A month had gone by since Becky's ordeal, and her discharge from hospital; her condition
being, according to the doctors, satisfactory. David wanted to go home straight
away, but there were some difficulties. The local police for one thing. It took
them some time to get enough information about the whole affair, and then to arrange
for Richard and Becky to be handed over into the care of Inspector Brindell. There
was after all an unexplained death, but considering the identity and background of
the victim, Becky was given the benefit of the doubt. For the time being at least.
Another reason was Becky's refusal ever to set foot into the family house at
Crompton again. So as a compromise, until after Gerald's funeral, they were back
at the cottage. It was however a compromise which Becky viewed with some misgivings,
for everything about the place was an anathema to her. It had come to represent
all the horrors of her recent life; the deceit and the distress, the pain and anguish.
And if that were not enough, she felt sure that it was possessed by something evil.
A quiet funeral seemed to be appropriate, considering the events of recent
past. The revelations and the scandal, had replaced Gerald's previous good name,
for one of derision and scorn; so David was pleased to have gained permission for
the funeral to take place in Dalimar, where his rise to glory had started, and away
from the public glare. After all, in any other circumstances that is where he would
have been laid to rest; at the chapel where he and Megan were married. This had
been his back yard; where he grew up; where he made his start in business, and where
he met his darling wife. It was also where Megan had asked to be buried, and had
quietly waited for him.
"Oh mother," David prayed, the same prayer that he had made so many times, "if
only you had not died so young, we might still be a family."
But It was a cry into the wilderness, for what is done is done. Now he stood
at his parents grave side, on this inhospitable day, to witness a sad farewell to
his father, once a man of honour, a man whose standards and morals, until recent
times would have compared favourably to anyone in the land, but a man who had been
betrayed by dark forces he did not know existed and did not understand.
Somewhat reluctantly Becky had agreed to join him, and was at one side. Mrs
Simpson, who had made the effort to be there, was on the other. They watched and
listened to the preacher saying his few words of comfort to the small group of people
he hardly knew, about a man who's public face was well known, but about whom privately
he knew little. It was cold and drizzly and the mist prevented any sight of the hills
to the rear of the chapel, or the sea half a mile beyond.
David could not help asking the question again. How could a man like Gerald
Bomally, captain of industry, respected world wide - not least by his many thousands
of employees - and honoured by the Queen, come to be buried with so little ceremony?
Almost unseen, laid to rest in this small chapel graveyard, in this small Welsh
village which few people will have heard of. His death had been the subject of huge
media interest, and yet there were but five people at the grave side. Three mourners,
the vicar, and one other; a man waiting patiently, slightly to one side, leaning
on his spade until his expertise was required.
But unknown to these people there was another, a shadowy figure, who stood well
back, unseen by the little party, and who, after the coffin was lowered, was the
first to leave.
David had finally received permission to take Becky back to Oxfordshire and
two days after Gerald's funeral they were ready to go. It was time, he thought. They
had been long enough in exile. He knew he had to face the music some time, so why
not now, and if Becky would not return to the house he must go alone. The decision
made, neither of them wanted to delay their departure, and neither of them looked
back as they pulled away, both convinced that they would never see the place again.
Mrs Simpson, had caught their sombre mood and she too had little to say.
The car engine made a constant but gentle hum, which, combined with the sound
of tyres on the wet road, created an almost hypnotic sleep inducing atmosphere inside
the warm and comfortable Saab. As the minutes and the miles took them further away
David felt a sense of relief, and though it was a powerful car he felt no urge to
Possibly he needed that moment of quiet contemplation. Memories of the service
were still fresh in his mind, as were thoughts of futility and loss. There was no
anger now. He had felt anger before, and he was sure it would come again, but at
the moment it was sorrow. For his father left behind, his life ended long before
its time, with many of his dreams and ambitions still unfulfilled. Sorrow as well
for the two ladies with him, sharing this gloomy journey through the night. But
mostly, sorrow for himself.
