Murder by the Written Word XIII
Unable to contain herself any longer, Blondie interjected her own two cents worth.
“I hope the old biddy is staked out somewhere on an ant hill with her mouth taped open with water dripping into it! She’s the meanest old heifer I’ve ever heard of.”
Blondie was so outraged she crammed a whole chocolate covered donut into her mouth and nearly choked. Dale quickly handed her his glass of water. Blondie took a long drink and motioned Tiffany to continue. Dale covered his mouth with his hand in an effort to hide the grin that had begun to spread across his face. Then he winked at Tiffany. Gathering her thoughts, Tiffany continued,
“The Detective and this journalist searched the house for Margaret, but the old woman was nowhere to be found. Detective Carter did notice a small leaf caught on the wheelchair that belonged to Mr. Andrews, who was in the hospital. Carter informed this journalist that he believed this chair had been outside. The two began to look around the grounds of the Andrews estate. When they arrived at the small cemetery located at the back of the property, they walked around and to their surprise, found Margaret’s body lying at the bottom of an open grave that had been dug at some prior time.”
“So the mystery of where Margaret Andrews was had been solved. The thing to solve now was who killed her and why. Having discovered the whereabouts of Margaret, Detective Carter called for the coroner and then he and this journalist returned inside the house and back to Margaret’s bedroom. Picking up small bits of paper near the lipstick, Dale placed each piece side by side until a message was revealed. The message read, 2346 Carpenter Lane…I’ll be waiting for you…Come alone if you value your life…The Sparrow.”
“This journalist and Detective Carter wondered if The Sparrow had come instead to visit Margaret and murdered her. Carter strongly believed if it had been The Sparrow, he would never have left the pieces of the note lying around. This journalist was concerned about the orange lipstick, once again repeating to Carter that she knew this lipstick did not belong to Margaret. Both concluded that if they could find the owner of the lipstick, they would probably find the murderer. They would then figure out the reason for the note from The Sparrow.”
“It was as if a light bulb had gone off in this journalist’s head. She remembered the night she had driven around until morning. This journalist had ended up at her uncle’s ‘Big Ernie’s Bar and Grill.’ She had ordered a cup of coffee and while she was waiting on it, had browsed around the store. This journalist remembered stopping at a tray filled with tubes of cheap lipstick. She picked up one and opened it. It was that same horrible orange shade. She relayed this information to Detective Carter and the two of them headed immediately for the Bar and Grill.”
“Once there, this journalist showed Big Ernie the lipstick and he knew exactly who had bought that kind of lipstick. It was a woman who had lived nearby for years and this was the only kind she used. When Detective Carter asked for her name, Ernie advised it was Nora Welch. Both Carter and Armstrong were shocked, as this was the name of the housekeeper the Andrews had employed when Annabelle lived there.”
Blondie looked up as the door to the diner opened. Immediately she jumped up and rushed toward the customer entering the establishment.
“We’re closed,” she practically screamed at him.
The customer looked confused.
“The sign says All Night Diner.”
“Well, if you will look outside, it’s daylight now. Come back later,” she insisted. “Breakfast will be on the house.”
Ushering the customer outside, Blondie closed and locked the door and turned the “Closed” sign around to face the street. Then she hurried back to where Tiffany and Dale sat.
“Sorry about that, but thanks for waiting on me.” Blondie babbled.
Tiffany continued to read stifling a smile.
“At Ernie’s directions, Carter and Armstrong located the home of Nora Welch. Dale knocked loudly on the front door and in a moment stood facing a small woman with mousy brown hair streaked with gray, and wearing men’s khaki pants and a light blue shirt splattered with blood. She confirmed to Carter that she was Nora Welch. The three sat in her living room as Nora admitted to killing Margaret, how she had done it, and why.”
“Nora told about the events of the night the twins were born. It seems that after she had left the Andrews household as housekeeper, she had taken her small son, Jimmy and they had moved here in the country. The feeling of guilt that she had not told the police her suspicions about Margaret the night the twins were born had eaten away at her through the years. But she had feared that Margaret might have her killed and so she had stayed silent. As the years passed, the guilt began to warp her mind. When her son Jimmy was in his early twenties, she told him about the time she worked for the Andrews. Jimmy decided to blackmail Margaret and did so for years. He made Margaret introduce him as a long lost nephew named Martin Andrews. She paid Martin, AKA Jimmy, a large amount of money each month to keep quiet.”
To be continued ...