The Grand Worthington Hotel 12
Some Explaining to Do ...
All vehicles are left at the Webster’s place while everyone loads up in two additional squad cars, heading for the police station. Buffy and Connie ride along with Officer Cunningham while Jacolby and Mark ride with Officer Mike Murphy. The third officer waits for the ambulance to take Charlotte to the City Morgue.
Officer Cunningham speaks ...
“Why didn’t you girls just go home and stay there?”
“Because we wanted to talk to Charlotte about her shoe. How did we know that she would be dead? This is becoming more like something from A Crime Detective’s Chronicles..” Buffy offers.
“Well, I’ll tell you one thing—Inspector Riley won’t be none too happy to see us. Specially, after this turn of events.” Connie laments.
“I’m afraid you’re right. And, to add the icing on the cake—my behind is in hot water also.” Officer Cunningham speeds toward the 10th Precinct. When he gets there he is told to report directly to Inspector Riley.
Inspector Riley is sitting at his desk listening attentively while Officer Cunningham unfolds everything that has happened thus far; including the girls giving him the red shoe, his deciding to go to Charlotte Webster’s home and what he finds there. Inspector Riley is quiet for minutes; then he looks at each individual.
“Mark, you can go on home. I’m only letting your ass off the hook because of that new baby in the family and my sister needs you at home. But think carefully before you participate in anymore hair-brain schemes, okay?” Inspector Riley advises.
“I’m sorry, J. A.” Mark apologizes and hurries out of the Police Station before his brother-in-law changes his mind. It wouldn’t look good for a best-selling author to have a police record.
“As for you Officer Cunningham—you’re too good a man to be let go and I understand that your motives were good but like I said to Mark, stop following these two chowder heads.” Inspector Riley roars.
Then diverting his attention to Buffy and Connie.
“Now I get to you two ladies. I’d just love to lock you both up and throw away the key. However, your butting in has been instrumental in helping us narrow down the suspects. I see that the only way I’m going to keep tabs on you is by unofficially allowing you on the case.” Inspector Riley notices the sigh of relieve on both women’s faces.
“However, this doesn’t let you off the hook. You will be under the direct supervision of Darrin Cunningham. You are not to even breathe unless he knows about it. Do I make myself clear?”
“Yes, sir.” Buffy and Connie chime in unison.
“Please have a seat, Mr. Webster. I have a few questions for you.” Inspector Riley instructs Jacolby to take the seat directly in front of his desk. “Is it true that you were in love with your brother’s wife and that the two of you were having an affair?”
“Yes, how did—” Jacolby is interrupted by the Inspector.
“We have our sources. And, your wife was very much interested in the Grand Worthington Hotel, is that not also true?” Inspector Riley interrogates.
“So, what you and Charlotte Webster had in mind was a little revenge, is that correct?” Jacolby turns around to look at Buffy and Connie who both are lifting eyebrows in interest.
“Yes, but we only wanted to make people believe that the place was still haunted. I was to meet Charlotte at the hotel to pay the thugs she hired to trash the place. But when I got there—Charlotte was gone, and the Black Widow was sprawled out on the pavement.” Jacolby confesses.
“Are you trying to tell me that you didn’t clunk Abbie Wilkinson on the head to keep her from talking?” Inspector Riley queries incredulously.
“Who’s Abbie Wilkinson?” Jacolby enquires in surprise.
“Dammit, was the Black Widow’s identity a secret to everyone?” Inspector Riley is slowly beginning to lose it.
“The Black Widow?” Jacolby shakes his head in astonishment.
“Yes, Abbie Wilkinson is the Black Widow. Now answer my question. Are you telling me that you didn’t hit her over the head after she discovered what you and Charlotte were up to?” Inspector Riley probes.
“That’s exactly what I’m saying. I found her on the ground. I heard the security guard coming so I took off. He didn’t see me, but I wasn’t going to stick around and try to explain myself.” By this time Jacolby is sweating profusely.
“I believe him.” Buffy speaks up.
“So do I.” Connie adds.
“I didn’t ask you two ladies for your opinion. As of yet, we haven’t been able to identify the fingerprints on that rock. I’d advise you not to leave town, Mr. Webster. As for the death of Charlotte Webster—I’m not so sure about that. A jealous lover—” Before the Inspector can finish his assumptions, Jacolby jumps up angrily.
“We were planning to get married after—” Jacolby stops then replies. “I’m not saying anymore unless my lawyer is present.”
“Alright Mr. Webster. I know you are hiding something. Whether it has anything to do with either the incapacitation of Abbie Wilkinson or the murder of Charlotte Webster, I intend to find out. You’re free to go—for now.” Jacolby slowly gets up from his seat and leaves the room.
“Officer Cunningham, what do you think? I trust your judgment.” Inspector Riley states.
“I also think he’s telling the truth. You should have heard the way he carried on when he saw Charlotte lying dead in her car. Apparently, she was on her way somewhere when she was murdered. Either that or on her way back because there was a note scribbled in the margin of a magazine regarding the new Grand Worthington Hotel in her lap.”
“Let me see that magazine.” Inspector Riley takes the evidence from Officer Cunningham and looks at it. He reads the notation and he studies the article.
“It does mention that Abbie Wilkinson was Nathan Worthington’s consultant.” The Inspector points out.
“And apparently, Charlotte knew that Abbie Wilkinson is the real name of the Black Widow. But Jacolby didn’t know this.” Buffy points out.
“That’s right!” Connie exclaims.
“This jigsaw puzzle has a lot of missing pieces.” Officer Cunningham replies.
“And, it’s up to the three of you to find out where they are.” Inspector Riley decides. “For once, will you listen to Darrin Cunningham and follow his advice. Or, so help me I am going to tell your husbands how I almost locked you both up for obstruction of justice. That will not set too kindly with Brian Alexander, will it Connie?”
“No, it wouldn’t.” Connie confesses with her head low.
“And your husband will not like it either, will he Mrs. Worthington.” Inspector Riley now turns his attention to Buffy.
“No sir, he would hate it. Not to mention my father.” Buffy is close to tears.
“Then, I would advise you to listen to the voice of reason for once in your lives. My wife Catherine is part of that Friends of Agatha Christie Book Club of yours. I know that you ladies can get carried away when faced with a mystery, but this is real life, dammit!”
Inspector Riley feels the need to force the issue through.
“I know they will behave.” Officer Cunningham tries to soften the blow. “It’s easy to get overzealous when you’ve got a red-hot mystery like this one.”
“That’s no excuse. We are dealing with a murderer and he could very well be the one who attacked Abbie. I am going to make sure her hospital room is secure until she is safely in your house, Buffy. If she gets her memory back—it could bust this case wide open. Well—what are you three just standing there for. Get out of here. You’ve got a mystery to solve.” Inspector Riley shouts and Officer Cunningham beats both Connie and Buffy out the door.
To Be Continued ...
The Grand Worthington Hotel 13
- The Grand Worthington Hotel 13
Trouble seems to follow the Grand Worthington Hotel like bees are drawn to honey. However, this time it’s the drop back to crime and revenge. Jacolby Webster lost his brother—now the love of his life due to that infamous hotel.
© 2019 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS