Category Archives: An FF Tale

An #FF Tale – Chapter 11

Inspector Winter had been shown up to Supt Payne’s office. Coffee and biscuits had been brought in and the Supt had explained the state of the investigation to date. “You were very guarded on the telephone. Perhaps you can now give me some more info on your interest?” he asked. Winter reached over to the small table for a biscuit and took a bite. He used the few seconds it took to focus his thoughts. “One of your officers ran a PNC check yesterday on a car I have a marker on. The current driver is Max Blain. He is the left hand man of a man affectionately known as Roaming Royston. Royston is very wealthy, is mostly in the city and is a known fencer of exceptionally high value jewellery. He specialises in utilising disposal routes into the rest of the EU and then on to dealers across the globe. The property he moves generally comes from high value residential burglaries and on occasion assists wealthy families dispose of items without exposing themselves to risk and the associated tax penalties.” Winter went on to explain the presence of Max Blain in the village meant the likelihood of a connection with the Renners case and was particularly interesting to him because of the Calder estate and the Scholes-Fogg family.

They continued to discuss the matter for over an hour but despite the circumstantial nature of the links they had nothing concrete. There was knock at the door. “Come in” the Supt responded. Sgt James Main put his head around the door. “I don’t mean to disturb you Sir but I have something you may be interested in.” Sgt Main came and sat next to Winter. His half-moon glasses were perched on the end of his nose and he peered over the top of them as he spoke. “That vehicle you had an interest in was involved in an RTA last night. The driver was a Max Blain and he was taken to hospital by the paramedics. I’ve had Sallie Lou out this morning making enquiries at the pub where he was coming from when the accident happened. Seems he was sat talking to another resident most of the night who goes by the name of Jane Hamilton.” Winter was getting bored and reached into his pocket for a Haribo as Sgt Main continued. “There’s nothing special about this but a job came in this morning called in by Jane Hamilton herself. It seems she has some property belonging to Blain and wants us to pass her contact details to him.” Winters attention was returning. “To avoid tying up a patrol I told the control room I would deal with it from here. All very normal Sir but something was nagging me so I contacted Ms Hamilton and told her we will act as the intermediary with the property as Blain is concussed, still in hospital and not with it at all. She has agreed and Sallie Lou is collecting it.” Winter turned toward Sgt Main. “When that property lands here I need to see it straight away.” Sgt Main glanced at Supt Payne with a questioning look. “It’s ok James. That sounds like a plan. Inspector Winter is from the Met assisting with the Renners case. Bring it up as soon as it arrives.”

Jane had taken a call from a police Sgt about the document. It wasn’t her first choice but she conceded to herself that the longer she had it the worse it would look. She had therefore reluctantly agreed. A short time later the officer met her at The Bull and took the document from her. Sallie Lou headed toward the top of the village. She could then head out to the by-pass and get back to the station as Sgt Main seemed to be in a rush to get his hands on it. It was then that she saw WPC Pink and her panda. She pulled over for a quick chat.

Inspector Guilfoyle stood looking at a patch of forest floor. It seemed no different to the rest of the forest floor. “This better be good Daz. If Kip is leading us to a dead badger or something I’ll have his badge” he said with a grin on his face. Daz looked down affectionately at his dog and ruffled her ears. “She’s not let me down yet Sir.” Simon Guilfoyle turned to PC Avers and a cynical looking bobby both leaning on spades and Cairnsy just behind them. “We’ve been running with minimum cover for weeks. I’m glad you guys are here. Let’s get digging.” Avers handed the spade to Cairnsy. “Here. You heard the boss. I’ve got a flask in the car sir. Coffee?”

Rob Preece had read through the document images that Jane had pointed him to. The matter was clearly to do with the graveyard case that was linked to Lord Scholes-Fogg. He agreed that the last paragraph was peculiar and he punched her number into his phone to discuss it further.

Sallie Lou and Pink sat in the panda and discussed their respective mornings. Pink explained about the collapsed chimney breast and how she was meeting Mrs Winter later to open the envelope. Sallie Lou then told her of the document she had collected. “It’s a copy of a will. I’ve scanned it and its to do with an Edward Scholes. I assume it’s something to do with Lord Scholes-Fogg as Sgt Main has got twitchy about it and wants it back at the nick ASAP so I can’t stop long.” Pink was intrigued. “A will? How old is it? Does it say?” Sallie Lou handed the document to her and she began to scan it quickly. “It’s certainly to do with the estate and the passing on of the peerage. What’s this last paragraph though? This is very unusual for a will.” She read it more closely but it made no sense and she handed it back. “I guess you’d better get that to the Sgt. Fancy a drink after today’s shift?” Sallie Lou agreed and at that they resumed their duties.

“What does it mean Rob?” asked Jane. “I’m not sure” he replied. “I assume he’s buried in a family plot somewhere. That’s where he’s lying? But who or what is he lying next to that is so important to him? I’m not sure Jane but that would be my first port of call if you can get near to it.” Jane agreed. “I think you’re right Rob. I needed an extra pair of eyes. Thanks. Oh by the way what does “Les Trois Cles” mean to you?” She went on to explain the letterhead in the car and the key symbol that was popping up all over the place. Rob promised to do some research if she went to look at the family graves again. Jane looked at her watch. It was just gone noon so decided a light lunch was needed and then she’d head over to the church.

Deputy Chief Constable Stuart Hyde put the will down on his desk and looked at Supt Payne and Insp Winter sat opposite him. “Mark I’m sorry but this is just too thin at the moment. I want the enquiry to progress as I’ve got the PM breathing down my neck about it. We should follow up every lead, no matter how thin but I’m not happy that we go crawling all over the family grave. If this was a definite lead then yes but this is just a hunch based on this final paragraph. Yes, by all means, lets look over the grave but not until you have the agreement of Lord Scholes-Fogg. The press will have a field day if they get hold of the wrong end of the stick and they often do. Send somebody over to discuss the matter with Lord Scholes-Fogg and then by all means get on with it.

Insp Winter and Mark Payne stood in the lift as it descended from the top floor of force HQ. “Mark. I can hear what the DCC is saying and I appreciate he has to be careful but my job relies on hunches and following them through. This is something I think we should move on and move on now.” The lift doors opened and they walked across the car park to the Supt’s car. “I know what you mean and I can understand your frustration. Something doesn’t seem right but I’m not about to countermand the DCC. He’ll have my head on a platter if this goes wrong.”

Jane looked out of the window. It sky had turned grey and held the threat of rain. She grabbed her rain coat and headed over to the churchyard. She’d been to the family grave before so she took the short route down the side of the church and then tiptoed in between the graves to the mausoleum at the very back of the graveyard underneath the spreading branches of tall pine trees. She felt the first drops of rain against her cheek and decided she needed to be quick. She took another look at Edward Scholes grave. It was just as last time. She had taken the time to read through some documents she had on the Scholes family that were on her server whilst having lunch and had the names of family members floating around her head. She read the names and recognised many as brothers, sisters and earlier relatives. The mausoleum had a number of names inscribed on it but two stood out as the parents of Edward. She pursed her lips and thought for a moment. “Was this what he meant? He was lying next to his parents?” She dismissed the thought and continued to look at all the other names. Nothing leapt at her so she decided to get a closer look at the mausoleum. The rain had now become a steady gentle fall, the precursor to a full downpour and she felt a chill as she stepped over the low chain boundary and squeezed between Edwards headstone and the mausoleum. Underneath the branches of the trees it was much darker but she worked her way around to the back. A dry stone wall was the churchyard boundary behind the graves and was covered in moss. She had to crouch down under the branches to get right to the back. She could then stand and turned to look at the back of the mausoleum. She was faced with a solid wall of stone. It was just the plain back of an otherwise fancy family tomb. The heavens suddenly opened and the rain came pouring down heavily. She pulled the hood of her coat up and glanced up across the graveyard. The wind had suddenly lifted and the rain was angling across the graveyard. She was going to get soaked. She was just about to leave when she saw that right of the foot of the back of the tomb was a small hatch. It was no more than 18-20 inches wide and about 12 inches high. She pushed at it with her foot but it didn’t move. She then saw a key hole. Considering the size of the hatch the key hole was actually quite large. She couldn’t figure why she hadn’t seen it before. Crouching down she gave it a harder shove but it was not budging. Jane had no idea what this door was and concluded it must be some sort of access hatch that maybe allowed access to another opening that would allow further bodies to have been added. She stood up lost in thought. The rain was no lighter and she decided it was time to go. She turned around and came face to face with a dark hunched figure in a long stockmans coat. She was totally off guard and the figure frightened her. Her heart was racing and she jumped back from him. “Who the hell are you and where did you come from”. She suddenly felt an irrational fear of being a lone woman in a graveyard away from hearing from anyone in the village. She began to panic and pulled her coat around her as she stepped backwards away from him. She stumbled on a tree root and fell backwards onto the floor. The figure stood motionless and with the hood up she could not fully see the face. He began to walk towards her. “Don’t come anywhere near me I have a mace spray and I will use it” she yelled as she pushed herself away from him along the floor. He continued to advance on her and she backed up along the floor into a headstone. She was rigid with fear, couldn’t stand and her retreat was now blocked. The figure stopped and threw back his hood. An elderly man looked back at her. He held his hand out to her. “This is no place to be in the pouring rain and snooping around the Scholes mausoleum isn’t something you should be doing”. She looked at the man and guessed he was about 65. Despite his overall size he looked kindly but she refused to take his hand. “I mean you no harm. Let me help you” he said. She accepted his hand and he pulled her to her feet then turned his back to her and walked away. “Wait a minute” Jane said. “You can’t just walk away. Who are you and why shouldn’t I be here?” The figure turned back to her. “My name is Rayner. That’s all you need to know but you would do well to not go snooping around. You don’t know what you’re getting yourself into.” At this he turned, pulled his hood up and headed off across the churchyard. Jane shouted after him “Hey! What do you mean? Come back I don’t understand…” The man did not stop and disappeared around the corner of the church and out of sight. She looked down at herself. She was covered in pine needles and dirt. Her coat was filthy and wet. “Just great” she said to herself. The rain was no lighter so pulling her hood back up she followed after Rayner toward the church and then back to her room at The Bull to change.

CSI had attended at the forest and supervised the digging of the hole. It was about 5-6 feet down before they found the tarpaulin. At this point everything stopped. Insp Guilfoyle was called and a tent to cover the scene was ordered. From this point onward it would be a forensic matter.

Pink sat at a large farmhouse kitchen with Katharine Winter opposite her. They both had a large mug of tea and were staring at the yellowed envelope on the table between them. “Any ideas what this is” she asked Katharine. “I’m as curious as you are. I have no idea what it contains. You open it” she said as she pushed the envelope across the table toward Pink. Taking a letter opener that Katharine had provided she sliced carefully along the sealed edge of the envelope. Her heart was in her mouth as she reached in and gingerly took hold of the wad of papers inside and slowly drew them out. Inside were letters, lots of letters, mostly on the same headed paper she had seen before but they were written in what appeared to be French in a beautiful handwritten script. There were also some official looking documents. They laid them out across the table and she found herself drawn to one document in particular that appeared to be some sort of legal document and was in English. She read on with her eyes getting wider and wider as she did. At the foot of the document were two signatures; Edward Charles Scholes and Amylou Renners. The content of this document was about to dramatically change the direction of this investigation.

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.

An #FF Tale – Chapter 10

DS Bruce sat briefing Supt Payne on the days progress. “He’s gone no comment throughout but that was expected. He lives in a caravan near the old saw mill in the forest. Sgt De-Hayes has sent PC Kirkwood down there with CSI but it’s totally isolated, the forest dense and getting dark. In order to do a proper job down there we are going to need loads of lighting and generators. I’m beginning to think that starting the examination tonight is flawed and we should put staff on scene protection and do it in the morning. It’s a bit resource hungry but I don’t want to lose any vital evidence as bobbies traipse around the forest in the dark.” Mark Payne was leaning on his elbows on the desk and steepled his fingers as he listened to the update. He turned to his computer and punched in a few figures and hit send. The computer dragged itself into life and began processing his request. He ran his hand across his chin as he thought and felt the gentle rasp of 13 hours of stubble growth. It had been another long day. The results appeared on the monitor and he scanned the information. “Inspector O’Hagan is on tonight with Sgt Travis. His team looks a bit thin but that’s a sign of the times these days and I guess we’ll have to manage. I agree with you Bruce. Make it happen and I’ll see you in the morning.”

