DCI Simmonds presses the buzzer at the front entrance. Jacob answers.
Yes, who’s calling?
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?
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.
Jacob, my name is DCI Simmonds.
DCI Simmonds show his badge.
Hold on, aren’t there normally two of you?
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.
Is Joseph in trouble? Has he copped it?
Please, take a seat, this might come as a shock.
Jacob Sits down.
Joseph’s under arrest for the assault
Of Eve. She’s at Bournemoor Spa Hospital.
My God! That’s just … I can’t … poor Eve, she’s so …
Jacob goes pale and starts shaking uncontrollably.
It’s hoped she’ll make a full recovery.
That’s a relief … but … if I was still there …
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.
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?
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 …
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.
My God! The new carpet must have broken her fall.
A soft underlayer … but who found her?
Oh, the next door neighbour, Mrs Jenkins?
Hilda, you mean? Lovely woman, used to
Invite me round and listen to Wagner.
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.
What was the … oh, I can’t think! What’s the term?
The prognosis? Or the diagnosis?
Joseph nods to both terms.
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.
A what!? I didn’t know she was pregnant.
She wanted to keep it a surprize.
Well now! I thought Joseph was impotent.
That’s why he has fostered children. Now you
Mention it, they talked of sperm doctor.
That’s just what Joseph thought. It wasn’t his.
That explains her secret … or should I not …?
Do tell, I like secrets. I hear many.
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.
Hence the pregnancy, right?
Right. Hence the fall.
Anyway, she’s conscious, the last I heard.
When did you see Eve last? How is she now?
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.
She’s at the big one by the roundabout?
No, I think they shared a private health plan.
Ah, the Spa place. Is it quite far from here?
Not at all. You know where the Roundhouse is?
Well, it’s dead opposite. You can visit
After seven thirty tonight. Tell me.
What is, was, your relationship to Eve?
It’s strange, because she’s not my foster mum,
But just one of Joseph’s many partners.
Many, you say? Now that is news to me.
Yeah, he was with Donna first, then had an
Affair with her sister. I’m sure Tommy …
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?
Certainly not! She owns her own chippy.
Does she now? I’ll check up on that.
Back to Eve, she’s twenty-four, I believe.
Yeah, it doesn’t seem right at all, does it?
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?
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.
A total sham. He’s a womaniser
And abuser, that’s the truth of it all.
Abuser? I can vouch for that.
DCI Simmonds takes his pen to paper in anticipation.
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?
Jo … Huh?
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.
Does anyone else know, those from the church?
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.
Too right … say, what happens with their new child?
To keep it short, she’s found another home.
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?
Yes. She couldn’t afford to raise a child
And live in that house by herself.
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.
Maybe men rule out of fear of being
Governed by the wise half of the species!
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.
Will do. See you later.
© 2017 AGP