The desecrated grave was that of Amylou Renners. She had died some 200 years ago. French by birth she had come to England as a young girl of 14 and entered into domestic service. She served in many fine London households and quickly progressed to housekeeper. Her reputation for efficiency became well known in the city and she was soon sought after by the most influential families.
After 20 years of working in the city she grew tired and desired a more rural setting redolent of her French childhood. When she was approached by Lord Scholes to manage the Calder Estate and be housekeeper at Calder Hall she leapt at the chance and never looked back. The estate engaged many local staff whom she oversaw and who all referred to her as “Miss Renners, keeper of the keys”.
At 34 years she was still a remarkably attractive woman and rumours abounded that she and Lord Scholes became lovers. However she remained single all her life and died at the age of 72. Protocol denied Lord Scholes the opportunity to publicly express his grief and so she was buried in a simple grave at St Michael’s with a plain headstone.
The Scholes family remained highly influential over the years and in 1959 more than doubled their net wealth when the current Lord Scholes married the only daughter of the massively wealthy Fogg family. Lord Scholes-Fogg as he became was, like all his ancestors, a staunch conservative. He was now in his 70’s and still a keen parliamentarian and it was with he whom Supt Payne had spent most of the afternoon.
“Superintendent. That really is all I can tell you. I know nothing more about Miss Renners. Whatever familiarity she had with my ancestors was kept very private. Unlike my son Tom who has abandoned family tradition for the Labour party”. Supt Payne checked his notes and smiled at Lord Scholes-Fogg. “Thank you for your time in these unpleasant circumstances Sir. I will keep you informed of any developments”. Lord Scholes-Fogg had been sitting forward. He sank back into his wing backed armchair. The black labrador by his feet stirred quietly before returning to its snoozing. “Do you see much of your son Sir?” asked the Supt. “Less than never mostly. He has disgraced this family and its fine traditions by joining the Labour party. He gets in touch when he needs money”. Lord Scholes-Fogg looked weary as though the burdens of family life were becoming too much for him. Supt Payne felt this was as good a time as any to leave, made his farewells and left the Calder Estate for the police station.
The noise of the city was muted considerably by the heavy double glazed doors of the Mercedes E63 AMG saloon. Roaming Royston had no understanding or appreciation of fine cars. This was simply the most expensive car he could buy and acted as a status symbol. He turned to his passenger. “John. It has been a pleasure to meet up with you again. Lunch was wonderful and I do miss how much simpler life was at Eton. I’ve followed your career with interest and I may be able to push some business your way. Can I drop you here?” The car pulled over to the kerb and John Cooper QC stepped out onto Theobald’s Road opposite Holborn Library. “I’ll be in touch” was the last thing he heard as the car slipped away from the kerb. The invitation to lunch had come from nowhere and was unexpected. Royston had never been one of his closest friends at Eton, far from it in fact. Still somewhat bemused he turned and walked towards his chambers on Bedford Row.
The Mercedes was now silently sliding along Southampton Row. Roaming Royston took a call. “Have you got the merchandise? What do you mean yes and no? You either have it or you don’t Max. Listen. Get Hollie find the key and locate that cache. Fast! I don’t pay you to fail.”
DCC Stuart Hyde sat in his office. It had been a long day. He had held a press conference over the Renners case, fielded calls from TV and radio stations and then to top it all the Prime Ministers secretary had called. He advised that Lord Scholes-Fogg was a close friend and the PM would be taking a keen interest in this investigation. He was tired and felt the need to clear his head. An outdoor swim in the lake on the way home would be just the ticket but he was waiting on Supt Payne for an update on the Renners case before leaving.
Mark Payne pulled into the underground car park at HQ reserved for the Senior Command Team and took the lift to the top floor. The ACPO secretaries were long since gone but he could see the DCC in his office fiddling with his phone. He knocked on the door and walked straight in. “You’re not tweeting again are you boss?” The DCC didn’t look up but kept tapping out on his phone keyboard. “Sit down Mark. I’m almost done. I’m just trading tweets with Lauri Stevens in the states about the benefits of social media and the SMILE conference. It’s just this bloody Blackberry. I wish I could talk the Chief into iPhones.” A few moments later Supt Payne had the rare opportunity to see the DCC without his mobile in his hand. He went on to brief him on the state of the investigation.
Jane Hamilton, a freelance investigative journalist sat staring at the screen of her Mac in disbelief. She had followed the disaffection in the Scholes-Fogg family closely. She was watching the earlier press conference given by DCC Hyde and was astonished at the story. “Seems like a trip is due” she said to herself. In a short space of time she had a bag packed, a train ticket ordered and a reservation at the The Bull in the village close to the Calder estate confirmed. This was a story she could not afford to miss.
To be continued….
This post is fiction but the characters are people I follow on Twitter and by referencing to them I recommend (#FF) them to you. The story is just a different way of #FF’ing that gives me some pleasure. The personalities of my Twitter characters portrayed in this tale are hypothetical and in no way reflect their true professionalism and personal qualities.. it’s meant to be fun.