Let Me Take You Down Page 24

were small marble benches there were full of people each gazing up at the pictures some were reading from guide books and the others were just enjoying the view.
       As Alec walked past one bench he came across a man with long brown hair sat crossed legged with a small pad of paper and pencil, carefully copying what he saw, Alec read the name of the painting ‘The Birth of Pandora, James Barry’ Charlie was on the other side of the gallery not really looking at the pictures or the people he had moved to the corner by the second doorway, he watched the ceiling fan spin a few times, then traced the white marble which ran around the room and the wall,
    His eyes moved down the wall until he drew level with one picture, it was a cheetah and stag, the cheetah was being held by two men dressed in white robes it looked as if they were about to set the cheetah on the poor stag, the idea shocked him, he wanted to turn but there was something in the back of his mind keeping him from doing so.
    Kyra was moving around the benches with the photograph in hand glancing at the faces by the time she had made her way though the gallery, she’d made sure that Jordan wasn’t any were in it.
    Searching for Alec and Charlie her eyes came across the room they fell on a picture it was one of the favours every time she came here it was the first thing she looked at, she knew it off by heart even from here ‘Fortress of Konigstein, Courtyard with the Brunnenhaus’ she remembered the first time she’d tried to say it out loud and how he’d helped her and how that had been the start of it all. A cold shiver ran down her body suddenly she forgot why she was there.
    Alec glanced around the gallery  around he saw Charlie stood looking puzzled then at Kyra who had a few away look in her eyes, He walked over to Charlie first.
    “Seen our girl.”
He just shook his head and together they walked over to Kyra, Charlie stopped a few feet away but Alec carried on.
    “Time to go.”
Kyra almost jumped three feet in the air
    “Sorry I didn’t mean…”
Kyra blinked a few times then smiled
    “We best get a move on.”
Kyra walked away, Alec glanced at the picture but all he saw was a French Style courtyard puzzled all he could do was gave a small grin then on his heel and followed Kyra and Charlie into the second gallery.
    Just like the last it was set out only in the centre next to the benches were two glass display cases in which were gold and blue porcelain vases, just a few feet away was a young girl sat on her own starring into one of the cases with a book on her knees and every so often her head went down reading.
    Kyra checked the photo and looked over to Alec giving him a little nod, she walked over and sat down one side of the girl, Alec took the other.
    “Jordan ?”
    “What, who are you ?”
Alec reached into his pocket taking out his warrant card.
    “All I need is your help with a picture.”
    “Well this place is full of them.”
Kyra reached into her coat and took out the picture
    “So what ?”
    “All we need is a name.”
Alec pointed a finger across the photograph
    “Why want’s happen, who were you people ?”
Alec put his warrant card on top of the photograph.
    “Jordan, could you please tell us who the girls is?” Kyra asked softly
    “Something’s happen, what’s going on, tell me.”
Alec took a deep breath
    “Jordan, I’m going to tell you something very important the young girl in the photo was found this morning in the canal.”
The colour in Jordan’s face drained away
    “No, I don’t believe you ! Who are you people ?”
Jordan tried to stand up but Alec put a hand out
    “Jordan, We’re the police you’ve seen my ID.”
    “I don’t believe you, people can fake things like that.”
People in the galley were starting to look around at them, one young blonde haired lad even began to walk towards them Charlie stopped him a smile
    “Jordan, you know I am telling the truth and a lot to take in, but please I only want a name.”
    “But I don’t understand …”
Jordan looked around at Kyra.
    “Jordan, we can’t find the others so we need your help.”
    “Well she’s really a friend of Deborah’s and Elli’s…Oh my god.”
Jordan’s fingers gripped around her book
    “What’s the matter ?”
    “Well, Elli going out with Jenny’s father.”

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Let Me Take You Down Page 23

