The Murder of Arthur Brodley: Part Two
Anger and disappointment blinded Joseph ‘Philly’ Morris to the tranquil beauty of the parkland and public gardens alongside the Bourne River. It was 8:15 p.m. And he needed a drink. The few pence he had in his pocket were barely enough to buy him cigarettes. Seeing a bench ahead, he picked up his pace. When he reached it, he stopped and sat down, pulling out the packet containing his last two cigarettes from his shirt pocket. With a well rehearsed jerk of the hand, he popped up one of the cigarettes and placed it between his lips and lit up. He drew the smoke in deeply and exhaled donut swirls into the gentle evening breeze before placing the last cigarette into his shirt pocket. Tossing the empty packet into the bushes, he hunched over and pondered that evening’s misfortunes.
He had only wanted ‘Queenie’ to tell him his future, but from the moment she had laid down the tarot cards her demeanor changed; she became withdrawn—trance-like—and solemn and abruptly ended their session.
He had tried to elicit from her the vision she had seen, but the commotion outside their door had taken precedence. The towering and booming voice of Arthur Brodley, a person for whom Joseph had worked for on several occasions over many year doing odd jobs, was mixed in heated discussion with ‘Queenie’s’ husband, Lawrence.
But, as quickly as the ruckus in the hall had arisen it just as quickly dissipated, and its tempo dropped to a whisper. Their receding footsteps along the hallway, the unlocking and locking of a door returned silence to the Stoddard household.
It was then that ‘Queenie’ insisted that he leave immediately. Which he promptly did.
“She’s no focken goude” he mumbled to himself. “I coulda had me a drink if I hadna gone and seen her. She’s just plain no focken goude.”
He looked at the cigarette between his fingers that was about to burn him and used it to light up his last smoke before grinding the butt out with his boot. “Hmm…Brodley,” he pondered.
Joseph was not a man to believe in coincidence especially when he was in ‘Queenie’s’ company and whatever part of his future lay in those unread cards he was convinced the answer somehow resided with Brodley. Emboldened by the thought, he decided to drop by Brodley’s house by weekend’s end.
He glanced ...