She walked briskly through the Woods, it was a glorious Spring day, the Lilac Trees were blooming in full, the White the Pink the Mauve the colours so gorgeous she thought, and of course the scents. Further along the path the start of the Rhododendron Walk, how she loved to walk through here she would always stop to admire the flowers of the Rhododendrons, the massive flower heads, as she bent to admire and took a flower head in her hand, she spotted something there further back amongst the Rhododendrons.
She looked to see if there was anyone around, perhaps to call if she needed them, she was not sure what she saw or what she felt at that precise moment. At that precise moment life was to change for her forever.
Lucy moved aside some of the Rhododendrons so she could go further behind the bushes of them to where she thought, ” what ” she asked herself and before she could answer that, there it was, “can’t be” Lucy said out loud “it just can’t be”, somehow Lucy kept calm how she did she never knew but she did and what was it Lucy saw, “oh my God it is” said Lucy.
There sticking out amongst the stumps of the Rhododendrons was a woman’s leg, as Lucy moved some of the shrub there she was the other leg tucked under the lower half of a woman’s body. “SHE’S DEAD” screamed Lucy, finally giving into emotion Lucy screamed several times “HELP PLEASE HELP SOMEONE, SHE’S DEAD”. Lucy could hear the rustle of the bushes and frightened inside herself she kept quieter “hello, hello where are you” said a man’s voice and a woman’s “Henry be careful, be careful”.
There they were the man and woman face to face with Lucy and the woman’s body, “Jesus she’s dead, who are you” said the man to Lucy, “Lucy Baveridge” said Lucy, “how, just how what has happened here, by the way I’m Henry this is my Wife, Sally what has happened here” he asked of Lucy, Lucy extending her right hand to shake Henry’s she said ” I was just taking my usual end of the week walk through here and I always stop by the Rhododendrons and admire them, then I saw it, a leg looked like a woman’s leg sticking out, so I decided to have a look and found oh God its awful just awful” said Lucy.
“I take it you have not phoned for the Police yet” asked Henry, “no I haven’t I just screamed and here you are” said Lucy, “yes it was lucky that Sally and myself decided to come for a walk it was such a nice Spring day and we thought” said Henry, “darling” said his wife as she pulled on his jacket sleeve, “what, whats wrong Sally we need to phone for the Police” said Henry to his wife, “I know that” said Sally “but have you thought, perhaps you have not Henry but just maybe the killer could be still around here” asked his wife. All three of them stopped dead and looked around where they were, perhaps the killer was still in the area, perhaps he had seen them and heard them.
CHAPTER TWO – “Now stand back, leave it to me Sir”
“I don’t know where there is a Police phone box around here” said Lucy “there isn’t” answered Sally, “you have to go to the main House and Tea Shop for help” said Sally. Henry was getting agitated that his wife was making him feel stupid that he did not know that. “Yes, yes indeed one has to, urgh go to the Shop come Tea Room to phone for the Police, you were right dear about that at least” said Henry.
“Henry let me go to the main house and get some help, do you think we should check to make sure the woman is dead” asked Sally. “She is dead I did not touch her but she looks dead” answered Lucy, “she is dead alright, I saw enough bodies of Soldiers in the last War to know death when I see it and she is dead, yes Sally go as quickly as you can to get help, I’ll stay here with Lucy” said Henry.
As Sally went off quickly Lucy stayed alongside Henry and thought nothing of it as he talked about, about what, she was not listening the thought had suddenly struck her. Henry and his wife came so quickly after she called for help, “oh my God” she said to herself, “what if, what if Henry is the murderer and his wife has not gone for help of course she would not go for help she could be looking out to see if there are other people around while Henry, while Henry no no no” said Lucy, “whats no no no” asked Henry “are you alright Lucy” as he touched her arm she was cold just not cold but frozen she felt Henry removed his jacket and slipped it over Lucy’s shoulders she winced “you are in shock dear, this must have been dreadful for you to see, come let’s move away from the body” he said to Lucy.
Lucy just looked at him a mixture of she didn’t even know what she was so confused, was she safe she wanted to run yet she did not want to look a fool “Lucy here sit on this trunk, the Police will soon be here, you are in shock dear, what you need is a good old hot cup of Tea with plenty of sugar in it” said Henry, “I don’t take sugar in my tea” said Lucy thinking to herself “what a ridiculous thing to say”, Lucy sat on the old tree trunk, she felt warmer with Henry’s jacket around her perhaps she is in shock she thought. “I am sure Lucy it won’t be long now before help arrives,” said Henry and with that they suddenly heard voices, not just Sally’s voice but a stranger’s voice and the words.
