Together We Stand – Episode 31

Inspector Twm Williams paused at the entrance to the Bron Derw and gazed back out over the curve of Llandudno’s bay, the tall guest-houses gleaming brightly in the morning sun.

“Ah, Miss Gillingham.” He smiled as Madeleine appeared at the open door. “I’m a little early for my appointment, I’m afraid.”

“Not at all,” Madeleine replied. “Please do come in. My brother is waiting for you in the garden.”

“Thank you, Miss Gillingham.” Inspector Williams followed her into the garden, neatly trimmed and bright with flowers, where Henry Gillingham was sitting at the garden table set in the sun.

“Good morning, Inspector.” Henry rose to shake his hand, gesturing him to one of the free seats. “How can I help you?”

“I’ll leave you,” Madeleine murmured.

“I would rather you stayed, if you don’t mind, Miss Gillingham. Unless you have pressing business, that is.”

“Not at all.” Madeleine took the remaining seat. “I shall be joining the ladies on the pier, but I’m not due down there for another hour.”

Inspector Williams almost allowed a grin to escape him.

“I hear it’s going well down there. I’ve already had several complaints from Councillor Banks about the temporary photographic studio clogging up the pier.” His eyes gave a brief twinkle. “I can’t see visitors enjoying themselves being any cause of harm. Although you might drop a hint to Mrs Humphries that she not lecture passers-by on the need for a female councillor with quite such enthusiasm.” He cleared his throat. “I might find myself obliged to intervene to keep the peace.”

“I’ll mention it to her.” Madeleine smiled. “I’m afraid she does get a bit carried away. Mr Banks closing the tearooms has made her determined to gain a seat on the council so she can fight him on his own ground.”

“That should prove interesting,” the inspector replied. “I’ve heard women make excellent councillors, myself. Not that I could voice any opinion on the matter, of course.”

“Of course,” Henry replied, hiding a smile. “So how can we help you, Inspector?”

“Ah.” Twm eyed the two of them. “I was interested to establish if you had any of your uncle’s papers in your possession.”

“Only the ones you have already seen,” Henry said.

“And in the picture wagon?”

“The picture wagon?” Madeleine frowned at him. “Do you think there might be something of value in there?”

“I’m not sure if I’d call it of value, miss. Just papers. But they could possibly have value if they fell into the wrong hands.”

“You think that’s what my intruder was looking for?” Henry said.

“Possibly. A very secretive man, your uncle. I’ve been trying to find out more about his affairs, but there’s remarkably little, which interests me.

“A man with no past and very little to show for a very long life seems to me a man who has something to hide. The question is what.”

Abigail Phillips

Abbie is the newest member of the fiction team at the "Friend." She loves how varied the role is - every day is different and there is always a new story to read. She is keen to work closely with established writers and discover new writers, too.