Yesterday, I wrote part of a murder mystery story, see the link below to read it:
This story is the next instalment.
Audrey’s new maid, Alice, brought her a nice cup of tea with a small digestive biscuit on the side. Being on her own with no witnesses she did something she would never have done in company, something no one would expect. She picked up the biscuit and dunked it into the aromatic brown liquid and then put the soggy thing into her mouth in one go. It was a terrible habit, dunking biscuits, but it was something she’d always done and enjoyed doing, but only when she was quite alone.
It was twenty minutes before her Cook, Mrs Buscombe, responded to her summons. Some people may be been surprised that she didn’t exactly order her servants around, she gave polite suggestions which they usually carried out. So when Alice had said that Mrs Buscombe couldn’t come right away because she was baking, she didn’t fuss, she just waited patiently.
Mrs Buscombe still had the sleeves of her plain dress rolled back and her apron on. She’d been baking bread. Her grey hair was swept back into a bun, but she hadn’t taken as much care over her appearance as she used to. She also looked swollen around the eyes. Audrey suspected that the murder of her maid, Elsie, had taken an emotional toll on the Cook. It was quite strange in a way. Her Cook had always been a prickly creature who normally got on badly with the maids, but she’d taken to Elsie right away. She had been a very agreeable girl.
“You asked to see me, Madam?” Mrs Buscombe bobbed a curtsey.
“Yes, My dear, it’s concerning our dear Elsie.” To Audrey’s surprise, Mrs Buscombe burst into tears. Consolingly she put her arm around her shoulder and guided her to sit down on one of the chairs, only thinking momentarily of the flour dust.
Mrs Buscombe started to speak, although she was still clearly overwrought with emotion. “My poor sweet girl. I suppose you’ve found out, haven’t you? You were always so clever about things. Yes, I admit it she was my own child. When I was a young girl I worked in a house where the young son took a fancy to me. I became pregnant but the family wouldn’t let me keep her. I had to give her up to an orphanage. It was only later that I found her again. She didn’t know I was her mother. I didn’t think I should tell her. She’d probably hate me for giving her away. When you said you needed a new maid, I recommended the agency where she worked hoping you’d make contact and give her a job. I was so happy having her here and then some maniac goes and does her in.”
Audrey had not known this of course, but she didn’t want her reputation for getting to the truth to be dented so as she patted the Cooks’ shoulder she said “Yes, I thought as much. Now don’t cry. I want to get to the bottom of this awful business and bring the murderer to justice. You’ll help me, won’t you?”
Mrs Buscombe nodded assent.
“Tell me, Did Elsie have any male friends?”
“Yes, she was going steady with the local bobby, er, policeman. She would invite him in for a cup of tea when he was on his beat and one night a week they’d go to the cinema and see the latest film. He was a nice boy and I didn’t mind him at all. Then lately I think there was someone else. She started wearing more expensive things when she was going out, Silk stockings and that sort of thing. I asked her where she’d come by them and she’d say “None of your business”. Then, I found this letter in her room after she was done in. I kept it to myself.”
Taking out a letter from the pocket of her dress she handed it over. Audrey noticed that it was written in capitals.
I READ YOUR LETTER AND YOU MUSTN’T BE JEALOUS. YOU MAY HAVE SEEN ME WITH THAT LADY BUT I TELL YOU THERE IS NOTHING IN IT. YOU ARE THE GIRL FOR ME. LIKE I TOLD YOU THAT NIGHT BENEATH THE MOON, YOUR BEAUTY IS LIKE A CONSTELLATION OF STARS TO ME.
I HAVE ENCLOSED A TOKEN OF MY AFFECTION.
MEET ME TOMORROW NIGHT AND I WILL PROVE TO YOU THERE’S NO ONE ELSE.
“Why didn’t you hand this to the Police? It could have helped their enquiry.”
“I didn’t think it was that important Madam. I didn’t want them thinking that my girl was so easy-going.”
“But this letter might have been written by her murderer!”
Audrey felt that she was making some progress, she wondered if Sir Alfred was getting on as well with his little investigation.
The End….for now.
Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 09/August/2018