This is the fifteenth part of a fiction serial, in 790 words.
Four weeks after the murder of George Greaves, Jo Drummond held a briefing for her team. “Okay, thanks to everyone for your hard work. We have been working on the theory that George was killed by James Walker, to stop him inheriting his mother’s money. But we have nothing on the suspect. We cannot place him at the scene, and there are no fingerprints of anyone in the flat except for George himself, and Mandy, his working girl. Young Walker has no form, and appears to be clean as a whistle. I couldn’t even get enough on him to justify a search warrant for the house. If he didn’t kill George, then we have the prospect of the famous ‘unknown stranger’, and that leaves it all wide open. The boss has told me to leave it pending for now, and for us to work on the two recent Post Office robberies. Bernie”.
Sergeant Cohen stood up. “Looks like we will have to wait until James kills someone else, and he’s sure to do that. He has a great alibi too. The receptionist and a nurse at the Edith Cavell unit both place him on Mollett ward at around the time of George’s death. Then his bird backs up him arriving home at two. But then she’s bound to do that. Anyway, on to those two robberies”.
On the day when the police had called round, Lesley had been left speechless when Jimmy had called her his fiance. He had never mentioned being in love with her, or getting engaged. She had always hoped that would come in time, and had no idea he had fallen for her so quickly. After they had left, she had been getting dinner ready, but the need to say something overwhelmed her. “Jimmy, you told that policewoman I was your fiance. Is that a proposal? Are you going to buy me a ring then?” Jimmy’s reply made her drop the cheese grater she was holding.
He said that they might as well just get married. If it was going to happen after an engagement, why not just do it now? He suggested they have a registry office wedding in about a month, to give everyone at work time to get used to the fact that they were together. After showering his face in kisses, a delighted Lesley couldn’t stop talking. “Oh they will all be convinced I am pregnant, you wait and see. Then there’s the age difference, everyone’s sure to have something to say about that”. Jimmy told her he was hungry, and she went back to finish preparing the best fish cakes with cheese sauce ever served to anyone.
Two days later, he bought her a ring in the local branch of H. Samuel. A solitaire diamond engagement ring that cost him a whopping two hundred pounds. Lesley burst into tears when the girl in the shop put one the right size on her finger. On the way home, Jimmy said he would phone the Registry Office from work tomorrow, and book the wedding. Lesley was excited, but worried. “You know I haven’t spoken to my parents for years, Jimmy. Not since that business with that horrible man I was going out with. He was my Mum’s second cousin, and he treated me like dirt. They expected me to stay with him, and we had a falling out when I said no”. Jimmy told her that he would ask Patrick Killane and his wife to be the witnesses, but there would be no party, or big cake. Then he gave her thirty pounds to buy a new dress and shoes to get married in.
Back at the house, Lesley sat admiring her ring, hardly able to believe she was about to get married. And to someone as good looking and clever as Jimmy too. He took out a very small notebook, and asked her the name of the second cousin who had been bad to her. It never occurred to her to ask why he wanted to know.
Jonathan Carrington hated being a bank manager. He hated his stupid wife too, and the greedy son who didn’t want to go to work. All he had to do was put in his time, and get the pension. Then he intended to leave the silly cow and her spoiled parasite of a son and go to live somewhere warm, like Spain. Eight more years seemed a long time. But they would soon pass.
He was thinking about drinking a beer on a beach at sunset. Or maybe some Sangria, followed by a plate of Paella. Perhaps with a dark-haired beauty by his side.
That meant he didn’t notice the young man following from a reasonable distance.