At least it was warm in the car, but for its three silent occupants, the miles
David had been in love with Becky for a long time, long before he discovered
that he had a rival in his father, but now that he was gone he had hoped that she
would let all her love come his way. She was after all expecting a child which might
be his. But not only had she not come to him, she had moved as far from him emotionally
as she could.
She had finally agreed to return with David to the old house, but just for
one night, after which she would find a hotel. She needed to sort out her life and
make some plans for the future, but to do that she had to get away from the old house;
and she had to get away from David..
"For my future and for my baby." she told him.
"My baby too." he reminded her.
"Maybe, and maybe not." she answered, but there was no sign of warmth in her
voice, nothing to give David any hope.
The evening sky was getting darker when they reached their destination, and
without a second thought Mrs Simpson, who had hardly spoken a word throughout the
whole journey; left them at the car, making it known that soon there would be a
meal waiting for them in the dining room.
David carried the luggage first into the hall, and then upstairs to the bedrooms,
and to Mrs Simpson’s flat.
It was a quiet homecoming, with none of the welcoming feelings they had enjoyed
at other times, but David carried on getting the house ready for habitation once
more, while Mrs Simpson was doing what she always did, which was whatever needed
Only Becky found herself idle. She was lost in her own thoughts, somehow unable
to come to terms with all that had happened. Unable, even now, to completely believe
that what she had thought of as reality, had been nothing more than a fantasy, and
that it was over. It was hard for her to grasp that what she had now was the reality,
and that the life she had before was nothing but an empty dream.
They had endured rather than enjoyed the meal, and then Mrs Simpson returned
to the kitchen - that was her reality - and David was chatting to Becky in the lounge.
He was deliberately not talking about 'them' or what had happened, or indeed what
might happen. He was just making small talk, trying to get her to relax, to be comfortable.
It was quiet; no television, just talk, and Becky's hostility was evaporating a
little. But the relatively calm mood was about to change.
"What was that?" Becky said suddenly, startled when they heard the sound of
"It seemed to come from the kitchen area." David said. "Hope Mrs Simpson is
alright, she's not quite as nifty as she used to be." He got up to investigate and
as he walked down the corridor toward the rear of the house, he felt a cold draft.
His immediate suspicions were confirmed when he came to the back door and found
it was wide open; one of the glass panels smashed. A quick look in the kitchen told
him that Mrs Simpson was not there.
'Thank goodness for that' he thought, as he hurried back to join Becky. "We
might have a visitor." he said when he rejoined her, walking across the room to
pick up the phone. "Better call the police just in case." he said.
David stopped dead as he heard the voice coming from behind the curtain at
the side of the door he had just used.
"Richard?" he called out, recognising the voice at once. Becky gasped, hardly
believing, and frightened.
"Where in God's name have you been?" David hadn't waited for confirmation that
it was his brother; he knew it from the first moment.
"I've been about, here and there, waiting for you. Thought you'd be home sooner
than this though."
David was startled at first, but now he was getting cross. "Aren't you going
to come out; at least have the decency to show your face."
"It's a bit too late for decency, don't you think."
"And who's fault is that?; and why did you not go to your father's funeral?"
"I don't think I was invited, and I'm sure I wasn't wanted."
Becky at last found her voice "You tried to have me killed."
"You see, what did I tell you, I knew I wouldn't be wanted, so I didn't announce
myself, but I was there. Thought I'd see the old man off."
"My god," said David, "you just can't stop can you, don't you know the harm
you have done, and the people you have hurt." Angry now, he picked up the heavy poker
from the fireplace. "If you don't come out and show yourself I'll be in there with
There was a movement in the dark corner, and slowly Richard emerged. "I think
you had better put that down, it you don’t want me to use this." He waved his hand
a little and the gun he was holding was clear for them to see.
"And you killed your father," Becky butted in "have you no pity?"
