Thank you to my readers for help and inspiration. I have not been able to use all your ideas, but I have done my best to squeeze most of them in.
Setting: the fictional village Aldburgh in Yorkshire, not far from Knavesborough. Copyright: Dorte Hummelshoj Jakobsen
- You´re that new constable, aren´t you?
Constable Archibald Penrose nodded cautiously. He had only been in Aldburgh for a few days, and his superintendent had assured him it would be a piece of cake. But here he was, three days later, stealing out of his office for ten minutes to eat his sandwiches in peace.
- You see, I really thought the new second-hand shop was the answer to all our prayers. The leaky church roof, you know. Central location and all.
Penrose nodded again, stealing a look at the gaunt man with the stoop who was sitting next to him on the bench. – I see.
- Poor Chesterfield and his delusions I can live with, but all their other stories. King George and his nose and all that… The dog-collared vicar sucked his cheeks in. – Avarice is such a mean character trait, don´t you think?
- Ehm, yes, vicar, I´m sure you are right.
- Sorry, I´m afraid I forgot to introduce myself. Reverend Sheridan Thwing. St. Bartholomew´s, you know.
- Constable Penrose, Penrose said, relieved that this time he did know. No one in Aldburgh could help spotting the square, Norman tower of St. Bartholomew´s.
This time it was the vicar who nodded. – Good to know you are here. If… But no, I´m sure it´s just Chesterfield. He hesitated. – And Chippendale, of course.
- Perhaps you should ask someone who knows more about antique furniture than I do, Constable Penrose ventured.
- Brilliant idea, Constable! Reverend Thwing´s hollow face lit up for a second. – But where…
Constable Penrose threw the last bite of his ham sandwich into his mouth and grabbed the vicar´s hand firmly in his. – It was good to meet you, Reverend Thwing. I´m sure we´ll meet again soon.
He rose from the bench and moved away like a constable on important business. Only two weeks, he whispered. Two weeks, and Constable Askwith will be back from his paternity leave.
To be continued tomorrow…