Jane Hamilton had now read the complete will of Edward Scholes. It was pretty much as expected but the last paragraph was clearly the riddle Max Blain had been referring to. It didn’t make a great deal of sense and she quickly concluded she needed another pair of trusted eyes. She reached over to her bag and grabbed her iPhone then laying out the document on the bed she took several photographs. She checked they were clear and legible and then uploaded them to her private cloud server. Then flicking to her email application she began to type an email to her old “journo'” buddy Rob Preece… “Hi Rob, I have a document I want you to look at for me…

Doug had been back in his cell about 30 minutes. The cell area seemed quiet from what he could make out but he was surprised how quickly his ears became sensitive to anything happening in the corridor. He could tell the different weight of footfall to determine if the gaoler coming down the wing was the pretty young girl or the older chap who looked like an ex cop. The footsteps coming now were different and the shoe heels tapped loudly on the floor. The steps were quick and with some energy. It was definitely a bloke.. probably somebody who’s just come on duty. His thoughts were interrupted by the hatch sliding down. The stark light from the corridor flooded into his small room with its stainless steel toilet. “You alright fella? I’m Sgt Harris the night Custody Sgt. The CID will be doing their search on your property tomorrow so you’ll be here all night and remain incommunicado. Ok?” Doug nodded his head. “Thanks Sarge. I’ll try to get my head down then.” The hatch racked back up and the gloom of the simple night-light returned. Doug settled down under his blanket. The cell temperature was either freezing cold or roasting hot which made it difficult to get comfortable. As he lay there in the dark gradually drifting off to sleep he could feel his cheek adhering to the pvc covered pillow. It was going to be a long and uncomfortable night.

A small wooden jetty jutted out into the lake and tied off at the end was a well-worn, tatty looking rowing boat. The sun had risen a couple of hours ago but only now was it starting to burn the morning dew from the treetops that created a delicate cloud of vapour drifting up on a gently soughing wind. It was going to be a nice day. Inspector Guilfoyle stood halfway down the jetty and took in his surroundings. He was in charge of the searches in the forest and had come ahead of the teams to get a feel for the place. It was a beautiful tranquil location and the silence, except when broken by the cry of a buzzard soaring high over the trees, was deafening. It had been an early start and he yawned and stretched out his arms to the side as he did. The damp and rather slippy decking creaked beneath him as his weight shifted and didn’t inspire confidence. His attention was then drawn to the muffled sound of laughter and the thud of slamming doors. The teams had arrived at the saw mill. “Time to get this road on the show” he said to himself as he stepped off the jetty and picked his way back up the narrow path to the mill.

The satnav issued its next command. “Turn left in 100m”. Sparty flicked on the indicator and slowed. “You can’t turn here it’s a bloody one way street. These satnav’s are just a waste of time” said Winter becoming increasingly annoyed. The main divisional police station was in the centre of a mainly pedestrian area. They could see the building. They just couldn’t get to it. Response Plod suddenly saw a small blue sign and reaching between the two front seats pointed to it. “There. See it? Police Station Parking”. Sparty pulled in and drove into the car park. It was 8.30 in the morning and the car park was full. “Look at the state” said Winter. “50 cars ramming the car park and I’ll bet they’re turning one out on response.” A figure clearly in police uniform but wearing a civvy jacket over the top was walking across the car park. Sparty wound down the window and introduced himself to Dave Stevenson. “Where can we park?” Dave smiled, “It’s like this every week day. We have to park across the road on the pay and display.” He pointed in the right direction. Winter held his head in his hands. “How hard can this be? Drop me here, park the car and I’ll meet you inside.” He got out of the car and strolled across the car park to the main entrance.

Jane Hamilton finished breakfast and then wandered out for a stroll in the village. The sun was warm on her back as she walked down the main street. She took the phone from her pocket and rang the local police. “Yes that’s right. The accident was about 10pm. That’s the one. What happened to the driver?” Jane went on to explain that she had some property belonging to the driver and needed to get it back to him. “I know you wont give me his details but please do pass on mine to him. The item seems quite personal and I’d hate for him to think he’s lost it. If you ask him to call me I’ll gladly meet him.” The call taker was very helpful and agreed to do what she could. Jane hung up and having reached the end of the village was about to turn around when she saw a police car parked outside a cottage a little further along.

WPC Pink had pulled up outside Lock Cottage. In the boot of her car were the documents she and Dave’s friends had gone through last night. They had worked through maybe 1000 different items but nothing save 2 seemed to be of any interest. The first was the reordering of the estate boundary and the second was the odd notepaper with the same logo on that she had found on the cottage wall. She knocked on the door and Katharine Winter answered. “Morning. I’ve brought all these papers back” she said. Katharine looked at her watch. “I’m just heading out and I’m late already. I know it may be rather rude but if you can just drop them in the attic and pull the door closed that would be great. The door will lock itself when you pull it to.” Having worked several years in a major city Pink was a little taken aback by this open rural trust, particularly after the burglary but she was obviously trusted. Secondly it may just help in reducing some of her fears so she agreed. Katharine, made her farewells and left leaving the front door wide open. Pink opened the tailgate of the Astra and grabbed the first box of papers. She took them up to the attic and then returned to the car for the second box. She grabbed the box and lifted it out of the back of the car. This one was much heavier and by the time she was halfway to the door she realised she may just drop it. The box was too heavy to the front and she began to struggle. Suddenly the balance of the box returned. “Here. You look like you’re struggling. Let me help you with that.” Jane Hamilton took the other side of the box and walked with Pink toward the door. “That’s very kind of you” said Pink. If you just drop it here I can get it up to the attic myself.” “That’s ok.” replied Jane. “You don’t want to fight with this up stairs. Let me help you”. Before she knew what was happening Pink found herself in the house with an unknown lady going up to the attic with a box of a papers. She wasn’t concerned for herself but was worried what Mrs Winter might think if she suddenly came back.

Winter walked into the front counter and was greeted by the unusual sight of a police officer on the desk. Crazymom took down his name and asked him to take a seat whilst she informed Supt Payne of his arrival. Winter couldn’t sit down. He was too wound up now. He reached into his pocket, grabbed a Haribo and took out his wrath on a jelly shape.

Pink and Jane got up to the attic and dropped the box down on the bare floorboards. Jane looked around. “This is a dusty space isn’t it” she remarked. “If you don’t mind me asking what are all these documents?” Pink was reluctant to give any detail. “They are just miscellaneous documents relating to the property. Nothing unique really.” Jane could detect evasion at first sight. “How odd” she said. “What would the police want with property documents? Pink didn’t know why but she suddenely felt under pressure. “I think it’s time we left.” Jane apologised, “You’re right. I’m sorry. It’s got nothing to do with me I’m just nosey.” Pink escorted her out of the house. “Thank you for your help. It was very kind of you”. At that she left Jane on the footpath and returned to the house. Something made her want to go back and check that everything in the attic was as it should be before she left.

Jane stood on the footpath thinking. The officer was not giving much away. That was what cops were like universally but there was something nagging at her. She turned and stepped back toward the village and casually glanced into the police panda as she passed by. On top of a clip board that looked like it contained speeding tickets was a small piece of notepaper. She read the words “Les Trois Cles” and immediately identified the same key logo. Committing the name to memory she continued back towards The Bull.

