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Carruthers' Demise, Chapters forty two & forty three (standard:drama, 1440 words) [23/24] show all parts
Author: Brian CrossAdded: Sep 18 2013Views/Reads: 2961/634Part vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
It seems to all and sundry that the kidnap and murder case has been solved. Now Inspector Manners realises he is wrong. But is he too late?

Chapter Forty Two 

Inspector Jack Manners was hitting the pedal as if his life depended on
it – at any rate his career certainly did. 

He'd been slow, too slow to assess the situation in its entirety. He'd
missed some vital pointers; probably because he'd allowed his dislike 
of Carruthers and the parties involved to cloud his reasoning. 
Unprofessional, possibly, but unavoidable? Maybe. But then he disliked 
the literary world in general – particularly the fictional side of 
things, and the fancy, arty-farty types who resided in it. 

Higginbotham had thought the case done and dusted, that they'd found the
killer of both Goldhawk and Foulkes, but as Manners realised now, that 
with Frampton Williams' death the case had only been partially solved. 
Stapleton's Demise had provided the final, large element of the puzzle. 
He'd done some delving into an old case, read up on it and then 
rummaging through Casey Jennings' home in her absence, had found an 
incomplete manuscript in her desk. 

He'd forced himself to read what he hated most, namely fiction – albeit
fleetingly, but the parallel had been there, staring out at him, 
confirmation of his rising suspicions. It had been a tale written with 
accentuated bitterness – and with a pounding head he'd drawn the final 

He'd heard from Higginbotham when he'd been less than twenty miles from
the area – and with the country bumpkin sergeant so cocksure he'd 
solved the case had had to stop him right there. He hadn't leveled with 
him on what he knew for sure – that there was a vicious murderess on 
the loose and that she was about to strike again. To have done so would 
have endangered any recognition he might receive for solving the case – 
and that in turn would have meant a closing of the door to any chance 
he had of that elusive promotion. 

No, he'd instructed him to await his arrival in Lyndhurst, gambling that
he had sufficient proximity to prevent another fatality – thus enabling 
him to claim the credit. 

Manners exited the motorway, almost shunting a slow moving three wheeler
out of the way in his haste. 

Less than ten minutes he estimated would see him in Lyndhurst. Manners
couldn't wait... 

  Chapter Forty Three 

‘I can understand if you don't want to talk about it ...' Carruthers
swung the Range Rover into the lane and gave a sideways glance. 
Chelsey, hunched alongside him, her golden hair lank, gave a long 

‘We'll get to it in a bit,' and then with a gradual head movement,
‘thanks for coming after me, but I would have preferred it to have been 
without Casey's help.' 

‘What was I supposed to have done?' Carruthers' voice carried more
intensity than he would have wished and he applied more acceleration 
than he'd intended, needing to break sharply at the bend. ‘I couldn't 
leave her at Adrian's mercy – or lack of it, this business has had an 
effect on her too, you know Chelsey. Damn it, what happened to turn him 
from a moron into a monster?' 

‘I said later ...' Chelsey clamped a hand to her forehead. ‘Let me get
back to the hotel, get washed and brushed up – maybe sleep a while and 
then get my thoughts into gear – and then I'll try to explain what I 
think caused it. And as for Casey Jennings I don't want to hear one 
more damned thing about her.' 

Carruthers allowed his eyes to leave the road for a second. ‘Perhaps now
this is all over we could manage a proper holiday – give you a chance 
to clear your head before you do any more scribbling.' ‘Huh – guess I 
won't be doing much of that for a while ...' Chelsey's hand tightened 
on her brow, her nails etching tiny indents, then she turned to him 
sharply – ‘I need time on my own, Martin ...' 

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This is part 23 of a total of 24 parts.
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