Sanguine Town: Westby Ravensdale - The Lady in Grey

Westby Ravensdale is an eccentric private investigator in Sanguine Town with an ability that sets him apart from all others. He is capable of analysing a situation and coming up with an answer in seconds, making the secret weapon of both the Police and the Hunters...no matter how much he may frustrate them. With his helpful companion, George Malcolm, Westby faces up to any and all fascinating cases, bringing his unique methods to play. --- "The Lady in Grey" is the first in a series of Westby Ravensdale stories. George Malcolm is introduced to the detective, and is thrown head first into a case involving a mysterious spectral lady. --- Confession: Inspired by Sherlock Holmes. Largely a placement of Sherlock into a Supernatural setting. --- Thanks to Christie_xx for the cover drawing.

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10. Looking For Answers

I woke the next day to find Westby sitting in my room wearing his coat, as if preparing to go out.
“What are you doing in here?” I asked, and before he replied, I added, “I locked the damn door.”

Westby smiled. “We need to get that laptop, Dr. Malcolm, and I’m counting on finding it in the possession of Detective Doyle.”

“I have work again, Westby,” I informed him, propping myself upright. “I can’t really get off work.”

“Do not fret, my friend. I called in for you. They think your leg is playing up. Seems I’m the only one who knows it’s psychosomatic.” He smiled. “Anyway, come with me. Doyle doesn’t like being disturbed early.”

“Neither do I,” I said. “What even is the time?”

“Six-thirty,” Westby replied, getting up and leaving the room before I had a chance to protest.

Sighing, I removed myself from the bed and hurried to get dressed, unsure whether Westby would let me get breakfast.

I headed down the stairs and saw Westby sitting impatiently in his armchair. Upon seeing I was in the room, he threw an apple to me and smiled. “Let’s go, shall we?”

I followed him as he left the room, and said, “This better not become habit. I can’t keep dropping work.”

Westby laughed, picked up my walking stick and passed it to me. “Get your coat, Dr. Malcolm. We need to go.”

I sighed, quite audibly, and grabbed my coat from the hook. We headed out to the street, and Westby laughed.

“Let’s walk towards the Police Department and catch a taxi on the way,” he said.

“With my leg?” I inquired.

“Why are you carrying it like an umbrella if you need it?” he asked, glancing round ever so slightly.

I looked at my walking stick and noticed I wasn’t actually using it – Westby was right, and though I hated to admit it, I didn’t have a problem with my leg. Nonetheless, for cosmetic’s sake more than anything else, I decided to use the stick, drawing a smile from Westby.

A taxi drove by, heading in the right direction, and I hailed it, hoping it would stop. Thankfully it did, and we hopped in.

“Where to?” the driver asked.

“Do we actually have any money?” Westby asked as we sat down.

I glanced at him. “Did you bring any?”

“Only for bribing the police.”

“Bribing the…why not paying the driver?”

Westby shrugged. “I suppose I could.”

“Good.” I cleared my throat and addressed the taxi driver. “The Police Department, please.”

The driver nodded and turned round to face the road. “Off we go then.”

We drove largely in silence, and once again it took us half an hour to get there.

When we did, I hurried out of the taxi, leaving Westby to pay. What I saw amazed me.

He didn’t get any money out. Instead he stood and talked to the driver for a moment. He ended up walking away from the taxi smiling triumphantly.

“What did you do?” I asked as he joined me and we headed into the Police Department.

“Simply talked to him about my observations,” Westby replied. “He’s cheating on his wife, and I found out who his wife is.”

“In half an hour?”

Westby nodded. “I told him, and he said we could pay nothing if I didn’t tell her.”

“Blackmail?” I asked in a quiet voice.

“Not at all, Dr. Malcolm. He told me not to pay.” He headed towards the stairs and laughed. “Come on, Dr. Malcolm! Don’t worry about your walking stick! We’ll get it back!”

His exclamation drew attention from the reception desks, and I looked to my hands. True enough, there was no sign of my walking stick.

“Damn it,” I muttered, following him up the stairs. We ended up in an office full of computers and other technological devices, with a man in a white coat – obviously the Police Department enjoyed stereotypes and clichés – leaning over a desk.

Under his fingertips was a laptop that looked much like the one found in Mr. Jacobson’s apartments.

“What a stroke of luck!” Westby exclaimed, standing behind the technician and peering at the laptop. “That’s exactly what we came to look at.”

The technician slowly sat up and looked at Westby. “Oh. It’s you,” he said with less enthusiasm than I thought possible. “What do you want?”

“Answers from that laptop,” Westby replied, smiling.

I looked around and remembered what Westby said earlier. “Why aren’t we talking to Doyle?” I asked.

“Later, Dr. Malcolm.” Westby leaned over the desk. “Do you know anything about Mr. Jacobson’s affair?”

“Affair?”

“Tell me…are there any messages that sound romantic on that computer? There should be two people, and they should be recent,” Westby explained. He smiled. “One of them may call herself “petal”.”

The technician frowned at Westby. “There’s only one person, and yes, she is referred to as “petal”. Her real name is Helen Fox.”

“Ah, wonderful!” Westby exclaimed. “Thank you very much.” He turned from the technician and headed to the door.

“Hey, Westby!” he snapped. “Why the hell did I just tell you that?”

Westby shrugged and laughed. “I don’t know. You didn’t want me to tell you what I worked out?”

The technician opened his mouth to speak, and then stopped. “Damn you, Westby. Damn you.”

Westby grinned at the technician, and then led me from the room, and I guessed we were going to find Doyle.

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