Pink climbed the final steps back into the attic. She was now out of breath and reminded herself that she needed to sort out a gym membership. The attic space was very dusty and sunlight now streamed in through one velux type window catching particles of dust dancing in its brightness. The ceiling went up to the ridge and the space, with the addition of some more windows would make a sizeable room. Toward the far end of the room was the chimney breast rising up from the lounge, through the master bedroom and on to the chimney top. The brick work was bare and cobwebs heavy with dust long since abandoned by spiders draped across the rough surface. In the far corner was an old rocking chair. Her historic interests took her imagination and she began to imagine the room 200 years ago. She saw a lady gently nursing a baby in the rocking chair and a large wooden toy chest in the corner. The chimney breast was open with a small fireplace. As this thought crossed her mind she pulled herself up short and stared intently at the chimney breast. The breast was actually deeper than it should be if was just a flue. It looked like a fireplace should be there and then she saw it. There was a slight change of colour of the bricks around the base stretching up about six rows and the mortar looked lighter than elsewhere.

Pink walked across to the chimney breast and crouched down for a closer look. Placing her hand on the brickwork caused a small piece of mortar to crumble away. She gently pushed a brick and it gave to her pressure easily. Her heart was in her mouth. She shouldn’t be here now let alone poking holes in Mrs Winters chimney breast. The temptation was beyond endurance though and her curiosity got the better of her. She shoved just a little harder and the brick and all it’s adjoining ones gave way. The pushed one disappeared into the black hole behind the wall and the others fell out onto the wooden floor. She panicked. “How are you going to explain this Pink” she said to herself.

She pulled the LED torch off her body armour and shone it into the hole. The missing bricks revealed an old hearth. She reached in and pulled the loose brick out. Something caught her eye at the back of the hearth. She had to get on her hands and knees to reach in far enough and grasped at the item. Her fingers found purchase and she gingerly pulled it out. A well filled envelope was her prize. The paper had faded to a deep yellow and was covered in dust and soot. She blew it from the surface and read the writing on the front.

A Lemon Nursery

The desire to simply open the envelope was strong but she resisted the urge, tidied up the debris of her actions and withdrew downstairs with the envelope. She placed a call to Katharine Winter using telephony on her digital radio. She thought honesty the best policy and told her what had happened. She agreed to leave the letter on the dining room table and would call back to see her at 3pm. At that she pulled the front door to, checked it had locked and climbed into the panda.

The search teams were experienced officers and carried out a meticulous search of Doug’s caravan. It was almost like a military barrack room. Everything had a place and everything was in its place. Nothing untoward had been found. The search of the saw mill was still ongoing as it was a much larger building. So far nothing had been found that would assist with the investigation. DS Bruce arrived mid morning and met with Insp Guilfoyle for an on scene update. “Any more news Gov?” he asked. “Nothing Bruce. The search team in the saw mill needs another 30 minutes or so and they will be complete. The place is used but it’s not a full commercial business. I think a lot of the timber here ends up on the Calder Estate as fencing or firewood. Otherwise it all seems quite clean.” DS Bruce stood with hands in his pockets and looked up into the canopy created by the trees. Yet again he had that feeling that something was missing but couldn’t quite put his finger on what. In the meantime his PACE clock for Doug Beattie was continually ticking down. “Have you run the dog through Sir?” he asked. “Yes. The dog went in first with Daz. Nothing found at all. He’s hung around in case he’s needed but I suspect the dog will stay in the van for the rest of this search” replied Guilfoyle.

After another forty minutes the search was completed and Insp Guilfoyle released the teams back to division. The forest suddenly took on a quieter feel as the vans disappeard down the bumpy track to the lane. “That’s it Bruce. Nothing else I can do for you today.” Bruce began to ponder his next move but first of all he needed to get back to the police station and work out a plan of action for further interview with Beattie. He thanked the Inspector and headed off.

The final two vehicles remaining at the saw mill were Insp Guilfoyle’s and van driven by Daz the dog handler. Simon wandered over. “Are you still here Darren?” Daz shrugged. “I thought I’d hang around. Once everyone has gone it’s a good opportunity to exercise Kip in the forest. I can do some work with her before returning to division.” The Inspector had always fancied being a dog handler when younger in service but the opportunity had never presented itself at the right time. “Go ahead Darren. Make the most of it. I’m off.” At that Simon walked back to his car and followed in the wake of those already gone.

The forest descended into silence with the sound of the wind in the treetops the only discernible noise. Darren walked to the van and Kip began to bark excitedly. “Come on mate. Time for a run.” He let Kip out and walked across the open area and picked up a path. Kip had been cooped up for some time so he gave her a free reign for now and let her run. The path was a narrow affair and often it was difficult to determine exactly which way it went but Daz followed a trail that led him right around the lake and then back toward the saw mill. It wasn’t in sight yet but he knew he had almost come full circle. The path here was massively overgrown with ferns. The pathway would be clear enough if not for the ferns that had grown over it making it difficult to pick out. Kip was now just behind his feet happy to allow Daz to forge the path and she would follow. The ferns suddenly stopped and the track became markedely clearer. Daz glanced at his watch. He’d been an hour walking and it really was time he got back to division. “Come on Pal. We’d better get back.” He headed off a few steps but realised Kip wasn’t following. He turned and she was stood still with her nose in the air. She had the scent of something but it was probably a fox or a rabbit. “Come on Kip. Time to go”. Kip broke to her right through the ferns, put her nose down and began a track. Daz decided to let her run with it. “Go on girl. Where is it? What have you got? Where is it.. where is it? Kip walked slowly and then suddenly burst into a run and was off. Daz struggled to keep up with her but continued to shout encouragement. Then as quickly as she had set of she stopped. She picked on an area and began circling it sniffing all the time. Daz couldn’t see anything obvious but Kip was onto something. What he didn’t know. Kip then stopped stone still and began barking at a bunch of undergrowth. Daz walked over and stood alongside her. “There’s nothing there mate. Come on. Time to go”. Kip however continued to bark and so he crouched down and put his arm over her. “What is it mate? What’ve you got?” He looked in the same direction but could see nothing until his attention was drawn to a fern branch that was broken and looked like it had been stood on. It could have been caused by anything but it made him look closer.

As he did he noticed the debris of needles and twigs on the floor looked manufactured somehow. The needles and mould beneath his feet engendered a spongy feel to the earth but he scraped it away and the ground beneath was solid. Reaching forward he gently brushed away some of the pine needles and twigs. The earth looked softer and some distinct lines could be seen as though the earth had been pressed down. He dug his fingers into the ground and it was soft and easy to turn through his fingers. Kip stood by his side and was now barking incessantly. He knew they were on to something. He stood up and placed a direct radio to radio call to Inspector Guilfoyle. “Gov. I think Kip has found something. I’m not sure what but I think you should come back now and bring some spades with you.”

