|Carruthers' Demise, Chapters Twenty Six & Twenty Seven (standard:drama, 3062 words) [15/24] show all parts|
|Author: Brian Cross||Added: Apr 19 2012||Views/Reads: 1083/672||Part vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|Two murders have been committed, one on the banks of the River Thames and the other deep in the New Forest. Literary agent Martin Carruthers' novelist wife, Chelsey, is suspected. But Carruthers refuses to believe it. Continuation of my drama.|
Chapter Twenty Six It was around ten a.m. when the estate agent called. Carruthers clutched the phone tensely to his ear. ‘Mr Cousins?' ‘I beg your pardon?' Carruthers had blinked at first, until his scrambled senses alerted him to the fact he'd used an alias. ‘Oh yes – speaking.' ‘Mr Cousins - Jeffries and Co. here. In response to your query I do seem to recall an enquiry from a Mr. Bodes concerning properties in the area, however he doesn't appear to have followed them up – I'm sorry I can't help you further on this...' ‘Okay, thanks anyway.' Carruthers felt his spirits instantly submerge, but then a thought came to mind – ‘Would you be able to tell me what kind of property he was interested in?' ‘You mean by way of size?' There was a pause. ‘If I remember rightly, the type of property with a degree of land available – I recall forming the impression he was considering working from the premises.' ‘Thanks,' Carruthers repeated, terminating the call. There must be innumerable smallholdings out on the Forest, he thought despondently. It was a hopeless venture but at least there was the minutest chance he might stumble on something. He drove out to the country road he'd seen Noades swing into a couple of days past. It was an undulating lane winding between pockets of birch and oak, through which he could catch the occasional glimpse of well concealed, substantial properties. Any recognisable vehicles, unfortunately for him, shut off from view. Could that of been Noades' intention? Carruthers wondered now, pulling up at the head of a driveway protected by a five-bar gate. If he and Chelsey had wanted total privacy what better place to obtain it? A largish property with a piece of land, tucked safely away – such as the one he was outside now. He could have beena tourist checking his map, had he not been craning his head for that one stroke of fate that might lead him to Noades and Chelsey. A white concreted drive gave way to a crescent, intermittently visible through the sway of trees, and he saw parked within it a sports car of similar shape and size to Noades'. Carruthers heart began to pound and then stuttered back to silence as he saw an elderly man with a stoop struggle into it and advance slowly down the driveway towards him. He saw now that the vehicle bore no real comparison to what he'd imagined. Only the colour bore similarity. He drove on, passing through a hamlet consisting of two rows of terraced houses, either side of the lane. Slowing, he ran his eyes along the cars parked on the shingle bordering the road but none matched Noades' vehicle. A mile or so further on he encountered a large lake on the outskirts of Beaulieu, again easing off the pedal, and when an impatient driver almost hooked onto his rear bumper he pulled onto the grass verge. Abandoning his car there, Carruthers elected to walk around the lake's fringe. Being a fine morning the area had drawn a sizeable gathering; appearing not to have a care in the world, although inside sick with despondency, he shoved his hands in his pockets and ambled along. There were kids with kites and model boats, adolescents with jet skis, couples and families, plenty for him to surreptitiously run his eyes over for that one sighting – And then from his pocket, the jingling of his phone – Carruthers snatched it from his pocket; even now there was the slightest possibility that it might be Chelsey, raising his hopes just a little – but no such luck – ‘Carruthers, I've been thinking...' a pause by Adrian, with his normal impersonal greeting – no reference to his missing sister, and yet her half-brother's next remark surprised him to say the least. Click here to read the rest of this story (307 more lines)
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