Captain Hall Returns
Captain Hall and Inspector Collier sat facing each other across his desk. Sergeant Snowden poured coffee into her mug and placed the thermos containing the remainder of the coffee on the table under the electoral map. “Thank you, Sergeant.” Collier took a couple sips of tea before placing his cup and saucer on the desk. He waited for Snowden to leave before continuing his conversation. “I must admit, Captain Hall, I was taken by surprise when you mentioned Mrs. Stoddard’s name in our earlier phone conversation.”
“She’s part of a case we’ve been working on. And, quite frankly, we have no idea of her whereabouts.”
“I see. Do you have any suggestions as to how she would have obtained the direct line into Stewart Menzies’s office? British Intelligence—to say the least—would dearly like to know.”
He shrugged and chuckled. “She does profess to be a psychic.”
“I wouldn’t dismiss her—special abilities, Inspector, if I were you.”
He leaned closer. “I’m more interested in that other fellow you mentioned on the phone—Werner, whatever his name is—and how he’s connected to my son.” Captain Hall reached into her bag on the floor beside her and withdrew two envelopes and placed them on his desk.
“What’s in these?” His hand glided toward them.
She finished the coffee and placed the mug on his desk. “Open them. The larger one contains copies of the prints promised last month.”
“And this one?” He waved it at her.
“A mug shot of the man you just inquired about, Werner Gruener, and his fingerprints.”
“Mug shot?” He broke the seal and dumped the contents.
“He was accused of raping and killing two young girls in Munich a few years back, but never made it to trial.”
He picked up the photo. “How did you get your hands on it?” Her cold stare stopped him from pushing further. “You’re right, I should know better than to ask.” For a few seconds he quietly peered at Gruener’s picture. “Why was he never tried?”
“He belonged to the Schutzstaffel or SS and the girls were Jewish.”
“I see.” He emptied the contents of the other envelope and noted the letter from Detective Inspector Smyth. When he finished reading it, he excused himself and exited the office with both fingerprint files. Several minutes later he returned without the files and regained his seat. “How does Queenie fit into all of this?”
Captain Hall shifted uncomfortably in her chair.
There was a light knock at the doorframe and Leonard Scoffield popped his head around the opened door. “Your hunch is right, Inspector, it's a confirmed match on both.”
“Thank you, Leonard. Now go home and enjoy your family.” He took out his pipe from the side drawer, filled it with tobacc...