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.“There have been two murders and all you can think about is bad publicity?”“Actually, Marjorie, I was thinking about the children.They’re so proud of their school, and now it’s sullied for them.People will always say, ‘You were at the place they found the dead body.’ They’ll be having nightmares.”Adam carried on checking the list, but his enthusiasm for the job had waned.The pupils weren’t the only ones having nightmares, were they? Maybe Robin had been prone to bad dreams when he’d been bullied.Maybe they could talk about them, help each other out.Marjorie’s voice sounded soothing again.“Yes, I know.Sorry.I don’t know why I’m so tetchy.”“It’s been a strain for everyone.We’re not ourselves.” Jennifer sighed.“Tell you what, there’s a picture of that policeman in the rogues’ gallery.You can amuse yourself with it while I top your tea up.”“I’ve had enough tea, thank you.And enough of policemen.Even charming ones.”Before Adam could find any sort of a sensible response, Jennifer saved him by ploughing on.“He’s a lot more charming than he used to be.Nervous little thing.Never seemed happy.”“I’ll go talk to Gillian about these.” Adam gathered all the slips of paper and tried to edge towards the door before he was tempted to leap to Robin’s defence.Maybe if somebody had asked him why he was unhappy back then, they could have done something about it.“That sergeant’s a charmer too,” Jennifer said, dreamily.“He asked if I’d been out frolicking on the greensward on Thursday.”“Blimey.Had he swallowed your dictionary?” Adam hadn’t imagined policemen being quite so erudite.“He meant had I been joining in the children’s picnic.He seemed surprised when I said I’d worked through lunch.”“No wonder,” Marjorie said, coming over and perching on Jennifer’s desk.“What do you mean?”Marjorie grinned.“You’d have had no alibi, stuck here, with just about everyone else out and about.Number one suspect, I’d have said.”“Oh, Marjorie, you are silly.” Jennifer giggled.“Actually, I have a cast-iron alibi.I was on the phone to the county IT department, trying to sort out the SAP system.”“Now we’ll have to get out the dictionary,” Adam said.“Or my buzzword bingo sheet.”“Actually—” Jennifer lowered her voice “—I keep panicking over whether I let somebody into the school by mistake during that time.I was terribly flustered over some glitches in the system, and it’s possible I might have opened the door without thinking.”“I can’t believe you’d ever have done that.Even with only ten percent of your brain on the job, you’d ward off any intruders.” Adam was rewarded by a smile from the secretary and a mouthed thank you from Marjorie, who he’d rightly guessed had been trying to raise Jennifer’s spirits.“Right.Work to do.See you later, girls.” Adam had almost made it out the door and was prepared to leg it off to the safety of the staffroom when the buzzer sounded.“Hello?”“Inspector Bright.Can I come in?”“Of course.” Jennifer operated the door release.Adam was stuck.He couldn’t scuttle off now, not without raising suspicion.“If it’s the police, maybe I should go.Need to see Gillian about these.Don’t want to be in the way.”“You won’t be,” Robin said, coming through the main door at the tag end of the conversation.“Afternoon,” he added, nodding at Adam and then nonchalantly signing in the visitors’ book.Adam couldn’t help but admire the professional manner and the standard of acting.Was Robin’s heart dancing as much as his was, or did he have that under control, as well?“You don’t need a badge.The children have all gone home.” Jennifer gave dispensation with a wave of her hand.“There aren’t any badges, anyway.” Robin picked up a sad-looking sheet from which all the stickers had been removed.“I’d better replace that.” Jennifer reached for a file, made a puzzled face, reached for a different one, then slowly drew out another sheet of badges.“Someone’s been moving my files about.”“A slap on the hand for whoever’s done that,” Adam said, immediately regretting it when Robin gave him that look.The “don’t be such an idiot” one.“It’s as well you’re here, Inspector,” Jennifer continued, “because I’ve just this minute thought of something.I’d forgotten all about it.”Adam looked at Marjorie, who rolled her eyes.“Confessing to the crime, are we?” Marjorie said, with a hint of impatience.Jennifer flushed.“Only to having a poor memory.” She explained about the telephone call, how there was a possibility that she may have let somebody in by mistake while distracted.“Think carefully,” Robin said, face hardened at Jennifer’s revelation.“You’ve been ultracautious with all of us coming and going.Do you honestly think you’d have just let anyone in, automatically?”“No, I don’t.” Jennifer looked from Robin to Adam to Marjorie, then back again to the policeman.“But I can’t swear that it didn’t happen.And there’s more.”“What now?” Robin spoke slowly, coldly.Adam thought the bloke must be formidable during a formal interview.“When Youngs was here, one of my files got moved.I’ve just remembered that he must have been the one who did it.”“You think he copied something from it?”Jennifer had everyone’s rapt attention.“He might have done.I’d had the file out while he was looking at the pictures, and then I had to go and get Adam to mend the wire, and when I came back, it was put away in the wrong place.Then I was so tied up with the phone call to the county and then the.the murder, I didn’t think of it again.It didn’t seem important.”“What file was it?”“My school governors file.”“Very odd,” Robin said, in a voice that had lost its hard edge and was perhaps too deliberately casual.“Actually, I came here to catch Mrs.Bookham.Your husband said I’d find you here.”“And find me you have,” Marjorie said brightly.“Don’t you go upsetting her [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]