A sudden thought.

The dawn broke over the town of Padua .The birds sang from his window sill high above the statue of his father below in the square. The empty bottle connected with the high gloss floor and shattered its tiny fragments, taking in golden light as they rained down again to join the neck on the tiles.

He rolled out of bed,still drunk from the hours before. Antonio Cornielli was just 22 and had spent his fathers capital and inheritance and desired just one more game. A turn of the cards was all he needed in his favour.

The dogs raced in to lap up the red juice drained from the silver tankard on the floor at other side of Antonios bed. He raised his weakened body off the bed.Sick inside and outwards it spilled. He spluttered into life only to gamble even the daylight in his eyes.

Closing the latticed leaded window to stop the noise that birds made ,his head thick and the room now spinning ,he stumbled on to the floor connecting with the bottle neck he let out a howl and in burst the servants to see again the state of the new master. Helpless and pitiless to servants alike.

He made his way down stairs and fumbled for his hat cursing the man who took most of his money over the card table that week. .He found the hat on the bust of his dead mother and smashed the glass in the door with a swing of his cane as he fell out on the street. The Italian sunshine blinding his eyes. Then his bank manager walked to him and an argument proceeded to rage .

It was therefore his luck to find he had just 23 silver coins to his name . Enough for one good bet. He would win it he felt it in his waters . At the club door he was allowed in by the big Turk employed to stop all that had lacked membership,or good intent.

Another drink from his glass secured the cards to fall right for him. The sweat from Antonio forehead as he placed down the last chosen card to find he had lost the bet to another man . With nothing now he swore he would call on the Devil himself to win . But the house would not accept his IOU. Cursing violently he stomped to that table but none would offer play. He sat head in hands thinking in the muddle of wines that whirled in his system. Then it hit him he now owned the family home outright. Surely after so much bad luck a big bet like this would turn into a massive win. The way of all gamblers the next card will pay the bills.

As he displayed his bet the house accepted the deeds as one stake only, win or loose . The table so informed Cornelli sat down and asked for cards. He was playing the man he had lost too many many times. His Lawyers brother Vincento Cabreci.

He smiled as he collected three cards . Cornelli did not. With his house now forfeit he cried out in a booming roar.”” I will play the Devil if no one will face me with a bet. ” He was now on his knees crying and moaning. When the door swung open and a tall man in a black cloak entered .The Spanish style wide brimmed hat over one eye. At his neck a silver clasp and he pointed to the door where the Turk stood upright but stunned. “He allowed me in to play. “He shrugged as if bad thoughts had followed him in. “Now Ill play with you for what ever you can play with Antonio. “

Cornelli eyes opened wide. “Who are you ?” was all he could say .

‘My name is Mai Ruc Elif a trader from the other side of time and space. My money is good yes?” On to the card table nearest he placed a leather pouch. On closer inspection the house found it contained many gold coins amounting to some thousand or so. Bowing gracefully to the stranger the two men were left to talk.

“I will gladly play you but I have nothing to stake my hand. ”

‘No .Well! perhaps we can play for your soul my good man.” He leered closer his hot breath scorched Cornellies face. ” But the cards were in his hand and the chair was able to move out by itself. ‘So your old Nick himself. One game my coat for stake .”

“As you will .Coat it is”. He played three Kings laid down in front of the dark stranger on the green clothed table. Ruc played 3 aces and took the game win. The coat was handed over.

Cornelli gasped and said ‘ if ‘ I may I have a wish granted. To prove to all that you are who you claim to be”?

” A wish, no perhaps you will wish me way away. Play.”

‘No I will not ill make it simple but not to do with vanishing or leaving or not taking my soul. “

The stranger rubbed his chin. “Alright one wish and your mine gambler”

‘Thank you .Your name is not Spanish and rearranged says; I am Lucifer. Right. So if you are he you will be able to weave a thick boat rope out of sand from the shore and wash it under the well bucket full of water in the square outside.”

‘So that is your last wish .My word what a waste.”

The Devil vanished and in second reappeared with a perfectly made sailors rope made of sand from the coast many miles away. “There .Your rope.” the devil stood massive as himself before the shaking man. Slowly he looked in the Devils black eyes.”Now wash it ” Cornielli cried out.

In flash the bucket water spilled on the sand rope and it fell apart in the Devils hands . Again he wove the rope and water destroyed it. In a mighty roar he snarled and fled with no more than Cornelli coat. The public roared at this mighty man who rid Padua of the Devil himself.

A sober man for the rest of his life so famous they built a statue in another square near the statue of his father in the town. By kindness he even had his home returned and never would allow cards in his house. Or wine.

Be careful who you call up in anger as without you the Devil is powerless.

Yours with love Sir K.

My next blog will take you around the palace made for Empress Catherine the Great of Russia. Its rooms and massive reset gardens park as not seen until now by public.

Copyright Kevin Parr Bt 2020

The Wicket gate finale.

