Ms. Williamson has been captivating the hearts of readers for decades. Her heroes are strong and daring while the antagonists, diabolical!
The Stage is Set ...
Rachel speeds home to discuss her plans with her husband. He listens intently as she lays out each detail of the operation. Then he speaks.
“I think you should have Jesse Hodges in on this caper of yours.”
“I was just toying with the idea. However, I think coming from you; it would be better received.” Rachel adds giving Cedric a wide grin.
“I think you may be right.” Cedric reaches over to give his wife a gentle peck on the cheek. “Let me call him now.”
Cedric rises from his chair and heads for his den—his man cave.
“Detective Jesse Hodge, let me explain to you what Ray has in mind.” Cedric retorts as he begins his conversation.
“Ray strongly believes that George Beasley is responsible for switching the prescription that resulted in Claire taking a fatal dose.” Cedric begins.
“George Beasley? Yes, I did a little digging into that fellow when he first came to Maple Grove. It seems that he left West Chester in rather a hurry.” Jesse offers.
“If you’ve known this all along, why didn’t you tell somebody?” Cedric demands.
“Cedric, I told Claire. This is why she watched him so closely. Then, if I’m not mistaken, she had a long talk with your wife.” Jesse finishes satisfied.
“Claire told Ray about it. I wonder why—” Before Cedric can finish, Jesse interrupts.
“It’s a sister thing, man. Those two were a lot closer than you’d think. They definitely had their disagreements, but after all doesn’t every family.” Jesse concludes.
“You are right about that. I’m just so used to Rachel telling me everything. Come to think about it, I guess I have underestimated Ray for a lot of years. Always looked at her as a fragile, unassuming soul.” Cedric shakes his head in bewilderment.
“It’s always the quiet ones. Anyway, tell me more about this scheme that Rachel’s cooked up.” Jesse changes the subject back to the problem at hand and Cedric relays in detail the entire plan. Jesse nods his head and then smiles.
“I guess those sessions with the Agatha Christie Mystery Club is paying off. My wife swears by it.” Both men laugh.
“It’s amazing alright but we shouldn’t be shocked, after all the club is centered around one of the most famous mystery writers of all time who just happen to be a woman as well.” Cedric notes.
“Spot on! Now, I need to get back to my duties so that I will be in place. Here, let’s synchronize our watches. We’ll rendezvous at Claire’s Manor around 8:00 pm. That will give us enough time to set things in motion. Suppose there’s no chance that Rachel will allow us to handle the entire operation?” Jesse already knows the answer to that question and when Cedric doesn’t respond, he nods his head.
“See you at 8:00 pm, Jesse.” Cedric recites as he hangs up the telephone and turns to stare blankly out the window behind him.
Star Light—Star Bright ...
It’s almost 7:30 pm when the Osbourne girls along with their fiancés arrive at their parents’ home. Kate is a little nervous while Karen is overcome with excitement.
“In order for this to work, we all need to remain calm.” Cedric admonishes Karen.
“Dad, this is like one of those novels we discuss at the club.” Karen answers.
“This is not a novel—this is reality, and somebody could get hurt.” Jonathan reminds her.
Yes, and he is already responsible for the death of Aunt Claire. This man is desperate!” Kate adds nervously.
“Kate is right, Karen. We need to keep our wits about us.” Wyatt chines in.
“Agreed. Now let’s meet Jesse Hodges at the Manor. Cedric, you did say he said 8:00 pm, right?” Rachel queries.
“Absolutely and if he don’t hurry along, we are going to be late. Let’s take the SUV. That way there will be plenty of room for everyone and we will only have to stash one vehicle.” Cedric states and everyone rushes out the door to pile into the Mercedes and begin their journey.
All in the vehicle are lost in their own thoughts. Rachel is hoping that she catches George Beasley. Cedric wants the entire escapade to be over. Kate is wondering how she got talked into the entire caper. It isn’t long before Cedric pulls up into the driveway. He turns off the motor and looks around.