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.

An #FF Tale – Chapter 9

Peter stood at the expansive windows of the family’s apartment taking a phone call. “Yes Papa. I understand” he said. “I will stay here in London unless you ask me to do otherwise. Ok. Thank you. Give my love to Mutti. Bye.” He put the phone in his pocket and took in the view of the city before him. This apartment was prime real estate in the city and had cost a small fortune. He was essentially a lover of the countryside and loved his rural home but the view of the river and the city as it began to be illuminated was pretty spectacular.

Cairnsy and Pink were at the station and ready to go home. They had visited Calder Hall and made some excuses to the staff about security following a nearby burglary. They had wandered around the building but found nothing that linked the hall to Lock Cottage. “What are you going to do with all those papers from Mrs Winters attic?” asked Dave. “There is a lot to go through” Pink conceded. “How about coming around to mine tonight? Bring anyone else who can help and I’ll provide wine and pizza.”

Tom. The key is secure and indications are the cache is in the village. It clearly wasn’t in the grave with Amy-Lou. I don’t know who you’ve instructed, I don’t need to know but they seem to be making no progress. The cache needs to be found. The police are sniffing around and we cannot allow them to expose this matter. You need to get a move on.” Tom pushed a button on the steering wheel to terminate the call. The traffic on the M4 was heavy and congested. He despised things that slowed down his plans and was becoming increasingly frustrated by a lack of results. His disaffection with his father was well known and he had attempted on numerous occasions to persuade him back to conservative traditions but had failed. The cache was reportedly a huge collection of jewellery that Edward had bestowed upon Miss Renners. The value was believed to be quite exceptional and his father had agreed to release it to him if found. In order to protect family honour though they had to be disposed of discreetly. The alleged value would negate any further need for Tom to rely on his fathers wealth. He would be self sufficient and could pursue his labour dreams to the full.

Dinner had been lovely and Kate had just settled on the sofa. She snuggled up close to her partner as the opening credits began to roll. Her moment was stolen moments later when her phone rang. “Hello Kate Harney” she answered. “Hello Kate. It’s Sgt Doll at custody. CID will be doing searches tonight and tomorrow but want to do an initial account interview with Mr Beattie. Can you be here for about 9.30pm?” Kate glanced at her watch. “Yes. I’ll be there.” She put the phone back on the coffee table and looked apologetically at her partner Gene. He knew and just shrugged. This sort of disruption came with the territory. Kate snuggled back close. “I wouldn’t mind so much but it’s a bloody first account which is likely to be no comment anyway.”

Max Blain sat in a quiet corner of The Bull. He scanned the document in his hand over and over again. It was a copy of the last will and testament of Edward Charles Scholes. It was a complex document and covered all aspects of the estate and family wealth. With no children the peerage was to pass to his younger brother. The final paragraph was out of context to the rest of the document and seemed to be the sentimental ramblings of an old man. He read the final sentences;

My life has been a combination of great joy and overwhelming sadness that has intensified as I grew older. In the absence of my own children I entrust the great traditions of this family to my younger brother and now lie alongside that which is of the greatest value to me.

This sentence could be read in many ways but Max knew that without a wife and family Edward was very close to his parents. His sentence made sense as he was laid to rest alongside his parents who were in the mausoleum in the graveyard. This was the only angle he came up with. Royston had called him earlier and pretty much told him to pull his finger out but he was becoming increasingly frustrated. He had nothing to go on. The cache could be anywhere. “Looks like you’ve a lot on your mind.” Max looked up into the face of an attractive and well dressed lady. She smiled and extended her hand toward him “I’m Jane Hamilton. Can I join you?”

Dave had rounded up a few friends to assist in looking through the papers at Pinks. Free wine and pizza was enough to get a positive response from most of his friends. Sallie, Fran, Charlie, Rose and Lee had all come and as a team they were making their way through the mountain of documents. Many were very old and dusty and seemed to have little relevance to the estate or the cottage. They had found one document that proved Pinks earlier theory. It detailed the reordering of the southern boundary wall to make way for the new road into the village. Lock Cottage had been in the grounds but was cut off when the road was constructed. Charlie held up another document. “Anyone read French?” Rose had a basic knowledge and took the document from her. It appeared to be a letterhead or a blank invoice. There was no wording other than the heading. “Les Trois Cles”. “What does it say” asked Pink. “The title is “The Three Keys” but there is nothing else on it other than a small logo with a key.” The last words grabbed Pinks attention and she moved closer to Rose and looked over her shoulder. Emblazoned on the form below the wording was a printed key within a rectangle. “Dave. This is the same image as on the cottage.” Dave agreed. “Doesn’t exactly get us any further on though does it.”

Jane Hamilton was a slick operator. Her parents had always said she was very persuasive and could have sold ice cubes to Eskimos. Max Blain was interesting. She had seen him loitering around the village and he seemed out of place. As he had been sat on his own she seized her opportunity. She engaged him in gentle conversation and they bought one another drinks. She played him beautifully and he was clearly taken by her good looks. She could drink till her boots were full and still stand up so it wasn’t long before Max was showing signs of being drunk. Tongues loosened as people got drunk and that was her plan. She gently turned the conversation as to why he was in the village and what the paperwork was that he’d been pouring over. “Oh its nothing. Just a job I’m struggling with.” She reached over the table and touched his hand gently “Tell me Max. I may be able to help.” He looked up at her and held her gaze for a moment and then laughed briefly. Jane knew she was close to him caving in. It came quicker than expected though as he began to relay the puzzle of a hidden cache and a will like a riddle. It felt good to talk to someone about his frustrations but the minute he had uttered the words he regretted it. “I’m sorry. I should say no more. Please ignore me.” At that he tucked his document into his jacket pocket, stood and left the bar. Jane congratulated herself on a good nights work.

Kate attended at custody for 9.30. As is usual the officers had said 9.30 but weren’t ready. Sgt Doll was still on duty and invited her in to wait instead of loitering in reception. DS Bruce finally arrived and gave, as she was expecting, minimal disclosure. She spoke to her client and advised that he should make no comment for now. DS Bruce and DC Darling conducted the interview which was short and in Kate’s view pretty much pointless. Further interviews would be done tomorrow. She left custody and rang Gene to say she was heading home.

