Stone the Crows!

(800 words) “‘Course, it might have been a false one, to throw us off the scent,” said the constable. “Maybe. These bastards are clever … Hi, who’s that?” said the inspector. A dark blue Range Rover had just pulled into the car park at Strubby House. A woman in a red coat and matching hat got out, waving. “Cooee.” Thirty minutes earlier, the two policemen, accompanied by a police artist, had taken the path from Strubby House to the Dower House. The latter was a square Georgian pile with tall, narrow windows. Against the gloom of the sinking winter sun it looked like an enormous tomb. The path, an uneven gravel walkway, strewn with wet leaves, was lined by heavily pollarded beech trees on either side. Their stunted, blackened branches reminded the inspector of photographs of Holocaust victims, dumped in mass graves.