4. The School Knickers

4. The School Knickers

A Chapter by Peter Rogerson
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REMEMBERING REBECCA Part 4

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A handful of uniformed officers conducted a house-to-house enquiry, but new information was non-existent. Nobody had seen anything, no stranger furtively making his way to the murder scene, not even the clergyman who had obviously been there. The only person to admit having caught a glimpse of that clergyman was Samuel Windsor, a retired bus driver on his day off, gardening across the road from the murder scene. With nobody else willing or able to cast any more light on the event, D.I Baur decided to interview him herself even though the constable had probably elicited as much from him as he knew.

All of which pleased Mr Windsor. His life, now he was retired from working on the buses, had started showing him how monotonous retirement can get to a man with few interests outside his work and the whole idea of policemen and white-clad scene of crime officers wandering up and down the street virtually outside his home added a hint of spice to his dreary days. And when he was asked what he may or may not have seen, he felt important. He became a cog in a huge wheel that would end up capturing a sadistic killer. He liked thinking like that.

Yes, ma’am, I saw him,” confirmed Mr Windsor, nodding his head, “an old cove, but then I know him from church. Not that I go to his church very often, you understand, but I saw him at Christmas when my grandson was singing in the school choir and they put on a nativity whatsit in the church for parents and grandparents to enjoy.”

And you saw nobody else?”

Samuel Windsor shook his head slowly. “It’s like I told that young copper,” he said, “polite young fellow he was, too. I wasn’t staring up and down the street with nowt to do, I had weeds to pull out, I don’t want you to get the idea that I’m a nosy creature, but the vicar opened that gate, the one leading up to the old bird’s front door, and knocked it. I heard the rattle from here, I did!”

You saw him knocking?”

That I did, and heard it like I said. And then he went in.”

Did you see who opened the door? Was it Miss Armstrong, the victim?”

Nah. I didn’t see that, but is stands to reason that if someone opened the door then it must have been her. Lives on her own, she does. Soon after I retired I thought of seeing if she wanted a bit of friendship, us both being of a certain age, but she turned me down. Can’t say as I blame her, though, I was never any oil painting, and I’m getting on in years now, which don’t help my beauty.”

Rosie grinned at his attempt at humour. So let me get this straight,” she said,he knocked the door and if nobody opened it he let himself in and discovered the dead woman? Is that possible?”

He scratched his head. “Nobody locks their doors round here,” he said, “we’ve got nowt worth pinching and the criminal classes know that. So we mostly leave our doors on the latch an’ if nobody answered after he knocked he most likely tried the handle and went in. Folks do that sort of thing round here.”

Well thank you, Mr Windsor. You’ve been most helpful,” she said, and smiled. “I shouldn’t think you’re any relative of the lot at the palace?”

He grinned back at her. “Glad I’m not,” we replied, “Snooty lot, they are.”

She went back across the road. She was troubled. The only candidate for the killer was an elderly clergyman, and she didn’t like that. True, he had blood on his gloves, but you would if you tried to staunch bleeding, wouldn’t you? And if people were as casual about locking their doors as she’d been told, anyone could have walked in at any time, maybe someone waiting on the corner for Mr Windsor to take a tea break and then slipping in whilst he was away seeing to his kettle and mug.

When she arrived back at the deceased woman’s house she found that her sergeant had arrived. He had been away on a call to an adjacent village over a problem involving evil teenagers and a football and had rushed back when he got the call.

Good afternoon, Sergeant,” she said crisply.

He grinned at her. She usually called him by his name, Sergeant Short, or Bob if she was being really friendly, but she wanted him to know that she’d arrived on the scene first.

In just a few words she brought him up to date. “So it’s not going to be easy, this one,” she finished.

He looked around the deceased’s front room and noticed something.

Hey! What’s this?” he asked, pulling blue latex cloves on and bending down to pick something from a corner where it had either fallen or been pushed out of sight.

What is it?” she asked.

It’s a bit like one of those pairs of PE pants that lasses used to wear when they were playing games outside,” he said, “you know, a cross between knickers and shorts.”

He held them up for her to see. They had been white, but there were blood-red stains on the garment.

I would never have been seen dead in a thing like that,” she said, “not even at school.”

Before our time,” he murmured, “but I was only thumbing through an old photo album the other day, pictures taken when my folks were at school, and from my memory they were wearing something like this when they were playing rounders.”

I suppose they were all in black and white?” she asked, grinning, “just to show that it was the olden times?”

He smiled back at her. “Some were,” he admitted, “and some were bright in colour. But when she was at junior school my mum wore pants like these. Only they weren’t stained with what looks like blood.”

Get them to forensics,” she said, “they’re not the sot of thing an elderly lady would have in her knicker drawer, are they?”

Wouldn’t fit her,” he agreed, and then he spotted something else. “What’s this?” he muttered and scrambled down to pick a crumpled sheet of paper from under the nearby display cabinet.

He unfolded it and read the brief message aloud.

You saw me back then and you’ve said nothing since. Keep your silence if you want to keep your life,” he read.

Now that’s very interesting,” breathed Rosie Baur, “very interesting indeed and needs to be taken most seriously. Put it in a fresh bag and get it to forensics as soon as you can.”

Will do,” he replied and handed both bags to a uniformed constable with instructions for him to follow Rosie’s orders.

Seems like there might be a hint of a motive here,” he murmured to her.

Let’s not jump the gun, but it’s hopeful,” she replied, “and the knife might have a story to tell too. That’s at forensics already. A kitchen knife, but it doesn’t match any the lady had in her kitchen according to constable Jones who took a look around before I got here.

The killer brought it with him, then,” said her sergeant, “which means the murder was planned. Very interesting. A pair of school P.E knickers, a kitchen knife and a note. Very interesting indeed.”

© Peter Rogerson, 09.01.21






© 2021 Peter Rogerson


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Yes my friend. The story getting so good. You are create interesting situation and a dangerous person. I liked the pace of the story. You are giving enough to keep the reader wanting more. Thank you Peter for sharing the outstanding chapter.
Coyote

Posted 1 Month Ago



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Added on January 9, 2021
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Author

Peter Rogerson
Peter Rogerson

Forest Town, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom



About
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..

Writing
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