thewrightway: (Default)
Phoenix Wright (成歩堂龍一) ([personal profile] thewrightway) wrote in [community profile] aceattorneythenovel2016-10-16 09:22 pm

Chapter 8: Turnabout your logic (English terminology)

At my request, my first witness – Mr. Owens, took the witness stand.
He introduced himself with his usual gentlemanly smile.
“Beau Owens. I am the owner of Pegasus Town.”
He looked to me and gave a light nod.
“I'm willing to discuss everything I know in regards to the incident. However, I was busy working in my office, so I may not have much to say that is of any use.”
“Mr. Owens. Please describe your activities that day in detail.”
I said, and he silently nodded in reply.
“Before the event, I spoke with all the performers in waiting room A. Afterwards, Mr. Wright, Mr. Ukulfaskul and myself left the room. Mr. Ukulfaskul immediately went to waiting room B, but I had a conversation with Mr. Wright as I was walking. I had to get back to my office before the elevator maintenance started... I believe that's what we were discussing. That was at 12:55 PM.”
“... Yeah.”
“I returned to my office on the top floor to take care of some work. Mr. Wright later came up there to enquire about an event taking place next month. That was just before 2:00 PM. Just before Mr. Wright was about to leave, I got the call notifying me of the incident.”
“Prioritising work over the event. Quite admirable.”
The judge picked an odd moment to show his admiration. Prosecutor Blackquill then spoke.
“So basically, our witness got in the elevator at 12:55 PM and went to the top floor, and was there until being notified of the incident. He has no bearing to the case.”
“That is, if he really did board the elevator.”
Mr. Owens laughed at my suggestion. Remaining dignified to the end.
“What do you mean, Mr. Wright? Are you saying I didn't use the elevator?”
“I turned my back and walked away when we finished talking. I never saw you actually enter the elevator.”
“... Your point being?”
“You never went into the elevator. You hid yourself and waited until the waiting room was deserted, didn't you?”
“–Surely, you're not treating me as a murder suspect?”
Mr. Owens's smile became bitter.
“That's quite an accusation. Where might I have been hiding? There's no hidden spots in the hallway.”
“In the bathroom, of course.”
I indicated on my rough sketch of the crime scene. The judge spoke.
“Oho? Are these those toilets that were undergoing cleaning?”
“That's right. The toilets are right near the waiting rooms. If you hid here, it'd be easy to move quickly...”
“Enough nonsense, Wright-dono. Save guesswork for the racecourse... A gambling loving prisoner told me that.”
Prosecutor Blackquill said threateningly. Ugh... Why should I listen to a prisoner...
“There's a way to confirm my guesswork. We can enquire with Pegasus Town whether there was any cleaning scheduled for that time. If there was nothing scheduled – then there's no reason someone couldn't just go in there and put up the 'cleaning in progress' sign... It's quite simple.”
The look in Mr. Owens's eyes became grim – or at least it looks that way.
The judge nodded and called a bailiff to enquire about this matter with Pegasus Town.
The result was soon clear. The bailiff reported his findings to the judge.
“I confirmed with Pegasus Town's management office, there was no scheduled cleaning at that time – that is all.”
... I knew it! Just as I thought. The sign outside the bathroom was a trick done by the culprit!
I shouted with vigour.
“There was a cleaning in progress sign left outside toilets that weren't being cleaned! We can therefore deduce that the bathroom was used as a hiding spot for the killer. Mr. Owens, you only pretended to board the elevator and were actually hiding inside the bathroom, weren't you?”
Mr. Owens gave me a condescending look. It was like he was a different person from his usual gentlemanly persona.
“Hah! You can't make accusations like that using such a flimsy premise. I definitely got in the elevator and returned to my office. Or can you prove otherwise?”
“Yes, of course.”
I gave a confident smile – but on the inside, I was anything but confident.
This is why I'd lined up my second witness. But I can't be sure if her testimony will expose Mr. Owens's lies.
And she's somewhat careless... I'm not even sure I'll get a straight testimony from her.
But I've got no option other than to rely on what she has to say.