"Pity?, for him? I had much worse plans for him than just killing him. Anyway
that was an accident."
"No it wasn't, because I saw the knife lying on the floor. You deliberately
killed him." Becky interrupted again, also angry.
Before he could respond to that David was shouting again "And who was the man
on the cliff; you were going to have her pushed over weren't you?"
"The bloody fool; I heard what happened. He was just a local villain, a man
I knew who was sometimes useful to me,” he almost spat his anger “serves him right
anyway for not carrying out instructions."
"I don't believe what I'm hearing, you driveling coward, standing over there
and hiding behind your gun." David shouted at his brother.
Goaded by these scathing remarks Richard moved nearer. Now in the full glare
of the room light, it was clear that he had been living rough.
"Man, look at yourself, why didn't you come to the house sooner?"
"Oh yes you would have like that wouldn't you, you and your friend the inspector."
Richard had moved a little closer. Just a little too close, for without warning
David, judging that he was just close enough, hit out with the poker, knocking the
gun from Richard's hand.
Without losing a second he leapt to follow up his attack, and aimed a blow.
It missed and Richard grabbed hold of the poker, the brother's now engaged. It
became a massive struggle as each, both as desperate as the other, fought for dominance.
During the mayhem Becky managed to get to the phone, but before she could dial
Richard threw David hard against the fireplace where he fell. He rushed to retrieve
the gun and then grabbed Becky, his arm around her neck and was throttling her. Waving
the gun at David he shouted.
"Enough, or Miss Carr will die." He sneeringly said her name with a malice
that underlined his evil intent.
"I think from the beginning you intended to kill us; all of us; and you started
off with father. You must have sold your soul to the devil." David was quiet now,
unaware of the prophetic nature of his last remark, and almost resigned to his fate.
"But do you have to kill Becky as well?; she never did you any harm."
"Ah, but she's contaminated now; contaminated by you and by father." suddenly
he was laughing "Father dear father, so self-righteous, so god fearing, and so full
of crap. First time I waved a bit of fanny at him he couldn't come quick enough,
the sanctimonious bible pushing do-gooder."
David was incensed. “He was none of the those things; you twisted demon. He
was a good man until you ruined him ... you'll rot in hell you devil. You're not
a patch on your father."
Unexpectedly he thought about the curse; Morrigan’s evil legacy to the family.
"Can’t you see, you both suffered from the same curse, - you're the other side of
the same coin - he was the sound half to his brother Fred, as I am the sound half
to you. When you were conceived all the bad that was in father went into you. You
poor sod, how I pity you.”
Richard stopped in his tracks for a moment, surprised that David appeared to
know about Morrigan; then he roared, a terrible roar. Such a roar it might even
have been the Devil himself. “You bloody fool.” he shouted “you don’t think that
snivelling excuse for a man was my father do you?”
David thought he had not heard properly. “What do you mean by that?” This time
shouting a little less loudly “Who then?”
“Can’t you guess?”
“Oh stop talking rot; it’s utter rubbish.” not wanting to believe what he thought
Richard was suggesting.
But Richard was not finished. “My father was uncle Fred, Gerald’s ‘baby’ brother,
who hated him as much as I did."
It was like a bolt from the blue. The Idea that his mother might have been
unfaithful to his father was unthinkable; impossible. But almost at once he knew
it was true. How it could ever have happened he would never know, but he was certain
that whatever else, she would not have been willing. But in a flash it explained
“May God forgive you both.” David said, not shouting any more. It was too late
now for shouting. During this exchange he had inched forward bit by bit, until he
was close enough to hurl himself once more at his brother. He didn't much care anymore
for himself, but he had to try and save Becky if he could. His lunge caught Richard
by surprise and when he fired the gun he was unable to aim properly. But it was
Becky who fell to the ground, blood pouring from a wound in her side.
