It was Monday morning and Peter Edwards, Frank Swann, Charlene Forrester, Jenny Summers and Maria Burrows were all sitting round the large, rectangular table in the board room. Peter sat at the head of the table. He had in front of him the report Charles had faxed to him.
"So, as you know, the FBI have now taken over from the local police the case the press refers to as the Mystery Strangler case" he began. "I have read you out the information that we already have, along with a succinct report on the similarities and differences between the two murders that the sherrif and his chief deputy were kind enough to fax to me." He paused to clear his throat. "I have decided to assign this important case to Frank and Charlene but the rest of you are allowed to investigate yourselves unofficially provided it does not distract you from the cases you are working on yourselves and also on condition that any information you find out you will give to Charlene, Frank or myself. Understood?"
"Good. I need hardly mention that we are dealing with a very cold and calculating killer so I would strongly advise caution. I will of course let the police know of our progress even if this case is no longer officially theirs. That concludes our meeting."
Ashley Bellwood was an average height woman of 32 with short, straight, light brown hair, cut in a Lissy Trullie hairstyle. In terms of outward appearance, one could describe her as plain but presentable. Like Maddeline, she was a primary school teacher, who lived with her husband Dominic in a cottage, situated alongside a tree lined bouleward in Montrose, Houston. Ashley had a dark green compact car for traveling long distances, though since the school she worked at was nearby she only had to walk there. She was a smart lady who often came across as very outspoken.
Harry finished doing the accounts and took them through into the office where Norman was seated at his computer desk. Norman was a tall, well built and broad shouldered man with short straight, dark brown hair and eyes to match. He was currently typing at his keyboard, his eyes focussed on the computer screen. Harry waited patiently. He knew how consientious Norman was. A part of him actually hero worshiped the man and he longed to be like him.
At last Norman finished his e-mail, pressed send and closed his inbox.
"Harry, good to see you, sit down".
He spoke confidently, with a modulated tone. Harry sat down.
"I've done the accounts sir". He handed them over. "The buisiness has been very successful this month."
Norman perused the accounts. "Well done Harry. You'll go far. Men like us - smart, driven, responsible, self made - we will succeed in life."
Harry dropped his eyes modestly.
Norman opened his purse and counted out a small wad of notes which he gave Harry. "There you go son, your wages."
Though Harry wasn't blood related to Norman and was only in his employ, Norman nevertheless considered him a surrogate son.
"Thanks Sir". Harry pocketed his wages.