Here is part 34 of “A Couple of Tenors Short”.
I have heard of the band, but not the title of the track in our quiz question today, so I think that most will need the answer.
OK, the quiz question out of the way, here is my mantra. This is a serial. Any new-joiners should start with the opener known as Part One.
The troublesome recap has now settled into its new home. You can find the recap here!
Now read on...
“The Maryfield’s case folder is booked out.” Smithy stated before stuffing another sandwich into his mouth.
“Booked Out!” Jones spluttered. “Who on earth to?”
“According to the card,” Smithy swallowed hard. “It was booked out by Tom Watson for you.”
“For me?” The inspector’s voice rose almost an octave.
Opening his desk drawers in turn, Jones started to rifle the contents looking for the case folder. Smithy and Johnson watch while metronomically consuming sandwiches. After several minutes frantic searching, Jones leant back in his chair
“Well, it’s not here.” Jones stared into the middle distance.
“Maybe it’s at home?” Smithy’s suggestion was greeted by a glare from Jones.
A squeal from a miniature pig as it dashed to safety behind the filing cabinets alerted Jones to a constable entering the office.
“Sir Andrew and Phillip Dunker are ready and will see you now.” the constable announced.
“Will see us?” Jones spluttered.
“Yes, sir.” The constable’s face didn’t register any change. “Sir Andrew and Phillip are in interview room three.”
The constable turned and walked out of the office.
Very slowly and deliberately, Jones gathered up his notes, the DVD and a notepad.
“Smithy, make sure that there is a DVD player and a TV in the interview room.” Jones stroked his moustache and sat back into his chair. “Tell them I’ll be down in a minute.”
Jones played opened a game of solitaire on his computer and played several games before eventually winning. Waiting until all the cards had bounced from view; Jones rose from his chair and sauntered to the interview room.
Jones smiled broadly at Sir Andrew when he entered the room. Sir Andrew responded by pointedly looking at his watch before rising and shaking hands. They settled themselves around the table, Smithy and Jones on one side with Sir Andrew and Dunker on the other.
Switching on the tape machine, Jones ran through the formalities. When he finished, a constable in full ceremonial uniform entered with a tea tray and poured everyone a cup of tea into bone china cups from a teapot shaped like a rabbit.
Jones scowled as the constable offered a plate of biscuits around. Dunker carefully selected all the digestives and stacked them in the saucer of his cup.
“Are we all comfortable now?” Jones asked in a tone that oozed sarcasm.
“Hmmm, yeah, I think so.” Dunker wriggled in his chair. “Although I think this chair could do with a bit of re-upholstering. I know just the guy if you’re interested.”
“Inspector Jones, could I interject?” Sir Andrew boomed. “It would be beneficial at this point to re-state the reasons you felt the need to arrest my client. For the tape, you understand.”
“Certainly.” Jones took a deep breath and closed his eyes for few seconds before continuing. “We are investigating the suspicious disappearance of Archie McRamie on or around 2:30pm on the 15th April. We believe he was abducted and that Phillip Duncan was in the immediate vicinity at the time of the disappearance.”
“I was at work” Dunker spat.
“Do you work at the Red, White and Blue Club?” Inspector asked flatly.
“Yeah” Dunker pulled himself up in his chair.
“What time do you work there?” Jones looked down at his notes.
“It’s a split shift.” Dunker grinned. “I got there just before 11 in the morning and was there till after three.”
“And you never left the club?” Jones stared at his notes.
“Nope. Vera will vouch for that.” Dunker took a biscuit and dunked it in his tea.
“So, Vera Adkins was at the club on the 15th?” Jones looked up.
“Phillip.” Sir Andrew cut in and leant in to Phil and whispered in his ear. “I fear that my client may be confused over the dates.”
“Really?” Jones looked Sir Andrew straight in the eyes.
“Yeah!” Dunker shrugged. “She weren’t in that day, but Darrius and the girls will vouch for me.”
“So you never left the club until 3pm?” Jones asked quietly. “You are absolutely sure of that?”
“Yeah” Dunker dipped another biscuit in his tea.
The biscuit was withdrawn from the tea and it bowed precariously before Phil thrust it in his mouth.
“For the purpose of the tape, I am now showing Phillip Duncan a series of CCTV images timed between 2:10 pm and 2:17 pm on the 15th April” The inspector leaned into the tape machine as he spoke.
Jones slid a copy of the DVD containing the CCTV footage over to Sir Andrew before switching on the TV and pressing play on the player.
The four of them watched the DVD in silence.
When it finished, Dunker Phil swore under his breath.