Not Quite Down and Out
Mentally and emotionally tired, Collier sank back in his chair. He had grown close to Archie Snowden over the years. Many festive occasions celebrated together would be no more. Archie was a traitor. There is no doubt on that score. Yet, I have difficulty accepting it. Why? Does my hubris blindside me? He peered at Stewart Menzies who was staring out the window. Life is too short to fret over people who don’t deserve to be an issue in my life. And as sure as sure can be, Archie was one of those people. His mind shifted to Leonard Scoffield, his senior officer in charge of forensics. The preliminary report indicated that Archie had been murdered. Poisoned. Likely by cyanide.
“Who did the restaurant say was to deliver the meal?” Menzies asked.
“John Forsythe. Ozzie and he started the business together.”
“I’m surprised that Forsythe’s name isn’t on the restaurant’s title.”
Collier tapped his pencil on the blotter. “He that puts up the money gets the name. John is the chef guru and Ozzie’s the bean counter. According to Ozzie, John left to deliver the meal and never returned.”
“What about the hired help?” Menzies walked slowly back to Collier’s desk and sat on the corner facing him.
“It was just the two of them. Hired help doesn’t come in until Thursday and Friday, those’re their busiest times.”
“Then who the hell delivered that meal?”
Collier scratched his neck. “One of the guards said it was a Scotsman. Certainly no one at Denby’s. Ozzie vouched for that.”
“You appear puzzled.”
“It’s the Scotsman.”
“Why so?” Menzies sat on one of two chairs facing Collier’s desk.
“A hunch.” Collier opened his side drawer and rifled through some papers.
Menzies moved his chair closer. “Find what you were searching for?”
“I did. This sketch for one.” He passed it across to Menzies.
“You said Dubin ushered the man into the cell?”
“That’s why I’m surprised.” Collier scratched his forehead.
“What do you mean?”
“He would have had a good look at him. And he’s familiar with that sketch. If it was the same person, he should have arrested him immediately. He’s the prime suspect in a coupl...