Out in the sunshine of an English day .Oxfordshire village. 1986. Month of June day at 1pm. Police car at number 23 Langley Lane.
‘Not a pretty sight Doctor Dee. Dead how long?”
“Id say two hours at least.Shant know more until I have her tripes on my bench. Report say 5pm ish”
“So who found her .You here all day love.?”
“No came around to help Mom at around noon and rang you. Heart was bad but she was fine last evening.”
‘Who else was here. That ash in the tray is from this morning.She smoked then did she Mrs-?
.Miss Thomas .Sheila .Mom was Mrs Mary Thomas. “
“I see “,said Inspector Jones. It must be your ash then Miss Thomas. ”
” I dont smoke nor did mother Inspector. Is that all? You see I have Geralds lunch to fix at home. “
” My brother Gerald Thomas .He is back from his practice in Mortlake road.”
“He lunches with you often then?”
” Most days, his wife is ill in hospital you see. “
“Sorry to hear that Miss Thomas. His profession is?”
“Dentist . I must rush so much to do, ring undertaker and what else. “
‘No that wont be necessary we need the body down at the morgue to establish death. “
‘No that will not be needed . Heart failure I told you. ”
‘You told us you did not witness your mothers death a moment ago so how do you know what she died of?”
” Here the pills she took daily for heart problems. “
” Right thank you Miss, dont leave the city we may need to talk again .”
The day came around, case sat on upstairs desk. Jones down with Dee in the morgue is told Mrs Thomas was poisoned by rat poison around 9am that same morning.” Died in agony .” added the Morgue assistant.
The case handed back as murder investigation and now on Inspector Jones desk. He opened the files and scanned all statements as long before him another great policeman had always started with. Jones still had the photo of Inspector Sir John James on his desk .
He stood and walked to the desk front. Facing the team.
“Now pin your ears back lads I want this sorted fast it is murder .Search that house for clues. Finger print all garden furniture and find that rat poison .Its either there or check daughters home too. Ill get a warrant now. Ring me on mobile if anything comes to light. “
The police car arrived just as Mr Thomas had finished the fillings for his client.
“Dead. Indeed I know that . My sister told me on phone. Im off to see her now. “
“Mr Thomas I need a statement first. ‘
‘ But I have just told you I have been here all day.My assistants will tell you that?”
‘ Fine so put that in writing will you sir. Here on this pad. ”
” You need a sample of my hand writing.I am shocked really .just lost my mother and here you are pestering for a statement to prove what I say. ?”
‘ Time you arrived sir is all important. We have spoken to your sister. “
” Oh! I see my sister told you precisely what?”
‘ Statement sir here or down the station is up to you. “
” No . Here will do. Mind if I smoke. “
” Your surgery sir. Cigar nice one too.”
” Imported box from friends in Cuba on holiday. Now will that do I have signed it.”
” You came in at 9.34 am remained until now with us. Six patients .Three staff in as normal. Ok thanks sir.Hope your sister is feeling better.”
The police left. Dentist remained.
London office.Phone call to Inspector Jones desk. “Dont say . Havana .Right gather ash from the cigar and we can place him exactly at the scene of the murder. “
At the home of Miss Thomas . ” So in your pantry we found this Miss. “
” Its for household use; so what?”
” You need it for what exactly?”
” What ! Chrips, rats of course .Well mice actually. “
” Let the camera see that the packet has been opened. ” commented Jones.
” Why is it of such interest to you .Its common or garden rodent poison .Every one buys it .Dont they. ?”
‘ Hold out your hands please your under arrest on suspicion of murder. You dont have to say anything that can be used against you in court. “
” Dont be silly Mummy died natural death .Arrest me why, I loved her cant you see. ” In tears she was lead to the car and many curtains swished as the police car sped away.
In the lab Doctor Dee works on the types of ash brought in to him.
” Right we can say item one is best rolled Havana cigar ash. Slow burn white with fine ash. Same with Item two . It proves little in fact only it is likely both cigars smoked by same person. We can say that person is Gerald Thomas .That is my findings gentlemen . That said no court is going to accept him guilty are they. ?Not on ash anyway. “
‘ No but we are looking more to the sister who had an open packet of rat poison in her house.” She said she found Mrs T dead and rang us. Not what I would have thought I would have done “
” You would have phoned for the doctor. ”
” Like most people would. Now if she knew she was dead because she killed her that would account for her phoning us. “
” Easier than your ash trick Inspector. Sail on then I have another body on my slab and its 4pm chaps. Toodle loo. “
In the cells at 7pm.
‘Want to see my sister. Erm ! Thomas yes thats the one. Brother. Yes. “
” So he did appear sir thats him now. “whispered the key keeper to Inspector Jones both men in secret from behind the screen.
” Tape the conversation Briggs .”
” Connected now Inspector. “
In the main office Doctor Dee has concerns.
“Phone call Inspector. Dee in a panic Sir. ‘
“Doctor Dee That is man . Hello ,yes .What!”
” Bones of this woman are over 120 years old.Id say born in 1890s. Nothing adds up about her. She looks in her 70s. Her liver says not. “
My thanks to my readers I now have a week to think of what will happen next.
Yours sir Kevin.
copyright Kevin Parr Bt 2020 October.
Part two next weekend.