Timetable of Death
door, do you, or what they might be planning? I hate to say it because I’ve probably mended his shoes at some point, but Enoch’s killer is one of us.’
    Leeming had seen enough of Hockaday to realise that he was a man of limited intelligence. His sheer bulk and his willingness had recommended him for police work and he would be very effective at dealing with anyone in a brawl.As an assistant in a murder investigation, however, he would be a handicap.
    ‘I’ll be standing by all the time, Sergeant,’ said the cobbler. ‘You’re staying at the Malt Shovel, aren’t you? My shop is farther along Potter Street.’
    ‘Thank you. I’ll remember that.’
    ‘A man dressed like you shouldn’t be pushing a wheelbarrow. Would you like me to take over from you?’
    Leeming was affronted. ‘No, I wouldn’t. I can manage on my own.’
    ‘Then I’ll leave you to it and deliver these boots. Remember my name.’
    ‘I will, Mr Hockaday.’
    ‘Everyone here calls me Jed.’
    He treated Leeming to another lazy grin then swaggered off. Though there was a link between them, Hockaday was no Philip Conway. Both men were excited to make the acquaintance of a Scotland Yard detective. While the young reporter was a reliable source of information, however, the cobbler was better left to his trade. In the hands of such amateur constables, Leeming believed, the murder of Enoch Stone would remain unsolved until Doomsday. Grasping the handles of the barrow again, he gave it a shove and it creaked into action but he did not get as far as the church. A horse and cart came into view with a pungent load of manure piled high on it. The driver was enraged by what he saw.
    ‘Leave my barrer alone!’ yelled Bert Knowles. ‘Thass stealin’, thar is.’
     
    Since the railway had yet to reach Melbourne, Colbeck was obliged to take the train to the nearest station then hire acab. It took him through rolling countryside with pleasing vistas wherever he looked. Derby might be a railway town, with its works contributing liberally to the regular din, smoke and grime, but whole areas of the county were still untouched by industry. Colbeck found the leisurely journey both restorative and inspiring. Melbourne was a small village in the Trent valley that still retained its rustic charm. Standing at the south-east end, the Hall was by far the largest and most striking house in the area, a fitting place of residence for a prime minister. The cab went down the hill towards it, giving Colbeck the opportunity to see the smaller houses and cottages of ordinary mortals.
    When he reached the house, his attention instead went straight to the church of St Michael with St Mary, standing close to the stables and the servants’ quarters of the Hall. One of the finest Norman churches in the kingdom, it was a truly magnificent structure with a size and quality worthy of a cathedral. Colbeck promised himself that he would take a closer look at the place before he left Melbourne. The Hall itself was an arresting edifice in an idyllic setting. Its origins were medieval but it had fallen into such a state of disrepair during the later years of Elizabeth’s reign that its new owner had pulled down and rebuilt large parts of it. Substantial alterations were also made in the next century and, over the years, each new owner felt the urge to stamp his mark upon the house.
    Colbeck was unable to take in all the architectural felicities. He was there simply to speak to the head gardener. The garrulous housekeeper insisted on telling Colbeck that Melbourne Hall actually belonged to the former Emily Lamb who’d inherited it from her brother, Frederic, whohad himself acquired the place at the death of his elder brother, William Lamb, erstwhile Lord Melbourne, another prime minister. Colbeck didn’t wish to alarm her by saying that he was treating the head gardener as a murder suspect so he merely said that he hoped Gerard Burns would be able to help him with enquiries relating

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