I was ‘back’ with the Inspector and Clarisse.
‘Someone said there had been almost a fight between yourself and Margot, Miss deMornay, is that right’ I asked innocently
Clarisse turned on me as if seeing me for the first time
‘Who said that?’ she demanded
‘Just someone. I cannot remember who offhand’ I said gently
‘Well, someone needs to mind their own business. It was nothing, nothing of any importance to you anyway’ she shot at me.
’We’d still be interested in your version . Miss deMornay’ put in the Inspector
‘It was trivial. I cannot even remember what it was about. there is always tension when getting ready for an opening night Inspector. You can ask anyone’ she said by way of explanation.
‘Hmm., maybe miss, but I would still like to hear your version’ he persisted.
‘Damn it. I’ve told you, I cannot remember’ she blasted at him
‘If you can try miss, we will be back tomorrow, perhaps you may have remembered by then’ he said in a placatory manner.
Clarisse did not reply, only scowled at him with eyes flashing. Now we’ve got her vexed I thought., in fact, she’s blazing mad.
‘I will probably see you tomorrow Inspector, but if you will excuse me now, I have had enough of this God forsaken place for one day’ she said. The fire seemed to have gone out of her.
‘Goodnight miss, We will see you tomorrow’ replied the Inspector leading the way to the door.
‘Goodnight Miss deMornay, may I say how much I enjoyed your performance’ I said holding out my hand.
Clarisse only glared at me, ignoring the hand
‘Goodnight’ she said and turned her back toward the mirror where she started an attempt to improve on perfection.
‘Come on Emilia, Let’s make for home and some modicum of sanity’ said Jeff taking my arm and leading me to the stage door.
After Jeff had dropped me off at my home. I had barely been able to stay awake long enough to make myself a hot drink before falling into bed.
I chuckled to myself, must have been the Martini, down the hatch in one go. I wasn’t used to drinking, and certainly not at that speed. I felt warm and happy. I had had a wonderful evening. Jeff had been wonderful company. The play had been excellent, and I had thoroughly enjoyed the excitement of going backstage and meeting the players, even if they were being questioned about a murder. I knew I would sleep well, excitement or no excitement, I was exhausted.
In the morning I was up bright and early. I was now one whole week since the girl’s body, who we now knew was Margot,had been found under the bridge, and according to the Pathologist nine days since she had died so violently at the hands of an unknown assailant. the inquest was scheduled for the afternoon. I hadn’t thought to go, but when Jeff telephoned and asked me to be present, I agreed. I wold get no work done again today.
The inquest was held in the village hall, and every member of the village was present, or so it seemed plus a few others who did not live there, but who had to give evidence. No relatives of the girl had been found so Reggie Barlowe had given evidence of identification.
The room fell silent as the Coroner read out the details of the girl’s death and asked the police officer in charge to make a statement. Inspector Forsyth (Jeff) stood up and gave all the evidence the police had, namely, who she had been identified as, where she had lodged, where she had worked, and that she had been killed with a heavy blunt instrument, at or between the hours of ten o’clock and midnight on Tuesday the twentieth of September, by an assailant as yet not apprehended by the police.
The deathly hush was broken by the sound of a sob, but I could neither see or make out where the sound came from. At least someone cared enough about her to be upset.
Poor Margot, her life snuffed out like a candle, whose flame couldn’t outlive the candle. But, by whom. I was haunted by the question