The morning sun broke through a sullen sky as the rain decreased and Soames was out of his bed early. The wicket gate clasp had been lifted and signs of footmarks in the softened grass path led him onwards to a reed bed swaying in the breeze coming up from the waters of the lake.

A swan took to flight leaving the water to take its refection then paddled into surf as the great white wings beat the air to rise far above him. Soames was every inch a country man but he heard a motor engine stop in the yard above the commotion of flight

” Hello you are Soames Er ! Mister John Soames. “The police man behind the plain clothes speaker approached slowly behind the officer.

‘ Yes that is me.Who wants to know may I ask.”

‘My names Inspector Paul Davis. Scotland Yard. London Division. This is Constable Higgins from Number 5 station in Wennington Lane. “

” Yes, so what is it you think me able to help with”? replied the Butler.

” You took in a pair of crooks last night sir. The car at the crossroads was involved in a bank robbery some hours prior. The couple go under the name of Bentley or a host of other names. “

‘ Right. Yes a couple knocked at his Lordships door last night late on. Gave us the likely enough tale of motorcar breakdown and stranded in the rain.Filthy night you see. Ours the only door in miles. Gave them tea and a bed for the night.”

” Taking in the air then sir?”

” No I came to see what happened later .This gate to us here was opened last night, well early hours the hounds from the kennels gave mouth . Too wet to trace the pair who had left the bed behind. Nothing obviously taken I checked pretty well everything Inspector. “

” Im sure you did. Been with Lord Bingham many years. Officer at war you served as his Aide de campe now his butler. is it. ?”

” Something like that I expect. He offered me a job when we marched out of uniform in India. Nothing I would not do for the old gentleman.”

” Well! just called to tell you watch out .We have recovered the motorcar and my guess is they did not go far enough out of this valley.”

The following day brightened and by noon, his Lordship had taken strides down to the farm behind the house, to see his beloved pig . Local show had won her gold medal as fattest baconer in the county. Fine figure of a sow she looked in his Lordships caring eyes. Joy of his morning walk was to take her tit bits to eat from his table.

Her eyes, flashed ,as soon as he appeared and he leaned over to feed her the last of the soup and mashed potato left over from the meal for the household from the previous night .

Her gussling and grunts told his Lordship how well she loved her food. Then his eyes came up to see a body laying across the pig pen shed floor . It was on closer inspection the man from last evening.The old Baron managed a sort of nobbled trot back to the house, unsteady on the corners but finally arrived in front of his man Soames ,as his breath returned ,related the report as Soames and the bead delivery boy ran to check while his master phoned the police station.

‘ Yes its our man alright. Sid Bishop his real name .Jewel thief and his woman is Morgan Ainsworth his accomplice who seems to have shot her man in the head. Id say ” Muttered the Inspector.

“Someone after them you think Inspector?”

” Yes without doubt. One Elma Donning a nasty piece of work in all ways bad. She was the wheel man in the raid but shot in an arm fell down near the car .Sid ran past her and drove the car around fast in front for Morgan as she dived in to the car he took off firing at us as he left. Elma must have hopped it as we never found her id say it was her who shot Silly Sid here when I give it thought. Bet his woman took to her heals. Last week arrested Mrs Pankhurst for knocking off a policemans helmet. Seems woman are no longer the weaker sect . This modern day 1912 is changing all we know as safe. Your guests too.”

“But why leave their beds no one could have reached them in the house?”

” No that is a puzzle. Anyway the bodies been moved sir. You are free to serve your master. He looked tired out. “

‘Not used to a morning run these days Id say Inspector.Hope you find your killer. “

” The cash bag too is still at large. “

“Sir ,shouted the policeman from the car. “Someone is up that hill watching us as just seen flash of binoculars sir. “

“Really Johnson. How far along that ridge. “replied the Inspector.

” About mid ships Id say,look look! there,see it?”

“Yes. Got it. Now all turn to the house and let us drive away as if we had not noticed. We can loop around back of them if lucky we may pull that off and arrest at least one of those women.”

Soames wandered back in and made tea as Cook came in and told him “His Lordship is in bed. “

It was after dinner that evening when the telephone burst into life .

‘Hello Morton 54 here.” Soames was sometime on the blower before relating the tale to his Lordship in the lounge room who was playing cards on his own.

‘So police arrested Elma in the next village on a public Omnibus. The other one said Elma shot at her too. Asked why they had left the house she said the pale faced lady the came into the bed room was crying and they could not sleep. Will that be all for now Sir?” The old Baron gazed into thin air but he made no reply.

The Lords eyes widened as Soames told him the last of the story and from then on he never went near that bedroom ever again .Nor did his Lordships Butler.

Another tale over.Hope ,really hope that you liked the read. Thank you all .Sir K

Copyright Kevin Parr Bt 2020.

The wicket gate

Soft candle light kissed her peach smooth cheek as she turned her raven black hair in the twist of her fingers. The darkened lattice of leaded windows looked down to the gardens and afforded a view to the crescent of the road. The moonlight flooded the scene as she waited to hear the horsehooves of her errant lover ringing over the cobbled yard .