The second witness took the witness stand.
“My name is Harriet Rush! I work for Pegasus Town's management team, third branch! I'm so excited, I've never been in a courtroom before! I may be inexperienced, but I'll do my best at giving testimony!”
Ms. Rush shouted in a loud voice, her expression just as excited as her words indicated.
The judge spoke.
“Ah... We can hear you without shouting. Please calm yourself and testify truthfully.”
“Yes sir! I'll give my all as a representative of Pegasus Town's management team, third branch! Section chief, branch director, watch me now! Rush, heading out!”
Ugh... Was it really a good idea to call her...? I'm not so sure now.
I spoke to Ms. Rush.
“Please describe your actions on the day of the incident in detail.”
“Yes sir! I woke up at 7:00 AM that day, I washed my face and made my lunch and I was planning to wear my favourite shirt, but I realised I hadn't ironed it, so I went and got the iron...!”
“N-no, I think we can skip this part. I heard you dropped your pass case in the elevator? Around what time was that?”
“The time... Uh... I can't really remember. It was probably around 11:00 or 12:00... or maybe 1:00?”
That's way too vague!
I'll try sending a lifeboat.
“You dropped your pass case at the time you answered a phone call, I believe?”
“Ah, yeah, that's right.”
“Which means if you check the call log on your cell phone, you should be able to determine the time?”
“Ah, that's right! You're smart, Mr. Lawyer!”
Ms. Rush pulled her phone from her bag in a rush, causing her purse, make up pouch and a paperback to fall on the floor, she hastily picked everything up and finally checked her phone.
“Ah, got it! I received the call at 12:48 PM!”
– All right. Just as I'd suspected.
I told Ms. Rush she could leave the stand now (to her great disappointment...), and once again requested testimony from Mr. Owens.
“Mr. Owens, you said you got in the elevator at 12:55 PM and returned to your office?”
“... Yes.”
The smile had vanished from Mr. Owens's face.
“Shortly before that at 12:48 PM, Ms. Rush dropped her pass case in there. Did you not see the dropped pass case when you entered the elevator?”
“Well... How about this. Perhaps someone picked it up before I entered the elevator.”
I shook my head.
“The pass case was later returned to Ms. Rush. An elevator maintenance man found and handed it in.”
“Which means from that moment until the maintenance began at 1:00 PM, the pass case was on the elevator floor. If you really were in the elevator, wouldn't it be strange to have not noticed the pass case in there?”
“Ah... Sorry, I remember now.”
The confident smile returned to Mr. Owens's face.
“I did see it lying there. But since I was in a rush, I didn't pick it up.”
“You just left it lying there?”
“My deepest apologies. I was so busy that day I wouldn't have time to deliver a lost item to management.”
“Mr. Owens, you...”

