A Week in June, Part 10

DCI Simmonds presses the buzzer at the front entrance. Jacob answers.

 

Jacob:

Hello?

 

DCI Simmonds:

Jacob Moraine?

 

Jacob:

Yes, who’s calling?

 

DCI Simmonds:

At last, we’ve been trying to contact you

All day. It’s the police. Don’t worry, you’re

Not in trouble, but I want to get a

Statement from you about Joseph Horstgrab.

Is it OK if come up right now?

 

Jacob:

I thought I’d have no more to do with him …

 

Jacob buzzes to let DCI Simmonds in. DCI Simmonds walks upstairs. Jacob opens the door.

 

DCI Simmonds:

Jacob, my name is DCI Simmonds.

 

DCI Simmonds show his badge.

 

Jacob:

Hold on, aren’t there normally two of you?

 

DCI Simmonds:

Yes, but I’ve just finished my shift, and called

On the off chance that you’ll be in. I’m long

Enough in my job not to hold onto

Someone’s hand, like. All I’m after is a

Witness statement. In truth, we know a lot

But I want to see if there’s more info.

 

Jacob:

Is Joseph in trouble? Has he copped it?

 

DCI Simmonds:

Please, take a seat, this might come as a shock.

 

Jacob Sits down.

 

DCI Simmonds:

Joseph’s under arrest for the assault

Of Eve. She’s at Bournemoor Spa Hospital.

 

Jacob:

My God! That’s just …  I can’t … poor Eve, she’s so …

 

Jacob goes pale and starts shaking uncontrollably.

 

DCI Simmonds:

It’s hoped she’ll make a full recovery.

 

Jacob:

That’s a relief … but … if I was still there …

 

DCI Simmonds:

I know, I know, it might not have happened.

By all accounts, it would have at some point.

I’ll fill you in on the details.

 

DCI Simmonds passes Jacob a tissue.

 

Jacob:

Thank you.

 

DCI Simmonds:

It took place just after you left. They had

A row. We’re not certain just what was said,

But we gather you were the main topic.

Is there anything at all you can add?

 

Jacob:

I seem to recall now, before I left …

What was it? Ah, yes, Eve complained about

Joseph overriding her, and chucking

Me out, she wanted me to stay you see.

Then, I don’t know, something Eve said,

I would have been better living elsewhere,

As a youngster, she meant. She was about …

 

DCI Simmonds:

I know, then the taxi arrived. And deal

With her he did. It seems he punched her once

Or twice and she fell down the stairs.

 

Jacob:

My God! The new carpet must have broken her fall.

A soft underlayer … but who found her?

 

DCI Simmonds:

Oh, the next door neighbour, Mrs Jenkins?

 

Jacob:

Hilda, you mean? Lovely woman, used to

Invite me round and listen to Wagner.

 

DCI Simmonds:

I think they were due to meet up. She heard

The noise and came round straight away with her

Spare key. Joseph escaped by then through the back gate.

She called for an ambulance straight away.

 

Jacob:

What was the … oh, I can’t think! What’s the term?

 

DCI Simmonds:

The prognosis? Or the diagnosis?

 

Joseph nods to both terms.

 

DCI Simmonds:

She broke her arm and collarbone, with pins

In her shoulder, and a neck brace, which might

Have been removed, I’m not too sure. A fair

Amount of blood was lost, she had covered

Her head, which might just have saved her. It would

Appear she also had a miscarriage.

 

Jacob jumps out of his chair, startled.

 

Jacob:

A what!? I didn’t know she was pregnant.

 

DCI Simmonds:

She wanted to keep it a surprize.

 

Jacob:

Well now! I thought Joseph was impotent.

That’s why he has fostered children. Now you

Mention it, they talked of sperm doctor.

 

DCI Simmonds:

That’s just what Joseph thought. It wasn’t his.

 

Jacob:

That explains her secret … or should I not …?

 

DCI Simmonds:

Do tell, I like secrets. I hear many.

 

Jacob:

Oh, just that six weeks, or two months, ago,

I don’t remember when, she went to stay

With her parents. But she didn’t. She stayed

With an ‘old friend’ hers. Hence the secret.

 

DCI Simmonds:

Hence the pregnancy, right?

 

Jacob:

Right. Hence the fall.

 

DCI Simmonds:

Anyway, she’s conscious, the last I heard.

 

Jacob:

When did you see Eve last? How is she now?

