"I don't like it, sounds like a conspiracy to me." They had already established that. Thursday had his thinking hat on, and was marching down the high street at a relatively fast pace for a middle-aged man. "I could do with a drink."
"So could I, but we don't have time." Morse was walking right past the pub, what a revelation. Just as he was looking back at the inspector to make sure he was following- he took a huge gander into the pub window. He knew that man. "Hang on." He doubled back, and steered himself right into the place he was avoiding, and the inspector certainly didn't hold him back. Morse approached the table with the man he had recognized. "You…" He couldn't be civil and say sir- this man wasn't a sir. "You there…. don't I know you?"
The young man had his pint to his lips and was looking up at him with apprehension. "Err…" He glanced at the domineering presence of the inspector, then flitted back to the man whom had addressed him. "Probably."
"I'm detective constable Morse…" He didn't bother with the longer version to this speech, neither did he introduce his superior. He wagged his finger- finally placing the man. "The bank, Ronnie…" He would rather refer to him on a second name basis, but it had slipped him. "You were out with Miss Thursday." He heard the inspector shift and remove his hat. Well he remembered.
"The mad man in the car, up you get sonny." The inspector said gruffly, like he was about to throw a punch. "Come on, outside." It was a loud command, but barely a shout, but it had rendered the whole pub silent.
"I think you'd better do as he said." Morse eased, not in the least bit concerned if this ended in an assault.
Ronnie jumped to his feet and excused himself from his mates. The trio left in an awkward fashion, they didn't stop until they got well out view of the pub, Morse turned to address him and immediately saw the inspector's hand at the nape of the gent's neck.
"Right then, you are barred from driving…."
"But I need my car for work, I've already apologized for my fiasco-!"
"Sir, I wasn't going to interrogate him on that matter." The constable interjected, finally laying a hand on the gent himself.
"Well I am! I'm having his car towed." And he pointed crudely at the man, enough to make Ronnie think his eyes were about to be gouged. "You may continue."
Ronnie thought he was being dismissed, until Morse nabbed him. "He meant me!" Morse roughly escorted him to a bench, and it was there they would conduct enquiries. Ronnie sat visibly shaken, a handkerchief leaving his pocket on a few occasions to mop his sweat. "Right, where did you take Joan after work?" Morse began. The banker looked cagily toward the inspector still very close at hand. "Look at me, tell me about your activities."
"It weren't anything like that!" He tried, loosening his collar. "It was a simple lift home, she felt tired- too tired to be waiting around for a bus, I was helping." His force was toned down a lot. "That was all."
"She was tired, right." Morse inclined. "Then she felt sick."
"I thought travel sickness."
The inspector was miffed. "Then you thought I'd chuck her out the car before-"
"-We've been through this already, it was a moment of craziness, the door was opened before it stopped. Madness." Ronnie didn't have the leverage to jump over a bench and fence. "What can you charge me with?"
Morse felt he was being undermined by his superior, he shot him a look. "But back to Joan, does she have a routine at work, where does she have lunch?"
"Her mother's sandwiches, surely?" Thursday interjected. But it made both parties quite wary. "Damn, I have those…"
"Yes, but you're fine, right?" Now they were time wasting. "What does she have for lunch?"
Ronnie shook his head, completely exasperating. "How am I to know?!- I'm not with her all the time. You need to ask one of the women. They always stick together."
Morse jabbed at the pub. "You go in there around lunch time, you have a pub lunch, are any of the girls in there with you?"
"Not usually, it's a lads thing." They weren't learning anything new. "Is this about the poison?"
Thursday shuffled close. "How'd you know about that?" Full of suspicion.
"You said it the other night with Joan, you said poison."
Morse shared a deathly look with the inspector. "How many people have you told about this?" This was aimed at Ronnie.
The handkerchief came out again. "Well… in passing conversation, I mentioned it….to my colleagues."
Shit. Morse arose from the bench. "Well that settles it then, no pussyfooting around then. We need to bring all those affected in to Max. If the news is coming out thick and fast we might as well be seen doing something."
"You still have the list?" Thursday gestured to the constable's pocket.
"I have everything." He rubbed at his neck. "Can I suggest sending Joan to hospital?"
The inspector grimaced, while fiddling with the brim of his hat. "Alright alright, you'd think you were the dad." Morse scrutinized this, he knew what he meant, but to others it sounded like he was suggesting Joan was pregnant.
Before they left Morse quickly instructed Ronnie not to talk about anything. Which was a very wide area to avoid.
Morse entered oxford medical research facility, not before Thursday called an ambulance for Joan. It was a very hectic day. Well the robbery day was busier. He didn't have a plan of action; well apart from- find out if there was a leak or rat in the research facility without arousing suspicion. Soon as he approached the desk he knew he couldn't waltz on by; a lady smiled at him- and she wasn't breaking eye contact until he produced some paperwork. He reluctantly flashed his warrant card.
"What can I do for you constable?"
"I don't suppose you have a record of every member of staff here do you, on your desk?" He concealed his warrant card.
"Well it wouldn't be a front desk if there wasn't, it's a clock in and clock out system we have here. I have a register."
"Right." Trying to not be offended by her first tone. "Can I see it?"
"Are you calling for someone?"
"Hm?" This hesitation must be first stage of a refusal. "Everyone. I'm looking for everyone."
"What's your line of enquiry?"
"Police business." He needed the inspector here, he was sure an imposing man like him wouldn't be interrogated like this.
"If there is an investigation why don't you just say so?"
"If I produce a warrant card, I think it's quite obvious." If she was going to use a tone, so was he. "Do you have a list of departments?"
"Yes, what are you looking for?" Her tone had improved.
"Good, I'm looking for a department dealing with-"He flicked through his notebook. "-Benzodiazepines." Ha! Try and look that up missy.
"You've just given me a word that doesn't even go into any of my registers." She smiled sweetly, no not sweetly- mockingly. "If you managed to get hold of a word like, then maybe you could narrow it down some more. Give me your line of enquiry."
Morse did a very annoyed sniff. "Psychodelic drugs, what department deals with that?"
"Neurological department." She smiled again. "And it's psychoactive active drugs." Her eyes narrowed with ridicule.
He bobbed his head and left the front desk towards the heart of the building. He wasn't going to ask for directions, no way, not from her. Hopefully there were signs.