Monday, 1 September 2008

4 - Reporting Back

"We arrived at around half past eleven AM and Constable Hill proceeded to make preliminary checks on the door of the residence" explained Davids, in the best 'official' voice that he could muster. The Detective Inspector nodded slowly, while the Detective Constable sat next to him scribbling everything down in shorthand.

They were seated in the roomy surrounds of the DI's Chevrolet. The car had been modified so that the two detectives could sit facing Davids. Yesterday's heavy downpour had been replaced with a light drizzle, and yesterday's DI had also been replaced.

The car was parked outside the charred, wounded house of Thomas Miller. The heavy rain had prevented the fire from raging down the street and the house remained structurally sound. However several rooms had been utterly gutted. The wood framed windows were scarred black and carbon blood licked at the bricks surrounding them.

The Detective Inspector had insisted on Davids reporting the whole thing all over again. When the Sergeant had finished his report he quickly stepped into the rain, pleased at himself for reiterating it so clearly and glad he had got away from the oppressive car. He stood there, his hand on the closed door for a little while. Letting the rain slowly bounce off his uniform. He closed his eyes and sucked in a gulp of cold air before trotting over to the patrol car.

Constable Hill say in the driving seat, pushed into the corner between his seat and the window. He rested a book in his lap, which he was carefully reading - Pride and Prejudice. Davids smiled as he approached the car, Hill had been reading that book he'd joined the force. The Sergeant could also faintly hear one of Bach's symphonies seeping through the window - the car's radio faithfully and quietly pumping the music out. Davids bent and tapped on the window.

Richard looked up quickly, his eyes bulging and bouncing round his head. He quickly fumbled with the radio and shoved the book into the glove compartment. Then slowly he pretended to just have noticed his superior and turned to wind the window down.

"I am on the final chapter" the Constable said looking to a spot just behind Davids, while sucking his mouth into all sorts of shapes. The Sergeant couldn't help his smile growing slightly wider, but managed to force it away. "Constable, I have no idea what you're talking about. DI Jones wants you to run through everything we found in the house".

Dejectedly Richard Hill pushed open the car door, pulling a large black case off of the back seat and out of the car with him. Carefully Richard open the boot and took a few pairs of gloves out.

He showed the DI the gun that had been found - a Colt Series 70 pistol with it's rosewood handle; the "Government Model". He carefully picked up one of the bullets which had not gone off in the fire, yes it .45 bullet which fitted the gun. Yes, they had also checked whether Miller owned the gun or not. Yes, he did own it and had a license. Hill explained how currently, from all the information they had it looked like it had not been fired.He gave the DI the murder weapon - a military style knife - to inspect and explained how it had been found, covered in petrol and embedded in the victim's thoat. He also showed the DI a can of petrol which had presumably been one of many used to start the fire. It was badly fire damaged, and only just recognisable.

"And so far we've no fingerprints, footprints or anything of that nature that would give us any leads. What with the nature of the damage, it'll be difficult to collect any more evidence in the forceable future, sir" concluded Hill.

"Thank you, Constable" the DI said, smiling warmly. He was a nice man, thought Hill, with his sandy, longish hair and his rather scruffy uniform. The "unconventional" type of cop you watched in movies.

Davids handed over the autopsy reprot and the fire service's thick case file and with that the Sergeant and Constable's business was done.

The DI and DC smiled, stepped briefly into the rain to thank to the two policeman and then stepped into the front seats of the Chevrolet. With a churning rev they flowed out into the stream of London traffic.

"Nasty piece of work, that DI. Eh, Hill?" Davids muttered.