The Guests Arrive for Tea – A Murder Mystery Continues

I started writing a murder mystery some time ago, we are almost at the end now.

If you’d like to read this story from the beginning, click on this link:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/07/11/the-start-of-it-a-short-story-with-familiar-characters/

 

The Guests arrive for Tea

Having refreshed herself with a cup of tea and one of Mrs Buscombe’s excellent Egg mayonnaise sandwiches, Audrey decided to change her clothes. She had been roused out of bed early that morning by a telephone call from Sir Alfred Thorpe. It had been to see the dead body of a poor young man, Christopher Copeland, who had apparently committed suicide, having also confessed to murder.

That could well have been the end of the whole investigation. Although it did not satisfy her. Not in the slightest. It may well have provided an explanation for Claudia Halifax’s murder, but it still did not explain the death of her own Maid, Elsie. Elsie had been a nice girl, a trifle naïve and it appeared she was a bit swayed by gifts and trinkets, but that wasn’t a bad thing. She was sure that the suicide and confession of that poor young man had been part of a wicked and insidious ploy to shift the focus away from the real culprit.

She changed into a wrap-around dress in a pale lavender colour and having rearranged her hair she went back downstairs to await her guests. She was just at the bottom of the stairs when the doorbell rang. She checked her watch, it was just past three-thirty, far too early for the guests she’d invited for afternoon tea. As she was crossing the hall, she answered the door herself.

Standing there, in his civilian clothes of dark grey tweed, was Constable Jones.

“May I have a word with you, Lady Patterson?” He asked politely but with a distinct tone of anxiety about it.

“Yes, of course, Constable, come this way.” She led him into the drawing-room and sat down in her sofa and pointed him towards a chair.

“Thank you. I’m not on duty, it’s just Caradoc Jones. I wanted to make a confession to you, if you don’t mind.”

“You wish to make a confession? Are you going to tell me what you were doing on the Thursday night when Elsie was murdered?”

Caradoc Jones’ face went bright red “Erm, yes, yes I was. How did you know?”

“Because, Mr Jones, I went to the Cinema on Thursday evening myself and saw, not ‘Angel over Islington’ which didn’t start showing until the following weekend, but Dial M for Murder. I knew then that you lied to me. What were you doing? Had you been following Elsie?”

“Not then. I admit I had been following Elsie, after she chucked me over. I wanted to know what she was doing, who she was seeing, but gradually, I began to realise that I didn’t care anymore. That Thursday I was in the company of Mavis Pruitt. She’s the Maid at number 33. We’re engaged to be married now.”

“That all seems rather sudden Mr Jones. Elsie’s only been dead two weeks.”

“Yes, well I’ve always been quite friendly with Mavis, even before Elsie come on the scene. Elsie, she was a fair girl, very pretty and at first she seemed really keen on me, so Mavis just faded into the background, you see?”

“Yes, I see and after Elsie chucked you she suddenly came back into the foreground again, is that it?”

“Well, yes, not right away. At first, I was cut up about it, I admit it, I used to follow her around. I saw the odd glimpse of the person she’d chucked me for. Then I got over it. Mavis made me realise she was the one for me all along.”

Audrey wasn’t altogether interested in Constable Jones’ love life, something he’d said just caught her attention.

“You say you managed to catch a glimpse of the man Elsie was with? Why didn’t you tell Sir Alfred that? What was the man like? Was he tall and blond?”

“I only caught a brief glimpse of him, He was a toff, fancy clothes. He wasn’t tall, he was stocky. I didn’t see his hair, he had a top hat on.”

“Was he Old, or Young?”

“It was hard to say, I only saw him from a distance and from behind. He did have an unusual way of walking though, sort of hunched like.”

“Do you think you’d recognise him if you saw him again?”

“Well, I might. Why, what did you have in mind?”

“I am having a gathering in a short while. A few people will be arriving and I want you to sit in the morning room, which over looks the street and observe my guests as they arrive, then come and tell me if any of them could have been the man you saw in the park with Elsie.”

