[Background music at the end. This story will be posted in full after the Challenge for those of us that like to read everything in one complete telling,]
GREED – Wednesday Mid-afternoon
Göteborg is well outside my remit, but that won’t stop me. Kama might have Interpol contacts, but gentle persuasion gestures. Garden products will be on the manifest of the correct Scandinavian ship dock at Pembroke Dock. And customs will have the details.
The message request to SWP permits me to go direct.
“Detective Anwyl from North Wales Police. I’m checking on some garden products from Göteborg and wondered if you can tell me anymore about them, the ship and the day they arrived. The goods were dispatched to Caernarfon yesterday.”
“I can see what we have, detective. Stay on the line while we check.”
While the music plays, my mind delves into options. Göteborg is one, but gaff as a weapon is another. The forensic report doesn’t mention a weapon, but something caused the injuries and the knock-out blows.
Or does gaff mean, in slang terms, someone divulged a secret. A motive for attempted murder? Is Ellis Evans on the run from his attacker?
“I found your shipment, Detective Anwyl. The products referred to garden gnomes.” My mind spins as he continues. “The freighter from Göteborg docked on Monday, just after the storm.”
Gnomes don’t sound electrical. Glowing eyes? Garden glitter doesn’t justify assault.
“Was the freighter carrying anything of concern to HMRC? Was this the only consignment for Göteborg Electric Engineers?”
A click of a keyboard. “No. It was a routine import, and the garden gnomes were the only consignment for Göteborg Electric Engineers. Anything else I can do for you, detective?”
Regular shipment or one-time?
“Have there been other goods for GEE in the last few months?”
More keystrokes. “Not for that company. The freighter from Göteborg has docked here once before – last month. Do you need those details? That might take a few minutes. Anything else, detective?”
“You can email them to me at North Wales Police. If I have further questions, I’ll call back. Otherwise, many thanks for your help.”
Close eyes and tweak threads. Heartbeat growing.
First reaction, drugs. The only thing that might justify assault. Unless I am being led astray. Minimal clues, minimal evidence. One man is missing, and one man is confused – or he is pretending to be that way. No leads on my screen, and my tattoos are silent.
I need an excuse to leave the office to interview our remaining victim. But he needs to say something that the penny-pushers class as ‘germane’.
His wounds. Forensics must know something relevant.
“We know there were extensive claw-like wounds on the victims. Do you know what caused them, Liam?”
“An item made of steel, but they are uneven so not a claw-like weapon. We found no sign of anything else that might assist our inquiries into that. Do you have a lead?”
“A theory. A gaff – a steel hook with a handle for landing large fish. Could that have been used?”
The suggestion stumps Liam for a moment.
“Have you found one? Send it over if you have. We need to analyse all possible assault weapons. And a gaff has a stout handle that can be used to hit someone, causing a concussive blow to the head.”
“As I said, it’s a theory. Now a lead that I’ll pursue. Thanks Liam.”
But where? A vague hope that might be a red herring.
Or herring as in the fishes caught by the Aberdaron boats.
Kama walks over to my desk and places a bag beside me, winks, then heads back to where Wiley’s team are gathered. The bag is my lunch that I forgot to buy.
Dates, ham sandwich, and haloumi cheese.
D for Dates and Docks. H for Ham, Haloumi and Holyhead.
Why didn’t a freighter from Göteborg dock further north? Pembroke makes no sense.
Ellis Evans knows perhaps.
I for Injuries and Interview. E for Evasion and Evidence.
HIDE. Is he hiding out of greed or fear? Greed if he doesn’t want to share with Vic Vaughn. Fear if there are people after him – hired hands.
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“Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.” William Congreve – The Mourning Bride