10-Peril on the Royal Train by Edward Marston

10-Peril on the Royal Train by Edward Marston

Author:Edward Marston
Language: eng
Format: mobi
Tags: Retail, TPL
ISBN: 9780749012540
Publisher: Allison & Busby
Published: 2013-12-12T05:00:00+00:00

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

Nairn Craig was unfailingly polite to his visitors but doubts were beginning to form beneath the surface. When Colbeck and Leeming called on him in his office that morning, he hoped that they had some progress to report. Instead, they had to tell him that their belief that Lackey Paterson might have been involved in the crime had been unfounded. Cornered at last by the sergeant, he’d explained why he’d assaulted Laidlaw and why he’d had to flee from his job at the quarry. One more name could be crossed off the list of suspects. Craig was disturbed. The detectives he’d brought all the way from London had simply gone down a series of cul-de-sacs.

‘Will we ever catch the villains behind this?’ he asked, mournfully.

‘I remain sanguine, sir,’ replied Colbeck.

‘That’s more than I do,’ said Leeming to himself. Aloud, he tried to sound more positive. ‘These are still early days, Mr Craig. Other clues will soon come to light. They always do.’

‘The sergeant is quite right. An investigation like this is bound to be protracted. We can’t just wave a magic wand and solve the crime. We have to piece information slowly together.’

‘I understand that,’ said Craig, ‘but I’m bound to be worried when you keep arresting the wrong people.’

‘I didn’t actually arrest Paterson,’ said Leeming, defensively. ‘Once I’d got the truth out of him, there was no point in doing so. As for the man I earlier mistook for Paterson, he was wanted by the police so I was right to arrest him.’

‘We were equally right to apprehend the Usher brothers,’ argued Colbeck. ‘I regard their arrest as an incidental bonus. Had they not been caught, they’d have continued to plunder your freight unhindered. And while Paterson turned out to be innocent,’ he went on, ‘I think we should applaud Sergeant Leeming for his tenacity in tracking him down.’

Craig nodded. ‘Yes, yes, I’m full of admiration. What was the name of the place where you found him?’

‘It was a lodging house called Telfer’s,’ said Leeming. ‘It’s a hellhole for the poor and needy. There are plenty of those in this city, alas.’

‘It was ever thus.’

Though the general manager tried his best to hide it, Colbeck could see how disappointed he was in their work. He wished that he could talk about some more productive lines of inquiry but none had so far emerged. In time, he was confident, they would. He turned to the parallel investigation.

‘How is Inspector Rae faring?’ he asked.

‘No better than you, I fancy,’ said Craig, ‘though I daresay that he’ll have a laugh at your expense when he hears that Paterson had no link with the crime.’

‘A lot of people have had a laugh at our expense, sir.’

‘Most of them are now in prison,’ Leeming interjected.

‘That won’t be the case with the inspector, of course, but I think he’ll be more respectful of our efforts in due course. That article in the newspaper exposed us to derision as well,’ said Colbeck. ‘I was glad when they printed an apology.



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