The Resolution Of Chess
It was coming up to the evening when Percival headed home with Chess Hancock.
''Are you sure about this? I mean...I don't exactly belong here,'' Chess spoke to Percival. They were riding on his horse back to Comerton Hall. Charles headed home with the Nautilus suits in tow.
''Yes, of course. I have many more questions to ask you about the future. I will have to hide you in the secret tunnel in the stables, however. I am sorry for the impromptu accommodation arrangements,'' Percival said to her.
''No, it's all right. I just don't want to get you in trouble. I'm not sure if I can answer some of your questions, because you may do or say something that might alter the future. Anyway, are you sure that my suit will be safe with Charlie?'' Chess asked him. Percival turned around and gave her a baffled look. Chess rolled her eyes and scoffed lightly.
''It's a nickname I gave him, Percy. Short for Charles,'' Chess explained. Percival faced the front and smiled.
''Oh, I get it,'' he responded. They rode in silence for a moment.
''Brrrr, it's cold out here,'' Chess complained, clutching her arms tightly. Percival turned around, and noticed she was beginning to shiver.
''Here, take my coat,'' Percival said, stopping the horse and removing his coat. He handed it to Chess who took it and proceeded to put it on.
''Thank you,'' Chess said softly. Percival smiled at her, and then continued to head towards his home.
''Where is...Jasper's body?'' Chess queried. Percival's face became serious.
''We took him to a doctor's practice in London. We wanted to determine the cause of death. I had found him near the rift where I entered to arrive at your time, so I assumed he had fallen out of his suit somehow and drowned. However, once the doctor examined him further, he gleaned that there was an injury to his head that might have caused his death. It possibly gives me an explanation as to why I spotted a blemish of blood on the arm of the suit prior to discovering his body,'' Percival disclosed. Chess pondered on this information.
''Are you saying...he was murdered?'' Chess questioned.
''Yes, it's possible. But I wonder...who could have done it?'' Percival queried. Chess stared at the back of Percival, questioning whether she should trust him or not.
''You mentioned…that the body was not in the suit. Where did you find the suit?'' Chess queried out of curiosity.
''I found it in a small alcove at the bay, hidden beneath sand,'' Percival revealed. Chess' eyebrows furrowed in concern.
''Hmmm. That sounds very dodgy. It sounds as if...whoever killed Jasper tried to hide the suit. But...why kill him? It doesn't make sense,'' Chess ruminated.
''I'm not sure why, either,'' Percival responded.
''I mean...think about it. You've just discovered someone who's come from the future. Why would you kill that person? You would undoubtedly have questions for them, right?'' Chess reasoned.
''Of course! I have many questions for you! Why would I harm a person who can tell me about the future?'' Percival said. Chess slowly shook her head, deep in thought.
''There must be something going on. Someone found him before you. Who else goes to this bay?'' Chess interrogated Percival.
''Well, anyone who lives near it. We've been going for years. But
there's also...the Bartletts, but they are in India at the moment, and besides, they hardly go to Tuckerby Bay by themselves, they always go in a group with us; there's the Horaces, my cousins, but again, they would almost always go with us; and then there's...'' Percival trailed off.
''There's who?'' Chess prompted. Percival turned around to face her.
''Garth Mason. He used to go there alone sometimes. He told me...he preferred going to the bay by himself so he could be alone with his thoughts,'' Percival admitted, his tone dropping once again.
''Then...he's the prime suspect,'' Chess declared. Percival fell silent as he thought about his friend.
'Garth wouldn't murder...would he? But...now that I've found out what he's been up to in America...it's possible there are things he is capable of...' Percival conversed inwardly.
''Are we nearly there yet?'' Chess asked, craning her neck over Percival. Percival snapped out of his reverie and looked up. He saw Comerton Hall in the distance.
''Yes, we are,'' Percival spoke.
''Oh, good. Hey, Percy, is it possible...that I could see Jasper's body? And take him back with me? I want him to be buried in the future, where he belongs, not the past, where he'll be forgotten,'' Chess requested. Percival looked back at her, and nodded.
''Of course. Besides, he cannot be buried until a relative can be found. Were you two...married?'' Percival asked. Chess slightly blushed.
''No, no, no. We weren't together. But...I was…kind of hoping. Now...it can never be,'' Chess admitted. Percival faced forward, and recalled his relationship with Valerie. It made him realise that he should be doing more for her if he was indeed in love with her, and that if he didn't, it might be too late, and it would be a great regret.
''You know what this means right?'' Chess spoke. Percival's face was beset with confusion.
''What what means, sorry?'' Percival prompted.
''What we have to do, in this time?'' Chess continued. Percival turned to face her, not sure what she meant.
''We're going to have to kill Garth Mason, so that the future that I live in will never come to pass,'' Chess resolved. Percival stared at her in silence, and then turned to the front. They had reached Comerton Hall.
'Kill Garth...to prevent what happens in the future?' Percival reiterated internally. But could Percival actually kill his best friend?