Monday was brighter – Andrew even had to use the sun visor on the car as they drove to Nottingham Central Police Station. DI Charles Marriott, the local man – met them in the car park,
“Morning Michal, hello Andrew”.
“Hi Charles, everything alright?” asked Michal.
“Fine, just some loose ends to clear up now”.
They walked into the building and while Andrew went off to join the other sergeants in their mess, Charles led Michal to the interview room. Irving Bruce, the Duty Solicitor was already there with his client, Marcus Simpson. Charles explained he had fresh evidence,
“The body was obviously manhandled. Where the killer got hold of the victim’s arms, he left smudges of coal dust on the right arm, but a clear set of prints on the left. We can confirm that these prints match the right hand of the prisoner”.
Michal took over, digesting the news in an instant,
“Now then, Marcus, we can now link you directly to the murder scene. Please take your time and explain what really happened that night”.
Marcus looked at the Duty Solicitor, who nodded. So Marcus began,
“Tony wanted to visit his mother who lives in Wartnaby in Leicestershire. He asked me if I wanted a drive so I offered to take us both. As we left the main road and turned into Ab Kettleby, Tony noticed the big empty house on the left. It was dark and forbidding, but Tony was in high spirits. We parked and jumped out. He went in first and was soon out of sight. I called him and he answered from the cellar. When I reached the cellar, Tony had taken off his shirt and stood there laughing and stroking his trousers – well, actually, he was stroking his crutch. I was shocked, and he continued to laugh at me. I struck him and he stumbled. I struck him again and he fell down. Even then, he didn’t stop laughing, and then he pouted his lips as though to invite me to kiss him I picked up a lump of coal and smashed it into his face”.
The prisoner stopped. He was trembling. Michal encouraged him,
“Please carry on”.
“There was something about his staring eyes, burning into me – just as the laughter made me mad, so the eyes were awful! I hit him again with the lump of coal. It was then that I knew he was dead. I got hold of him and tried to push him into the coal chute, but he collapsed on top of the coal heap”.
“Marcus Simpson, of 129 Peveril Road, Beeston, I arrest you on a charge of murder of one Tony Brough, a student of the University of Nottingham on or around 1 July 1999”.
The prisoner was taken away. The Duty Solicitor shook Michal’s hand, and the local DI Charles Marriott also had a kind word for him,
“Well done, Michal. You wrapped that up very neatly with the new evidence. We’ll do this paperwork for the Magistrates and ask them to remit to the Leicester Crown Court. We’ll let you know when we have a date. Have you got time to join us for lunch?”
After lunch, as Andrew drove out of Nottingham and was crossing the Trent at Widmerpool, Michal put in a ‘phone call to June Brough at Wartnaby. He suggested a meeting that afternoon, and also proposed that June invite her sister Maureen to the meeting. By the time they had reached the Broughtons, Michal’s ‘phone rang. It was June Brough to say that her sister was out and could the meeting possibly be put off until the morning. Michal agreed. He turned to Andrew,
“We’ll head for the office, Andrew”.
There was a pile of post for Michal to sift through when he reached his office. One envelope was from pathology. He opened it first. The detail was not surprising, but Michal felt increased confidence with the pathology team. The teeth were being gathered from the skeleton, and one or two were possibles for the extraction of DNA. This was a subject with which Michal was not familiar. He determined to read up on it. There were a few circulars that he binned immediately, but one from the Leicestershire Police Authority looked important, so he opened it. The circular explained the need to improve and increase police visibility. So a decision was made to re-site stations within urban centres. The Leicester Road premises were to be sold and a new up-to-date station was already being built in King Street, Melton Mowbray. Michal filed it and thought he had learnt nothing new from the circular – which was old news anyway. Michal went to find the secretary, Tessa Marmion. He found her at her computer,
“Mrs Marmion, excuse me. Is the Commander in?”
“I believe he is, Inspector. Would you like me to check if he’s free?”
“Thank you, yes”.
Tessa Marmion got up from her computer and went to the Commander’s office. He was in, but only just as he was hanging up his raincoat,
“Commander, Inspector Kaczynski would like a word”.
