Sir Alan stopped his mini pacing. “Just leave now. Vanessa and I will take care of the police. And you can begin your new life of luxury..with one million Europounds in your bank account.”
“Just walk away?”
“Correct. Leave. Right now.”
It really was a very tempting offer. One I might even have seriously considered. If I hadn’t now been certain he was going to kill Vanessa and pin that additional murder onto me.
Ch 56 – Fly my pretty, fly.
Is that something to be exceptionally tied too? Sir Alan had asked me. My insignificant life. My Carnivorous existence in the fetid, urban jungle. Not an existence a powerful herbivore such as Lord Bixby would want. He would prefer to be in his comfortable swamp. With the other, equally comfortable big beasts of his herd. Dolefully watching the lesser animals rushing around outside the swamp. Biting and scratching and fighting for survival. ‘Why oh why,’ those Brontosaurus Liberals would wonder to themselves. “Why can’t all those little creatures just get themselves a lovely swamp, like we have. Full of luscious grass and tall trees. And safe from predators. Instead those little stupid, little, dinosaurs rush trying to scrabble up enough food to survive, just for another pointless day. Rush around causing all sorts of needless disruption to our comfortable life. The silly creatures.
Sir Alan wanted me to flee. I knew why. It was his tone that had made me realise.
The same tone he’d used when he explained to Bixby the body in the crusher had come from a morgue. Even though that was very doubtful. But his tone had been light. Unconcerned. Hurrying every along so they didn’t have to worry about difficult things like probability or facts.
Three reasons were clear why Sir Alan Stuart wanted me to flee.
First, was obvious. He wanted me gone so I wouldn’t turn him in. Or worse, for him, kill him.
Secondly, with me gone, he wouldn’t need to disclose to anyone that the recently deceased Lord Bixby was actually very much alive.
And thirdly, and even better for him, once I was dashing for freedom over the fields of Bushey Heath and the police had left, he could kill Vanessa and Marmon Bixby.
Kill them both. And blame the murders on me.
The first one, he’d already done. Bixby in the crusher.
All he’d have to do with me out of the way, was take the living Marmon-Herrington Bixby to the crime scene crusher to be squeezed to pulp and then later have him switched for his current morgue double.
Place her naked, bloody and battered corpse in her bed here.
That way he wouldn’t need to disclose that Lord Bixby was still very much alive. And even better for him, once I was dashing for freedom over the fields of Bushey Heath and the police had left, he could kill Vanessa and Marmon.
Kill them both.
Take him to the crusher to be squeezed to pulp and then later be switched for his current morgue double. So he could have a genuine autopsy and be revealed as the remains of the last of the Bixby’s, leaving no heir and no one to directly inherit his vast wealth.
I’d read his will when I was here yesterday. He left everything to his wife. Vanessa Bixby. Though she wouldn’t be able to collect on the estate, on account of her being dead.
Sir Alan would kill her. I was sure. Sure, because it was such a logical thing for him to do. The most effective plan of action. And this cold blooded monster would always choose the best outcome. For him.
He’d probably bash Marmon on the bonce with a hammer or some blunt object. He was going into a crusher anyway. So a smashed skull wouldn’t cause a problem.
While she was in shock at the blood and brains pouring from the shattered skull of her husband, he’d silence her screams by strangling her with one of her stockings.
He’d then go to work on her with some kitchen implements. Carving knife. Meat fork. Sushi knives.
I was fairly sure he wouldn’t be cutting bits off her and gouging things into her, while she was alive. They were good friends, after all.
Her would end up putting her naked, bloody and battered corpse, right here in her own bed. Then set about leaving a house full of clues that even the most diversity, gender fluidity, box tickey appointed officer, couldn’t miss.
“What do you have so far, Inspector Semenya? Any clues?”
“Yes, Chief Inspector Flittock. It appears the back door was broken into.
The fingerprints on the handle match those on the beer bottles in the kitchen and living room. And are the same as the ones on the safe that has been broken into. The one in the main crime scene that is Lady Vanessa Bixby’s bedroom. There are also the same set of fingerprints on a bathroom sink and surfaces. The Medi-Doc. And on this Beretta 92 pistol too, sir. Its registered to the deceased lady. To be honest sir, these prints are everywhere. And they are all for the same person. We don’t even need to wait for the DNA results. It’s Malone. No doubt about it. The madman robbed, raped and murdered Lady Bixby as brutally as he murdered her husband, just a day ago. He’s the killer, sir. His Brexit delayed, vengeance seeking mind, seems bent on taking out those he thinks of as his enemies. Who knows who he might target next?”
“Oh my God! It could be me, Officer Semenya? The man is a crazed killer.
