Was the bizarre case really over?
March 16, 2014
A VG Serial: Dark Continent Continental
“And that is how Scotland Yard solved The Moors Murders,” Clive Dumfries explained, over celebratory beer in the John Snow Memorial Pub, Soho. Some strings were pulled to open it up special, for the occasion. Clive knew people who could arrange that.
“Excellent!” Angus exclaimed.
The sun was just coming up and Angus and Skeeter could make out the silhouette of the famous Broad Street Pump through the window. Pink highlights on the handle irritated bleary eyes.
Did the name Soho come about because James Scott, the First Duke of Monmouth, rallied his hunting hounds with the cry of “so-ho?” That point will be debated for years, but Soho, in an area of the City of Westminster, West End of London, has seen some turbulent times and is stewed in history.
“We’ve got to think about getting back to Austin, Clive. It has been a pleasure and we will be in touch to see how this thing is developing,” Angus said. “Ready to head on home, Skeeter?”
“I say, it has been a delight.” Clive Dumfries stood and offered his hand. We so appreciate all of the preliminary work you did, in nabbing this scoundrel, and your generosity, if you know what I mean.” He winked. “We will work hard with all of our resources to tie up every loose end.”
“Angus and I are worried about the explosion. Do you think people are in danger of being contaminated from that?”
Clive answered Skeeter. “The initial opinion of our scientific unit, is, ‘no.’ The heat of the explosion probably killed everything. That is still a question mark, and we will keep you informed, naturally.”
“Do you have enough to hold him?” Angus was sincere in his question.
“Yes,” Clive answered. “The explosion is enough for starters, and we saw him actually do that with our own eyes.” Clive chuckled.
“I may have more information for you soon, about possible accomplices in Kenya. I have not been able to have a good conversation with our operatives,” Angus added.
“We would be most interested in that.”
“We are anxious to get home, but if my pocketbook will allow it, I would love to come back sometime and interview Reggie, personally, when the case is wrapped up,” Angus admitted.
“I am sure you would, and we will gladly arrange it.”
“We will drive you back to your motel rooms, any time you are ready,” Barton Sheffield offered.
* * *
“Madam, our work here is done!” Angus turned to Skeeter and exclaimed as they walked away from Barton Sheffield and the Scotland Yard man who had ferried them from the pub. Angus had a shit-eating grin on his face. “Let’s pack, take some showers and head for the airport—and see what kind of flight we can get, and how soon we can get on it.”
“There is one thing I am dying to know, Angus.”
“Are you shaving off your whiskers?”
“Hmmmm. I think I will leave them on—just so I can get a reaction from the boys in Homicide.”
Angus was on the phone as soon as he was back in his room. “Phomello, I am sorry I couldn’t talk to you. Glastonbury was near by and we had to be quiet. We are getting ready to go back to Austin. They have got the guy and he is in custody.”
“Got the guy! Very glad, Angus. Dube and I have learned the identity of the middleman.”
“He is but a child. We think he ferreted out the honey pots and sold them to the Englishman to help his family.”
“Yes. In fact it is that same little boy who came into my shop that first day I met you! His name is Masamba.”
“Oh, yes. I remember him. Unbelievable! He is a resourceful little fella. You have got to admire him. He didn’t know what he was doing.”
“Oh no. I am sure of it. Dube and I have been making evidence photos for you. Prints.”
“Good deal. When you are finished, would you put them in a manila envelope and send them to me at Homicide Headquarters in Austin? We will keep them for our own file and copy some of them to send to Scotland Yard for their investigation. Tell Dube we appreciate all of his hard work and we will be in touch next week. We will wire you some money so make a list of any recent expenses we don’t know about.”
“Phomello—you two did a fantastic job. You are what made capturing this horrible guy possible. We are forever indebted. So is the general public. Thank you for everything. Skeeter and I are sending letters of recommendation for your permanent resumes as soon as we get back to Austin and collect our thoughts a bit.”
“Thank you from us both, Mr. Angus.”
* * *
“Okay, girlie. It’s off to Heathrow and maybe and airport breakfast, depending on when we can get a flight. Fish and chips, maybe? Is that okay with you?”
“You bet. I didn’t bring any of my crochet supplies—I wanted to save packing space. Do you think we could stop somewhere and get some? I think I can crochet ten to fifteen caps on the long flights home.”
“Sure. I forgot you did that, Skeeter—made those knit caps for indigent children. How many do you have?”
“I have a huge box full of them, I think about three hundred so far. They will be ready for St. Anthony’s in time for Christmas. I am making scarves, too, but I make those on a knitting machine.”
* * *
In his rehab room, Branford Cooper, fallen FBI man, sat in a recliner with his remote control. He clicked through the news channels watching the footage over and over. His favorite one was from the BBC. There they were, Angus and Skeeter. Oh, Angus had some wool on his face, but it was Angus, alright. Their clothes needed ironing, but they looked damn good—and the son-of-a-bitch, Glastonbury was in the slammer.
From time to time, Cooper got up from the recliner, with considerable effort, and pulled some of the nearby medical staff in to watch. He gave them play-by-play descriptions of the videos and how he was involved in the whole damn thing.
Chapters of Dark Continental by Sara Marie Hogg will be published on Saturday and Sunday.