54 First she did, then she didn’t
Detective Errol Canney was a robust man in both thought and word, and villains, he knew them all and not many thought of him kindly.
Now this woman, this Mrs Thompson who had invited him inside when he knocked on her door. Detective Canney had a few questions he wanted to ask her about the man found down the road.
‘You see,’ he said, ‘he had your name and phone number.’
‘Why would that be?’
‘He had it written down?’
‘A copy of the Rubaiyat.’
‘Can I see it?’
‘Sorry, it’s back at the station.’
‘Did you give it to him?’
‘The dead man.’
‘No! Who is he?’
‘I’m afraid we have no idea. Have you ever given a Rubaiyat to anyone?’
Canney filled a page with notes as Mrs Thompson told him of her meetings with an engineer in a Sydney harbourside hotel. He had a possible for the body, an address and a workplace.
Lovely lady, very helpful. The Boss will be well pleased.
A day or so later ..
The Boss wasn’t at all pleased. Someone had cut the woman’s tongue off.
She had only answered his first question.
Nothing but visible distress and an inability to raise her eyes from the floor. She had forbad herself to look at him.
No, she answered, I do not know him.