Felicity had had less to work with for a case. This one was certainly short of leads, or anything she could immediately investigate.
What stood out from the summary of the case Harry had given her, she had two leads, both people, one Sykes, the detective Harry’s been working with, though if she was to hazard a guess, Sykes was just stringing him along, like most detectives did when pretending to work with private investigators.
Sykes, to her, looked the type who’d use others instead of doing the legwork himself.
The other was Corinne, the sister, who may or may not have visited the office and got a head start on Harry’s case notes. Not that she was expecting a lot from them, she had her own ideas about Harry’s capabilities, and since he was only new at it, it would be easy for him to miss something that would normally be considered vital.
First stop was the office.
The last time she had visited was at night, when itr was locked up and very quiet, almost too quiet, except for the creaking sounds the building made. It was old, and she suspected there might be a ghost or two lurking in the basement, or the corridors.
A background check on the building itself told her the basement and ground floor used to house an undertaker. Retro fitted and restored, the ground floor might look rather up market, but it still had a few secrets to hide behind the walls.
The one take away from that visit, how frightening it had been in the lift.
It was no less creepy this time, slowly sliding, creakily, up to the third floor where it stopped a few inches short of the floor level, then the motor made a succession of noises as the elevated inched up to be level, before stopping, and the door unlatched.
She opened it and stepped out. The grate slid back, clunked, metal against metal, the latch engaged, and the motor whined as the elevator started to go down.
Was someone else in the building?
She had assumed, being late, that everyone had gone home.
She waited till the elevator cage reached the bottom, and the noise stopped. She did not hear the door open, the sign of another passenger getting in, so perhaps it returned automatically to the ground floor.
Another minute, and she headed down towards Harry’s door. There were three other offices at this end of the corridor, a secretarial service, a gem valuer, and an agency of some sort, the sign on the door just said, The Alexander Agency.
She stopped outside the door and noticed immediately the door was slightly ajar. A closer inspection showed the door had been bashed in, with splintering around where the door handle was.
Someone had broken it.
She pulled out the small snub noised gun she carried around, just in case, and finger on the trigger, slowly pushed the door inwards.
Dark and still.
It didn’t seem like anyone was there.
But this entry was recent, otherwise the cleaner would have raised the alarm. Today perhaps, after the cleaner left. These were serviced offices.
She swung the door wider, and ready to shoot an intruder if there was one, stepped in and swept the immediate office area.
First thing she noticed, paper all over the floor.
The second, the sprawled body of what looked to be the cleaner.
© Charles Heath 2016-2019