No Greater Love

Stephanie Cole is a girl who loves the spotlight. She will do anything to get it, anything at all. But when suspicions arise about her life and her being the cause for a former teachers suicide she is all too quick to run from her love of the light. But when she is reported missing it falls to Detective Inspector Henry Quinton and his DC Wilson Drake to find her before something terrible happens. Soon St. Grandorf's school for girls is back to normal and Stephanie is home again yet when she is found murdered there are a number of suspects for Quinton to look at before he can find the true perpetrator of this terrible crime....


7. When I first met Detective Inspector Henry Quinton, And when it was revealed the Stephanie Cole was missing.

Chapter Seven:


When I first met Detective Inspector Henry Quinton,

And when it was revealed the Stephanie Cole was missing.


Quinton stood in the doorway with what can only be described as an un-naturally large presence. He slowly strutted down the room towards both Barrows and me. He placed an elbow on the back of my chair and took off his bowler hat.

“You’re a fan of Dickens, Mr. Barrows?” The inspector pointed towards Oliver Twist.

“Yes, well the wife is more of one. I do like them though.”

“Oh…” Quinton nodded. “…I rather like Dickens myself. I have read most of his works, though I have to admit I didn’t enjoy Oliver Twist as much as David Copperfield.”

Barrows looked at me, his cheeks were glowing red and he seemed very uneasy. Nervous wouldn’t have been the right word, to be truthful I wouldn’t know what the right word would be to describe such a look as the one that now looked towards me.

“I’m a fan of Dickens myself. Though I actually hated Copperfield.” I plucked up the courage to say this.

“Oh.” The Inspector simply starred at me.

“So, what’s this actually about then Inspector?”

I looked up towards the menacing figure of Quinton.

“I’ll get to that in a moment. But it’s been quite a long trip and I’m parched. May I?” He looked and nodded towards the bottle of whisky that was next to the Oliver Twist. Barrows waved a hand as if to say “go on” Quinton did so and quickly gulped down the rich golden liquor.

“So what’s this about then Inspector? Now that you’ve had a drink.” The inspector walked towards the grand six panelled window that faced out towards the back fields of St. Grandorf’s. From the window you could also just see the banks of the Aldwick River which ran through the school’s land.

“There was a young girl. In the fourth year I believe, who comes to this school. She’s gone missing.”

Barrows eyes widened and so did my.

“What’s this girls name?” I asked.

Quinton turned on his heels to face directly towards me. His eyes were colder and more menacing than Barrows could ever hope to be.

“Her name. I thought you would know that, you teach her every week.”

“I teach a lot of girls every week Inspector. So please the name of the girl!”

“Cole. Stephanie Cole.”

Again my eyes widened. Quinton raised an eyebrow.


It had been some twenty minutes since the identity of the girl had been revealed. And now, all three of us sat down with a half filled tumbler in our hands. The fire still roaring like a great African lion.

“What do you suppose has happened to her?” Asked Barrows. I had been meaning to ask the very same thing.

“That’s what I intend to find out Mister Barrows. That’s why I’m here and I have a Constable interviewing the family of Mrs. Cole right now.” Quinton spoke with a cold and icy tone. It was as if he had nothing warm within him, could a man be so cold? It seemed so from my perspective.

“How are you treating this case Inspector?” I looked straight into the grey obis of the detective’s eyes.

“Depending on what turns up. At seven o’clock this morning it was a missing person’s case. As of seven O’clock tonight… who knows?”

I sat back into my leather chair. I gulped down the remainder of the whisky. Soon though I refilled my glass.

Quinton began to clean his spectacles. Barrows sighed.

