Copyright© 2010 by Texrep
Hearing that Bennington had been sent down for a sentence of two years was for me an anti-climax. The bastard would serve his sentence at an open prison as he wasn't judged to be dangerous. Well to the general population he wasn't, but to other men's wives? That was a different story. What did cheer me up was that in his divorce his wife did indeed take him to the cleaners. When he came out of prison he would be homeless, probably penniless and would never get employment again at the level he had once enjoyed and abused. Vin could not find anything pertaining to Haskins and Wellow apart from the short report in the paper. I was content. No I bloody wasn't! I was forever without the one person who had made my life happy, and they had done that to me.
Fate had not finished with me yet. It still had surprises up its sleeve.
The General and Mrs. Dax had kept in touch. I wouldn't describe them as close friends now, but friendly acquaintances. Elwin Dax Ltd. had recommenced operating after the investigation, the Inland Revenue having decided that they wouldn't apply for liquidation; but needed a strong hand at the helm. I had sat in with them this day to interview a couple of applicants to fill Bennington's chair. One of them I thought particularly suitable, although either of them would do well. After the applicants had left, we sat in the boardroom with a cup of tea and discussed the applicants. They both agreed with me on the C.V. of the one and wanted to make him an offer. I had to point out that the salary and bonus structure would have to be high to get him.
"I agree he is the best candidate, but doubt he would come here for the package that you can afford to offer. The Company is operating on a fair size overdraft. Economies have to be in place until that is reduced. Perhaps you should settle for Mr. Seddon. I think he will do a good job, and the Company can afford him."
"Chad, you have your accountant's hat on." Quipped Ambrose.
"I thought that was why you asked me to sit in?" I smiled and so did he. Terry Dax settled it.
"I think we should listen to Chad. He's given us good advice before and we should accept his advice now, Ambrose."
He shrugged his shoulders. "Agreed." Terry Dax then changed the topic.
"Chad, have you given thought to your wife at all?"
"You should you know. I think she is just as much a victim in this as you were."
"Why do you think that, Terry?"
"From what you have said and from what we have learned from the investigation, Bennington was a skilled seducer. He was her boss, and as an employee she would be inclined to follow his instructions. No one talked about his activities until the police questioned them, so it was not common knowledge. I doubt that she understood what he intended, and I am sure he spun a good story. If then he used that drug ... Well I would think any number of girls would fall for it."
For months my position was that Lily had been aware of what she was doing. I had clung to that notion, yet Terry had suggested a scenario that was completely plausible. Lily had never been subservient but she was very conscientious about her job, and would carry out her boss's instructions to the letter. If she had no inkling of his reputation I doubt that she would question those instructions and then it was too late. Her naivety would leave her open to his machinations. It was at that moment that something I had seen on the DVD came back to me. I had noted it but not understood the significance. When Lily had undressed she was wearing just plain undergarments. If she anticipated being seduced surely she would have worn some of her other, sexier underwear? With that and Terry's words in mind I drove out of the yard and turned left. If I were to ask Lily back, would she do that again? My gut feeling was no, she wouldn't.
There was a supermarket just a few hundred yards away and on the spur of the moment I decided to pop in and get a few supplies. I particularly needed washing powder. My cleaner, Mrs. Solby had taken over the washing after I had an incident. I had run out of washing powder and clean shirts at the same time. So I put a load in and used washing up liquid as a substitute. Bad move. I had to cycle the whole wash three times before getting the suds out of my shirts. Even then they smelt of detergent for days. Mrs. Solby had different views. The powder drawer was quite big and she believed that it had to be filled. I could not understand why she was adding washing powder to my need list almost every other week, until one day I happened to be home when she did the washing. Diplomatically I showed her the little scoop that came with the powder explaining the manufacturer's recommendation. Thereafter I only had to buy washing powder once every six weeks.
I picked up a basket and strolled into the supermarket. It was a shock to see Lily at the checkout. I thought it was Lily although she was wearing a hat with a veil over her face. Were those bloody fates taking an interest in me again? Was this coincidence pointing the way? I did my shopping as quickly as I could and went to the same till as she had used. She was of course long gone by then. I chatted with the check-out girl.
"The lady with the veil, I think I recognised her."
"Oh yes. Mrs. Martin. She lives just round the corner, comes in every day."
"Why the veil."
"I think she has a skin condition. I'm not exactly sure; I've only been here four weeks."
"You don't know the address?"
"No. I know its Hathaway Road, but that's all."
I came out in two minds. It was one of those brain and heart battles. No said my brain, she's no longer in your life, remember what she did. And then the part of the brain that governs curiosity stepped in. What skin condition? Lily didn't have that when she was with me, her complexion was completely healthy. Then my heart jumped in on the side of curiosity, reiterating the words of Terry Dax. I found Hathaway Road.