“I definitely saw it. It was a pink pass case with a black cat design, correct?”
After confidently pressing for answers, I found myself lost for words.
... That's right. Mr. Owens perfectly described the pass case.
Prosecutor Blackquill spoke.
“There's no room for doubt. The owner went into the elevator and returned to his office. He's unrelated to the incident.”
No way...
I thought the thing with the pass case would be enough to prove he hadn't used the elevator... But he's turned it to his own advantage...
Prosecutor Blackquill spoke to solidify his stance.
“Besides, we have decisive evidence the owner was not involved in the crime. It seems you've overlooked it.”
“... What is this decisive evidence...?”
“Look at his right hand.”
I suddenly realised. Mr. Owens nodded in satisfaction and held up his right hand.
“It's as the prosecutor says. My right hand is injured. Do you really think I could hold a knife and stab a man like this?”
Mr. Owens's right hand was wrapped in bandages...
“I'm sure I told you. I accidentally cut myself the day before the incident while cooking.”
I recall Mr. Owens awkwardly using his left hand to give me his business card, open doors, etc.
“That's... What if... you're actually left handed...”
“No, I'm right handed. Just ask my secretary. Her testimony would confirm that.”
... There's no point in asking. Not if he's that confident.
“If you are right handed, isn't it strange to have cut your right hand with the kitchen knife? If you were holding the knife with your right hand, then you shouldn't have cut it...”
He elegantly brushed aside my desperate remark.
“I was completely careless. I dropped the knife on the floor and in a panic picked it up by the blade.”
“Ooh... It's painful just thinking of it.”
The judge shuddered.
Mr. Owens began removing his bandages.
“I can show you if you still doubt me. I'm sure you'll be able to tell if I could hold a knife in this hand.”
There was indeed a large wound beneath the bandages. There was a deep cut at the base of his thumb. There's no way he could hold anything like that.
“Th-That's enough. The witness will reapply his bandages!”
The judge covered his eyes.
“Surely you're satisfied. Prolonging this trial any further is a waste of time.”
Prosecutor Blackquill stated.
The judge still had his doubts.
“Perhaps so... Is there anything else the defence would like to address...?”
“Hey, Your Honor. I'm sure your grandkid is waiting for you to come home.”
Prosecutor Blackquill's tone suddenly became kindly.
“If you head home now, I'm sure you'll have plenty of time to play together this afternoon?”
What the hell is that? You can't play the grandchild card!
However it seems as though the judge had been swayed.
“Understood. I shall hand down my verdict.”
I raised my voice in a panic.
“We haven't uncovered the full truth of this case yet. There's a contradiction in the witness' testimony!”
“Oho. Well then, the defence should point this contradiction out for us.”
The judge put down the gavel he was holding.
My claim of a contradiction had been a bluff to buy time. If I'd remained silent, the verdict would have been given.
I'm backed right against the wall. Calm yourself, Phoenix Wright... If Mr. Owens is the culprit, he had to be lying. There has to be a contradiction somewhere in his words.
I went back over all the details Mr. Owens had spoken about.
– I was completely careless. I dropped the knife on the floor and in a panic picked it up by the blade.
... Something about that bugs me. Is there something wrong with that statement...?
No, the statement itself isn't contradictory. What's bothering me is...
I'm sure I heard something similar recently.

– I'm always doing that, careless really. My secretary would scold me if she knew.

