This is the fourteenth part of a fiction serial, in 812 words.
Sergeant Bernie Cohen put his head around the door of Jo’s office. “I have been through that list with Derek. Four of the women are widows, and have no relatives. But the other one has a teenage son. Maybe he found out about her leaving everything to Georgy boy, and decided to make sure he wasn’t around to inherit. I have the address, do you want me and Derek to check it out?” Jo thought for a moment. “No, tell you what, Bernie. I will come with you”.
There was no reply, but Mrs Faraday had spotted the strangers outside Norah’s, and came along to find out what was going on. “Oh, Norah is in hospital. But her son Jim still lives here. He is at work though. There’s a woman living here too now, she moved in when Norah didn’t come out of hospital. I saw her bring suitcases, and a television too. She brought them in a taxi”. Jo thanked her and said, “We will come back this evening when her son is home”. As they got back in the car, Bernie smiled. “Thank heaven for nosey neighbours”.
Jimmy was doing so well at work that the head of department suggested they send him on Day Release to college once a week. He felt Jimmy should definitely work on his degree, as he seemed to have a natural talent for the job, and could go far with the right qualifications. Jimmy graciously accepted, though he was concerned that his work was going to get in the way of his need to make a difference. The next time God spoke to him through the television, he would be sure to say sorry for his slow start. Not out loud of course, but God would surely hear his thoughts.
As they walked from the bus to the house that evening, Lesley was holding Jimmy’s arm. She had been out at lunchtime and bought some nice fishcakes, and she was telling him about the cheese sauce she was going to make to serve with them. The man and woman got out of the car parked outside the house, and smiled as they both held up small wallets containing badges and identity cards. “James Walker? I am Detective Inspector Drummond. This is my colleague Sergeant Cohen. Can we come in and ask you some questions?” Jimmy smiled and nodded, taking his key from his jacket pocket.
Lesley offered them a cup of tea, but they declined. Jimmy waved a hand at the sofa, and they both sat down. The Sergeant took out a notebook, and clicked his pen, ready to write. Jo was formal, hoping to take the young man off guard. “Do you know a man named George Greaves? Your mother knows him. In fact she left him all of her money in the event of her death”. Jimmy was completely relaxed. He said he had met George once at the prayer group, and that his mother’s solicitor had told him that mum had left everything to George. But his mum was in a coma, so the same solicitor had arranged for him to have a power of attorney over her money. That was all he knew. Jimmy was still standing, and watched as the man wrote down everything he said. Then the woman continued.
“Could you tell me where you were last Sunday morning, James? Specifically around eleven-thirty to midday?” Jimmy answered without hesitation, telling her he was at home until at least eleven thirty, then he walked to the Cavell Unit of the hospital to see his mother. He told her there were no visitor records, but he was sure that the receptionist would remember him, as well as the nurse who spoke to him and suggested he have a conversation with his mum. Then he turned to Lesley sitting in the small armchair, and smiled. Jo took the hint, and said “Were you here at the time miss? Can you confirm what James has told me? What is your name by the way, and your relationship to James?”
“I’m Lesley Keane, and I can confirm everything Jimmy has told you. He was back from the hospital by two in the afternoon for dinner. It’s a long walk you know. And my relationship is, er, well, I’m his girlfriend and I am currently staying here while Norah is in hospital”. She looked up at Jimmy to see if it had been okay to say she was his girlfriend, but Jimmy was already telling the policewoman that she was his fiance, and he just hadn’t got around to buying a ring.
On the way back to the police station, Bernie turned to Jo. “What do you think?” She changed gears with a flourish as she replied.
“Creepy and weird. And what’s that with the older woman? I reckon it’s him, one hundred percent”.