Murder by Sarah Pinborough Read Free Book Online

Book: Murder by Sarah Pinborough Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sarah Pinborough
Tags: Fiction, Historical, Thrillers, Horror
‘No idea as to what they contained yet.’
    ‘And no witnesses?’ I did not envy these men their investigation. If they had no clear suspect from within the victim’s life then it was likely a random act of madness, and they would need to have the luck of the devil to catch him.
    ‘You know how it is,’ Robinson sighed. ‘One man’s word is immediately discounted by another’s. A pastry cook called Burgess – also a second-class passenger – said he saw a man dressed in a dark coat and top hat leaving in a hurry, but the porter on the platform remembers nothing of the sort. We’ve got two barmaids in a pub in Vauxhall who report a pale, haggard man in an overcoat and bowler hat who came in and ordered a brandy, but his hand was shaking so much he could barely hold it; they said he left suddenly and got into a hansom.’ He paused, then added sadly, ‘So no, really we have nothing.’
    ‘You’re lucky you found the pestle,’ I said. ‘At least we know she was killed before the Wandsworth stop. I know this line quite well myself – I take it to visit Dr Hebbert’s daughter andher son in Barnes. Thankfully, I was not travelling on that day, so I believe you can rule me out of your enquiries. And that is not my pestle.’ Both men smiled at my attempt at humour, and I turned my attention once again to the murder weapon. It was old and heavy, with the number six or nine imprinted on it depending on which way up you held it. If the pestle did indeed belong to the killer, then I would have guessed it to be a six if he, by habit, held it the right way when attacking.
    ‘We’re having no luck with that either,’ Robinson said, ‘but we’re still visiting all the chemists – perhaps that number will lead us somewhere.’
    ‘I fear this inquest may last for several weeks,’ I said, ‘and it will keep you busier than me. I am only sorry I cannot give you more information, but rest assured, my assistance is available whenever you require it.’
    We said our farewells and I left them sifting through the little evidence they had. In truth, although of course I was not glad that Miss Camp was dead, I was happy for the distraction. Edward Kane had returned from his business in Southampton and was once again spending time in Juliana and little James’ company. Although he had not yet asked me outright for my verdict on the letters he had given me, I could feel his eyes searching mine when we met. I had managed thus far to avoid being alone with him, which meant that I had often declined dinner invitations, or left early on the pretext of work or a paper to finish, and this in turn had led to a little jealousy on my part over the amount of time Kane was spending alone with Juliana. She remained affectionate towards me, of course, and there were still times when I dined with her alone, but it was becoming clear that something in Kane’s nature – perhaps the same natural good humour that hadattracted James Harrington to him – was having a revitalising effect on Juliana. She had begun to laugh more freely, and her eyes sparkled at times, just as they had when I’d first met her.
    I was not sure how that made me feel. I was glad that she was happier, but I could not deny that I wished very much that Kane would just go back to America and leave us to be happy together, alone – and perhaps then I would have the courage to ask her to become my wife.
    Still, the Elizabeth Camp murder had given me the excuse I needed to avoid any conversation about the letters and to start seeing more of Juliana again: I could tell Kane that I had started them but not yet finished, and now the inquest was taking up so much of my time I could not spare any to focus on the letters right now. It was perhaps a little weak as excuses go, but Kane was a gentleman and he would not push me. I, on the other hand, might be able to start gently pushing him to one side, to ensure that Juliana’s fondness for him did not grow during my

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