The bitter laugh in Mr. Owens's voice returned to my mind.
It was when I went to the owner's office. There were traces of something having been wiped off the floor...
I've got it. That's what's bugging me. Mr. Owens had already made a huge mistake!
“Mr. Owens. There were traces of something that had been wiped up on your office floor. I almost slipped over on it, do you recall?”
“... Yes. So what? It was just some coffee I had spilled. I'm so careless...”
“What was spilled isn't the issue.”
I shook my head.
“It's the fact it was wiped up. You'd have to bend down on your hands and knees and use a cloth to wipe it up.”
“How did you bend down? You couldn't do anything with your right hand?”
Mr. Owens took a moment to swallow his breath. Then continued calmly.
“Oh, is that all? I used a mop of course. I can still use a mop using only my left hand...”
“So the owner's office is supplied with a mop. Shall we have your secretary confirm that?”
For the first time, Mr. Owens's expression became flustered.
– Alright. It was an all or nothing gamble, but it seems to have paid off. The moment he mentioned having a mop it was all over.
“Your bluffs are as lucky as always, Mr. Wright!”
Athena showed her admiration. Luck or not, it's time to push this door all the way open.
“Mr. Owens. At that time, your right hand wasn't yet injured. You conspicuously wrapped bandages around it and made a deliberate effort not to use your right hand. The wound was deliberately self inflicted after the incident.”
Mr. Owens went pale. He opened his mouth slightly, but what came out was not his usual smooth voice, but a wordless groaning noise.
The judge harshly enquired.
“Answer the question, witness. Was your wound deliberately self inflicted after the incident?”
“... So what...”
The loud voice reverberated through the courtroom. Everyone froze in an instant.
Mr. Owens immediately realised his error. He promptly cleared his throat and rephrased himself.
“–Excuse me. What I actually meant to say was this. Yes, I did deliberately cut my own right hand.”
... Oh? He's just admitting it like that...?
“However, so what if I did? Is cutting your own hand a crime now?”
“It was myself I harmed, not anyone else? So what?”
Mr. Owens puffed his chest. H-he's really pushing it now...
I enquired, somewhat taken aback.
“But why would you do that? Obviously, it would have to be to create a situation where you can claim you were unable to commit the murder...?”
“Wrong. I was simply fed up with work.”
Mr. Owens sighed.
“Day in, day out, looking over mountains of documents, taking care of various issues... I was tired of it. I thought that if I had an injury I could take a break from it all.”
“N-no way.”
“It was a stupid idea. I must have been possessed.”
Mr. Owens had completely regained his calm and once again smiled.
That's ridiculous! There's limits to how far you can push it.
“But that's strange, Mr. Owens! I mean, why were you wearing the bandages before the incident? You hadn't wounded yourself yet.”
“Ah, that's simple. The day before the incident I tried cutting myself. However I chickened out and only left a shallow cut. It wasn't enough to impair my hand, but I bandaged it up anyway. I later decided that it wasn't enough and made a deeper cut.”
This is getting ridiculous. This isn't remotely plausible!
However, Prosecutor Blackquill interjected. Glaring daggers at Mr. Owens.
“... There is no crime in cutting your own hand. A mere eccentricity. Well, Your Honor?”
“Indeed. I concur that it is not a crime... But... I would suggest you don't try this at home.”
The judge answered.
“There's no problem then. Hand down the verdict already.”
I slammed the desk.
All my doubts turned to convictions. Mr. Owens is definitely suspicious.
However – no matter how suspicious he is, I can't do anything without evidence. There has to... There just has to be a contradiction somewhere...
“What is the nature of your objection, defence? Please state yourself clearly.”
“That's... Well...”
I was at a loss for words.
There's got to be a contradiction. But where...!?
Prosecutor Blackquill spoke up.
“Pay him no heed. This is just another one of Wright-dono's trademark bluffs.”
“It's time for a verdict, Your Honor. It's time to give word to your experience and reasoning.”
“Experience... and reasoning. Hoho.”
The judge nodded happily. Not good...
He's totally taken in by Prosecutor Blackquill's psychological manipulation...

The judge grasped his gavel. If he brings it down, it's all over. He's about to render judgement on Ms. Cutter...!
Hold it...!
I shouted without realising. The judge's hand stopped.
“Is there still something left, defence?”
“There's some vague points in Mr. Owens's testimony! I'd like one more chance to go into further detail!”
It was a desperate ploy for time – it was the only thing I could come up with to keep struggling along. But I'll keep holding on for dear life.
Owner Owens spoke with a triumphant expression.
“I hate to continually be repeating the same thing over and over... But I'm willing to play along. I'll gladly testify as long as I have to in order to satisfy Mr. Wright.”
Mr. Owens continued calmly.
“When Mr. Wright and I went our separate ways, I used the elevator to my office on the top floor. That was at 12:55 PM. It's been proven I rode the elevator since I was able to identify the pass case in there. If I hadn't been inside the elevator, I wouldn't have been able to identify the colour or design of the pass case.”
“I was working the whole time in my office. Mr. Wright came by just before 2:00 PM. It was while I was discussing an event taking place next month with Mr. Wright, that the call informing me of the incident came.”
“–The elevator was undergoing maintenance until 1:50 PM.”
Prosecutor Blackquill added in. I nodded silently.
“The first one on the elevator when service was restored was you yourself, Wright-dono.”
“... That's right.”
“When you arrived in the owner's office, the owner was already there. If he's the culprit, then how did he get back there before you did?”
... Right. That's the biggest problem.
If Mr. Owens is the culprit, then after committing the crime, he somehow got back to his office on the 17th floor ahead of me.
A way of reaching the 17th floor quicker than the elevator... If I can figure that out...
“Owner, did you climb to the 17th floor using the stairs?”
Mr. Owens simply laughed in response to Prosecutor Blackquill.
“Of course not! I haven't got the stamina for that. I'd be collapsing by the time I reached the third floor.”
Laughter spread through the gallery.
He's right... Climbing to the 17th floor by the stairs is unrealistic.
He wasn't in the elevator and he didn't climb the stairs...
Some other way to return to the 17th floor before me... Does such a thing exist?
Prosecutor Blackquill spoke.
“He had no means of escape. Therefore the owner couldn't have done it. Wright-dono's claims are naught but a fantasy. There's no plausible suspects other than the defendant, Melody Cutter!”
“–It seems so.”
The judge nodded.
“Does the defence have any further objections?”
I remained silent. Athena looked at me desperately.
“Mr. Wright...! You have to say something... He's going to end the trial!”
No matter how hard I think, there was no way to get up to the 17th floor before me without using the elevator.
Is this the end? Am I really unable to do anything to save Ms. Cutter...?
No, not yet. I can't give in yet.
I've been in this kind of situation before. This isn't the first or second time I've dealt with absolute desperation. I've pulled through before.

