11. An Archdeacon Cometh

11. An Archdeacon Cometh

A Chapter by Peter Rogerson



It was very early in the morning when Rosie (trying to switch her policewoman’s head off at least for the time being) and her twins climbed into her car which she had coupled to the caravan she kept parked all year round on the drive in front of her home, ever at the ready for a quick getaway. It was her one pleasure since her husband had been killed, taking their twins off on brief outings, mainly to a favourite corner of the neighbourhood

She knew where she was going. There was a farm not so many miles away, but it might have been in another country so far as she and her two teenage children were concerned.

It was barely half an hour from home, and when she arrived there and pulled slowly onto what she had come to regard as her spot which was shielded from the sun by the canopy of a large horse chestnut tree. The downside of that tree was the way it tended to shower the van with conkers in autumn and it was almost autumn now, but that didn’t matter. It was her spot and if she was careful where she parked the van would be safe from attack by too many horse chestnuts that seemed to be intent on responding to the natural forces of gravity combined with a fruitful season.

We might not be here for long,” she warned the twins, “there’s a killer at large back home and he probably knows we’re onto him.”

Well, if you get an urgent call you can leave us here. I’ll babysit Jack and he’ll babysit me,” Jill told her. They were used to their lives being disrupted by pressures their mother was under when there was an important case on. Fortunately Brumpton was a peaceful town with few outbursts of murder and mayhem to distract her from sunbathing when the weather was right.

It was when she was clad in as little as possible and reclining in her deckchair that Rosie got the more brilliant of her ideas. At least that’s what she told everyone and what she fervently believed. Besides the occasional case that distracted her from normal things like living, she was working out the plots of a series of mysteries which she hoped would one day finance her retirement, when she hoped to spend time looking at as many corners of the world as the inevitably far too few active years remaining to her would provide her with.

We’re off to the shop,” announced Jack as soon as she’d set the caravan up and uncoupled the car.

The farm shop was a favourite because it was run by the farmer’s wife who stocked a corner of it with as many bizarre yet inexpensive things as her husband was prepared to turn a blind eye to bearing in mind that the main purpose for having the shop was the sale of farm produce.

Don’t be long,” warned Rosie, “and don’t forget that we felt home before breakfast and there’s croissants waiting for you here! Here’s some money: maybe you could buy a jar of their splendid marmalade whilst you’re there.”

Roger, over and out,” quipped Jack.

Sure thing, mum,” added Jill, more politely.

When the two of them were safely on their way Rosie rang the station on the CID number and as good fortune would have it she was answered by the sergeant, Bob Short.

Anything new, Bob?” she asked.

I’m glad you rang, Rosie: I was going to ring you,” replied Bob, “there’s been a man in a collar asking for you and then quizzing me.”


He saw the super and his face was a mask of anger. Apparently he’s a messenger from the Bishop in his ivory tower, an Archdeacon or some such mortal, who wants us to know that the Bishop enjoys a full social life and that it interacts with that of the Chief Constable, and we should tread carefully when dealing with renowned clergymen or the Bishop might well mention his displeasure to the Chief at a party or on the gold course.”

We’re being warned off, are we?”

The Super, who, by the way, is annoyed that you’ve decided to go on holiday in the middle of a major investigation, says we’re to tread carefully. You know what the church is like and how it looks after its own… He was so miffed when I told him where you were and he said he knew the spot very well indeed because you’ve hidden there before.

Thanks for letting me know, and if you see the Super again you can tell him that I’m in no way hiding from anything and that I might be about to dress in my flimsiest summer frock but that doesn’t mean I’m not at work. I’ve got a good internet connection here and I’m going to fill in as much background over the next day or so as I could in the office, but much more comfortably, thank him very much!”

I hope it’s not only flimsy, but pretty,” murmured Bob.


The dress you’re about to put on.”

It’s very pretty, Bob, and really quite brief. Now get your head down and keep out of the Super’s way. I suggest you have a word with Doctor Greaves and see if he’s found out anything else about the demise of the two ladies in his care.”

Will do, Boss,”

And I’m not Boss, I’m Rosie, if nobody else is about.”

She hung up and quickly dressed in a cotton printed and very loose fitting but short summer dress in pale pink with a floral pattern.

This should please your eye-balls, Bob, if you were here,” she muttered to herself, and laughed.

Then she set up her deck chair, the one she always carried with her in the caravan, and took out her phone, which doubled as a computer when she needed something small to do her research on. The laptop was all well and good, but not in a deck chair and not in bright sunlight.

Mum,” came a voice into her thoughts, in which her boss and a clergyman figured in an unpleasant and highly toxic mental dance in which they both ended up in a tangled knot of pomposity.

Jack?” she replied.

There’s a bloke here looking for you. Says he’s an Arch something or other and that your Superintendent told him you were here…”

Rosie groaned, and looked up.

Why, what a pleasure, Archdeacon,” she said as the stranger strode towards her.

© Peter Rogerson 16.01.21

© 2021 Peter Rogerson

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Added on January 16, 2021
Last Updated on January 16, 2021


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..

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