THE HOLY PAGAN SERIES – 8

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“Regarding the murder case of Late Pastor Luke Moses,” Tony replied.

“Why the interest?” Mike inquired, giving Tony a startled stare.

“Mr Kenneth brought me in,” Tony replied.

“I see.  Detective Lawrence gave me this case file to hand it over to a private detective.  I never thought for a second it would be you.”  Mike paused, sipped his coffee then continued, “I see you are going places with this your private investigation stuff.”

“I reckon I am better off working on my own than having some stiff-necked bosses, who feel intimidated because we have contrasting ideas and they label it as insubordination,” Tony said indifferently, licking his lower lip.

“We all get caught in this every now and then.  We just need to deal with it and shut our traps.”

“But that’s not my nature.  Taking bullshit is not my idea of obedience.”

“We get paid to put up with bullshit.”

“Good luck with that, just not my thing.”

“So do you have ideas about the case, other than what we have so far?”  Mike asked.

“Nah,” Tony said, shaking his head.  “My client wants me to look into it, and I am doing just that.”

“Okay.”  Michael opened one of the drawers by his desk, took out a white file and passed it over to Tony.

Tony opened the file and went through the documents in it, including the autopsy report.  He studied the documents for a few minutes while nodding.  Also contained in the file were photos taken of the corpse laying on the sandy earth.  There were also pictures of the back of his neck where he was hit and pictures of the letters JO, presumed to have been written by the dead man, seconds before he died.  Tony looked at the photos carefully, then looked up at Mike and asked, “Did Lawrence inform you that I have requested to speak with the suspect in your custody?”

“Yeah, no worries. I’ll arrange it.  I’ll give you the privilege of talking to him here in my office, for old time’s sake,” Mike intoned willingly.

“Thanks a lot, buddy,” replied Tony with a smile.

Inspector Mike picked up the receiver and barked some orders into it.  About seven minutes later, someone knocked. When Mike asked them to enter, a lower ranked cop ushered in a young man in handcuffs.

Steve was a tall, handsome young man even though his unshaven beard, dirty t-shirt and moustache caused him to look shabby.  Tony sized him up as Inspector Mike beckoned at him to take a seat opposite Tony.

“Can you take off the handcuffs?” Tony asked Inspector Mike.

“For goodness sake, Tony, he is a murder suspect,” Inspector Mike said with an edge in his voice.

“You would say no to an old buddy, Mike?”  Tony returned in a soft tune.

“Okay, but you watch it.  This is mighty irregular,” Inspector Mike added.

“I know the rules. Mike,” Tony returned in a bored voice.

Inspector Mike ordered the other cop to take off the handcuffs.  As he rose to leave the office, he said, “I’ll leave you two for a while.  Let me know when you’re done; I’ll be outside.”

The other cop followed him out.

Tony and Steve sat staring at each other for a while.  Tony finally introduced himself while Steve rubbed his wrist where the cuffs had been.  “My name is Tony Justice, I am a Private Detective.  I was contacted by Mr Kenneth to look into your late father’s murder.  You are Steve, right?”

Steve nodded.

Tony continued, “I understand that Mr Kenneth and your dad were great friends.”

Steve nodded again.

“I am going to ask you a few questions.  I am counting on your cooperation to see if we can bring the murderer to justice,” Tony said enticingly.

“So you don’t think I murdered him?”  Steve asked.

“Nobody is guilty of a crime until it has been proven beyond all reasonable doubts,” Tony replied.

“You seem to be the only one around here who propagates that concept,” Steve said, looking a bit impressed.

“Unfortunately, our judiciary system prefers to twist facts to suit theories, instead of twisting theories to suit facts,” Tony philosophised.

“So the teacher fails to do his homework and the student gets nailed for it,” Steve suggested.

“Yes, you can say that,” Tony admonished.

Steve continued to rub his wrist.

Tony continued, “I understand you’re an MBA student at the University of Brysfield.”

Steve nodded.

“So what were you doing in Eliburg?”  Tony asked.

“Dad wanted us to discuss something, so he asked me to come over,” Steve replied.

“How long were you in Eliburg before your dad was murdered?”

“One night.”

“I see. Did he tell you why he wanted you home?”

Steve nodded.

“What time did he do that?”

“It was 7 p.m. when I got home from Brysfield. Dad wasn’t home then. Mum said they had a Church meeting. I went to bed before he got back.  In the morning, he woke me up for us to take a walk.  Dad was very enthusiastic about exercise which was recommended by his doctor.  We walked and talked, at some point, we disagreed on something then we stopped for a while.  Dad had a fiery temper, and he was upset over something so he started yelling at me, and I yelled back at him.  Then I decided to go back home because I knew our discrepancy would only get worse and the argument might escalate. I went back home.”

“Do you often go for walks with your dad?”

“No.  I never did before that day.”

Tony entered information into his notebook.  He looked up at Steve and asked. “Where precisely did you leave your father?”

“Somewhere close to Saint Martin’s primary school, where his body was found.”

“Could you be more precise?”

“I can’t. I was awfully upset, and I just wanted to get back home as soon as possible.  I was not in a fit state of mind to be observant, but I am very sure it was close to the school.”

Tony studied his face for a glimmer of realization, guilt perhaps, however slight.  But he saw nothing.  He was ready to swear that the young man was answering honestly.  He wrote in his notebook. “What were you and your dad arguing about?”

“I’d prefer not to answer that question,” Steve said, looking away.

 

— How to start a successful Radio/ TV show series continues ……….

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