Alexander Collier made his way down the hall to his office. His mind was dominated by the disturbing crime scene he had just left. Leonard Scoffield and some members of his team had been pulled off fingerprinting hospital staff to processing the murder scene of the child. The remainder of the team was placed under the command of Sergeant Snowden. He was about to enter his office when a brisk tap on his shoulder startled him. “Jesus!” Thrust in front of his face was the classified section of The Echo held by an agitated Queenie. “Get this out of my face!” He slapped it away.
“You’ve found her then, haven’t you?” He nodded and stepped aside to let her into his office. “This is one of those times I wish I had been wrong.”
“Me, too, Queenie. Me, too.” He closed the door and swept past her toward the small sink-countertop behind his desk. “Please.” He pointed to one of two chairs that fronted his desk. “Be seated. Tea?” He placed the two paper bags from the bakery on the counter. Bedeviled by the onerous tasks ahead, patience, his usual forte, ran thin. Her visit was less than timely.
“I don’t give a sausage about the tea, Inspector, and nor should you. Because what I have here—” she waved the page—“takes on a higher degree of urgency.” She slammed the classified section on his desk. “The lives of two little children are at stake.” Her eyes frantically searched his desk until she picked up a worn-down pencil and, with an exaggerated motion, circled something on the page. “They’re here at this boarding house.”
He unplugged the kettle and stared at her. “How could you possibly know such a thing?” Though her assertion sounded incredible, her dream of Rebecca’s murder had forced him to factor in the possibility that her predictive power was a possibility. But should I include her in the calculus of my investigation? In light of his conversation with Lila, he chastised himself for the very thought. Yet, my training dictates that I follow a lead no matter how bizarre its source.
“Inspector, I’m a medium, that’s what I do. And I’m a damn good one. Why would you have visited me early this morning if you had thought otherwise?”
The eyes of the dead girl continued to haunt him. He picked up the classified section and examined the location she had circled. “Point made, Queenie. What else can ...