Episode one of this story is here.
“But what did she get out of it?” I said, “It’s not like she was taking the children for herself. She wasn’t getting paid per child.”
“And that’s what I’ve never been able to work out. I’m sure it wasn’t idealism. And it wasn’t money or promotion and I don’t think it was incompetence. At least I don’t think it was incompetence all the time. It could be power. Some people just live to wield power over others but she didn’t seem to enjoy it that much. It was more like an addiction.” He said.
And I felt a pricking in my thumbs. “Not addiction. Compulsion.” I said.
“Yes. That’s exactly it. But it still doesn’t explain anything.” He said.
“I don’t suppose you know what she was doing in Saint Nick’s House that day?” I said.
“It doesn’t make any sense to me. She was loathe to leave her office at all. Is it not in her diary?” He said.
“The Police didn’t find one.” I said.
“That’s odd. All social workers have one. Usually a big chunky filofax thing or a hard back book. That’s one of the reasons they all carry such big handbags.” He said.
“Damn.” I said. I had never asked about the handbag. Why hadn’t I asked? There must have been one. And he was right. She must have had a diary. It wasn’t on the desk and it wasn’t mentioned in the police report.
I’d been glamoured. The concealment glamour was more complicated than I had suspected. Either there had been two glamours, and possibly therefore two casters or the one I’d spotted had been multi-layered.
“Problem?” Said Ishmael.
“Something I missed. Something everyone missed.” I said.
This triggered Ishmael’s usual rant about how incompetent, lazy and dependant on CCTV Grampian Police are. He’s a law-abiding upstanding citizen but the older he gets the more outspoken he gets on that one subject.
I went to get the drink in while I thought about the meaning of the missing diary. If the diary had been taken and someone had gone to all the trouble of magic to hide it then she must have been meeting someone in that building. What did that mean?
It could have been a straight clandestine meeting in an empty building. Which meant that she was into something bad. Or she could have been forced to attend. Perhaps she met someone elsewhere and was taken to Saint Nick’s, though it’s hard to do that without leaving some marks on the body, or induced through threats or blackmail. And that’s just the mundane explanations.
I knew that someone was hurling glamours around. They’re usually subtle but if you know what you’re doing subtle can be deadly. A memory glamour could have made her forget the building was empty, a confusion glamour could have convinced her she was somewhere else and made her mailable to suggestion, a rage glamour could have made her chase someone into the building without thinking about it. It was probably pointless to speculate about that.
The missing diary meant that there must have been some contact with her killer before the fact. The diary was probably long gone now but the information might not be lost. It all depended on which side of her personality kept her diary. One part of the Dingo was slapdash and lazy. That was the side that had left her desk under a drift of paperwork, was late for meetings and prepared reports riddled with basic grammar and spelling errors. The other part was precise and careful. That was the side that kept a spotless home, planned her will in such detail and worded those reports with such lethal spin. If precise Dingo had anything to do with that diary then it was backed up somewhere. Now I just had to work out where.