Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dead Rite chapter 54.02

The shorter one – Waterman -- scowled. "That's hardly fair. We live here. It's not our fault Julie fell over dead. And what about poor Lucy?"

"Lucy?" White glanced at Chambers but the coroner was supervising the dead woman being zipped into a plastic body bag. "Another corpse?"

"Don't be ridiculous." Waterman lifted the child slightly. "This is Lucy. We can't just drag her away from the house for months on end. All her clothes are here. Her toys, her friends. She's as near as dammit a princess and I will not have her upset."

They all stared at the child who seemed to be finishing off a piece of cheese. She offered it to White, who declined. "She doesn't look upset."

He waved them away, happy to watch them troop through the far door into the hall beyond, the strains of Waterman's complaining filtering through until the door clicked shut again. The clatter of a gurney signalled the removal of the body and he turned to face Eric, who was just filling in his preliminary report sheet. "Well? First thoughts now we're alone?"

"I honestly can't say. Until I can establish a cause of death I can't even speculate."

White chewed his bottom lip. "Not even a guess?"

"Not even. I have a few ideas but it'll be a turkey race to see if any of them pan out." He lowered his voice. "There was one odd thing, though."

"What was that?"

"She had stockings on."

"Yes? So? I admit they're rare these days but some women still wear them." White raised an eyebrow. "Some men too, for that matter."

"Yes, but her suspenders were over her knickers."

Eric's two assistants filed out, the gurney bucking as they forced it over the door lintel and threatening to tip the corpse out again.

White watched them loading the body into their van, one finger tapping his lips. "No make-up."

"What?"

"She wasn't wearing any make-up. No deodorant, body powder, perfume, hairspray...nothing. How many women can you say that about?"

"Very few, I'll grant you, but that doesn't mean anything, does it? Some women choose not to."

"But her top had traces of perfume on it."

"So?"

"Why just her top? It's almost as if she was scrubbed clean and dressed in yesterday's clothes." He motioned in the two waiting scene-of-crime officers. See if you can find any discarded clothes, would you? I think she was re-dressed before we got here."

"You may be right." Eric picked up his case. "Just you watch you back, my friend. Don't let your vendetta against Waterman cloud your judgement. Best look out for yourself on this one. Cross your eyes and dot your tees." He grinned and clapped White on the arm. "I'll send you my findings.


2 comments:

stephanie said...

I'll admit, I didn't consider White & Co. when I thought of Julie dying. This is muddy situation. :/

Leatherdykeuk said...

Muddy? It's a quagmire!