Sunday, 10 June 2018

The Killing of the Thousand and Second Night CHAPTER THREE


    Sorry, I missed posting a blog on Friday, but unfortunately, the circumstances I found myself in were beyond my control. I didn't plan to post this chapter, of The Killing of the Thousand and Second Night, however here it is and I hope you enjoy it. Have a great week friends.

Chapter 3

     When Harriet opened the large oak door of the library, it creaked loudly, causing Inspector MacGregor to jump slightly in his seat beside the window. He had been reading over his notes, whilst waiting to speak to Mrs Ashdown and hoped that this was her joining him. But the beauty he saw before him surprised him even more than the creaky door had.
     Harriet could see the surprise on the policeman’s face, at seeing her and she said confidently,
    “Well, a smile and a hello would be a good start, Guy.”
    “Harriet Robinson; my goodness. What on earth are you doing here?”
    “The name’s Lady Harriet Huntley now, Guy.”
    “Of course, I’m sorry. I did read about your marriage to Lord Huntley, please forgive me,” the normally unshakable policeman stumbled to his feet.
    “No need to stand on ceremony though Guy. I’m still the same Harriet, only the surname has changed,” Harriet could feel old emotions stir inside her, at seeing her first love, after all this time. Moving towards the policeman Harriet noticed that the years had been kind to him; he still had a certain boyish look about him. His blonde hair had darkened, but there were no traces of grey and his deep blue eyes hadn’t lost their twinkle.
     Putting her hand on his shoulder she said,
    “Sit down Guy, I’ll sit down here,” before Harriet sat down opposite Guy, she smoothed out her skirt, so it wouldn’t crease below her and continued, “I’m a good friend of Charlotte’s; I had sent my bell-boy here earlier today with a bouquet and a note to welcome her home, after her being away from Glasgow for several weeks. On Ian’s return, Ian being my bell-boy; to my home in Devonshire Terrace, he told me of the terrible tragedy that had occurred. He also relayed a message from Mr Ashdown, requesting that I come here to support his wife. She is of somewhat of a nervous disposition.”
    “You had no idea before you arrived that I was the officer in charge?”
    “No, and even if I had done, it wouldn’t have stopped me from coming here, to be by my friend's side.”
    “Must have been a bit of a shock?”
    “Guy, I am a very happily married woman and I’m not about to go all doe-eyed, when an old beau, crops up unexpectedly in my life.”
    “Harriet, I wasn’t any old beau; I was the man you intended to marry. The man you would have married if it hadn’t been for your father ending our relationship. The man you would have had children with, the man you would have spent your old age with. Till death do us part.”
    “Guy this conversation is most inappropriate and I ask that you move onto the more important matters in hand,” Harriet’s face was now flushed with anger, Guy’s impropriety towards her, had somewhat came as a surprise.
    “I’m sorry, this is very difficult, meeting you again like this,” his tone was genuine and he continued,  “Yes let’s talk about the more important matters in hand. There’s been a young woman violently killed in this household, sometime over the last two or three days. There’s no sign of unlawful entry into the property and everyone that may be able to help shine some light on the past seventy-two hours is indisposed, or makes little sense. So Harriet unless you can tell me something that’s relevant to my case, I would ask you to go about your own business and let me get on with mine, please.”
    “Violently killed?”
    “Yes, bludgeoned to death, probably with a meat cleaver. So the police surgeon advises me.”
    “But surely you don’t believe anyone in this household would be guilty of this odious crime?”
    “At present, I have no idea. I just want to speak with Alexander Ashdown and his daughter-in-law, so I can rule them out of my inquiries.”
     Harriet knew that the quicker the police could get on with the questioning of the innocent parties, the easier it would be for the Ashdown’s to get on with their daily routine. She smiled and said,
    “Guy, I’m not here to interfere as I told you previously. But I might actually be able to help you. I can see that you’re very frustrated at not being able to speak with Charlotte. But I was under the impression you had already questioned Alexander?“
    “I did speak with him briefly but he couldn’t explain to me why he didn’t think it was unusual that he hadn’t seen Jeannie for two days, after all, she was supposed to be looking after him.”
    “Oh I understand, but he’s elderly,” she saw that this excuse made no impression on Guy, the shrug of his shoulders made that perfectly clear. “John tells me that he was very fond of the girl. Please can you give me some time to talk with both of them? I’ll try my best to put them at ease and hopefully they will agree to talk with you,” she said with a hint of pleading in her voice.
    “Two hours Harriet that’s all they have. If they don’t agree to speak with me here I’ll have to take them to the police station,” Guy was angry with himself, at allowing Harriet to detour him from his original plan. She was right, she was still the same Harriet, trying to keep everyone happy. But that wasn’t always possible, he knew that and life’s experience should have taught her that. No use crying over spilt milk, there were other things he could be getting on with for now and a couple of hours delay was unlikely to cause him any problems.
    “I give you my word Guy,” Harriet reached over and touched Guy’s hand, briefly.
    “Please don’t give me your word, words can always be broken. Please arrange for me to speak with them,” Guy MacGregor hastily got up and left Harriet sitting alone in the room. Seeing her again had opened up old wounds for Guy, that she could see. But surely his life had moved on; hers had.

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