(Writing to you so you can know what happened to Mrs. Stephanie Cole)


It was 6:30pm on 1ST November 1895. The large red brick estate of was totally encased by a thick layer of damp fog and mist. It was truly a sorry sight to see; the outer buildings were derelict and even though the various staff that worked under Mr. Cole and Miss. Cole had (some years ago now) asked various times about possibly taking up residence in one of the various little cottages the aforementioned Mr & Miss. Cole had always dismissed the idea. Often they would say… “…it’s unpractical…” and why would it be unpractical for them to both live at the place and to also pay rent to the family? No answer had ever been given, probably because everyone knew the true reason but was unable to say it. The reason in question was this, it was simply because (in Miss. Cole’s words)… “I don’t want to have those peasants living on my land and filling it was swingers and having parties and end up with things being broken and stolen!” Of course none of this would ever have happened, the maids and waiters weren’t the type to hold such grand parties and they would never dare steal anything. Everybody knew the importance of having a job at the estate. And with the British economy being as it was it was highly unlikely that if one of them was sacked they would be able to get back onto the employment ladder by the end of the year.


Anyway, I’m rambling. None of this was important. Especially to Mrs. Stephanie Cole, she didn’t care at all about how the “lower class” maids lived or where or how much they got paid or exedra…

However, what she did care about was this. Exactly where the various maids and waiters were in the house between 6:45pm and 6:55pm. She needed to know this why? So she could make sure that when she began to walk from corridor to corridor, down the left wing stairs, down another corridor and across to the front door that no-one should see her. She needed to know that as soon as she left her room she wouldn’t come into contact with any other mortal beings.  So she waited, she had packed a small bag of clothes and various other “essentials” and that was now underneath her bed. However, this wasn’t going to be a simple plan to take into action. The first obstacle was (as I have mentioned before) knowing the movements of nearly all the staff in the house just before dinner would be served. She did know one thing; there were three staff that usually worked around the top corridor of the left wing. These staff were as follows…

Mrs. Chambers, Maid to Stephanie.

Mr. Chadwick, waiter and cleaner to Stephanie.

Miss. Al-mugrad, cleaner.


But this was a very small stumbling block to overcome.

Firstly, Mrs. Chambers had already seen to Stephanie just five minutes ago and wouldn’t be back for at least half an hour. She would be down in the kitchen having a quick little nibble on something before tending to both Mrs. Cole and her mother. Miss. Al-mugrad would be cleaning in various rooms but wasn’t completely “aware” of her surroundings so it would be easy to overcome her if she came anywhere near. The biggest hurdle would be Mr. Chadwick who often went through the left wing into Mr. Cole’s room. Every half an hour he would bring something either to or from the room. However it would be highly unlikely for him to make a reappearance anytime soon, as the kitchen was offering steak and ale pie. His favourite, he’d probably be scoffing it down whilst talking about the “amazing” skill needed to play for the local cricket team, which he was first choice bowler for.

6:35pm- time to make her great escape. Silently Stephanie got from her four-poster and pulled her bag over her shoulders, she slowly opened the door (a large creak came with it). She looked from side to side, no one there. Even slower still she began to walk down the corridor towards the iron staircase. There was a big problem, as she came down the corridor she realised that the door to her bedroom was still open, someone who surely notice. She swore under her breath, very un-lady like. She silently ran towards the door and quickly but silently closed it. Again she began her great escape…


Now she was down to the ground floor of the building. She heard her mother and father having dinner, silent but still not awkward. It was often seen in the house that the two wouldn’t speak during dinner. Why? Who knows?

So anyway Stephanie began to quickly and quietly run towards the front doors. She slowly opened it and quickly shut it again, she began to run…

The next morning the house echoed with the cries of a woman. Berenice Cole sat in her drawing room and wept as loudly as a church bell rang to signal the time of the day. The inspector looked out of one of the large windows and found himself starring in wonder at the movements of a large deer as a run across the misty plains. Mr. Cole sat, not comforting his wife, and drank his glass of whisky.

“You will find her. Won’t you Inspector?” Cole spoke the words softly. The Inspector turned on his heels and cleared his throat.

“Of course, I will try my hardest.” He looked towards the glass tumbler that was held in a tight grip of Mr. Cole’s left hand, he could tell it was going to be a long day.

So he left for St. Grandorf’s, he needed to start his enquiries. 



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