After a gap where I have been thinking about the future of mankind, I return to what I hope is happier subjects with part 421 of “A Couple of Tenors Short”.
As always, the picture is a clue and I give you 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...
When he returned to his desk, Sir Andrew Witherspoon was waiting for him.
“Inspector Jones, I trust that your Superintendant has set your mind at rest over bail for my client?” Sir Andrew grinned broadly.
“He explained the situation and has made it clear what is expected of me.” Jones grinned in return. “We will be in a position to bail your client first thing in the morning.”
“WHAT! But Inspector, this is uncalled for!” Sir Andrew shouted and slammed a fist down onto Jones’s desk.
Politely, yet firmly, Jones explained that he needed the address of where Dunker Phil would be staying while on bail and that he would need to liaise with the local police to make sure that they were aware of the arrangement to allow them to take appropriate steps. Jones explained that his Superintendant had been most clear that only when these matters had been resolved could he bail Dunker Phil.
Sir Andrew had stood glaring at Jones before writing down the address, curtly wishing him ‘Good Day’ and storming from the office.
“First problem down.” Jones whispered to himself as he watched him go. “Smithy? Can you join me in the meeting room?”
Jones stood by the door and when Smithy arrived motioned for him to take a seat, slowly closed the door and then took the seat opposite him.
“What’s up, guv?” Smithy asked while slowly running his hand over the back of his neck.
“What were you doing on the 16th April?” Jones asked quietly.
“Well... we went to the McRamie house to investigate his abduction.” Smithy’s eyes narrowed as he answered.
“You didn’t remember that until we went back the other day, so apart from that.” Jones clasped his hands together on the table and leant forward.
Smithy shifted in his seat and scratched the back of his head. Jones watched in silence.
“OK, Smithy, let’s try another.” Jones cut in after about half a minute of silence. “Tell me about the Maryfield case.”
“C’mon, guv.” Smithy whined. “You and I are both a touch hazy over that.”
“I know.” Jones leaned back in his chair and put his hands behind his head. “But I guess you have had a chance to chat with the others to refresh your memory.”
“Yeah, but...” Smithy’s voice trailed off and he bit his lip.
“But what?” Jones pressed.
“Johnson wasn’t with us then, Tom is off sick and Brown thinks he was on leave.”
Jones nodded slowly and leant forward. “How long have you been suffering with these memory loss problems?”
Smithy looked at Jones opened mouthed.
“It’s OK, Smithy.” Jones spoke softly. “I know it’s difficult to admit that you have a problem.”
“I haven’t got a problem!” Smithy leapt from his chair. “Nobody can remember everything! You’re the...”
“Sit Down!” Jones spoke firmly.
Smithy slowly sat back in the chair.
“From what I can tell, everybody around here is having these strange memory problems. Something is happening, I don’t know what or why, but they are. It’s not just you or me.”
“You sure?” Smithy pouted.
Jones nodded slowly. “But that doesn’t give you an excuse to try and cover your own frailties up by running to the Super suggesting that I am somehow unfit for duty.”
“That’s not fair, guv – and you know it.” Smithy pointed a shaking finger at Jones. “The Super asked me to keep an eye on you because we care about you. We were worried about you, wanted to make sure that you weren’t coming back to work to soon after...”
Smithy’s finger slowly sank into his lap. He could no longer keep Jones’s gaze and he lapsed into a sullen silence.
“Too soon after what, Smithy?”
“You know” Smithy’s voice was barely a whisper.
“You’ll have to tell me, Smithy. I’m having one of those memory lapses.”