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Monday 5:45 pm
This will be the last, definitely the last. Three in a week; it’s getting ridiculous. Time to retire, it’s getting too risky, he kept telling himself. Yes, this is the last, I don’t need the money, I don’t need the stress. 

He pulled into a parking space opposite Turnham Green tube station and walked briskly into the entrance of the station and sat down in the cafe. He took ten minutes to finish his mug of tea and looked at his watch — six o’clock, time to go. He put on a jacket and baseball cap that he had in his backpack and strolled out of the station ready for his last contract.

There had not been a lot of time for preparation, it seemed like this was a rush job. He knew that Broadbent arrived home, at 6.30 p.m., almost to the minute, every evening and that he lived alone. There was a housekeeper, and even though her hours were irregular, she never seemed to stay later than four o’clock.

There was only time for him to do one check of the house, but he was fairly sure that there wouldn’t be any problems as the old man would be alone. Luckily for him, the house next door was vacant. It had a “For Sale” sign prominently displayed in the front garden. When he went there, he posed as a prospective buyer by taking photographs of the house and garden. There was nobody about, but there could have been someone watching from one of the houses across the street.

Bedford Park, London's first garden suburb, built in the late 19th century, consisted of large, attractive detached and semi-detached houses on tree-lined streets. It was an affluent area and nobody walked around the streets after dark. If anyone was coming or going, they would be in their fancy cars. It was still light when he arrived at the house that was for sale. He pretended to take photographs of the street as a way of checking that there was nobody around. He was satisfied he wasn’t being observed and walked quickly to the back garden of the vacant house. 

His plan was to be in Broadbent’s house before he arrived home. He’d seen that the locks on the conservatory doors were Brockworthy's and wouldn't be too difficult to pick, and even if he couldn’t get them open, he could smash one of the small panes of glass and force the doors.

He had originally thought of checking out the inside of the house the previous day by posing as a member of the anti-terrorist squad but dismissed the idea as being too risky and unnecessary. The old man was alone in the house; this would be one of his easiest contracts.

He pulled on pair of white overalls that he got from his backpack, then he sat down on a bench and changed his shoes. He put a size 12 boot on his right foot and a size 10 trainer on his left foot. That should puzzle them, he thought.

A seven foot hawthorn hedge separated the gardens, but it was no barrier for him. He had brought with him a pair of small lopers. He also had a pair of wire-cutters to cut through the fence on the other side of the hedge.

After he scrambled through the hedge, he reached the conservatory and, just as he thought, the lock on one of the doors was not too difficult to pick. He was inside. The door leading from the conservatory to the house was ajar, but as soon was he walked through it, he was surprised by the loud barks of a dog. Something he hadn’t anticipated.

He heard the sound of paws running down some stairs. In a panic, he ran into the kitchen, opened the fridge hoping to find something that a large dog would find tasty. He needn’t have worried as the dog was a lot smaller than its bark indicated, but he needed to keep it quiet so he tossed the dog a lump of cheese.

He walked back to the conservatory and saw that there was a doggie-door leading to the garden. He was getting careless, he should have noticed that earlier.

He glanced at his watch — 6:20, the old man will be home soon. He grabbed his backpack and took out a knife from a side-pocket. He was shocked when he heard a voice behind him.

“Hello. I wasn’t expecting you until tomorrow? You're not going to paint the kitchen tonight, are you?” 

He dropped the knife and slowly turned around to see Sir Jonathan smiling at him. The old boy had come home early.

“Err, no, I’m just dropping off the paint. I didn’t expect you home so early,” he said, gradually regaining his composure. 

“I had to get a taxi from Acton. I dozed off and missed my stop, I didn’t know the way back from there. I must be getting old. When did Mrs. McGregor leave?”

“Just a little while ago,” he said, grateful for the mistaken identity.

The dog began barking again.

“Oh, you’ve locked Mimi in the conservatory. I was wondering why she didn’t greet me when I got home.”

He followed Sir Jonathan into the conservatory and completed his last contract.


He waited until it got dark before leaving. He attached Mimi’s lead to her collar and made his way to the garden next-door. After taking off his overalls and changing his shoes, he walked out with Mimi. A man slowly walking his dog in Bedford Park, what could look less suspicious! 


