Thursday, 23 January 2014

Find the Lady (part 7)

I drove there straight away in Herbie, once I'd arrived at the station. I couldn't believe how and why. I'd told my boss, but he didn't believe me. I was going in alone. I was going to have to make the arrest myself. I was looking forward to it.
I drove to the familiar address and pulled to a stop outside the door. Fletcher stepped out of a phone box and walked over to me. "Hello DS Powell. Nice to see you without the fear of arrest."
I accepted my notebook from him. "Mr Fletcher. Nice to see you without the fear of you preparing to pickpocket me."
Fletcher smiled. "An honour. I was just using the skills I use to mingle in the interval."
I grinned. "You do realise I could arrest you for that?"
"Yes, but you won't."
"Give me one reason why I shouldn't?"
"Because I already stole your handcuffs." He grinned and held out his hand with the handcuffs sat in it.
I snatched them back and put them on my belt. "No more kidding around Fletcher. Now, you're going to help me."
We turned to the house. It wasn't that big, but also wasn't that small. Not an overly wealthy person but not an underly wealthy person either. Or, as Fletcher was explaining, perhaps two people. One very rich. One just above poor. "Two people abducted her. That's obvious."
"Because the tramp is a different person to the one who got her out of the door."
I stopped him. "The tramp is one of them?"
"Yes. He's one of them. He owns the white van as well."
"I got that bit. Now, if the tramp owns the white van, tell me how the tramps report is true, as you say it is."
"I didn't say it's true. I said he's made it true. Piece of information one, the scattering of the bushes. Pieces of the bush had been pulled forward, to create the illusion of the van driving into it, and pieces had been pulled into the garden to create the illusion of the tramp jumping over. A hole had been dug in the bushes to conceal something, the dirt being put into the pond to create the illusion of knocking over the mole hill. The hole was concealing a hammer, that I saw glinting in the light, and that was used to knock a shape into the lamppost the van purportedly reversed into."
I grinned. This guy was a genius. Dabs was going to be fired. I'd found someone else to replace her. "Tell me though," I said, a doubt creeping into my mind, "What were the lights the other Polonskous saw through the window?"
Fletcher smiled. "The security lights of the garden he was in went off. Lit up the windows."
This guy was more than a genius. He was a god. But don't tell him I said that.
Fletcher knocked on the door twice. We heard a shuffling. The door creaked open slightly and James the van driver looked out. I smiled at him. "You're under arrest."
The door slammed shut and he ran for it. Fletcher turned to me. "After them, partner?"
"Don't call me that again."
I pressed my foot against the side of the lock, as is officially recommended and slammed my foot forward.  The door swung open and we raced through the hallway, quickly looking into each room, peering around for the two kidnappers. I caught a glimpse of a hair brush, with locks of ginger hair strewn across it. I hit the kitchen, sliding towards the counter, but I continued towards the door.
I was in a good shape, had to be, I'm a policeman, but Fletcher was better. He was following the floor towards the fence, tracing out the route of the kidnappers. We climbed over the fence, covered in ivy, and looked at the two people racing down the street. "Stop!" I cried. "Police. And a magician!"
We raced after them, me grabbing my radio and pressing the button. The desk sergeant answered me.
"How can I help you Tango Whiskey 8?"
"Requesting back up. On foot following two IC1 adults. One female, one male. Connected to the," I shut up for a second, I was running up a hill, "Polonskous kidnap."
The desk sergeant paused. "Consider that sorted Tango Whiskey 8. Please, can you give me an address and I'll send in the local IRVs."
I gave him the address.
"Thank you, TW8." There was silence. I and Fletcher continued after the two white adults. We rounded the corner into a housing district. My radio buzzed. "This is TW6, requesting more information from TW8."
I pressed the button down. "This is TW8 to TW6. What information do you want?" Far off, I could hear the sirens.
"More information on the location and identification of the IC1 adults."
I continued running, losing sight momentarily. "One male, one female. Male is tall. Possibly 5;6. Hair brown, large chin. Wearing an apron. Female, average height. Couldn't say anything about her attire. Can be easily identified by distinctive red hair."
"Do you have a positive identification?"
"Yes. He's called James, been reported for," I turned to Fletcher.
"Unpaid speeding fines."
"Been reported for unpaid speeding fines. She's called Emma Polonskous. Therapist. Recently added to the missing peoples list."
TW6 went quiet. There was a possibility of two things that he could be thinking. A: I'd gone mad. B: he'd gone mad. So he gave me the question to confirm it. "Please repeat."
"The IC1 female is called Emma Polonskous. She used to be a therapist. She's recently been added to the missing peoples list."
"Emma Polonskous? Isn't she the one you've reported to have been kidnapped?"
"Correct. I'll explain it once they've been caught."
We continued. About three minutes later, the road Emma Polonskous and James the van driver had been running down was blocked, by TW6, driven by DS Banner.
"James Tappen, you're under arrest for wasting police time and intention to black mail." I turned to Emma. "Emma Polonskous, you're under arrest for also wasting police time and conspiracy to black mail." I had DS Banner drive them down to my nick. We walked back to Herbie and drove to the station. We went in and my boss demanded what was going on.
"Well you see sir, Mr Fletcher here worked it all out." I explained.
Fletcher took my lead and started explaining it to my boss. "Emma Polonskous and James were a couple, and they wanted to disappear. Emma's therapists was falling apart, so she arranged for them to leave. She got James to pretend he was a drunk, calling DS Powell here and telling him a story about what happened."
"Why report it at all?"
"This is my favourite bit. You see, for some unknown reason, James didn't like me. And because of how bad he was being paid, he wanted to rip me off. The details of his story, incriminated me, the white van thing in particular, and also he went into the therapists complaining about me, hence the conversation with the new receptionist."
My boss had him explain it a few more times and then smiled, accepting the answer. He wasn't happy about it. Of course he wasn't, he hadn't solved it, but I was happy. This affair was over, and I could move onto a new case. After celebrating with Fletcher in the pub, that is.

"So how did you become face blind?" I asked, placing down my beer and my teetotal friends orange juice.
"On holiday in Spain as a child, I started getting these headaches. Became dizzy, fell unconscious. When I woke up, I couldn't recognise a single face. And so over the years, lots of therapists have done their best and completely failed. But anyway! Now to more pressing matters."
He reached into his pocket and drew a deck of cards. "Would you like to see a magic trick?"

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