Chapter Six of Tauranga author Nick Scott’s novel “Temple’s Job”. A murder mystery. A vicious murderer. An episodic novel published on the first Saturday of every month in Puha – words from the land. Now read on as Joe Wigram and Ian Temple read the damning contents of the letter.
“Time to pay up. I did what you wanted. I did not enjoy killing the girl; not enough. Too young and innocent. So I had some fun with the corpse. She was not that easy, but YOU would be. I used to work for years healing people. It feels good to be on the other side. I have no conscience, they took it from me in the experiments. There were only two subjects. Me and that intellectual freak Ian Temple. I will be waiting. Doctor Alvin Taylor.
Joe was shocked and turned his head to look at the man beside him. Who was he?
“It’s true” said Ian slowly, speaking through a field of regret. “The salary of a lecturer is not enough, so when a friend in the science faculty told me they were looking for subjects for mind control experiments, at first I was repulsed – before I learned the amount they were paying. “t was all quite painless, but whereas before I had been a gentle man, now I would unleash any ill feelings I had toward anyone, regardless of their position.”
Joe was still a little startled at this information but soon focused on what it meant for him and Janine. She’d surely see this as the last straw, and leave him. That was precisely why he was shocked at the content of an unexpected phone call from her. All he could think was, the connection between Ian and the murderer must remain secret.
“Hello Joe, I’ve decided, I want to work on this case with you, out in the field.”
“So, you’re not afraid of being killed?”
“No, I’m more concerned about you dying” “If someone is going to hunt me down, I’d rather die by your side.”
Joe had always known that she was a tough girl,but not one to put herself in danger. There was only one explanation as he saw it. She really loved him.
“Do we have the address of “the good doctor?”
“Well according to his letter, he used to be a practicing doctor, so I would suspect that he once worked at a medical centre – out in the suburbs, close to his patients.
“And such a centre would have a web site.
Half an hour later, thanks to Janine’s parents, who’d provided her with the decent computer for her university work, they had an answer. Until recently Doctor Alvin Taylor worked at Coastal Medical Centre, at Sumner.
“Let’s go and find out some more about Dr. Taylor”
It was the bus out to Sumner. Ian and Joe had never driven around the city. Sumner, a place Joe had good memories of. His parents’ house where they lived out their final days once the cancer made a simple operation no longer of any use. There were many good memories of family holidays out in Sumner.
Ian was aware of Joes’ background but found it too hard and inconvenient to care. His parents had a humble property near Darfield. As a child, any trip into the city was a big adventure. He hated what the earthquake had done in 2011, so many good memories destroyed.
It didn’t take too long to find some old colleagues of Dr. Alvin Taylor. Apparently he’d started work at Sumner as a very positive, popular man. Then almost overnight he had become very morose. Eventually he had decided to leave the centre. There was an almost audible sigh of relief from the other staff when this was announced.
The first staff member willing to talk to them was a nurse whose first utterance was, “he’s not coming back is he?” She was obviously not his biggest fan.
“Did he actually have any friends here”, asked Joe casting a gaze around the room but finding nothing that you would not expect in regular nurse’s office?
“When he first arrived, he became quite close to one of the nurses.” “Thank God it wasn’t me.” she added. “Her name was Kylie Thompson. I think she ended up getting a job in Christchurch City Hospital.”
“Call her then”
“You mean at work?” enquired Ian. “I can’t do that. A lot of people who went through their A&E department, were put there by me. I never killed a man, but I hurt many. Alvin Taylor was right in his letter. Ten years ago, a group at Dunedin university were sure they’d stumbled upon a cure for Alzheimers. They needed some volunteers on whom they could observe the effects of planned chemical brain control. Alvin Taylor and I were known to the group and they got us involved by offering money which I wanted because of my lousy pay packet and Alvin was just greedy as well as being aware that he was not liked at the Coastal Medical Centre.”
“They gave us behaviour tests before and after the very minor surgery. They found that our conscience had been made very weak. I resented the pain that the surgeon had unleashed on me. Previously I would have just thought nasty things about him, but now, without warning, I punched him in the face, breaking his nose”.
Okay, if we have to interview him then I’ll leave it up to you”.
Will they locate the awful Doctor Alvin Taylor? What will Nurse Kylie Thompson disclose. Will she be able to help them locate Taylor? Chapter Seven of “Temple’s Job” will be published on the first Saturday of December 2020.
Nick Scott Nick Scott has a B.A from The University of Waikato where he studied film under Sam Edwards. Nick has retained a keen interest in cinema. He studied Te Reo Maori at Te Wananga O Aotearoa part-time for 3 years and then from 2014 to 2016 Nick collaborated in writing “The Traveller’s guide to Maori Place Names”. Nick is a regular Film Reviewer on ARTbop.
Check out what’s recently published on ARTbop. Nick Scott reviews “The Mystery of Henri Pick” and Rosemary Balu comments on the creativity at Whakamarama School “Show Day: Lambs to the Left, Goats to the right” and “Sixty Bells: Remembering Gate Pa Pukehinahina features in the latest of The Sunday Series.