Buteske was sharp, and a lot cleverer than he looked. Perhaps the persona he wanted to portray to people like me was for disarming purposes.
“I can assure you there was no one else there but me. The aroma of perfume must come from one of the women who worked there during the day, like a secretary. Some women seem to shower in the stuff.”
“Right. Are you going to stick with that story?”
“It’s the truth.” It wasn’t, and I hoped I'd sounded convincing. I didn’t think I had.
He made a note in his book.
“You arranged to meet Al in the car park?”
“No. He was there waiting. Scared the living hell out of me when he turned up.”
“How did he know you would be there?”
“No idea. Perhaps he was following me.”
“Shouldn’t that be the other way around?”
No disguising the contempt. Perhaps Sykes had already told him what he thought of my detective abilities. Certainly, Sykes didn’t think much of me.
“Perhaps.” I tried to keep a straight face.
“What did he want with you?”
“He asked if I'd got a picture of Joseph with his wife.”
“Al’s wife Jennifer?”
“Yes. He wanted to know if I’d caught them together yet.”
“And Sykes tells me you told him Al’s wife Jennifer had asked you to get a photo of him with some woman called Miriam?”
“Jennifer Jones called her the red-headed floozy.”
Another not in his book.
“Did she say she was looking for a reason to divorce him?”
“She didn’t say exactly.”
“What were you doing for Joseph Jones?”
“Joe wanted me to get a photo of his wife with Al.”
“All a bit of a tangled web, don’t you think. Did it occur to you they all might be pulling your leg.”
“Al gave me a wad of money so I don’t think he was joking.”
“You asked if Al had a daughter. Why?”
“Maybe, maybe not. Al had one, but she died four years ago. It was why he was briefly sent to prison. In the end, they couldn’t make the murder charge stick. If anything, I would say Jennifer Jones would pay any amount to have him killed.”
© Charles Heath 2016-2018