“Send him in, please”.
Philip de Lucy was at his desk when Michal entered the Commander’s office,
“Have a seat, Michal. How are you?”
“I’m very well, Commander, I just want to bring you the latest news on the murder at Ab Kettleby”.
“Ah, yes, the young student. What was his name?”
“Tony Brough, sir”.
“That’s it. Well, carry on Michal”.
“This morning, I completed my interrogation of the suspect. I was armed with information that a set of fingerprints on the body matched those of the right hand of the suspect. So he could hardly deny he was there. He actually made a full confession so I duly charged him with the murder”.
“Well done, Michal. I expect it will go to the local Magistrates then back to Leicester Crown Court in due course?”
“That’s right, sir”.
“There was a second body in the cellar, wasn’t there?”
“Yes sir, a skeleton dating from the 1940s, from wartime”.
“Really, anything known yet?”
“A satchel found beneath the skeleton was given a dust analysis check that threw up the possibility that this fellow had been carrying a Polish flag”.
“Good God, Polish?”
“Does it end there, or what?”
“There are more tests to be carried out, and a tin case, probably a cigarette case, is to be opened at the end of the week”.
“Well, well, well, Michal. You’ll have to keep me informed”.
“I’ll certainly do that sir”.
As Michal emerged from the Commander’s office, Tessa Marmion rang the Sergeants’ Mess and arranged for Andrew to make ready,
“Excuse me, Inspector, but Andrew is ready”.
“Thank you, Mrs Marmion”.
Michal picked up his papers, his briefcase and his komorka. He tapped his breast pocket to reassure himself that his wallet was safe. He went downstairs and stepped into the waiting car,
“We shall be off to Wartnaby and June Brough in the morning. Will that be alright, Andrew?”
Andrew made a right into Dalby Road and then a left into Warwick Road and parked at number 35. As Andrew drove off, Michal let himself in with his key. He noticed a bicycle propped up against the house wall,
“Dzien dobry”, he called out.
Kasia came out of the kitchen and greeted him with a hug,
“Young Jozef is here – he’s talking to Tomasz”.
“Oh, his bike outside?”
“Yes – a cup of tea?”
“That would be lovely”, said Michal as he picked up the day’s paper and settled into his favourite armchair. He turned to the Home News page,
“Murder rate up in the capital!” he observed, “We aren’t doing too badly here!”
Kasia placed his tea on the table in front of him,
“I went to see Babcia today”.
“Oh yes, how is she?”
“She’s much, much better; but I suggested she give it another day indoors”.
“Probably do her the world of good”.
Tomasz appeared with his friend,
“Jozef has been helping with my presentation, but he has to go now”.
“Dziekuje”, said Jozef.
“Prosze bardzo”, said Michal, as Tomasz showed Jozef to the door. Tomasz watched him cycle away until he was out of sight. He went back to the lounge to speak to his parents,
“Jozef wanted to go and help his mother. He’ll start school again tomorrow”.
“He’s a good lad”, said Michal, “Did he say anything about the funeral?”
“It’s on Monday – no, it’s Tuesday – followed by the wake”.
“We can ask about times later”, said Kasia, returning to the kitchen, “Dinner will be five minutes”.
The children set the table, and placed drinks in the appropriate places; beers for their parents and orange squash topped up with lemonade for themselves. Kasia served zupa ogorkowa- their favourite hot cucumber soup. This was followed by bigos- a delicious stew of pickled cabbage with added pork, beef and sausages. It was served with potatoes and a side order of placki for Tomasz. The lack of conversation was a testament to the savoury meal. The four of them tucked in. Both fresh fruit and ice-cream were available as a sweet, but these were individual preferences. The children took ice-cream and were excused from washing up as they had homework to finish. Kasia and Michal repaired to the kitchen and tackled the washing up. Michal then went into the office and sat at the computer. He googled ‘Polish Heraldry’ and looked at several web sites before abandoning his search and went to the lounge and turned on the radio.