A Blind Goddess

Free A Blind Goddess by James R. Benn

Book: A Blind Goddess by James R. Benn Read Free Book Online
Authors: James R. Benn
Tags: Historical, Mystery
doing out there?”
    “No. Perhaps he took the path along the canal and was returning from work.”
    “Or from the pub,” Sullivan said. “He stopped at the Hog’s Head once in a while. I mentioned that to the inspector.”
    “I’m sure he’ll check that out. Mrs. Miller, I assume Neville had given you his ration book, since he took his meals here.”
    “Yes, of course. He enjoyed my cooking very much. He said it was nice to have a home-cooked meal after traveling as he did.” He was the perfect roomer. The Millers got use of his ration coupons but he ate many of his meals away.
    “What about your daughter, Mr. Miller? Is she in the house?”
    “Yes. The inspector spoke to her and told her she could go about her duties. She helps us with the rooms, keeping them clean. She’s tidying up Mr. Neville’s room now.”
    “Show me, please,” I said, standing up. “Have the police checked his room?”
    “This way,” Carla said, taking the stairs at the back of the house. “Yes, the police went through it already. I thought we should organize things in case a relative wants his possessions.”
    I bit back a comment about overly efficient Germans and followed her up to the third floor. Payne likely gave the room a thorough search, but I’d feel better if I had my own shot at it. One of my dad’s favorite sayings—and he had a lot of them—was if you wanted something done right, don’t wait for someone else to do it. And since he’d taught me everything I knew about being a cop and a homicide detective, I thought I ought to follow what advice I could remember.
    “Eva, this is Captain Boyle, he’d like to look at the room,” Carla said, standing with her hand on the doorknob.
    “Yes, Mother,” Eva said, bundling up sheets stripped from the bed in her arms. She was fair-haired, with a spread of freckles across her face. A bit on the short side, with an intelligent look in her eyes, even as they avoided my gaze. And her mother’s. She stared down at the floor, in sadness or obedience, perhaps.
    “Hello, Eva,” I said, trying to ease the tension.
    “Hello, Captain. Are you going to find who killed Mr. Neville?”
    “I hope so. I’m sure Inspector Payne is working as hard as he can on it. I’m here to help.”
    “The police can use the help,” Eva said. “There’s some girl gone missing and most of them are out looking for her. I think they’d rather find her than look for whoever murdered Mr. Neville.”
    “Eva, don’t say such a thing,” her mother said.
    “It’s true, isn’t it?” Eva had no trace of a German accent. Her voice was pure English schoolgirl. “If there’s a chance of finding that poor girl alive, why wouldn’t they send all their men out to look for her? Mr. Neville is dead already.”
    “Finding whoever killed him is important too,” I said, although I liked her logic. “Especially if we can stop him from killing again. Do you know the missing girl?”
    “No, I only heard about it at school yesterday. She’s one of the evacuees living in that manor house outside Kintbury.”
    “There are several large houses in the area where the children were put up,” Carla said. “They were evacuated from London when the Blitz was at its worst. Some have gone back to the city now that the bombing has lessened. Perhaps the poor dear tried to find her way home.”
    “Oh no, she wasn’t from London,” Eva said. “She was with that group from Guernsey. She had no place to go back to.” Guernsey was one of the Channel Islands occupied by the Germans. When the war began, many of the children were brought to the mainland in case the Germans took the islands, which they had done with ease.
    “Be that as it may,” Carla said firmly, “take the washing down and let Captain Boyle look at what he wants.”
    “Has anything else been removed?” I asked.
    “No, I just hung up a shirt that was on the chair, and cleaned up a bit. In case any relatives come for his things, I wanted it

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