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The Murder - Civic Responsibilities

 
Hyle Troy's picture
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In all fairness, Hyle’s diversion to The Constabulary was a welcome relief. It gave her a moment away from the deeply saddening task of making the arrangements for Magrat’s funeral. To be honest, a bunch of folk having a picnic, or a sit-in or whatever it was supposed to be, was not the item on the top of her agenda.


The coffin containing Magrat’s earthly remains had made the journey back from Haven to The Town Hall.

After Doctor Troy had finished the autopsy, the body had been prepared. Hyle had a space reserved in the meeting room for the coffin to be placed until the following day whereby anyone who wished to pay their respects would be welcome to do so. Three members of her staff were on hand to guide any visitors, and of course deal with any disrespectful individuals, should they display any discourtesy.

 

She had also let it be known by means of notices placed and by word of mouth that Magrat’s funeral would be held in the school hall at noon the following day. Thereafter she would be cremated. Workmen were now building the pyre just outside of the town.

 

But so much for the technicalities, that was the easiest part.

 

Goodnight Mayor.” Monika, Hyle’s new PA, poked her head around Hyle’s office door. “Everyone has left for the evening and I have locked up.”

 

Hyle looked up from the blank sheet of paper on her desk. “Mange tak.” She placed her pen beside the writing pad. “Oh, Monika ?”

 

Monika stepped fully into the office. “Yes, Mayor?”

 

Thank you for watching over the coffin, it was not the happiest of tasks, I know.” Hyle gave the briefest of smiles then indicated Monika to sit

 

Monika took her seat, she noticed the tired look in Hyle’s face and the beginnings of crows-feet in the corner of her eyes.

 

Did we get many visitors?” Hyle asked.

 

Quite a few in fact. More than I expected.”

 

Oh?” Hyle focussed on Monika, prompting her to go on.

 

Well. Miss Barrow came in with a few of her ‘Old dears.’ I thought for a moment they were going to take over. But I said we had everything in hand. They asked about the funeral and umm.. well. I think we don’t have to worry about the decorations tomorrow. I said she..” Monika looked at her lap for a moment. “I said perhaps they could help out at the school in the morning. You were out so..”

 

Hyle noticed the discomfort. “No, not at all. You made a good decision.”

 

Thanks.” Monica smiled and continued. “Hanna Barret and her brother were there. They paid respects then left. Then that Evan… er Stanton turned up.”

 

Hyle could see Monika seemed as if she had something on her mind. She prompted her PA with a raised eyebrow.

 

Well, he seemed uncomfortable. He stood well away from the coffin for… ages. As if he didn’t want to be there. Then, strangest thing. When I was speaking to Astrid about something, he sort of quickly went up to the coffin and reached inside. Then he left in a hurry.”

 

He touched her?”

 

Maybe, but not affectionately, it was far to quick.”

 

Hyle thought about this for a moment, It was no secret to most that Evan Stanton had a crush on Magrat. One could have forgiven Evan if he had softly touched her face perhaps. But a quick dip into the coffin seemed incongruous. It made Hyle suspicious

 

Hyle stood. “Let’s have a look.”

 

The morticians at haven had done an exemplary job. Magrat looked as if she were merely in a deep slumber, the peaceful look on her face almost proved as much. Every blemish on her face had been covered, her hair was cleaned and wonderfully tidy. She lay serene in her white shroud. Perfect. Except a closer inspection of the shroud showed a small disturbance around the area of Magrat’s hip.

Hyle gently slipped her hand between the shroud and the coffin lining then she tensed as her fingertips brushed cold steel.

 

Som jeg bor og trækker vejret..” She sighed and she withdrew her hand, clutching the object. She had seen it before, and Hyle’s heart pulled as she remembered the grateful smile on Magrat’s face when she had presented her with, on behalf of the town, an engraved stethoscope





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