The salesmen always ring twice

Share
Related Topics


Another outing today for Inspector Keith Braid, the Sixty Second Sleuth, who takes only a minute to solve any crime.

Another outing today for Inspector Keith Braid, the Sixty Second Sleuth, who takes only a minute to solve any crime.

Mark you, it takes him hours to do the paperwork.

Luckily, he's got Sergeant Comfort to do that for him.

And here they both are in a brand new sixty-second saga, entitled:

Cold Call Blues

"Amurder's been reported, sir," said Comfort.

"Surprise me," said Inspector Keith Braid.

"A Mr Dawlish. Reported dead at 60, Longfellow Avenue."

"I'm surprised," said Braid.

"Why, sir?"

"Didn't know we named streets after American poets," said Braid.

Comfort considered this.

"Whitman Road, London E3, sir?" he ventured.

Braid frowned. Poetry was meant to be his field, not Comfort's.

"Where did the report of Dawlish's death come in from?"

"Indian police, sir. In Bangalore."

"Then let's get going!"

The door of Number 60, Longfellow Avenue was opened by a young man.

"Mr Dawlish?"

"No," said the young man. "No, I do not want a conservatory or a timeshare or whatever the hell it is you're selling."

He was about to close the door when Braid stuck his foot in it.

"Why would you think we were trying to sell you something, sir?"

"Because whenever someone rings up and asks for Mr Dawlish, they're always trying to sell something. You see, my wife's maiden name was Dawlish, and the call centres in India have got hold of a list of phone numbers with the name Dawlish listed on this number, so every two days I get a phone call from an Indian salesman in Bangalore calling himself Nick or Jeremy, asking if I am Mr Dawlish, and I am sick of it."

"And what do you do?"

"Sometimes I just put the phone down. Sometimes, when I am feeling really cross, I give them my father-in-law's number. Mr Dawlish, you see. And sometimes I just play the silly ass."

"Which is why," said Braid thoughtfully, "you were rather unhappy when we asked you just now if you were Mr Dawlish."

"Yes," said the young man. "I thought : 'My God, they're selling door to door now!' Though I have to say, you don't look very Indian to me ..."

"We are not," said Braid. "We are from Scotland Yard. We have come to investigate the death of Mr Dawlish."

"He's dead?" said the man. "Thank the Lord for that! Perhaps he won't get any more calls now!"

"Have you ever tried to get rid of the young salesman in Bangalore," said Braid, "by telling him Mr Dawlish was dead? That you had killed him, even?"

"I have, as a matter of fact," said young Mr Winslow. "The last time he called I was so fed up that I said something like, 'You can't talk to him! He's dead! I've killed him and he can never buy insurance from you now! He's dead and I killed him, and I am glad I did, do you hear, glad, glad, glad!'"

There was an embarrassed pause.

"Quite understandable," said Braid. "Unfortunately, the young Indian salesman must have thought it was his duty to report it, so he told the Bangalore police and the Bangalore police told us, and we came round."

"Ah," said young Winslow. "Sorry. Feel a bit silly."

"Don't do it again," said Braid.

On the way back to the station, Comfort asked Braid if that counted as another murder solved.

"I think so, don't you?" said Braid. "I think the Government would want us to make the clear-up rate look better. Incidentally, do you think Pound Lane, NW10, was named after Ezra Pound?"

"No idea, sir."

Braid smiled. Point to him, he thought.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Election catch-up: I’m not saying the Ed stone is bad – it is so terrible I am lost for words

John Rentoul
 

General Election 2015: The SNP and an SMC (Salmond-Murdoch Conspiracy)

Matthew Norman
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living