The Kings road that lead all the way over the brow of Peddlers hill to the way down to the town where she knew he would be.

Thomas Throlby was at his beer and telling his tales of a highwayman as he was when in marched the redcoats of King George and off he went to his death on a long rope on a tall tree branch.

There he swung a dead gentleman in a velvet red coat and with French lace around his throat.

She knew in her heart that something had gone wrong. She heard the news over breakfast of the following morning. To this she read her hands thrown to the air above her pale white face. One move and she ran upstairs to her room never to be seen again.

Lady Lorna De Grace Forthing aged 20 had taken her own sweet life sometime within the hour of 9am of 18th of September in the year of Grace 1767 —————————————————

Summer 1921

“Some one at the door My Lord. “

” Who is it Soames?” Sighed Baron De Grace Forthing.

” Someone stuck near our gates sir. Motor carriage broken down and rain just started .Shall I offer shelter my Lord. “Announced his Butler.

‘Highly unfortunate for how many Soames?”

‘,Man and wife .Name of Beamley sir. “

‘Kitchen Soames, hot tea and bed them down in the east red room for one night only im not in the habit to offer more.”

” Of course sir. Cook went after dinner, hour ago sir.”

‘ Really ,Can you make them tea dear boy. Something to go with it may be cake. Or what ever you find that can be suitable”

“Red bedroom sir?”

” Why ever not Soames. Good room nice view over the gardens what more do they expect.Me move out and give them my bed ,is that it man? “

“No, no, My Lord ,your offer is pure Christian charity .Just that Red bedroom and the tale of your ancestors suicide there. “

” Ah! was forgetting that. Well! I have lived here all my life and at 78 have not ever seen a ghost or heard of one. They will be alright man they have no knowledge of that story. Now can you make them a tea and bring me a cup too please Soames. “

” Something in it me Lord?”smiled Soames knowingly.

” How very good of you, drop of the malt would be nice, now you mention it man, helps me sleep Il wager?” The old Baron sat back in his armchair reading the last adventures of Sherlock Holmes .


The excitement filtered away and at 2am the house in darkness save for a creaking wooden wicket gate that woke the hounds, all would have gone unnoticed.

The house now aroused found the couple from the red room gone. A full check of goods showed nothing missing but the man and wife.

“How very upsetting .What gets in to these young people Soames?”

‘ The Red bedroom sir window is open. Ill go up and close it over as gate can be closed too .Cant see how they left as it leads to the lake and rose gardens. “

” May have tied it and then seen the gates they came through to my door.”

” yes that could be just it. Ill check the gardens in the morning ?”

” Yes best plan indeed man .Now can we go back to our beds. I am anyway goodnight again Soames.”

” Sleep well sir. I will lock up ,again.”


Second part next week .

Thank you all, Sir K.

Copyright Kevin Parr Bt November 28th 2020

A grizzly tale of revenge

It was that morning of events. Good Friday 14th April 1865. Before the fall of night 16th President of America one Abraham Lincoln would be shot in the head but a man from the Southern army who had become an actor spy.

11am 14th April one General Robert Lee, who had surrendered four days before his vast Southern army at Appomuttox Court House. He was invited by the Victor to dine and take in a show in a theatre with him. Lee had declined the offer made by Lincoln on grounds he had duties to his family. Not long after reading this Lincoln decided to change theatre and attend another play at Fords Theatre in Washington DC .

Replica Philadelphia Deringer of the type used by John Wilkes Booth to Kill President Abraham Lincoln

In a stable two horses had be saddled .The two plotters had orders to kill Lincoln .One man held the horses. The other loaded a small Deringer pistol and entered the unguarded corridor outside of the box that Lincoln and his party sat watching the play unfold. What happened to the soldiers and guard outside of that box is the only mystery in this tale. The rest is lies and deception.

The hired gun was one almost famous actor called John Wilkes Booth. .He leaned forward and shot the great man in the back of his head. Before any could move he leapt over the front of the box and fell damaging his leg in the fall. He stumbled across the stage and out of stage door into the street mounted the waiting horse and vanished from detection. This is the facts we know. Only a plot to capture Lincoln had failed Booth had taken up the job perhaps for Lee that part no paper trail exits?

From now, in the tale of dark evil ,we must drift.

If Booth had help from Southern ex army or not he was never caught . The set up was fixed to show he had been shot by Government agents in the Red barn. A grave was made and in this a body went. All was now sorted nicely. Lincoln died in his bed in the Whitehouse. Doctors could not stop the man dying from a hole in his brains. The President who had stopped the slave trade that had ruined the wealth of Southern plantation owners had caused Civil war and built up a wall of enemies against Lincoln. Some hours after after being shot Lincoln was dead.

Lincoln was a top lawyer who had worked a bar man to make headway had made to be perhaps the best leader and President ever America had .He was buried with ceremony and the case closed.

