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Sam Smith Mystery Series Sam's Diary

Sam’s Diary #16

25th April 2008

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I saw Tina Mahoney, Dan’s lover, this morning. She was walking towards me, on the other side of the road, with her nose spread flat on her face. Her eyes were black and puffy. Instinctively, I stepped to cross the road to sympathize with her, but she just glared at me, lengthened her stride and walked away. I can only assume that Dan had hit her and she blames me for some reason. I felt very guilty as I walked in to work, as though her injuries were all my fault.

At work, everything is going well. I’ve settled into a routine with Angus and the office is running like clockwork. Occasionally, he asks me to do field work, like the task I’ve been carrying out over the past two days. We have a client, the owner of a lingerie store, who suspects that a member of staff is stealing silk knickers. Very saucy! Angus suggested that I should pose as an accountant, checking stock. The owner was convinced that a member of staff was responsible for the thefts and not a customer because knickers were disappearing on a daily basis. That left me with three suspects – a senior member of staff in her mid-sixties, a junior member of staff in her early twenties who was very vain in her appearance and a male member of staff, a teenager learning the ropes. I quickly established that the sixtysomething was too straight-laced to be into silk underwear and that my initial suspect, the twentysomething fashion plate, was very efficient and conscientious. That left the male member, so to speak. I positioned myself at a desk and used my computer screen as a mirror. Sure enough, I noticed that the male member was taking regular bathroom breaks and when he did a pair of knickers would disappear from the stock. I presented my findings to the store owner who called the lad into his office. There, he told the lad to unzip his trousers and, sure enough, his manhood was encased in several pairs of silk knickers. I felt very embarrassed and sorry for him. He was dismissed on the spot, so no cause for celebration, and I do wonder where his fetish will lead him, hopefully not into serious trouble.

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Sam Smith Mystery Series Sam's Diary

Sam’s Diary #15

14th April 2008

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In work today Angus told me that he was making some headway with the live-in adulterer. He suggested that maybe I could lend a hand by calling at the love nest and posing as a market researcher. I asked him if this was strictly legal and he replied, somewhat enigmatically, that it was so long as it didn’t end up in court. So, with my boss’s approval, I faked a market research form on a notepad computer and drove to the love nest. Angus had established that the couple were having an affair, that the man was living with his wife at weekends, then travelling 120 miles to work in the city during the week where he spent his spare time with his lover. But Angus suspected that there was more and it was my task to establish the truth.

I arrived at the love nest with my notebook computer and a sincere smile and asked if I could have five minutes of the lady’s time to ask some research questions. She was about to slam the door on me when two Jehovah’s Witnesses appeared at her gate. Rather than talk with them, she decided to talk with me and I asked some general questions about grocery likes, energy company preferences, favourite television programs, etc. Her answers were fairly standard, though she did drop in the phrase ‘my husband’ from time to time. I asked where her husband worked and noted that his place of employment matched the name Angus had given me. I soon realized that we’d opened a can of worms because her husband was the businessman commuter and we’d uncovered bigamy. I thanked the lady for her time then sat in my car in the shadows. I wondered what excuse the bigamist gave this lady to be free from her at weekends. I also wondered what Angus would make of my discovery. Presumably, this matter would reach the courts and my evidence would be inadmissible. Doubtless, Angus would find a way around that. It’s an example of what Angus told me at the start – when you go digging in the dirt you do discover that there are an awful lot of worms.

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Sam Smith Mystery Series Sam's Diary

Sam’s Diary #14

31st March 2008

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My first day at the Angus Read Enquiry Agency and it went in a flash. Angus spent a hour explaining the ropes – his filing system, my basic duties and, most important of all, where he stores his cups and coffee. Then he went out ‘on the trail of an errant husband’.

While Angus was out, I answered the phone in a polite manner, typed up a report from his notes and talked with a potential client about problems she was experiencing at home – it seems that Cupid had been firing his arrows, again, and our potential client suspected her husband of living with another woman. Apparently, our potential client lived 120 miles away and her husband spent the weekdays in the city, with his lover, and the weekends with his wife in the countryside. On Angus’ instructions I’d been advised to note the details of potential clients and inform them that he’d be in touch as soon as possible. At times, I felt as though I’d been thrown in at the deep end and I arrived home exhausted, but exhilarated at the same time. I think this is the opportunity I’ve been looking for and, more than ever,  I’m determined to make a success of it.

I was still on a high when Tina’s husband knocked on my door. I opened the door and he launched into a tirade, basically accusing me of instigating Dan and Tina’s affair. Try as I might, I couldn’t see his logic. I made every effort to reason with him, but it was a hopeless task. He went away grumpy and I closed the door feeling slightly depressed. The situation with Dan is still unresolved and until it is I’ll never be my own person.

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Sam Smith Mystery Series Sam's Diary

Sam’s Diary #13

26th March 2008

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This morning, I bought myself a new outfit in preparation for my new job. I bought a black waistcoat with a matching pencil skirt and a three-quarter sleeve red blouse. I want to create a good impression from the start. I want to make a success of this job and carve out a meaningful career. I can’t wait to get started!

Later, and with some trepidation, I phoned Dan to arrange a meeting in the local park. To my surprise, he sounded calm and relaxed. He said ‘don’t bother’. He added that he didn’t want to see me again and that I was nothing more than a cheap slut anyway. I know that I shoudn’t take them to heart, but his words do hurt me. I put down the phone with suspicion clouding my thoughts.

In the afternoon, I sneaked over to Dan’s place and, from the shadows, watched as a delivery van arrived packed with Tina’s gear. Obviously, they had patched up their differences and she was moving in with him. At least that explained Dan’s attitude towards me. I have to admit, it hurt to think that he could ditch me so casually and take up with someone else. Clearly he doesn’t care about me at all. I wonder if Tina knows what she’s letting herself in for. I was tempted to warn her, but thought it best not to interfere. Dan’s moods change like the weather so there is a chance that he will be back, hounding me. But in the meantime I should have some respite, maybe enough time to establish myself at Angus Read’s agency and display to him that his faith in me has been well placed.

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Sam Smith Mystery Series Sam's Diary

Sam’s Diary #12

24th March 2008

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This morning, I phoned Angus Read and told him that I’d be delighted to accept his proposal, that I needed to work a week’s notice for the secretarial agency then I would be happy to join him. He sounded as pleased as me and we agreed that I would start work at the Angus Read Enquiry Agency in a week’s time. Then I picked up the phone and spoke to Dan…

I told him my decision, though I didn’t mention my job with Angus. Before I could complete my explanation, Dan went into a rage. He hurled every abusive word you can think of at me. Upset, I put the phone down. He phoned back with another tirade of abuse. I switched off my phone. Then, half an hour later, he arrived on my doorstep. He made a hell of a racket, but I refused to let him in. He must have disturbed one of the neighbours because someone phoned the police. When the police arrived, Dan departed and everything went quiet. I sense that once Dan learns of my new job he will try to jeopardise my chances. I want this job badly and I think I’ll be good at it. I’m not frightened of hard work, have the necessary office skills and a good mind when it comes to working with people and their problems. Heaven knows, I’ve had enough practice trying to sort out my own. I need to put Dan in his place and ensure that he doesn’t disrupt my new, potential, career. But how? I need to think and come up with a strategy.