February 24, 2017
February 7, 2017
‘He put her in the cesspit where he knows every time he uses the facilities in the house, that’s where it’s going.’
His wife-to-be, as was. ’Cos when Helen Bailey called him her happy ending, she was only half-right.
Slim lady of a certain age (51); just too old to have had to have her teeth fixed.
For the DCI it’s the deliberate brutality of Ian Stewart’s lies, all the while her body lying in the pit underneath the garage.
On the police tapes he’s a man made of smoke: those sorry-I-don’t-knows in the phone call to report her missing; and when they come to take him away, the knocked-back, sit-down-on-the-stairs in his dressing gown – unruly hair, what’s left of it, the only thing that’s standing up for itself.
So did Ian Stewart surprise himself that fateful afternoon?
And can you kill your lover squeamishly, in the strangulated way he talks?
Even the police raid was softly, softly: ‘could you wake him up, thank you, is that all right?’
Well past first light, already a comfortable seven o’clock.
They do the easy stuff first: ‘how are you?’ and the warrant to search; before reading him his rights –
The officer stumbles over ‘suspicion’ of murder.
Arrested, and still he’s being taken to the station for ‘a full discussion’.
Any minute now, Plod’s going to ask if he can use your euphemism.
What a relief when they get down to it in the interview room: determined detective, questions meant to penetrate; Stewart staying shtum like villains are supposed to.
Was he that Master of Deception, belovèd of the dear old tabloids?
Or, all the years on the set for Midsomer Murders, before he went and did one himself –
Delusional, perhaps; or else he was who he said he was, as much as the killer he became.
In black gown and bow tie – my father would have said don’t trust that guy.
Seattle’s ‘so-called judge’, James Robart, rules that the State of Washington is the poorer for President Trump’s executive order on immigration.
He grants a temporary restraining order, to be applied nationwide against the international travel restrictions contained in the Federal directive.
Restraint following restriction = freedom of movement, at least for the time being.
Walking down the street, you wouldn’t look at him twice. Having lived well, yet surely without extravagance, Judge Robart is certainly in the pink; perhaps a little portly (close cropped beards can hide a multitude of chins), and beneath the judicial gown, you bet the style of his civilian clothes dates from the 1970s – formative years when he first practised law.
But personal animus hardly comes into it. For no one to be above the law, not even the President of the United States, its guardian must step out of his personal particulars, shedding them like skin (until such time as he steps backs in), entering a frame of reference which has more to do with the 1770s than the Seventies of his early career.
(All the years – and none.)
As he requires this of himself, Judge Robart asks as much of the two young lawyers appearing before him. When he questions them – in detail, cappuccino kid, counsel for Washington State, loses some of his preppy-ness. In white blouse, black suit and not a hint of make-up, the Federal government’s advocate came ready to trans to the impersonal version of herself.
But some of her answers fall flat; just mentioning national security is not enough to make the grade.
What’s revered here is leaping logic: no missing steps in this life of the mind; only logic that climbs upwards and takes us there, too – as long as we are straight and true.