BLEAK SPOUSE: Chapter 23 – Vengeance is Mine

INSPECTOR GORMLESS hurries through the corridors of London's foremost private hospital, searching for Edgar Venal's private en-suite air conditioned room. When he finds it, he knocks on the door. A formidable-looking nurse opens the door, and gives him a critical look.

"Who are you?" She asks sternly.

"Inspector Gormless." Replies Inspector Gormless. "I've come to see Mr Venal. I have some important news."

The nurse closes the door. Inspector Gormless can hear her speaking to someone, then she opens the door again.

"Mr Venal says you may come in," she announces, "but keep it brief."

Inspector Gormless enters the room. Edgar Venal is sitting up in his bed, perusing the share prices in the Financial Times.

"How are you, Mr Venal?" Asks Inspector Gormless.

"Not too bad, Gormless." Says Edgar. "Just suffered a superficial wound, nothing serious."

"Excellent news, Mr Venal." Replies Inspector Gormless. "And I have some news for you, too."

"Oh?" Queries Edgar.

"Yes," says Inspector Gormless, "I've arrested Matt O'Gridley on suspicion of attempting to murder you."

"But didn't you arrest him at my office yesterday morning?" Asks Edgar.

"Well, yes." Replies Inspector Gormless somewhat sheepishly. "But we released him in the afternoon."

"So he could have been the one who shot me?" Asks Edgar.

"I'm sure he was." Says Inspector Gormless. "We know his history, and we all heard him threaten you yesterday. I expect my boys to bea... er, I mean get a confession out of him. He should be charged by the end of the day."

At that moment the nurse interrupts. "I think Mr Venal should get some rest now." She says firmly.

Inspector Gormless takes his leave, and Edgar reluctantly obeys the nurse's advice to try to get some sleep.

*            *            *

Three hours later Edgar's futile efforts at sleep are interrupted by his mobile phone ringing. It is his secretary, Brunhilde.

"I'm sorry to disturb you, Mr Venal," she says, "but there have been some developments that I thought you would want to know about."

Brunhilde goes on to explain how, before Inspector Gormless could charge Matt O'Gridley, William Piranha turned up at the police station and explained how he had been following Lady Wedlock again and had seen her leave Edgar's office last night and then throw a gun into the canal. Lady Wedlock had confessed to the crime, and been charged with attempted murder.

"But the best news is," continues Brunhilde, "that when he heard about this, Sir Basildon telephoned us to say that he has forgotten all thoughts of a reconciliation, and wants to go ahead with the divorce."

"Thank you, Brunhilde." Says Edgar with a smile. "You were right to disturb me."

He ends the call, turns over in bed and sleeps the best sleep he has had in years.