Friday 18 January 2019

Episode 33 - In a small room, sweating

Harry had to admit there were a lot of things about this case he didn't know much about.  Perhaps if he had read the papers more, he would be better informed.  He decided that from this day on he would read more than just the comic strips and do the crossword.
Not that it would help his current situation.  That was in the lap of the Gods.
Buteske ushered him to an interview room. It wasn't much a room with just a table and four chairs.  Somewhere, he assumed there was recording equipment, perhaps a video camera.  An atmosphere designed to make the interviewee squirm before the interrogation.
He wasn't under arrest, just assisting the police with their inquiries.  Pending Sykes' leisure, whatever that meant.  Buteske no doubt had a good idea but wasn’t in the mood to discuss it with him.
As he shut the door, he grinned.  "I’d get used to small spaces.  If  it’s up to Sykes, you'll never see the light of day again."
“And what do you think?”
“You’ve got to stop pissing Sykes off.  What really happened?”
He sat and took out his notebook, pencil poised to start writing.
“Exactly what I said.  A hit on the head, I woke up, bound, next to Al’s body.  It was there.  He was dead.”
“How did you untie the ropes then?”
I realized then I'd offered too much information, but that was with the benefit of hindsight.  I was not to know the woman was going to disappear and take the evidence with her.
“Loose knots and perseverance.”  It didn’t sound very convincing, and the expression Buteske’s face agreed with that assumption.
A sigh.  “How long did it take?”
He was like a dog with a bone.  Buteske would see through the lies.  I had to think.
“A few minutes.”
“Show me your hands.”
I put them on the table, and he examined them, more intensely than I'd expected.  Looking for what?”
When he’d finished the examination he said, “I’d expect some residue from the rope in your fingernails if you untied the ropes yourself.  If you want my opinion, Harry, someone undid those ropes for you.”
“Al?  He was dead.”
“Well, unless you’ve taken to wearing women’s perfume, I’m sure there was someone else in that room with you.”

© Charles Heath 2016-2018

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