A Chapter by Peter Rogerson



It’s all been so obvious and I’m a fool for not seeing it straight away,” muttered Rosie as they pulled up outside the Butcher front door.

Rosie rapped hard on the letter box once they’d got out of the car. She knew there was someone in because she could hear the sounds of children playing or quarrelling, she wasn’t sure which. But the sounds reminded her of her own home a few years earlier.

The door opened and a somewhat severe looking woman with a harassed face and greasy hair stood, frowning at them.

If you want my old man then you’ve missed him,” she said, “gone to the pub, he has, like he does time after time after time. I’d think he’s got a fancy woman but there’s never any tell-tale lipstick smudges on him ‘cause he’s bloody careful. But truth to tell, nothing would surprise me and his terrible carnal appetite.”

That doesn’t matter. It’s you we want to speak to,” said Rosie quietly, surprised by the flow of vindictive words about the woman’s husband, “may we come in? You may not want nosey neighbours to hear what I’ve got to ask you...”

Come on in, then. There’s no need for you to go beating about the bush. You want to ask me why I killed that foreign tart, don’t you?” asked Mrs Butcher, quite blatantly.

Pardon?” asked Bob, surprised at what was a most unexpected opening salvo from the woman who he’d expected to deny even knowing of the existence of their victim.

That’s why you’re here, ain’t it?” asked the woman as if admitting to murder was an everyday occurrence. “My old man has a fancy eye for her, at least he did have, and when I saw him frolicking, yes young man, I did say frolicking though I could have used other language, frolicking with her, I’d had enough, so I stabbed her.”

What with?” asked Rosie quickly as they were ushered into a dining room and invited to sit at a table prepared for afternoon tea. The sounds of the two children could be heard coming from the other room.

You know that much, dearie,” said Gloria Butcher, “you’re not daft. It was a needle loaded with morphine, enough to take out an elephant I wouldn’t be surprised. I’ve had it stashed away in my bag for yonks, just in case, and then I saw him with my own eyes, trousers round his knees and pummelling away as if there was going to be no tomorrow, I lost it. Sorry to be so blatant, young man, but it’s what was going on and almost before my own eyes. And she wasn’t protesting, not a whisper, she was egging him on as if she hadn’t had so much pleasure since the last time which I reckon might have been last week, same time and same place.”

Rosie was at a loss to think of another question when there came the sound of the door opening and a voice calling out “Home, Gloria, my love...”

See,” she grinned at the two officers, “when he lurches home from the pub he calls me his love and reckons I’ll forgive him...”

Now what’s all this?” asked Aaron butcher as he banged into the room, not actually lurching. “Visitors, is it? Nice and cosy too! What’s their business here, if I might ask?”

They came to ask me if I’d killed that woman you was having it away with down the Bottoms but I saved them the bother of asking by telling them that I did it,” she said in such a matter of fact voice that she might have been confessing to over-boiling a breakfast egg.

Don’t you go saying such a daft thing, not to the cops!” exclaimed her husband, and he turned to Rosie.

She don’t mean what she’s saying! What are you doing, putting such a thought into her mind! I know all about you and your filthy ways, parading around in the altogether like you do when you reckon nobody’s looking,” he almost shouted, “and you with kids too! You should be ashamed of yourself! Stark naked from dawn to dusk with all manner of folks likely to look on! I’ve heard about it and I reckon as you ought to be defrocked!”

Rosie looked contemptuously at him. “What I may or may not do in private, in my private life and where such things are actually encouraged, is my own concern and nothing to do with you!” she said sharply, “but then you know all about cavorting with the fair sex in the open, don’t you? The late Phoebe Denton, the woman your wife admits to poisoning with morphine, very shortly before an end was put to her life, had intercourse with a man, and the DNA test will, I’m sure, prove that it was with you. Don’t forget you left quite a lot of DNA behind...”

And by the way,” put in Bob Short, indignant that his boss had been subjected to a tirade of blame even though all he knew about her private life was tittle-tattle in the Copper’s Nark, “by the way, it’s the clergy that get defrocked if they transgress, not police officers.”

And they’re not very often of a naturist persuasion,” murmured Rosie, trying to defuse what might become an unpleasant side-issue.

Anyway,” broke in Gloria Butcher, “I’m here! Put your handcuffs on me, officers, and take me off so that this useless turnip here can learn just what it’s like having to deal with two kids that he never really wanted. I’ve had my belly full of it, and that’s a fact, and it’s why I won’t let his rotten flesh anywhere near me, not ever!”


And that was that?” asked Jack later that evening, “she just came out with it, like that, confessing and everything?”

It probably crossed her mind that she was the obvious choice as the killer,” said Rosie, “her husband almost certainly left some DNA evidence on the dead woman...”

How would he do that?” asked Jill, innocently, but Rosie was perfectly aware that her twins knew the answer to that question.

A hair,” she said vaguely, “with follicle attached… that would be quite enough ... it’s amazing what Doctor Greaves can find out these days from what you might think was really nothing.”

And we’re off for the weekend now you’ve got her locked up?” asked Jack, “I really want to see some of the country. I know where there’s a field filled with fascinating sheep… Are you bringing your new boyfriend with us?”

Detective Constable Short has his own life to live,” retorted Rosie, “and the last thing he wants to ruin his life is to have his boss in his eye-line even when he’s off duty.”

I thought he was rather sweet,” murmured Jill.

And that’s another reason why he can’t come,” said Rosie, “if you find one of my officers rather sweet it’s just got to be a warning for all of us. So no, it’s just you two and me, and I know just the spot for a couple of days...”

Not that nudey place you were talking about?” groaned Jack.

Most certainly not! No, it’s a farm only a few miles away, but it’s got a field for campers, including caravans, and a whole range of rare animals for you to look at. It’s very educational.”

Can I bring Judy?” asked Jill.

Only if Jack can bring Punch,” grinned Rosie, “now off you go to bed. It’ll be an early start in the morning!”


© Peter Rogerson 10.04.20

© 2020 Peter Rogerson

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Added on April 10, 2020
Last Updated on April 10, 2020
Tags: morphine, wife, murder, fornication


Peter Rogerson
Peter Rogerson

Forest Town, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom

I am 77 years old, but as a single dad with four children that I had sole responsibility for I found myself driving insanity away by writing. At first it was short stories (all lost now, unfortunately.. more..