The Death of an Irish Tradition

The Death of an Irish Tradition by Bartholomew Gill Read Free Book Online

Book: The Death of an Irish Tradition by Bartholomew Gill Read Free Book Online
Authors: Bartholomew Gill
come to rest. And her odd, slumped position in the chair—no attempt had been made to arrange her in it—made it plain that the killer had strangled her right in front of the old Morris chair and had then eased her down into the cushions.
    And then there was the business of the report of a policeman having stopped by, just at the time of the murder. Tony Brady, the little boy. That would have to be checked into.
    What else? The victim’s brother, James Joseph Keegan, had been present at the scene of the crippling of Sir Roger Bechel-Gore. Keegan, so his niece had said, was from Leenane, the very area of barren but beautiful hills in which Bechel-Gore had chosen to raise his horses, having bought large holdings there in…McGarr couldn’t remember; it was just something else he’d have to find out.
    And what did all that mean? Nothing really. It could all be mere coincidence, but he didn’t think so, having just viewed the TV tape for the sixth time. Bechel-Gore was not the sort of man who was mistaken about anything. He was bluff, peremptory, but accurate. He wondered if he was vindictive and revengeful too, and why he had paid to have R. T. E. make him a copy of the tape.
    McGarr needed to know more—about the victim especially, but also about Keegan. Maybe he could kill two—no, not kill— solve two cases at once. Maybe the crippling and the death were related.
    He reached up and closed the wide old window. It shrieked in its track and the pane rattled as it hit the sill. Suddenly the office was very quiet.
    He opened the cubicle door and said, “Bernie—when you’ve got a moment.” And while McKeon was finishing up whatever he was doing, McGarr moved through the worn wooden desks of the outer office to the cabinet, where he found the Bechel-Gore file. Back at his desk he opened the thick manila folder.
    “Chief?” McKeon asked.
    Without glancing up, McGarr said, “Two things, Bernie.” He reached out and touched the package he’d picked up at R. T. E. “Take this package over to McAnulty in Kilmainham. It’s a video tape and I’m interested in any and all closeup shots of the sallow, older man in the cloth cap. He keeps the crowd back as Bechel-Gore begins to fall.” McGarr heard McKeon move and he raised his eyes.
    The sergeant’s smile at the prospect of being given an outside assignment diminished somewhat. “We on that again?”
    “I don’t see why not. He’s a citizen, like anyone else.”
    McKeon eased his hands into his pants pockets and looked away.
    “And I want every available closeup, I don’t care if they’ve got to do dozens. I want to see everything of the man and his donkey. And see if they can do something with the resolution. Sharp shots, get me? And while you’re out there I want you to take a good look at the man yourself. Understood?
    “Then I want you to tell McAnulty that there’s a whistle on the sound track of the tape. It’s short and sharp, probably a high pitch. It’s there and don’t let him put you off. I want to hear it.” McAnulty was a painstaking professional when he wanted to be, but there was no percentage in the matter, no publicity, no recognition, and the man was jealous of his prerogatives.
    “Now, two—” McGarr motioned to the door and McKeon turned to close it.
    McGarr noted the accordion folds behind the knees of the sergeant’s pants, the collar of his shirt which was a bit rumpled, and the greenish tie, some dark plaid design, that he wore summer and winter. McKeon wasn’t slovenly, by any means, only unconcerned with the niceties of dress. Life was too short and those details too inessential to warrant more than a token obeisance—yes, he had a suit, a tie, and a shirt. And yes, he wore them to work. And considering the ease of manner of the short, plump man, the way he could insinuate himself into any conversation or group of people, McGarr judged he was perfect for the task he was about to set him.
    “—Ballsbridge, the Horse Show.

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