The Ice-Cream Club

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Chapter 22 (CHOCOLATE THERAPY)

‘Well, I think we’ve unravel all the clues, but I still cannot make out any name.’ Latisha sat up and stretched her back.

‘Neither can I.’ Mae said as she looked over the photocopy-crossword one more time.

‘Some words are tied together, that is obvious.’ Latisha pointed at the words they’ve written together in separate columns, ‘Magical, Kind, Effulgent, those must point to something, but it certainly doesn’t tie in with the others.’

She stretched her back one more time, ‘Can I get you a cuppa?’

‘That would be wonderful; maybe some caffeine will help the grey-matter.’ Mae said, but didn’t look up, ‘like you said, those don’t fit in with Blackheart, Ignoble, Narcissist, Anathematize, Untouchable, Obfuscation, Degradation, Gangrenous and Sadist or Undissolved and Tainted – they all point to the bad, or something bad, and as we know by now, some of these words were found at certain crime scenes.’

They both stare a few seconds longer at the words before Mae said, ‘Gavel, I guess points to judgement, maybe their Judgement. I mean that of the “Ice-Cream-Club” – those they’ve judged? Or the one that still must be judged? You think?’

‘You think there are more murders?’ Latisha asked ruffled, ‘She did say six – number seven’s numbers’ up if we don’t get to him in time. But these words – not all are accounted for. I mean if there are no more victims out there. Maybe they’re not supposed to tie in with the other victims. What do you think?’

Mae pushed back from the desk, ‘I really don’t know.’

‘Let’s get some coffee.’

‘Me three!’ Jim’s voice came from the door.

‘Me four!’ Deric chimed in.

Danny Malabo smiled but didn’t utter a word.

‘Me five, Danny?’ Latisha said sarcastically, ‘Et tu, Brutè?’

‘Ooh, I love it when you speak Italian!’ Jim said with a naughty gleam in his eye,’ “Macchiato” and all that.’

They all laughed.

‘Okay, just this once, but,’ the red fingernail went up in the air, ‘now you owe us twice, or would that be thrice?’

‘What have you two been up too-’

‘Cappie I found her!’ Tim burst in noisily.

‘Who?’

‘I found Patsy January, or rather Semper, as she’s now known.’ He smiled broadly.

‘Whoa, Tim, what would we’ve done without you?’ Deric said and forgot all about the aromatic coffee. ‘Don’t tell me she’s also six feet under. Tell me she’s alive and kicking and waiting in an interview room nearby.’

‘Well, good news and good news,’ he said quasi-serious, ‘she’s not in an interview room close-by but, she’s alive and well and in Grootte Schuur hospital.’

‘Hospital,’ Deric asked curiously, ‘what’s wrong with her?’

’Apparently this woman had had quite a nasty experience, as I understood from the guys up in Cape Town. I put an APB out on her and I’ve just been informed she had been flown from somewhere in the district of Beaufort-West to the hospital. Left for dead by someone in an abandoned hut in the Karoo. If it weren’t for a young schoolboy who wanted to spend his Monday with nature instead of in the classroom, she would most probably have died of exposure and dehydration. The place is quite abandoned. Apparently, she was totally dehydrated, disorientated, and get this, on the inside of her fingers were tattoos. It read: “Undissolved” and “Contaminated” on one hand and “Chocolate” and “Therapy” on the other. According to a friend she was on a blind date on Friday but she doesn’t admit to that. She insists she was kidnapped and she doesn’t know what the tattoos are all about. However, we do for “Chocolate Therapy”-

‘-is an ice-cream flavour.’ Jim answered.

Those words didn’t make sense to the police in Cape Town, but it sure as hell made an impression on all in this office.

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