Buckingham Police Station stank of sweat and canteen cabbage soup. Opening the windows didn’t help, it just added the pungent odour of the cattle in the market square. Irritated, Sergeant William Jeeves prepared to go on patrol; intent on walking towards fresher air during his afternoon rounds.
Just as he was placing his helmet on his head the station door flew open, with a blast of noise from a passing barrow, a woman stumbled through the entrance.
“We need help.” She gasped, her knees seemed to sag as she entered, folding her body forward to reveal dishevelled hair and a red face. She’d clearly run to the station.
“I’m the senior officer here today, the Inspector is away.” Jeeves stepped forward to guide her to a nearby chair. “Are you able to speak?”
The woman nodded and composed herself enough to face him squarely. “I’m sorry not to introduce myself properly sir, but there’s a man at the Workhouse; dead. He’s been murdered, sir, I’m sure.”
All other plans forgotten, Jeeves took a moment to update his pocket notebook before directing the woman back towards the door.