March 16, 2008

The Weeping Maw (5 of 11)

Thread: Mission

‘What did I do?’ asked Tom.

The inspector moved to the window behind Tom and gazed beyond. There was new energy in his stride that wasn’t there at the moment he had planted the pastries on the table.

‘You really should try one of the pastries, they are quite good,’ said Paul.

‘Thank you but-‘

‘You see until you mentioned the cat,’ said Paul, ‘I’m afraid to say – and this is most unprofessional of me – that I thought we were going nowhere. It’s not as if it was the perfect crime or anything, but the evidence points nowhere, no one had seen anything. No one had responded to our calls for help. Not even the people in her own hostel until we threatened to deport them. Some people are terribly unhelpful, Tom.’

The reverend nodded. ‘Yes, I see.’

‘But the cat! The cat makes it all clear!’

‘I don’t understand, Paul. Why is the cat so important?’

‘The cat, my good Christian friend, is why Mizzy was in that house. There were bloody paw prints everywhere. We thought some cat just got injured.’ He suddenly raved like a television detective. ‘No! She was lured! I’m sure of it!’

‘Paul,’ said Tom. ‘Why are you telling me this?’

‘I’ve been down in the dumps for days,’ Paul said, turning glum. ‘I’m diagnosed bipolar, you see, and this stress just doesn’t help.’ Paul whispered in confidence, ‘If I get all whiney and down-hearted in front of the boys here, well, it’s not good for morale, is it?’

His tone brightened again, and he said loudly, ‘Aah! That feels so much better. Oh thank you Tom! Thank you! Hope is great, isn’t it? I should come down and pray with the godly folk one of these days.’ He patted the reverend’s hand.

Paul grabbed the chocolate something, and started to munch on the hard, crispy vomit part first. He looked pretty happy with himself, his smile relentless.

‘Sometimes you just need to talk to someone about things,’ Tom said. ‘Mizzy talked to everybody.’

‘Yes, yes, that’s it precisely. She talked to someone about her cat dream. The wrong person, who used it against her. Still he is ashamed of what he did, we know that much. Yes, yes. She talked to someone about her cat dream. But who? Who?’

Paul stared at Tom intensely again, as if trying to figure something out about the reverend. Then he asked: ‘Have I seen you on TV?’

Tom shrugged.

‘Ah well. But who knew about her story, Tom? Who? Who?’ He took another bite and asked ‘Who’ again, while blowing a blizzard of icing sugar across the table.

Tom answered while brushing the sugar from his cassock, ‘Her story was pretty well-crafted. I’d even go as far as to say rehearsed. I think she’d already told it many times. I think, well, she probably told it to just about everybody. That’s what she told me after the cat dream. No one really listened to her story, just… just like me, so she kept on telling it.’

‘That’s very sad, isn’t it? She kept on telling it until someone listened. And the person who listened was her killer. That’s very sad, indeed. Makes me feel quite depressed, you know. God, what is this world coming to? What’s wrong with cities? What the Hell is God playing at, eh? Tell me that. I’m going to move to the country, that’s what I’m going to do. That’s just awful. Terrible.’

‘Indeed, it is,’ agreed Tom.

A long silence followed, during which Tom observed Paul’s brain in full swing. Sorting details, shuffling through facts, trying to add up numbers and see what answers matched and what didn’t. He could see that the inspector was a clever man, a calculator that could take a limited amount of information and determine all the possible logical conclusions.

‘So, Reverend,’ said Paul. ‘If it would not be too impolite a question to ask, may I inquire as to where you were on the day that Miss North was murdered?’

Posted by: The Harbour Master @ 1624

2 Responses to “The Weeping Maw (5 of 11)”

  1. Jennifer wrote on 19-Mar-2008 @ 1343:

    Tom did it??? Nah…


    Grasping at straws here…!


  2. Jennifer wrote on 19-Mar-2008 @ 1343:

    Tom did it??? Nah…


    Grasping at straws here…!


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