ROSIE BAUR D.I, Chapter 13

10 Apr


Elena Davies was proud of her new Uniform and this was her first day to show the world just how good she was and how much she would be worthy of it. And her first task was to go with Sergeant Jenson (good-looking to her mind, and open, friendly, the sort of man she liked) to re-interview the twin offspring of the murdered man.

She’d read up on the case so far, and it seemed to her that the killer was probably going to turn out to be one of the neighbours, most probably the farmer because why else would he have a record of assault against politicians? But it wasn’t down to her to make decisions just yet. This was her first day and the last thing she wanted to be looked on was the sort of recruit who jumped to conclusions even if those conclusions were leaping out at her like red rags to a bull.

Peter Jenson approved of the new constable. She was in uniform, a brand new uniform with none of the wear and slight tear of even a nearly new uniform, and she was everything a Sergeant might dream of. He’d watched television murder mysteries, loads of them, and the young police-woman was often a bright blue-eyed blond, and here he was in the company of a real blue-eyed blond, the real McCoy, one who breathed the same air as him and who bestowed her own fragrance (from an expensive bottle, no doubt) onto him.

“They’re an odd couple,” he told her, more for the need to say something that wasn’t remotely a chat-up line than because his opinion at this moment was important. “Twins, in their twenties and too close to each other by half.”

“Twins can be like that,” Elena told him, “I had some school friends when I was still at school and they were twins. They weren’t identical, you know, you could easily tell them apart. One was tall and thing and the other was … squat. But they were so alike in other ways it was awesome.”

“Well, these aren’t identical either,” Peter told her, “you’ll see. One of each, and the bloke runs a market stall, which we’ll have to take a look at sooner or later. The other says she’s training to be a hairdresser at Brumpton college. They live in Swanspottle. Do you know the place?”

She shook her head. “I’m new round here,” she said, almost sadly.

“Well, it’s a quirky little village with a reputation for breeding odd-balls, and these two moved in as soon as they left home together. They rent a terraced cottage on the one and only main street, and it’s really poky. One of the two bedrooms was converted, years ago I suppose, into a bathroom, so there’s only one bedroom, which they share, and I think it might be a pretty good idea to take a look at it. You can often judge more about people by how they sleep rather than how they sit and have coffee!”

“That’s good,” she approved, “though I hate to think what you’d make of me if you looked at my bedroom…”

“Unlikely as that might be,” he said, his mouth suddenly dry when he thought of it. Possibly, he told himself, it was the fragrance she emitted in floral waves.

“Of course,” she smiled, “but I’m not the tidiest of mares! Though I do pick my dirty clothes off the floor before they put down roots and grow there!”

Peter Jenson was tidy at home. He had a place for most things, and most things were in their place, but it was sometimes possible that the odd sock got forgotten or a pair of brightly-coloured boxers kicked under the bed. “We can’t all be perfect,” he said mildly.

They arrived at Swanspottle and the twins’ home soon after that, and Peter pulled the police car to a standstill three doors away.

“Come on,” he urged the constable, “just back here.”

The door was opened by Amelia, still in a thin and no-doubt sexy dressing-gown. But then, thought Peter, she’d probably look sexy in anything. There was something about her, the light in her eyes, the way they lingered over him, that made him want to emit a series of phrases that would be more at home in a public bar when he’d spotted a potential conquest and set about doing the conquering. He bit them back and introduced the police-woman.

“I’m sorry to disturb you again, but we’ve a few more questions,” he said, “is your brother here as well?”

She shook her head, sadly, he thought. “No; he’s on the market,” she said quietly. “Come in.”

“We’ll catch him there later, then,” he assured her, and when they were sitting down without the usual but on this occasion not-offered cup of tea, he smiled brightly.

“What was it you wanted to know?” asked Amelia, “I’ve got college in about an hour.”

“Then I’d better be brief,” he told her. “There are a few gaps in our information. For instance, you and your brother visited your parents on the evening when he was murdered?”

She nodded. “Yes. We do every so often,” she said, “they never come to visit us, though. It’s mother…”

He nodded. “I’ve met her,” he said, as if that was explanation enough, and it was.

“And you left around ten o’clock?”

She nodded. “I went to the car and climbed in – I was doing the driving because Denis’d had a couple of drinks with daddy, and while I waited I thought what a lovely night it was.”

“You waited long?”

“As usual. A few minutes. Denis is a fine one for last words…”

“That seems to fit the bill,” Peter assured her, “it’s always good when everyone agrees with the timing. Now tell us something about your dad, please.”

Elena Davies coughed at that point, interrupting the conversation.

“I hate to be a nuisance, but can I use your loo?” she asked. “It’s been a long time since I had my breakfast cup of tea…”

“Up the stairs and across the tiny landing,” said Amelia.

“About your dad,” said Peter, returning to his questions, “we don’t really know much about him, just that his marriage was a bit rocky.”

“You can’t say that!” she flared up, “mummy and daddy were good together.”

“Good, but from what other have said, not so much together,” replied Peter.

“It’s true that mummy had some … old fashioned … ideas,” sighed Amelia, “to put it bluntly, she didn’t like sex. It wasn’t daddy she didn’t want but his you-know-what. But he didn’t mind.”

“He didn’t? That’s good, then. Does that mean he had a girl-friend, a woman to help him when it came to his more basic instincts?” asked Peter.

She knew what he meant, but her only reply was to blush a deep red and hang her head.

So he did have a girlfriend, and I know who it was, thought Peter Jenson, and he was suddenly very uncomfortable with the thought.

“I think it would be best if we continued this conversation down the station,” he said quietly, “get dressed, please. I think what you’ve got to tell us is too important to be said without witnesses. After all, it might lead us to know why your father was killed, and we all want to know the answer to that, don’t we?”

Amelia was still blushing, head held low, when Elena returned.

“Constable, will you help Miss Buttery find something to wear? She’s going to finish the interview at the station in the presence of recording equipment.”

Amelia’s eyes flashed up, and the blush grew deeper.


© Peter Rogerson 06.03.17


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