Death of a Celebrity | Chapter 17 of 18 - Part: 1 of 6

Author: M.C. Beaton | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 4046 Views | Add a Review

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He reached a middle height, and at the stars,

Which are the brain of heaven, he looked, and sank.

Around the ancient track marched, rank on rank,

The army of unalterable law.

—George Meredith

Hamish went to the police station first to collect the voters’ roll and then along to join Elspeth at the newspaper office.

She had a room, more of a ribbed-glass, open-topped excuse for a room, and was sitting with piles of photographs from the funeral in front of her.

“I’ve got the list,” said Hamish, sitting down next to her. “I’ll read out the names and you tick them off.”

“I’ve been thinking,” said Elspeth, “there might be a few of the staff at the Tommel Castle Hotel. They would be on duty at the time of the funeral and some of them came in from other parts and might not be listed.”

“Let’s try anyway,” said Hamish.

And so they began. The day dragged on. Sam looked in and asked what they were doing and Elspeth said vaguely she was helping him identify someone.

“If there’s a story in it, let me know,” said Sam. “We may only be a local paper but I could flog a good story to one of the nationals”—which all made Hamish realise how much he owed to Elspeth for keeping silent about what he had told her.

“How far have we got?” asked Elspeth after several hours. “I’m hungry.”

“We’re three-quarters of the way down,” said Hamish. “Let’s just finish it and then we’ll get a bite to eat.”

“I can’t wait. Hamish, see if Willie at the restaurant can make us some sandwiches.”

“Right,” said Hamish, “and I’ll pick up that list from Mr. Patel.” He left, followed by Lugs.

Elspeth ploughed on. The light had faded outside. She came to yet another name and began to go through the photographs. Not one single picture. She sat back and frowned. Of course Sam might have missed someone. But at the reception in the church hall he had taken sections of views of the room, capturing everyone present. She checked carefully again.

Hamish came back in carrying a thermos of coffee and a plate of sandwiches. “Lugs has stayed behind,” said Hamish. “I’ve told Willie Lugs can have something to eat just this once. Don’t want the dog to die of obesity.”

“Hamish, I’ve found something. Or rather, I haven’t found something.”

He sat down beside her. “What? Who?”

“Mary Hendry.”

“What! Her at the craft shop?”

“That’s the one.”

Hamish stood up and collected a couple of mugs from a shelf and poured coffee. “Eat,” he commanded. “We got to think.”

He took a bite of sandwich and then said, his voice muffled by ham, egg, and bread, “I should have looked at her more closely.”

“Don’t speak with your mouth full. I can hardly hear you.”


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Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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