The Corona induced Brexit delays have sent him as mad as Grayling! He’s going to come for me, next! I’m his number one enemy! Put out a shoot to kill. Shoot on sight. Use the terminate code-word. ‘Namby Pamby.’’ I want him dead, immediately.”
Looking back now, I suppose the only way I could have made it easier for Sir Alan to set me up as the perpetrator of a second killing would be if I had taken a huge dump in one of Lord Bixby’s shoes.
I told you he was better at this than I was. And look how terribly easy I had made it all for him. He’d only been with me in this house for an hour. And he had already easily outsmarted me. Just by using whatever opportunity came along. This is what he did. Had done for years and years. And he was one of the very best in the world at doing it. Turned my exposing him and his ReJoiner schemes, into him being able to double the ‘Jo Cox’ style deaths. Blame them on a maniac Leaver.
I was about to become the Charles Manson of Brexit. Doubtless, while he was tidying up the details, he’d make sure the media thought Vanessa had been pregnant.
Her Sharon Tate death would be a big boost for the cause of ReJoin.
He hadn’t just beaten me.
He’d beaten Brexit.
Or he would. If I let this happen.
Sir Alan was still talking. Trying to convince me to run off. He was attempting to use my own police procedure knowledge against me. He spoke quickly. Getting urgency into his voice.
“I believe that if you were currently in those police-persons shoes, Joe, you would immediately spirit Lady Vanessa away, wouldn’t you? Whatever her protestations, you would take her into that police car out there and drive her to safety. Perhaps leave those two uniformed officers to watch the house? Front and back? Then the moment you hit Stanmore high street, with her safe in your presence, you’d call in every resource you could gather to attend her home. As you know, this case is the biggest police operation of its kind, since that puffin on twitter said Schofield ‘wasn’t all that brave,’ and had to be hunted down.
You could have a fleet of the gas guzzliest helicopters overhead. Just by asking for them. And no one would even question the cost of the Greta Tax for doing so. Squads of officers and the specialist marks-people. A sniper would take out an intruder in Lady Bixby’s house very easily with all these glass windows. Isn’t that what you would do Joe? If you were in charge of this operation, now? And had received a police call out to an attempted robbery at the address of a person, who is a material witness in a very high profile, very political murder case?”
He was right about the car, I thought. That was exactly what I would do. Whatever she said or did, If I as senior officer, thought there was a hostile in the building, I wouldn’t let her go back inside for any reason. I’d leave the two officers behind for remote surveillance, and drive her the hell out of here. Being the ranking officer I could then call all the back up I would ever need.
In the reflection from the car window I could see that the figures on the porch hadn’t changed positions. Were still talking. No surprised movements. Though I couldn’t really tell what they were doing. The reflection just wasn’t good enough with sodium driveway lights shining off of it. The four figures were just shapes. Only her bare legs let me see it was Vanessa out there at all.
I was watching for movement more than anything else. What I desperately wanted to see was the police all walking away and her remaining on the porch to watch them leave. If Flittock remained outside and the other two police came in, it would be to make an arrest. Mine or Stuart’s, would wait to be seen.
If they all came inside together, it would be because she hadn’t been able to stall them out there any longer.
If Flittock and Lady Vanessa walked to his squad car, and both got in, it was going to very quickly, become very bloody here.
I didn’t think she would do that. She had got changed into a very sexy dress for a reason. To use all of her considerable feminine charm to distract the police from doing their job.
Blondes never get speeding tickets.
So she must still be on my side. If she was attempting to bend them to her will, through use of her sexuality.
“You know you can’t stay in this house and be in a siege.” Sir Alan explained to me.
Attempting to convince me one last time that I should escape this luxury, glass mansion, and take my chances in the night.
“You’d never survive it. You look rough now, Joe, if you don’t mind me saying. With your grubby suit and dirty shirt. Your eyes have rings around them, larger than Saturn. When did you last sleep? Very long ago?”
He had even managed to get his voice into a soothing rhythm. The cadence of his words. I realised who his voice reminded me of now. When he spoke in his low, authoritative speech pattern, he sounded like the long dead actor Nigel Green.
Despite talking with him for hours since yesterday. And having seen him on the Vid’Screens many, many times, I’d never noticed it before. Which showed just how skillful a vocalist he was.
He was giving me the IPCRESS.
“Listen to me. Now listen to me, Malone. Listen only to the sound of my voice.”
He continued talking, though I wasn’t really listening to him any more. I was intently watching the shapes in the Bentley’s glass reflection. The front door had opened just a fraction more. Maybe by the wind. Or Vanessa, with her back to it, had nudged it a tiny bit with her pert behind. Whatever. The extra light allowed me to better identify her shapely legs among the reflections of the people outside.
