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Have a Cuppa with Shirley (or Martin)

Come in, come in. Don’t be shy! Lord knows no one else around here has been. The place is like bloody Trafalgar Square today, and I’m left to clean up the droppings. Still, I don’t mind. Everything will be tidy soon enough. Well, sit down, do. Just give me a minute and I’ll fetch you a nice hot cup of tea.

Well then. You haven’t heard? Sergeant Archer and his mates just left this minute; I would have thought you’d have passed them in the hall. They came to arrest Emma Knytleigh, they did. You know, the historian. Well, she may look sweet as one of Martin’s apples in October, but she’s rotten to the core, is that one.

Last autumn she started meddling in my business, and I warned her then, I did, that there’d be trouble if she continued. You see, I had something on her, didn’t I? Bobby Archer knows a bloke who worked in the juvenile detention house, where they send young hooligans and addicts and such. Out in Boxbolton, I think he said it was. It turns out she spent two years there. Arrested on drug charges, she was. Buying and selling. She would have been just a girl then, was sixteen when they let her out.

Well, like I said, I warned her against her meddling ways. But she wouldn’t have any of it, would she? Went right on, talking to Jerry Anderson, having my own grandson turn against me, upsetting Frank. So when I found drugs in her room, I called Bobby right away. Cannabis and cocaine. To think what’s been going on in that room! And with my John about! I’m not having that sort of thing in my house. Good riddance to her, I say.

John certainly saw the light once the police showed up. Packed his bags and left this very afternoon. Still, it’s best that he learned the truth now, before things went any further.

Frank doesn’t know yet. Poor man. We’ve really lost him since Emma found his birth certificate. I don’t know if he’s read the letters, or even knew about them. He just sits in his room, staring at the walls or muttering to himself. I’ve been carrying dinner down to the Hermitage for him, but to be honest he’s hardly touched a bite in the last week. I’m afraid we’ll have to call for the doctor if he doesn’t get better soon.

Oh, and if you’re looking for ‘is lordship, he’s gone round the station. Seems that Bobby had a few questions for him. Not sure why, really. Said something about a Caribbean cartel.

Well, well. All in all its been quite a day, and I’m done in. Fancy another cuppa?

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