Tuesday 9:00 am
Bill Slade and Sergeant Hawkins pulled into the drive of a huge house on Queen Anne’s Grove, a quiet tree-lined street in the heart of the exclusive Bedford Park district of Chiswick in west London.
“Wow, I didn’t know there were still houses like this in London,” said Hawkins. “I thought they had all been turned into flats.”
“You don’t expect the Governor of the Bank of England to live in a flat, do you? That place next-door is probably on the market for at least five million quid,” said Bill.
They ducked under the police tape and flashed their warrant cards at the local cop guarding the door. He told them to go through to the back of the house — they’d find the body in the conservatory.
In the conservatory, they introduced themselves to the two local cops who had been at the scene for about half an hour.
“So what’s the story here?” Bill asked the detective.
“DC Stevens, sir,” said the detective, giving an informal salute. “Mrs. McGregor, the housekeeper, found the body at eight o’clock this morning,” said Stevens, nodding his head towards an elderly woman sitting in the next room. She had a distant, shocked look on her face and cradled a large mug of tea in both hands.
“We haven’t interviewed her yet. Waiting for you Scotland Yard boys, seeing what a high profile case this is. Bloody governor of the bloody Bank of England! Bloody hell, the newspapers are going to be all over this,” said Stevens, who seemed to be excited to be involved.
“All she said was that the wife was missing. She kept saying ‘Mimi’s gone, Mimi’s gone’ over and over.” Stevens added.
“He didn’t have a wife,” said Bill. “I’ve heard he was gay.”
Bill walked over to the body and it took him only a glance to see that this was a stabbing that replicated the one at the Bistro. The corpse had been placed in a wicker chair with its feet up on a matching footstool.
“Looks like the Bistro killer has been at it again,” said Hawkins. “But this time a straight assassination. The killer didn’t try to make it look like a robbery.”
“Don’t jump the gun, Hawkins. Mrs. Mop, over there, will know if anything’s been taken. We’ll give her a few minutes to finish her tea, then we’ll see what she knows.”

6 thoughts on “Chapter 10”

  1. Saturday, 05 February 2022 03:07

    Last two paragraphs are "deja vu all over again".

    Is there a cafe INSIDE Turnham Green tube station?  I don't think so.


    I'm a bit uncomfable with the setting of the house.  On first reading it sounded like a house in a street with neighbouring houses right next to each other.  But then we learn that it is the house of the Governor of the Bank of England, and is worth 5 million pounds, which would suggest it was detached at a reasonable distance from its neighbouring houses.  Given the status of its owner and the supposed value of the house, it seems unlikely that it would have only a low wall (that could be merely jumped over), and that the locks would have been easily pickable.  Surely, given the status of the owner, the police or security services would have carried out checks and made recommendations about beefing up the security of the house? 


    I like the two different shoes idea!


    I know it's a standard to make out very senior UK civil servants to be past it, but you portray Broadbent to be a doddering old fossil, which, (these days, anyway) is unlikely to be the case for the Governor of the Bank of England.

    You are saying that the Governor of the Bank of England travels by tube and walks to his home (this is highly unlikely - the authorities would consider this as too risky), and if he got off at the wrong station he wouldn't hail a taxi if he didn't know how to get home?


    A question mark as well as an exclamation mark after "suspicious" at the end of Sunday's section?  I'm a bit old school on that, I know.

    Clever line about using the dog as cover for getaway.


    Bloody Governor of the bloody bank of England - " bank" needs capital "B"

  2. Sunday, 06 February 2022 05:45

    2nd mention of man in fedex uniform.  And 2 different people.  Hmmmmm.....


    Joe (oops i mean Toby) says three (jobs) in one week, perhaps add that he only killed two of the intended victims,... or something like that


    I wrote a longer version of the above, but once again, when I hit submit i was told no such page existed ...hence this shorter version just in case it happens again


    Francis, you can call me for further clarification if you like.

  3. Sunday, 06 February 2022 08:09

    Thanks for all the comments, Jeff. Here are some answers:


    1. There was no cafe in Turnham Green tube station when I lived near there, (a florist and a newsagent maybe) but does that really matter? — This is fiction.

    2. Bedford Park, London’s first garden city with houses designed by Norman Shaw, ARE streets with neighbouring, very expensive, houses right next to each other.  We'll expand the description of Bedford Park.

    3. We will address your point — “the police or security services would have carried out checks and made recommendations about beefing up the security of the house?”— when his Deputy gets interviewed by the police

    4. “you portray Broadbent to be a doddering old fossil,” more on this in subsequent chapters.

    5. “travels by tube and walks to his home” we’ll add to the text to explain why when his Deputy gets interviewed by the police. 

    6. “wouldn't hail a taxi if he didn't know how to get home?” We’ll change the text and get him to take a taxi.


         7. “2nd mention of man in fedex uniform.”  WHERE?

         8. “says three (jobs) in one week, perhaps add that he only killed two of the intended victims,…” What make you think this is Tony? It’s not. It’s the real assassin.


  4. Monday, 07 February 2022 02:27

    have read a million murder mysteries. this makes a million and one. perhaps too efficiently told. i want more flavor in the writing. is it a rembrandt or a picasso? what stuck with me was the feel of the knife blade moving through the human anatomy. that i could feel. 

  5. Monday, 07 February 2022 07:23


    point 7 Mentions of fedex man ch 3, para 2, & ch7, last para

    point 8.  Ah!  I was jumping to the wrong conclusion.  Silly moi.

    I await ch 11 with trepidation.

  6. Wednesday, 09 February 2022 08:46

    Thanks, Charles. Maybe more early Van Gough, struggling to find a style!