UBI CARITAS ET AMOR. DEUS IBI EST.
UBI CARITAS ET AMOR. DEUS IBI EST.
Tuesday, 6 August 2019
The Case Of The Mystery Crime - Part 5
After the police left I stayed with Mrs Scrivener to console her as she continued crying. I made her a cup of tea and I found some old biscuits in the kitchen which I put delicately on a plate. As soon as she saw them she started crying again.
"These are Polly's biscuits ..." she cried, "they are dog biscuits. They're very hard. I buy them because he likes to sharpen his beak on them. And now he's gone ... my poor Polly ... gone like my husband ..."
I did not know what to do. I am not good with crying women. Do I say ... there, there, all will be OK ... or do I say nothing? Do I sit a little closer to her ... or do I hug her? Is it OK to hug an old lady? I really don't know what is the etiquette these days when women cry. This is yet another situation I will have to add to my book of difficult life situations and how to handle them, should I ever get the time to write it. Perhaps right now I should go out and buy a packet of biscuits?
She stopped crying and laughed a little. Just a short chuckle.
"You are a chump ..." she said, "not knowing these are dog biscuits ..."
She sipped some tea and then started crying again.
"I wonder what's happened to Polly," she said, "is he dead or alive?"
Obviously she did not have closure, as the psychiatrists would say. Her pet was missing and she did not know where he was, whether dead or alive, or whether she would see him again.
I thought of all the people in the world in a similar situation, having lost a loved one and not knowing where they are; or having undergone a very traumatic situation without it ever being resolved. Without closure and knowing what happened and why. I prayed silently for all these people and for Mrs Scrivener.
"Do you think Polly is dead?" she interrupted my prayers.
"No ..." I said, "No ... whoever did this did not want your parrot dead. Otherwise he would have killed him here and left. Whoever it is wanted this parrot alive. I am beginning to wonder why. Tell me ... Mrs Scrivener ..." I hesitated, "are you sure that Polly has never spoken?"
"No never ..." she said, " never said a word. We've had him three years or so. My husband got him six months before he died ... and he never said a word. The parrot that is. My husband didn't speak much either!"
Now I knew this was not the case because I had heard the parrot talk with my own ears. By that I mean he talked with his beak and I heard him with my ears! I heard him say more than once "François Bordeaux did it ... François Bordeaux did it ... "
Either Mrs Scrivener was lying, or the parrot had not spoken in her presence. We can eliminate the fact that she is probably deaf since she is here talking to me and hearing me right now.
"Will you promise me you will find Polly?" she asked.
Why is that we men when we are in the company of a woman in distress, or crying even, we promise anything in the hope of making things better?
I stupidly said yes and immediately regretted it instantly. Why could I not say that I can't be bothered looking for a stupid bird? That I was too busy with my own life than to make mine a little more difficult helping her. It was her fault after all leaving the front door open all the time. Maybe in the olden days people were more trustworthy and did leave doors open. But times have changed and old fogies like her should learn to trust no one. She should follow my motto that everyone is evil unless they prove otherwise.
"Why do you keep your door open?" I asked casually.
"I am old and not too steady on my feet," she said, "I am afraid that if I fall I could perhaps shout and someone will come in to help me! When I go to Edna's I forget to pull the door behind me. She keeps her door open too for the same reason."
That statement made me very sad and tore my heart to pieces. What have we done to our modern society?
After she calmed down a little I left her and set to work trying to find her missing bird.
My first task was to get some leaflets printed with the bird's photo and some details on who to contact. I put my phone number for convenience. Someone I know who is good at computers printed over a hundred leaflets within the hour and then we set out posting them through letter boxes, and sticking them on lamp posts and shop windows. This took all day. He then printed some more and promised to get them displayed in shop windows in town.
A couple of days later I had to attend a cheese and wine charity event to raise money for the Home For Distressed Weasels. I took some leaflets with me in case I needed them.
As I stood there quietly sipping a delicate white wine I saw at the other end of the room Eunice Murgatroid. I had not seen her for ages. At least three years or so. The last time I saw her she was working at the local newspapers in the printing room. A thought crossed my mind ... ... ... I wonder!
"Hello Eunice," I said as I approached her, "I haven't seen you for ages, and you look as young as ever. How are you?"
"Actually, I feel a bit constipated," she said, "that's why I'm drinking just water. The doctor said it will clear up with medication!"
I was really not expecting that. Some people really do surprise me at times. Normally, I pride myself on having a quick witty thing to say on every occasion. This time I was speechless. I am convinced we do need a book on how to deal with such life situations with suggestions on what to say and do.
I put down my wine glass and thought ... better grab the bull by the horns.
I showed her one of the leaflets and explained briefly how someone had stolen Mrs Scrivener's bird.
"What a good human interest story!" she said, "do you think it would be a good idea to feature it in our local paper? Not many stories to report right now!"
Bingo ... I had scored. Sometimes I surprise myself at how clever I am.