“I am Detective-Inspector Trimble of the Markshire County Constabulary. I have reason to believe that you may be in a position to assist the police in their inquiries into the murder of Mrs. Sefton, professionally known as Lucy Carless, on the evening of Thursday last. Would you have any objection to accompanying me to the police station and there making a statement in writing?”
“Oh no!” said Mrs. Roberts, before Zbartorowski could reply. “You’ve got it all wrong, Inspector. That isn’t the idea at all.”
“Jane!” protested her husband. “You really must not interrupt again. You’ve caused quite enough trouble already.”
“I don’t know what you mean about causing trouble, Herbert. It seems to me I’ve been extremely helpful. This gentleman wanted me to find Mr. Zbartorowski and I’ve found him. But I never said anything about letting him be taken off in a Black Maria to the police station. It’s a ridiculous idea. If you want to ask him any questions, Inspector, you can do it here, where I can keep an eye on you and see that you keep your promise.”
Keeping his temper with some difficulty, Trimble said, “I should prefer, Madam, to interview this gentleman in the ordinary way, at the police station. It would obviously be more convenient.”
“It would be most inconvenient,” Mrs. Roberts retorted. “I can’t possibly spare him in the kitchen just now. Anyway, I don’t see that you have any choice in the matter. You asked him if he had any objection to coming to the police station and he has every objection. Haven’t you, Mr. Zbartorowski?”
Zbartorowski’s large brown eyes turned towards her. He looked absurdly like a meek, devoted spaniel. “Yes, Madame,” he murmured.
“That’s settled then,” said Mrs. Roberts, with a sigh of relief. She sat down again in her chair and folded her hands on her lap in an expectant attitude. “Now will you begin, please, Inspector? We’ve wasted a lot of time already.”
Trimble acknowledged defeat.