Author Topic: The case of the poisoned Peer  (Read 2757 times)

Offline pete.r.

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The case of the poisoned Peer
« on: March 23, 2016, 05:13:12 PM »
                                                               The case of the poisoned Peer
A story in four parts.


Everyone was standing around in the yard. A smart burgundy Mk 2 Jaguar pulled up. Seconds later another car pulled up behind it,
a rather nondescript Ford Mondeo. Two men got out of each car, all dressed in dark suits. "Blimey" said Slugger, "The undertaker's
soon arrived, that was quick, the body ain't cold yet."
"Good afternoon, I'm Colonel Maddocks" said a rather distressed Uncle.
"Good afternoon Sir, I'm Detective Chief Inspector Morse, and this is Sergeant Lewis" he replied, standing beside his beloved car.
"We've been sent here by the Oxfordshire Thames Valley Police to investigate the death of Lord Beck. He went to university in
Oxford you know."
"And I'm DCI Tom Barnaby and this is Sergeant Ben Jones" said the other detective. "We've also been sent here to investigate
the unfortunate death of Lord Beck. We're from Causton CID." Morse looked down at Barnaby's car.
"Causton CID on a bit of a cost reduction exercise then" he remarked.
"We prefer modest trappings not luxurious ones in Midsomer" Barnaby replied.
"Marvellous 'innit" said Slugger, "When you want a copper you can't find one. Now we've got four. We only need two more for a tanner."
"I do wish you'd go decimal Slugger" exclaimed the Colonel.
"Yes, a bit of a cock up on Midsomer's part" said Morse.
"Oh I think you'll find the cock up is down to the Thames Valley Police" said Barnaby. "Must've cost a fortune to send that fuel
guzzling machine all the way up here from Oxford, what, 190 miles?. Plus all the time involved getting here."
"Oh I don't know" answered Morse. Only took us 90 minutes, probably less time than you."
"Blimey" said Slugger, " 'Ere, you were lucky you didn't get stopped by the police."

"I dunno" said Steve." Four coppers. You'll be telling us next Bert's on his way up here on his bike."
" 'Fraid not" said Sergeant Jones, "We passed him half a mile down the lane on a nasty bend. I didn't see him. He fell of his bike and
went straight into a puddle."
"Hope he didn't get his boots muddy" said Dora. "He got everything muddy" replied Jones. "He blew his whistle. A sort of thick brown
gunge came out of it."
" 'Ere, that reminds me, what's for supper tonight Slugs" said Ron.
"He turned round and peddled back. His  front wheel was buckled. Still, it shook most of the sludge of him" said Jones.

"So to the business in hand" said Morse. "Could you show us the body please."
They went into the farmhouse. Lord Beck was sat in a chair, slumped over the table.
"Oh I see we have a Times crossword fanatic" said Morse, looking at the opened newspaper on the chair arm.
"Yes, I'm stuck on four down" said the Colonel, "Eminent Chinese chemist, a liar am. Two words, 2 letters and 6 letters."
"I think you'll find that's a lady chemist" replied Morse. "Tu Youyou. She discovered a cure for maleria, an anagram of "A liar am".
"Of course" said the Colonel, "I should have known that."
"Blimey" said Ron, "Tu Youyou. Must be a bit awkward singin' 'Appy Birthday' to 'er with a name like that."

"Now can you tell us what happened" said Lewis. "Well" answered the Colonel, "I'd invited Lord Beck to dinner. He's been here
once before. As soon as we'd eaten he let out a blood curdling scream and lurched forward onto the table."
"What did you have to eat?" asked Morse.
"Slugger's revolting beef stew" exclaimed Ron, "That's why nobody thought any more about it. It's often a common reaction when
visitors have eaten his grub." "And you are?" asked Lewis.
"Ron Stryker. I'm one of the peasants who work 'ere. Yeah, it don't take long to rot your guts when you're not used to it."
"So you all ate the stew" said Morse. "Yes" they replied. "And none of you have got any stomach ache or feel sick?"
"No more than usual after eating Slugger's cooking" said Steve.
" 'Ere, I'll 'ave you know that was one of the best stews I've ever made" exclaimed Slugger.
"Wouldn't want to try your worst ones then" answered Ron.
"And how long has he been dead?" said Barnaby. "About an hour" replied Dora.
"Yes, such a shame" said the Colonel.
"Certainly is" said Ron. " 'Ee 'adn't even 'ad seconds. We was 'opin' 'eed eat most of it. Less for us to 'ave to eat."

"I think I smell a rat" said Barnaby.
"No, it's just the stew" said Steve.
"Although it does bear a striking resemblance" said Ron.
"Foul play's afoot" exclaimed Jones.
"What, foul play's afoot at Follyfoot" said Slugger, pretending to adjust his teeth.
"Yes" said Morse. "I think someone in this room put something in Lord Beck's dish of stew that killed him."
"Perhaps that packet of mixed herbs was out of date Slugs" said Dora. "It smelt funny to me."
"Nah, don't talk silly" replied Slugger. "I only bought 'em six months ago. Mind you, they were in the reduced section."
"Well, the pathologist will be able to tell us what killed him" answered Lewis.

"We don't need to wait for the pathologist's report" said Barnaby. "I've just found this hidden in the bottom of a bin in the kitchen."
He held up a plastic bag with bits of fungi in it.
"They're Death Cap mushrooms" exclaimed Morse, "Or what's left of them."
"Yes, Amanita Phalloides" said the Colonel." Deadly poisonous to humans, fatal if you eat them."
"So" said Jones, "Someone in this room murdered Lord Beck. But how did they put the mushrooms in his stew without being seen?".
"How did you serve up the dinner Slugger?" asked Morse.
"Wiv a spoon" he replied.
"Yeah, a special one made out of lead that the stew can't disintegrate" said Ron.
"No, I mean was anyone around when you served it up. Where were all the dishes, where was everyone?"
"I put six bowls on the table" said Slugger, "Filled them up with the stew I'd had cooking on the pot. Then I went out and rang the
bell and shouted 'Dinner's ready'. Everyone came in and sat at the table."
"And do you always sit in the same place at the table?" asked Barnaby.
"Nah" replied Slugger. "Lord Beck 'ain't normally 'ere."
"No I mean do you Follyfoot lot always sit at the same place at the table" said an exasperated Morse.
"Yes" said Dora.

"So the killer would have known where Lord Beck was sitting at the table" said Jones.
"And how long was it between you walking out of the room, ringing the bell, and returning back to the room again?" asked Barnaby.
"Dunno" replied Slugger, "I ain't got a stopwatch."
"Well roughly" said Morse, getting irritated.
"About half a minute" said Slugger.
"Half a minute" continued Morse. "Plenty of time for the killer, who was waiting in hiding, to put the poisonous mushrooms that they'd
already prepared in Lord Beck's food."
"When you all came in, was anyone missing?" asked Lewis.
"I don't know" said Dora, "We were all doing different jobs." "I didn't see Ron" said Steve.
"That's 'cause I was hiding" Ron replied.

"Ah you've slipped up there" exclaimed Jones. "You were hiding in the house, waiting. And he did say earlier that he was a peasant.
He doesn't like Lords or the aristocracy. Do you Ron? That was your motive. I think we've got our man Sir."
"I was hiding", continued Ron, "In the barn, 'avin a fag."
"Yeah, that sounds like Ron" said Slugger. "Skivin' ".
"Colonel, you invited Lord Beck to dinner" said Barnaby. "What relation is Dora to you?" "She's my niece" he replied.
"So, it would be nice if she married a Lord wouldn't it? But Lord Beck, despite your persistent efforts in matchmaking, wasn't having
any of it. So he had to go. And you know all about mushrooms don't you Colonel?. You even knew the Latin name for the Death Cap."

Cut out the strong to help the weak

Offline pete.r.

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Re: The case of the poisoned Peer
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2016, 05:37:45 PM »
"Leave the Colonel alone" shouted Steve. "He wouldn't do anything like that. He's a good man. He helped me when I came out of......"
"Out of where?" asked Morse.
"Out of prison" answered Steve.
"Oh so you've been in prison then" said Jones. "I expect they taught you a thing or two in there. How to poison someone. And you're
a local lad. You'd know where to find them."
"Don't be ridiculous" bellowed Steve angrily.
"And you've got a temper" said Barnaby. "I expect you fell out with Lord Beck. Over Dora was it? You like her don't you Steve. I've
seen how you look at her. When The Colonel invited Lord Beck over I bet you couldn't believe your luck. You poisoned him didn't you?"

"No" said Slugger. "It wasn't Steve. "I know that for sure."
"And why's that" exclaimed Lewis. "Is it because you're the murderer? You could've put the deadly mushrooms in his stew easily without being seen when you dished them out. There's a little pot by the fire there. I think you'd got it all prepared and kept it warm.
None of the others could have done that. And then you mixed it with his stew."
"And why would I want to kill Lord Beck" said Slugger.
"Oh I don't think you meant to kill him" said Lewis. "Everyone seems to make fun of your cooking."
"Find that 'ard to swallow" said Ron. "A bit like your food really Slugs."
"The Colonel told us Lord Beck had been here once before to eat" continued Lewis. "I think Lord Beck joined in the fun, but carried
it on too far and upset you. So you decided to get your own back. You only meant to give him a poorly stomach....."
"Stop!" shouted Dora, "Stop!. It wasn't Slugger. I picked the Death Cap Mushrooms......"
"Dora" shrieked the Colonel.

To be continued.........
Cut out the strong to help the weak

Offline pete.r.

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Re: The case of the poisoned Peer
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2016, 03:24:48 PM »

"Well I never" said Jones, " It's always the one you least suspect."
"No, I didn't murder Lord Beck" answered Dora. "I was out riding Copper early this morning. I found the fungi in the woods. I didn't
know they were poisonous. I picked them thinking Slugger would like fresh mushrooms to go in his stew. When I got back to
Follyfoot no one was about, only Callie, she was on her way to school. She said straight away they were Death Cap mushrooms
and were poisonous, she'd learnt all about them getting ready for her biology exam. She told me to get rid of them and wash my hands,
so I hid them in the bottom of the bin."
"Well for heaven's sake" said Barnaby, "Why didn't you tell us when I found them." "Because I didn't think you'd believe me" she replied.
"Well, we'll have to have a word with this Callie" said Jones, making notes, "To corroborate your story."
"She's at Thorner village school" said Dora.
"And don't go standing on any dustbins to look through the window" exclaimed Steve.

"Now," said Barnaby, "This is very important Dora, this bag containing the lethal mushrooms, are these all what you picked or are
there any missing?".
"You mean someone could have found the bag and used them to kill Lord Beck" said Lewis. "Possibly" answered Barnaby.
"No, they're all there, I'm sure" replied Dora.
"Oh well, just a thought" said Barnaby. "Still, at least I found them. One nil to Causton I think."
"I think you'll find it's one all" exclaimed Morse. "I've just found this bottle of tablets in the horse medicine cupboard in the kitchen.
You really shouldn't hide the key on the top of it" he said. "It says on the label Phenylbutazone, one hundred one gram tablets, take
2 a day for a week."
"They're for Ladybird" said Steve, "The vet prescribed them for her arthritis the other day."
"Yes" replied Morse, "The bottles dated 3 days ago. So, by my reckoning, 2 tablets a day for 3 days, makes that 6 tablets been used."
" 'Ang on" said Ron, scribbling away on a bit of paper, "I'll just check that."
"Blimey" exclaimed Slugger, "Einstein the second."
"Yeah, that's about right" said Ron, counting with his fingers.
"There's 100 tablets in the bottle" said Morse. "So there should be 94 left" replied Lewis.
"Exactly, but there's only 80 " explained Morse. "That means 14 are missing" said Jones.
" 'Ang about, I'm just checking that" said Ron, pieces of scrawled on paper all over the place.
"Oh for gawds sake give it a rest Ron" replied Slugger, "Otherwise they'll be another murder."

"Excuse me for a moment" said Barnaby, "Have to nip out to my car."
"So why are there 14 tablets missing?" asked Morse. "It has to be someone who works here" said Sergeant Jones. "You all had access
to the medicine cabinet, knew where the key was kept. One of you is the killer. But who?". Everyone stood silent.
"You'd better take statements from them all Lewis" continued Morse. "We have to be efficient here if we're to crack this murder."
"Indeed we do" said Barnaby, returning to the room. "That's why Jones and I had the forethought to call at Beck Hall on the way here
and speak to Lady Beck and to give her our condolences. We like to do things properly at Causton. And she told us that the vet
called to see Lord Beck about his horse this morning. It was very irritated, some sort of a strain."
"Yeah I know 'ow it feels" said Slugger, looking at a bewildered Ron who was scratching his head, strange sums on his bits of paper.
"Now, I've also looked in the medicine cabinet, and all the medicines in it have been signed and administered by the same vet"
continued Barnaby. "Except for these Phenylbutazone tablets, they've been issued by a different vet. Whilst at the car I took the
liberty of phoning the vets up. Apparently the usual vet's on holiday this week, they had to send a stand-in one."
"Yes" said Dora," It was a different vet who called."
"Perhaps he was an imposter" exclaimed Jones. "Perhaps he was the murderer. Perhaps..." " Just a minute Jones" interrupted
Barnaby. "I checked with the receptionist. He is genuine. And, apparently, these tablets, they call them Butes for short...."
"Great imagination there" said Ron. "Yeah" said Slugger, " I reckon even you could have worked that out Ron. If you had any paper left."
"Although they cure horses" continued Barnaby, "When mixed with paracetamol are fatal to humans."
"Yeah" said Slugger. "And I bet they could kill you as well."
"And you can get paracetamol from any chemist without prescription" said Jones.
"Yes, and the vets told me these tablets are slow release, they take about 4-6 hours before they work."
"So" exclaimed Jones, "The tablets wern't given to Lord Beck here, they were given to him this morning. But by who?".

"The receptionist also told me, and this is very interesting, that Lord Beck owned them a considerable amount of money" said Barnaby,
"he hadn't paid his vets bill for about six months. I think that the stand-in vet went to Lord Becks this morning to look at his horse.
He noticed on Lord Becks account he owed a lot of money, and demanded that he paid it. Lord Beck probably told him to mind his own
business. It wasn't Lord Beck who paid the bills, but his mother. The regular vet would have known that and asked Lady Beck and
she would have paid it. But the stand-in vet didn't know that. Lord Beck annoyed and angered him So he went to his van and mixed
a fatal concoction of the tablets with paracetamol that he carried with him. He was a vet, he knew all about the tablets, he put them
in Lord Becks tea when he wasn't looking. He knew they would kill him hours later, when he wouldn't be about. He didn't know Lord
Beck was going to Follyfoot that afternoon. That was just coincidence. Then the vet came to Follyfoot this morning to look at Ladybird,
but really he came to take 14 tablets out of the cabinet when no one was looking to replace the one's he'd taken from his van, to
make sure his stock levels matched so he wouldn't get found out. He didn't think anyone at Follyfoot would notice some of them
were missing."

"Well that all seems very feasible Barnaby" said Morse.
"Thank you" replied Barnaby.
"Except why would the vet kill him" said Morse. "He'd never get the money he owed him if he did that. No, I don't think the vet is our murderer. But someone here is. Arn't they Colonel Maddocks?"
"Uncle?"  exclaimed Dora. "He couldn't have had anything to do with it. He's a good, kind, honest, helpful man. He wouldn't hurt a fly."
"They said that about Dr Crippen" replied Morse. "He poisoned and dismembered his wife. You see" continued Morse, "We also
took the opportunity to visit Lady Beck today. Apparently the Colonel visited her this morning. You've seen quite a lot of her just
lately, havn't you Colonel?"
"She's just a friend" he answered.

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Offline pete.r.

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Re: The case of the poisoned Peer
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2016, 04:47:36 PM »
"Yes, she's just the sort of person you'd like to marry Colonel" said Morse. "She's titled, and lives in a lovely mansion, I'm sure she
could afford to spare some money to help subsidise Follyfoot. Except that Lord Beck was very protective of ma'ma, as he called her.
What was it he said to you last week, 'No one will marry ma'ma while I'm alive'. So you went over to Beck Hall this morning armed
with tablets. Lord Beck was having breakfast, tea and muffins. You asked him for his permission to marry his mother. He refused.
So you put the Butes in his cup of tea when he wasn't looking."
" 'Ere, you bute" exclaimed Ron.
"You know all about horses and medicines" continued Morse. "You knew they wouldn't kill him straight away, that he would probably die
later that afternoon at Follyfoot where there would be plenty of witnesses and you'd have an alibi. And then be free to  marry Lady Beck."

"Nah" said Slugger, "The Colonel wouldn't have done it."
"Definitely not" agreed Steve.
"Definitely, definitely not" said Dora.
"Definitely, definitely, definit..." "Ouch" cried out Ron as Slugger clipped him round the ears.
"They don't think he did it" said Jones.
"I agree" said Barnaby. "The Colonel's a clever man. If he was going to murder him he'd have put the pills in his tea at Follyfoot
knowing he would have died that evening at Beck Hall with his mother, there would have been no suspicious circumstances.
The local police would probably have decided it was death by natural causes."
" 'Ere, are you tryin' to say that Bert's stupid " said Ron.
"9 out of 10 people we meet are stupid" answered Barnaby.
" 'Ere, I'm glad I'm in the 1%" replied Slugger.

"But he was killed by the tablets" said Barnaby. "And someone here knows who killed him. Don't they Ron Stryker?".
"Me Sir?" asked Ron.
"Yes, you Sir" replied Barnaby. He took a file out of his briefcase. "You're a bit of a scoundrel, aren't you?. And you know Lewis Hammond."
"Yeah, 'ees a mate of mine" replied Ron.
"This police file" said Barnaby, "Gives details that the Nightriders attacked Beck Hall last week. But Lord Beck was woken up by the noise. He went outside, they drove off. He reported it to the police. And he got a good look at one of them. Here's the identikit
picture of him. That's Lewis Hammond isn't it Ron?".
"Could be" replied Ron.
"Blimey" exclaimed Slugger, "'Ooever drew it needs some lessons in art."
"Gordon Bennett" said Barnaby.
"Well if I ever meet this Bennett bloke I'll show 'im 'ow to draw faces properly" said Slugger.

"So this morning Lewis Hammond stole the tablets from Follyfoot that were for Ladybird" said Jones. "Ron must have told him about them. Then went to Beck Hall with them. He tried to warn Lord Beck off about not reporting any more Nightrider attacks to the police.
But Lord Beck refused. So he had to be killed. He put the tablets in his tea, he'd done his homework, he knew that Lord Beck was going to Follyfoot that afternoon and the tablets would take effect then. No one would suspect him. That's what happened isn't it"
said Sergeant Jones.
"Not quite" answered Barnaby. "Lewis Hammond didn't steal the Butes from Follyfoot. He couldn't risk being spotted. So Ron stole
them for him, then sold them to Lewis. That's what happened, isn't it Ron?".

"Yeah, I took them out of the cabinet and sold them to Lewis " replied Ron. "I didn't think anyone would realise any were missing."

To be continued.........

Cut out the strong to help the weak

Offline pete.r.

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Re: The case of the poisoned Peer
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2016, 03:23:06 PM »

Slugger grabbed Ron by the collar. "Do you know what you've done?" he said. "A man's dead thanks to you. You'll be done for this.
You're an accessory to murder."
" 'Ang about" replied Ron. " Let me finish. I didn't know the tablets would be used to kill someone. I was telling Lewis how Ladybird
was on these drugs. He said one of their horses had slight arthritis in it's joints. I told him we'd plenty of pills and we came to an
agreement." "You sold him 14 Butes" said Lewis. "Yeah, but I thought I was helping another horse" answered Ron.
"Plus you made a bit of money on the side" said Barnaby. "And you told Lewis Hammond, probably last week, that Lord Beck was
coming to tea today. So Lewis saw his opportunity to go to Lord Beck's this morning, and, as Jones rightfully said, ask Lord Beck
to drop the case against the Nightriders. But he wouldn't. So, Lewis had already prepared a lethal mix of the tablets and
paracetamol. He put it in his tea when he wasn't looking, and, hey presto, his main witness was dead. Or, rather, he would be when
he visited Follyfoot later. Very clever, he didn't think anyone would have any suspicion that he was the murderer. Well, I think I worked
that out rather well" said Barnaby, smiling.

"Sir," said Jones.
"Yes Jones" answered Barnaby.
"That's exacly what I said a few minutes ago sir."
"Did you Jones?. Oh, I couldn't have been listening."
"'Ere" said Slugger, "Maybe Lewis was the murderer. Maybe he went to Lord Becks this morning with the tablets and" "All right"
 interrupted Barnaby, "Yes, Sergeant Jones gets the credit for solving this crime."
"Thank you sir" replied Jones.
"But I honestly didn't know" said Ron. "Right said Barnaby,"We'd better radio control to send some men over to arrest Lewis Hammond
and charge him with the murder of Lord Beck."
"Yes, I wouldn't trust anyone with the name Lewis" said Jones, looking at Morses sidekick.
"Don't rise to the bait Lewis" murmured Morse. "This case isn't finished yet."

"What's going to happen to Ron?" asked Dora. "I'm afraid that's up to the jury" said Barnaby.
"No!" shouted Steve.
"Oh but it will be" said Sergeant Jones. "That's how the British Justice System works."
"No, I mean Lewis didn't kill Lord Beck" said Steve.
"What did I tell you Lewis" exclaimed Barnaby. "I've got a nose for these things."
"I think I know what happened" said Jones. "Here we go again Lewis" retorted Morse.
"Steve knew the Nightriders had attacked Beck Hall" continued Jones. "You've had dealings with Lewis Hammond before, havn't you Steve."
"Yes" he replied.
"And you don't like him do you?"
"No" answered Steve. "He's scum, a nasty piece of work."
"And Lord Beck didn't like him either" continued Jones. "But he keeps evading the police, they've no proof he's the Nightriders leader.
So you and Lord Beck devised a plan between you. A plan to get rid of him for good. You arranged to meet him at Beck Hall, to
discuss the charges that might be brought against him by the police. You were having tea and muffins, Lord Becks favourite breakfast,
outside Beck Hall. Lady Beck brought the tea's out on a tray. You'd already 'spiced' one, the one that was for Lewis Hammond.
And as Lady Beck picked up the tray you made a mental note which cup had the poison in. Then you went outside. Lady Beck
followed. You and Lord Beck picked up the other cups, leaving the poisoned one for Lewis. But what you didn't know was that Lady
Beck spilt some tea from one of the cups whilst she was in the house and topped the cup up. She picked up the tray, but this time she
was holding the tray the other way round. Of course she wasn't in on the act, she had no idea what was going on. She didn't know
you'd arranged the tray so you knew which cup had the poison in it. And, unfortunately, it was Lord Beck who drunk the cup that was
meant for Lewis. He died because his mother spilt some tea. I expect you thought you'd both been very crafty. Lewis Hammond would
collapse later in the day at Hammonds stables. He's not very well liked, I'm sure there would have been plenty of suspects. You were
pretty sure you'd get away with it. Must have been a shock to you when Lord Beck collapsed at the table Steve. You realised then
what had happened, that he'd drunk the wrong cup of tea, and that Lewis Hammond was still alive. And there, but for the grace of
God, it could have been you. Luck of the draw really. A bit like Russian Roulette."

"Well that's amazing Jones" said Barnaby. "A brilliant piece of deduction. I never thought you had it in you."
"Thank you sir" replied Jones.
"Oh for Heavens sake" cried out Morse.
"Something wrong" asked Barnaby.
"Well of course" replied Morse. "You went to Beck Hall this morning, like we did. I presume Lady Beck made you some tea."
"Of course" replied Barnaby.
"Then I presume you noticed she always makes tea in a pot. We're talking Beck Hall here. Lady Beck. Very posh. Pours it out in front of you."
"Oh yes of course" said Jones "Never thought of that. Did I hear you say you'd worked it out like I did sir."
"No Jones you did not" replied Barnaby
"Plus" said Morse, "Steve and Lewis Hammond hate each other so much they wouldn't join forces even if they discovered Hitler was
alive and well and hiding in a local barn. No, it wasn't Steve and Lewis."

"Talking about tea, any chance of a cuppa Slugger" asked Lewis. "I'm really thirsty. I think it's all the dust in here."
"Not now Lewis" said Morse. "I'm thinking."
" 'Ere, there's no dust in 'ere" said Slugger, "I cleaned it out meself only six weeks ago."
A few minutes later Slugger walked in with a tray with a teapot and four mugs on it.
"I expect you're dying for a cup of tea" he exclaimed. He put the tray down.
"What, you're not having any?" asked Morse.
"No, we'll have ours later" answered Slugger. "I'll make us a fresh pot."
"Well I'm spitting feathers" said Lewis, reaching over for the teapot. "No, don't touch it!" shouted Morse. "Why?" asked Lewis.
"Go to the kitchen and bring that bottle of tablets in" replied Morse. Lewis brought them in.
"Now count them Lewis."
"But we counted them twenty minutes ago" said Lewis. "There were 80 tablets."
"Just count them."
Lewis counted. "There's only 50 sir" he exclaimed.
"Well gawd blimey" said Slugger, " 'Oo'd 'ave fort that." "Yes, who indeed" replied Morse. "Where's the other 30 tablets?" asked Jones.
"In that teapot" said Morse. "Slugger is our murderer. He was hoping we'd drink the tea and then, a few hours later, possibly whilst
driving home, we'd all collapse and die. In one fell swoop he's wiped out all the evidence and witnesses."

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Offline pete.r.

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Re: The case of the poisoned Peer
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2016, 04:29:01 PM »
"Nah, I 'ain't poisoned no tea" said Slugger. "'Ere, I'll prove it, and pour meself a cup and drink it.
"No one touches that pot until forensics have investigated it" said Morse. "But Slugger's offered to drink it" replied Jones, "So it
can't have been spiced."
"Not necessarily" exclaimed Morse. "Slugger would probably prefer a quick sudden death rather than a long miserable one in prison."
Suddenly someone hammered on the door. "All right" shouted the Colonel, "I'm coming. No need to break the door down. Oh, it's you."
"Who is it?" asked Sergeant Lewis.
"It's the stand-in vet" replied the Colonel."Come in."
"Glad to see you've answered the door this time" said the vet. "I knocked about ten minutes ago but no one answered, you were all
too busy nattering. So I let myself in by the back door and went into the kitchen. I needed some of those tablets I prescribed for
Ladybird for another customer, but I've run out, so I've borrowed 30 from your bottle. I'll replace them in a couple of days when my
next lot arrive. I went to my van to do some paperwork and then thought I'd better give you another knock to tell you what I'd done."

"30 Tablets" said Barnaby smiling."You've got 30 tablets."
"Yes" the vet replied, taking a plastic bag out of his pocket. "Here they are." He showed everyone the bag. And off he went.
"So the tea wasn't poisoned" said Barnaby. "Slugger's not our murderer."
"That's what I've been tryin' to tell yer" said Slugger. "Well, I think we'll have our tea now" said Barnaby.
"In that case I'll have one with three sugars" exclaimed Morse, I'm parched.
"Here y'ar" said Slugger. Morse picked up the mug and gulped some tea down.
"Ah that's.....AAARGHH" he cried out spitting the tea out. "That's b....y awful. Are you trying to poison me?".
"Oh silly me" replied Slugger, with a glint in his eye. I've put salt in your tea instead of sugar." He walked off grinning.

The four detectives sat round the table. "Anyone got any ideas?" asked Jones.
Ron put on the Colonel's deerstalker hat and put one of his pipes in his mouth. He walked around. "Elementary Morse me old mate"
he said. "The butler did it."
"When we want your advice Mr Stryker we'll ask for it" said Morse.
There was a silence.
"Er....Lewis" said Morse.
"Did Lord Beck have a butler?"
"No sir"
"Just a thought Lewis."

" 'Ere" said Slugger, "Maybe one of the donkeys did it, I saw one of 'em giving Lord Beck a funny look when 'ee arrived."
"Oh for goodness sake" exclaimed Barnaby, "Don't talk like an ass..." "Holy horseshoes Batman" said Ron, I know who done it. It was
Mrs Porter with the lead piping in the conservatory."
"Oh give us a clue do" said Sergeant Lewis.

"Earlier Steve you said Lewis Hammond didn't kill Lord Beck" said Morse. "How do you know that?"
"Because Lewis wasn't over at Beck Hall this morning" replied Steve..... "But I was."
"What" said Slugger.
"Good Lord" gasped the Colonel.
"Oh Steve" sighed Dora.

Jones stood up and took a pair of handcuffs out of his pocket. "Looks like we've got our man gentlemen" he said.
"Surprise, surprise" said a grinning Ron. "It's back to jail for you me old mate. More tea anyone?".

To be continued.........

Cut out the strong to help the weak

Offline pete.r.

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Re: The case of the poisoned Peer
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2016, 03:47:06 PM »

"No I didn't murder Lord Beck" said Steve. "This is what happened. This morning I went for a ride on Alex, my horse. I passed close to
Beck Hall. I heard two men arguing. I tied Alex to a tree and moved closer on foot so I wouldn't be seen. Lord Beck was having his
breakfast, muffins and a pot of tea. He shouted to the other man 'You'll only marry ma'ma over my dead body.' The other man replied
'That can be arranged'. Then they were shouting at each other. I went back to Alex and continued my ride."
"And did you get a good look at the other man?" asked Barnaby.
"Yes" answered Steve.
"And did you recognise him" said Morse.
"So I was right all along" replied Morse, "It was Colonel Maddocks."
"No it wasn't the Colonel" said Steve. "Then who was it?" asked Sergeant Lewis.
Steve looked at Ron.
"So it was Ron who did it" exclaimed Barnaby. "I was right. I cracked it Jones."
"Nah, Ron couldn't have done it" said Slugger. " 'Ee can't even count, 'ee wouldn't know 'ow many tablets to put in the tea."
"Exactly" said Barnaby. "He just grabbed a handful. Put the cuffs on him Jones."
" 'Ang about" replied Ron. "Steve.....Steve me old mate. About you goin' to Jail. I was only jokin'."
"Ron was involved" answered Steve. "But he's not the murderer."
"What do you mean?" asked Lewis. "Who did you see arguing with Lord Beck?".

"Lewis Hammond's father" replied Steve.
"Lewis's father" exclaimed Dora.
"Yes" said Steve." This is what I think happened. I think Mr Hammond had been seeing a lot of Lady Beck. He was in love with her.
He wanted to marry her. But Lord Beck wasn't having any of it. He wanted his inheritance, Hammond would be a threat. Ron told
Lewis about Lord Beck coming to Follyfoot for tea, and also about Ladybird. Lewis Hammond, quite innocently, passed this information
onto his father, who, of course, being a horseman knew all about phenylbutazone. So he devised a cunning plan. He told his son one
of their horses was suffering with arthritis in it's joints. He gave Lewis some money and asked him to buy some tablets from Ron.
He knew Ron would do almost anything to make a bit on the side. He said it would be cheaper than getting the vet in.
Lewis believed his father.
Ron believed Lewis.
Ron genuinely thought Lewis wanted them for a suffering horse. Lewis never mentioned his father wanting them to Ron, only that
he wanted them. Both Ron and Lewis thought they were helping. So, Mr Hammond went over to see Lord Beck this morning, who
still refused to allow the marriage, as I overheard. So I think Mr Hammond put a mixture of the tablets and paracetamol in his tea
after I left. He knew he would die at Follyfoot. There's no love lost between us and Hammond's, so he wouldn't care about that.
In fact, he probably hoped we'd get the blame. And, of course, he'd be free to marry Lady Beck."

"That's amazing" said Morse.
"Brilliant" echoed Barnaby.

