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Re: Accused

Post by Keeper » Fri Aug 11, 2023 12:42 pm

Agnes swallowed. “Yes and no, milady. If I’m allowed to be as candid as you say, I believe that the attacks on both Maristow and the other businesses that are all linked to Reynolds or his close associates is part of someone else’s search for the Viscount. There is someone else, a part of something big who is trying to flush Reynolds out of hiding. I had begun to think it might be someone else from the establishment but too many influential people have been affected by it. It would not have been viable to rattle that many cages.”
Blythe looked out of the window, considering Agnes’ words.
“Everyone, out! Agnes, Mr Short, stay put. Constables, you are dismissed and may return to your duties,” Blythe said and then waited while realisation that she was being serious sank in.
Slowly the gathered senior officers filtered out. She could hear the whispers and hubbub out of the corridor.
When the last had gone, Blythe stood before Agnes, hands on hips and met her eye. “What have you been told, what have you been promised about your career?” she asked sternly.
Agnes faltered, blinking rapidly and glancing from Blythe to Short and back again.
Her head shook slightly as she replied. “I… er…I don’t know what you mean, Commissioner?”
“I mean, has anyone within Scotland Yard or any other part of the Establishment approached you regarding the Reynolds case and the advancement of your career? Now think before you answer, and the answer had better be the truth.”
“Yes ma’am, I understand,” Agnes said swallowing hard with nerves. “I was told that is I could capture Lord Reynolds and bring him to justice then it would stand me in good stead for further promotion.”
“You were not guaranteed promotion for this or any other outcome?”
“Not guaranteed, no ma’am. But Sir Guthrie said that after my previous promotion to sergeant it would take a while before I could stand for another, but he would look favourably and endorse it once he was Deputy Commissioner.
Blythe smiled with relief and smiled, taking a seat next to Warner.
“Agnes what I am about to tell you must remain between us, for now. Do you understand?”
Blythe waited a moment for that point register with Agnes.
“Good! Before you were assigned to this case, Albert was given the task of arresting Reynolds and securing his conviction. He was also given some very specific instructions regarding the Viscount’s incarceration, such as where to put him, to restrict access, to ensure that the warden and prison officers were enthusiastic in showing their distaste for the peer’s crimes.”
“Now, Deputy Commissioner Short asked Albert to look into the Reynolds situation and gave the Assistant Commissioner carte blanch to run the case as he saw fit. He did not give Albert any specific instructions regarding Reynolds’ imprisonment or his treatment. And yet, after Reynolds’ escape, Albert had to appear in my office and he was very concerned that the event would have a detrimental effect on his promotion. Here’s the thing, Agnes, the promotion of which he spoke was never offered by us but he thought it was. Somebody within this organisation has been manipulating Albert and potentially all of us.”
Blythe sat back, angry.
“I take it from that, we don’t know who?” Agnes asked.
“Nope,” Short spoke for the first time. He was obviously angry about that too, Agnes could tell from that one word. “I’ve known Lord Reynolds for years. He, and his father before him and his father before him were and have always been loyal to both crown and country. They have, on many occasions stepped up and placed their lives and their fortunes in harms way to protect the Queen and this realm. I have no reason to see why Sebastian would suddenly turn on them. But I can see many reasons why someone might seek his downfall.”
“But,” Agnes interjected, “that would indicate a plot on a massive scale! Infiltrating these offices, co-ordinating strikes across multiple high profile targets the length and breadth of the country! To me that says one of two things. Either this is the prelude to some sort of all-out attack or this is personal and someone doesn’t just want to see Reynolds swing, they want to see his whole legacy ruined.”
“Yes,” Short sighed. “Yes it does.”

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