– I need to turnabout my way of thinking.

That's my trump card. I've overturned countless hopeless seeming situations with this method. I'll turn things around this time too. Rather than thinking about how the culprit could return to the 17th floor without using the elevator – I need to think about how he could have used the elevator!
I wasn't alone in the elevator at the time. There was another person who got in the elevator with me.
Right. They're the only one who could have used the elevator...!
“There was someone else other than myself in the elevator.”
I spoke, the judge stopping his hand just before swinging his gavel.
“What was what?”
“A cleaner. A mask covered their face and they never once looked up. If that cleaner was the real culprit, then everything makes sense.”
“Another new suspect?”
Prosecutor Blackquill gave a sarcastic smile. Mr. Owens also laughed.
“Sounds like a strong suspect. Should we track down this cleaner before we continue the trial, Mr. Wright?”
“There's no need. That cleaner is right in front of me.”
“... Say what?”
“Mr. Owens. The cleaner was actually yourself in disguise, wasn't it?”
Commotion flooded the courtroom. The judge, seemingly having forgotten about his gavel, stared blankly.
He was brought back to his senses by Mr. Owens's loud laughing voice.
“Hahaha...! What utter nonsense... A total delusion! Try and be more realistic, Mr. Wright.”
“De-defence, please remain within reason.”

