Friday, 15 April 2016

The Favoured Son (part 2)

When I got arrested, I had two thoughts. The first thought was composed of so many stars between letters that it would make the average galaxy look empty. It spoke of the ridiculousness and the stupidity with which an arrest such as this could be made. There wasn’t a scrap of evidence and Lodsbury would know that. I was about to articulate this thought, when the second one hit me.
I bet Robin is delighted that she’ll get to write up the article on the case.
As it turned out, she wasn’t. Apparently, work interrupts her life flow, and furthermore she only attends cases with me for the Sherlockian feel she gets, rather than for the actual journalistic parts. I could see where she was coming from; most of my readers would agree that scanning a crime scene is more interesting than a cup of coffee going cold next to a plugged in laptop. It is for that reason that I find myself typing up most of the rest of this case in the third person, from reports and recounts that I gathered after the case had been solved. An interesting thing that I discovered from a certain report was that it made Robin out to be quite the young Miss Marple. I have reset the balance of the universe by attempting to be increasingly negative in the following prose.

Robin left the police station where I was being held to see Rachel’s car pulling up. Quite understandably, Rachel was rather flustered, rushed out of a busy meeting with whoever the hell it was this time. She hurried over to Robin, laying both her hands on the ginger girl’s shoulders. “Where is he?” She demanded.
“In the station, in an interrogation room, probably.” Robin said. “I’ve been talking to the desk sergeant; it’s not looking good.”
“The guy on the phone, he said Gabriel’s been arrested on suspicion of kidnapping?”
“He wasn’t mistaken.” Robin said. “Come on. I drove Gabe’s car here. I’ll fill you in on everything.”
“No.” Rachel argued. “I want to go in there. Make them see sense.”
“We can do that, but we can’t do it with conjecture. We need evidence and we need investigation and then, using proof, we’ll explain what’s going on as we always do: with hard evidence and a flair for the dramatic? Okay?”
Rachel nodded and followed Robin to my car, which had been parked in a police carpark by an uninsured driver. Rachel, realising this, climbed into the drivers seat in case a policeman walked past. “Tell me everything.”
“There’s been a kidnapping.” Robin said. “Desk sergeant couldn’t tell me who, but he did tell me they were loaded. A ransom note’s been found, written in letters cut out from the newspaper. All the letters were cut from Rathbone Investigates columns.”
“And they arrested him on that?”
“No. That was part of it but mainly they arrested him on the address that the money is to be dropped at.”
“An old flat on the outskirts, which has been abandoned since all the residents were moved out due to asbestos. The owner of the flat when it was closed was Gabriel. To all intents and purposes, he still has access to it.”
“Right. Let’s go investigate it.”
“Let’s go find the flat. Search through it. The kidnapper, if they’ve got a moneybags to ransom, will probably have taken the luxury of installing a surveillance system of some kind. We could use that to track them down.”
“A. No. It’s full of asbestos. B. The police are already there. I’ve called Inspector Lodsbury and left him about fifty messages. He’s running the case according to the desk sergeant, so he must have signed the arrest warrant. I’ve asked him a hundred times to liaise on the case so we’ll see if he gets back to me.”
“Right.” Rachel said. “What’s plan of action then?”
“There’s a media blackout on the case due to the high profile, so we’re not going to find out who’s missing for quite a while, unless we take destiny into our own hands.”
“And what does that mean?”
“The case that me and Gabe are currently working has a significant similarity with this kidnapping.”
“What’s that?”
“Both involve a missing person.” Robin filled her in on the details of the body in the sewer. “Captain Dental Records is unidentifiable, but we might not need to identify the body if we can look through the missing persons’ record. Unfortunately, that might mean we accidentally stumble across the kidnap victim too, but what can you do?”
Rachel grinned. “Can you do that?”
“I don’t see why not. You stay here. I’ll go and chat with my best mate in the entire world- the desk sergeant.”
Robin climbed from my car and wandered back into the station, passing once more under the metallic gaze of the CCTV. The desk sergeant waved her into the room Missing Persons’ record, even so far as offering to get her a drink after work. Of all the incredible things that I’ve come across in my many years of investigative journalism, that was something I could believe.
It didn’t take her long to go through the Missing Records. The body had been down there for maybe a month or so, so she flicked back that far. As she’d expected, there were a lot of files, as there always were in a city as big as Glasgow. None of them stood out to her but she made a note in her pocketbook of all the names, just in case they came up. You were seven times more likely to remember something if you wrote it down instead of just reading it. Or something like that. She couldn’t remember the exact statistic because she’d only read it instead of writing it down.
She found the kidnap victim pretty easily. They’d been reported missing two days earlier, and the letter had come through that morning. Robin had to read the name twice, partially because it was a shock but almost because it was little hard to pronounce. The missing person was the daughter of the Celtic Rangers’ owner, the esteemed oil baron Haamid Javid. The daughter, called Nadeera Javid, had been kidnapped from her bedroom during a huge party to celebrate a new deal her father had made. Robin was going to continue reading when she heard footsteps. She dropped the file in it’s correct place and raced back to the car. 
“Did you find anything?” Rachel demanded.
“Nadeera Javid.” Robin said. “The kidnap victim is the daughter of the owner of Celtic Rangers. Must be worth billions.”
“And they reckon Gabriel kidnapped her?”
“I can see why they’ve leapt to that conclusion but we both know it’s rubbish.” Robin itched her head. “I suppose we can look into it soon.”
“What’s next, then?”
“We go to the Post. Check with Brooks if we can follow the case.”
“What if he says no?”
“Then we’ll follow the case secretly.” Robin said, with a hint of criminal glee. “We’re solving this one, whether he wants us to or not.”
“Thank you.” Rachel said. Now, I should stress that in Robin’s account, Rachel then declared that Rachel exclaimed, “You’re my hero!” Somehow, however, I doubt that actually happened.

We now cut to the Pavilion Post, sentinel of news, justice, crosswords and horoscopes. Robin and Rachel raced up, taking the stairs rather than the faulty lift, and by the time they got to the news floor, they were out of breath and sweaty. Robin described to me that their eyes were set intently on the entrance to Brooks’ office, and that they walked with a devil may care attitude and Little Green Bags blasting at full volume. Seeing that they’d just climbed twenty flights of stairs, I doubted that greatly too.
“Robin! Are you okay?” Said a voice to their side.
The two detectives turned and saw Richard approaching. “I heard about Gabriel.” He said. “Is everything okay?”
“Yeah, yeah, it’s fine.” Robin said, probably determined not to make a mess of herself in front of him again. “For obvious reasons, we’re going to have to cancel the drink down the pub tonight.”
“Yeah, of course. If I can do anything to help, ask straight away.”
“Well, I don’t suppose you know who the culprit is?” Rachel said, testily. The sooner they could talk to Brooks, the sooner they could solve the mystery. This was just holding them up.
 “Isn’t that Robin’s job?” Richard laughed. “I didn’t think we’d had the pleasure of being introduced.”
“Rachel.” She said. “Gabriel’s girlfriend. Now, if you don’t mind, we’ve got a crime to solve.”
“Yes, of course.” Richard said. “Good luck.”
As they marched away, Robin’s phone rang. She pulled it out and answered it, listening to the voice on the other side. “Right. Thank you.” She said, turning around.
“Brooks’ office is the other way.” Rachel said.
“I know, but that doesn’t matter.” Robin replied. “We’ve just had the go ahead from Inspector Lodsbury. Stuff Brooks; we’ve got a crime scene to investigate.”

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