George pressed the cut off button then rang the ambulance service and told them.
George walked back to Sarah Whites house then opened the door and left it open.
Ten minutes later a black Wolseley police vehicle pulled up and two police officers got out and entered the house. “I’m Police sergeant Michael Burns and this is Police constable Alan Bertram.’
“Did you know the deceased sir?’
Yes her name is Ms Sarah White, she lived alone. We have been looking after her since the death of her husband and two sons.’
“Any known relatives Mr Taylor?’
“Not that I am aware of sergeant.’
“Had she been ill?’
No Sir but her health was failing; I think she just gave up the will to live.’
“She didn’t have much did she replied the sergeant.’
“I made that rocking chair because the one she was using was broken.’
Shortly after a doctor came and officially pronounced her dead.’
“Well sir, since you are the only friend that she had; would you mind signing the death certificate?’
“Not at all said George, as he signed the slip of paper from the doctor’
You can take this to the coroner’s office on Bedford Street sir and give them her details. We will allow you to go through her personal belongings and there you will find her birth certificate, you will need that and her national insurance number.’ She will be entitled to a death grant Mr Taylor but it won’t be much I’m afraid. She may have had savings. I will give you a letter of authority to check those details and if she has any assets you can dispose of them as you see fit.
“Thank you Sir.’
“My condolences sir.’
The body of Ms Sarah White was taken away to the morgue. All the neighbours came out and crossed themselves as her body was driven away.
When the police and the doctor left; George stood for a moment in silent prayer.
He found a small case under her bed and several white five pound notes hidden under her mattress. She had saved up several hundred pounds. George opened the case. He felt like he was invading someone’s private things as he carefully looked at the old photos of Sarah in her youth. She had been an attractive young woman her thought and that was how he remembered her from being a boy.
He found photo’s of her husband and her two boys in uniform; then he lifted up a bible and inside was a photo of himself as a seven year old playing outside on the cobbled stones.’
“He picked it up and looked at it before searching to see if there was anything else that would lead him to a living relative. There was nothing; inside a box on the dresser was some gold jewellery, a diamond ring and a brooch with rubies and sapphires in it. There were some personal letters and George felt he had to read them to discover if she had some other family member. It was there that he found something it was hidden inside the bottom of the box and George would have missed it completely had he not been a carpenter. He recognised the old design and knew that these boxes had several hidden drawers.
He clicked a wooden peg by the inside drawer and three other compartment sprang open. Inside the first were twelve full sovereigns. The second held deeds to a small cottage in Devonshire and in the third was another letter. He opened the letter that had turned brown along its edges and what he found shocked him.