How exciting it was after all these years of research to discover there were three murders in the family tree. Goodness! It had been staring Desirée in the face all this time.
Great grandfather Freddie was married to Irene and they had eleven children under the age of fifteen. During the census of 1918 Irene and her sister and mother were at an address at Brighton clearly having a break at the beach resort. The nanny looked after the children – according to the census records. Freddie wasn’t there. The address the census gave him was miles away from where he lived.
Irene, her sister, and her mother never returned from that beach address. They all died in the same weekend. A month later, Freddie remarried; to a widow called Fifi who lived at the address that Freddie had been visiting during the census.
Murder! It was so obvious. The death certificates of the three murdered women stated that they died of influenza. Yeah right! There was no inquest because every second person in that year died of the Spanish Flu. But clearly Freddie had poisoned them in order to marry the flirtatious Fifi.
Fifi was French. At least, the name looked French, which sent Desirée the researcher into a spin. She apparently was descended from the liaison between Freddie and Fifi. Not only murders in the family, but French blood! Let those who are not impressed eat cake.
Desirée shared her findings with her close relatives. How wonderful it was to be descended from a murderer with French connections.
And then something even more exciting happened. Desirée began to suspect the children’s nanny was doing a little more than cleaning up after the children. Desirée put her findings online.
History is so absorbing when people share the facts they find. The internet is riddled with such facts.
Darling, there’s a horrible weasel killing the chickens. I see it there quite often in the chicken house. I wondered if you could get your gun and shoot it. I’m quite scared of it. It’s ferocious. Oh! Thank you darling!
Dear me! His gun misfired and he’s dead. (Calling out.) Our plan worked, Norman. You can come out of hiding in the hallway cupboard now.
Mr Pawley was particular. He wasn’t a fusspot but he liked to do things in an orderly fashion. He was a widower and retired, and for his regular delight he would go to a different café each weekday, sit quietly at a table, and enjoy a latte. He would observe the world from such a perch.
Hardly a day passed without his pleasurable introspection being rudely interrupted in one way or another. Sometimes it was an over enthusiastic waitress. Sometimes it was a crying or screaming child. Sometimes it was a loud busybody gossip on the next table. Sometimes he sat in a draught. Sometimes the sun shone straight in his eyes. How rare was the perfect coffee in the perfect café!
On this day, however, it was perfect. The coffee was perfect. The table setting was perfect. The place was not too crowded and not too empty. The service was splendid. And the two old biddies within hearing distance were having an interesting discussion about… about this lady they once knew… what a ratbag she was! A lusty two-faced double-crosser!
The two old buddies certainly knew how to turn an ordinary instance of marital infidelity into a saga. But it wasn’t an “instance”, it was an habitual event. Mr Pawley had trouble controlling his laughter. They were that entertaining!
“Of course, she’s long dead now,” said Old Biddy Number 1.
“And not only that,” said Old Biddy Number 2, “but Mr Pawley apparently still has no inkling about the libidinousness of his late wife.”