“Now stand back, and leave it to me Sir”, as through the thicket there appeared a Policeman, Lucy stared at him, all she could think of was what use could he be, he must have only been in his thirties. The Policeman stood there looking at all three of them “right now I see we have a woman’s body, now who found the body”, Lucy found herself stammering which she never did she could not understand why she was doing it “urrgh, urrgh I did” said Lucy, “and you are, name” the Policeman seemed to bark at Lucy, “Lucy, Lucy Baveridge” said Lucy, “right and you Sir your name and I take it the Lady is your wife I will need her Christian name Sir” said the Policeman, with more respect in his voice Lucy thought, than she received.
“Henry Meyers and this is Sally my wife of course” said Henry “thank you Sir, Ma’am” said the Policeman, “what a snide” thought Lucy to herself. The Policeman pointing to Lucy said “You were the first on the scene Miss, can you tell me what you were doing here” he asked “yes I was just taking my usual walk, I always walk here the end of each week and I stop to look at the Rhododendrons because I love them and as I looked at one of the flowers I thought I saw a leg and it was” said Lucy, “very good miss, we will need to take more information from you, you will be available we need addresses” the Policeman asked “yes of course I will answer all your questions” said Lucy
Suddenly there seemed to be so much more commotion and the Forensic Team had arrived, and then an older plain clothes Policeman and two others and some uniformed Police, as she looked to the body she quickly turned away. “Right, we are the Sweeney we are in charge who found the body” barked a voice and pointing at Lucy the older Policeman asked “and you, who are you” he shouted. The first Policeman on the scene turned to Lucy and for the first time Lucy thought he sounded much nicer he turned to the Sweeney Officer and said “this is Lucy Baveridge, this is the young Lady who found the Body” the copper said, “right OK you have taken relevant information we will need to talk to you later miss” barked the Sweeney Officer. “You Sir Madam you were here at that same time” asked the Sweeney “No” said Henry “we only came when we heard Lucy, calling” said Henry “I see” said the Sweeney “you knew this young Lady as well”, “No” answered Henry “we only met that is my wife Sally and myself we only met Lucy this afternoon when she called for help” answered Henry.
CHAPTER THREE – “What’s Happening”
“Right” barked the Sweeney, pointing to the young Officer, the Sweeney barked “that Policeman there the first on the scene will escort all three of you to the main house or the Tea Shop, probably the latter to take any more information then we will decide if you can go”, “can go” asked Lucy “why can’t we just go home” asked Lucy, “because I will determine if and when you can go home young lady, this is a MURDER we have here, a MURDER do you understand” he shouted, “I understand I found her” said Lucy.
The young Policeman took Lucy, Sally and Henry to the latter as the Sweeney stated, “The Olde Tea Shoppe” they entered it was everything the heading outside stated, tablecloths, real china to drink from, homemade cakes, the lady servers dressed in black dresses and white aprons, it was just typical English Lucy said to herself. The Policeman asked all three to sit, Lucy handed back Henry’s jacket, “no dear keep it on for a little longer shock takes a long time to get over” said Henry. “I’m Officer Walker said the Policeman “we shall all have some Tea shall we, the Sweeney and Forensics will be a long time” he said, so Tea was ordered and a collection of cakes, all Lucy at that moment wanted was a cup of Tea no sugar.
All four chatted, Lucy was feeling warmer so slipped Henry’s jacket off her shoulders as she did it slipped and fell on the floor, Lucy bent and picked up the jacket, suddenly there on the floor she spotted Henry’s wallet one of those that are long and fold in half no closure, it had fallen open and as she picked it up, she froze for that second there in the wallet just there”yes it was, it most definitely was, oh God no no no it is” Lucy kept saying to herself as she closed the wallet slipped it back into the jacket, hoping Henry was too busy talking to Sergeant Walker to notice.
“What’s happening what am I going to do, what’s happening” said Lucy to herself, she tried to catch the attention of Sergeant Walker but Sally was talking to him, Lucy looked up and Henry was looking at her not just looking at her but staring at her, “bloody hell he knows the bastard knows” said Lucy to herself.
The best thing she could do was try to avoid Henry’s eyes but he kept looking at Lucy directly. Over and over in Lucy’s mind was going “I was right back under the Rhododendrons, he could have murdered me there, what am I going to do” Lucy was asking of herself. “You seem much warmer now Lucy, do you think I could have my jacket back” asked Henry to Lucy. “Of Course Henry, thank you so much it really helped me” said Lucy as Henry was quickly behind Lucy’s chair and retrieving his jacket. “Well it helped Lucy” and stared in Lucy’s eyes trying to determine what she knew.
CHAPTER FOUR – “well its a lovely day, where do I go from here”
Sergeant Walker offered to walk Lucy home, she agreed as she said goodbye to Henry and Sally, Sergeant said “you will be seeing each other again tomorrow you will be needed at the Station, Murder cases are very intense interviewing as you can imagine” he said. Henry lent over and kissed Lucy on the forehead “sleep well dear, nice to have met you, but would have been better under different circumstances” Henry stated, “yes of course” said Lucy, “Night sweet I’ll see you tomorrow try not to worry too much” said Sally, “thank you Sally, Sleep tight” Lucy said.
Sergeant Walker saw Lucy into her small house, “now if you need anything just call the station and I have put my home number on the back of the card if you need anything, my name is Andrew, Andy by the way, just in case you want to talk about anything or just want to ring me” said the young Sergeant, as Lucy looked at him he was rather sweet she thought, she shook his hand and said “goodbye”, she shut her front door then suddenly knock on the door, Lucy opened the door and Andy said “make sure you double lock the door and put all your bolts on, and check the windows are locked, you will be fine” he said. Lucy smiled and did all he said.
“I need a bath, a good bubble bath” she shouted. Lucy went to her bedroom, started to undress and suddenly thought she better pull the curtains, she had never thought of it before she never pulled the curtains when she undressed what was there to worry about, she quickly ran to her windows in the bedroom and pulled the curtains across.
She undressed, stood there naked looking at herself in the mirror, thinking of the woman under the bushes, she undid her ponytail and shook her hair until it fell onto her shoulders. She ran the hot water, never cold always hot, she loved a very hot bath, she poured the bubble scent and the aromas of Lavender filled the bathroom her favourite it also helped her sleep well that is when she was not writing.
Lucy stepped into the hot bath and laid back, closed her eyes and thought of the day a horrible frightening day, a day to figure out, sort it all, and Henry, Henry and his wallet and the picture of the murder victim, he knew her. “Oh stop” said Lucy as she sighed and continued to lay back and soak in the aromas of Lilac, she felt herself getting drowsy, she quickly washed and rinsed and whish, swish, the water splattering all over her body, she stepped from the bath, put on her towelling robe and laid on her bed, she tried to sleep but it was useless.
She sat up, grabbed her book and started to write, here she was busy writing making notes, scribbling them out and re writing. She turned to her bedside cabinet there was the half filled glass of wine she had taken to the bath, she sipped some slowly then more in the hope she would sleep. Thoughts going over and over in her mind, she fought against sleep but found herself falling into a deep sleep. Her clock ticked away “tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock” then the alarm “buzz zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz” seemed to go on forever until she banged the clock it fell to the floor as it did every day.
Lucy was awake, her notebook still on the bed along with her pencils, she picked up one of the pencils, walks over to the window pulled the blinds until they went to the top of the window, “well its a lovely day today as they said in the song” said Lucy “now where do I go from here”, she lent over the side of the bed pressed her Tassimo machine she kept by the bed for her morning coffee, she could not do without it. From the floor she picked up her laptop, she liked to make late night notes on paper old fashioned she thought but its what I do, I’ll have my coffee and then put the notes on the laptop”.
“Zing zing zing” went her mobile phone, “hi darling how are you, got in late I know, at least lover I shall be here when you get home, tired of course, very tired no doubt, you are, don’t make me laugh with your promises promises I shall see, big shot Inspector Andy Walker of the Murder Squad” said Lucy, “well lover I still have more to do haven’t finished yet, you have more confidence in me than I have in myself Andy, see you later darling, ok see you” said Lucy as she turned the phone off. Went back to the Laptop.
Now she had to work out exactly the relationship with Henry and the murder victim, maybe not the obvious, and what about Sally, not always the dippy Wife. The Publishers were on her back, the book was not going to be as obvious as it seems and as for the Police, the Sweeney there is going to be more with the Sweeney. After all late 1950s early 1960s The Sweeney were well known and corrupt as the Criminals in some cases, well known some of them to the notorious Krays, thought Lucy.
Lucy had a lot to work out, was the victim raped or sexually assaulted or jealous murder on his part or hers, all she had to do was work it out on paper like she always did. Where did the story go from here………………………………………………………………………………
My favourite inspector Morse, never missed an episode and I watch the reruns, just adored it.