The streets were dark now but the evening was pleasant enough so she decided to take the pretty way home. Besides it would take her through the village where the body had been stolen from. She headed out onto the by-pass and and after a few miles turned into the village. As she drove down the High Street she was suddenly aware of a car to her nearside. It was pulling out of a pub car park but it was going way too quick. The car didn’t stop. It shot out of the car park at a fast speed and right across the front of her. She swerved hard to the left and braked heavily. Her Mini came to a stop unscathed but her attention was then drawn to a huge crashing sound. The other car was a Mondeo and it was embedded into a huge oak tree on the opposite side of the road. She grabbed her phone and called for an ambulance and the police.

Jane heard the crash from inside the pub. She grabbed her bag and dashed outside to see the carnage of the accident. A lady in a Mini was getting out and running over to a car crashed into a tree. She ran over to join her. The lady was on her phone and panicking a little. Jane glanced into the car. She was shocked to see that Max was the driver. Blood was all over his face and he seemed to be unconscious. “Are you getting an ambulance?” she asked the other driver. Kate confirmed she was but hated blood. She stood back from the car a little. People were spilling out of the pub and nearby houses but Jane had one opportunity and whilst it was there she reached into the car and retrieved the document from Max’s jacket pocket.

Within a short space of time a paramedic arrived in an RRV. Just another night shift for an Insomniac Medic. He assessed the situation. The casualty was breathing and unconscious and would need a full ambulance. Shortly after the police arrived followed by the ambulance staffed by his colleagues Ambo Girl and Jon.

After 30 mins the scene was in control and most people had returned to their evening. Kate gave her account to an officer and headed home. She needed that glass of wine now. Jane lingered at the scene for a short while, spoke to the officers and explained she had been talking to him in the pub and he was quite drunk. She then retired to her room to study the document more carefully.

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.

An #FF Tale – Chapter 8

The final slap of the spade compacted the earth to Doug’s satisfaction. The hole was deep and had taken several hours to dig. The remains of Amylou Renners were over 200 yrs old but he could take no risks that the nose of a passing fox or other animal could detect them and decide to dig them up. At 6 feet down and wrapped in the off cut of tarpaulin he was happy they would remain undetected. Prior to coming to this location he had dug up a complete fern and collected a large sack of leaf mould, pine needles and twigs from the forest floor. He dug a small hole into the top of the compacted earth and set the fern into it and then scattered the leaves, twigs and needles onto the floor. It was always gloomy under the trees but the sun was setting and the darkness was intensifying. He’d finished just in time. It would be pitch black here much earlier than in the open. He stood back and inspected his work and felt a snap under his left boot. He glanced down to see he had stood on the branch of a fern and snapped it. The site of the burial looked natural and untouched and although annoyed by his clumsy foot placement he did not think it sufficient to interfere with. It could easily have been a passing animal. He reached down for his spade, stuffed the sack in his small rucksack and began the walk back to the Saw Mill.

The VW Phaeton turned off the lane and through an impressive entrance onto a smooth private driveway. The vineyard was in wonderful condition with avenues of vines, heavy with fruit extending out from either side of the driveway. A substantial broad leaf wood on the right hand side came into view and the lane swung around the tip to reveal a huge baronial style Chateau. The car came to a stop outside the main entrance and Clive Chamberlain stepped out of the back of the car and drank in the exquisite surroundings. The vineyard was a business, a very successful business but it was also a work of art. A polite cough brought his attention back to the present. “I’m sorry Matthew” he said. “I never tire of how beautiful this place is.” Matthew had been the butler of the house for nearly 30 years and was a friend. He smiled in agreement at Clive’s affection for the estate before turning and leading him into the house.

Supt Payne put the phone back in its cradle and blew out heavily. It seemed that suddenly the Renner’s case was making some progress. He pushed his chair away from the desk and putting his hands behind his head stretched out and took several deep breaths and focused thoughts. Inspector Winter from the Met and a small team would be coming up tomorrow. The Inspector had played his cards very close to his chest but it was clear there were some big fish swimming closely to this case. “Priority number one” he said to himself. “Find that Astra van.”

“Clive. It’s lovely to see you. Thank you for coming so quickly. What news do we have?” Clive sat on the sofa adjacent to his employer for the last 30 years. “Things are progressing as we expected but maybe a little slower than we had hoped. As you know we have secured the services of Allie to look after any tax an inheritance complications but as yet there are no papers to send to her.” His employer nodded gently. “Be patient Clive. This matter has taken many years to develop. A few minor delays will not upset me.” Clive knew this would be the response but it was always reassuring to hear it confirmed. “How is the archive search progressing?” asked his employer. “I’ve assigned this research to my most trusted researcher” Clive replied. “His name is Paul McKeever. He is currently scouring the records to locate the information we desire.”

Dave Thomas was on the late shift and was working alone. He’d been a road policing officer for a number of years and was always on the lookout for suspect vehicles or those that needed his professional attention. Many younger officers would return to the station to do most of their writing but Dave was old school tradition. He was sitting in his car parked up on a grassy verge just off the roundabout the that connected the by-pass with two A roads and small B road. Whilst sat here writing he could keep an eye on the traffic passing through the roundabout. The light was fading now and Dave’s attention was starting to turn toward the ubiquitous drink driver. Most traffic was filtering down the A roads and the by-pass which is why a sole vehicle coming out of the B road caught his attention. It entered the roundabout and then took the first exit onto the A road away from the village and passed out of sight. He thought nothing more of it and then within a fraction of a second what he had just seen slotted into place. He fired up the 3.5l BMW and set off after the vehicle.

As he joined the main road he could see the vehicle was about 5 cars ahead of him. He continued to follow and then the road straightened out. With a clear road ahead he pulled to the offside and floored the accelerator. The twin turbo diesel engine leapt into life and surged forward with ease. Passing all the cars he gently slid in behind a red Astra van that was covered in mud. He called in on the radio and confirmed the registration as that suspected of involvement with the Renner’s case. His nearest backup was 20 miles away but on the way. Suddenly the van braked and turned left onto a single track lane. Dave followed but he knew there was nothing down this lane at all and the driver would now know he was being followed. He relayed the details of the vehicle’s progress over the radio but his backup was making slow progress.

Doug cursed himself. The sight of the police BMW racing up behind him had unnerved him. A knee jerk reaction had made him turn off the main road which he now regretted. The BMW was still behind him but making no attempt to stop him. He knew the lane would eventually enter the forest. It was a good six miles as the crow flies from the Saw Mill but it was all land owned by his boss. He considered his options. He had a shotgun in the back. He was licensed and legal but he ruled out use of it immediately. All options meant potentially blowing his cover which he could not afford to do.

