tea. They had been waiting over an hour when there was a knock on the door and a police officer and police woman came in.
Hello Miss Beck I am PC Robert Black and this is PC Joyce Marti we are very sorry for you loss. If you are up to it would you come with us as we need you to identify your mother formally?’
“Yes of course, can my boyfriend come with me?’
Certainly Miss Beck said Joyce Marti. Dougie helped her out of the seat then held onto her as they followed the police constables down the long corridor. They turned left where the sign said mortuary. There they were asked to wait again and then they were led to a window. “I’m sorry Miss Beck but until we have finished with our enquiries you are not allowed to touch the body of your mother.’
The stood together Doug had his arm around Paula as the curtains were opened.
She gasped then held onto Doug again as the severity of her injuries to her face were revealed. Minnie had lacerations to her left eye, her nose had been broken, and there was a depression in her cheekbone where she had been hit with a heavy object.
There was caked blood on the pillow from a large head wound. Her arms were covered in bruises where she had either been punched or kicked. They couldn’t see the rest of her body as it was covered by a white sheet.
“Is this your mother Miss asked Joyce as sympathetically as she could; knowing already that it was true but had to go through the formality anyway.’
Paula nodded and then the curtains were closed.
Can we ask you where you were last evening Miss?’
“I was at university in Durham where I am doing a theology degree.’
“Did your mother have any enemies or do she owe anyone money?
“Can I ask if your mother had any savings in the house because the house was er ransacked said PC Robert Black?
“No my mother used to bank the takings every day so there would have been very little in way of cash lying around.’
Did she have any jewellery?’
“Yes, she had two ruby rings, a diamond cluster ring, a string of pearls my father bought her and a gold locket engraved with the name Minnie written on it.’
“Do you have any idea of the value of the property Miss?’
“Sorry, know I do not.’
“Well that’s all we need to know for now Miss. We may need to speak with you again so can you leave us a contact number of the university.
Paula took a notepad from her bag and a pencil and wrote down the number and Doug’s then handed it to the police woman. Paula told her that she would be staying for a while at his house if they needed to speak with her.
“Thank you Miss and once again we are very sorry for your loss.’
Dougie led Paula out and she drove them back to his house.
Dougie placed more coal on the fire and took Paula’s coat and hung it up on a coat hook near the door.
“Here love, sit yourself down and keep warm; you look freezing.’
Paula sat by the fire gazing into the flames before finally speaking.
“I hope that they catch who ever did this.’
“So do I love?’
“It was now eleven thirty it had been an eventful day; certainly one neither of them would ever forget.
“Would you like me to make you something to eat Paula?’