Excerpt from the book called The Frisby Waterless Murders
Knowles phoned Linda Smythe next to ask another favour “Hello Linda, yes… I do have another request about tomorrow, when you ask people about shaking hands with the Major, also ask them whether they still have their biro, and if they do, ask when we can come and get it for investigation purposes. Thanks, Linda.”
Knowles quickly phoned Dr Crabtree to reassure him he was on his way and then phoned Sergeant Roberts whose team had been searching the tracks.
“Hello Sarge, so what did you find…one biro and…a what?…right I would bring that in to the lab and put it in the fridge for the doc to look at tomorrow….yes it does sound like it. I will let the doc know, I am just going to see him now, say ‘good work’ to the lads from me… well, you can go back tomorrow if you wish…search the rest of the line up until the bridge, yes good idea – let’s see if we can find anything else incriminating. Thanks Sarge, I look forward to reading the report. Good night.”
Knowles walked round to the Forensics section and into the morgue area with its white walls and machines of various sizes. Knowles shivered every time he went in there as he really didn’t like being around dead bodies even though they kept him occupied for about 80% of his working time.
“Dr Crabtree, before I forget, Sergeant Roberts will be leaving a small metal object in your fridge there later this evening; could you analyse it tomorrow to see whether it might be our dart; he’ll also be leaving a biro and I hope you can tell me whether the two are connected. Sergeant Henderson will be paying you a visit tomorrow with some more biros and I would like to know if there’s any trace of curare on those biros also.”
“I think my assistant can handle that,” said Dr Crabtree, somewhat sniffily, “she will also be obtaining the results from the coffee cups your PC so kindly left us earlier this afternoon.”
“As long as someone in a white coat analyses them I will be happy,” continued Knowles, “but what news do you have for me?”
“Well, Colin, this is a strange one – I think we might have a third dose of curare. I examined the contents of his stomach and found some traces of poison, which I think is a curare compound. I will send the poison away for confirmation. Now curare is harmless if taken orally because curare compounds are too large and highly charged to pass through the lining of the digestive tract to be absorbed into the blood. It looks like someone hadn’t done their homework – saw the word poison and assumed all poisons work the same way, which they don’t of course.”
“Can we be sure he ate that curare with the snack on the train?”
“Colin, I think we can safely say that as the contents were just coffee and a muffin, a light breakfast.”
“So it’s entirely possible that three people boarded that train with the intention of killing the Major?”
“It does look that way, yes, the Major was obviously an unpopular fellow for some reason.”