Excerpts from novel

Chapter 3

 The Town Clerk’s Office, Walmsfield Borough Council Offices

“Sit down er…”
“Carlton Wilkes… Head of Planning…” said Carlton with a soupcon of sarcasm as he sank into one of the Town Clerk‟s uncomfortable office armchairs. Giles Eaton coughed awkwardly as he realised that he should at least have made the effort to find out the name of the departmental head visiting him.
“Yes of course; Carlton. Now what’s all the mystery? You have me quite distracted up here.”
Carlton opened the case and placed the contents on the Town Clerk‟s desk.  Giles picked up the envelope, studied both sides of it with furrowed eyebrows for awhile, put it down, and then examined the leather document folder without actually opening it.
“Hmm,  intriguing,” he said gently placing the folder down on his desk, “What do you think, should we open them now or do what‟s instructed and wait until the Mayor gets in?”
Carlton knew that the Town Clerk had no intention of opening either item but was making small talk in an effort to be pleasant. He said, “It’s not my choice to make Mr. Eaton.”
“No, no, of course not, forgive me, I wasn’t  thinking straight. Tell you what, I’ll put a call in to him and I’ll let you know what this is all about in due course.”
The silence that ensued made Carlton realise that it was time to leave; he stood up and walked across to the door.
“Oh Mr. Eaton,” he turned and said, “before I leave, did you notice the faded writing on the rear of the envelope?”
“Yes,” said Giles off-handedly.
“Did you understand what it said?”
“What? Oh no, all  a bit mumbo-jumbo to me;  ‘que’ is Spanish for ‘what’ isn’t it?  ‘Vie’ is French for
‘life’… you know,’ce’st la vie’ etcetera, and I don’t know what the other bit is, so it’s ‘something or other  –
what life’ as far as I can make out.”
“O.K.  thank you.” Carlton closed  the office door  and frowned. Eaton  had  lied to him;  there’d  been  no
puzzled look when he’d read the wordage, he‟d simply read it…

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