It was five days after the discovery of the bodies on the burial mounds that the anonymous notes started arriving on Susan’s desk. ‘Have you worked it out yet?’ and messages of a similar meaning.
She took the first ones to John. ‘Well, at least they aren’t threatening. Probably the work of some bored teenager thinking it’s all very funny.’
‘I know, but the fact is we haven’t found anything out yet’ she said. ‘All we actually know is that Jimmy Price breeds champion bulls.’
‘That’s as maybe, but all Miss Dent’s little jottings point to Sleepy Hill Farm. My gut instinct is that is where all this will lead, I just don’t know how.’
‘We can’t even approach Jimmy Price as we have no solid evidence. What are we supposed to do run a feature on cattle husbandry?’
‘You know that isn’t a bad idea, Suze’
‘Think about it, what better way to get your foot in the door and get to know Price, without raising a suspicion you are interested in anything else.’
‘I don’t know’
‘Suze, the Gazette is a rural rag, that sort of thing is its bread and butter.’ John said. ‘And what better way to get other folk in the area to start making comments. They like nothing better than feeding gossip.’
‘That’s true, and if I run a feature on Price that will make a few of the other local farmers jealous, maybe jealous enough to get the gossip daggers out.’
‘However, John, there is a slight problem.’
‘I am an arts writer and no nothing about cows, bulls and sheep.’
‘Research time then’
Susan looked at John in silence.
‘Oh, don’t worry, I don’t know anything about it either, so we can work together.’
‘You think the ed will buy it?’
‘Nope, we have to start this in our own time. Dinner at mine okay with you?
Later that evening John handed Susan a meal. ‘Sorry, I am no chef, Suze, but at least I put it on a plate.’
‘That’s okay, fish and chips is better than the zap and ping dinner I was going to have.’
‘That’s the downside of living alone’
The next week they spent sharing takeaways and reading about cattle. Sipping yet another cold beer John said ‘I think we are ready to compose and interview. Time to play investigator, Suze.’
©JG Farmer 2018