I started writing a murder mystery some time ago, we are almost at the end now. This is the next instalment.
If you want to read this story from the beginning click on this link:
A strange turn of events
They were all standing in the room where a young man had apparently committed suicide and confessed to Murder.
Lady Audrey Patterson was still taking everything in. The boy was named Christopher Copeland and he had been a friend of her nephews, they both worked together in the Foreign Office. He had also been on friendly terms with Claudia Halifax, even though she was very much his elder. She had been found strangled nearly two weeks before. It looked like he had confessed to her Murder, but why did he do it? Did he also murder Elsie? Was he seeing both of them at the same time? Something felt wrong about this. He didn’t seem the type at all. Yes, he might be emotionally strained enough to commit murder, or suicide, she saw that much when she’d visited him the day before yesterday. He had been overcome with emotion and couldn’t stop crying. Did that drive him to this confession? No, this did not add up at all. He was not the type of boy to form attachments to two women at the same time, she was sure of that.
Sir Alfred was holding her arm in a supportive manner he said: “Everything’s going to be all right, my dear, don’t worry.”
She detected something she did not like in his voice and pulled her arm out of his grasp.
“What do you mean by that?” She said vehemently.
“Well, as I said, you were the last person to see him alive. You were also a close friend of Claudia Halifax who was found strangled the morning after going to your party. It was also your maid who was found strangled under the hedge in the park opposite your house. Three people all dead and you connect all three.”
Sir Alfred had a sad look in his eyes. “I’m sorry, my dear, but I have seen it happen before. A lady with a rather over stimulated imagination, with an avid fascination with crime novels, suddenly wishes to become part of it herself. You wanted to try your hand at solving a murder, it’s only one step further to start planning one.”
Lady Patterson was stunned it appeared her best ally had turned renegade. Was he joking with her? She tried to detect whether there was any humour in his eyes, but there was only sadness. This wasn’t the time or place, with a young man lying dead, for jokes. He had to be serious.
“I was not the last person to see him” despite the shock of suddenly finding herself a suspect, Audrey gathered herself together and was pleased with the strength of her voice. “Firstly, that scrap of paper, who ever heard of a suicide note, or indeed a confession, being written on a torn piece of paper? It just isn’t done. Secondly, it is written on very expensive blue writing paper, I bet you can’t find any of it lying about here. I tidied up myself the other day and I swear he didn’t have any writing paper. The only paper was a couple of unopened letters on the kitchen table. Thirdly, it appears the note is written with an old-fashioned fountain pen, the kind that doesn’t have cartridges, you have to fill it from an ink bottle. That shade of blue isn’t available in cartridges. Again, I bet you won’t find such a pen here or any ink. Something like that would have stood out to me, one notices that sort of thing. Finally, when I was here, that poor boy had a headache. I searched high and low and couldn’t find any tablets at all, certainly not in his bathroom cabinet, and definitely no sleeping powders. I had to give him two aspirin out of my handbag.”
“You gave him some of your own tablets? Do you still have the bottle?” Sir Alfred asked.
“Yes, I do” Audrey opened her capacious leather bag and rummaged in it finally holding up a glass bottle labelled ‘Aspirin, two to be taken as required’. “Here,” she said holding out the bottle.
Sir Alfred took it and handed it to one of the Constables on duty “You should get this analysed.”
Turning back to Audrey he said “Well, you never cease to amaze and inspire me, my dear. If I were you I would make a statement to whoever is in charge of the case.”
“For a moment, I thought you were in charge of the case. I am, of course, very happy to cooperate fully. Will you accompany me to the station?”
Getting back into the police car waiting outside, they were soon speeding again through the streets of London on their way to Scotland Yard.
Nearly The End
Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 23/August/2018