Requiem for Claire 7
A Meeting of the Minds ...
Rachel sits in her husband’s recliner, contemplating the previous events of the day. Detective Jesse Hodges and her brother Patrick have both paid her an unexpected visit. Returning to her tea she finds that it has cooled.
Rachel toys with the cup, remembering her conversation with Karen.
“Mum, Aunt Claire can really be static with regards to Nate.” Karen begins.
“Did you talk to Claire again, dear?” Rachel is very sympathetic.
“Yes, mum—she just won’t listen to reason. Sure his brother Wyatt is a wonderful man, but Nate makes me feel so special.” Karen coos.
“And Wyatt is Kate’s beau.” Rachel adds.
“And Wyatt is Kate’s beau.” Karen mirrors her mother’s sentiments.
Rachel’s thoughts are interrupted by the telephone. It’s Karen.
“I was just thinking about you.” Rachel begins.
“Mum, is it true? I mean about Aunt Claire dying from an overdose of Potassium Cyanine?” Karen queries incredulously.
“I’m afraid so, dear. How did you find out?” Rachel wonders.
“Uncle Pat called and told me.” Karen responds.
“Patrick has been busy, hasn’t he?” Rachel reacts, chuckling softly.
“He’s been to see you then?” Karen queries.
“Yes, and Jesse Hodges didn’t leave my house until Patrick did.” Rachel informs her daughter.
“I know—Uncle Pat told me. What do you suppose that’s about?” Karen asks.
“He must be rounding up suspects in order to go to trial, I suppose.” Rachel reveals.
“Before there can be a trial there must be someone with not only a motive but a means of delivery.” Karen adds.
“Right. So we need to put our heads together to sift out all who would have both.” Rachel’s voice heightens with excitement.
“Mum, this is not one of your book club mysteries. Aunt Claire was murdered in actuality and someone did it.” Karen chides her mother.
“Yes, I know. However, doesn’t it just stir your ‘little gray cells’ a little?” Rachel poses.
“Of course it does. I have been trying to figure things out ever since Uncle Pat said murder. I feel guilty regarding the sudden enthusiasm it peaks in me. Afterall, she was your sister and my aunt.” Karen concedes.
“An aunt and sister who did everything in her power to rule and control the lives of all who were unfortunate enough to be the recipient of her generosity.” Rachel admonishes.
“You are suspect number one, dear mum!” Karen giggles.
“Ah yes, but I was on bed rest after my confrontation with Claire!” Rachel defends.
“I also had a brief run-in with my dear aunt. However, I spent the rest of the day consoling Nate. He did lose his temper with her.” Karen explains.
“But couldn’t he have conspired with his Aunt Amanda to use the poison instead of Claire’s regular medication.” Rachel infers.
“Amanda!” Both women exclaim in unison.
Meanwhile, Patrick drives back to the vicarage to encounter an unexpected visitor, Paul Cunningham.
“Paul, what are you doing here?” A surprised Patrick inquires.
“Is the rumor that I heard true? Was Claire’s death actually a homicide?” Paul studies Patrick’s face intently.
“Yes. How did you find out?” Patrick returns the gaze.
“I heard my father’s secretary talking on the telephone with someone. Apparently, the information has leaked out and there’s going to be an inquest.” Paul converses.
“I’m sure Detective Jesse Hodges is livid. He’s not one to tolerate leaks in his cases.” Patrick smiles thinking about Jesse’s reaction to the entire incident.
“I’m glad you can smile about this.” Paul criticizes indignantly.
“Sure—did you kill her?” Patrick returns his scrutiny of Paul Cunningham.
“Of course I didn’t. I loved the woman.” Paul snaps.
“We all loved her but like the song says—Love makes you do foolish things.” Patrick counters.
“Yeah, like covering up the $8,000 gambling debt.” Patrick mouth opens in surprise.
“How did you know about that? Oh yes—Claire.” Patrick retorts.
“She had quite a run-in the day of her death.” Paul replies.
“I believe you had a confrontation with her yourself.” Paul throws back at him.
“How did you—” Patrick interrupts.
“This is indeed a small, tightly knit community. It’s hard keeping things shall we say, undercover.” Patrick again smiles, thinking about the many rendezvous his late sister had with Paul.
“However, you managed to keep your gambling discreet.” Patrick reminds him.
“Of course I never frequented the local establishments here. I always went to Las Vegas and like they always say, what’s done in Vegas—”
“Stays in Vegas.” Paul finishes and both men laugh.
“I reckon everybody is going to be busy getting their alibis in order.” Patrick says in a straightforward manner.
“My money is on Amanda Anderson.” Paul surmises.
“That spinster aunt of Jonathan Anderson? My niece is dating him.” Patrick replies.
“Exactly—Claire could never condone the relationship between the two and Amanda is very loyal to Jonathan. She calls him her little Nate.” Paul offers.
“What does that got to do with anything?” Patrick is intrigued with what Paul has to say. He takes his key, opens the vicarage and offers him a seat. “Need for privacy, you know.”
Paul accepts the seat. “Right. Anyway, from what my dad’s secretary says, Amanda and George Beasley have a uh, thing going on.”
“You don’t mean it. Bless me, old George and Amanda. I’ll admit if you can look past all that sternness, there is an attractive woman underneath.” Patrick admits grudgingly.
“Anyway, George’s sister is a pharmacist. It would be very easy for Amanda to get the medication switched.” Paul construes and Patrick nods his head in full agreement.
“What do you know about George Beasley?” Patrick offers Paul a cigar which he cheerfully accepts.
“Nothing other than Claire didn’t like him. Called him incompetent and she thought my father was soft in the head for hiring him.” Patrick advises frowning.
“Humm, at any rate you better believe that Detective Jesse Hodges is making a list and checking it twice.” Both men laugh. Paul sits back in the finely constructed leather chair in Patrick’s office smoking the cigar he just received.
“Yes, there are a lot of people who would benefit from the death of Claire Westbrook.” Paul quietly thinks to himself.
To Be Continued ...
Requiem for Claire 8
- Requiem for Claire 8
It is official, Claire Monique Westbrook died from an acute dose of Potassium Cyanide! The coroner has given his testimony substantiating this fact. Unfortunately for Amanda Anderson, everything points to a protective aunt who is willing to do anythi
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© 2019 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS