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Carruthers' Demise, Chapters Eighteen & Nineteen (standard:drama, 3018 words) [10/24] show all parts
Author: Brian CrossAdded: Nov 27 2011Views/Reads: 1213/802Part vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Suspicion mounts against Chelsey Carruthers, following the murder of a rogue publisher.

Chapter Eighteen 

Carruthers bought some cigarettes and a copy of the local evening paper
from a newsagent on the high street. The headline stood out bold and 
stark. ‘Missing Novelist – Link to Dead Man.' Carruthers read on as he 
hurried back to the hotel. 

‘Reports linking novelist Chelsey Carruthers, who disappeared from a
Forest area two days ago, to the editor Alexander Goldhawk, whose body 
was found on the banks of the Thames at Chiswick, have been 
substantiated by local police. While refusing to comment further they 
do confirm that Mrs Carruthers' resides within the vicinity of the 
incident, along with her husband and agent, Martin. He is said to be 
remaining in the area for the time being.' 

Carruthers sighed, so the police were linking Chelsey's disappearance to
Goldhawk's death. That seemed the reason he was being summoned back to 
West London. 

He hurriedly changed and showered, ran down to his Range Rover and set
off for the police station at Chiswick. A glance at his fuel gauge told 
him he was running low, and about two miles out of Lyndhurst he spotted 
a garage and pulled in. 

Fuelling up, a smart red sports car in an adjacent bay caught his eye;
he'd seen the vehicle before and didn't need telling where. He glanced 
across to the garage main which included a small shop, but couldn't 
make out the interior for the darkened glass. 

It was Noades vehicle though, no doubt about it. He needed to speak to
him – the man he was sure, despite his sudden departure from the hotel, 
would want to know of his plight – he'd been that helpful in the first 
instance – 

Slamming the nozzle back on its catch he entered the shop, joining the
queue two places behind Noades. ‘Robin,' Carruthers called on entry, 
but Noades appeared not to have heard as he engaged the cashier. 

‘Robin,' he repeated, excusing himself as he stretched past a customer
and tapped Noades on the shoulder, receiving no response as the former 
hotel worker made hurriedly for the door. 

Carruthers was dumbfounded; Noades must have felt his touch, heard his
voice – after all, he'd called him twice. It was so out of keeping with 
the man he'd come to know, albeit temporarily. Impulsively Carruthers 
skipped past the ageing man ahead of him and slapped forty pounds on 
the counter. ‘Forget the change, love. I'm in a hurry.' 

There was some kind of murmur in response but Carruthers wasn't
concentrating on that. Ahead of him Noades had slipped quickly into his 
sports car and a sharp glance in the agent's direction suggested that 
this time he surely must have seen him. 

But Noades roared off, and Carruthers, disturbed to the point of being
upset by the man's behaviour, rushed to his Range Rover, pulling out 
onto the road behind him. 

He slammed his hand on the horn, slammed it again, becoming increasingly
frustrated as Noades, his car canopy down, gave no response at all. 

Carruthers fumed. Noades knew he was behind him – damn him, he knew –
what was going on here? The closeness of Chelsey and Noades on that 
first day, when it seemed that he and his wife had a natural affinity 
smacked him hard now – had he been tricked? Okay, so Noades had 
volunteered his services in helping to find Chelsey, had recovered her 
phone – but she could have dropped that when Noades had driven her 
away. It could all have been arranged – 

So Noades was hot-footing it now, because somewhere, Chelsey was waiting
for him- 

Well, he wasn't going to be hot-footing anywhere – because although
Noades had the speed, on the narrow winding road he was restricted from 
using it – and Carruthers' four by four had greater maneuverability 
over the uneven terrain. 

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This is part 10 of a total of 24 parts.
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