Double Jiggles this week, as this is a shorter chapter.
Cook, despite being told that she could take the day off, produced an above average spread for lunch. Eileen took a detour as everyone else headed for the dining room, and turned up later, helping Lucy and Annette bring the food up.
Lucy blushed deep red when everyone’s eyes turned to her and the trolley of food. She gave a quick curtsy, and left the room almost immediately. “I am just going to have a little word with Lucy, and tell her that she has nothing to be ashamed of.” Toby announced, following her from the room.
Even without Melissa or Donald joining them, there were more diners than the table was normally set for. Constable Miller was sent to get extra chairs with Annette, whilst Ally helped Eileen lay out the buffet trays.
Toby arrived, and Annette left, and everyone sat down to eat. Eileen, Ally and Ginge laid out the story they had uncovered from the diaries. Nervous that they might disappear if left unattended, Ally had brought them to the dining room with her.
“But there is no indication who the mysterious X is?” Godfrey asked.
“Nothing yet. I’ve read a couple of the letters, and they don’t reveal anything that I think could identify him. The postmarks aren’t even all from the same place. They came from various parts of London, and, on one occasion, Brighton.” Ginge said.
“This is quite a development, isn’t it. I can see why you thought I needed to hear it.” Toby mumbled. He was picking at the ham on the plate before him, and occasionally nibbling at chunks. “I mean, I had my suspicions that that was how Papa died, but I never considered what it really meant. That it hadn’t been Melissa in the bed with him. Or just who it could have been who was. And now it turns out he was poisoned.” He pointed down the table at the bottle of Spanish Fly, which sat atop the diaries.
“We don’t know that it was a deliberate poisoning, old chap.” Godfrey told him. “It certainly sounds as if Maude herself wouldn’t have administered it if she had thought it would kill him. I will get it sent to London, where our best chemists will analyse it. Constable Miller, Sergeant Miller? Will one of you be going with Clive when he takes the body to the mortuary?”
“That would be me, sir.” Constable Miller said.
“Very good. Well, I shall wrap the bottle carefully, and write a covering note. You will need to get it on the next train to London. The guards are good at carrying this sort of thing. I will call ahead to have it collected when it arrives.”
“This is all rather overwhelming, God. I think I need to take a break from the death and mystery. Once we have Maude on her way, I will be spending some time working on the SE5, I think.” Toby announced.
“Capital idea, old chap. I believe we have uncovered all we are going to, clue wise. I would like to take a look at the letters and diaries, and it would be nice to have some help with that.” Godfrey offered.
“Jiggles and I can help with that. If Ally, Eileen and Ginge don’t mind.” Erin offered.
“I would like to help Toby with the aeroplane.” Eileen said. She had laid a supportive hand on his arm as he had made his announcement.
“I don’t want to leave a job unfinished. So I’ll help as well.” Ginge said.
“And I just enjoy watching Eileen at work, so I’ll join them.” Ally added, making Eileen go bright pink.
“Very good. A change of the guards, you might say. Sergeant Miller, Doctor Todd? Is there anything more you need of us, before we go off to our various tasks?”
“I should get back to the station, and start filing all the reports. There is a lot of paperwork in a suspicious death.” Sergeant Miller said.
“I will be heading to the mortuary, to brief the technicians there on the circumstances of Maude’s discovery.” Todd declared.
“Well, let’s all eat up. I’m sure we will all need the energy for this afternoon’s efforts.” Godfrey told them, standing to take his plate back to the buffet.