In another state a man drank hard in Southern bar room .He was so drunk when asked he admitted he was John Wilkes Booth the actor . Two men who had known Booth came to see for themselves. They vanished from the story.

John Wilkes Booth.

Booth died in a boarding house in 1905 some 40 years after he had shot Lincoln. He may have taken his own life with arsenic or someone did it for him. What ever. His body was taken by the landlord who then wasted no time embalmed him so well that the facial features have been nailed for all time.

From circus side shows to private collectors this mummy has done the rounds from 1905 to 1970 on shows in the South lands of USA.It then vanished into a collection and is being kept until price of the story rises enough to sell the corpse of John Wilkes Booth to some other mad bone collector.

The man who has the body of John Wilkes Booth in his morbid collection

Photographs of Booth in life were cast over the photo of the copse and without doubt at all Booth murdered Lincoln and escaped from justice .So why did the Government say otherwise?

There are those now after DNA of Booth but as of old the mummy is still held in a private cellar of a man called Robert interviewed on TV by one man who dared

go that extra mile. Up to now the trail ran out and Robert says he has not the corpse. Photo above shows he has it and is hoping for massive profit to prove history wrong and the Government liars.

Hope you liked this tale of fate.Yours always Sir Kevin.

Copyright Kevin Parr Bt Nov 2020

Rosa Mundii

Who? I hear you ask. Rosa who? Well! long ago a young girl of ample beauty and great wit became to love of a Royal Kings life. Her name was Jane Clifford and one of my ancestors way back in time . I have been really interested in her since my time in research at University aged 18.

Toady ,in my gardens ,old roses grow and among the many is a little deep pink stripped with white flowering rose shrub called Rosa Mundi. A Gallica sport of the ancient Apotheric rose Officialis. Is known to have been grown in London Medical gardens in 12th Century. They used its petals in medical cures and to decorate cakes . Roses are in fact related to garden herbs. Monks used rose petals in wine and on salad trays.

Rosa Mundi shrub flowers her heart out in June and first week of July only. So for almost five weeks why grow it some have asked me. Well! for the sheer joy of its presence .It great scent and its ability to thrill me every summer. Then that fact that it was used to decorate the tomb of dear lovely Jane by her lover King Henry 11 of England. He was married to an older lady called Ellenor of Aquitaine in France. It was an arranged marriage and Henry had her great fortunes as compensation. There was little love between them but managed to breed sons. Famous Geoffrey .Richard the Lion Hearted and John Lackland the weakest and youngest son. To hide away Jane who all courtiers called the Fair Rosemund of historic times owing to her bright eyes and beauty of face. Henry built her a bower as a labyrinth so complex that only he knew the way in and out. He made sure he hunted in the area often.

Over time his wildly wife followed him to the bower. She is said to have tied a silk thread to his shoe and after she stood on it as he walked to his held horse and galloped of home. She picked up the thread found Jane and killed her. Henry on hearing the news galloped all the way back to find his dead lover laying on the ground inside her house in the labyrinth. He built her a marble tomb and decorated it all himself with rose petals from this said rose. It was in life her favourite and perhaps why I grow it too.

Rosa Mundi in full glory 4feet high and wide a no trouble favorite of many gardeners.

He jailed his wife and Queen for this as she was in fact plotting against him using his sons to thwart his progress.

He only allowed her out at Christmas time then back in her castle home under close arrest. As I said no real love existed between them. A love hate situation

The Cliffords a Northern family wrote more than a page in England book of fame . Henry 11 upset the whole nation when his drinking friend who was pushed into the Church as a job away from his King suddenly found God and was murdered by Sir Hugh De Morvile a Knight who lived at Moreland in Cumbria and three others as he knelt in prayer sliced off the top of his scull in Canterbury cathedral .Henry was so angered he made himself a target to be whipped by all monks and Churchmen of the City. The result killed him later.

Sad story but so very true his love was murdered, his best closest friend killed and his wife dancing for joy at his down fall. Henry and his family have been the subject of many books movies and poems over the centuries but Henry had bad press in many phases of his life. Not a good father and was roughly made and strong . He fought all and even his sons in wrestling which they seemed to hate.

On Henrys death in France his son Richard came and took the Royal ring of England off his fathers finger and spat on his fathers face. Yet next to him Richard and all the family save for King John who is buried in Worcester Cathedral England, lay. The Chinon graves of Kings I have seen many times on trips to that haughty haunting castle above the streets, of Chinon le Loire , that Henry once looked over knowing he had been made King Of England.

If all that is left of this period in the march of time since is Rosa Mundi Gallica shrub then I grow it for love for in truth I came from the same Grandfather as of Henry.

Old garden roses make a magical sight in Early to late June for about 5 weeks of pure scented heaven. Alba Maxima ,the Jacobite rose 1340. Md Legrass de Germain are strongest scent in all roses across the full range of modern to ancient. Another is the Centifolia rose Fantin Latour by Tamm of France 1938 .

Terese Bugnet Rose is perhaps the hardiest all summer flowering hedge I have. Some 80 foot of it runs the sun border from main gates to Mermaid fountain.

