The Frisby Waterless Murders – 5

Excerpt from the book called The Frisby Waterless Murders

Knowles saw his Sergeant talking to Dr Crabtree from Forensics and thought it was about time to start his investigation. He glanced into the dimly lit station cafe with its white walls and orange-upholstered metal chairs and saw a couple of uniforms, including Linda Smythe, talking to some people who were wanting to go home. He knew Linda would placate them for a while, but it was time to start taking their statements and finding out who everyone was and what their role in the day’s entertainment really involved. Some were members of the Round Table and others had to be actors, hired to play their role with a degree of conviction. One of them had to be the intended victim and Knowles wanted to know whether that person felt disappointed not to have died this day. The harassed tea-ladies were pouring tea from a large urn for everyone and opening packets of biscuits to stave off the hunger pangs. The perspex display cabinet by the counter contained a solitary green apple and three white plates with a covering of light-brown crumbs. Knowles remembered days when his dessert plate would have looked like that after he’d polished off a large portion of cheesecake. Those days were long gone and he felt much better for it.

 

“Sir, Dr Crabtree would like to talk to you about the victim.” Sergeant Barnes smiled at Knowles and pointed helpfully towards the end of the platform.

 

“Thanks, Barnesy, and who is our victim?”

“A Major Ronald Harkness, formerly of the Coldstream Guards, retired for three years, who was sitting in seat 22 although according to the seating plan he should have been in seat 26 but wanted to be moved because he needed more legroom.”

 

“An old war wound bothering him?” asked Knowles.

 

“I will find out from the train manager, sir” replied Barnes and headed on to the train.

 

Knowles shook Dr Crabtree’s hand as they exchanged pleasantries.

 

“So Dr Crabtree, last time it was a sword, what do we have this time?”

 

“Colin, I am not 100% sure. I think he has been poisoned because he died of asphyxiation, which might have been because of something he ate or more likely because something similar to a blow dart penetrated a vein in his neck although I have not found that dart.”

 

“Are we talking about Amazonian frog poisons?”

 

“We may be, Colin, don’t get too excited, not just yet anyway.”

 

“Could the dart have been made from ice?”

 

“No, I don’t think that would work.”

 

“So the murderer somehow inserts a dart into the major’s neck and then removes it before anyone notices it?”

 

“It would only need to be there for a few seconds for the poison to take effect.”

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