I was waiting for her to move. If she came inside alone, that would be very good.
If she went with the police, that would be very bad.
Sir Alan droned on. I thought about the testicles-knee thing again.
“If you won’t run away, or hide, then let us tell them you are here. So they won’t find out unexpectedly and panic. Why don’t you put that gun down, eh? Joe! Or here, why not let me take it. You can take the magazine out. And I will hide it from view so as not start a shooting gallery, eh? Or at least just put it on that side table, there.” He pointed to the thin, narrow, glass and silver metal, console table. No more than decoration. Even a rose vase would topple off it, it was so spindly.
“We’ll go and open the door for them, OK? Don’t worry. I’ll think of something to tell them. You’ve no need to fear anything. Nothing will happen to you. I’ll get rid of them. Then we can all sit down and talk it all through.”
He must have had another, even more brilliant, nefarious idea. One that involved Flittock. I couldn’t even begin to try and think what it could possibly be now.
He held out his hand, palm upwards to me. A reassuring, wide mouthed, full toothed smile across his face. He looked very like his old boss, Tony Blair, as he did that. I could imagine them both together in a hotel room. Heads together like Jack and Bobby Kennedy. Practicing that wide eyed, earnest and innocent look in the mirror.
Until the burning sincerity appeared almost authentic.
I wasn’t in the mood for him any longer.
“If you don’t put your hands back in your pockets, I’ll shoot your fingers off and take my chances.”
His good natured, friendly, warm grin of hospitality, faltered a little. But he complied. He knew I wouldn’t really shoot him. But he didn’t know exactly what I might do. So hadn’t calculated an exact response to it yet.
“Malone! Seriously? What are you going to do? Shoot the police? Shoot the rest of us? That won’t help you. It would condemn you. I can make this all go away. You know that I can. While whatever you think you might be able to do, you won’t manage it. Not with all the power of ReJoin against you.
Look I admit it. I misjudged you when I first pulled you into this. I thought you a simple Private Detective. But you have been far more resourceful than I ever imagined.
Though you must know that it can’t last. You are the Running Man. The Hunted.
Everyone is looking for you. Even if you get out of this place you cannot hope to evade capture for very much longer, without my help.”
There was some movement in the reflection from outside. It appeared to be Vanessa, and possibly ‘Gloria’ Flittock. Both were waving their arms quite a bit.
So this was it. This was the moment. She would either make the police go away. Or she would get into the car with them and drive off.
If she left, I was trapped here with Lord Bixby and Sir Alan. And I was sure he would get the better of me somehow. And he would have all The Departments here within a very short time. The police were doing very little of anything today except removing embarrassing #hatefacts from Twitter, and hunting for me.
I could take one of the Bixby’s vehicles myself, I suppose. The E-tags were on the hooks in an open key box on the wall, by the door leading into the internal garage. I’d seen them hanging there when I came here the first time. And Bixby had been wearing his Fit_Byte 3000. I’d take that to open the car doors.
But even Police Chief ‘Gloria’ wasn’t dumb enough not to leave at least one of his people by the gate. Ready to gun any driver down if they tried to flee. He’d have seen the cars on the driveway and even his slow witted powers of deduction would figure out someone might just try and drive off before he organised his backup.
“Look, Joe. Why don’t you keep the pistol. But put in into your pocket. Out of sight.
Then we’ll both go downstairs and talk them into going away? It will be easy. I have something in mind. Then you and I and Bixby and Vanessa can work all this out. And can arrange everything to the advantage of us all.”
Sir Alan was also watching the police as they all began moving. We both heard their steps as they crunched across the gravel of the driveway and headed towards the police car. We both clearly heard Lady Vanessa Bixby say “Perhaps you are right.” I couldn’t see clearly enough if she was going with them or not. I hoped she was still stood on the porch. Waving goodbye.
In a hostage situation you don’t ever take a released hostage back to the captor. If she wasshwewas on the porch, they had bought whatever story she was selling.
I watched the police moving away. Could make out the white numbers on their dark uniforms. They didn’t look like they were alerted either. They looked quite relaxed.
They didn’t behave as people about to make a major arrest would. They looked like people who were about to go and have a large coffee and write up some paperwork for a non-incident-of-no-importance. So perhaps this was all going to turn out for…
Then I saw her. Almost completely concealed between the two uniformed officers was Vanessa Bixby. Her slight frame was easily masked by their bigger bulk. They all reached the car at the same time as a single group. As they did so one of the uniforms opened the rear door of Gloria’s Police Bentley. And Chief Inspector Flittock and Lady Vanessa Bixby slipped inside.
The Goodnight Vienna Audio file