Sunday 25 – Monday 26 August 2013
By the time Foley made it into the station the following morning, Russell Knight had already taken Audrey Boyd’s statement and delivered her back to her temporary accommodation.
‘Shouldn’t you be taking that atrocious woman’s statement, Russell?’
‘If you’d bother to come in on time, Trav, you’d know that I’ve already taken her statement and I’m in the process of checking her movements,’ Knight replied.
‘Yes, yes, I’m sure you’re going into great depth checking her movements. In fact, I’m positive that I saw you checking her movements last night when you were following her up the stairs.’
‘You’re a prat, Travis.’
‘I may be a prat, Russell, but I’m also you’re boss. Show a little respect,’ Foley said.
‘Right you are, Mister Prat.’ Russell snickered at his own joke and Foley followed suit.
‘Funny, funny man,’ said Foley. ‘So what did Miss Boyd have to say?’
* * * * *
A young waitress placed a second mug of coffee in front of Audrey, smiled and then sauntered over to a table of teenage boys where she lingered a little too long. Audrey watched the act unfold in front of her.
‘I remember doing the same thing when I was her age.’
The woman’s voice surprised Audrey. She hadn’t intended on meeting anyone today. She’d simply wanted to sit alone and as anonymously as she possibly could in this village.
‘Jean, to what do I owe this pleasure?’ Audrey asked. Jean, not waiting for an invitation, sat down at Audrey’s table.
‘I heard about what happened at your place last night. Is it true?’
‘You waste no time at all, do you Jean? Always the first to get the gossip and spread the rumours.’
‘Now, now, there’s no need for vicious words, Audrey,’ Jean replied. She signalled for the young waitress to return to the table.
‘Yes, Mrs. Pettiford, what can I get you today?’ the girl asked.
‘A pot of tea. English breakfast, I think. And a piece of that chocolate torte,’ said Jean, and sent the waitress on her way.
‘I didn’t invite you to join me, Jean, so I’d appreciate it if you’d sling your hook and leave me alone,’ Audrey whispered.
‘Well, if you’re not going to play, Audrey, how about I tell you what I know?’ Jean’s question grabbed Audrey’s attention.
‘And what exactly do you think you know?’
Jean leaned in close to Audrey, a snide smile across her face, and whispered, ‘I know that the dead man in your front room was your ex-husband.’
Audrey felt Jean’s words as if they were a hard slap across her face.
* * * * *
‘Do we have an I.D. on the dead guy yet?’ Foley asked Knight.
‘Still waiting on Eva’s report, Trav,’ Knight replied.
‘Get on the phone to her and give her the hurry up. I want to know who he is more than what killed him. Although, I’m pretty sure the six stabs wounds to the chest may have had something to do with him expiring.’
Russell picked up the nearest phone and dialled the number for the Coroner. He waited on the line until the phone rang out as, more often than not, Eva Noland was up to her eyes in someone’s corpse.
‘No answer. I’ll give it a few minutes a try again,’ Knight said and dropped the handset back on to the cradle.
‘No need,’ replied Foley. ‘She’s here.’ He pointed towards the door and Russell looked over in time to see the Coroner saunter into the room.
She tossed a thin, cream coloured file towards Travis Foley. He fumbled his catch of the file and a few sheets of paper flew out from it, landing on the floor near Knight’s feet.
‘Can’t believe you fumbled that, Trav. Think we should find someone else as wicket keeper next season if you’re going to catch like that,’ Knight said. He bent down, picked up the errant papers and handed them to Foley.
‘Puts my catching on par with your batting, Russell.’
‘Oooh, a bit of alpha male competition going on here, is there?’ Eva joked.
‘Give me the short version of this, Eva,’ Travis said.
‘Okay . . . stabbed to death, six penetrating wounds to the chest. I’d say it was some sort of kitchen or chef’s knife, and there was some level of force behind the stabbing. And before you ask if I have an I.D. for him yet, yes, I do. He’s forty three year old Connor Ryan.’
Travis flicked through the file as Eva spoke, and one report caught his eye. He smiled and thrust the file, open to that particular report, towards Russell.
‘Look at who Mr. Connor Ryan’s ex-wife is.’
Russell scanned the report. When he reached the name of the victim’s ex-wife, he sighed.
‘I’ll bring her back in.’
‘Am I missing something here, boys?’ Eva asked.
Still smiling, Travis replied, ‘He was found in her house last night, Eva, and she told Russell and I that she didn’t know the guy.’
‘Interesting twist you’ve got on your hands then,’ she replied.
. . . To be continued . . .