Once again they were locked in combat, like two gladiators in the coliseum,
fighting to the death. It was a fight with no holds barred, and had lasted about
ten minutes, neither of the brothers managing to gain an advantage, when suddenly
the door burst open again and in came Chief Inspector Brindell, with three uniformed
"My God, what's going on hear?" Brindell shouted
Both fighters stopped, surprised at the unexpected intervention, but it was
Richard who took advantage of the new situation. Before anyone could stop him, he
rushed and grabbed Becky again, who had managed to sit up. He still had the gun
which he threatened to use on her if the police didn't back off.
He shouted at Brindell. "Thought I'd never get to meet you inspector; congratulations
on your perfect timing; how on earth did you manage that?"
Brindell shrugged his shoulders "Someone rang 999" It seemed to be rather
a lame response.
But Richard, realising he might be trapped, and with nothing to lose seemed
to be going completely out of control and was shouting.
"I didn't kill my father, well, that snivelling wreck who thought he was my father.
Oh yes I wanted to kill him, but some bugger beat me to it. He thought he had everything,
but he didn't have a fraction of the power I have," he shouted again at everyone
in the room, "and I didn't want to kill Becky at first, unless I had to." He put
the gun against Becky's head and shouted "But now I know I have to, she was my creation
... no one else can have her now."
There is the sound of a gunshot, and Becky screamed.
For a long moment no-one moved, but it was Richard who fell to his knees, his
blood splattering Becky's face and dress as he slithered down.
Standing in the corner of the room, where she had entered unobserved was Mrs
Simpson, gun in hand, staring ahead like a zombie. Still nobody had moved except
Richard, as he continued to slide like a character in a slow motion picture.
Inspector Brindell was the first to break the spell, as he walked slowly but
calmly to where Mrs Simpson remained standing, motionless. He gently took the gun
from her hand, and then led her to a chair and sat her down.
David then rushed to Becky side and was relieved to find that it was Richard’s
blood not hers which now disfigured her, and that her earlier wound was not deep.
They too collapsed on to a chair, while the four policemen stood, waiting for something
Again Brindell was the first to move, first looking at Richard and announcing
that he was still alive, then picking up the phone to send for an ambulance.
Mrs Simpson did not seem to have changed her expression; she was dazed, almost
unconscious. She didn’t seem to be aware that she had shot someone, let alone nearly
killed him, and for a long time she just sat there murmuring unspoken words, staring
But no-one was prepared for what came next. "I loved him." she said very quietly,
so quietly that she could hardly be heard.
"What was that again?" Brindell asked, taking her hand
"I loved him." this time a little louder, and everyone in the room heard it
"You loved Richard?" It seemed incomprehensible. She had just shot a man,
and now she was claiming that she loved him.
But she simply repeated what she had been saying "I loved him."
Then Becky walked over and nodded to the inspector, who moved away to let her
sit down next to the confused and apparently irrational lady. She didn't really know
how she was going to help, but she squeezed Mrs Simpson's hand and kissed her cheek
"You saved my life;” she said quietly “it was very brave of you."
"I loved him." was the only response. But then there was a little movement
as she turned her head toward Becky.
"You loved Richard?" Becky asked again, hoping that her words were being heard.
Mrs Simpson turned her head a little further until she was looking at Becky,
eye to eye. Her expression had changed a little. Perhaps she was beginning to understand;
to remember what had happened. Suddenly, almost angrily she pulled her hand from
Becky's and returned her head to its previous forwards stare.
But it was different, she had lost that vacant gaze. In its place was something
David spoke up. "You say you love Richard Mrs Simpson, is that what you are
"Don't be ridiculous, of course I don't love Richard, whatever gave you such
It was an astonishing turnaround. With what seemed like the flick of a switch
she was Mrs Simpson again; the same Mrs Simpson they had known for years.
"But you said ..." It was Becky again, gentle and coaxing, "you said you loved
"Love Richard, that evil nasty pretence of a son, how could anyone love him?"
"But who then Mrs Simpson, who were you speaking of?"
