One step. Into oblivion.
The waves rolled on, regardless of the life snuffed out on the rocks far far below the sheer cliff. Noone knew who she was. There was no convenient identification, no daytripper bag lurking in the sparse vegetation. It was how it was. It was how it was always meant to be.
The Constable of the village scratched his head in puzzlement. It wasn’t often that unknown bodies washed up on the shore of the picturesque Greek town. Well, it had ceased being common after HER time.
The Captain sipped his English breakfast tea and nibbled at his edition of the Times. One news item captured his attention and he read it slowly- his fingers & mouth sounding out the syllables. He did that when he needed to concentrate.
He made up his mind and called to his companion, “Say, ole chap. Check this piece of news out.”
The dapper Belgian detective settled down even more determinedly on the armchair, if it was possible. “Are you referring to the article about the death in the Greek island, mon ami? The one the police can’t figure out? C’est terrible.”
The captain was going to his default state, like Nash’s equilibrium. He was flabbergasted. “How did you know?”
The egg-headed Francophile gave a Gallic shrug. (He was getting better at his French impersonation) “Ce n’était rien. You were glancing at your Greek print of the sword of Damocles and then fingering your tanline about your cuff. I intuited it was a death in Greece. And oui, the constable called me half an hour ago.”
The captain was sullen, “You always make it sound so simple.”
The moustachoied midget gave a supercilicious smile, “Mon ami, when will you learn it IS simple? Otherwise, could these English… DUNDERHEADS mke good detectives? Not as good, évidemment, as I, but passable.”
The sullen captain mumbled, “They should ask the man in Baker Street. At least he is one of us.”
The French (OKAY, Belgian) detective gave a characteristic shiver, “Quoi? NON, non, non, no NO. How can you settle when you have me in London? In any case, the other (sniff) man has had problems with sheer cliffs & water ever since… the incident in Switzerland.”
He continued, “I, however, declined to investigate.”
The captain was now puzzled, though still hanging onto some remnants of a sulk. “Why?”
“It’s obvious. Sudden death of person unknown under the sun in exotic holiday destination. This is a job for…
That old English biddy.”
The old English biddy was on her third cup of tea since morning. She delicately sipped the warm life-giving liquid holding theWedgewood cup between her thumb & forefinger (as recommended by etiquette books around the world).
She was entertaining her great nephew and his new wife today. Charles & Mary were so young… and so full of life. She would almost be tempted to call them naive.
Charles was fond of his aunt and was showing her off to his wife, “Mary darling, Aunt Jane is amazing. Looking at her, would you believe this dear old woman has solved 35 murders and all of them in this village or other exotic locales frequented by guileless English lunch ladies?”
Mary gave an apprehensive shiver and batted her eyes in fear, “This village sounds positively blood thirsty!”
The aunt gave a little laugh, “Child, it’s just your typical English village where people live.”
Mary cried out, “I lived in Naples for half my life and I never heard of 35 murders THERE!”
The aunt shook her head, “You must be lucky to be married and now have Charles for your protection.” She leaned in towards Mary, “But be careful. His side of the family was always a little… unstable.”
Charles squeezed his wife’s hand, “Darling, Aunt Jane is simply making fun of me. I would never kill YOU.”
Mary was a little alarmed by now. To distract her, the aunt said lightly, “Why just today I solved a murder mystery in Greece.”
“What happened there, aunt?”, asked Charles.
“Oh typical case. A woman’s body was found floating in the Mediterranean sea with no identification. Noone knew if it was a murder or suicide. I took 3 minutes to solve it.”
“What was it?”
The aunt took another sip, “I just like to call it the Agatha Christie Syndrome”.