Paul Noel a strawberry pink scented repeat flowering climber is on a tall metal oblisk and yet to suffer winter here so jury is out as yet. My Canadian Explorer roses laugh at winter the huntsman of deathly breath who cracks that cruel whip of ice across the gentle earth and all bow before him. Not so my hardy Canadians who flower into January and only rest then. Good scent but not great as in the oldest roses in history. I only wish i could grow Burbons but cant have everything can we; as then no adventure left.

Gardening is an education in its own perfect way. For me a life saver in retirement and it feeds the very soul in me with deep peace and love for plants . When the roof goes on my folly room and I can decorate inside of it I can take a rest when working on my borders new. As the plan takes in another two acres to its natural ending. So lots to do and time precious.

When I touch and smell that sweet intoxicating scents of ancient rose blooms my mind takes in the very fact that here Kings have seen as I do. Touched as I have, the flowers of old roses I grow . Time standing still, across the edge of centuries. It thrills me to think how many have loved this rose. Tall stately and wall like are most and thankful am I someone, someplace, helped to keep them over 1000 years save from wars, rage,riot and evil stupidity. Roses come with history and stories worth reading .They connect the pages across time in fact.

Now garden centres sell only the fashionable Hybrid repeat or constant flowering roses .Many have no scent Those that have is doubtful .Once you have scented a rose of antiquity then for all time you will be captivated by that smell so strong in my gardens it can travel into the house some way off across a field of gardens. I notice cars that slow down windows open in summertime that sniff the road hedges trying to locate the pungent aromatic scents and never can find what they cannot see. For five whole weeks this magical part of gardens is a walk way for all who come to see me . It is really the summer and scents and bees and birdsong all gather to worship the vista of old roses in tumbling flowers and soft silk colours with accent here and there of darkest red makes the walk unique perhaps. Beyond the gate is no mans land untamed and jungle until lake goes in and more gardens built as rooms as summer comes again to me to build my dreams

Maybe another letter from Latvia as did not wish to let my readers down had no time to create anything this month. So my talk is on roses and gardens as that is my love. One hopes it reaches you with interest my dears.

Yours Sir K.

Copyright 2020 November Kevin Parr Bt

one shot, conclusion

The day was warm. May blossoms filled the gardens of England with scent. The police had found a gun in a tree that children had handed in. The gun fitted the shell found in the dead lawyers body. Finger prints wiped but on the empty barrel one thumb print come up in lab test. From this mere edge of print they had a way forward at last. The drive to find the killer took up that same day.

Angela was again back in the police care. She admitted that she had fired her shot and it had missed. But her lover fell to the floor. She had not seen beyond that as her concern was to make her escape. She had grabbed the rail of a number 60A bus to Sheffield South. She cared not where it went she needed time to take it all in. She worked out she had not killed him so he could be alive. When Angela read in news and radio news of the lawyers death she went deep into hiding as she thought by chance her shot had hit him after all.

Sat with police now it was a very different story . They wanted to know who else was there that day. Angela had not seen anyone .The shot she recklessly fired off was found in the timber frame of the old door. A .45 bullet had crumpled flat in the oak frame lintel top. Police thought someone elses shot must have been fired at precisely same time or witnesses in shops would have heard two shots not one as was recorded.

A full nation hunt was on for the thumb print owner of pistol snub nosed Colt .38. A gangsters sort of weapon from last war too.

Far away the night drew in the bottle rolled of the cluttered table and Jo

hn Carfax the bank robber passed way. Police called to the scene by Pathologist who took the deadmans prints. They had found the murderer of a lawyer. On checking all it came to light that Carfax had been put in prison for 12 years on the word from this lawyer. He had been released just a day before the killing and the case of that one shot closed .

Carfax had lost his wife in truth to the said victim while he served his sentence and that was a murder waiting to happen long before it did. We all pay for our sins it seems. The well of desire a trap for the greedy.

Thank you for your company, yours Sir K.

Copyright Kevin Parr Bt 2020 Nov 6th

One shot continued.Part two.

Don was operated on the bullet removed from his open chest. Infection set in and in less than an hour he was dead. Time called as complications left the team with no other option but to call time of death at 5pm. Bullet had sliced deeper then they could fix.

Police patched together most of Dons life and sent a car to arrest his wife. Far away in South Wales Angela sat in a cafe reading the news of a murder in Leeds Yorkshire of a local Solicitor . She cried softly her world now in fast motion before her eyes and mind.

Elizabeth Summerley Briton had been found at her mothers in York. Brought in for questioning allowed a Brief and told of her upset at Dons mistresses .He had promised but again at Christmas another woman had phoned to say she was her husbands lover. It being too much Elizabeth took both children and ran . She had never owned a weapon and at that point her lawyer stopped the recorded interview working on making police bring on evidence and making a case if they could. This gave him time to dig and see what he could do as for client to know the truth himself.