"Why, Gerald of course, I've always loved him, and he killed him." She pointed
at the still body of Richard, now being attended to by one of the constables.
"Did Gerald know that you loved him?" Becky asked quietly
"Yes he knew ... and I think he loved me back ... and when Mrs Bomally ..."
she stopped as though to gain strength, "when Megan died ..." there was another
long pause, "I thought he might turn to me."
Suddenly she was overcome. The full horror of the last half an hour had returned
and now she was weeping, silently, but the tears confirmed her distress. When she
managed to recover her composure a little she pointed again at the body on the floor,
almost forgotten now, except for the lone constable.
Still looking at Richard, and with nothing but loathing on her face she continued.
"And then he came in with his tarts. Those long legged floozies with their big bosoms
and tight bums, and no clothes to speak of. He took my Gerald away from me so that
he could go with them hussies."
Inspector Brindell had been very quiet during Mrs Simpson revelations, but
was clearly worried, and when he could he took David to one side.
"There's something bothering me about this." he said. "Richard just claimed
that someone beat him to it, and when Miss Carr came into the room on the day that
Bomally was murdered, she said that she saw the knife on the floor, but when she
came back just a few minutes later it was not on the floor but sticking in Gerald's
chest." He looked at David, "Are you still with me?" The inspector continued. "Becky
said at the time that she thought Richard had done it, but was very surprised at
him being so angry ... why would he be so angry?"
David was listening intently, but hadn't quite got the message.
"What are you getting at then?" he asked
"What I am getting at is that I don't think that it was Richard who killed your
father. I think he may have wanted to, but he was angry because someone else got
"But who, who else would want to kill him?"
He didn't answer for a moment. He seemed to be steeling himself to say what
he did not want to say, to think the unthinkable.
"Who loved him enough not to want to see him dragged through the mire, degraded
He didn’t wait for David’s reply, but walked to Mrs Simpson’s side, took hold
of her hand and then he sat down beside her.
Speaking quietly he asked, "Mrs Simpson, did you kill Mr Bomally?"
She was staring straight ahead and once more that vacant expression adorned
her face. "I loved him." she answered.
"Mrs Simpson," he asked again "did you kill Gerald?"
A knew look came over her, it was almost a look of peace. "No, I didn't kill
him, not really, not his soul, but ... maybe his body."
"What do you mean Mrs Simpson? Can you tell me?"
Mrs Simpson seemed to be losing her sense of place again, as though she didn't
know what was happening. "I heard a lot of shouting." It was a tiny voice but in
the silence of the room none of them failed to hear, "I went to see what it was
all about. Of course I saw Gerald on the floor and he was moaning."
"Go on," the Inspector said trying to keep her concentration, "then what did
"Well I went to him of course," she answered in a firmer voice and gave Brindell
a sideways look "see if he was alright, you know; and all he could say was Becky
... Becky; he's taking her away."
She seemed to be more aware again. A different look on her face. "Of course
I knew what was going on with him and ... that woman,” seemingly unaware that
‘that woman’ was sitting in the chair opposite her. “... and all the others before
her." she added, as though she had just remembered.
Six pairs of eyes watched; six pairs of ears listed, waiting for her to continue.
"You don't need her; let her go, I said to him.” Mrs Simpson seemed now to
be in a trance, reliving the scene. "I'm here to look after you Gerald, to see to
all your needs; to love you."
She lowered her head just a little, hurting inside as she recalled his words.
“Love me?" he shouted, "what do you mean, love me?; how can you love me?"
Mrs Simpson stopped, her aguish showing as she recounted the event. "But I do
love you; I've always loved you Gerald, and when Megan died I thought ... "
She sobbed a little, oblivious now of all the people around her, as though she
was some other world, but she was starting to feel the emotion, remembering his cruelty.
"But he cut me dead." a little flash of anger now, as she remembered his words. "You
speak of my Megan, and then yourself. You think you could replace her ... good God
woman, look at yourself ... go back to your kitchen and leave me alone. No!, help
me up to my feet first."