 

DCI Simmonds:

Last night, she was delirious, after

Effects of the treatment, you know,

And kept calling your name. She seemed to have

Had a mental blackout of what happened.

No, most of what I know was filled in from

Mrs Jenkins. When I popped around today,

She was less talkative, stable, yes, but …

Maybe it’s just because of who I am.

Which is why I thought I’d get more from you.

 

Jacob:

She’s at the big one by the roundabout?

 

DCI Simmonds:

No, I think they shared a private health plan.

 

Jacob:

Ah, the Spa place. Is it quite far from here?

 

DCI Simmonds:

Not at all. You know where the Roundhouse is?

 

Jacob nods.

 

DCI Simmonds:

Well, it’s dead opposite. You can visit

After seven thirty tonight. Tell me.

What is, was, your relationship to Eve?

 

Jacob:

It’s strange, because she’s not my foster mum,

But just one of Joseph’s many partners.

 

DCI Simmonds:

Many, you say? Now that is news to me.

 

Jacob:

Yeah, he was with Donna first, then had an

Affair with her sister. I’m sure Tommy …

 

DCI Simmonds:

I remember Donna! Strange, he didn’t

Mention her name, though I only asked him

About recent events, to be honest.

Was she like a mother? You kept in touch?

 

Jacob:

Certainly not! She owns her own chippy.

 

DCI Simmonds:

Does she now? I’ll check up on that.

Back to Eve, she’s twenty-four, I believe.

 

Jacob:

Yeah, it doesn’t seem right at all, does it?

 

DCI Simmonds:

Of course, it’s not for me to pass comment

On anyone’s private love live, but to

Have a partner who is closer in age

To your foster son must have caused friction?

 

Jacob:

We were rarely alone. I think, she felt …

Uncomfortable about playing Mother.

As an adult … Joseph wanted me out.

I disagreed with his religious views.

 

DCI Simmonds:

A total sham. He’s a womaniser

And abuser, that’s the truth of it all.

 

Jacob:

Abuser? I can vouch for that.

 

DCI Simmonds:

Really?

 

DCI Simmonds takes his pen to paper in anticipation.

 

Jacob:

This was before Eve, so to speak. Joseph

Wanted me to play the perfect church boy, singing

In the choir, going to Sunday school,

Coming straight home before dark to study

Cain and Abel, that sort of thing. Only

I was too unruly for his liking,

And got more than cane marks for my troubles.

Castor oil, and such like. Apparently,

Some of his mistresses get turned on by

Some of that stuff. One man’s pleasure, and that.

How did your men catch him?

 

DCI Simmonds:

Who, Josephine?

 

Jacob:

Jo … Huh?

 

DCI Simmonds:

You heard right. He had a wig on, and a

Shawl to cover his face, but the bloodstained

Loafers gave him away. Just up to the

Duck pond. Even they flew away from him.

 

Jacob bursts out laughing, and wipes away his tears.

 

Jacob:

Does anyone else know, those from the church?

 

DCI Simmonds:

Just the vicar. He took most calmly,

You know, as if he had a hunch. He told

Me that sometimes, in his moments of doubt,

Which are frequent and strong, he questions why

God would pardon such men. I think he has

A tea and cake meeting this week, so that

Will give victims the chance to come forward.

Judging by what Tommy told me, there were

More than a few. He kept that from you, though,

As an innocent lad. I’ll do the same.

 

Jacob:

Too right … say, what happens with their new child?

 

DCI Simmonds:

To keep it short, she’s found another home.

 

Jacob:

Even though Eve would make a loving mum?

Still, it’s the best thing for the child in the

Long run. So, really, Eve’s lost everything?

 

DCI Simmonds::

Yes. She couldn’t afford to raise a child

And live in that house by herself.

 

Jacob:

Pity.

 

DCI Simmonds:

On that high note, I must go now. Private

Duties of my own to see to. I’m in

Trouble for being late home yesterday.

A little piece of fatherly advice,

No matter how much we may rule the streets  

It’s the wives who are in control at home.

 

Jacob:

Maybe men rule out of fear of being

Governed by the wise half of the species!

 

DCI Simmonds:

You’ve got something. See you around, and give

My best to Eve.

 

Jacob shakes hands with DCI Simmonds and walks with him to the staircase.

 

Jacob:

Will do. See you later.

 

© 2017 AGP

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