The Ice-Cream Club

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Found it!’

Jim was sweaty and irritable and, don’t forget, hungry. He mentioned it nearly ten times in the hours they’ve been searching.

‘Numerical my ass!’ he announced annoyed. ’Someone should tell whoever did this that there’s a damn difference between 001-dash, 010-dash and 100-dash.’ He dramatically swung his hands about the box-invested isle. ’There’s sweet-blue nothing numerical about this. It looks like a gigantic box-scrap yard!’ He tried wiping the heat from his forehead. ‘It’s just been dumped here - the bloody…bloody…DASH!’

Deric had to agree. There were rows and rows of boxes on rows and rows of shelves. Even though they had the case-number, it took determination to find the one they’d been looking for.

The case wasn’t important anymore. It was some forgotten incident in the early nineties which had been, as far as everyone else was concerned, solved and sorted shortly after it happened. Brenda Blignaut revealed otherwise.

’The older cases, ’specially those that’s been closed, I don’t think they would get any further attention on the computer as the bit that Monty retrieved,’ Deric said as he pulled the box in question from the top of an overloaded shelve, ’as it is these people are nearly engulfed by the dozens and dozens of cold cases. Why bother with one where the obvious murderer did all a favour and died the day after the killing.’

‘I guess.’ Jim said unenthusiastically as he removed the lid from the box. He coughed, ‘And the bloody dust doesn’t do anything for my poor lungs.’

He was still suffering the after effects of a severe flu.

Deric opened the file.

The crime-scene photos were the same as those on the computer and just as disturbing the second time around. He read the file that mostly repeated what was found on the computer - nothing new there. He really hoped they didn’t waste nearly two hours for this. The last paper had the statements of the mother, Patsy Javid, and a neighbour, Cecelia Terblanche, who was on the scene about ten minutes or so, after she heard Patsy Javid’s cries for help. Besides the short report in the box there was one other piece of paper that gave them some new insights. It contained the case number of another file for cross-reference. It was dated 1999. It was the case file of Patsy Javid.

‘Patsy Javid?’ Jim said credulously. ‘Oh, no,’ he said in a near whisper, ‘don’t tell me we have to search two more hours for that.’

There was a photo of her attached to the paper. A young, attractive brown-skin girl stared with bored eyes back at the photographer. Her dyed red hair looked superficial, like a bad wig. But nevertheless, she had a beautiful symmetric face. She couldn’t be older than twenty in the photo.

‘Patsy Javid. I wonder why she has a case-file. ’ Deric put Jim’s quizzical look into words.

Jim stared at the photo.

‘Surely we’ll find this on the computer,’ Jim said, ‘we didn’t look for it before, but now we know.’

Deric stacked the box back on the top shelf.

’Let’s dump this on Monty and get something to eat, I’m starving.’ Jim said.

‘Poor Monty,’ Deric said, ‘he’s getting more than he bargained for.’

‘Not my fault he’s so damn “computerish”.’ Jim said with a twinkle in his eyes.

“I heard it through the grapevine…” The biggest grapevine these days was the irreplaceable computer.

There was very little you could hide from it.

Jim sipped the last of his cold, fruity drink down and sighed contently. They didn’t discuss the case while eating. They talked about family, wives and children. It felt good to talk about normal day-to-day stuff. Deric felt himself really lucky to have a second change - just like Brenda Blignaut have stated. He would never take it for granted – ever - even on the less good days.

‘Why the hell did this Blignaut woman chose you, FC?’ Jim asked as he waved to the waitress for the tab. Jim is the only one that called him FC – Frederic Chopin. Well, at least everyone around him found it smirkingly amusing, due to Sheffield’s rather witty, embarrassing toast on Mae and his wedding day, ’Except, of course, the fact that you’re so bloody competent!’ Jim added as Deric didn’t answered straight away.

‘I don’t have a clue, but she’d surely thought it through for a long time,’ Deric wiped his mouth, ‘and she knows or knew a lot about me. Maybe it was because of Judy – how she found out, I don’t know. The lawyer said she’s left the envelope with him around eight months ago. To work out anything as elaborate as that must have taken some time and thought and effort.’ Deric said folding and refolding the napkin as if doing origami. ‘Maybe, it’s because of us both losing people we loved. Two totally different circumstances, of course, but…maybe she thought I would understand her motives better.’

‘Would you say around the time we finished the Moore case,’ Jim gave a smirk, ‘or rather that Rose Black finished for us.’ Jim said. ‘Do you think Rose Black and Brenda Blignaut knew each other?’

Deric didn’t answer.

‘No, she said they didn’t.’ Jim answered his own question and placed his card and the receipt in his wallet, ‘to tell you the truth, nothing seems to far-fetch after Sienna Moore.’

’Don’t forget her loving husband Pastor Stephan Moore who’s still at large.’ Deric added as he reached for his singing phone.

‘Yes, Monty.’ He listened for a few seconds before saying, ‘We’re on our way.’

‘Golden boy found something?’ Jim asked.


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