9. Another Body.

9. Another Body.

A Chapter by Peter Rogerson

A search of numbert Thirteen is organised



9. Another Body.

Has it crossed your mind, Inspector, that the two shot corpses do have one very huge and very important thing in common,” said Superintendent Feazey in a private discussion with the DI Ian Bidcott. He had called the Inspector into his office for an update and one idea struck him like a bolt of lightning.

Ian frowned, but nothing came to him. True, both had been found naked in beds that had, as far as he was concerned, nothing to do with them either in life or in death, both had been shot and both had evidence that they had consumed a glass of red wine before they had died.

You mean the wine, sir?” he asked, seeking for time on order to find a better answer.

Maybe that, but what about their domestic arrangements, Inspector? It’s blindingly obvious, probably so blindingly obvious that you don’t even consider it, but they both cohabited at some time in their lives with the woman you were interviewing yesterday.”

Ian shook his head. “I did, of course, see the connection once I noticed the second Johndoe in a photograph on Ms Salmon’s mantelpiece, but the evidence placed him somewhere in Africa,” he said mournfully, then he slapped one had on his own forehead and almost shouted “of course! He can’t be in Africa if we’ve got him on ice in the morgue!”

Ah, so you see the misdirection, Inspector! You have been told that if you want to talk to him you’ll have to take a plane to somewhere in Africa and then you saw the relevant photograph, which was, you were told, taken just before he went to the vast continent of Africa. A happy family snap, just smiles and love everywhere. Your brain fitted the two together, and there you have the connection. Both men cohabited with Ms Salmon, slept in her bed with her and yet were found, stone dead, in beds that apparently had nothing to do with them!”

Of course, sir, of course,” grunted Ian, knowing that he would have made the connection all on his own if he hadn’t been summoned to this discussion with his boss.

And the red wine?” asked the Superintendent, enjoying the embarrassment on his Inspector’s face. After all, he spent most of his time sitting at his desk and didn’t get too many occasions when he could display the mental agility that had led to his promotion in the first place.

It struck me, sir, that it might, besides being a red wine, be a red herring,” he replied, trying to sound witty, “after all, most of us enjoy a glass of wine after work as a relaxant before we go to bed at night, and it’s quite possible that the two murdered Johndoes had a fetish similar to our own.”

Are you telling me that I drink wine of any colour before I go to my bed, Inspector? Because if you are I must correct you. I enjoy a nice finger of excellent malt whisky, but nothing as acidic as wine!”

I rather mean that if you were to take a survey of the entire population you’d probably find a decent percentage opt for a nice chianti?” Ian alnost snapped, and calmed his voice down at the last moment.

But if it isn’t a coincidence, Inspector? Have you asked yourlee that one? If there is more than a matter of chance in it? I suggest you re-examine your forensic evidence and see if the two apparently unremarkable glasses of wine fermenting in two dead bellies share anything ic common. Like, for instance, the bottle they came out of?”

The Superintendent was enjoying himself far too much, and he shook his head in full knowledge that climbing the ladder of promotion had stolen from him many of the chances he’d enjoyed in the past, of connecting seemingly disconnected pieces os information and ending up with a decent prosecution.

I suggest you take your search warrant with you and take a look round the house where Ms. Salmon lives,” he said with an encouraging smile, but couldn’t help adding, “like finding a half-empty bottle of red wine!”

Yes sir,” whispered Ian, and hee made his way out of the superintendent's office before its owner came up with any more bright ideas.

He had both Sergeant Puller and and the female constable Braintree with him and as they drove sacross town they were being followed by a marked police car which contained four other officers they might need if something unforeseen obstructed their search, and, of course, to provde manpower to speed it up.

The house at number thirteen Conehill Crescent looked the same as it had yesterday, except for one small detail.

She’s taken her bell push away,” he said, “I distinctly remember that after I knocked on the door I pressed a bell-push.”

Maybe it’s gone off for repair, sir?” suggested the sergeant.

Could be,” he agreed, but thought it unlikely. Who repairs broken doorbells? He knocked the door firmly, and stood back. There was no sign of movement inside. He knocked again, and then, when there was still no response, turned to DS Puller. “You and Megan stay here, I’m slipping round the back to see if I can see anything of interest.”

He wasn’t gone for long before he returned, carrying an empty bottle that had once contained wine. “The label insists it help red,” he said, “pity its empty, but it’s evidence enough for me and the Super. Come on: let’s have a party and get this door open.”

He grabbed hold of the door knob and to his surprise the door opened without the need of either a key or the heavy weight one of the support officers was holding prior to bashing the door in. Ian grinned at him. “Not your lucky day for enjoying yourself!” he said, teasingly, and that officer gave him the courtesy of grinning.

The house turned out to be empty of human life, though a cat did snarl at them before leaving through the door they had entered by. Ian led the way up the stairs into what was clearly the master bedroom, the double bed having been neatly remade since the last time someone had slept in it, and a floral nightdress folded tidily and resting on the pillow.

The smaller bedroom was different, though.

The bed was unmade and, sprawling on it in a spreading pool of blood, was the body of a man in his twenties with a knife jutting out of his stomach.

Crikey.” muttered DC Braintree, and the inert body shifted very slightly, and moaned.

Ian leapt towards it and checked for signs of life. There was a weak pulse, so he shouted out “get an ambulance!. Quick!”

© Peter Rogerson 27.05. 23


© 2023 Peter Rogerson

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Added on May 27, 2023
Last Updated on May 27, 2023
Tags: sperintendent, connection, bright idea


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..