The plot thickens...Mature

The next morning, Nadia had lost a little of her customary cheer, having spent an almost sleepless night. The poster had been taken down from the wall and was now folded up and tucked away in a drawer, out of sight.

Nadia was chewing absent mindedly on a slice of toast, feeling glum. It was raining outside, Tomas was in hiding under the bed, and the day was stretching ahead of her like a prison sentence.

'I know I didn't intend to do this again without you being near, Harry, but I want to know more and... more to the point...' Nadia went on, 'I've nothing else I want to do this morning.'

She opened the top drawer in the chest of drawers beside her bed and pulled out a small flat wooden box. Inside it was the make-up compact that had prompted all of the adventures she'd recently had, and it was with some misgivings that she slipped it into her palm.

The plummeting lift sensation felt even worse this time, and Nadia felt glad that the toast had been the only thing she'd eaten that day. Her vision darkened momentarily and then...

Nadia/Grace was lying on a soft, yielding surface, her eyes closed as she listened to the other occupant of the room moving about. Footsteps came closer and then receded, and then she heard a dragging metallic sound. The curtains being drawn, she guessed.

The footsteps came back again and then the mattress of the bed she was lying on sagged slightly as it took the weight of another person.

'Grace, darling. Are you awake?'

It was Samedi.

'Grace,' he whispered in her ear. 'Don't try to talk. Don't even try to move.' He paused, and then continued, ' not that you'll be able to move, anyway.'

Samedi got up from the bed again.

'I'm just going to leave the room for a moment now, but I'll be back. Soon.'

The footsteps faded away.

Nadia opened her eyes to find that almost three hours had passed.

'Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God,' she shouted, leaping up from her bed and simultaneously dropping the compact to the floor. 'Just what are you, Samedi?'

She stood up and turned toward the night table beside her bed, lifting up the clock radio and pulling out a familiar grubby and well-handled oblong of card.

The large metal door slid sideways with a low heavy rattle and then Harry stepped inside.

'Hiya Nade! Managed to swing the 'gardening emergency on the other side of the valley' excuse, so here I am.'

Nadia almost threw herself at Harry, wrapping her arms around him and giving him a long tight hug. 'You just wouldn't believe how pleased I am to see you, Harry!'

Harry looked tenderly down at the top of her head. 'Wassup, doll? You got spooked by something?'

A small now teary-eyed pale face looked up at him. 'You could say that!'

'Aww, hon. What's the matter?'

Nadia told him about the bad night's sleep she'd had and then mentioned the fact that something she'd dreamt about had seriously creeped her out, although she couldn't remember what. 'I think it must have been something to do with Baron Samedi', she insisted, 'because I couldn't bear to look at his picture on the poster after I woke up.'

'And then,' Harry asked.

'And then I decided to see if I could pick up any more impressions from the make up compact I told you about,' Nadia sniffed. 'And it was him again. Samedi. With Grace. I think that he'd drugged her or something. And then he was going to do things with her. I don't know what. But I think it was going to be bad things. Really bad things.'

'What do you want to do, hon? What do you want me to do,' Harry offered, sympathetically.

'I don't know. I just don't know,' Nadia replied, sniffing and then blowing her nose noisily.

'Shall we just start with what we already know, then, and see where that leads us,' Harry suggested.

Nadia nodded, her eye-shadow now smudged from where she'd been rubbing her eyes.

'Right then. We know that Grace Dawson is dead. Okay? We also know that she was romantically involved with someone in the music business shortly she died. Those are certifiable facts.'


Harry continued. 'We also have the evidence provided by your psychic connection to Grace that suggests that not only did she probably commit suicide, but that she was also involved with that Baron Samedi person. And that he was up to no good.'


Harry squatted down and met Nadia straight on, eye-to-eye. 'I'm sorry, hon, but we've not got very much in the way of readily acceptable proof that he had anything to do with her death, or even if they were involved at all.'

Nadia dabbed at her nose again, then frowned. 'I know, but I know that it was him. I do!'

'So what do we need to do? What are we trying to do, Nade?'

Nadia thought for a moment, her eyes cast downwards. 'Well...' she began.

They both looked at each other for at least a minute, trying to work out what to do next. And then Nadia broke the silence.

'I need to get all this out of my head. For Good. I think that it's getting into my dreams now, so I need to find some way to get some sort of closure.'

'Okay, but how are we going to do that,' Harry replied.

Nadia thought a moment.

'We could look into it more, find out if there are any documented facts that support all this. And then dig deeper to find out what really happened!'

Harry looked steadily at her, frowning. 'Couldn't you just throw the compact away? Forget about all this? Have you thought that if this Baron Samedi was up to no good, he might not take kindly to us digging all this up again?'

'I don't know...' Nadia pulled at her bottom lip thoughtfully.

'No,' she said suddenly, shaking her head. 'I know what I'm like. I can never leave well enough alone once I've got something on my mind. I've got to at least try to find out more, and then see where it leads us.'

Ten minutes later Nadia had pulled an old laptop computer out from a drawer and was busy interrogating the archives of the Buslinthwaite Gazette.

'First things first,' she said, decisively. 'The Buslinthwaite Gazette 'Hatched, Matched and Dispatched' columns. Okay, Grace. When did it happen?'

She tapped away for a few seconds.

'Aha! November 15th.Roughly three months ago,' she proclaimed. 'Aged 34. Taken suddenly and unexpectedly. Now, I personally know that Samedi was in town five months ago and, as far I've heard from all the fan-sites, he's not been seen since.'

Suddenly, Harry became much more interested.

'So it could well have been Samedi that she got involved with! I do recall seeing a stranger's vintage black Mercedes-Benz 300SL that was about quite a lot from around five months ago up until shortly after she died.' He scowled, thinking back. 'What sort of car does Samedi drive, do you know?

Nadia thought a moment. 'I've never been such a huge fan of him as I am La Croix, but I do think that the whole group drove around in classic German sports cars. Black ones, I do know that much.'

'So, that's not conclusive, but the facts still point toward Samedi as possibly being a regular house guest. Can you do a search for what car Samedi drives on the internet?'

There was another flurry of typing then Nadia announced, Baron Samedi drives a black gull-wing 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL. Look, there's a photo!'

Harry peered over Nadia's shoulder. 'Yup, that's just like the one I remember. What's Samedi look like out of his stage clothes?.'

Nadia thought a moment. 'He's tall, but not as tall as you, and is pale and thin and has black hair. He often carries a black cane with a silver Death's Head on it,' Nadia added, helpfully.

'Oh yes, him I did see,' Harry declared, with certainty. 'He's a right piece of work. He regularly churned up the drive when he came to visit, treating the area beside the side entrance like a skid pan. Guess who had to smooth out the gravel again each time he came?' He prodded his chest, vigorously. 'Me!'

He continued, now getting into the swing of his narrative. 'Guess who copped a lump on the head from that cane once when I grumbled about it? Yup, me. And guess who got a rocket from the Lady Grace that same day for being abusive to her guest? Yup, you guessed it, me again!'

Harry rubbed the once-sore area behind his left ear thoughtfully, remembering that day. 'Yes, I think we can now be sure that Samedi has left his marks all over this affair. In fact', he added with renewed enthusiasm, 'I can definitely say that I'm a full 100 percent behind you in following this matter up now.'

The End

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