“Well, I suppose, if you think it may help.”

“It will make amends for not coming forward with this information sooner. I will forget all about it, if you help me.”

She put her plan into action and placed Constable Jones in the morning room from where he should be able to see everyone arrive.

Audrey had just sat back down in the morning room when the doorbell rang again.

Alice announced Sir Alfred who followed her in, still looking quite sheepish.

“Alf, if you would be so kind as to sit here next to me. You’re the first to arrive.”

Sir Alfred manoeuvred across the room with his cane. He was smartly dressed, with his dark grey suit. She hadn’t really noticed much until now, but he had a distinctive walk. He was slightly hunched over and walked with a rolling gait, possibly caused by arthritic trouble, but it looked almost like the walk of someone who’d spent their life at sea and had to adjust to the movement of a ship. That wasn’t the case of course. Sir Alfred had spent his life working in police and achieved the rank of Chief Commissioner of the Metropolitan police.

Sir Alfred lowered himself onto the sofa next to her with an audible gasp.

At exactly Four thirty the doorbell rang and Alice announced the arrival of Lord Halifax. He wore a very formal black suit and had a dour expression on his face.

“Now, Lady Patterson, I would be grateful if you could explain why you have invited me. You mentioned having acquired something?”

“Oh, please don’t let’s be in too much of a hurry. We can at least be civil. I have ordered some tea and there is one more person left to arrive. Please take a seat.”

Audrey indicated a chair by the window, which Lord Halifax lowered himself into. He was older than her, about the same age as Sir Alfred, but he seemed more agile for his age. He sat bolt upright in the chair.

Alice brought in the sandwiches and began serving the tea. There was no point in waiting any longer.

Nearly the End

 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 28/August/2018

 

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/08/28/insidious/

 

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/08/28/rdp-tuesday-prompt-fair/

 

 

Goodnight and sweet dreams – Another Old song

 

Any of you who have read a few of my posts know that I love old music. I am rather a fan of the singer Al Bowlly who had a few hits in the 1930’s. He was killed in the Blitz during the second world war, he apparently refused to go to the air-raid shelter and stay in his room. The building took a direct hit and very little was left of him.

This was one of his hits. He had a haunting way of singing that seems to tug at my soul.

I hope you like it.

Goodnight all. 🙂

 

The Wreck of the Shirley-Ann – Or ‘The Devil’s Bet’.

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This story was written in response to Laura M Bailey’s

Manic Mondays 3 Way Prompt

https://alltheshoesiwear.wordpress.com/2018/07/23/manic-mondays-3-way-prompt-wrecked/

and Fandango’s Word prompt: Compete.

FOWC with Fandango — Compete

The Wreck of the Shirley-Ann – OR ‘The Devil’s Bet’

The old shipwreck was a monument to folly. It had stood on the mudflats off of Rookstone head for as long as anyone could remember.

Wise old men and women used it to warn youngsters not to put good competition above good sense.

Old Stefan was the one who told the story best. He was an old fisherman himself but hadn’t put to sea for many a year now. He preferred standing at the bar of the Jolly Roger public house to standing at the prow of a ship nowadays. He was always there come Friday night, with his old blue woollen fisherman’s pullover, holes in various places. His skippers hat on his head and that old pipe in his mouth, spewing foul-smelling fumes.

He loved to spin a yarn or two to any visitors to the town or anyone who would listen, although the locals had learned not to, or they would end up wasting the best part of two hours.

On that particular evening he had a crowd of young sightseers sitting around him. He gave them a good show.

“Arr, you see that old ship that be stuck out across the bay? Wrecked, it was, back when my own Pa was a nipper. It belonged to a proud fisherman by the name of Mad Jack. The ship was called the Shirley-Ann after his beloved and betrothed. One day he was standing at this very bar, in this very spot and boasting as he always did. He swore that him and his crew could catch more fish than any other boat on any day they’d care to name. Two other captains took his wager, sick of his boasting they were. They each swore to give the winner half their years profits. Half their profits to the man who brought in the most fish. They chose the date, the first of October, and having shaken on the deal, none of them could turn back. Despite all their women folk begging them not to be such fools. Shirley-Ann begged her betrothed not to do it, but Jack laughed and said it was as sure as won, and he’d have enough money for them to be wed.

