Harry woke up in unfamiliar surroundings an for a moment or two felt disoriented. It was not the hospital and thinking long and hard he finally remembered it was Angela who met him at the hospital and brought him to her apartment.
It was an offer, at the time; he could hardly decline since he now doubted he would have lasted very long if he had gone to the office. Here the bed was comfortable and warm. He turned his head to look at the room and discovered he was not alone. It was a long time since he had woken up in the same bed as a woman.
But it was hardly what it looked like. He could hardly expect Angela to sleep on the sofa in her own apartment.
He thought about getting out of the bed then realised it might wake her so he lay still and waited. A half hour passed before she stirred and rolled over to face him.
“Been awake long?”
It was not necessarily the first question he would have asked.
“A half hour.” He was going to lie but he had a feeling she already knew the answer to her question.
“I don’t do this for every stray private investigator I hired to work for me.”
“Has there been more than one?”
A rather interesting look from her, bordering somewhere between annoyed and bemused, but no direct answer. Instead, she said, “You should have stayed in the hospital.”
“And as I said yesterday I have to get back to work. I have your case to work on and I’ve lost enough time with this other problem. The trail is getting colder by the day.”
“According to Sykes, it’s dead and his boss has told him to spend less time on it. To me, it looks like he’s all but given up. He still doesn’t think Brightwater was murdered.”
Not quite what Corinne had told him, and understandable from Sykes point of view. He didn’t want to give too much away in his investigation. Especially if his suspicions were falling on her. “And you do?”
“Perhaps he knew something he shouldn’t, something to do with one or other of the Jones brothers, or even both of them.”
“Or maybe he was a co-conspirator with their murderer for all we know. I never really got the chance of asking him any questions. But other than that, do you have a theory on who killed them?”
“No. But I suspect Joe was killed because he had something to do with my cousin’s death.”
“That murder case that Al went to jail for?”
“He wasn’t responsible, and most likely framed.”
“I think it was Joseph.”
No doubt if Al thought that, it would make him angry, but was it angry enough to kill his brother or have him killed. Al didn’t seem to be all that concerned in anything else beyond thinking Joseph was having an affair with his wife. To me, it was a straight forward case of sibling rivalry over women.”
Time to ask the question that had been in the back of his mind for quite some time. “Was the gun you handed me in that room at Outtel’s office, Al’s murder weapon?”
“How should I know? I found the gun on the floor in another room that was empty.”
“When you said you were looking for Al.”
“He called me.”
“How did you get into the office?”
It was another aspect of her appearance, as in out of thin air.
“Al said he left a door at the rear of the building which he did. What are you implying?”
“I’m trying to get figure out what happened that night you turned up. Al was there, he was dead, you turned up, gave me the gun, and then disappeared, as did Al’s body. Then the police turned up like someone expected them to catch me red-handed with the murder weapon.”
“It’s an interesting premise, but I didn’t do it to you.”
No, he thought, maybe or maybe not but he had a bad feeling it was possible Al was still alive somewhere, using everyone as pawns in a much larger game. And, what was worse, he had a bad feeling she was lying about her involvement.
© Charles Heath 2016-2019
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