Hot on the heels of Part 60 comes Part 61 of “A Couple of Tenors Short”. I had considered introducing some kind of random numbering system or perhaps start giving the various parts names like they do with hurricanes, but I resisted – for the moment at least.
You remember that writing stint yesterday? When I rattled off 1500 words in no time at all? I read it again this morning. Sad to report that the joy was short lived, it is now down to less than 500 words. What was I thinking?
It isn’t news as such, but they have announced the shortlist for the statue to fill the empty fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square. I thought you might be interested in seeing pictures of the shortlist. My favourite is the Cash Machine that triggers a giant organ on the top of the plinth whenever it is used. Sadly, I do not know what tune it will play. I will leave that open for suggestions!
I’m able to continue the sequence for the quiz question. This one should be really easy (hence why I put one of my photos at the top there). Yet, I will still 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...
The interview with Mrs Ford continued and Jones continued to poke around Sergei’s flat. After a little while, Jones resigned himself to not discovering anything else and he signalled to Smithy to wind the interview up.
While Smithy scribbled down the last of the anecdotes from Mrs Ford, Jones stepped out into the hall and ordered a forensics team to perform a better search and see if they could find something to identify the people who removed Sergei’s belongings.
When the four detectives met at the Ford Zephyr, it became clear that Johnson and Brown hadn’t discovered much either. A lot of the neighbours commented that they often saw him out running, but none really knew him.
“Perhaps we will have better luck with local athletics clubs.” Jones said as he climbed into the front passenger seat of the Zephyr.
“What makes you think that, guv?” Smithy asked as he buckled his seat belt.
“There was a pin board with bits of silk hanging from the pins and there were a lot of square shapes in the dust on the bookshelves which could have been trophies.” Jones spoke dryly as he looked at the sheet of notepaper in the evidence bag.
“That’s impressive deduction, guv.” Brown gave a low whistle from the back.
“It’s nothing really.” Jones gave a smile. “The real giveaway was all the different athletics vests and tracksuits in his drawers.”
The revelation was greeted by groans and a weak laugh from Johnson.
“So, Brown! I want you to follow up on that for me. And Johnson...” Jones paused and allowed himself a smile. “I want you to follow up with the Russian embassy to see if we can get in touch with his family.”
“Yes, guv” Johnson responded meekly.
Taking out his mobile phone, Jones dialled the number written on the paper.
“Hello?” a deep baritone voice answered.
“Hello. This is Detective Inspector Glynn Jones. May I speak with Professor Ibsen, please?”
“Oh.” There were a few seconds of silence. “This is Professor Ibsen. So it was Sergei then.”
“Errrm...” Jones gave a start at the response. “Can I ask why you say that?”
“I saw the picture of the dead man found in the Thames in the evening paper and thought it might have been Sergei Plutov, my former research assistant. However, I wasn’t sure, so I didn’t ring. That was remiss of me. ”
“I’m sorry to tell you that we believe it might be Mr Plutov.” Jones voice conveyed sympathy. “I wondered if you could spare some time to help us discover more about him and how he came to be swimming in the Thames?”
“I’ll be willing to help all I can, but...” Professor Ibsen paused for a moment. “I hate to compound my original oversight, but I fly out to a conference tomorrow and am unavailable all afternoon. Unless we could meet over lunch? I’ll happily pick up the tab.”
The two arranged to meet at one o’clock at a small restaurant near the college. It was a restaurant with a reputation for fine seafood, the anticipation caused Jones to look out of the window and salivate.
“Smithy! Pull over! Over there!” Jones shook himself from his daydream about sea bass and pointed to a fight going on a patch of waste ground.