A message came over the radio on the car. “WT12. From Supt Payne. DO NOT attempt to stop this vehicle until you have backup. An ARV is also en route.” Dave acknowledged the message and continued to follow the vehicle at a safe distance but it seemed to be slowing. His fears were confirmed when the van came to a stop. His only escape was a long, fast reverse manoeuvre. He stopped about 30m behind the van and relayed the situation to the control room. “Seems you’ve made the decision for me” he thought to himself. “Fight of flight time Dave”. The heavy-set driver had got out of the van and was walking toward him. Dave got out of the car and unconsciously checked his CAPTOR spray was released on his belt and his cuffs were ready. The male continued to approach him, “Officer. Were you wanting me?” he said. Dave’s heart was racing. No amount of training could prepare you for this. “Stand still. Turn around and put your hands in the air” he shouted. The male ignored him and continued to approach. “I’m just doing some maintenance work. What’s the problem?” Dave repeated his instruction in a stronger voice. Doug stopped and did as instructed. Dave stepped out of the protection his car door offered. “Put your hands on your head and kneel down.” The male complied with his request and Dave took hold of his cuffs and made a slow cautious approach. He hit the emergency button on his radio that would create a hot mic on his radio so that the control room could hear what was said without him pressing the PTT button. “Stay exactly where you are and do not move. If you do I have CAPTOR spray and I will use it.”

Doug’s mind was in overdrive but like a regal Swan he was calm and placid on the surface. “You’ll get no trouble from me officer.” he said. “I don’t understand why you are being like this but..” He broke off his sentence as a cuff snapped onto his right wrist. In two short moves he was restrained in cuffs with his hands back to back behind him. Dave breathed a sigh of relief and as he relaxed the noises of his surroundings returned along with the wail of an approaching police siren.

Sixtyfootdoll had taken over from Rural Sgt at 3pm and so far it had been quiet. Not a word she would utter out loud but she had managed to sort out a statement and was now pouring over her magazine with a brew made by her gaoler today PC Wibble. Wibble’s wife had just had their first baby and he had voluntarily accepted some custody duties for a while so that he knew he would finish on time. The buzzer at the main van dock entrance sounded and Wibble allowed access for Dave and the late shift response supervisor Sgt John De-Hayes. Sgt Doll came to the desk. Theft of a body was not a job she thought she would be booking in tonight.

Doug was compliant throughout the booking in procedure. He knew at this stage there was no point in being difficult. The Sgt recorded all his property and worked through his rights. Doug had a protocol to follow to contact his boss if arrested but he was being denied a phone call. The Sgt said he was being held incommunicado and no calls would be allowed. He asked for the duty solicitor and was then taken to his cell by PC Wibble. He was offered coffee which he accepted but regretted instantly. It tasted dire.

Mark took a call from the Duty Solicitor Call Centre and accepted a theft case for a Mr Doug Beattie. It sounded complicated but he was convinced the arrest was linked to the Renner’s case that had been in the papers. He has just settled at home and poured himself a large glass of Shiraz. He’d not touched it yet but decided he would. “What’s the point in being a partner if you can’t delegate to junior solicitors” he said to himself. He picked up his phone and hit speed dial 5 to call Kate Harney, his newest, hot-shot solicitor with a fire in her belly. She was quite a catch from under the nose of his local rival firm and he was pleased to have her onboard. She answered quickly. “Hi Mark. What’s up?”. Mark went on to explain the case and handed it over to her. “Keep me informed if things get complicated over night” and with that he hung up.

Kate looked across her apartment. Her partner has arrived 30 mins ago and was cooking dinner. He had brought wine and a film. The dinner and the film may still happen but the wine was now out of the question. She wandered over to him to break the good news.

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.

An #FF Tale – Chapter 7

PC Hell had viewed the footage supplied by Rob Harrison over and over again. She had tried every filter and enhancement she had at her disposal but she could not ascertain the final part of the registration of the van. She’d spent hours trying to elicit the details from the film and it just wouldn’t come. The phone rang. “CCTV Office. PC Hell can I help you” she answered. “How are you getting along with the footage” asked Inspector Guilfoyle. PC Hell relayed her frustrations but the Inspector cut her off. “You should have had a call a couple of hours ago. Supt Payne specifically wanted you to concentrate on the occupants. The full registration has been identified on an ANPR hit on the by-pass.”

PC Hell smiled a wry smile that only years of service and experience can achieve. “Left hand, right hand” she thought to herself. “Boss. I cannot identify the full reg’ anyway but I’ve finished my work on the occupants. The passenger is a non-starter. The angle of the headlights just shade him out. He will never been identifiable on this footage.” “What about the driver” asked the Inspector. “Well that’s a little better but not much” she replied. “There is no facial id for this driver either but his hands are clearly visible on the steering wheel. They are large strong hands with what I call “bricklayers fingers”. There seems to be a wedding ring on the left ring finger and there is another ring on the right hand. It’s indistinct but looks bulky. Similar perhaps to a Claddagh ring. I know it’s not much but it’s a start.” Inspector Guilfoyle was disappointed. PC Hell had done excellent work as usual but it was always infuriating when potentially excellent CCTV footage turned out to be of little to no value. “Thanks. Get it burnt to disc and you can get off home. Thanks for turning out for us.”

Since the burglary Katharine Winter had been on edge. She found herself constantly checking that doors and windows were locked. Any strange noise, day or night, that would previously have gone unnoticed now struck fear into her. Insurance companies and reassurance from friends, family and the police were very good but none could assuage these insecurities when at home alone. When she woke this morning she had noticed a car parked across the lane from her home. There was a male driver and a female passenger. There was nothing to suggest anything was wrong but they had been there for two hours now and she was becoming unsettled. She chastised herself. “Get a hold of yourself. You’re becoming paranoid.” She wandered into the kitchen and put the kettle on. A cup of tea could settle many worries and if nothing else the activity kept her occupied. She busied herself whilst the tea steeped then poured a cup which she then took and sat in her favourite armchair. She tried to relax but very quickly the fears and nagging worries returned. She picked up the phone. “You can’t go on like this” she said to herself. She detested the idea of looking vulnerable and was reluctant to call but she gave in to her concerns and called the non-emergency police number.

Cairnsy thought he had died and gone to heaven. He was on routine patrol but by a freak of shift deviation he had been doubled up with WPC Pink There had been few jobs this morning and with the sun shining he took the opportunity to give her a tour of the division. They talked about policing the area, where Pink had transferred from and the evening in The Bull a few nights ago with Salwando. Cairnsy had just about plucked up the courage to chance his Irish charm and suggest a date when a job came over the radio. “Go ahead” he reluctantly relayed into the radio.

