14. A Fatal Shooting

14. A Fatal Shooting

A Chapter by Peter Rogerson



Superintendent Knott was incandescent with rage. The worst possible thing had happened and here was his best detective sunbathing and not answering her phone like she had promised when he had grudgingly accepted she could pursue her enquiries at a distance, using her phone as both phone and on-line computer with access to just about every snippet of information known to man. She’d done it before, but now he raged, never again.

Because that worst thing had happened and it was easy to forget that he had, albeit reluctantly, agreed that his Inspector should be a few miles away over the weekend as long as she kept her side of the bargain and her nose firmly to the grindstone.

He had been forced to go to the trouble of driving himself to the farm where his Detective Inspector was sprawling on her deckchair in beautiful early Autumn sunlight which reflected from her bronzed skin and stirred what could only be jealousy in his mind when he looked at her. She was a sight for sore eyes, attractive and intelligent in one superb parcel, but that wasn’t good enough, Nowhere near.

He’d been in her position once upon a time, a good inspector who did a neat and tidy job, but he had always reluctantly accepted that Rosie Baur was better than most when it came to cleaning up difficult cases. He felt even more annoyed when he saw the folder on her lap with papers spilling out of it while she was concentrating on the tiny text on her mobile phone, frowning and clearly trying to work something out that seemed to be threatening to escape her.

So you’re on the case are you, Inspector?” he almost shouted even though the chances are she would have heard him had he whispered.

She looked up and smiled, not immediately recognising the anger in his voice for what it was.

As you can see I’ve got every nerve in my body on the job,” she replied, “I’ve tracked the Reverend Richard Roper back to Brumpton Primary School, where he was the son of the headmistress, and back then as a schoolboy he wrote several letters to the children’s page (local papers had such things back then) describing the pros and cons of having a parent as the head of the school you attend. Apparently his mother, the head, came down on him extra hard because otherwise she might have been accused of favouring him, and the rest of the kids despised him because he was seen at some kind of spy in their midst. Anyway, he wrote to the paper, and was published on Uncle Ted’s page.

Really, Inspector? You have gone to all this trouble trawling though ancient history when the crimes at hand happened this very week? And you take yourself off on holiday in order to do it?”

Oh, the murders have their roots in the past, sir, of that I’m sure, and as I explained , this is no holiday. I work just as well here, if not better.”

And in order to keep abreast of all the latest developments you’ve chosen to switch your phone off, or at least not answer it?”

All the little noises it makes get on my nerves when this or that app wants to sneak into my consciousness and interfere with my concentration, sir,” explained Rosie, “so I’ve turned the volume right off for the moment.”

And when I try to communicate with you because something really urgent has cropped up, something vital to the case, I have to come all this way to get your attention?” he barked, “when the actual solution is you should be alert and on duty in your office?”

Why? Has something happened, sir?” she asked, wondering what this apparently furious visitation was in aid of.

Because you weren’t answering your phone and there’s been an important new development,” he replied, scowling.

I’m sorry sir, though I intend to check for missed calls every so often,” she said, it’s just that I’m getting a handle on what motivates our suspect, and that’s important.

Well, checking every so often isn’t often enough,” he raged, “and if I didn’t need my best officer on the case I’d have suspended you already!”

I cleared it with everyone, including yourself, sir,” protested Rosie.

And you may recall that I said it was all right as long as you were constantly in the loop, and you haven’t been, and on top of that the worst possible thing has happened. There’s been another killing of a person who was at the same primary school as the two deceased ladies sixty years ago. At the same time the Bishop found out sooner than me has raced to Brumpton to demand an explanation from the Chief Constable, and Father O’Malley of Saint Hilda’s Catholic church wants us all fired for incompetence!”

Why?” Rosie paled. She’d never seen the Superintendent in such a rage before. She even thought it highly likely that he would suffer a heart attack if he carried on much longer in this vein. What can have happened to cause him so much grief?

Your sergeant involved the Father of Saint Hilda’s when he thought the Reverend Roper had sought refuge in his church,” snarled the superintendent, “and meanwhile another elderly person has been killed! Not a knifing this time, but something worse. The victim has been shot! With a firearm, and such things are almost non-existent in Brumpton!”

So the Reverend had a gun, did he? I wonder where he got that from?” mused Rosie quietly, trying to deflate her superior officer’s anger before a vein or artery exploded in his head.

I don’t care whether he had a gun or not!” yelled Superintendent Knott, “it’s of no importance or relevance at all if he had a gun! You see, Inspector, it was actually the Reverend Roper who was shot! Dead! Like a dodo! There you are, your favourite killer has been killed himself and I’d swear, yes, actually swear, that it must be the same murderer!”

© Peter Rogerson 19.01.21

© 2021 Peter Rogerson

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Added on January 19, 2021
Last Updated on January 19, 2021
Tags: Superintendent, anger, threat, shooting, death


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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