The judge blinked incessantly as he looked at me.
“I do believe Prosecutor Blackquill alluded to this cleaner the other day. The cleaner was female... wasn't she?”
“The cleaner was dressed like a woman. But their hair was covered with a cap and their face covered with a mask.”
Yes. That's the answer.
I looked straight at Mr. Owens.
“Mr. Owens. You were an aspiring performer in your younger days. For a petite man such as yourself, disguising yourself as a woman would be child's play.”
“You can't accuse me based on that!”
Mr. Owens's voice became rougher as he glared at me.
“You changed into the cleaner's uniform in the bathroom, probably with some kind of coat on top to protect yourself from blood splatter and committed the crime. I'm assuming you broke the locker in advance. Then you'd be sure Mr. Ukulfaskul wouldn't use it. You hid in the locker, waiting for your chance, attacking him the moment Ms. Cutter left the room.”
“Ri... diculous... You have no proof...”
“After the crime. You hid your coat in the cleaning bucket, covered your face with a mask and went to use the elevator. However there was someone you weren't expecting there. Me.”
Mr. Owens gave up speaking and looked at me with pitiful eyes.
“On top of that, I asked where the owner's office was. You were panicked. You had to return to your office before I could somehow... So you bought some time by telling me to get off at the wrong floor. You rushed to your office, removed your disguise and in your rush accidentally got some blood from your coat on the floor. As soon as you finished wiping it up, I knocked on your door...”
“That's enough, Wright-dono.”
A deep voice echoed. Prosecutor Blackquill glared at me with intense bloodlust.
“Don't let your delusions run wild...”
“They aren't delusions! I've just revealed the true culprit's escape route. The mystery of the bathroom cleaning sign, the mystery of the opened empty locker, it explains everything.”
I instinctively flinched as Prosecutor Blackquill shouted.
Despite just being a shout, it had the forcefulness of a slashing katana.
“Can you stop repeating yourself over and over? It was impossible for the owner to commit the crime. It's been made quite clear that he entered the elevator right after you parted ways with him!”
“It's as the prosecutor said.”
Mr. Owens nodded.
As a result of having gotten worked up several times already, his hair and clothing were a mess. He made an attempt at regaining his gentlemanly composure, but he had a bloodshot glare in his eyes.
“I saw the pass case of a female employee inside the elevator. It was pink with a black cat design, if I wasn't in the elevator I couldn't know this.”
I slammed both my hands on my desk and looked at Mr. Owens.
“You saw the dropped pass case and never bothered to pick it up?”
“Yes, that's right. I told you. I had mountains of work to do, so I was too busy.”
“You couldn't have even given it to your secretary?”
“There was no need for that! I told you, I was busy!”
“You have a reputation of normally being a kind and considerate man. Isn't it somewhat out of character for you to turn a blind eye to someone's lost property?”
“Stop poking your nose in! It's none of your business!”
Mr. Owens was now irritated.
“If it was something important, I would've picked it up. But that pass case was filled with nothing but point cards. There was no need to consider it a priority!”
I let out a soft sigh. Mr. Owens turned away, considering the matter settled as he began straightening his ruffled hair.
“Why do you know the contents of the pass case? Ms. Rush never mentioned anything about what was inside during her testimony.”
“That's... obvious from just looking at it!”
“You saw what was inside? Despite your claim just a minute ago that you 'didn't pick it up'?”
“I didn't pick it up and hand it in is what I said. I picked it up long enough to just check what was inside!”
“In that case, let's check it for fingerprints.”
The moment I said that, Mr. Owens's expression changed.
The mask of a gentleman was peeled off. What I saw underneath was – a demon filled with anger and hatred, his true face.
It was clear from this expression. We don't even need to check. Mr. Owens's fingerprints will not be found on the pass case.
“You never touched the pass case. Yet, you know its contents. There's only one explanation.”
“You heard Ms. Rush talking with a colleague. A conversation in which she clearly mentioned the colour, design and contents of her pass case. The conversation she had in the elevator with myself and the cleaner present.”
Mr. Owens went as pale as a sheet. His wide open eyes filled with anger.
“The only ones to hear that conversation were myself and the cleaner. Mr. Owens, you were the cleaner – therefore the one who killed Mr. Ukulfaskul...”
I pointed a finger at Mr. Owens.
... is you!
The courtroom suddenly became quiet enough to hear a pin drop. Nobody moved a muscle. All eyes were on Mr. Owens.
Prosecutor Blackquill was silent. The uncomfortable silence focused on Mr. Owens.
Mr. Owens began to tremble. His carefully prepared outward appearance of a gentleman crumbled slowly for all to see.
Mr. Owens gave me an intense glare as he groaned in a rough voice.
He slammed the witness stand with both hands.

His outburst continued right up until the bailiffs came to subdue him.
As he was dragged from the room, the courtroom returned to its silence.
The judge turned his eyes to the defendant's seat and spoke solemnly.
“–The truth of this matter has been made clear. I will now hand down my verdict. I declare the defendant, Melody Cutter, Not Guilty!”
Trucy was the first to stand in the gallery.
Ms. Cutter lifted her face, and for the first time, gave a radiant smile befitting an idol.