When the day dawned, the sky was beautifully clear and sea was as calm as a summer pond, only there were clouds on the horizon and they were bathed in red. Red sky in morning, sailors warning, and never was it truer than of that terrible day. The three boats each with their crew of six men went out on the morning tide to catch fish. By midday the sea had gone from calm to turbulent and the winds whipped around in the bay something fierce. By the mid-afternoon, the sky was blacker than night and the sea was like old Neptune himself was wrestling giant squid beneath the waves. The other two captains turned back to shore, no longer in the mood to compete, not if it meant risking their lives. Mad Jack laughed at them when they turned their boats to the shore, so the other captains said.

Well it was a mad folly for him to stay out there in that terrible storm, but so determined was he to win his bet,  he stayed too long in those treacherous waters. The boat was dashed against the black rocks of Rookstone head and Mad Jack and most of his crew were killed. Only one man survived, washed up on the shore, Tom Pruitt. He was a young man then, just twenty but already wed and with a nipper. He was my Grandpa.

The next day the wreck was found where it lies to this day, out on the mudflats. The bodies were all washed ashore. Poor Shirley-Ann never wed and died a poor spinster, wearing black in mourning until her dying day.

Let this be a lesson to ye, and learn it well. Competition is all well and good, but never put it over and above good sense. And never make a wager with your life on the line, that’s the Devil’s bet, they call it and he usually wins, because he always cheats.

Now who will stand me another Pint of the best, eh? My throats gone all parched with the telling.”

The End

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 23/07/2018

A New Partnership – A story with some familiar faces.

A while ago I wrote my own Agatha Christie themed Murder Mystery, See here:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/04/27/death-of-a-notable-a-murder-mystery/

I wanted to revisit a few of the Characters in that story, but about twenty years later, so I wrote this story here:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/06/13/introducing-a-lady-short-story/

This is a continuation of it.

A New Partnership

Audrey Patterson was sitting in her favourite easy chair re-reading her favourite book by Agatha Christie, ‘A Murder is Announced’. She was just getting to a really good bit, when the doorbell rang. Tutting to herself, she tried to get back into the book. 

Times had improved for Audrey in the last twenty years. She still lived in the same house in Chelsea, a rambling Victorian town house, but twenty years ago finances couldn’t stretch as far as having any servants. Now she had a marvellous cook in the form of Mrs Buscombe and a maid in the less efficient form of Elsie. Her husband had wanted them to have a Butler too, but she detested Butlers. She always felt they looked down their noses at her in a rather snobbish superior way. Also, in reading a lot of classic crime fiction, the Butler was always a suspicious character. Although in Mrs Christie’s works she refrained from that particular cliché. Anyway, it was Elsie’s job to answer to doorbell, leaving Audrey to enjoy her book.

The doorbell rang out again. 

Continue reading A New Partnership – A story with some familiar faces.

My Music – A journey into the past.

Many of you will know that I am very old-fashioned and that is no more true than in my taste in music.

I love music, I passionately believe that it has such a valuable influence over our body and health and nothing can change a mood better than music.

However, if you mentioned to me a Music artist that has only been around in the last 10 years, chances are I wouldn’t have heard of him/her/them.

I can count on one hand the number of current songs I have heard on the radio that I have liked. The most recent one I can recall Is Pharrell Williams song ‘HAPPY’ I liked that.

I’ve just looked that up, and the most contemporary song I could think of was a hit in 2014, so already 4 years old.

I do own an I-pod, it is one of those smaller ones, a Nano. It is the same colour as my friends teenage daughter and we always used to joke about the shock she’d have if she picked up mine by mistake. Although despite all the rubbish she likes, she still loves Elvis, so Kudos there.

I thought I would share with you my ten most played popular music tracks (I’ve cut out the Classical stuff).

