Books written by Ray Sullivan

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Da Dan Brown Code - Chapter Twenty One

Chapter Twenty One

‘I presume you’re Chief Inspector Daniels,’ sighed Bradford sitting down, sneaking a look at his watch, a rare Swiss timepiece with miniature cuckoo.  He smacked the cuckoo back in as the half hour struck, but missed the whirling goat-herd and his wife.

‘Never heard of him,’ said the buffoon, ignoring the whining sound of the timepiece while sitting down carefully opposite Bradford and Lady Bartholomew, fumbling inside his pocket.

‘But the duty sergeant sent you, right?’ asked Bradford.  The buffoon shrugged.

‘I don’t deal with duty sergeants and wouldn’t know who was on tonight if I did.  Anyway, why would I be interested in someone working nearly two hundred miles away?’ Bradford and Lady Bartholomew exchanged looks, which resulted in Bradford being struck.  He took his dirty look back sheepishly.  The buffoon flipped open his wallet to reveal his warrant card.

‘Detective Constable Ryder,’ he announced.  Lady Bartholomew didn’t look at his proffered card but instead stared directly at him.

‘Have you come to find my father?’ she asked.

‘Is he called Bradford?’ asked the buffoon.  Lady Bartholomew looked shocked.

‘Certainly not.  He’s a Lord of the realm, not some American low-life scumbag.’

‘Shame.  Because my arrest warrant is for some guy called Bradford.  I hadn’t realised he was an American scumbag, what with the Yorkshire surname.’  He turned to Bradford.  ‘You sound American, do you know this scumbag Bradford?’ he asked.  Bradford marvelled at how the buffoonery was preserved from adventure to adventure and how quickly his name became tarnished every time.  He also wondered if the absence of a comma after the second ‘scumbag’ was intended or an illiterate oversight.  He decided the buffoon really didn’t know who he was talking to.

‘No, I know most people in Illinois, Arkansas and Texas.  Don’t think I’ve heard of anyone from there called Bradford before,’ lied Bradford.  He felt his face glow red as he realised he knew two people in Texas called Bradford – his Mom and Pop.  Damn, why did I have to mention Texas? He thought.

Because you’re an idiot, replied Belsen, smirking quietly.  Anyway, I thought you said you were from Kentucky.

No, I said my bed cover smell reminded me of Kentucky, you just assumed

‘Whoa, stop right there,’ shouted Ryder, holding his hand up.  Bradford briefly considered making a run for it while the DC was gripping his own arm.  ‘I must advise you that anything you say or think may be used in evidence against you.’

‘Think?’ asked Bradford, incredulously.

‘Labour party’s last present to the police before losing the last election – making criminal thoughts punishable by up to ten years imprisonment.  It’s not been tested in court yet.’

‘Because it’s difficult to prove?’ asked Belsen, feeling justifiably worried.

‘No.  Because the Labour Government never actually cared what anyone thought, and the Coalition appears to be much of the same opinion,’ replied Ryder.  The group nodded together.

‘Why do you want Bradford?’ asked Bradford.

‘Don’t you mean “Scumbag Bradford”?’ asked Ryder, suspiciously.  Bradford shrugged, tried to look nonchalant.

‘Sure.  Scumbag Bradford.  Why’d you wanna speak to him?’

‘He’s wanted for attempted murder,’ replied Ryder calmly.  A palpable silence fell over the café such that you could hear a pin drop.  Belsen searched his body for a pin to test the theory.

‘Murder?  That’s ridiculous,’ exclaimed Bradford, glancing at the warrant card still lying on the table.  ‘Blackpool Pleasure Beach Constabulary?’ he asked.  Ryder flipped the wallet closed and inserted it back in his coat pocket.

‘Psychic Crimes Unit,’ he said casually.

‘Oh shit,’ said Belsen, dropping the pin.  Lady Bartholomew threw a mean look that glanced him, then glanced meanly at Bradford while actually meaning to glance at Ryder.  Ryder shook his head, confused, joined by the reader.

‘Psychic Crimes Unit, there’s no such thing,’ she said.  Ryder heaved a heavy sigh.

‘There is in Blackpool.  We’ve got mediums, palmists, mind-readers, weathermen, every paranormal form of prediction possible.’

‘And statistically not all of them can be frauds,’ suggested Bradford.

‘Right.  Apart from the weathermen.  Tonight a guy called Lucas Brightwater made a formal complaint about a scumbag called Bradford.’

‘Never heard of him,’ said Bradford.

‘So you said.’

‘I meant Brightwater,’ answered Bradford feeling a trap, unfortunately from the inside.

‘Sure, like you never heard of your own Mom and Pop,’ replied Ryder.  He leaned forward, ‘look, Brightwater’s under a paranormal death threat and he says you’ve arranged to have him written out of the story completely.  Like you Americans say, I can do the sum…’

‘Math,’ growled Bradford.

‘Whatever, it doesn’t take a genius to make one plus one equal two.’

‘Is that true?’ asked Lady Bartholomew.  Even Belsen looked incredulous.

‘One plus one, Ma’am?’ he asked.

‘No. The genius bit.  I understand it wasn’t until volume two of the Principia Mathmatica that Bertrand Russell and Alfred Whitehead managed to prove that sum was actually correct.  Are you saying that neither of them was a genius?  Or were they actually just a bit thick?’ Bradford felt he knew what was causing the percussion sounds when she moved her head.

‘Look, I don’t know anything about this Brightwater guy and yes, I did suggest he’d be written out but only to give the usual buffoon of a policeman the opportunity to arrive before chapter twenty was out,’ Bradford blurted, acutely aware that Ryder was looking intently at him, ‘but that problem has passed now,’ he said, tailing off.  Lady Bartholomew studied her nails and Belsen started to stick the pin hard into his flesh to distract himself.  Ryder leaned forward again.

‘Because?’ Bradford knew he’d fallen into another trap, one he couldn’t see a way out of.  As he opened his mouth a shadow fell over him, picked itself up and dusted itself down.  He looked up to see the stumbling form of Chief Inspector Daniels.

‘Sorry I’m late, some idiot slammed a chapter shut in my face.’

Missed the beginning? Click here to go to Chapter One

'Da Dan Brown Code' will be published in early January as 'The Last Simple'. Anyone who is registered as following either my blog or Twitter account will receive instructions on how to obtain a free e-copy of 'The Last Simple' shortly after it is published.

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