Murder, she typed

"I come from the International Time Travellers Association," she said proudly, but seeing my blank expression she added, "Well, all right, the International Time Travellers and Jaffa-cake Association, but that is hopefully getting changed soon."

I blinked as she removed her furs and a wig, revealing straw coloured hair and a simple dress of blue cotton.

"The ITTJA? We fix paradoxes, have a laff-a and eat boxes of that wonderful Jaffa? Our slogan? Helloooo?"

Somehow, I still felt dubious.

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5. Lord of the estate

 

I sat in a bulky four by four, trying to hold my breakfast as we bumped down a potholed driveway. The lane was lined with pruned trees and gentle sloping lawns. A red brick mansion with a marble front door loomed at the end of the road, 10 times bigger than my house, any house I had ever seen really.

"Now as you can see," A butler on loan drawled, his nose jutting in the air as he helped me descend from the range rover, "The house is quite large. It will probably by divided to his wife and three daughters. The lord is obviously a little dissapointed having girls and no boys. Men are more - intelligent I suppose. Women!"

I coughed, then asked him whether he was married, to which he told me no. I pretended to look surprised.

"Is her Ladyship grief stricken? I suppose she must be very reserved," I questioned him.

"Err.. oddly no... she has been out a lot with her friends, drinking champagne. I think it is her way of dealing with it all I suppose! You know, she got a large inheritance from Lord Frinton. This will be her... 4th marriage I think," He grinned, failing to see the irony.

As we were welcomed into the mansion, I wondered what I would find inside, unaccustomed to buildings of such size and expense. As we were ushered in I couldn't help but think it all seemed a little... gaudy. Countless fragile tiny tables were scattered around the place with oversized vases and the wallpaper was a floral design that almost hurt the eyes. The carpet was a plush red velvet and servants in stiff uniforms buttoned to their cheeks stood to attention like statues. I shifted, uncomfortable in my trainers and jeans, feeling out of place in this almost victorian of households. Stunned, I barely noticed as I was led down a thin corridor to the foot of a wide staircase in which the Lady of the house was descending. She wore a silk black dress to her calves and four inch stilettos, presumably to show respect to her husband, though her flashing eyes and wide smile weren't particularly mournful.

"Karen!" She exclaimed, greeting me like an old friend, "How marvellous to see you! I take it you're here about my husband. Awful thing that murder, what a hassle. And the paperwork! Do not get me started! Come with me to the living room and let's get this out of the way!"

Lady Frinton said this all so quickly I had barely time to curtsey (I had been practising the night before with Flossie) and fish out my tape recorder from my bag.

"Come now let's discuss," We sat on a plump sofa in a large room filled with endless overpriced jars and pots, "Let us talk all about my darling Lord Fronton, shall we!"

"Lord Frinton?" I corrected, hesitantly.

"Same thing."

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