In reverse order:

At Number 10, we have:

Unforgettable by Nat King Cole

 

Number 9:

9 to 5 by Dolly Parton

 

Number 8:

Feeling Good by Nina Simone

 

Number 7:

Dream a little dream of me by Mama Cass Elliot

 

Number 6:

Annie’s Song by John Denver

 

Number 5:

Your Song by Elton John

 

Number 4:

Let your Love Flow by The Bellamy Brothers

 

Number 3:

Crazy by Patsy Cline

 

And in Second place,

we have

We’ve only just begun by the Carpenters.

 

And Finally,

 

In first place,

 

the most listened to Pop track on my I-pod is:

 

True Love Ways by Buddy Holly

 

 

So, I told you I was old fashioned. I wonder what else these songs say about me………?

Well I hope you like this post.

Let me know which of these you liked, which Golden oldies you like that weren’t on my list.

Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments below.

🙂

 

My Aunt Irene – A list poem

This is a poem that I wrote as part of an exercise for my Creative Writing class.

The exercise was you had to imagine going down someones bag and picking out some objects you found in there. From those object, you then use them to build up a character.

I started listing certain things that I could imagine being in an elderly lady’s handbag.

I then found that my brain was making them rhyme, without any conscious decision to write a rhyme.

This is the poem. I hope you like it.

 

A bright lipstick of coral pink.

Powder compact, Chanel, I think.

 handkerchief; ostentatious lace.

A photograph of a man’s dark face.

Some metal buttons, tarnished brass.

A small round brooch of emerald glass.

Enamelled box, containing pills,

To alleviate my Auntie’s ills.

Something sweet, to make her feel better.

An envelope labelled “His Last Letter”.

My Aunt’s gone now, I miss her so,

together at last, with Uncle Joe.

 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 18/June/2018

 

FOWC with Fandango — Ostentatious

A few of my favourite films (movies if you prefer).

The Haunted Wordsmith has posted her a list of movies that she loves, see her post below:

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/06/06/movies-i-dont-want-to-live-without/

I thought I would share with you all a few of my favourites…Prepare for a trip down memory lane, because I like OLD FILMS 😉

In no particular order:

Gone with the Wind (1939)

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All about Eve (1950)

The Slipper and the Rose (1976)

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The Amazing Mr. Blunden (1972)

The Princess Bride (1987)

Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)

Death on the Nile (1978)

Murder on the Orient Express (The version with Albert Finney and Lauren Bacall in it) (1974)

Scrooge (the Alastair Sim version made in 1951)

Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967)

Show Boat (two films versions, one in 1936 and another in 1951, both favourites)

Image result for Show Boat free picture

Image result for Show Boat free picture

Singing in the Rain (1952)

Paddington (2014)

Image result for Paddington free picture

Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)

There’s something about Mary (1998)

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That’s probably enough to be getting on with. Only four of these were made AFTER I was born. Can you guess which ones?

Any on here that you love too? Let me know.

🙂

 

3 Quotes, 3 Days Challenge (Song Lyric Style) – DAY THREE

The lovely and brilliant Ang4him has nominated me for this interesting challenge.

https://journeytoimperfectionblog.wordpress.com/author/ang4him/

Please visit their blog:

https://journeytoimperfectionblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/25/3-quotes-3-day-challenge-song-lyric-style-day-1/

the RULES:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you
  2. Post 1 quote (song lyric) each day for 3 days
  3. Nominate 3 people

 

People who regularly visit my blog may have picked up on something about me…I am old fashioned and as such my music tastes are pretty 20th century, in fact I don’t think I have much music post 1990 on my i-Pod (but I’m not that bad really, I do have an I-pod).