Detectives now went out of their way to find a killer. The lead came on speaking to nosy nieghbour who gave them full description of Dons lover. Cars went all over and over police forces too became involved but Angela had vanished into another woman .Redhead with ease called now Patty Jones from Birkenhead Cheshire. South Wales was easy to mingle in with.

Andrew was now top man in the firm bringing in more accounts for life premium than any other that month. Pam who had been off for two weeks was happy to work on Andrews accounts as he was man who paid attention to details she needed not to spend hours on phone getting the things left out.

It was after one of the late night office sales sessions that Andrew picked up the nerve to ask her to go to dinner with him as at 8pm he did not wish to start cooking in a cold home.

Waterloo Bridge in London UK over the River Thames

She gave it some thought and replied yes. From now on through life they would never be alone again.

It was a Sunday morning a year later that police arrested Angela Harding and found in her flat a loaded gun. The Yorkshire police now carted her back to court in Leeds. Still with deep red dyed hair she gave her statement and faced the magistrates who bound her over until case could be heard by main court. No bail was sought.

In the cell Angela was allowed one phone call. She rang for a lawyer she knew who had done the conveyance of the house her and Andrew had bought. He in turn sent a crime lawyer from same firm.

The news was full of the case in all Northern newspapers. It was then to come to light that in fact Andrew was face to face with police at his door. It was not for him but for Pam.It is now in the story that Andrew is to discover that Pams brother was lover to his own sad wife. Police being police worked out who was who in this tale. Andrew was taken down for questioning to city station.

The gun in this case belonged to his father from war.John Harding was a Captain in Engineers and captured by Japanese army in Burma 1943. He had been rescued and was sent home an ill man in 1948. He had died in 1964 as Andrew was only 12 at time he had felt the loss .The pistol his mother had kept along with her memories .He had not seen it in years.

So now police knew how his wife had stolen it from digging in boxes in his mothers attic.

Martin Prenton was working on the case in Police lab. He was stunned at his finding as the bullet out of the deadmans chest had not been fired from Andrews fathers gun. The Red faced police now released the read haired Angela Harding.

Police case had fallen in and anger from the top desk made it worse. Police exposed in news made it bad to carry that case on. So for some five years it was left open .

Time raced on. Pam married Andrew after his divorce came through and no one was happier than Pam. Andrew was now free and happy in his best suit in front of registrar holding Pams hand to fit on the gold band that sealed the deal.

Angela read the news and cried. But who had killed Don?

Conclusion of this case next week.

Yours with love Sir Kevin.

Copyright Kevin Parr Bt 2020

One shot and its over.

A tiny moth landed on Andrew Hardings window. A tell tale sign of Autumn and his sorrow as heavy as the rains outside in the street. It was becoming colder and even colder in his heart. For before him the letter that he dread had arrived to haunt him.

Angela had found someone else. He read her words over again. She had found real love .Love that he could not hope to give her. His lost job, his debts mounting up trying to please her meant nothing to her. She was happy he was sad. The world around him darkened into nothingness. He was not good enough.

The bottle was open and he found solace with the first glass of Whisky.The pale honeyed liquid swilled in joy around his tonsils. Soon the bottle was empty as his mind was now. From the kitchen drawer he took the pills his mother had used before that fateful day she had died. The pills came easy from the box of cardboard as it fell to the kitchen hard stone floor and gentle as gossimer softly reached its end.

He had taken the pills ,all sixteen of them in one mighty gulp .In case he changed his mind at last second. He stood gazing out at the cold rain hitting the frozen glass of the windows as if in a dream. For some time he felt resigned to death. Then the pills took hold with the whisky and he crumpled to his knees as darkness fell his eyes could no longer see. It was 10am Tuesday morning and he was cold and sick all down his shirt. He lay stiffly not caring .Senses dead his mind a whirly gig and he could hear the circus music of the fair. Last thing he heard was someone calling his name but lights had gone out.

It was just after Midday ,the rain subsided and his eyes slowly focused on the cardboard box on the level with his gaze. He felt pain in his stomach but to feel that meant he was still alive. .He raised himself to a sitting position thinking of nothing ,not a thing at all. Slowly he felt a serge of bile race up from his churning guts to his throat. Again he was sick and his trouser now took the soaking .

He must have dozed off as it was dark in the room and the stench of sickness hit him hard in the nose. He threw up again as he tried to raise to his feet.It proved hard and took a while but then he managed it all the same. He could not think why he was still there and a period of time passed as he tried to focus to turn on the light.

Its bright introduction burned his eyes and mind. He looked around at the bottle rolling off the table hitting the floor to shatter the silence as he held his aching head.

He slumped on the ever waiting bed and he felt no more until waking next morning with a severe headache. The straggled sun light across the bedroom told him it was still hell and he fell off the bed feeling rough and ever so sick.

At another side of the city, Angela was happy in Dons arms and his house was nicely appointed.They had made love many times in his large wide bed with its black satin sheets. She had called around hoping for sex and was not to be ignored. She had no thought of her 12 years marriage with Andrew Harding. Why should she she loved only Don now.

