Excerpt from the book called The Frisby Waterless Murders
“I didn’t – I was just passing through on the way to Scoresby station and I thought I saw you coming into the pub, so I thought I would say hello.”
“It’s not exactly on the way to Scoresby from Maudie’s house, Inspector Knowles,” said Trimble.
“Well, I went somewhere else after Maudie’s and before coming here, anyway I must go as I have something that needs evaluating by a forensic scientist.”
Knowles made his escape, leaving Mr Trimble to ponder who’d told the police where he was on his day off.
Back at the station Barnes had collated Mrs Harkness’s responses to the questions she’d been asked. Smythe had phoned ten of the passengers regarding handshakes and biros. For something different to do she then rang forensics regarding the coffee cups that had been sent off for analysis. The answers she’d received had proved enigmatic.
When Knowles arrived at the station he took the pin in the plastic bag straight to Forensics for analysis and then headed to his desk. There was a message to phone Forensics. He laughed at the way these things happen. He then phoned Verity and Jones in Scoresby and verified that yesterday Maudie Trimble had indeed brought in a dog called Alma, which had been poisoned by contaminated meat. The vet indicated the dog was lucky to be alive as it appeared to have been outside all night having eaten the raw meat, infected with salmonella, and then vomited and became severely dehydrated as a result. Knowles’s opinion of Maudie Trimble went through the floor – how could she leave her dog outside all night? His next thought was where would someone have found contaminated meat to poison poor Alma? Knowles decided to go to an interview room with Barnes to discuss their latest findings.
“So Sergeant Barnes, what do you have to tell me?”
“Mrs Harkness told us that they arrived at 9:20 a.m. and were surprised to be offered a seat where her husband couldn’t stretch his leg out. The Trimbles very kindly offered to swap with them as one of their party, she didn’t know who, had cancelled.”
“Who made the kind offer?”
“Mrs Trimble, apparently, Mr Trimble wasn’t around at the time.”
“I see, please continue.”
“Well, the stewards and the Train Manager made a fuss of her husband as did the people in seats 18 and 20. There were so many people around that her husband stumbled slightly and was only prevented from falling over by one of the people further down the carriage. Someone else picked up his stick and handed it back to him. He sat down and then almost immediately the train started off. She opened the window to allow some fresh air into the carriage. Drinks and a snack were served at around 9:45 a.m. – the steward spilled some coffee and wiped it off the table with a cloth. Mrs Harkness thinks five people from the Round Table greeted the Major and perhaps three shook his hand. When the smoke came in, she tried to close the window above her seat and her husband attempted to close the window on the other side of the carriage, but the next thing she remembers was that he was slumped in his seat and he wasn’t breathing very deeply. The Train Manager came in and closed the windows, but about five minutes later her husband was dead.”