3. Another Body in Another Bed

3. Another Body in Another Bed

A Chapter by Peter Rogerson

A second body has been reported as being found in someone's bed and this time that someone is the town's Mayor!



3. Another Body in Another Bed

Headmistress Cynthia Penfold arrived at the police station after school in order to make the statement, as requested by my husband, DI Ian Bidcott. She thought it was a lot of official fuss over very little, or that’s what she told me, as we left school together.

You do see his point I suppose, though?” I asked her.

What do you mean, Miss Bidcott, by point?” she asked, rather too sharply for my own comfort. You might have gathered by now that I like to take life easy and without conflict, and my boss speaking sharply to me smells awfully like conflict to my sensitivities.

Well,” I replied trying to put my thoughts into some disciplined order, “a man was found, by you, in your bed, and he was dead. I suppose a conscientious policeman might want to know if you had anything to do with the dead bit.”

What are you suggesting, Miss Bidcott?” Her voice had risen by a semitone and the brusque edge to it had become harsher.

I had to answer her. After all, she was not only my boss but she was a well respected woman who had even put over her opinions on Radio Brumpton on more than one occasion.

Ian thinks the man was murdered,” I told her, “probably on account of the bullet hole in his chest,” I added, “and he was naked, you know. Not a stitch on him, which means he can hardly have walked in off the street with all his body on display. People don’t do that sort of thing, and if someone did there would have been phone calls protesting about it to the police, probably by the dozen! As a species we’re very private about our privates!”

Oh. I see,” she replied, frowning, not at me but apparently at the pavement in front of us.

I’ll give you a lift if you like,” I said, considerately I thought, “my car’s just over there.”

Do you think that husband of yours will arrest me?” she asked, her voice softer and horrified at the prospect of walking into a trap with bars on its windows and a door that clanged shut behind her.

She climbed into my car and I set off. It was almost no distance to Brumpton police station, but I took my time, needing to reassure a woman who for all the time I’d known her had oozed confidence, and now diidn’t.

Of course not,” I told her, wishing I could be quite as sure as I hoped that I sounded. “He’s got quite a talent for only arresting guilty people,” I added.

But he was in my bed! The dead man! I don’t know how he got there, certainly not with my approval, but he did look like the man I almost married all those years ago, but he can’t have been, of course.”

He was also identified as a man called Benjamin Shrimpton, a man in his thirties, so he would have only been a twinkle in his father’s eye when you almost married his look-alike,” I tried to assure her.

I don’t like that sort of talk!” she protested, “We all have father’s because it’s a biological necessity, but we don’t have to talk about it!”

Anyway, we’re here, at the police station, and all you’ll have to do is sign a written statement. Ian’ll probably have had it written out already, though he may want to clarify the odd point,” I told her.

Then he can get on with it sharply! I eat my dinner at six o’clock promptly,” she growled ad I pulled to a stop in the police station car park.

We made our way past the reception desk where a sergeant I know quite well grinned at me and wished me a long life and happiness, his own preferred greeting. I led Miss Penfold to the area where the detectives worked and Ian soon found us after I texted him that I was there with my boss.

He was all smiles when he saw her, which troubled me. I know Ian so well even though we’ve only been man and wife for about a year, and when he smiles like that it’s usually to cover something darker up.

Good of you to come, Miss Penfold,” he said, leading us to an interview room. Then he turned to me, winked and murmured “I don’t think we need you, Daisy, why don’t you nip to the pub next door and have an orange juice?”

I was about to ask if I could stay when a constable rushed up to Ian from the direction of the control room, looking flustered.

Inspector,” he hissed, “there’s been another one!”

Another what, constable?” he asked.

Dead body in a bed! On Oakland Street. In the mayor’s pad!”

The worshipful counsellor Crimpton’s pad, you mean, constable,” he corrected the junior officer, who blushed as he handed what looked like a post-it note to Ian.

Looks like you’ve started an epidemic, Miss Penfold,” he said with a tight grin. He glanced at the slip of paper in his hand. “It’s even caught the mayor himself with his trousers down! Look, I’ll hand you over to someone else to make your statement. I’m afraid I’ve got to love you and leave you…”

There’s no loving in my life young man!” snapped Miss Penfold, and I could well imagine that was the most correct statemnt she’d made in a month of Sundays.

We were led to a desk in what I knew was the incident room, and a young detective constable, Judith Price, sat down, all smiles and notebook.

It’s a long time since we last spoke, Miss Penfold,” she said, cheerfully, “I was only knee-high to a grasshopper back then, and learning to read!”

You were at the same school as I taught in?” asked the worried headmistress, “I find it difficult remembering… so many young children have passed through my hands since then…”

I loved you,” sighed Judith, “it was your honest straight-forwardness that encouraged me to become a police officer. Now let me see, your statement… I’ve got the gist of it down if you just read it through and put anything right before I type it out. The DI made comprehensive notes when he spoke to you earlier. He always does, you know. So run your eyes over this, let me know if I’ve got anything wrong, and I’ll type it up for you to sign. We should be done in just a matter of minutes.

I clearly detected a sigh of relief as Judith passed the statement to Miss Penfold, who read it and duly signed the proper copy.

It’s been a real pleasure seeing you again,” oozed Judith as we left the police station, “and if he needs to see you again he’ll let you know. But with another body being found in a bed, and that being the mayor himself’s bed, he’ll probably be more taken up with that.”

He’s more important than me,” acknowledged my head, and I guess that for once in her life she was grateful that somebody was.

© Peter Rogerson 20.05.23


© 2023 Peter Rogerson

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Added on May 20, 2023
Last Updated on May 20, 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..