TWO SIMON GRANT MYSTERIES
HIDING THE ELEPHANT – Chapter 46
It was a beautiful, balmy June night. The night of eighth of June 1978 to be precise. In his heart of hearts he knew he didn’t need to spend the night revising. But years of habit kept him reading. Hours went by. He sat by the open French window picking up the books and notes alternatively in a carefully pre-planned order. It was just past midnight when he poured himself another cup of coffee. The biscuit tin was empty, so he made himself a piece of toast and spread Gabriella’s home made blackberry jam over it. Gabriella had said blackberry was good for the brain cells. Eve said brain cells my foot, and to watch out for constipation.
Then he tackled one of the more involved test cases. Buerk v Eastman and Son, the Monumental Stone Masons. The judge found for the masons even if they had put the stone on the wrong grave. The logic of the judgment was perfect if one could cite all the points of law in the right order.
He frowned at the noise growing louder from the direction of Nathan Brook. The term ‘love birds’ was total nonsense. Those creatures squabbled and fought as much as people. When he’d first moved into the flat, the squawking from the Nathan Grove side used to wake him up frequently at any time of night.
LOCK UP YOUR DAUGHTERS – Chapter 46
Little Manor, Spratton
Saturday, 24. 07. 1993
Jennifer Spriggs looked good in her black outfit. The minimum of makeup brought out the blueness of her eyes and the fullness of her lips. When Grant finally managed to track her down she looked bored stiff by Bunty de Wilde’s long and detailed narrative about his translations of legal and ecclesiastical manuscripts from medieval Flemish, but as soon as they were left on their own admitted that she’d been avoiding him on purpose.
‘It wouldn’t do for the two of us to be seen to confab too much. No one’s talking as it is,’ she grumbled.
‘Did you expect them to?’
She smiled and shook her head. It was a very pretty smile and a very pretty head. ‘It’s Gordon Bennett who’s let me down. I expected him to be either all over me or avoid me, but he’s doing neither. A perfect host. A little bit nervous and pernickety, jumpy and abstracted, but that’s it. Which perhaps shouldn’t surprise me. He’s been entertaining this lot since last night and has another twenty-four hours of it. Why is he doing it? Why the hassle, the expense? I know he’s got a bit of a reputation for showing off, but …’ she looked up at him questioningly. ‘Any bright ideas?’
‘Only very vague and most certainly not very bright,’ he smiled back at her. ‘This is the tenth anniversary of Marcus Smithers’ suicide. Dr. Bennett started these gatherings ten years ago. One can’t but wonder.’
‘It was a suicide,’ she said thoughtfully. ‘Of course, there’s suicide and then there’s suicide…’
‘Which is more or less what Rufus Smithers said. There’s certainly some method in his madness, but he’s not saying what it is. He’s talking of fortresses, moats and secret entrances.’
‘Probably just trying to rattle the old rattle snake,’ Spriggs dismissed Smithers with no hesitation. ‘I wish him luck. Bennett is cleverer than that.’
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