“No sorry I don’t, I haven’t been up here since the girls moved in.”
Alec came out of the room with a odd look on his face, he slowly walked pass Charlie and Mr Haswari.
    Kyra opened the cupboard slowly not really looking for anything just the water tank but as she looked inside she saw that around the copper pipes was a small plant which had the same shaped leaves as the other, she shut the door and took one last look around then walked out of the room to find the others.
    Back in the big bedroom, Alec was now sat crossed legged on the chair drumming his fingers on the desktop, Mr Haswari was sat on the side of the bed, Charlie was stood looking though the pictures again.
    “Could I have a word.” Kyra asked
But before Alec could say anything there was the sound of a phone ringing down stairs, without a word Kyra made her way down to it, but as she reached the bottom of the stairs the answering machine kicked in
    “Amanda its me, I am going to see that Paul Morrison thing a so save me so pizza.”
There was a loud click as the phone was put down, Alec and Mr Haswari made there way down stairs as Kyra pressed the rewind button.
    “Which one of the girls was that ?”
    “Jordan I think.”
Kyra replayed the message,
    “Yes Jordan.”
Suddenly Alec’s face changed, he quickly reached inside his jacket and handed Mr Haswari a card
    “Thank you for you time Sir, we’ll be in touch if we need you again.”
Mr Haswari looked a little puzzled but nodded then walked back into the sitting room for him coffee, Kyra was more puzzled when Alec just smiled then leaning on the banister rail called up to Charlie, A few minutes later they were all getting into the car again.
    “Boss would you mind telling me were we’re going.”
    “Finding Jordan.”
    “Why don’t we just wait here ?”
    “I want to see them one by one.”
Then the penny dropped for her, she understood and gave Alec a knowing smile, which Charlie saw as he backed out on to the road
    “What’s the big secret ?”
    “There growing pot, so what do you think they will say about our missing girl.”
Getting to the end of the road Charlie still had no idea were they were going, he looked over to Alec.
    “The Art Gallery.”
Trying to find a parking space was a pain for Charlie. The Art Gallery was in the centre of the city and very easy to find, but by the time they reached it was late in the afternoon the nice weather of the morning had almost vanished so all the roads were full of cars and people moving around quickly, as they made it behind the gallery on to Faulker Street heading towards the China Town archway for the second time.
    “There’s one.”
Charlie hit his brakes hard and pulled the car into reverse carefully rolled the car into a space between a sliver BMW and a small white builders van.
    “Nice one Charlie.”
Kyra walked out of the car park and under the green red Chinese gazebo, as she the did the wonderful smells from the Chinese restaurants on the corner of the street filled the air, she had lived in the city all her but still couldn’t get over the fact that were was always something new to see and hear.
    To Charlie’s eyes the gallery was just an old building, cold and damp which didn’t look right suck in between all the new glass and steel and the Metrolink,
    Kyra found the whole astonishing each room was full of paintings from every corner of the world, a snapshot taking her to places she could only dream of. For Alec the building held on such feelings all it reminded him of was the RAF headquarters his father had once been posted to.
      Walking under the huge stone pillows to the entrance and though the door they found themselves stood in a wide lofty entrance way, in the centre was a small rack full of white leaflets, behind this was an even wider stairwell and at each side both left and right were doorways leading to the other parts of the gallery.
    Alec made this way right across the stone floor over to the huge wall map of the gallery which hung next to the stairs, Charlie changed direction and headed over to the leaflet stand.
    But Kyra carried on walking, she was half way up the stairs when she noticed that she was on her own, putting two fingers in her mouth and gave a long sharp whistle causing Alec, Charlie and a small group of people to turn around and look up.
    “This way gang.”
Quickly Alec and Charlie  made there way to her
    “You’re not the only one who’s been here.”
At the top of the stair, they found a second doorway filled with glass doors, Kyra pushed them open and walked inside, All the gallery walls were full of oil paints of numerous sizes, in the middle of the room

Let Me Take You Down Page 22

He stood up nodding towards Charlie who took his place in the armchair
    “I have a few questions about the girls.”
Was all Alec heard as he shut the door and made his way into the kitchen, Kyra was leaning on the side of the countertop watching and waiting for the kettle to boil, there was only one mug stood waiting for the hot water.
    “They have very funny plants in this house.”
Kyra had taken one of the leaves from the plant and laid it flat, the kettle made a loud click and switched itself off.
    Alec poured the water into the cup filling the room with the smell of coffee, Kyra took out a bottle of milk and handed it over, Alec turned the black coffee into dark brown.
    “Time to have a better look around.”
He picked up the cup and headed back into the sitting room
    “And they always paid their rent on time ?”
    “Yes always on time.”
Alec made his way into the room, putting the coffee down in front of Mr Haswari, who nodded his thanks, turning to Charlie, Alec made his way around to the spare armchair.
    “Mr Haswari was just telling me about the girls and that they are at University.”
    “Would you have any idea were they are now?”
    “No Sorry I don’t, I only know that two of the girls work,”
    “Do you have any idea were ?”
    “One in a TV shop and the other in a coffee house near St. Peters square.”
Alec didn’t like the sound of that even in that small area of the city there was about ten coffee shops.
    “Ok thank you, Now I would like t ask for a favour.”
Mr Haswari picked up his coffee and took a small mouthful and looked a little puzzled, Alec smiled
    “We would like to look over the rest of the house if we may.”
    “Anything to help.”
He put down his mug and taking Charlie a little off guard stood up, The three of them made there way out of the room at the foot of the stairs was Kyra scaring though the pictures on the wall again.
    Alec was the first up the stairs followed by Mr Haswari a few steps behind were Kyra and Charlie, the stairs ended in a small landing with four doors,
    Kyra moved around Charlie so she was stood next to the last door, she pushed it open wider to reveal it was the bathroom made up of a light blue and white suite, walking inside Kyra saw the whole place had been cleaned sometime in the last few hours all the bottles of shampoo’s and cosmetics products were all in neat rows on two shelves just next to a small cupboard which covered the heater and water tank
    Alec, Mr Haswari and Charlie had made it into the first bedroom, which was just above the sitting room and just as big. Like the front room before it there was only four pieces of furniture, a double bed, wardrobe, desk and chair
    Charlie saw one wall had been completely covered by photographs of people performing on stage, on the other side there was a cast lists and small head and shoulder shots, Charlie walked over to them in the hopes of a match.
    Alec walked over to the bed and sat down, still a little unsure about what was going on Mr Haswari stood by the open door watching, Alec pushed the chair out of the way with  his foot so he could see under the desk, there was a loud metal sound both Mr Haswari and Charlie moved closer to see why.
    Alec knelt over and pulled out a small green metal box, turning it around he saw a small padlock so he pushed it back into place, standing up he looked over at Charlie who shock his head
    “Ok let’s move on.”
All three of them walked back onto the landing and into the second bedroom much like the last it was the same kind of layout and almost in the same place only the desk was in the middle of the bay window.
    Alec walked over to the desk and resting one arm on the top looking under it, but not seeing anything he sat down in the chair, Mr Haswari watched as Charlie walked over to the wardrobe but he didn’t find anything
    “Let’s try the last.”
The last room was at the end of the landing and the smallest of all, in fact all it was a space at the end of the landing with a door so the bed didn’t fall down the stairs, Charlie opened the putting his head around it to look inside, but in a few seconds he brought it back
    “Mr Haswari, how many people did you say live here?”
    “four girls.”
    “What’s the matter Charlie ?”
Charlie didn’t say anything say anything he pushed open the door, the room had been stripped, the bed had no sheets, the small chest of draws had been pulled out and emptied in fact there was no sign of any kind of personnel item in the whole room, Mr Haswari’s yes went wide, but Alec stepped inside and started to look around.
    “Could you tell which of the girls had this room.”
Mr Haswari shock his head

