Monday, August 11, 2008
Half a Corpse, Found.
Harold was distressed to find the partially decomposed remains of a body last night. We called the police, of course, and Inspector White arrived before any of the uniform branch. I’m sure he has a scanner watching out for anything to do with Harold and the Manor. I think he bears a grudge about those bodies from last year.
After he’d climbed up into the loft and shone his torch about (the body itself was easy to see, outlined in gold from the light of the setting sun through the broken roof tiles) and put his size nine through the ceiling of the Greene room he checked the body. The presence of roof tiles underneath it proved he’d fallen through rather than been stuffed through the loft hatch. He climbed down again, his foot questing blindly for the top of the ladder. I was sorely tempted…
He was a bit sarcastic, to be honest. “Of the number of bodies that fall within my jurisdiction,” he said, “72% were found within 500 yards of this house last year, Mr. Waterman. And here you are with yet another, this time in your loft. What does that say about you, I wonder?”
I answered, for Harold was already distressed without the allegations of foul play. It wouldn’t have been so bad, but he genuinely didn’t know anything about the corpse. “I think you’ll find, Inspector,” I said, “that the lure of lead flashing and a slippery roof leave no room to blame on our part.”
“No?” White sneered at me. He actually sneered. “What ate him, then?”
“Ate him?” I was genuinely surprised. The gargoyles on the roof ate carrion, yes, but a fresh body was unlikely. “Crows?”