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Carruthers' Demise, Chapters Twenty Two & Twenty Three (standard:drama, 2634 words) [13/24] show all parts
Author: Brian CrossAdded: Mar 09 2012Views/Reads: 1070/745Part vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Another murder has been committed, and if Chelsey Carruthers is main suspect, then her husband Martin is being regarded as an accessory.
 



Chapter Twenty Two 

Carruthers felt belittled and betrayed. As Casey's agent, he'd no idea
of any direct association between her and Goldhawk. When she'd first 
approached him as a wannabe writer, with what he thought was a 
promising manuscript, he'd taken her into his ‘stable' and negotiated a 
contract with Goddard and Co. Two of her subsequent novels had proved 
best sellers and he'd assumed that editor-in-chief, Goldhawk, had 
accepted her work on literary and commercial merit. To have that belief 
challenged by Jacqueline's denouncement of her and the implication that 
she'd gone behind his back left a foul taste. 

He'd taken Chelsey's derogatory comments about her writing as sour
grapes at her rising success, but was there more to it than that? 
Jacqueline obviously thought there was. Yes, Casey was a hit with the 
public in her genre and Carruthers had thought it was a reflection on 
his own ability to spot talent, but she'd also been afforded an unusual 
amount of advance publicity, it wasn't common practice at all. 

And what was he to make of Jacqueline's referral to a ‘lesbian scorned?'
It had immediately followed her accusations against Casey but when he'd 
questioned her on her utterance she'd remained tight lipped. 

It might have been more of a blow to his self-esteem had Chelsey's
disappearance not held sway. Because as determined as he was to 
confront Casey over her behaviour, he needed to return to the New 
Forest, to find Foulkes and to track down Noades. 

Both could hold the key to locating Chelsey, and much as he shuddered at
the prospect, only when the mystery was solved could he begin to tackle 
normality. 

He was acutely aware of the need to advise Manners of his actions, and
no matter what the Inspector might make of them, he wasn't a prisoner; 
at least as yet. Carruthers sat in his car outside Jacqueline's gates 
and called Manners on his direct line. 

‘I know you're not going to like this,' he began, fingers tapping the
wheel, ‘but I've got my own life to live while this is going on, and as 
I'm not prime suspect I'm returning to the New Forest for a day or two 
– I thought you should be told.' 

‘On the contrary,' came Manners' smooth reply. ‘I find that quite
acceptable.' There was a pause and then a sneeze. ‘Are you on your way 
now?' 

‘As a matter of fact, yes,' Carruthers said firing the engine. ‘Why do
you ask?' 

‘So that I know when to expect you. Shall we say Lyndhurst police
headquarters then, around two pm?' 

Carruthers clutched his forehead. ‘What's going on?' 

‘There's been a development.' 

‘Which of course you're not going to tell me about,' Carruthers said
caustically. 

‘Correction; which I will tell you about upon your arrival. I wouldn't
want to encourage you to use your mobile phone when driving.' 

‘Thanks a bunch.' Carruthers terminated the call, his head beginning to
throb. Surely any new development must include Chelsey. Had the man no 
compassion that he couldn't understand how his obsession with secrecy 
played on people's emotions? 

He arrived back in Lyndhurst two hours later, the journey having done
nothing for his spirits – outbreaks of rain had prevailed throughout 
his drive, and now, stepping out of his air-conditioned vehicle he was 
aware of an increasing humidity. 

He'd over an hour to wait until his appointment with Manners, and after
showering in his hotel room Carruthers took a brisk walk to the 
newsagent along the high street where the bold headline on the placard 


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