So my old fashioned inspiring music quote of today is this one:

The original song “Spread a little happiness” Was written back in 1929 (told you I was old fashioned) but this version by Sting was a hit in the UK in 1982, when I was a wee nipper (5 Years Old). I remember it and I’ve always loved it. The Lyrics are below:

“I’ve got a creed for every need
So easy that it must succeed
I’ll set it down for you to read
So please, take heed
Keep out the gloom
Let in the sun
That’s my advice for everyone
It’s only once we pass this way
So day by day

Even when the darkest clouds are in the sky
You mustn’t sigh and you mustn’t cry
Spread a little happiness as you go by
Please try

What’s the use of worrying and feeling blue?
When days are long keep on smiling through
Spread a little happiness till dreams come true

Surely you’ll be wise to make the best of every blues day
Don’t you realise you’ll find next monday or next Tuesday
Your golden shoes day

Even when the darkest clouds are in the sky
You mustn’t sigh and you mustn’t cry
Spread a little happiness as you go by”

How’s that for inspiring lyrics? I try to live by them….Some days it is easier than others.

My Nominees are:

https://curioushart.wordpress.com/2018/05/25/quote-challenge-archaic/

Blogging Changes

You Make Me Simile

As I always say, do not feel any pressure to take part if you don’t want to, I just wanted to let you know I appreciate your blogs and the effort you go to. If you want to take part but not right away, then just save it up for when you have time.

I hope you all enjoyed my crazy old fashioned music choices and inspirational lyrics.

All the best

🙂

3 Quotes, 3 Days Challenge (Song Lyric Style) – DAY ONE

The lovely and brilliant Ang4him has nominated me for this interesting challenge.

https://journeytoimperfectionblog.wordpress.com/author/ang4him/

Please visit their blog:

https://journeytoimperfectionblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/25/3-quotes-3-day-challenge-song-lyric-style-day-1/

the RULES:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you
  2. Post 1 quote (song lyric) each day for 3 days
  3. Nominate 3 people

 

People who regularly visit my blog may have picked up on something about me…I am old fashioned and as such my music tastes are pretty 20th century, in fact I don’t think I have much music post 1990 on my i-Pod (but I’m not that bad really, I do have an I-pod).

So my old fashioned inspiring music quote of today is this one:

 

“In every life we have some trouble,

When you worry you make it double.

Don’t Worry. Be Happy.”

 

My Nominees are:

https://bitchininthekitchen.org/

Attention: Community Pool

To the Daily Post Community: Thank You!

But you don’t have to do it right away if you’ve had one recently. Save it for when you feel like it.

Death of a Notable – Murder Mystery. AN EPILOGUE.

EPILOGUE

Mrs Audrey Patterson reclined deep in thought in her simply furnished living room. The dark solid parquet floor was covered with a Persian rug in colours of blue and green. The large padded sofa was upholstered in a dark green material, that matched the velvet curtains on the bay window that was letting in the light of the afternoon sun. It was her favourite place to come and read a book or have a good think. A well-worn copy of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express lay abandoned for the time being on the sofa next to her as she stretched out. Curled up beside her was her black and white tomcat, Sherlock. Audrey Patterson was gently stroking her cat and looking off into the far-off distance. Anyone who knew her would know her to be loquacious in the extreme. She only stopped talking during those rare moments when she was sleeping, eating or thinking. She kept going over and over in her head about the events that had happened the week before. The death of that young scientist, Dr Lancaster, still loomed largely in her mind. Of course, she had been spoken to by those rather intimidating young men. They had always been polite, but they still had an air of menace about them and the way they managed to force their way into the house still made her shiver. They had used all of those nice phrases, ‘a patriotic love of one’s own country’ and ‘a sense of national pride at carrying out an important duty’. It had all boiled down to one thing. She was to keep her mouth shut, or else. They had suggested that her husbands career as a top scientist working for the government, would be in jeopardy if she didn’t agree to their proposal. He had worked so hard to attain his current position, and to provide this lovely house and lifestyle, she couldn’t put that in danger. She loved him too much to bring him any harm. So, she had agreed. She wasn’t at all happy about it though. Justice mattered to her too much to be put so easily aside. The more she thought about it, the more she thought that ‘His Majesty’s secret service’ had missed something. Something vitally important.

Continue reading Death of a Notable – Murder Mystery. AN EPILOGUE.