Mrs. Jeffries and the Mistletoe Mix-Up

Mrs. Jeffries and the Mistletoe Mix-Up by Emily Brightwell

Book: Mrs. Jeffries and the Mistletoe Mix-Up by Emily Brightwell Read Free Book Online
Authors: Emily Brightwell
them?” Witherspoon inquired.
    “Definitely,” Leon answered. “Charles’ father started the firm, and as far as I know, Charles is still with them. Daniel resigned from the firm after his marriage.”
    “Mr. Cochran and Daniel McCourt stayed in contact with each other after he left the firm . . .” The inspector took a sip of tea. “Is that correct?”
    “I presume so,” Leon replied with a shrug. “He’d been invited to tea.”
    “I don’t think they remained friends,” Glenda argued. “We’ve never seen him at a social function at the McCourt house.”
    “He was at the funeral for Elena’s late aunt,” Leon countered. “And at the reception.”
    “Of course he was there. Charles Cochran is the Herron family solicitor, and the funeral reception was held at the Herron home, not the McCourt house.” She smiled smugly. “As a matter of fact, Daniel McCourt wasn’t even present when Natalie Herron’s will was read. He was specifically told he couldn’t go into the Herron drawing room when Charles read out the will. He had to wait outside in the garden.”
    Leon Brunel drew back slightly, his gaze on his wife. “How on earth do you know that?”
    “How do you think I know?” She laughed. “Elena told me when we were at lunch earlier this week. We’re friends, you know.”
    “How long were you in the morning room?” Witherspoon asked.
    “I don’t know, exactly, but it was no more than five or perhaps six minutes,” Glenda said. “Then we went into the drawing room.”
    “Did either of you notice any mistletoe hanging from the doorframe between the drawing room and the study?” Witherspoon asked.
    “I certainly didn’t.” Leon sniffed dismissively. “And I can’t imagine Daniel allowing such a heathen practice in his household.”
    “I didn’t see any, either, but I don’t understand how you can be so sure that Daniel wouldn’t have allowed it,” Glenda said to her husband.
    “Because he hated nonsense like that,” Leon shot back. “If there was any mistletoe about the place, it was put up by either Elena or one of the servants.”
    “You don’t know that.” She glared at him. “The rest of the house was beautifully decorated. There was even one of those Christmas trees.”
    “Lots of households have a tree,” Leon muttered. “If I’d known you were so fond of them, I’d have had one put up here.”
    “I don’t want one,” she replied. “They’re more trouble than they are worth.”
    “Did Mr. or Mrs. McCourt explain why they wanted you all to go into the drawing room at the same time?” Barnes asked. He knew it couldn’t have been because the tree was lighted. At that point the footman wasn’t back with the sand. “Was it just to show off the Christmas decorations?”
    “I don’t think so,” Leon said.
    “You know very well why, Leon.” Glenda crossed her arms over her chest. “Tell the truth. Daniel wanted to make his big announcement. He’d bought something for his collection and wanted to show it off and—”
    “Glenda, please,” Leon interrupted. “The poor man is dead. Let’s not cast aspersions on his character.”
    “Did he say what it was he’d acquired?” Barnes asked quickly. “You’re not the first to mention that Mr. McCourt wanted to show something off, but thus far, no one knows what that something might have been.”
    “I don’t know. Everyone left before he could finish telling us.” Glenda’s brows drew together in a confused frown. “Have you spoken to Jerome Raleigh? He appraises everything before Daniel buys. Surely he’d know what the object was.”
    “Thank you, Mrs. Brunel, we’ll do that.” Witherspoon glanced at Mr. Brunel. “Do you know?”
    “I’m not certain, but I think it might have been a Hwando sword. I’d heard that Daniel had only recently bought one and they’re somewhat rare. But I can’t be sure that’s what he wanted to show us.”
    Barnes glanced at the inspector, who gave the barest nod

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