The Grand Worthington Hotel 11
The New Construction Site …
Nathan arrives at the newly erected prefab construction shack and Steve meets him at the door.
“I heard all about the Black Widow.” Steve begins after shaking Nathan’s hand.
“News travels fast.” Nathan replies.
“It does when you consider who’s involved. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to harm her. I’ll admit she’s a little eccentric at times but—” Steve is interrupted by Nathan.
“It’s a possibility that it goes beyond just wanting to silence, Abbie.” Nathan begins.
“Abbie?” Steve looks at Nathan strangely.
“Didn’t you know the real name of the Black Widow?” Nathan asks in amazement.
“I never heard anyone use it before. You really do have a relationship with her, don’t you?” Steve ripostes lifting up one eyebrow.
“No, nothing like that at all. C’mon Steve. I am totally committed to Buffy and you know it.” Nathan reproaches him.
“Buffy is a far cry from Pamela, ain’t she.” Steve is smiling, thinking about the differences.
“Hey, don’t start thinking about my wife in that tone of voice.” Nathan advises and then both men laugh. Nathan then proceeds to the business at hand.
“Steve, I need you and Bob Morton to assess the damage done to the Grand Worthington. It’s insured so there shouldn’t be any problems with repairs. Report back to me regarding any information you may find—especially if it could possibly lead to whoever did the vandalism.” Nathan commands.
“You’re really interested in this caper, aren’t you?” Steve replies admirably.
“You bet your tailpipe I am. Five years ago it was the supernatural. Now, it could be someone set on revenge.” Nathan updates Steve.
“That makes a lot of sense, in a morbid sort of way.” Steve responds. “Let me give some directions to Speed along with Bert and Will. I want to get things going here.”
“Okay, Steve. I’ll come with you. Those are some good men and I don’t want them left in the dark—nor do I want this bit of information getting out to the media. It could jeopardize the investigation.” Nathan cautions. Steve agrees.
The two men meander over to where Speed is busy doodling on a piece of paper. Nathan looks over his shoulder.
“Pretty good!” Nathan says.
“I’m just waiting for orders, that’s all.” Speed defends.
“Hey, no problem—just saying.” Nathan counters as Bert along with Will join them.
“ Heard about the ruckus with the Black Widow. Never thought anybody would catch her off guard. That’s one smart female.” Bert begins the conversation.
“It seems she was lured to the hotel then bashed upside the head.” Informs Nathan.
“Ouch!” Will states. “Is she alright?”
“She’s got some memory loss. Now here is what you guys need to do. Tell them, Steve.” Nathan says turning the conversation to him.
An Unexpected Turn of Events …
Buffy and Connie decide they will go to Percy Webster’s home and confront Charlotte with their findings.
“Do you think we’re doing the right thing?” Connie is having second thoughts regarding the encounter.
“The best way to do this is to catch her off guard. I don’t think she would be looking for a couple of civilians to storm troop her home demanding information. After all, you have a vested interest in the Grand Worthington Hotel.” Buffy reminds her.
As they pull up into the driveway, Buffy notices something odd about the garage door. It looks as if it has been jarred off the hinges. She mentions this to Connie.
“There is something strange about this. It seems that someone was in a hurry to get that garage door closed by it being jammed.” Buffy states.
“I see what you mean—I wonder if there’s a way we can jimmy it open.” Connie states.
“And, we just happen to know someone who’s good at doing just that. He’s a writer friend of mine who always likes to try things out before putting it into his stories.” Buffy says.
“Mark Elliott!” The ladies recite in unison.
Buffy immediately gets him on the phone and explains the situation to him.
“I’ve always had permission to do things like that, Buffy. Suppose somebody sees us?” Mark cautions.
“Then I’ll just tell them to blame me. Don’t worry. I put you up to this and I am willing to take the fall. All Inspector Riley will do is give me a severe reprimand and maybe take away a few of my toys.” Buffy retorts flippantly.
“Alright Buffy, see you in a few minutes.” Mark replies.
Twenty minutes later, Mark pulls up into the driveway, gets out of the car and walks over to the garage with his bag of tools. He examines the frame and smiles broadly.
“Piece of cake.” Mark declares. Within a few minutes, he has the door lifted and the three of them walk into the premises.
The next thing they see shock them beyond words. There is Charlotte Webster, lying in her car with a bullet wound to the head.
“Better contact Inspector Riley—we’ve got a lot of explaining to do.” Connie surmises.
“I’m just glad I wore my gloves. My fingerprints won’t be on anything.” Mark shakes his head in disbelief.
“What the hell are you people doing here?” Jacolby utters in surprise, then looks over at his sister-in-law’s body lying on the front seat. “What have you people done.”
It was lucky that Officer Cunningham always follows up on his hunches. Because minutes later, he also pulls into the driveway and jumps out of the car.
“Nobody move—I knew you ladies wouldn’t miss out on an opportunity to try to investigate—holy cow! Is that Mrs. Webster lying there?” Officer Cunningham says.
“Yes officer, and I want these people arrested.” Jacolby demands.
“For what—breaking and entering?” Officer Cunningham asks sarcastically.
“No dunce, for murder!” Jacolby trumpets while pointing at the body.
“For one thing, I could take you downtown for that insult. For another, this woman has been dead for hours. Even an inexperienced person could see that. Look at the caked-up blood around the point of entry.” Officer Cunningham leans over to touch the body.
“I’ll bet she’s stone cold and there seems to be something written inside the margin of that magazine.” Mark observes.
“You’re right. I don’t want anybody leaving this crime scene. Mr. Webster, just why were you here? I unfortunately know why Mrs. Worthington and Dr. Alexander are present. And you are?” Officer Cunningham looks at Mark.
“I’m Mark Elliott, I’m a—” Before Mark can continue, Officer Cunningham interrupts.
“You’re a mystery writer. My wife Marilyn and I read all your books. I know that you go to any lengths to create the right atmosphere but murder?” Officer Cunningham relays, then looks at Jacolby.
“You and Mrs. Webster didn’t get along very well, did you?”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Jacolby asks nervously.
“For now, nothing. I just don’t think you need to be planning any unexpected trips out of town.” Officer Cunningham warns.
“What about these people?” Jacolby sputters, pointing at Buffy in particular.
“They aren’t going anyway either, are you?” Officer Cunningham replies smiling at the trio. They shake their heads in agreement while Buffy secretly eyes the writing on the magazine residing in Charlotte’s cold dead lap. Before she can do anything, Officer Cunningham grabs the magazine and reads the note aloud. It says: “Must warn the Black Widow.”
To Be Continued ...
The Grand Worthington Hotel 12
- The Grand Worthington Hotel 12
Everyone has been taken to the 10th Precinct. Inspector Riley is not at all happy to see Buffy and Connie. Officer Cunningham is in for a bit of reprimanding as well. Is Jacolby guilty of both assaulting the Black Widow and murdering Charlotte Webste
© 2019 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS