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Zacharias - Part IV
by Theodore K. Nasos
2016-07-12 10:08:23
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What if love, Sir John?

Chief Inspector Christopher Bennett was very quiet after Sir John finished with Zachary’s story and his son’s request for an investigation. Then he tasted his whisky, played a bit with the ice looked first at me and then he asked Sir John: “Why you?”

jo00_400I looked at Bennett with a big question mark print on my face but I think Sir John understood what Bennett said, “my question precisely, why me?” I looked both of them trying to understand what I couldn’t see but before asking Sir John – who kept walking in front the French windows – gave the answer.

“Why me? Why not the police? If she is an imposter the best idea and the right action would have been to go to the police or even better find you. I think his father new you, didn’t he?”

“Indeed he did,” murmured Bennett.

“So what’s the catch?” Both Bennett and I smiled with Sir John’s use of a phrase like that. Far from usual Sir John but obviously there was a catch here and even I could see it.

The silence returned with Sir John still in front the French windows.

“What if the truth is much simpler?” I dared them.

“What if she really loved him, after all she dearly sacrificed herself for him. What if the kid is really his and she came to pay her respects to his grave and show to the kid his father’s lad?”

“Too many ifs,” Bennett said straight away. Sir John kept quiet.

“Oh please,” I insisted. “How many times you have read stories like that? Stories of love, internal love and sacrifice?”

“Read. My dear fellow the key word here is read. How many times have you read. A lot. In novels. You never hear them in real life.”

Sir John kept quiet looking outside in his garden.

“You are not fair Bennett. Your line of work has made you a cynic and you think that everybody has a motive for a crime.”

“There is nothing wrong with my line of work and it is life that has taught me these lessons and in a very hard way.”

“Perhaps he is right!” Sir John spoke. “Perhaps he is right, we don’t know Christopher, do we?” Bennett nodded without saying anything.

“Money is always the best motive,” Sir John continued. “And in Zachary’s will there is absolutely no money for anybody else but his son. It’s loud, clear and final. No money here. So yea, however outlandish it might sound it might all be for love.

“We can check,” I dared say encouraged by Sir John remarks on my idea.

“Indeed we can. We are actually going to find out in half an hour.” We both looked at the small knight surprised.

“While you were asleep, I called Harley’s rooms to let and a very kind Ms Taylor permitted us a short coffee break with her and her son.”

“Ms Taylor?” Both, Bennett and I said the same time.

“Not very exotic, isn’t it? All part of the empire.” Sir John said smiling and moved towards the exit of the room to arrange something with the maid and then get ready for our appointment.

“Ms Ajani Taylor” were Sir John’s last words before exiting the room.

Harley’s rooms to let was exactly what the name let you understand. A beautiful once upon a time house which had turned into rooms to let. A house that had met with wars and revolutions and had remained all this time in the same condition. Looking at it from outside you had to wonder if it was worth to fix it or put it down and rebuild it again.

Two kids, obviously from somewhere in the far lands of the empire were sitting outside on the dirty steps arguing about something in a language that sounded far related to the English language.

“Ah, whey dem did deh?” Said the one boy to the other.

“Dunno,” answered the other one a bit angry.

Sir John stood in front of them looking call and waiting for their exchange to end.

“Yuh galang, man!” Said one of them. A really thin boy in his early teenage years.

“I don’t think young man. I actually expect you to show us the way for Ms Taylor’s room.” Sir John said and both boys remained quiet for a bit.

“Diya know mama-Ajani?” The same boy asked a bit surprised.

“She’s waiting for me, young fellow,” Sir John said but before saying anything more the other boy stood up and said pointing at Bennet: “’E’s a copper!”

Bennett smiled but I often thought that his smile was more terrifying than any other face he could do. Both boys looked suddenly very alarmed.

“But I’m not,” Sir John said. “And if you want he can stay out here with you while I go to see mama-Ajani!”

“No way!” both boys shouted the same time.

The room was small and dark with heavy smell of candles, damp and strong herbal tea. A little boy was sitting in the edge of one bed and an unshaped woman dressed heavily for the weather sat in the other. There were two chairs next to the window. Sir John and Bennet sat in the chairs opposite of Ms Mama-Ajani Taylor, I sat next to the boy. He didn’t look at me at all, his eyes were steadily looking at his mother.

“I can see Zachary’s son send the police, Sir John,” the woman said before anything else. Her voice was deep and hard the same time. She was obviously feeling uncomfortable with the room and her clothes because she was pulling her shirt and her cardigan all the time.

“You know Chief Inspector Christopher Bennett, Ms Taylor?” Sir John asked.

“I’ve been warned.”


Part I - Part II - Part III -Part IV -

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