She wasn’t sure whether Dr. Greg had fed or medicated them before..well before. Some were due hourly shots, then there was the evening feed and the stalls required cleaning. “Oh, God! Marty!” She had to get hold of him so he didn’t find out via the grapevine the clinic was closed and more importantly about Dr. Greg’s untimely death.
Pulling her cell phone from her jacket pocket, she searched for his number and tapped it. Oddly he wasn’t answering. He was a creature of habit and he should have been sitting in Maggy’s restaurant enjoying brunch. You could set your clock by Marty and his daily schedule.
Quickly finishing her coffee, she hurried to the car and drove to Maggy’s restaurant only to find Marty hadn’t shown up today. Odd indeed! she thought. Dr. Greg had taken her by Marty’s house to drop some dinner off one night so she decided to go check up on him in case he’d already heard via the grapevine and had headed home. She knew it would hit him hard since Dr. Greg had taken him on when no one else would owing to his unpredictable anger issues.
Jenna drove down a long narrow lane toward a quaint little house, obviously cared for, painted an off-white with dark shutters and plenty of flowers and bushes. Marty’s car wasn’t there. She sauntered to the front door about to knock when another car pulled in behind her. Turning, she watched as Detective Manor pulled to a stop behind her vehicle a look of surprise upon his face. “Miss Montgomery?”
“Ah, hi.” She raised a hand in greeting, ” I just realized Marty probably hadn’t heard the news and I didn’t want him to find out…I thought it best if I tell him in person.”
She watched Detective Manor approach, his long strides sure, his beautiful brown eyes focussed. Although Jenna was 5’10, he stood a good head taller.
“What are his responsibilities at the clinic?” Manor asked once he was standing beside her.
“He helps clean out the stalls and helps me prepare for the following day. He bathes and clips the animals heading into surgery. He isn’t scheduled to work until four.” She continued, “I was just by Maggy’s. He always eats brunch there, it’s a given, but he hasn’t shown up so I thought I’d best check and see if he was home.”
He wrapped firmly on the front door, let a few minutes pass then wrapped again, harder this time. He waited for a heart-beat before turning to walk around the side of the house, peering through windows before arriving at the back door which was locked. He rejoined Jenna who had moved to stand beside her car. “I have no idea where he would be or who his friends are. We are reasonably comfortable with one another, but I haven’t spent any time with him outside of work.”
“Any particular reason for that?”
“Yes and no.” She waited for a beat before explaining then continued, “He’s become a real asset to Dr. Greg, all of us really, his behaviour has been exemplary.” Peering back at the little house she added, “If Dr. Greg spent time with him outside of work, he never mentioned it.” A thought that had also occurred to Manor.
“Don’t worry about it, Ms. Montgomery, I have a whole department at my disposal; we’ll find Mr. Harris,” he promised. Walking to his own vehicle he asked, “Do you have anyone that can assist you with the cleanup?”
She nodded toward the house again, “Part of the reason I dropped by to speak with Marty. We do have a volunteer I can call, Jessica Maynard. She’s great with animals and not afraid to get her hands dirty. She and her husband offer their assistance as they can. Which reminds me, I won’t be stepping on toes if I visit her and ask and explain what’s happened?”
“Go right ahead. Let her know I may need to talk to her as well. I may also need to do a follow-up with you as well after the autopsy.”
They both got into their vehicles and she watched Manor reverse down the driveway in her rearview mirror.
For now, her main concern was getting back to the animals. She kept telling herself that Dr. Greg was in good hands and the police would find out who was responsible and why. Still, with every passing hour, thoughts of Dr. Greg pervaded her mind. She couldn’t turn them off even though she’d attempted to keep them at bay by keeping them determinedly busy. Her house had never looked so clean because she couldn’t seem to sit still.
When she finally got a call from Manor, it was six and she’d eaten a light meal not because she was particularly hungry, but because there were hours of work ahead of her. After dialling Jessica, she headed to the clinic. For the moment, her thoughts wound around the animals and what they’d require, mentally cataloguing their immediate needs.
When she arrived, both Jessica and her husband were waiting. “Oh my god, thank you, Frank. I’m so glad you came too.”
“Any time. I figured this would be rather rough for both of you. Another friend and set of helping hands couldn’t hurt!”
“Your right about that. Ok.” Taking another deep breath she said, “Shall we?”