The Death of an Irish Consul

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Authors: Bartholomew Gill
wanted to buzz right back to Hitchcock’s house and check the ground for evidence of the old woman’s story, wanted to complete the onsite investigation and get back to London as soon as possible. “It’s not shish kabab, patlijan moussaka, or stuffed grape leaves, Ned, but we have no Armenians on the western coast, and you’ll be glad of it once you taste this stew.”
    Glumly, Gallup ate.
    McGarr had thirds. Kathleen managed to dig up several bottles of stout. The peat sputtered in the fireplace, the waves beat against the cliffs, and the wind rattled the loose panes in her bay window.
    With a cup of hot tea in one hand and a freshly lit Woodbine in the other, McGarr asked the old girl if he could use her phone, which was displayed prominently on a table by the door. It too was covered, but with a clear plastic sheath. “The calls are going to be to Dublin and London, Kathleen. I’ll leave the money for it under the mat here.” McGarr tapped the table.
    “Will you have enough? All that distance won’t strain the thing, I hope. Remember, it’s new. I haven’t really learned to use it myself as yet. My kids who live in America got it in for me. They call at Christmas and Easter and sound as though they’re in the next room. It’s luvelly what they can do now.”
    “Bernie?” McGarr said. “Peter here. I’d like you to send the pathologist’s van down to pick up this corpse and some lab boys to cover the outbuilding carefully once more. Then I want you to dispatch Sinclair to the Air Ministry office to see if they have reports of helicopter movements in the past six days, especially overthe western ocean and then from Slea Head eastwards. Maybe radar installations might pick up something like that.”
    “Too low,” said Mallon, who was sipping his tea.
    “Also, I want you to canvass all helicopter owners, pilots, and landing pads in the twenty-six counties. I’m sure I can get U.K. cooperation for the other helicopters in the general area.”
    Gallup nodded and took out a small black notebook and pen.
    “Put as many men as you have to on this. I want to talk to anybody who has flown a helicopter over Kerry in the past week and a half.” A correlation occurred to him at that moment. “Also, which of these persons might have recently purchased the elasticized cargo cord we’ve been investigating.”
    McKeon sighed.
    “Or might soon. I assume whoever owns this helicopter will want to replace what’s missing. The only other thing I can think of is the ketobemidone-base drug that Professor Cole found in Hitchcock’s body. We better check Browne for that, although I’m assuming now the same person or persons who killed Hitchcock killed Browne.”
    “They certainly want it to look that way. Have you called London yet?”
    “I don’t know his name, he won’t give it. But please get a hold of him, Peter. How is a man supposed to getany sleep around here with this horn going off every quarter hour?”
    McGarr chuckled and said, “I’m presently at Dingle three ring seven,” and put down the receiver. He picked it up again and asked the operator to connect him with London operator seventy-eight- H . While he was being connected, he glanced over at the old girl.
    She was worried. McGarr surmised that she was a pensioner and would probably be hard pressed after the spread she had laid before the three policemen, yet being hospitable to the wayfarer was a Celtic tradition that most of the older people in the country honored. And McGarr was sure they had cheered her.
    When the London number answered, he said, “Peter McGarr, Garda Soichana here.”
    “We were wondering when you’d call, McGarr. I had the exchange route all calls through to my home. I haven’t had a chance to relax all evening.” It was Cummings. “What have you discovered?”
    “Gallup will fill you in.”
    “I beg your pardon,” said Cummings indignantly. “I thought we were going to cooperate on this

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