Dinner with the Authorities
Detective Constable Beatrice Monroe arrived at the Du univers meilleur café promptly at 8PM. Abigail moaned, “I can’t do this.”
Jolene stood up and said, “We need her help. That is the end of the discussion.” She headed to the door and let her in.
DC Monroe said as she shed her coat, “I wasn’t entirely sure I was welcome.”
Jolene took the coat and hung it on a hat tree. “You flustered Abigail somehow. She is being very closed mouth about it. Regardless, reason held sway and the rest of the group is anxious to meet you.”
Jolene led her into the dining room. She was no longer wearing her uniform. However, she still work pants and a shirt. Alice came up and greeted her with a kiss on each cheek. Abigail had some satisfaction that DC Monroe blushed a bit at the action. Jolene walked her around the room. Meeting Edward and Wynn. Per Abigail’s firm instructions Athena was present as long as she did not comment or ask questions. However, she was staring very intently at the DC. Alice brought out the food and people settled in for a meal of ham, broccoli and potatoes under a lightly spiced l’orange sauce. DC Monroe clearly enjoyed the food. Athena had managed to sit next to the DC. Fortunately, she was engaged in conversation with Stephanie and Edward about some part of the London scene. Finally the meal was finished. Stephanie and Edward cleared the plates. It was at that point Athena asked DC Beatrice Monroe, “How come you look like the picture of Aunt Annalee?”
DC Monroe’s eyes got wide and she looked at Abigail and said, “Who are you?”
Abigail said firmly, “Athena, remember my rules?”
Athena pouted and said, “Can’t I stay with Aunt Alice?”
Alice blotted her mouth and said, “Mum Abigail was quite firm, child…upstairs with you. We will tuck you in when you are ready.”
The young girl moped for a moment and then headed up the stairs. Abigail put her head in her hands. DC Monroe said more firmly, “I asked you a question…who are you.”
Alice asked, “Why do you ask the question?”
DC Monroe put her napkin on the table, “Because my grandmother’s name was Annalee. And because she spoke about a lost sister named ‘Abigail.’”
The men at the table all coughed on their drinks. Jolene wrinkled her brow, “I wondered.”
Abigail lifted her face and said, “DC Monroe, I will answer your question…later. First, Stephan and I promised to demonstrate what we believe were the weapons to you.” She stood up and said, “Stephan and I will take you Battersea Park for a demonstration. After the demonstration we can talk more about who we think is attacking and who is supplying the weapons. When you’ve gotten past that, then we can talk about who I am.”
The table was cleared. Stephan and Abigail headed up the stairs. He paused and said, “Are you going to tell her?”
Abigail snapped, “Athena practically has. She is not an idiot. When all the possible explanations have been eliminated, she will consider the impossible. And our demonstration and talk are going to make that leap easier.” She stormed off to her room saying as she left, “So yes… I am going to tell her.”
In The Recruiting Matter, I had provided Abigail a history of a sister she had left behind. So yes, DC Beatrice Monroe is Abigail Monroe’s great niece. I was writing this scene and needed an inspector. My new characters, especially the active ones, were mostly male so I felt it was time to bend history and add a female detective (it is not as far fetched as one might think – the founder of the London Metro Police had women on the force [albeit not on the beat]). Then I had to come up with a name…and then I thought “What if someone meets an old relative?” Monroe is as sharp as her great aunt and not afraid of pursuing leads. Abigail has a family and may have gotten tentative as a result.
Writing is going a bit slowly. I got out of the habit of posting so I am a bit discouraged about how many are actually reading. Progressing…my work writing group has stuck a deadline of January 15 to finish our books.