Mrs Simpson smiled, eyes closed, still in a faraway world, but she smiled just
the same. "All those years telling me I was one of the family, someone special, with
a place in his heart. But then I knew. I never admitted it before, but then I knew.
To him I was just a servant."
She open her eyes, suddenly, and seemed to be back in the real world, back to
a crowded room. "He was not the man I had known, not my Gerald. My Gerald was dead;
he had killed him and some other being was in his body."
Again she pointed at Richard, and sighed. "But I was the servant after all,
and the years of loving him had not changed that, so I leaned across to help him
up, and my hand accidentally touched the knife." She turned her head now to look
at the inspector full in the face. "Up to that moment I had no thoughts of harming
Gerald, but when I felt the knife in my hand ... ”
Mrs Simpson stopped talking, as though thinking. She seemed oddly calm, and
made no attempt to move. She was the servant after all, and she would do as she was
told. “Then I heard some voices, and I had to run.” she continued.
"But you said you loved him," Brindell was very patient, and waited a while
before he asked again. "why would you want to kill him?"
"Because the man I loved was already dead; I had to save his spirit and his
soul from any more shame. He had suffered too much already." There she stopped;
nothing more to say. David was still holding on to Becky, listening to Mrs Simpson,
but not believing. "Was that it then?" he asked her quietly "a crime of passion
by a sad dejected old lady?"
He had meant those words for Becky’s ears, but in the silence of the room everyone
else heard him.
"No, that's not it." Inspector Brindell was on his feet. Looking now at David
he considered his words. "How well do you think you know Mrs Simpson?"
David's response was slow, cautious, but in the end positive. "I guess as well
as I knew her as well as I knew my mother."
"Did you love her like your mother?"
David was starting to feel a little uncomfortable now, not yet able to follow
Brindell's lead. "Yes, I guess I loved her, she has been part of my life as long
as I can remember, but not like my mother. Not like my mother." he repeated, but
unable to continue, his eyes becoming moist with his thoughts of her, and of the
sad silent Mrs Simpson.
"Do you believe that she could kill your father, the man she claims to have
"Do you think she loved him?"
Brindell walked back to Mrs Simpson, and sat down next to her again. "Do you
remember the day when you gave me a fresh bread cake Mrs Simpson, hot, just out of
Her face altered just perceptibly; not a smile, but a recognition. "Yes I remember."
"We talked a lot that day, and you told me about your life with the Bomally's.
How happy you were, and how you loved them both, and how sad you were when Mrs Bomally
"Yes ... we had a long talk."
"Mrs Simpson." he waited a moment "I don't believe you could ever have killed
Mr Bomally, whatever the reason. Now are you going to tell me what happened. Are
you shielding someone?"
As he spoke his eyes turned to David.. Becky saw it too and stiffened, moved
slightly away before standing up, waiting for the inspector to make the next move.
David felt threatened and isolated, then he also stood up. "Wait a minute,"
he said, "I don't know how you got round to this, but I didn't kill my father."
Without a pause the inspector turned and directed his apparently angry voice
at Mrs Simpson.
"If you are not shielding David," he shouted "who then?"
"She is shielding me, I killed Mr Bomally."
They all turned to where the new voice came from, and all eyes strained to focus
on the newcomer. There, standing in the doorway; the same doorway where a little
earlier Mrs Simpson had made such a dramatic entrance, was Jennifer Tyler. Her face
was contorted with grief, and her clenched fists were going up and down in a gesture
of despair. "She is trying to protect me." she choked, hardly able to speak.
David was on his feet at once. “Mrs Tyler!” he exclaimed “What on earth are
you doing here?”
“My mother phoned me before you left Wales; asked me to come, didn’t want to
be alone as things stood. I waited in my car until you arrived, and as soon as she
could mother let me in.”
"Well now that you are here perhaps you would like to explain your extraordinary
announcement." interrupted Brindell.
Mrs Tyler walked forward through the assembled company until she reached Mrs
Simpson. She stood behind her and then started to gently to massage her shoulders,
in a move she hoped would calm them both. "All my life I have been trying to trace
my mother, and no sooner do I find her but this happens.” she looked pleadingly at
the inspector “Am I am going to lose her again?”
"Are you going to tell us what happened?" Brindell asked, answering her question
with one of his own.
"Since I found her we have been spending as much time as we could together,
trying to make up for all those lost years; just getting to know each other; and
by chance I was here that day."
She bent down and quietly spoke a few words to Mrs Simpson, so only she could
hear, before returning to address the others in the room. "We heard all the shouting
and mother..." she stopped mid stream as though just saying the word gave her a
thrill "...said she thought she had better go and see what all the fuss was about.
But I stopped her; and said I would go and take a look. I found Mr Bomally on the
floor and tried to help him up, but he would not let me. He kicked and shouted,
and then he picked up that knife and started waving it about."
Mrs Tyler stopped for a moment to catch her breath. "I managed somehow to grab
hold of his wrist, but he was very strong and the knife was still swishing through
the space between us as we both tried to gain control. Then I managed to get a better
grip, and he tried to pull away. Somehow he gave an enormous yank and pulled the
knife toward himself and out of my grasp. At that moment he seemed to give up the
struggle and slumped to the floor again, as though he’d had enough; too tired to
carry on. At first I didn’t realize; he seemed to have just given up; had lost his
will to fight, defeated."
Mrs Tyler looked about her, at the expectant looks on so many faces. "Just
about then my mother came in, anxious to see for herself what was going on and saw
Mr Bomally on the floor, and she was worried that he might be ill. I was feeling
very fraught by now and I told her to go and that I would get him to his feet again.
Mother was reluctant and didn’t want to leave me but I insisted. As I was getting
Mr Bomally to a sitting position we heard voices, which must have been Richard and
Becky in the next room.
“Go, Go, I hissed at her, I’ll be with you as soon as I can, and mother left.”
She stopped, exhausted.
"Go on." encouraged Brindell, feeling that at last the truth, or at least a
version of it, was emerging.
“At that moment Mr Bomally grabbed me, and I pushed him roughly away, but only
then did I realize that the knife was sticking in his chest.” There was a long silence
as she collected her thoughts. “Then I ran.”
"They saw you there then, with Mr Bomally?"
"No; I scrambled out as quick as I could, and went up to mothers rooms and we
locked the door. Ten minutes later we heard Richard's car as they drove away, and
then as soon as we could we left too."
"You just left him lying there?"
"We didn't go back into the lounge. We didn't know how bad he was hurt, and
anyway we thought Richard and Becky would have taken him with them. We did not know
why they were falling out, but we were very frightened and just wanted to get away."
Mrs Tyler stopped talking now. She seemed to have nothing left to say; resigned
now to her fate.
Chief Inspector Brindell looked at Mrs Simpson with a questioning expression.
“Anything to add?"
She smiled sadly as she squeezed her daughter’s hand. "It’s just like before;
after all these years, I've lost her again and ..."
Just then, before she could say any more, everyone was startled by a huge groan
emanating from Richard. The policeman who had been at his side jumped, alarmed at
the noise. But that was just the start for he groaned again, this time a little
quieter but more sustained. He started to move and then to everyone’s surprise he
slowly stood up and stretched his arms out wide. Then he roared, a roar the like
of which no one in that room had ever heard before. His eyes were bright and staring,
getting brighter all the time until they glowed. It was then that they noticed that
his face had started to change. Before their eyes Richard, who had not been treated
kindly by nature when it came to looks, was slowly taking on the appearance of a
handsome man, though the noise he was still making was far from handsome.
“What in Gods name?” muttered Brindell.
“I fear that this is not in Gods name.” replied David.