Monday, September 21, 2009
Past Life - Chapter 3, scene 2
(Latest installment. To read the story in order, go to the "Writing - Past Life (story)" category)
Her tour of the house over, Katherine retraced her steps to the hallway and then entered the lower floor of the turret room. Climbing the spiral stairs she made a direct line for the desk with the laptop, not caring to look at the centre of the room and the place where Jeff had died.
She picked up the laptop and carried it back down the stairs. What should she do, put it in her backpack and take it back to her flat or have a look at it here? She tossed up the options for a moment and then pulled the lawyer's business card from her jacket pocket.
"Anderson, Jenkins and Swain, 37 Princess Street."
The address was almost on her route back home, perhaps she should give them a call and stop there on the way back to the flat. Katherine took out her mobile and dialled the number on the card.
"Anderson, Jenkins and Swain, can I help you?"
It was a woman's voice with a lilting Irish accent that sounded as if she were singing. A singing lawyer. Katherine smiled to herself, imagining the incongruity of a lawyer singing Jeff's last will and testament.
"Yes, my name is Katherine Shuuman ... "
"Oh yes, Ms. Shuuman, Mr Jenkins has been expecting your call. I'll just put you through. Hold on please."
She was getting used to conversations starting this way, "Yes."
"My name is Robert Jenkins. we are representing the estate of Jeffrey Bollinger. I am glad you called. May I offer you my condolences, you must have been very close to Mr. Bollinger."
Katherine decided not to disabuse the man, "Thank you", she said. "It was a big shock", which, indeed, it had been.
"Well, as I said, our company represents the estate of Mr. Bollinger and now, with his passing ..."
"I understand he was murdered, strangled in fact", corrected Katherine.
"Yes ... yes indeed ... very unfortunate."
Katherine hadn't intended to be rude, but she despised dressing hard truths in the antiseptic language of euphemisms.
Robert Jenkins continued, "Anyway Ms. Shuuman, we do need to speak to you as soon as possible to tidy up some of the details of Mr. Bollinger's estate. You do realise that he has left some property to you?"
"Yes, Inspector Peyton had suggested that might be the case. When can I come in to see you?"
"Is today too soon? I have appointments until about 4:30, but I should be free by then."
Katherine looked at her watch, it was 2:45 pm, "Yes, that should be fine. I'll come by at 4:30."
"Good, I'll look forward to seeing you then. Thank you."
Katherine closed her phone. It would take about fifteen minutes to get to Princess Street which gave her about an hour and a half to have a look at the laptop. She headed for the dinning room and began clearing a space on the table.