Fatty walked in to the office to see Goon already there.
“Good morning, Chief! You’re up early!”, he said.
Goon gave a grunt and waved him over to his desk.
“This computer thing is very confusing”.
“Oh, it just needs getting used to. Give it a week and you’ll be teaching me tricks”, laughed Fatty.
Goon gave him a look.
“You’ve grown up. Become more of a human than a …”, he tailed off.
“Ah, don’t be embarrassed, Chief. I was a total monster. It’s a wonder I never got jail time for obstructing justice.”
“That Inspector Jenks thought a lot of you, that’s why. Jenks was quite blind to some things.”
“Yes, and look where he ended up. I suppose it does not pay to have blind faith.”
“He was a good man, he was. Perhaps too good to be true. You know, he could have given me a bad report, many a time. He never did. His reports were always fair and left out anything that may have caused problems for me.”
“We should go out for lunch one of these days and talk it over. I think we both have plenty to say. Besides I never heard the inside story of how he died and how you got to Scotland Yard.”
“Not that you didn’t already deserve it”, Fatty hurried on, seeing Goon’s face.
Goon leaned back, displaying a mass of conflicting emotions on his face.
“Never mind all that now. What’s this case about anyway? Bunch of old ladies complaining about their neighbours. Why is the Yard worried?”
“I’m not quite sure what’s happening. There is a pattern though. In each case the old lady is living alone in an old house. In the last 2 years there have been 27 such cases.”
“27 cases in 2 years? Is there more to the pattern than an old lady living alone?”
“I’ve tried plotting everything I know to see what else comes up.”
“And what did you find?”
Fatty walked over to his desk, logged on to the computer, ripped off the page from the printer and walked back to Goon.
“Here is the result of my pattern matching effort”.
Goon took the report and read.
- Old lady, living alone. 26/27 cases. In the other case, old lady has her sister living with her.
- 12 cases in the East End. Others are scattered across the metropolis.
- In each case the neighbourhood is an old established neighbourhood.
Three of the old ladies have died. No foul play has been suspected.
“Hmm… that does not tell us much. Those old ladies who died, they died of old age?”
“Heart attacks for two of them. The third was found dead in her living room.”
“Anything unusual at all? You’ve been through all the case histories, right? Have you interviewed the ladies?”
“Yes, I did. The Super, as you know, has an eye for strange things and she saw a tv report about old ladies complaining about their neighbours. She then called me to have a look at it. She’d heard that I like looking at patterns myself and she was curious.”
Goon sat back and scanned Fatty’s face. Fatty stared back.
“You know, at one time that would sounded like you were being your usual arrogant, boastful self. Now I’m not sure. Either you’ve grown out of it or I’m getting really old.”
Fatty broke into laughter. Goon smiled back as Superintendent Johns walked into the room. Goon heaved himself to his feet and Fatty scraped his chair back to stand up, so he wouldn’t be the only one sitting down.
“Glad you two are getting along. I must say had my reservations given your past history with each other. How’s the investigation coming along?”, asked Alicia.
“I was just reviewing the case history with Trotteville here. He’s working on finding patterns.”
“Good man, Trotteville! So what’s next?”
“We haven’t had a chance to complete the review, Superintendent.”
“Well get on it, man!”
Fatty cleared his throat, glanced at Goon and said “Mr Goon was suggesting that we go over the reports from the initial officer visits. Then we can figure out who we should interview ourselves, as follow ups to see if we can get any more information..”
“Thank you, Trotteville. It was just a suggestion, one of many actions we could take. We were just listing all the different things we could do.”, said Goon.
“Well, I think that’s an excellent suggestion, Goon. Well done. Take a car and talk to some of these old ladies yourself. Take this young man with you. See if you can get something else out of them. The policemen who did the initial visits didn’t have your big picture, you do, so you’ll may see some triggers. Well, I’ll get on and leave you two to get on. If you need anything, call Gwen and she’ll arrange with me.”
Superintendent Johns strode away as Fatty’s phone rang.
Fatty picked it up and spoke into it.
“Trotteville here. Ah! Yes? Hmm. Hang on a second, I’ll make notes.”
He sat down, pulled up paper and pen and listened, making notes. Occasionally he asked for confirmation from the caller.
“You did well in calling me. Thanks for the report. Make sure you send me a copy, please.” He hung up and turned to Goon.
You’ll never guess in a million years, Chief, what that was about?”
“Let me guess, you have another old lady?”, said Goon.
“Yes! We do. You want me to drive or will you?”
“You can drive. What’s the point in having an assistant if you don’t make them drive you around?”
“You don’t drive, do you, Mr Goon?”, smiled Fatty.
“And, as you said, I do not drive”, said Goon complacently.
“This way then, sire.”, said Fatty.
Goon walked ceremoniously out of the door. Fatty followed him with a thoughtful look on his face.