Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Episode 59 - The Net Tightens

The police Comandante lay in bed watching his wife getting dressed. This was Giotto’s favourite time of day, early morning before the madness took over.

‘Will you stop staring at me and get up, you are going to be late for work.’

‘I’m not going into the office. Bernardo is driving me to the train station. We have investigations in Barcelona today.’

‘It’s all right for some’ grumbled Isbel as she brushed her hair ‘some of us can’t go gallivanting off to Barcelona, some of us are stuck in an office all day. Will you be home this evening?’

‘With any luck I should be back by nine o’clock.’

‘I’ll wait dinner for you then.’

Isbel’s cooking was legendary down at the station and Goito knew that the promise of one of her special meals would be just the incentive he needed to conduct his investigations in Barcelona as quickly as possible.

The colonel of the Civil Guard was pleased to think that their outstanding cases were now solved but Goito knew that he would need more than the suppositions of Justin Crowther if he was to arrest Michael Angers for murder, even if Snr Crowther was a member of British Intelligence.

Goito’s team had been working flat out to collect statements from all of Clara Hale’s friends and neighbours and it was during of these interviews that another English couple had mentioned that they had met up with Michael on the Barcelona train only days before Sonny’s murder. With any luck this could provide the lead that Goito’s team so badly needed to secure a conviction.

As his wife left for work, Goito hurried to the bathroom to shower and shave. He knew that he had plenty of time before his junior officer was due to collect him but he needed to hurry if he was to enjoy a decent breakfast before he left the house. Looking in the long mirror, Goito patted his expanding waistline and promised himself for the third time that week that his diet would definitely start tomorrow.

The train journey to Barcelona gave the two detectives plenty of time to reread the witness statements. Gloria Westbury had proved to have an excellent memory for detail and was able to give a full account of their chance encounter with Michael on the train, including, much to Bernardo amusement, a rough description of the clothes he was wearing that day. Some of their most helpful information however came from Scotland Yard who were able to provide their Spanish counterparts with the names of Sonny’s friends who were in Barcelona at the time looking for their new business premises.

Retracing Michael’s steps through the city, the policemen were determined to interview Sonny’s friends. Michael’s explanation to Gloria Westbury for travelling to Barcelona that day had sounded unconvincing even to her and Goito was sure that the new bar owners could hold the key to the mystery.

Referring again to their notes Goito and Bernard turned off the Ramblas into the side street looking for the bar. They found that the Hot Jazz Club was a hive activity with a delivery van blocking the road unloading some very expensive looking leather chairs and inside there were decorators painting the wall above the shiny new bar area. In the midst of all the activity, Goito spotted Andy and Gerry attempting to get the new Gaggia coffee maker to work.

‘I’m sorry gentlemen but as you can see we’re not open for business yet’ called Andy from behind the bar.

Producing their identification cards Goito introduced himself. ‘We are investigating the murder of Sonny Langford and we have been told that you were friends of his.’

‘Sonny was a very good friend of ours and we help you in any way we can.’

Looking at the work men crowded into the small bar Goito asked if there was somewhere they could talk in private. Andy and Gerry led the policemen away from the chaos into the small office at the back of the club.

‘I’m not sure how much help we can be’ said Gerry ‘surely you should be talking to Michael Angers. Michael was with Sonny when he was murdered.’

‘It’s Snr Angers we would like to talk to you about. How well do you know him?’

‘Only through Sonny’ explained Andy ‘funny, he and Sonny were as different as chalk and cheese. Sonny was very flamboyant and lively while Michael is quiet and a bit of a home bird.’

‘What were they like as a couple?’ asked Bernardo ‘would you say that they were happy?’

‘I suppose so’ said Gerry ‘but I do know that Sonny used to get annoyed with him for being so jealous all the time. Michael was even jealous that Sonny was spending so much time helping us look for our new premises.’

‘It wasn’t us he was jealous of’ laughed Andy ‘it was Carl who brought out the green eyed monster in him.’

‘Carl is a friend of ours’ explained Gerry ‘in fact he has loaned us the money for this place, but Carl and Sonny go back a long way.’

‘Do you mean that they were lovers?’ asked Goito

‘Oh it was years ago’ dismissed Gerry ‘but you wouldn’t think it to hear Michael go on. Sonny used to laugh it off but you could see that Michael was uncomfortable with their friendship.’

‘How do you mean uncomfortable?’

‘Jealous. He was jealous of all of Sonny’s old boyfriends. He hated the thought that Sonny had had lovers before him.’

‘In fact’ interrupted Andy ‘Sonny was so worried that Michael wouldn’t have understood about Carl’s investment in the bar he swore us to secrecy about Carl’s involvement. He didn’t want Michael to know that Carl was here in Spain with us.’

‘What did he think that Michael would do if he found out that he had been seeing Carl?’ Asked Bernardo

‘Sonny used to say that Michael threatened to kill him if he ever found out that he had cheated on him.’

‘Oh my god, you don’t think..’ stuttered Gerry

‘I think Senors that we need to speak to Snr Angers again, as soon as possible.’