Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Hear (07/08/10)
TITLE: HEARSAY YOU SAY?
By Philippa Geaney
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'Mrs Scandrett I realise you are upset and I am sure you thought you heard someone planning a crime'. The uniformed policeman wearing an badge identifying him as Constable Marcus Turnbull hesitated over his choice of words as though unwilling to add more emphasis and thus fear to the distressed woman. For some reason he felt inclined to believe every word the woman said she'd heard.
'The problem is that you cannot identity the would be criminals or even the intended victim; we can only hold your statement on file and hope you heard wrongly.'
The young constable stood, walked to the door and with a gentle smile ushered her out, saying as she passed. 'Let's hope you overheard a group of crime writers eh? There's a group here in town you know. They hold monthly meetings in the bookstore called Cover to Cover. I've been a guest speaker at one of their meetings. Police protocol and such.'
He hoped to distract the distressed woman from her futile plea for help by talking.
He was also tempted to mention that Charlotte Grey the beautiful new bookstore owner was his girlfriend. But he restrained himself. He'd probably said too much already.
Marcus reread the statement before checking the clock and heading off down the hall to his superintendent. Fellow policemen passed him on their way off duty. He waved. Once he'd delivered this statement he'd go too.
Charlotte was coming over for dinner tonight. He enjoyed male emancipation and could whip up a meal Jamie Oliver style.
First though, he had to shovel jeans and t-shirts and smelly socks into the washer.
Marcus tapped on the Super's door. He knew drill by now. A brief summary of the story then hand over the hard copy for contemplation.
"Sir." Marcus practiced while waiting for the summons.
"A woman dining in a busy restaurant heard three (she supposed it was three) diners in the booth next to her planning a murder. No Sir she could not see them; the speakers were separated from her by a thin wooden partition.
It seemed to Mrs Ruth Scandrett that these three were plotting to kill a female relative; the words 'she' and 'solicitor' and ' will' cropped up a few times.
Anyway Sir its all there if you want to me follow it up but it's all hearsay. The woman gave me no names, no sightings, no addresses.
Yet something rings true.
She said they planned to visit 'her' on the pretence of celebrating something or other then after adding a spike to her drink to render her stupid they intended to overdose 'her' by inserting a feeding tube down her throat (like they do in hospitals Sir) and pour in enough barbiturates to kill her."
Superintendent Webb was busy and at his signal Marcus left the hard copy in his inbox. He wrote a reminder in his notebook. Discuss 'Scandrett/Heard' with Super tomorrow.
He signed off duty.
Sometime later Marcus unlocked his front door and was greeted by an exuberant Labrador and a persistent beep from the answering machine. He dumped his just bought greens and roast on the kitchen bench and pressed replay.
'Hallo Marcus', Charlotte's voice was in the lower ranges leaning towards maddeningly attractive, 'I may be a bit late for dinner. My cousins want to call on me at home at about six to share a celebratory drink or two. They're calling a truce. They've been excessively upset about Aunt Charlie leaving the bookstore and such - to me and not them; they were quite nasty in the beginning and threatened legal action. But Aunt Charlie guessed they would and had a special clause in her will that made it water tight. It's all a bit sad really because I enjoyed my journalism and didn't want any of this either. But I loved Aunt Charlie and so I'll try. The three cousins used to scare me silly but the Lord always outwits every attempt they make to cause trouble.
Besides Marcus I wouldn't have met you if I hadn't come home.
Anyway I'm rambling; why on earth would I tell you this now? Sometimes I just seem to say things! Anyway I can tell you all about it lat..'
The answering machine clicked off.
Marcus felt for his gun, his keys then called in an all points. It was ten minuets before six o'clock.
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