Hilda waits by the door, scratching its surface. Just then, the sirens get ever louder as the ambulance arrives. The medic knocks on the door. Hilda answers, with Eve, wrapped in her blanket, in full view of the medics.
Oh my, I see we’ve come to the right place,
Mrs Jenkins. My name is Mel, this is Debbie.
Hello, thanks for being so swift. Just through
Here, but hurry, please, I think she’s passed out.
Mel checks her breathing, heartbeat and pulse.
She’s just fainted. Pass the oxygen tank.
Debbie and Mel place an oxygen mask over Eve and connect her to the inhaler. Debbie checks her neck.
Mel, be careful, she will need a neck brace.
Oh God, so is it that serious, then?
Maybe, it’s best to be on the safe side.
Mel passes Debbie a neck brace and she fits it around Eve’s neck. They then carefully lift her on to the stretcher, and then on to the trolley.
Would you like to ride with us now, Mrs Jenkins?
I can’t, I have to wait for the police.
Oh, so her fall was not an accident?
Do those bruises look like an accident?
Fair point. But who, if you don’t mind saying?
I don’t mind, her partner did it I guess.
The way that she landed, looks like she was
pushed, but all I heard was banging, screaming.
We were supposed to go shopping today …
She starts crying. Debbie hugs her.
If it’s any solace, she’s safe with us.
I know, but still I can’t help but worry …
We’ve dealt with a lot of cases like these,
Before, none have as yet proven fatal.
We’ll you know before, but please visit.
Here is my card, just ring when you are free.
Thank you ever so much, you two.
Some time passes before the police arrive and ring the bell. Mrs Jenkins answers the door.
Mrs Jenkins? I’m DCI Simmonds.
You rang about a domestic assault?
Yes, that’s right, good morning, please do come in.
Gladly. That’s my colleague PC Waitham.
He’s just cordoning off the area.
Am I right in saying that the assault
Concerns one named Mr Joseph Horstgrab?
That’s right, and now I guess he’s on the loose.
Joseph’s being tracked down. Seems like all your
Neighbours were a witness. Hold on, it looks
Like someone else is trying to get in.
Maia drives up to the garage but is being ushered away by PC Waitham.
That must be the foster agent, Maia,
And with Joseph’s new child. Oh what a mess.
New Child? Fat chance! I’ll deal with it, OK?
DCI Simmonds go over to Maia to explain the situation.
Maia? My name is DCI Simmonds.
Why, what’s happened? Has there been a break in?
It’s worse than that, sorry to say. Assault.
Oh, I hope that nothing’s happened to poor
Mr Horstgrab, he’s got a new young’un.
Nothing’s happened to him. No yet.
You mean …?
He’s the suspect. Our men are on the trail.
He’ll be locked up before too long, I hope.
And no one thought to get in touch with me?
It all took place only an hour ago,
And what’s more, his partner is the victim.
What! Eve? That’s so shocking! The poor darling.
She’s so lovely, Maureen was so looking
Forward to … she’ll be so upset. Is Eve …?
I can’t comment, I’ve just got here myself.
I see, OK. It’s not fatal, I hope?
She’s in good hands. She’ll make it through, but her
Taking Maureen, well, that’s a non starter.
It’s in Joseph’s surname only. She’s been
Vetted but then Joseph was insistent.
I don’t suppose Eve could afford to raise
Her by herself. So sad. Joseph must be
A real monster, but I never would have
Thought it of him. But then, what do I know?
At least Maureen has folks on the reserve
List. They seem so keen and super friendly.
If you don’t mind, Maia, I must get back …
Of course, I’m pressed also. Let us know how …
We need to know see where we went wrong.
I know, ensure there’s no other Josephs.
They shake hands. DCI Simmonds walks back to the house as Maia drives off. PC Waitham is suspecting the house for any evidence.
Mrs Jenkins, now tell me all you know.
To start, I was getting ready to go
Out with Ms Eve Hawthorn, some time after
Ten but I came round as soon as I heard
The two argue. I don’t know what was said
To be certain, something about who the
Father is or… I know they were planning,
But I thought that was through a sperm donor.
Interesting. Can you tell me some more?
No, that’s all I know. You know, it was all
Hush hush. I didn’t know she was pregnant.
It’s not confirmed, but I think she’s lost it.
Oh Lord, that’s just awful. I heard Joseph
Shout out something like ‘you’re both dead to me!’,
It was muffled, but if he pushed her to
Kill the baby or to hurt Eve? Who knows.
At this stage, we plan to follow both leads.
As soon as I barged my way in, Joseph
Had run away. Eve was lying prostrate,
Her left side was battered. The rest you know.
That’s all I can recall, I wish I could …
That’s all I need. Now, did Joseph ever
Give a sign at all, that this would happen?
There had been some rumours. I mean, no proof,
That’s he’s fiercely jealous and has guarded
Lovers against other men in the past.
He must have heard or read something, or else …
But it’s far too easy to say that now.
You’d do better speaking to the taxi
Driver, he’s the font of local gossip.
His name’s Tommy Massy. Here, take his card.
Mrs Jenkinson reaches for her handbag and takes out the taxi card, handing it over to DCI Simmonds.
Right, I’ll get on to him just soon as …
He’s just taking Jacob to his new home.
Jacob? What have you been hiding from me?
Well, I … wanted to keep him out of it,
He is Joseph’s former foster son, shown
Out the door this morning, to make way for
Maureen. It’s sad but that’s Joseph for you.
I’m not sure how much he can help you thought.
I’ll be the judge of that. Where he’s moved to?
Not sure, Eve planned it all. just ask Tommy.
Now that you’ve been so kind to let me know
About someone who might be the missing
Link, what can you tell me about Jacob?
A most charming young man, rather dashing.
He was too much for that preacher. I’ve done
My best to prize him from the church, I take
Credit for his cultured nature. It’s no
Wonder that he felt chained growing up here.
Do you think he might be the cause of this?
I doubt it. I mean, his presence might have
Delayed it, so it’s no coincidence …
Perhaps Joseph was a little jealous?
It’s all hot air. He was dreaming something
That isn’t there. Jacob told me once he was
Saving himself until he meets the one.
Even though he’s eighteen, he’s not a threat.
OK … that will be all. I’ll wait before
Seeing Jacob, I’ll see what Eve has to
Say first… By the way, does she have any
Parents I can contact, after the op?
Yes, her father has a doctor’s practice
Out in Bladon, it’s called Hawthorns, with a
Big sign on the main road. I can’t recall
Their phone number, sorry, it’s slipped my mind.
That’s fine, I’ll use Google to search for that.
PC Waitham comes into the living room, having conducted his search.
Did you find much of note here, Bert?
No, just skid marks, a few bumps on the wall,
Ties in what Mrs Jenkins has said.
OK, we’ll be off now. I know it’s not
Pleasant, but please try not to fret too much.
Aye, no news is good news I guess. So long.
They shake hands. Mrs Jenkins closes the door behind them and bursts into tears, banging the wall.
© 2017 AGP