After John returned to the parish house from getting lunch for himself and Sister Joan, he entered the parlor to find she was not alone, this afternoon she had company.
While holding the lunch bag in his hands, John managed a brief but polite hello, then he disappeared into the kitchen. “Father St. Moritz!” Sister Joan called out. John hurried to put down the lunch bags onto the counter, and left to see what was going on. He stood waiting in the doorway between the dining room and the parlor. “What do you need, Sister Joan?” When looking at her, he realized something was quite different in her demeanor. “Father St. Moritz, these gentlemen are from the police, these are Inspectors Deneby and Gladstone.” John came further into the room and shook their hands. From the moment their hands met in greeting, John couldn’t help but get the feeling that the grey fedora wearing Inspector Deneby was suspicious of him. “I do hope nothing has happened to Father McFlannery?” John asked glancing back at Sister Joan. “Why, should there be, Father?” Deneby sneered in reply. “Please just call me John. I am the town vicar, not a priest.” He explained. Sister Joan moved in between the inspector and John. “Actually, John, they have come to speak with us about Sister Gertrude.” Sister Joan interjected. “I apologize, detectives, but Sister Gertrude passed away last evening.” John said. “We’re already aware of that, Mr. St. Moritz, that’s why we’ve come to see you.” Inspector Gladstone interjected. “I don’t follow. Sister Gertrude had a heart attack?” John asked. “You certainly do ask a lot of questions, John?” Deneby smirked. “Well I do assist Father McFlannery in running the church, and when he is not in, it is my obligation to ask questions.” He explained. “You seem to know much about this place then, John, would you mind if we interview you for a bit?” Deneby inquired. “First I think it would help if you told me what this all about?” John demanded to know. “Sister Joan, would you mind giving us a brief moment with, Mr. St. Moritz?” Inspector Gladstone asked. “Surely.” Sister Joan quickly agreed then toddled back into the dinning room.
Inspector Gladstone lowered his tone. “We mean not to alarm to alarm anyone, John, but there were some bizarre findings in Sister Gertrude’s autopsy.” He said.
“Autopsy, Sister Gertrude died of a heart attack, there was no need for an autopsy!” John protested.
The questioning now switched back to Inspector Deneby. “That’s why we’re here, John, Sister Gertrude did not die of a heart attack, but a high dose of inflammatory drugs was found in her blood, as if she might have gulped down an entire bottle.” He replied. “What’s so suspicious about that, Sister Gertrude was prone to muscle aches and spasms; I saw her taking pills all the time.” John interjected. The two detectives looked at each other in discernment. “Then you knew Sister Gertrude was taking medication?” Gladstone pointed out. “I suppose, but, I hadn’t idea what kind exactly . . . ,” John mussed. “But, you were aware she was taking some sort of medication, John?” Deneby interjected. “Once when I came down for breakfast, I saw her take a couple of pills, but I didn’t think it was any of my business, so I didn’t ask.” John replied. “Did she ever tell you what they were for?” Deneby asked while making notes. “She told me they were for her back, but she didn’t seem to want to elaborate.” John explained. “Do you know that for certain, Mr. St. Moritz?” Deneby looked up from his notes. “Of course Sister Gertrude had no reason to hide these things from any one of us.” John’s stance switched to a more defiant one as Inspector Deneby continued. “Enlighten me, Mr. St. Moritz, why would a woman suffering from a congenital heart failure, who is on other kinds of medications be using an inflammatory drug; I’m sure she was well aware of the consequences.” Deneby sneered at the young vicar. “What are you getting at, Inspector?” John asked. “I think you already know, that Sister Gertrude never would have taken a drug to stop muscle pains when she clearly had heart troubles.” Deneby began. “What are you driving at, Inspector?” He shot back. Inspector Gladstone stepped in for a moment. “Did she ever have memory lapses, was she suffering any mind altering illnesses, dementia maybe?” He asked. “No! Sister Gertrude was a stable woman! There is no way she could have taken them by mistake!”
“Thank you for clearing that up, Mr. St. Moritz, now would you mind coming down town with us? We would like to ask you some more questions down there.”
“What for?” John demanded to know. “I’ll be honest with you, John, Sister Gertrude’s death was no accident, she was murdered.