[ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]
.' Morse took an almighty swig from his replenished pint, leaving only an inch of beer in the glass.'Our problem is to find the connection between the theft of the jewel and the murder of Kemp.Once we find that.So the best thing to do is to think of something completely different.Tell me about something, Lewis - something that's got nothing to do with Mrs Kemp.''I was just thinking about those betting-slips, sir.They've got the time on them - the time the bet was placed.''I said something different, Lewis! Anything.Tell me anything! Tell me the name of your first girl-friend! Anything!''I can't, sir.Not for the minute.I just think I let Mrs Kemp down.in a way.''What the hell are you talking about? It's me who let her down! How many times did you tell me I ought to see her?''Why do you think she tried.?' 'How the hell do I know!' 'Just asked, that's all.' 'AH right.What do you think?''I suppose she just felt life wasn't worth living without him - without her husband.''You didn't feel that, though, when you met her, did you? From what you told me, you seemed to feel the opposite: life might have been worth living if he wasn't there.'Yes, Lewis knew that Morse was right.He'd felt the anger and the bitterness of the woman - far more than any sense of anguish Or loss.He knew, too, that his lack of sleep was beginning to catch up with him.'You talk about giving your mind a rest, sir, but I shall have to give my body a bit of a rest soon.I'm knackered -absolutely knackered!''Go home, then! What's stopping you? I can always get Dixon—''I don't want to go home, sir.We've got the decorators in and I keep getting nagged about getting new carpets and new curtains and—'Morse jumped up from the table, his face radiant: "You've done it, Lewis! You've done it again!'Lewis too rose from his seat, a tired, bewildered expression across his honest features.What had he just said?41Light thickens and the crow makes wing to the rooky wood(Shakespeare, Macbeth)It was a quarter-past six when Sheila Williams saw the police car draw up outside, and she answered the front door immediately.'Come in, Inspector!' The colourless liquid in the glass she carried might just have been water, perhaps; but whatever it was she seemed unwontedly sober.'No.I - we've got a lot to do.Look.I'm very sorry to have to tell you this - but Mrs Kemp tried to kill herself this afternoon.'Sheila's right hand jumped to her mouth with a convulsive jerk: 'Oh, no!' she whispered.'She took enough pills to kill a healthy elephant, Sheila, but fortunately a nurse found her - in time, we think.If only just.''Where—?''She's in the JR2.She's having the best care she could get anywhere.'Sheila took a deep breath.'Oh dear!' she managed to say in a broken voice as the tears began to trickle.Then, somewhat to Morse's embarrassment, she suddenly buried her head on his shoulder and clung tightly to him.'Did she love him?' asked Morse gently.'She possessed him!''But did she love him?'Sheila Williams straightened herself and pulled away from him, searching her pockets for a handkerchief.Her voice wasalmost fierce as she answered: 'No! I was the only one who really loved him.''Do you know anyone else who loved him? Was there someone else? A third woman in his life?'Sheila shook her head in deep anguish.'You quite sure about it, Sheila? It's so very important that you're honest with me,' urged Morse.'He said not.He swore it!''And you believed him?'She nodded, and wiped her eyes.And Morse nodded, too, and looked very sad.'All right.Thank you.' He turned to go, but she called him back, the tears springing once more.'Inspector - please!'Morse turned, and laid his right hand lightly on her shoulder.'No need to tell me, really.I know there was another woman in his life.'Her 'yes' was barely audible.'And I think you knew who it was.'She nodded again.'It was only recendy though, wasn't it, Sheila? Only recently that he'd started seeing Mrs Downes?'Lewis, standing at the front gate, had managed to catch most of the exchanges; had watched Mrs Williams as she'd finally turned away from Morse in tearful distress.And now, as they got back into the car, both men sat in silence as they watched the light switched on in the front bedroom - and then the curtains being drawn across.'Curtains!' said Morse, his voice sounding tired yet triumphant.'As you said, Lewis - curtains.'The Downes's house was in darkness, and the sound of the front-door bell seemed somehow to re-echo along empty passageways, around empty rooms.Morse looked at his watch: just after half-past six - and Downes would be meeting his wife at seven o'clock.A wooden gate at the side of the house led to a neatlytended garden at the back, the lawn sloping down to the river, with a path of paving stones laid along the middle, ending on the edge of the waters at what looked like a small landing-stage, perhaps once used to moor a small boat or punt, but apparently (as Lewis shone his torch across it) not in recent use.'You think.?' Lewis pointed down to the fast-flowing Cherwell.'Launched from here? Yes, I do.Launched from here into eternity.' 'But when, sir? He wasn't back in Oxford—' 'All in good time, Lewis! For the moment, be a good boy-scout and shine your little torch over those back windows?'As in the front, the windows here were fully curtained, all of them looking decidedly posh and new; and all of them with some approximation to those French pleats whose acquaintance Lewis had so recently made - and, if truth were told, Morse too.'You see, Lewis,' began Morse, as the two strolled back to the front of the property, 'Kemp had grown tired of Sheila Williams and was starting out on a new conquest - the delectable Lucy Downes.Unfortunately for Kemp, however, Cedric Downes discovered the guilty pair in flagrante delicto, which as you will remember, Lewis, is the Latin for having your pants down.He's got to have a woman, has Kemp [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]