TWO SIMON GRANT MYSTERIES
Hiding the Elephant – Chapter 12
Emma didn’t see them meet. Pippa and Simon. There were too many people around, too much coming and going. She remembers the welcoming peck on the cheek she gave Simon when he arrived and asking him if it had started to snow yet or something of that sort. Simon handed her white flowers, a professionally arranged bouquet that lasted for quite a long time afterwards, and congratulated Phil on keeping his bride radiant for an entire year. Then Phil took Simon by his arm, led him away into the crowd, letting go of her waist and for a moment it felt like being abandoned at the altar.
Then later, must have been nearing two o’clock, Father had been in bed for hours and very few remained, lingering, reluctant to face the ice outside, she asked Phil if he’d seen Pippa. He shook his head, and she smiles now at the little quiver at the corner of his mouth as his hand slipped down to her buttocks. Robert Silcock decided just then to have another one for the road, it wasn’t as if he was driving, with them living virtually next door, not ten minutes brisk walk. A businessman like him worked hard and played hard. Don’t I, love? Don’t I keep you and the four kids nice and cosy in that big house we’ve got? Tell them if I don’t, Wendy. Not many can say that at twenty eight, can they? OK, the printing business may not be what it used to be, the big’uns get all the best stuff, the little man can’t compete on price, and they don’t pay, the customers, do they love, the bastards never pay. But we do all right, don’t we, love, and thanks for asking us round, Dr. Martin, it’s been a real honour. It’s good to know one’s appreciated.
Wendy, her hair henna-red and looking older for it, muttered something about keeping Mother up and finally dragged him through the door.
Giggling breathlessly at their absurd haste, she and Phil ran upstairs two steps at a time. She forgot she’d seen hardly anything of Pippa all night.
Lock Up Your Daughters – Chapter 12
Grant armed himself with a selection of multicoloured markers and wiped the whiteboard clean.
Thursday, 1st July
6.30 pm R.G. Soames books a room for Lucy Hunt at Riding Boot
Friday, 2nd July
09.35 LH arrives at Northamptonstation (possibly from London)
10.00 Arrives to Riding Boot by taxi
14.00 LH rides with Jeremy Boot for one hour
17.00 LH rides again, on her own. Phones the hotel to say she’ll be late and that she won’t be wanting dinner. Returns to RB after 21.00.
Saturday, 3rd July
LH spends most of the day in her room watching TV. Receives one phonecall. Unidentified male voice. (R.G.S.?)
17.00 LH rides out on her own. Returns just after 19.00. Dines at the hotel.
Sunday, 4th July
Ditto (Another phonecall from possibly the same man.)
20.06 Mr. Evans and party find LH strangled in Holdenby Wood.
Horse found grazing nearby.
LH probably killed at around 19.00 while on her way back to the hotel.
Gloves and bumbag missing.
He stepped away from the board, checked the dates and times from Warner’s and his own notes, underlined them in green then added
Riding Boot Hotel?
The question mark was huge in size and bright red in colour.
‘What’s the question mark for?’ asked Debbie. She’d brought in his morning post. Several thick envelopes among others.
More reports from outposts. Terrific!
‘I don’t know, Debs. That’s what question marks are for. To show that you don’t know something.’
‘Do I detect a touch of tetchiness, Boss?’ She slammed the pile of post on his desk and turned to examine the board. ‘Try saying that three times in a hurry.’
‘Oodles of it, Debs, oodles of it.’ Grant cast another look at his handiwork, then started opening the letters. ‘The question mark. Something I should have asked Winnie the Boot about and didn’t. Something so obvious that I can’t see it.’
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