They had met at a shoe shoe in town some six weeks earlier and hit it off at once. She knew nothing about him only that on helping him with his selection of work shoes she had served him with affection and charm. From that first ten minutes something had happened to here and she hoped to him.

Don played right into her hands and they dated and meet many times. Don had an office job as a Lawyer while Andrew a factory foreman in a Steel works had lost his job in an industry shut down. Angela had stuck it out for six weeks of Andrews performance of lame duck. She had not meant to fall in love but when Don had walked in to the shoe shop were she worked it all fell into place. As easy as falling off a log. A very thick log at that.

Autumn walked laughingly into winter and Christmas day was there so soon. Don had wished her well on Christmas eve phone call but had not invited her to his home. She asked openly why. He made an excuse about visit to his sister in London many miles away from Yorkshire. Angela spent the holiday at her parents but on Boxing day could not help herself she walked around to Dons lovely house expecting it empty. But as she drew near she peered through the windows to see Don and two children playing on the lounge floor when in came this young woman with a tray of cakes and she kissed Don of the forehead. She thought this must be his sister and her family so she ran back home and phoned him. A child answered the phone and she asked for Don.To which the child called out Daddy someone wants you on the phone. She went cold as a woman replied and she said hello who is it please. So she spoke.”Can I speak with Don.”

The woman then asked who was speaking in a slow but steady voice. “Im Angela his girlfriend “she replied. The phone went down with a bang.

Back in Leeds Andrew had left the hospital feeling lost but on the mend. It had been sixteen weeks but he was ready to face a job interview.

Don had vanished his home was now empty and a for sale sign was on show in the window. She asked a next door nosy woman who told her Don was a married man with two lovely children and his wife had left him at Christmas time. She asked if he was still in the area. The lady did not know?

For weeks she watched the house as she did not know which of the thousand solicitors offices in which he worked but nothing came to light. Then one day some months after she caught sight of him driving by in a new Jaguar sports car. He was with a young woman .Blonde hair was all she could see. As his wife was Ginger and Angela blonde she put two and two together and saw Don lost to her . It hurt like hell but she wanted him back at any price.

Andrew had sat next to another hopeful and he was not sure he should stay as next man looked a business sort. At this moment a door opened and Andrew was motioned in.

He was not too sure of anything and he had never sold insurance.In fact he had never sold a single thing only perhaps an old set of ice skates as a boy .

The interview was relaxed and full of laughter and soon enough he had joined the firm . The office was cozy and Phil Jones the manger who had offered the job was easy going short. John Bates the saleman to train Andrew was a nice sort. Andrew had turned the corner and he knew it.

Angela had been crying .Don had ignored her as he parked up and ran to an office she ran to him but he turned sheepishly back to the car and sped away. She was now to walk into said office and ask for Donald Briton as his photo was there on the wall as partner. She was told he was out in court but was due back any moment if she cared to wait. Wait she did ,for two hours and guessed Don had phoned the desk to escape her.

Andrew was selling well on his own now and was given his own office and phone with shared typist who acted as secretary for both John and Andy. Her name Pamela Armstrong Briton.

The day was snowing hard and February drew into March Don lay dying in his blood on a step near the fish market .People stunned tried to help as he clutched his chest an ambulance sped up and Don was lifted aboard and it sped way with loud ringing siren breaking that silence as it sped towards the hospital.

Andrew passed it on the way to his third appointment that day.He saw the fuss and heard the siren but to him it was perhaps an accident in a car.

Angela had jumped in a bus for shopping centre and no one suspected her of anything. She was not herself but no one on that bus even looked at her. The smoking hot barrel of a pistol in her hand bag was not seen.

Part two next week.

The conclusion of Ash.

The morning air was brisk as October turned into November .London had rain in the night and the office as Jones walked in smelt musty with wet overcoats hanging from pegs on the outer wall. He was set to have just one of those days that all know of. The phone burst into the silence like the sharp slap of a car door. He took the call from his desk still trying to arrange himself ,then froze.

‘ Your silent Inspector. Not happy with my find. “

” Sorry Doctor. Yes I thought for a moment we had what Sir John suffered from. What is it then?”

” Not blood sucking dead .It is more a puzzle infact. Id say she was to well preserved to be that old. Her bones and skull are some 80 years old That fits Id would say with what we know. The blood is the problem. I dont know it shows DNA back to 1890s. It would make her 130 at least. Old age should have killed her never mind rat poison. Come down Ill show you the results. “

He made his way down the stairs just as Dee burst out of his lab door red in the face.

“What ever could be the matter Dee?”

“Bodies vanished that is what is the matter by God. Come in man dont dither about .Your the detective tell me where she is.”

In less than a minute the lab two doors ,one he had walked in by lead to the stairs and upper floor main office. The door in the all lead to the morgue and an vacant slab. The main doors lead into the yard outside and Jones fond them securely locked.

‘So were did that copse go ?’

