Mallorcan Magic – Episode 36


EIRA led them upstairs, ignoring the officer glimpsed through the open door of Danny’s study. But while they collected their swimming kit she peeped into her room. A plain-clothes policeman lay on the floor, peering up at the mattress base. Eira hurried off to collect towels, sun cream and other items for the outing.

When Danny’s friend arrived, Eira kissed Louise and Richard goodbye.

“How is our man doing?” Desi asked, out of the kids’ hearing.

“I have no idea.” Eira felt helpless. “I spent ages with his lawyer last night, answering all kinds of questions. I’m so grateful to you for taking the children. I know Danny will appreciate your kindness.” Desi shrugged.

“It is what we do. Gossip is flying around the island but I have faith in my friend and I do not believe he is guilty of any crime.”

“I agree. I haven’t know him for long but I trust him.”

“A little more than trust him, I think, Eira.” His eyes sparkled.

Back inside, the two officers delegated to scour the property, were conferring. They stopped talking when she appeared.

“We’re finished here,” one said, giving her a little salute.

“Did you find anything?” Eira asked.

“Enough.”

Eira’s spirits plummeted. Within moments the police were gone, so she rushed to phone Danny’s lawyer.

“No, still no news of the chauffeur,” Señor Cervantes told her when the secretary put Eira through. “But thanks to your cool head, I’ve been able to establish timings and clearly my client was checking in for his flight at the time the housekeeper says the package was delivered. We have his arrival time at Heathrow logged as well as his check-in time at his London hotel. Passport control confirm he entered Spanish territory yesterday morning so no way could he have returned to the villa to hide the package.”

“But he’s still under arrest?”

“I’m afraid so. We still cannot establish who placed the order for the goods but the police are examining my client’s bank records and, as you know, they’ve undergone a thorough examination of the villa. That should prove whose fingerprints are on the pair of scissors the perpetrator so carelessly left beneath your bed.”

Eira couldn’t breathe. Thank goodness she hadn’t cleared up after the first police search. She might have assumed one of the officers had dropped the scissors but, luckily, important evidence had been preserved.

“Are you still there?”

“Yes, sorry.”

“Someone has called with information. I’ll telephone later.”

****

Out of the blue, Manolo telephoned around noon. Eira waited for Isabella to take the call, knowing the housekeeper would alert her if Danny’s lawyer rang.

But though Eira’s tummy lurched when Isabella announced Manolo was on the line, she wished he hadn’t chosen that moment to contact her.

“Can we meet as soon as possible?”

“That would be lovely but it’s impossible for me to go out while the children’s father is away.”

“I have heard of his misfortune and I have information for you, Eira. It is better for us to meet somewhere convenient.”

Was she being naïve or was he acting in good faith?

“Is this to do with Mr Carpenter’s crisis, Manolo?”

“Correct. Can you leave the children with your housekeeper maybe? We could meet at the café on the way down the mountain.”

When she parked outside the café, she saw Manolo rise from his chair on the veranda and walk towards her.

They talked about Antonio and Helen’s engagement until their order arrived and the waitress left.

“Now, I can tell you the information that I have learned from one of my uncle’s employees.”

Eira leaned forward, anxious not to miss one single word.

“About Raoul’s whereabouts… He hides on a farm belonging to a relation of his.”

“Seems to me that he has lots of relations, but if he’s keeping a low profile, why has someone betrayed him, Manolo? Is Raoul unpopular?”

“He can be a little dodgy.”

“In what way?”

Manolo explained, in his slow, accurate French, occasions when the chauffeur had blotted his copybook.

“Raoul should remember how his employer took him on, despite minor offences in the past. He has been disloyal, has accepted cash for doing bad thing to Mr Carpenter. My uncle’s employee, good bricklayer, heard Mr Carpenter was in custody and became furious.”

“Why is he so angry?”

“If Mr Carpenter is unable to run his business, local craftsmen suffer. My uncle has given quotation for building work and had it accepted. Now you understand how much is at stake for many people, not only your boss?”

Eira did. With Danny’s livelihood threatened, of course there’d be a spin-off. While she could care for his children, she couldn’t run his business.

“Dare I ask where the police can find Raoul?”

Manolo flashed his movie star smile. He reached for his wallet and took out a slip of paper.

“Here is the place. I understand if you go now. Or if you wish me to drive you to police station.”

Eira thought quickly.

“I need to telephone Danny’s lawyer. And maybe you should keep out of this, Manolo. Grateful as I am to you, I’d hate you to suffer in any way.”

He reached out and covered her hand with his.

“You are brave, good girl, Eira. I fear your heart is already given to someone else though. That is my misfortune.”

Alan Spink

Alan is a member of the “Friend” Fiction Team. He enjoys working closely with writers and being part of the creative process which sees storytelling ideas come to fruition. A keen reader, he also writes fiction and enjoys watching football and movies in his spare time. His one aspiring tip to new writers is to “write from your imagination”.