|Carruthers' Demise, Chapters Eighteen & Nineteen (standard:drama, 3018 words) [10/24] show all parts|
|Author: Brian Cross||Added: Nov 27 2011||Views/Reads: 1025/660||Part 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. Click here to read the rest of this story (314 more lines)
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