The Body On The Beach: 18

Given Simmonds’ suspicion of a connection to a person or persons at the Hall (either as accomplices or intended audience), he had the names of the staff checked against police files. They came back ‘NOT KNOWN’ except for two – one who had failed to declare a conviction and prison term for theft (of a blanket when they were sleeping rough) before taking up their job; another for an assault (brawling in a public house), just a few weeks previous, who had said nothing of the encounter. They were both ex-soldiers who worked as general labourers on the estate. Otherwise the men appeared to be of good character. Simmonds discussed the matter with Lord Bessingham who decided to take no further action as their employer (colleagues vouching for them as ‘fine blokes’), despite the widely know fact that Lord B expected his workforce to report any trouble attached to them. By all accounts this was a genuinely caring stance and he had helped many to overcome misfortune. As there was no evidence to link either man to the night’s events (indeed they had conducted themselves admirably in the ensuing assemblage), the Inspector could not regard them with any great suspicion, but neither could he rule them out of the investigation, and so they were added to the list of ‘Persons of Interest’ alongside Henry Dalling, Charles Howard, and Eric and Agnes. As Margaret’s murder and the crucifixion had Bessingham links (though he knew not what beyond a family member and location), Simmonds decided to maintain a broad watch — hence the conglomeration of names. He had considered adding Miss Edith and George Whittle to this list, but knew he needed to speak with them again, preferably each on their own, before doing so. He had a feeling he was missing something in their regard.

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4 thoughts on “The Body On The Beach: 18

  1. Ha! ha! i have noticed yet that Agnes is a name often used for maids in detetective novels…. Let’s say… not very often but… it’s not rare…

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