Soon he pulled into his parking spot, doffed his helmet and strode into the building. Taking the stair s two at a time, he charged up to Benny’s desk. “Ben, I have a thought. I’m sure our cases are connected, so why don’t we go through all of our notes together, and see if we can find out how. Bring your stuff to my office, and let’s get to work.”
Benny looked up in surprise, blinked, and took a breath. “Ok, Lexi, I have been stumped on this blasted case for days. I have been wondering if there could be a connection. What makes you think there is?” He quickly gathered folders and notebooks and followed Lexi along the hall.
“I just had to get away from all the distractions, so I went off on my Vespa, out to the old logging road, and into the woods. As I was wandering around, I had an inspiration, but couldn’t pin it down. It was like a flash of a picture, or a name, there, then gone. If we do a really careful search, it should pop up again, and I’ll know. Then we can see what clues we can find to pin it down. I will be very happy to get both cases solved, and the perp or perps behind bars, preferably for a long time.”
Both men spread their papers out on a long table, and started reading, comparing names and clues from one case to the other. A couple of times, Benny grunted and pointed to something, Lexi nodded, and the two documents were marked. It went on for four hours, when Lexi straightened up and rubbed his back.
“I think we need to take a break. I’m so hungry I can’t think, and my eyes are starting to cross reading so many different handwritings.”
Benny sighed, straightened, and nodded. “Yeah, somebody should teach some of those guys decent penmanship. Have you ever seen anything worse than this?” he held up a notebook. “This is Constable Gifford’s notes on a witness interview. Look at it!”
He handed it to Lexi, who took it, glanced at it, and grunted. “Yeah, I ran into his stuff on another case. Found out he uses his own shorthand version, and only he can read it. We’ll have to talk to him. But first, let’s eat and rest our eyes. There are some things I’ve noticed already that I want to talk about. And if Gifford’s notes seem to be pertinent, we can go see him. If we wake him up, tough; he should now other people have to read his notes and use English, or at least a reasonable facsimile.
Benny nodded, and they headed out. Lexi locked the door “Don’t want the cleaners to go in and mess up things. Not that it doesn’t look messed up already!”
They both laughed, and headed downstairs and out into the cool night air. Lexi took a deep breath and let it out. “That feels good! The office was feeling stuffy. Maybe we should open a window when we go back. If it gets too stuffy, we’ll get sleepy and may miss something.”
Benny chuckled, “What do you mean, get sleepy? I started out that way. But yes, the cool air will help keep me awake. Where are we going to eat?”
“I thought Charlie’s. I feel like having some good Chinese food. What about you?”
“Ok, Charlie’s sounds good. Not only good food, but great service; and it’s really clean. And in this neighbourhood, that’s not always the case. A lot of the diners around here should be closed down, they’re ptomaine factories!”
“Too right!” Lexi agreed, laughing.
They arrived at Charlie’s, really the Lai Wah Heen, a brisk ten minute walk from headquarters. They were soon seated, sipping cups of tea and waiting for there orders to be delivered.
“How about it, Benny, Do you think there is evidence the two cases are connected?” Lexi asked as he leaned back in the booth and began relaxing.
“Yes, I do. More so all the time, there are so many little things beginning to line up that point to it. I wonder why I didn’t see it.”
“How could you, or how could I, when we each only had half the information? I think by the time we finish, we’ll have an airtight case. But we still have to see what Gifford wrote. Before we go back to the office, let’s go wake him up. We’ll have to use your car, the Vespa isn’t big enough for two.”
Benny grinned. “That is an excellent idea, chief,” he chuckled. “I can hardly wait to see his face when he finds Chief Detective Fraser at his door at one a.m.!”
Laughing, they both dug into their food, relaxed and satisfied that at last, the arson and murder were about to be solved.