” Vanished I told you ,man. Gone. Doors .You came down to me, door was between us, she was not taken into the offices. The main iron doors for delivery only opened by the key in my desk. Look.-God its gone.”

‘ SO they did pass through the doors and locked it from outside.”

“Only way ,yes agreed. Then why would any one want to do this.No respect for the dead.”

“Are her innards still with you Doc.?

” Blast me ,No the tray in the fridge with her liver has been taken too. “

“Then how could they know it was her liver?”

“No other corpse here.”

“Open that door may be a clue .Prints on iron are a great print.”

‘Sorry we will have to reach the yard via a walk around the building. Only key and they have it.”

The fact that no prints they could find led to professional body snatchers or some even crueler reason. Many bodies have ended up embalmed as ancient mummies and sold as antiques in markets about the world.

‘ So someone must have noticed a body being carried. “

“Or they had transport .Look at these tire marks in the last of that snow we had. Come Doctor need a bit of plaster. “

By all the tracks in set plaster told Jones that Henry Bolton the tire sales man could tell the tread. He phoned him and they took the tracks over to him.

‘Now gentlemen this is a Michelin and rare indeed came off a 1950s pie van reg in my book. Sold last set to Gordons the bakery . Yes here it is NGD 633 Black Humber van. He uses it as they all take note of car and big pie sign each side. “

it took an hour to stop the van and police found only the driver at the wheel with the van empty.

“So what happened then sir?”

” I parked with back door open to load six trays of hot meat pies into the back. Order for the Bird and Bush pub. I went in heard the van start. Turned to see it drive way like the great Sterling Moss at the wheel”

” Who found it?”

“No one. It was parked up in the yard cleaned and polished. Nothing missing only they had done 23 miles I have to keep me mileage for records in accounts .”

“Thank you sir .We may need to speak with you again.”

‘By noon next day the location was found .

“Here sir .Ring around here show where half of 23 miles is as he had to drive back. Two places .Here a land spill site easy to hid a body. The other a clinic ,just here . Rest is houses and shops but Clinic could be it. “

‘Right thanks Sue .We can take a look at the latter first. Ask Dee to accompany us .”

The clinic was in full swing when they arrived.

“Your boss please Lov. Police asking for help in a case. “

“Im your man Inspector .what case is this. “
” Body snatching. “

“Come on now that ended centuries back. People now leave body to science. “

” A female body was taken from police morgue yesterday in a Humber van and we have reason to believe it arrived her soon after. “

“I am here to heal the living officer ,not bring the dead to life “

“Can we take a loo around or do we need a warrant. “

“Dont go poking into private patients rooms please but yes you may take quick look about .I have nothing to hide. “

For about 12 minutes the four police and Doctor Dee inspected the one level clinic. Finding nothing they agreed to pack up and go to search the land fill when Jones suddenly stubbed his toe on a gap in the floor. On closer look and by moving a wheelchair the outline of hatch top gave them another place to investigate. In seconds the police arrested Don Blake the owner. In the cellar the frozen corpse was taken out of a chest freezer and all arrived shortly after at Scotland Yard.

” Right arrest both of them . Both know far more than they are saying.:

The daughter came quietly but her brother the Dentist fought like a tiger.

why did you take the body from ‘In here both of you. Now in your own time, tell me why you killed her. Or should I tell you. You see she had left the house between both of you. But! she left you her daughter her fortune. So in comes you with the rat poison and had to put down your cigar in the ash tray. Thats about it motive some revenge for the 45000 pounds in mothers will Id say. “

‘You could not be any place near. Ill admit it was my fault. We both tried to help but in our innocence we killed her as sure as if Id shot her dead.”

“What we did was not wrong it was just we both had no experience and that medic robbed us of our dear mother.”

Closer now, Jones moved in. ‘What Medic?”

‘Simon Patton .He works in A and E at Middlesex hospital. He sold us blood to change the blood that was killing her. A simple transfusion done at her bedside at home. Simon had somehow mixed up the sacks of blood and rang too late to tell us the stuff in mothers veins was from another county. It was frozen from 1900 African brought back by explorers to lab here . What ever it was it flowed through her and in one night she was dead in her chair next morning. We acted only as no one would help her ,too old to care for. “

” She had cancer of the blood Inspector. I was terrified I would loose my license and business if blamed so we decided to keep silent but your man decided something else was going on.”

“And we were right ,there was. “

” We had no other way we had to try as hospital let her out to die at home. Bastards it was our mother not a Nazi bitch, or some sort of low life.Mother you see?”

” I let the court decide now. Arrest this man Simon Patton and allow these two a phone call each. ” At the door of interview room five he turned .”Mister -Thomas– why did you take the body from my morgue ?:

‘It was to stop you taking blood samples. but we were too late it seems. Silly yes but what could we do we had lied to police twice . “

End of story. Thank you for reading whole tale. Hope you liked it.

Copyright Kevin Parr Bt 2020 October

The case of ash against poison

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. “

“Gerald who?”

” 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.