2. D.I. Ian Bincott investigates

2. D.I. Ian Bincott investigates

A Chapter by Peter Rogerson

Getting to know DI Bincott and a lot about the head of Cotedove First School



2. D.I. Ian Bincott investigates

There are two things that I always tried to keep totally separate from each other and they were my work life and my home life. At work I cooed over the sweet little angels in the reception class at Cotedove First School and tried to instil in them the value of self whilst entertaining them with tales of dragons and magic, whilst at home I had a truly deep and often physical relationship with my husband Ian who, being a hard working police detective inspector, found that ten minutes with me in bed could be quite rejuvenating at the end of a busy day. At least, that’s what he claimed and I’m the kind of woman to render what assistance I can to the man I love.

To bring the two lives together was anathema to me, and yet I was obliged to do it. My boss had not only asked me to involve Ian in her macabre bedroom but she had actually called me Daisy, a familiarity that was almost unheard of in her strict headship of the school.

That day she was so troubled by her discovery in her bed at home that she hadn’t noticed that my frock was maybe a little on the short side because if she had noticed I would have been ordered not to wear it again and lectured on morality and appearances nd what little children made of my legs.

As if any little five year old was going to either be turned into a sex manaic if it was a boy or a dolly girl if it was a girl on account of their teacher’s frock! Anyway, it was pretty and I liked it and in the quiet chaos of me getting ready for work in the morning on tip toes whilst my husband slept having spent the best part of the night on obs (his abbreviation for observation duties) it was inevitable that occasionally I inadvertently dressed in something that Cynthia the dragon found bordered on her concept of indecency.

So I hadn’t received a lecture on morality but had been asked to telephone my husband and invite him to school to examine a dead body! And the way Cynthia had put it her probem was right up his street. It was a macabre problem wrapped up in a mystery, just the sort of thing he enjoys sinking his teeth into.

Miss Penfold lived in the bungalow next door to the school. It had been built originally for the caretaker to live in some time between when the school had been built maybe a century and a half ago and more recently, probably post-war. The caretaker sniffed his nose in distaste at it before he was appointed (he had a family and it wasn’t very big) but Miss Penfold had been only too pleased to move into it after making an arrangement with the educational department of the council. She didn’t need much space, being a spinster of a certain age, and never prone to entertaining anyone for the night.

It was during the lunch hour that I saw Ian’s car parked in the car park (an area of what had been a large playground and fenced off), and he was standing talking to Miss Penfold half way between the bungalow and the school. Then the latter looked my way and waved before cooing out Mrs Bincott in the sort of voice I swear would waken the dead of three counties.

In order to forestall a repetition of her summons I scurried over towards them.

Hi Ian,” I grinned at my better half (is he better? Maybe, but the jury’s out really, there’s a bit of latent feminism in me somewhere) as I drew close.

Daisy,” he replied, smiling nervously at me, his expression telling me he found my boss to be a little unnerving, to say the least.

Do you know anything about this?” he asked.

Only what Miss Penfold told me,”I replied.

Have you seen the, er, corpse?” he asked, and I shook my head in reply.

I only know what Cyn… Miss Penfold explained to me,” I told him, “that a dead man was in her bed when she woke up this morning and that he reminded her of a past beau.”

Miss Penfold scowled at my use of the word beau, but what else could I say on the spur of the moment?

He was by no means a beau, just a man I accidentally almost married!” she rasped, “you know, Mrs Bincott, that I am a confirmed spinster and as such have no use for beaus! But there was a wretch once who almost fooled me into wedlock!”

Hurrum!” put in Ian, “ladies, there is a problem, though I doubt it has anything to do with a man you knew, what, forty years ago,” he said, frowning at the headmistress, “and as it so happens I think I know who your unfortunate bedmate might be…”

I could see that Miss Penfold didn’t seem to like her corpse being described as a bedmate because she frowned again.

I don’t have bedmates and I absolutely never invite any man into my bed,” she rasped, “I never have and I never will! Such behaviour is most inappropriate in a guadian of the souls of children! What would the dear little ones in your class think, Miss Bidcott, if they knew I had men in my large bed?”

I wanted to tell her they’d think it perfectly normal because they all had parents who slept together but thought it would be a waste of my breath. “I didn’t mean…” I said, allowing the sentence to peter out.

The thing is, if the fellow’s who I think he is, he’s in Brumpton Prison, serving five years for abusing his ten year old son with an iron rod which broke the boys arm!”

David Shrimpton?” asked Miss Penfold, “I knew him! There was a boy in this school and he was viciously punished by a reprehensible father, what was his name, Benjamin. Benjamin Shrimpton. Notorious in these parts for the things he got up to. A nasty piece of work and that’s for sure!”

That’s him,” nodded Ian, “I believe you gave evidence at his trial, Miss Penfold?”

That I did! I don’t think creatures like that should be allowed on the streets! But if he’s in prison, how come he ended up in my bed, dead as a dodo and cold as ice?”

That will have to be seen,” nodded Ian, “look, Miss Penfold, I need you to come to the station in order to make a statement. As soon as is possible, ma’am.”

And will we find out how he came to be in my bed?” she asked.

Let the doctor get him on what he likes to call his slab and he’ll find out how the devil died. He’s pretty thorough, is Doctor Grimm. Then we’ll have some idea where we can start and unpick his movements up to when you cosied up to him this morning,” explained Ian.

Cosied up to him? How dared you! I did no such thing!” cried Miss Penfold in the sort of voice that made half the children in the playground turn to see if anything interesting might be going on.

I grinned as he uncomfortably shifted from one foot to the other and grinned apologetically. “No offence meant,” he said, “its just a figure of speech.”

It was then that the police ambulance arrived, a plain enough vehicle that gave no indication what it was intended for. But this was where the corpse in the bed would be loaded and then taken to the laboratory where Doctor Grimm had his famous slab

It was all done very discreetly, of course. Not one of the small children at play as their lunch hour came to a close had the faintest idea what was on the trolley that two men carefully wheeled to the open back doors of the van.

Not even when one naked leg hung free for a couple of moments as it went over an unexpected slope.

© Peter Rogerson 19.05.23


© 2023 Peter Rogerson

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Added on May 19, 2023
Last Updated on May 19, 2023


Peter Rogerson
Peter Rogerson

Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom

I am 79 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..