longtime customer of my firm. We’ve helped keep his practice efficient and overhead down. It’s not dissimilar to what Commissioner Gordon is having me do for the GCPD Sergeant. I’m sure I can find some… chaff that needs to be separated out.” Bullock scowled at Fugate. “That’s terrific sir. I wish I was more efficient. Listen, you knew Dr. Elliot’s work, did he ever use your consulting for his personal life? You know outside of the medical field?” “No.” “Oh, well I thought, based on the fact that your card was in Dr. Elliot’s wallet…” “No, Lieutenant. I didn’t interact with Mr. Elliot outside of a purely professional capacity. In fact, Dr. Elliot and I were due to renew our contract in about a month or so. I suppose Dr. Loeb or Dr. Lee will have to take over as head of the practice now. Alice, could you ask them to give me a call at…” Fugate produced a notebook and pocket watch, “5:23 PM. It shouldn’t take more than two minutes, and if they stick to the schedule I gave them, they will be available.” “Gee that’s terrific how you keep everything organized. I bet you know where you were at all times.” Columbo pointed to the notebook. “May I?” Fugate handed the notebook to the Lieutenant, “Remarkable. Really this is truly special.” Columbo noted that this notebook was empty except for the two pages containing today and yesterday. Nothing dating back to the date of the murder. “Is this a new habit of yours?” “No, I always keep track of where I am and what I am doing, Lieutenant. As a result, I go through many notebooks.” “I can see that. Thank you.” Columbo handed the leather bound moleskine back to Temple Fugate. “May we come by later… nothing too serious, just in case we have any questions you may be able to answer.” “Lieutenant, I am working for the GCPD already. I would be happy to help you out in anyway I can. Good day Lieutenant.” Fugate turned and eyed Bullock coldly. “Sergeant.” and he made his exit. “Four-eyed weirdo that guy is.” Bullock commented as Columbo began to ask the receptionist for lots and lots of record documents. Including Dr. Elliot’s personal finances. How could a Doctor, even one as brilliant as Dr. Elliot, casually wear a 400,000 dollar watch? There had to be more going on here, and the practice's finances indicated that Dr. Elliot must have additional sources of income. “Sergeant Bullock, you said Dr. Elliot came from a wealthy family?” “Yeah he did. He spent like crazy. Tons of investments, usually in Wayne’s competitors based on this. Some friend. You sure the butler didn’t do it?” Bullock said as he leafed through financial documents. “Well sir, Mr. Pennyworth was in the company of the party at the time, and I don’t think he had a motive to kill Dr. Elliot.” “Unless it was some way to help that fatcat sonuvabitch Wayne. Elliot was investing in his competition look at this… Lexcorp, Queen Industries, STAR Labs, these all aren’t Waynetech.” Bullock whistled, “It looks like he was paying Fugate a mint. Look at this, Fugate Consulting LLC 1.3 million dollars a year. I hope the commish isn’t paying through the nose like that.” Columbo pondered, this case sure was going to be an interesting one.