After a good deal of shouting, the police disarmed Mrs. Benton and led her off the be charged with double murder. I felt almost sorry for her – this was a woman who was a complete bigot and hypocrite and ordinarily someone I'd have had a lot in common with until she'd told me she'd sent a succubus back to queue for a mortal form. I wondered if I'd read any of Edith's smutty novels. I made a mental note to ask for them at the library.
There was a sergeant waiting to take a statement from me but I gave him the slip and changed into a suit in the back garden, Why had Sam and Dilbo lied to me about the source of the contamination? Did they honestly think they'd be in more trouble if they told me about their herbal tobacco? Or did they hope that by concealing the source they'd get to keep it? Neither option left me very happy.
I replaced the 'Laverstone Gas' tag on my lapel and walked to the next house along, on the other side of the fire. According to my records, Henry Whitlow lived in the downstairs apartment, Nmaio Kupali in the upper. Both were minor sinners due for everlasting torment but nothing worse than a bit of adultery and not returning a library book. I was in luck! Henry was pottering about in his front garden with a bag of compost and some huge terracotta pots.
"Mr. Whitlow?" I said. "I need to check your gas line after the accident at number fourteen."
Henry scowled. "Can't it wait?" he said. "I'm a bit busy."
"Not really." I pushed open the gate and was half way up the path before I spotted the three decapitated bodies on his small square of lawn.