TWO SIMON GRANT MYSTERIES
HIDING THE ELEPHANT – Chapter 40
Friday afternoon was infuriating. So much ado with so little to show at the end. Debbie said Masters had refused to say a word or budge from his office until he’d had a chance to talk to Merryfield, the old fox. At the station and for the benefit of the tape Merryfield simply stated that his client had no reason to answer any questions until he was satisfied that the blood found on his shoes really belonged to the victim or indeed that the substance was blood in the first place. A thoroughly cleaned pair of shoes wasn’t a crime in this country. No sir. Not yet. They, Merryfield and his atypically quiet client, demanded that an independent lab carry out another test. That was the end of that. Debbie said Masters spoke just once in the car on the way to the station and that was to ask if his wife had been questioned at all. Debbie asked back why he would have expected Mrs. Masters to be questioned. Questioned about what? Upon which Masters fell silent and left the rest of the proceedings completely to his legal counsel.
‘But,’ Debbie said later, ‘I thought maybe we really should have a closer look at Mrs. Masters. Unfortunately, she’s gone to some health farm for a few days. Unless you think the occasion warrants a nationwide search, we’ll have to wait till Monday. Bowles’ diary shows that he planned to meet her on Monday, so she’ll be back for that, presumably.’
‘Monday will be fine,’ said Grant.
‘Or maybe we’ll find her under some floorboards before that,’ said Tully, and it wasn’t funny.
LOCK UP YOUR DAUGHTERS – Chapter 40
Grant first spoke to the doctor who had very little to say. They’d done what they could. Yes, as with any head injury, there was a possibility of long-term consequences, but their immediate concern was to prevent the onset of any infection. He couldn’t say how long before the patient might regain consciousness. Or, if ever. There are some injuries that are impossible to predict.
‘How did it happen, Rav?’ Grant turned to Singh.
The DI’s big, dark eyes smiled up at him.
‘Chief Inspector Grant?’ The senior sister must have been approaching retirement, but her uniform fitted her in all the right places and the grey hair around the smooth-skinned, handsome face looked like a grandmother’s wig. ‘I understand you may need treatment yourself. At least an x-ray.’
Grant shook his head. ‘I’m okay. Honest. There are more important things…’ he pointed towards Debbie’s bed behind the glass.
‘You won’t do the girl any good by staring at her, and the staff could do without you breathing down their necks all the time and asking them questions they don’t know the answers to,’ she said cheerfully. ‘C’mon.’
‘What’s up with you?’ Singh asked in the oh-no-not-you-as-well fashion. ‘What’s wrong, Sir?’ he rephrased himself quickly as he seemed to take in the state of Grant’s clothes and dirt smeared face for the first time.
‘How do you know…’ Grant followed the sister two doors down simply because she was the kind one didn’t argue with.
‘Your high-up phoned our high-up,’ she pulled the swing door open and stood aside to let the two policemen in.
‘At four in the morning?’
She shrugged and opened another door. ‘I’m Sister Franks, by the way.’
It was like finding oneself on a conveyer belt.
A male nurse took some blood out of his finger and some more from his arm. Then he handed him a glass jar.
‘A sample, please,’ and pointed to a door marked WC.
‘What’s that for?’ Grant protested. ‘It’s not as if…’
‘Won’t do any harm,’ Sister Franks turned him bodily in the right direction. The male nurse ignored him, busy putting his needles away.
After that he stopped protesting. A taciturn woman doctor pressed her hand into his ribs a few times and seemed pleased each time he winced in pain. She stuck a pin-light into his eyes and listened to his chest and back.
Singh was disappearing from time to time, returning with a ‘No change’ or a shake of the head. On the way to the x-ray suite Grant handed him his coat. ‘There’s some broken glass and saliva belonging to two different people all over the left pocket. Can you please get them analysed against the DNA print we found on La Chasse, Inspector.’
They x-rayed him first behind a screen, then again on a table. The plate felt heavy on his chest and, out of the corset, he was fighting for breath again.
Finally, back in the examination room, Sister Franks removed the plaster from the inside of his elbow left there by the giggly paramedic at Sawbridge and stuck a needle into the other one. ‘I want you to lay down for a few minutes.’ She patted the white dressed surface of the examination couch.
‘Maybe later…’ he muttered. She was dissolving, fading out. Her voice was becoming distant.
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