Sunday, August 11, 2013

Dead Rite chapter 155.07


“Well, I never!” The old boy's face was a study in surprise. “I thought it was an ear.” He raised his voice. “Did you hear the man, Liz? It's not an ear at all. It's one of your dried fruit things.”

“Is it really?” A heavy woman in her forties trundled into the room. She looked round-faced, her cheeks ruddy with broken veins and her long auburn hair caught up into braid. She wore a pinny over a cotton blouse and jeans and there was a streak of white flour decorating one cheek like war paint. “Who'd have thunk it?”

“Anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of anatomy, I would have thought.” Harold did his best to cover his initial surprise. “Especially since you had prior knowledge of your diet.”

“You did, though, didn't you?” Jasfoup raised an eye brow at the woman. You knew exactly what it was and merely chose to waste police time.”

She grew even more beetroot. “No, I never...”

“It wore like that, son.” The old man put a hand on the small of Jasfoup's back. “Liz were putting the washing out, see, an' she says to me 'look at that ear,' an' afore she can say otherwise I've collected it up and phoned the police. My eyesight might not be as good as it once were, you know? I never meant to make no trouble.”

“Despite phoning the papers as well?”

“Well...Mebbes a bit for the story. An 'undred pounds, they pay for a good story.”

“I put it to you that you fabricated the whole affair.” Jasfoup dusted off the remains of the apricot and ate it. “Come, Harold, we have... other cases to attend.”

Harold looked past Liz to the kitchen. Devious had found the bag of dried apricots in one of the kitchen cupboards and was miming a complicated charade for 'Shall I eat them?” Harold nodded, tipped an imaginary hat and followed Jasfoup through the door.

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