“Karen, you unlock the door and turn the alarms off. I’m going to let you out as if the rest of us are going somewhere else.” Cedric decides.
“Good idea in case someone is watching the house.” Karen affirms as she exits the SUV and proceeds in unlocking the door. Unfortunately, someone is hiding behind a hedge and springs as soon as the car is out of sight.
“Just unlock the door nice and slowly Missy and no one will get hurt.” It’s Roscoe. “I was hoping that you’d return.”
Karen is momentarily startled by this new development but quickly regains her composure.
“Pest do come out of dark shrubbery.” Karen retorts with venom in her voice.
“Cut the crap—just move it.” Roscoe gives her a little shove and she stumbles slightly.
“That’s unnecessary, punk.” Karen turns suddenly and almost knocks the gun out of Roscoe’s hand. He gives her a hard stare.
“Look lady, I don’t like this any more than you do, so knock it off. Now tell me where that extra video is.” Roscoe begins.
“No idea what you are talking about.” Is Karen’s response.
“No matter. When George and Cindy get here—you’ll be singing a different tune.” Roscoe grins thinking about how unpleasant Cindy Beasley can be.
There is the sound of a car and soon George along with Cindy enter the room. Cindy speaks.
“What in the name of stupidity is she doing here?” Cindy barks.
“I could ask you the same thing, Ms. Beasley. I don’t remember inviting you to my house.” Karen counters.
“Ever the spitfire, just like your aunt. Well, you see where that got her. Now, tell me where the video is.” Cindy comes very close to slapping Karen but the look she receives from the spitfire makes her back off.
“One thing you can say about this girl, she ain’t scared of nothing.” George replies grudgingly.
“Let’s see what we can do about that.” Cindy rejoinders and pulls out a small caliber gun. Karen looks at it but still doesn’t flinch.
“Why don’t you tell me where the video is and nobody will get hurt.” Cindy says unaware that Cedric has crept up behind her.
“No one will get hurt anyway.” Cedric grabs Cindy from behind and the gun goes off grazing George.
“Heifer, you shot me!” Yells George as he falls back against the wall at the same time Detective Jesse Hodges and a couple of his men from the 42th Precinct enter.
“Star light, star bright catch a trio of thugs tonight.” Jesse recites.
“It was Cindy and George Beasley—that’s the ones you want!” Roscoe blabs in panic.
“I’m not being a part of a felony murder charge. I didn’t break-in and enter either. Missy there let me in, didn’t you?” Roscoe adds looking pleadingly at Karen.
“Shut-up Roscoe.” Cindy demands again.
“I’m bleeding here—somebody call a doctor.” George is holding his right shoulder. “You could have killed me, Cindy.”
“Shut-up George. I’m not talking until I see a lawyer.” Cindy states arrogantly.
“You can explain to your lawyer why you had a gun pointed at Ms. Osbourne and how you came to be in her house. Take the trash out, Robinson.” Jesse tells one of the officers while the other helps George to his feet.
“Call an ambulance will you, Stewart. I don’t want Beasley staining this beautiful carpet.” Jesse tells the other officer.
“Yes, sir!” Stewart grabs a handkerchief from his back pocket and hands it to George. Then both me head towards the squad car.
“Good job, everyone. Let’s get down to headquarters and hear these canaries sing.” Jesse smiles while everyone follows him outside.
To Be Continued ...
Requiem for Claire Conclusion ...
- Requiem for Claire Conclusion
The mystery regarding the death of Claire Monique Westbrook has been solved with the guilty party looking forward to many long nights thinking about their actions behind bars. Amanda Anderson is a free woman and Rachel Osbourne is retiring.
© 2019 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS
Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS (author) from Memphis on October 31, 2019:
Thanks so much! Working on another!
Tsholofelo lehaha from Johannesburg, South Africa on October 31, 2019:
Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS (author) from Memphis on October 30, 2019: