That sounds like a good title for a book – and in fact I’m sure that the many readers of Agatha Christie’s wonderful stories will recognise this title. However, in this case, my dear, the title is somewhat retrospective and should have been “A Murder Wasn’t Announced” as at the time of the event in question we didn’t realise that there had been a premeditated attempt to kill someone. In fact, immediately after the event, we were all certain it was a tragic accident.
However, within a very short period of time it became apparent that “poor Patricia” as she is now invariably referred as, was mown down by one or more persons unknown. Over the past few months no-one has, to my knowledge, been charged with any offence to do with her death and I would have expected that someone would have been charged with manslaughter after all this time. It couldn’t be called “death by dangerous driving” as it was done in order to cause the death of an innocent woman and certainly wasn’t an accident.
Fortunately Patricia wasn’t aware of anything as she died immediately at the scene – which was at the zebra crossing on the road directly in front of my flat. I believe that the sports car used as the lethal weapon hasn’t ever been seen since. There wasn’t any legitimate reason why Patricia had to die.
Apparently the person behind many of the local crimes thought that she had seen a couple of people talking together; people that you wouldn’t have expected to see chatting!! He then thought that if she was questioned about some of the strange events going on here, she may have mentioned seeing them together. To my mind, that is a very tenuous thought, and one that most innocent people wouldn’t consider.
Now from what I have learned, Patricia wouldn’t have connected any of the dots together. She was happy in her life – helping folk who couldn’t manage to visit the shops and being in charge of the flower arranging at the church in the village. She was an elderly woman who loved nothing more than sorting out raffle prizes and coffee mornings etc. She also loved talking to anyone who had a spare five minutes to chat with her. Her latest interest was flower arranging and she had been to a couple of workshops at the library.
It has only recently become clear that our original building manager, Mr. Roach who is serving quite a long sentence at Belmarsh prison – unless he has been transferred elsewhere by now – was quite heavily involved with our resident gentlemen criminals, Gordon and Peter. I had nearly forgotten that they moved here while he was still in charge!!
Now you may remember that Mr. R was another person who seemed to have brown envelopes of cash about his person on regular occasions. I don’t have any details about the whys and wherefores, but I understand that Patricia’s death was likely to have been undertaken by a professional killer under what is known as a “contract”. Why anyone would feel threatened by an elderly woman who wouldn’t say “boo to a goose” I don’t know, but it appears to be connected and is part of the same ring of criminals. The driver would have been given several photos of Patricia, together with details of her day to day movements around the village. It was well-known that she always popped round to various residents to ask if they needed anything from the shops or pharmacy, or even the library on occasion. She had her own little routine and went out at about the same time every day, and would chat to folk as she meandered around the village. Of course, she sometimes deviated from her route, depending on what she was bringing back with her. She had a very large shopping trolley into which she piled her goodies. She usually only collected a couple of items for each person, but she wouldn’t have been able to carry everything in bags. The trolley was invaluable and it had a waterproof cover so nothing got wet.
I understand that someone had followed her from a distance for a couple of days, to make sure that they knew her route. She would normally wear the same coat too. We know that the criminal elements in Albert’s family were responsible for the three deaths in this building, and I understand that they have held their hands up to some involvement in the death of Patricia. I think one gang member followed Patricia on foot and another was in touch by phone so that they were sure that everything was going in accordance with their heinous plans. When I have further details I’ll obviously pass them on to you, but I feel happier to know that perhaps, as things are being tidied up, life is becoming more straightforward.
Changing the subject completely, the work here is still moving along very slowly – in fact, I would venture to suggest that it has ground to a halt which isn’t very helpful. It’s been rather windy the past couple of days and it’s starting to rattle in the roof space again which is rather annoying.
I had a visit from Mrs. M today who reports that her arm is now feeling a little better, and that she has found that she can stop the itching by using a knitting needle inside her plastered arm. Unfortunately, the first time she tried, the silly woman didn’t think it through properly!! She used a dpns from one of her sets – well actually if I think about it, I think it was one of mine – and then let go of it when it slipped inside her plaster!! That necessitated a trip to the hospital for them to change her plaster as it got completely stuck inside. Fortunately the nurse saw the funny side of it and they soon cut the old plaster off and replaced it, with strict instructions not to do it again. At least she didn’t lose the needle!
I’ve seen Georgie this week as well. We both are quite busy at the moment so have to make specific arrangements to see each other, or else we just end up talking in the corridor, which isn’t very satisfactory. We are getting ready to send the invitations out at the weekend. We do now have a guest list, which I’ve been told is definitely IT. No more changes – we are now up to just under 100 folk on the approved list. I’ve spoken to the hotel where anyone who isn’t local will stay, and they have very generously said that they will reserve all the motel rooms for our visitors. It isn’t huge place, and it will be good to have everyone in one hotel. They are very reasonably priced, so we decided to pay a deposit for the rooms to show willing. It does make a difference when local businesses know you. It is easier to discuss things with them and they are able to contact us if they want to query anything.
I understand that Giselle and Jane have completely agreed on a menu, and as we had a slight problem with deciding on a wedding cake – Georgie and Billy don’t like them – we have decided to have a display of cupcakes which both Jane and Giselle enjoy baking, and the bride and groom enjoy eating!! That’s got to be a good result for everyone. Hazel will be looking after the younger members at the party and I’ve left her to decide what she needs, and told her to let me know when she wants to buy things, or order them online and I’ll send her some cash.
I’ve started to look at some websites which seem to have some lovely outfits suitable for both Georgie and myself. I would be very surprised if we couldn’t find something suitable in the next couple of days. I’m sure that we will probably have to send some things back, once we have chosen them. They always look so much better on the models – you know the ones who are usually about 5ft 9ins tall and a size eight!! Oh well, nothing we can do about them. We are the sizes we are, and neither of us have any intentions of going on crash diets for the next two months.
Well the day is running away with me again so I better get a wiggle on if I want to actually do something useful. Oh yes, please remind me to update you about the building site and the Knit and Natter group at the library. If I start talking about them now, then another half hour will have vanished and I may as well forget having any sort of evening meal at all.
I’m expecting several visitors tomorrow which will keep me busy. Right I’m off to investigate my fridge and freezer to give me an idea of what to eat later. Now then, have you any ideas? As Always –
With Love – Jan xx