The Strange Case Of The Buckled Swash – Episode 07

The next morning, at 23, Cherrytree Lane, the door opened on DI Barclay before he had a chance to ring the bell. “Finally,” Jean Burrell said with a smile. “I must confess I was beginning to feel a little insulted.” “Why is that?” “Well, you’ve interviewed just about everyone in the village apart from me. I know what you’re thinking,” she said, noting his raised eyebrows. “You only spoke to Arabella last night. But you have to remember, Detective Inspector, in a small village like this news travels like wildfire. I’ve learned that in my brief time here.” “Yes, you recently moved from London, I believe. Do you mind if I ask why?” “Ironically, for a quiet life. Though it hasn’t quite turned out that way.” “Do you have family connections in the area?” “No. I came originally from Brighton. My mother still lives there. My father . . . my father was killed in the Falklands conflict. I was only ten at the time.” “That must have been difficult for you,” DI Barclay said sympathetically. “It was. My mother never came to terms with it.” Jean summoned up a brave smile. “Anyway, you didn’t come here to talk about that. Let me put the kettle on and I’ll answer your questions as best I can.” “You’ve bought a lovely property,” DI Barclay said ten minutes later as they sat on either side of the fireplace. “I’m only renting at the moment. I thought I’d better see if I settled in the village first before committing to buying a house.” The detective nodded approvingly. “Very sensible. And have you?” “I think so. It was a bit difficult initially. Folk can be a bit insular, you know?” “I presume that’s why you got involved with the Palmerston Players.” Jean Burrell smiled. “I can see why you’re a detective. Yes, it seemed like a good way to blend in.” “Tell me about the Friday night of the dress rehearsal. Ted Guilford said that the prop swords were working perfectly well at that point.” “That’s true. The fight scene went completely smoothly. No malfunctions with the swords whatsoever.” “What happened to them after that?” “After the rehearsal Ted gathered up all the props and put them in the prop box as usual.” “Did anyone see him put them away?” “Probably not. The cast and I were chatting on stage, going over things. But they were definitely in there on Saturday evening. I saw Ted take them out and place them on the prop table in advance of the performance.” “Who locked up on Friday evening?” “I did, and I also opened the hall up on Saturday afternoon. Why do you ask?” “The sword was deliberately tampered with, Miss Burrell. I need to find out who had the opportunity to do so.” “Goodness! Surely you can’t mean but perhaps it was a prank that went wrong. What other explanation could there be?” DI Barclay furrowed his brow. “Good question. There was no evidence of a break-in we’ve checked so whoever tampered with the sword must have had access to a key. And the keyholders are . . .?” “Myself, the major general, Peter, Arabella and Ted.” “Not forgetting your predecessor, Deirdre Wells.” “Oh, yes, you’re right. Which reminds me, I must ask her to hand her set back in.”


Used to make posts more anonymous, eg a criminal case where you don’t want to expose the actual journalist.