It's in the Cards (3)

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It's in the Cards

Part 3

A flapper

I was glad to leave the house and I think the feeling was mutual; Penelope Carmichael couldn't get me out of the house quick enough. The story about the death of Daisy Kellar in her house would be all over London by now.

Detective Daniel Tempest opened the passenger door of his car for me, remembering the lessons I had been taught by Madam Fleuraine at school on how to get into and out of a car like a lady, I manoeuvred myself in and thanked him.

'Where do you live?' he asked

'Belgravia, a place called Garden Square,' I replied. He nodded and started the car, 'you didn't dismiss me and my cards as nonsense, most policemen would have ignored what my cards have said, why didn't you? I continued. He sighed.

'I've seen a lot of things that aren't black and white, that can't be explained by logic, no matter how hard I try. There are things going on that are not from this world and I've accepted that, I've seen people healed by the laying on of hands in a Baptist church in Tennessee, a Voodoo ceremony in Louisiana and a Shaman giving thanks for safe birth of the Chief's son, it's taught me to keep an open mind.' Daniel replied. I smiled.

'That's a long way from New York,' I commented.

'New York is hot and crowded, no work, gangs, more people coming in day by day with nowhere to go, I couldn't wait to get out, hopped onto a train and left when I was fifteen,' he said.

'That was brave, just jumping on a train and going, with no idea of where you're going or what you're doing when you get there, very Fool-ish' he stared at me. 'Oh no, not foolish as in stupid, Fool-ish as in the first card in the Major Arcana, The Fool, it means taking a leap of faith to go on a journey to find the path that will lead you to your goals' I replied. He smiled at my explanation.

'That is a good description of me, not only did I want to get out of New York, I wanted to travel, see America, try my hand at different work to see what suited me. I worked in factories in Philadelphia and Detroit, on farms in Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma, on ships crossing the Great Lakes, steel mills in Chicago; I was even a cowboy once.' He said. My eyes shot open.

'Goodness, is it like it is in the pictures?' I asked, he laughed.

'No, it's hot, dusty and very lonely,' he replied.

'So, how did you become one of Pinkerton's men?' I said.

'I did my duty and signed up when America got involved during the war, during my training they found I had a talent for investigating so they sent me to the Intelligence Unit. When I came home I answered an advert for Pinkerton's and the rest, as they say, is history,' he replied.

'And now you're a Detective in the Metropolitan Police' I said.

'I stayed at Pinkerton's for almost ten years, the longest time I'd ever been in one place, the Wanderlust got too much, I'd been all over America so I thought I'd try Europe,' he said as he pulled up outside the house.

'You have certainly led and exciting life, I'd love to do what you did and just pack up and go where the wind takes me,' I said, 'and thank you for seeing me home.'

'My pleasure, and we will need to speak to you again,' He replied.

'I understand, your constable has my details, goodnight Inspector,' I said.

'My Lady.'

I watched as he drove away, something didn't feel right, oh, all the things he'd said about leaving New York and travelling America, working where he could was true enough, it was the bit about travelling in Europe that didn't feel right. Why come to Britain and become a policeman, why not do what he did in America, work in a factory, coalmine or farm and move on. Being a Policeman seemed a lot more permanent than factory or mill work.

I ran up the steps and opened the door just as Thompson appeared.

'Oh Thompson, you need not have waited up for me,' I said as he took my wrap.

'Your father is still awake, my Lady, he wishes to see you,' Thompson replied.

I opened my father's study door and saw him reading the paper in his favourite chair; I bent over and kissed his cheek.

'Father,' I said in greeting,

'Dreadful thing to happen at Penelope Carmichael's tonight,' he replied. I rolled my eyes, gossip was moving quick.

'How did you hear about it?' I asked.

'Johnny telephoned me about an hour ago and said Daisy Knellar was dead and the police think she's been poisoned,' he replied. I sat on the arm of his chair.

'Yes it's true, I saw it in the cards about half an hour before it happened,' I explained.

'I just don't understand it, who would want to kill a lovely young woman like Daisy? I can understand someone wanting to kill Geoffrey, but not Daisy,' Father replied...

My eyes widened in surprise.

'I know Geoffrey's not liked by everyone, but why would someone want to kill him?' I asked. Father sighed,.

'The boy is a complete bounder, an awful cad, no sense of right and wrong, goes through life thinking he can get away with anything. Spoiled rotten by his parents, nannies, governesses, complete bad egg is Geoffrey,' he replied.

'Oh,' I said, remembering the rumours I'd heard about his affairs.

'He was never supposed to inherit the title you know' Father said.

'I know Victor and Teddy were killed at the Somme, within days of each other,' I replied. Father nodded

'Geoffrey was a lot younger than his brothers so Bertie and Catherine spoiled him rather, let him get away with murder' Father smiled uneasily 'sorry, bad choice of words m'dear. After he left Cambridge, Bertie got him a job at the Embassy in Washington; I heard from some old friends that there'd been the odd scandal or two while he was there?' Father remarked; I was intrigued.

'Scandals?' I enquired. Father nodded.

'Drinking in speakeasies, affairs, one chap threatened to kill him. There was talk that he'd swindled some rich widows out of a lot of money, there was even talk of murder, so of course he was recalled and the government sent him to the embassy in Africa or India, well somewhere out of the way anyway, until Victor and Teddy died, then he came home,' he explained.

'And when the old Duke died he inherited everything,' I said,

'Including young Daisy,' Father replied.

'Inherited Daisy?' I questioned. Father nodded.

'She was engaged to Teddy, he promised to marry her after the war, when everyone believed that it would be over by Christmas 1914,' Father replied sadly. I rested my head on Father's; Uncle Freddie had been killed at Passchendaele and even now, more than 10 years later, Father still missed his younger brother terribly.

'So why did she marry Geoffrey?' I asked.

'Bertie and Catherine pushed him into marrying her, hoping he'd settle down I suppose and the Devonish's were rather keen that she become a Duchess, I suppose they were both pressured into it, such a shame,' he replied. I nodded, thanking various gods and goddesses that he'd never pushed me into marriage or was likely too, he'd married my mother because he loved her and wanted me to marry for love, too.

We chatted for another few minutes then I excused myself and went to bed. As I climbed the stairs I thought back on what father had said, affairs in America, swindling rich widows, talk of murder, could Geoffrey have killed Daisy for money, I knew the Devonish's were very rich and Daisy had had a hefty dowry as well as a huge legacy coming in the future. I was itching to turn my cards to see what they had to say for themselves, but I was too tired. I took off my makeup and got undressed, something was nagging at the back of my mind, but I couldn't make it come to me. I climbed into bed and lay down, why had Daniel Tempest joined the Metropolitan Police if he was just travelling Europe.

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