The job was a simple sus’ circs’. A recent burglary victim was concerned about a car parked up outside her home. Cairnsy span the car around in a lay-by and headed toward the village. The route took them along the boundary wall of the Calder Estate and Cairnsy explained the estate and the family history to Pink as they drove. They finally reached the cottage and there across the road was the car they were looking for. The blue Ford Mondeo was parked opposite and about 30m down from Mrs Winter’s cottage. Cairnsy pulled to the side of the road and passed the registration to the control room for a PNC check. He could see the male in the drivers seat and an attractive young lady in the passenger seat. “What do you think?” asked Pink. “I reckon she’s his secretary” said Dave with a cheeky smile.

The PNC info came back with no reports and belonged to a lease company in Wimbledon. Dave got out of the panda and headed over toward the car. Pink followed him across and stood by him as he came to a stop by the driver’s door. The electric window slid down. “Can I help you officer?” said the driver. Max Blain was used to dealing with the police and relayed one of his well-worn stories to Dave and introduced him to his business partner Hollie Clemence sat in the passenger seat. Dave exchanged some pleasantries but quickly concluded they posed no risk and were simply early for an appointment in the village. “Officer. I can understand why your locals may be twitchy. Shall I move along and park elsewhere?” asked Max. Dave agreed it would be helpful and so the Mondeo pulled off leaving him stood in the road and Pink by the kerb.

Dave knew about the burglary from PC Kirkwood and had explained this to Pink on the way over. The missing key was quite peculiar. Dave walked back towards the car but suddenly realised Pink wasn’t with him. He turned to find her walking the other way. She glanced back and beckoned for him to follow. Cairnsy would have followed her all day long so he quickly crossed the lane and caught up with her. “What is it?” he asked.

Pink stopped and glanced into the fields and parkland of the Calder Estate adjacent to the cottage. “I’m really fond of old houses. You know, National Trust and English Heritage. That sort of stuff. History was my best subject.” Dave was puzzled but humoured her. “Go on” he said. “Whilst you were talking to the driver I noticed this line of trees”. Dave looked to where she was pointing into the Calder Estate. The whole area was grass parkland but two solitary lines of poplar trees marched off in a straight line towards Calder Hall. “Do you see it?” she said to him. “Er..no. What are you on about.” he replied. Pink smiled. “Traditionally in large estates like this they would line driveways or straight line views with trees. I know this is all grass now but there is no view beyond the cottage and the village here which makes me think this used to be a tree-lined driveway.” Dave was beginning to question his eagerness to date this lady. “How can it be a driveway? It doesn’t go anywhere.” Pink turned him toward the house. “Look at the cottage. Imagine the new lane isn’t there. Imagine a driveway running from the hall to this house. Look at the trees. I’d put money on it that at one time that cottage used to be inside the grounds of Calder Hall. There must have been a boundary change but that cottage was once on the estate. I bet if we look close enough there will be some architectural links on that cottage that link to the hall.”

Inspector Winter sat at his desk. The data on John Cooper QC was in a huge pile to his left. The intelligence files and supplementary info about Roaming Royston’s links to the legal profession was in a pile to his right. The sheer volume of paperwork and research needed was huge. It was a task that needed doing but he couldn’t persuade himself to start. There had to be a key to this. One piece of the jigsaw. A snippet of intelligence that would pull the other pieces together. His thoughts were disturbed as the phone on his desk burst into life. He reached over and lifted it to his ear. “Winter. Go ahead.”

Kim Evans felt she spent her life in custody. Yet again she was at the main custody area for the division. She stared in disbelief at the young officer in front of her. “Is that all you’re going to give me to work on?” she asked. The officer nodded his head but looked down immediately and began shuffling his feet. She knew he was holding back something key to this case. “You realise that all you’ll get is no comment if you don’t brief me better than this?” The officer maintained his stance and so she walked with him back to the charge desk. Rural Sgt was the custody officer and knew Kim well. He could tell by the look on her face that things weren’t going to plan. “Are you ready for consultation Kim” he asked. “I am but I’ve had precious little disclosure for a simple assault”. Rural Sgt had worked the custody desk for years and nothing much ruffled his feathers. “I’m sure the officer has good cause. I’ll have your client brought down to you.” Kim returned to a consultation room and the detainee was duly presented to her. She suspected this was going to be a long day of duty cover. Rural Sgt beckoned the officer in the case into the back office. An opportunity to give a little advice to a young PC had arisen. “Only a few more hours before I hand over to SixtyFootDoll” he thought to himself. Then it was a rare night out for dinner with Mrs Rural Sgt.”

Cairnsy and Pink had called on Mrs Winter to reassure her and the conversation inevitably led to the burglary. Pink was enthused with the Renners case and took the lead in asking questions about the house and the key. “I know very little of it. My parents were in the village before me and they always knew it as Lock Cottage. I always associate locks with a canal but the nearest one is miles away. The key was a big old rusty thing and totally obscured by the Wisteria. I’m not a big one for history really. I’ve a box full of papers in the attic that I’ve never looked at. They may shed some light on the history of the place. You’re more than welcome to take a look.” Pink was almost bubbling over with her enthusiasm and Cairnsy found it infectious. “Would it be ok to take the papers to the station and review them there?” asked Pink. “I’d also like to have a look at the house from the outside if that’s ok?”. Mrs Winter agreed and set up the officers with a cup of tea whilst she retrieved the documents. After enjoying the tea the officers took a walk around the house. It wasn’t anything spectacular in an architectural sense and Pink saw nothing she would have considered a replication or theme of the estate or Calder Hall. “Can you show me where the key was?” she enquired. They were by the front door and Katherine pulled back the Wisteria to reveal a large basic and blackened metal hook fixed to the wall. Pink and Dave peered at it. There were lots of spiders webs and leaf mould stuck to the wall. The only thing of interest was a small symbol of a rectangle with a key inside it below the hook.

They said their goodbyes and walked back to the car. “You really seem enthusiastic about this case” said Dave. “Do you think you’re on to something?” Pink turned to him. “I’m not really sure. I need to have a proper look at Calder Hall. How do we get in?”

Inspector Winter hung up the phone. “Prayers do get answered” he thought to himself. His network of intelligence sources spread like spidery fingers across the whole country. The call had been from New Scotland Yard. He had a silent marker on a vehicle on the national computer and somebody had just checked it in a small village in another force. The vehicle was currently being used by Max Blain and he was a middle man for Roaming Royston. He knew from reading Sean O’Neill’s piece in The Times of the graveyard incident and it was the same village. The fact Blain was there, probably with Hollie Clemence, had to mean something. His analytical mind went into overdrive and he could almost hear the pieces of the puzzle clicking into place. He reached for the phone and called the force. “I’m Inspector Winter of the Metropolitan Police. I need to speak to the SIO for your Renners case.

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.