Harry closed his eyes and tried not to think about the case. He was tired, and the last thing he needed was a problem he couldn’t deal with, for obvious reasons.
“I’m sorry,” Angela said. “I thought you might want to know, even out of curiosity. The police are no closer to catching the killer or killers of the other two partners.”
Money, Harry thought, it always came back to money. He’d read that somewhere, perhaps the PI monthly magazine, which listed the ten most common reasons for murder. Money was the first, spouses were the second.
Outtel must have a lot of money. If one of the partners was embezzling and the others found out, reason enough. That would account for one of the deaths. But all three? No, something else was going on, and they were killed for another reason.
These murders seemed, to Harry at least, like they were personal.
He opened his eyes and looked at her, still sitting, waiting. She was the ‘femme fatale’ of this case, a woman of mystery, a woman that could not be trusted, a woman who could use her ‘talents’ to manipulate men. He suspected she was trying to manipulate him; though why would be a very interesting answer, if he found one.
Shaking those thoughts out of his head, another came into his head, and after considering certain aspects of it, asked, “Who benefits from their deaths? All three, that is? What happens now there is no one to run Outtel?”
“To be honest, I don’t know. But I doubt the company would cease trading simply because the directors were no longer available.”
Probably not. He didn’t know much about company law. What he did know was that on a person’s death there was also a beneficiary, and in each case, the Jones’ wives would inherit. Isn’t that a motive, he thought.
“Perhaps you should talk to your mother. I suspect she might inherit Josephs share of the company, and Jennifer Jones, if they ever find Al’s body, Al’s share. Perhaps, at the same time, you should ask your mother what her relationship with Brightwater was.”
He closed his eyes again. Too much, too soon. Just that short conversation had exhausted him.
“How is that relevant?” Slightly indignant.
Had he touched a nerve? He looked at her, and, yes, there were tinges of temper there.
“I’m sorry. Perhaps I should go and let you rest.” She stood. “We shall be temporary partners. I’ll ask the questions, you can tell me what the answers mean.”
“You need to be careful.”
She took his hand in hers. “I will.”
He heard the door open and close behind her, and he was once again alone. It wasn’t a matter of being careful; it was a matter of not asking the wrong question to the wrong person.
Or she would join the ever-growing body count.
© Charles Heath 2016-2019