The Visiting Detective – Episode 04


“I CAN’T believe I was so lax,” Mr Duchesne said, his face contorted with distress. “I had a new alarm system installed, oh, about two months ago, and I’ve been glancing for ages at that blasted skylight. Last month someone built some kind of a storage facility behind my property. I had visions of somebody working out they could use the new roof to make their way across to . . .” He glanced up at the skylight. “Well, clearly they did. How idiotic of me.”

“It’s all right, sir,” Robinson said. “Nobody’s perfect. So, they possibly took a look down here from the roof. They worked out that the alarm didn’t cover the skylight. Last night they simply dropped in, unhooked the painting, climbed on that chair to get back up, and vanished with your Louie Danston.”

Duchesne looked anxious.

“Any kind of damage could have been done to it already. If they threw it, if they scraped it! It’s a delicate work.”

“But if they knew it could fetch forty thou’, I bet they took care of it,” Robinson said.

“We’ll send a fingerprint team in now, sir,” Gaby said. “They will also collect any other evidence. We’ll try not to inconvenience you too long.”

He nodded.

“I’ve not touched anything myself.”

“Very good of you,” Gaby said.

“And you’ll investigate?” Mr Duchesne said.

“You can be assured of that,” Gaby said. “This has already been classed by the CID as a major theft, sir. We will leave no stone unturned.”

They walked back to their car. Kit frowned as he took long paces. He was thinking, and scarcely noticed DS Clark hurrying along behind him.

“Poor bloke,” he said, almost to himself. “Must be miserable to have your best item nicked.” He opened the car door but stopped to stare at a lamppost. Clark nearly ploughed into the back of him. “Sorry,” he said. “Something odd about the scene.”

“What, apart from the gap on the wall where forty thousand quid used to be?”

“Definitely something odd. I’ve a feeling.”

“Can we work on facts rather than feelings, Robinson?” Gaby said.

“I thought women loved feelings.”

As soon as he’d said that, Kit regretted it. Her small face was immediately blazing with anger.

“I don’t take that sort of attitude from colleagues,” Gaby said, “as you’d know if you’d ever worked with me before. You’d better not try it again.” She climbed into the driving seat, slammed the door hard and started the Ford.

“I had that coming,” Kit agreed, sliding in beside her. He sat back quietly and watched her bristle. She was quite attractive, in a scary sort of way, when she was cross. He’d bet that was a useful tool in policing, even though she’d never admit it.

Eventually, after a full five minutes of silence, he grinned. Kit knew that his grin had a positive effect on people. It was his own personal tool in policing, on occasion. His mum always said that his smile could bring warring nations together. Clark sniffed, and slowed down a bit. Then finally she spoke.

“Why don’t we go shopping before work tomorrow? It’s Saturday.”

“Sorry?”

“We’re not due in till eleven, and the art theft isn’t exactly life and death.”

“Shopping!”

“Well, you’re in London now, Robinson,” Gaby said, “and not just in London but in a station a hop, skip and jump away from Carnaby Street and the hippest places in the world. I have to get you in some better gear, or die of embarrassment.”

He shrugged. So it wasn’t that she wanted to spend her free time in his delectable company.

“If you like,” he said. “No white leather, though.”

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”.