Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Dead Rite chapter 65.01

Detective-inspector White paused next to a painting of Boudica, warrior-queen of the Iceni and bent double, his hands on his knees, gasping for air.”

“Catching your breath, Sir?” DS Peters jogged on the spot. “It's about all you'll catch today. I think he's given us the slip.”

“Do stop that infernal jiggling, sergeant. You're giving me motion sickness.”

“Sorry.” Peters stopped. “Where do you reckon he went?”

White straightened and placed one hand against the wall. “If I knew that I'd have nabbed him, wouldn't I? He must have nipped up the back stairs while we were messing about in one of the other rooms.”

“I was sure he was in the gym. There was that rank smell in there, like something had died.”

“Probably just Waterman's trainers.” White straightened his coat. “Come on.”

“Where now?”

“Upstairs. He had to go somewhere, didn't he? Chances are one of the SOCOs cart sight of him.”

“Yes sir.” He thumbed his radio. “All units in the vicinity of the manor be advised there is a single male on the loose, wanted for questioning in regard to the death of a female. Approach with caution.”

“Why the caution? I'd approach him with a good deal of personal annoyance.”

“Softly softly, sir.”

“All very well for you to say. Personally I'm just trying to decide if my breakfast is better off staying where it is or whether I should offer it to this rather buxom lady here.”

“She's a big girl all right.” Peters stared at the painting. “You don't get many of those to the pound.”

White glanced at it. “Victorian. Being robust meant you were wealthy and of good breeding stock. Ideals of beauty change as fast as the morning paper.”

“Aye, sir. I prefer her to today's models, mind. Someone you're not afraid to break between the sheets, if you catch my drift.”

“Her?” White laughed. “She'd have shopped off your legs and fed them to the crows. Not a great lover of foreigners, was Boudica.”

“I'm not a foreigner, sir. I was born in Ipswich.”

“Of Germanic stock, like most of us.” White clapped him on the shoulder. “Come on, I need some fresh air.”

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