Another excerpt from the Frisby Waterless Murders
“Dear Dad did work for the MoD and did have some contact with the Major. In fact, Harkness did report to him about his findings from Iraq, but Dad didn’t quite believe some of the things he was being told and said so. Harkness was pulled out of Iraq, but invoked the Old Boys Network to get my dad demoted, in effect, and eventually my dad left the service under a cloud, which he never forgave the Major for. Before he left though, my dad pulled some of his own strings to ensure the Major got the worst possible posting in Belfast.”
“Really, Ellie? Seems like the military operates on who you know rather than what you know? It makes the police service seem positively parochial.”
“That is certainly true, Inspector, and I will have to take your word on the police. That was the tour of duty when the Major was shot in the thigh. He was shot in the same leg in Iraq, but that was a flesh wound. The Belfast one was much worse and removed a lot of muscle from the bone. That’s why he limps. Both my Dad and myself feel the Major received his just desserts. I bear him no grudge.”
“Who shot the Major in Belfast?”
“No one claimed responsibility, not the IRA not INLA.”
“Ellie, your Dad didn’t pull some strings, did he?”
“You do have a very suspicious mind, Inspector Knowles, I am sure my Dad had nothing to do with it.”
“Do you know Barry Kenyon?” asked Knowles
“I don’t think I do, who is he?” Ellie rubbed her nose with the back of her hand.
“He was the driver of the excursion train. He stopped under the bridge. You didn’t arrange anything with him, did you? You didn’t throw a pram on the line, so the train would stop under that bridge and allow smoke into the carriage?”
“I most certainly did no such thing – I don’t know Barry Kenyon and I couldn’t fit a pram into my little Fiat; I can barely get my shopping in it.”
“Are you certain, Ellie?” Knowles was probing without feeling he was 100% sure of what he was saying.
Ellie Hammond sat down on a wooden stool and put her head into her hands.
“My dad once said that he’d sorted out something nice for Harkness and I’d always assumed that he meant the posting, but I wonder if he did arrange the shooting with a friendly soldier doing the necessary. You’re making me think he meant more than I have always assumed and that is quite scary for me. However, I can assure you that I arranged nothing with the driver of the train and that I had no plans to hurt the Major – I thought he’d suffered enough already and felt sorry for him.”