"The Lady Vanishes"
The phone book smacked hard against the doorframe at Sergeant Snowden’s head. Somewhat muddled, he picked up the phone book and hesitantly asked, “Bad day, Gov?”
“You might say that, Sergeant. Don’t take it personal.”
Snowden placed the phone book on Collier’s desk. “Perhaps it would be better to wait for another time to do this?”
“I wish there was a better time, Sergeant.” Collier stood and walked to the electoral map of Bournemouth on the side wall. “Christmas holidays are fast approaching, and I’d like the little girl’s murder solved sooner than later.” He massaged his chin while he perused the districts. “My thoughts are we begin our search here.” He stabbed the map with his forefinger. “Before Christmas.”
“Oy. I don’t think the men are going to like that.”
“If this doesn’t go well, Sergeant, I’m likely to find several pieces of coal in my stocking this Christmas and next. I’m depending on you to smooth things out.”
Snowden sighed deeply. “I’ll do my best, gov.”
“I know you will, Sergeant.” He directed his attention to the map. “To help you, I chose to begin here, in the northern districts. Not highly populated, it’s composed of residents unlikely to be traveling this time of year. It should easily be completed before the holidays. More importantly, it...