Bournemouth: Two Weeks Later
Only three more steps to climb. This morning Collier would confront him. He was well prepared. But a slight sensation of being ill-at-ease hung over him. His hand wrapped around the handle of the door. He lingered. The early morning salt-infused air and warmth from the sun felt good, almost cleansing in its effect. Opening the door, he entered the police station. Unusually quiet, the scurry-about which he had come to expect was absent. The long bench normally filled with weekend miscreants, drunks, and other riffraff was empty. He smiled to himself. Has the Temperance League won out? From the corner of his eye, he noticed Corporal Dubin crossing the floor towards him.
“Good morning, Inspector.”
“Is all of that for me?” Collier pointed at the array of envelopes bundled tightly against Dubin’s chest.
“I’m afraid so, sir.”
Collier scratched his head. “Why didn’t you just put them in my in-basket when they arrived each day?”
“I did, sir. Well, that is until there was no more room. That’s when I decided to tuck them in our vault for safe keeping until your return.”
“You do understand that this is not the best of images to greet me with after a holiday.” The cheeriness on Dubin’s face was replaced by a doleful expression. Which was not Collier’s intent. “Come, come, Corporal. I meant nothing by it. In fact, I’m delighted. It’s a rare day I receive such thoroughness in thought.” He patted him on the shoulder. “Now, come along Corporal.” Collier led the way toward his office.
Because of the ongoing worry about their son, Lila had decided that he and the children under their care should enjoy a holiday. So, she had arranged for a two week stay at the Butlin camp in Skegness, Lincolnshire. Though he had professed that he was too busy for such frivolity, as things would ha...