"So shall I radio control to send some men over to Hammonds to arrest him sir" said Lewis.
"No" replied Morse. "We havn't got enough solid evidence."
"But Ron sold Lewis the tablets" said Jones. "Lewis will deny it" replied Barnaby. "He wouldn't admit to anything that would put his
father behind bars. Honour amongst theives and all that. It's just Ron's word against Lewis's. It wouldn't stand up in court."
"But Steve heard Hammond and Lord Beck arguing" exclaimed Jones.
"Yes, but he didn't see him poison his tea, we've no concrete evidence" replied Morse.
"But in books and films detectives always ger their man" said Dora.
"This is real life" answered Lewis. "Criminals do get away with it sometimes." "But this is murder" said Slugger.
"Well, if we had any real proof we could put him away" said Morse.

"You have your evidence" blurted out the Colonel.
"What do you mean?" asked Barnaby.
"This morning," explained the Colonel, "I was at Hammonds. His son rushed in and said "Dad, I've got the tablets from Ron. Then he
saw me and shut up. His father said "We'll sort it out later son."
"And was anyone else there who can confirm this" said Barnaby.
"Yes" replied the Colonel, looking down at the floor. "Lady Beck. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go to my office. I need to make a
phone call."

"Right Jones" said Barnaby," Phone for some men to be sent over to Hammonds stables to charge and arrest Mr Hammond with
the murder of Lord Beck." "And don't forget to tell him we have Colonel Maddocks and Lady Beck as witnesses" said Morse.
"That's most important."
Jones went to his car. Everyone went outside. "So what exactly do you do here Dora?" asked Barnaby.
"We look after horses" she replied. "Horses who have no home, no one to look after them, no one to love them. Sick horses, old
ones, young ones. If they need help, we're here."
"It must be a very rewarding job" said Barnaby. "Yes it is" replied Dora.

Jones returned. "There's a patrol car near to Hammonds" he said. "It's been sent over there to pick up Mr Hammond."
The detectives walked back to their cars.
"Well, that was a bit of luck" said Lewis,"The Colonel and Lady Beck being at Hammonds."
"Oh they wern't there" replied Morse. "The Colonel made it up."
"But" said Jones, "Lady Beck was there." "The Colonel's on the phone to her now Lewis" explained Morse, "Asking her to back his
story up. Which she will, of course. She'll want the man who murdered her son put away."
"But that's making a false statement sir" answered Lewis.
"God moves in mysterious ways Lewis" exclaimed Morse.

"Sir" said Jones, "Just had a call. They've picked Mr Hammond up. He's confessed to the murder. He's pleaded guilty."
"Why would he do that" said Lewis. "He knew the Colonel and Lady Beck wern't witnesses."
"Because," replied Morse,"He loved Lady Beck very much. And, although he murdered her son, he didn't want to see her have to go
in court and commit perjury. He's a very clever man that."
"Who is?" asked Sergeant Jones.
"Colonel Maddocks" exclaimed Morse. "He knew this would happen. He knew he wouldn't have to testify. Thanks to him we've got
our man." "And thanks to Steve too" said Barnaby. "He worked out who did it. A very clever lad."
"I reckon that's about 6-0 to Follyfoot" said Ron, grinning.
"No thanks to you" answered Slugger, "Selling tablets. I reckon you scored about three own goals."

Cut out the strong to help the weak

Offline pete.r.

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Re: The case of the poisoned Peer
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2016, 04:27:37 PM »
"Why's that girl watering a dead tree Lewis" exclaimed Morse, as Dora threw a bucket of water over it's roots.
"I don't know sir" he replied. They walked over to her.
"So why are you watering a tree that's died Dora?" asked Morse. "This is our lightning tree" she said. "It was killed by lightning
years ago. But I believe that, one day, it will come back to life again. So, when anyone passes it, they throw a bucket of water over it.
We want to bring it back to life."

"The thorns which I have reap'd are of the tree
I planted; They have torn me, and I bleed.
I should have known what fruit would spring from such a seed" quoted Morse.

"Lord Byron" replied Dora.

Morse smiled. "You're a girl after my own heart" he said. "I see a lot of death that I wish could be reversed."
"If ever I want a dream to come true, I make a wish on the tree" said Dora.
"And does it work?" asked Lewis.
"Yes" she said. "If you truly believe, then dreams can come true."

"Time to go sir" said Sergeant Lewis.
"Yes.... Yes it is" replied Morse.
"I've decided to retire from the police force Lewis. I'm going to pastures new.
You will not see or hear from me again."
"But sir" said a shocked Lewis. "You can't leave us suddenly. Just like that. Whose going to be in charge?".
"Oh I'm sure they'll find a suitable replacement Lewis" he replied."Someone fitting to take over the helm."

Morse walked over to the lightning tree. He put his arms around it and closed his eyes.
He was a hard man.
A tear trickled down his cheek.

"My work is done here" he said.
"I shall miss you all. But I will not forget you. You will remain in my heart.

                                                                                   THE END

Cut out the strong to help the weak