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the shelves were full of DVD’s, books and computer games, it was clear that it was  a household without a strong male feel all the DVD and computer games featured very strong single female role models and that didn’t not objectify woman, in fact one or two of them Kyra had herself.
    Moving down the shelves she found that the books were all classic literature mostly 19th and 20th century the next were textbooks on or about fine art, looking around the room again her eyes fell on the TV screen sick in the centre was a small pink post it note, Standing up out of the chair she walked over to it she was able to see that someone had written something, putting the front door on the small table.
    Alec had found the third door lead into the small galley kitchen with a cooker and a spilt level freezer covered in pictures, it looked as if no-one ever used it, the whole place was clean from top to bottom all the worktops had been washed down. Alec saw that on the window sill was a miniature brown pot with want looked like a tomato plant but something about the leaves didn’t seem right.
He opened the freezer and saw that each shelve was full of food in the centre was half a chocolate cake with white piping without thinking he used his little finger tasted the piping without leaving a mark.
    Sitting the door he scanned the first few pictures for a likeness of the girl about halfway though he found what he was looking for, moving the magnet so he could see the photo if fell off and slipped onto the floor, he slowly bent down and began reading for it, unlike the ones in the hallway this one showed five girls all sat around a table in a night club, two of the girls who sat in the middle had brunette hair and the other girls on the end had black moving the picture a little closer Alec saw that the blonde girl matched the one laying in cold storage
    “Boss you in here ?”
Turning around Alec saw Charlie stood in the doorway holding a white tissue in one hand.
    “Rule one, Charlie .”
    “Sorry Boss.”
Charlie pocketed the tissue and let against the door frame
    “Never mind follow me.”
Charlie backup into the hallway as Alec made his way out of the kitchen
    “Kyra ?”
She was sat in a armchair flicking though one of the art books, Alec handed her the picture
    “Looks like our girl.”
    “So what’s our next move then Boss ?”
Looking across the room Alec saw the post it note, But just as he was about to ask there was a loud knock on the front door, then the sound of feet walking up the hallway, the door opened slowly and everyone turned to see.
    In the doorway was the landlord this time wearing a shirt and tie, Kyra stood up with a hand out in welcome
    “Mr Haswari, this is DCI Prideaux and DS Drym.”
Alec was the first to stand
    “Thank you for your help so far Sir.”
    “Anything I can do to help find this girl.”
Mr Haswari walked into the room and sat down on the settee, Kyra handed over to Charlie
    “I have a question for you, could you tell me who the girls are please.”
Charlie gave Mr Haswari the picture he glanced down at of a few minutes as he reached the left side face changed from one of the knowledge to one of puzzlement
    “I know four of them but not the younger girl.”
Charlie took out his notebook
    “Could you tell me about the girls you do know.”
Kyra smiled at them both
    “Who’s for coffee ?”
Alec shock his head, Charlie just looked down at his notebook, Mr Haswari smiled
    “Thank you, yes.”
Kyra disappeared into the kitchen
    “You said you knew four to them, it would be of help if you could tell me their names.”
Without  pause Mr Haswari gave an answer
“Amanda Lowell, Deborah Bradbury, Jordan May and the fourth is just Elli.”
“Do any of the following names mean anything, “Mary O’Brien, Isobel O’Brien, Catherine O’Brien and Bernadette O’Brien.”
“Again I am not sure.”
“I do have a second picture if you wouldn’t mind taking a look.”
Alec watched Mr Haswari very carefully, as he picked out a picture from the file, there was a flicker of something in the Mr Haswari eyes as he saw the girl
    “Yes I have seen her before.”
    “Do you have any idea of her name.”
    “Sorry no I just know I have seen her here a few times.”
Alec just nodded his head,
    “I just changed my mind, please excuse me.”