Kathryn meticulously studied Fred Williams’ calm visage from across the table. He was sat beside his Solicitor.
‘You and Robert Smith were good friends?’ She queried.
‘Yeah, we were friends I guess, back at University. But we drifted apart really,’ Fred responded, his tone balanced.
‘When was the last time you saw Robert?’ Kathryn asked.
Fred’s brow creased. ‘Hmm, I think it’s been a year. There was an alumni event in March last year. We met then,’ Fred responded.
‘You know that a note was found at Robert’s office which has riddled us?’ Kathryn enquired.
Fred nodded. ‘Yeah I saw in the news, that’s why you opened a murder investigation right?’ Fred answered.
Kathryn opened the folder in which the older notes were kept. She noticed Fred’s chest rise as he drew a deep breath. She handed the notes to Fred.
‘Have you seen these notes before?’ She questioned. Fred peered at the notes, his eyebrows arching.
‘Uh nope, I’ve not seen these before,’ he nullified. Kathryn sat back in her chair. She placed her hands on the armrests.
‘Can I ask you to have a look at the top-most note dated 7 October 2003,’ she requested.
Fred shuffled the notes until the relevant one was clearly visible. His gaze turned to Kathryn. ‘Yes?’
‘This note mentions your name, doesn’t it?’ She questioned. Fred ground his teeth together. ‘Yeah it does, my surname. Could be some other Williams though,’ Fred said.
‘The notes were found in Robert Smith’s desk drawer. Which other Williams did Robert know? None as far as I’ve seen,’ Kathryn countered.
Fred shrugged his shoulders dubiously. Kathryn sat forward in her seat. ‘The date of the note was 7 October 2003. The dates of the other notes were 19 September 2003, 24 September 2003, 28 September 2003 and 2 October 2003. Curious grouping of dates between the notes, no?’ Kathryn asked. She waited for his response.
Fred shook his head, perplexed. Or feigning confusion. ‘No idea,’ he said. Kathryn rolled up her sleeves and clasped her hands together on the table. ‘All the notes are dated after the disappearance of Salim Akhtar aren’t they?’ Kathryn questioned.
Fred’s eyes widened. ‘What relevance does that have to the death of Robert Smith?’ Fred’s Solicitor interjected. Kathryn sat back, her eyes narrowed.
‘They are relevant. The notes, in terms of subject matter, are very similar to the note found at Mr Smith’s office, the scene of the murder. Further all these notes and the note from the office refer to a mysterious deed having been committed. That’s why this line of questioning is necessary,’ Kathryn justified. Fred’s Solicitor fell silent.
Kathryn reverted her attention to Fred. ‘So, Mr Williams, all the notes are dated after the disappearance of Mr Salim Akhtar?’ She repeated.
Fred swallowed, his expression stoic. ‘No comment,’ he said simply. Kathryn cocked an eyebrow. In her experience it was invariably those who were guilty who resorted to ‘no comment’ interviews.
‘The note refers to the ‘deed’ being committed at the instigation of Williams. Further it intimates that a secret was buried at the instigation of Williams. Could you enlighten me?’ Kathryn continued.
Fred’s emotions were indecipherable. ‘No comment,’ he answered. Kathryn’s frustration was beginning to mount. She pressed down on the table with the palms of her hands, pushing herself to her feet. ‘You do realise that at this point you’re not suspected of having committed any crime?’ She reasoned. Fred merely stared at her.
‘The note further mentions that all are complicit. Who are these all?’ She asked. Monotonously, Fred said ‘no comment.’ Kathryn pinched the arch of her nose. She contemplated disclosing the revelation concerning Salim.
However, the risk of the news reaching the press was too great. Any other potential suspects could be forewarned. The case would only become more complex. She decided against divulging Salim’s reappearance to Fred Williams.
With the futility of the exercise of questioning Mr Williams becoming increasingly evident, Kathryn realised she needed more evidence.
James Kingsley sat at his desk in the dimly light room, poring over the different sets of handwriting on the papers spread over his desk. His table lamp cast a yellow glow over the papers. He had compiled a ‘done’ pile, on which he had placed most of the papers. Thus far, none of the samples matched the handwriting from the photocopied notes that he had been supplied. As he picked up another sheet to drop in the discarded pile, he noticed a letter that must have been mistakenly included amongst the papers.
The signature at the end of the letter caught his eye. The cursive writing, the dotted I, the crossed t’s, all matched the writing from the photocopied notes. The letter had been signed by Robert Smith.