A MESSAGE OF HOPE
One week had now passed since their search in the old derelict house had returned no positive results although they had got closer to Devane than at any other time over the past year. All they came away with on that day was a mocking gesture from a man who was proving to be almost impossible to nail down – let alone surprise. A rethink was required if Jonathan and Kaitlan were ever going to have a chance of getting near to Devane. It came down to a question of time and resources; something they severely lacked in bucket-loads. For months now they had given over all their spare time in the hunt for Devane, but it was becoming evidently clear that spare time would not cut the mustard when role playing as detectives. A more dedicated, time managed approach was needed.
The weekend came and during breakfast the early morning mail was delivered. While eating away at a piece of toast, Kaitlan went to the front door and picked up all the letters scattered on the floor. She walked back into the kitchen studying the letters and there was one which was addressed to them rather than their parents. This was a curious thing. Neither sibling had diverted their own mail to their parents address since temporarily moving in during their disappearance and subsequent police investigation. Kaitlan put the other letters down on the kitchen table and stared at the hand written envelope. Instinctively she knew that the writing did not belong to Devane, nor did it belong to anyone else they knew. Jonathan saw the puzzled look on his sister’s face as she stared at the envelope and this piqued his own interest.
“What you got there, Kat?”
Kaitlan handed him the envelope, then took her seat at the table and reached for her coffee. Jonathan looked the letter over and shrugged his shoulders. He flicked it back at her like it was an unwanted playing card.
“So open it already,” he said, shoving a spoonful of beans in his mouth.
Kaitlan gave her brother the look, his response was to shove more beans in his mouth and smile stupidly at her. She grabbed a clean knife and neatly cut along the folded flap opening the letter. Pulling out the letter she found two pages of very neat hand writing rather than typed script. Jonathan watched her in a casual manner as he continued with his breakfast; he suddenly stopped chewing when it became plain that this was not an ordinary letter, but one with gravity. Kaitlan’s frown deepened as she read the second page, when she was done her eyes looked up to Jonathan who now had a questioning expression on his face.
“Well! Who’s it from? What does it say?”
Kaitlan quickly read through the letter again ignoring her brother’s prompt.
“Kat. . .still waiting,” Jonathan said, sounding impatient.
Kaitlan cleared her throat.
“Be quiet and I‘ll read it to you.”
“Great!” Jonathan resumed his chewing.
“Dear Mr and Miss Lawley,
Please let me introduce myself.
My name is Andrew Moorcroft, I am an architect living and working locally, and at times my work carries me abroad. You do not know me but I am sure that you have heard my name mentioned at some point over the past year while listening to national news broadcasts. My wife went missing about eight months ago and during the official investigation I gave several interviews with the press. At first the suspicion fell to me for my wife’s disappearance because I was an obvious candidate, but it soon became clear, after my alibi was verified by several sources, that I was an innocent man. The case file regarding my wife is still open; to this date she still remains missing, presumed dead.
I know the circumstances surrounding my wife’s disappearance, but getting solid proof to bring the culprit to face justice is not that simple, a fact that you have also discovered. So you see, we have something in common, a common interest in finding the current location of a very evil man who is responsible for the disappearance of my wife, and your mother and father.
I know that recently, you both visited the old house at Greenwood Avenue and discovered you were too late, the bird had already flown. My aim was never to spy on you but to hope I could approach both of you to form an alliance, a partnership with a common goal. Mallious Devane is as slippery as he is evil; in order to trace his current location one will have to be as cunning as he is. My wish is for us to meet and so pool together our resources and knowledge. I have learned many things over the course of my own investigations and would be willing to share my findings with you.
There is much to discuss but a letter is not the appropriate medium for exchange of information, but adequate for means of introduction. You will also understand the need for my treading carefully as it is difficult to know who one can trust in this affair. I would appreciate it, if you are willing to take me up on my offer, to phone me at my office of work during the hours of 10 – 4 pm, on week days. Just phone Kingley Architecture Ltd, the number is publically listed and not hard to find. At reception ask to be put through to my office (using my name) and you will be connected. I have taken the liberty of letting my secretary know your names, so in the event of you phoning your call will have priority over any other in the queue.
If you have any doubts about my credentials, or have reservations about extending your trust to meet with me, then by all means contact the police and let them know that I have reached out to you both, this should help to allay any fears about me you might have.
I hope to hear from one of you in due course. I truly believe that together we are stronger and stand more chance of achieving our mutual goal. By now you know that the authorities are not going to solve this any time soon, they do not know and will not believe what we know to be the truth.
When Kaitlan had finished reading the letter her eyes met with her brother’s. She passed the letter to him so he could read it for himself. Jonathan picked the letter up like it was some delicate, fragile object best handled with care. He browsed through the letter, then paused to stare at Kaitlan open mouthed.