Miss Flanagan was very pleased for Rosie Carter. Rosie’s son, Paul, was setting up his own business as a mechanic at home in Benford after twenty years working with Kilmullen Motors – a big garage in the nearest town.
“He’ll be his own boss and earn more,” she told the Benford detective. “It’s a big step, of course, being self-employed but he has done a business management course so he’s as ready as he ever will be!”
Miss Flanagan was glad that Paul was approaching the career change in an organised way. So many people, very good at what they do, come a cropper on the administration side of running a business, she knew.
The garage was being built behind the family home, Rosie told her.
“The block work has started already so it should be finished in a matter of weeks.”
Miss Flanagan asked Rosie to pass on her congratulations to Paul. Never interested in the likes of Irish verbs or writing essays, she knew that Rosie’s son instead had the gift of great 3D spatial awareness – he could think behind the surface of an object to how it was put together and therefore understand how it might be fixed. Not everyone had that gift and it was one that was giving Paul Carter his living. She hoped his new business would flourish.
Rosie Carter sounded completely different the next day when she telephoned, however.
“There’s been trouble at the site,” she said. “Nothing too major but unsettling all the same.”
She explained that the blocklayer’s equipment had been interfered with. The starting cable of the cement mixer had been stolen so he couldn’t work.
“Whoever took it must know something about cement mixers. It’s like they were missing a part themselves, came in and robbed it,” Rosie said.
It certainly seemed very targeted, Miss Flanagan agreed. Building sites were always very vulnerable to theft, she knew, but still it was upsetting to think someone had been trespassing on the Carter’s property.
“I can’t help wondering who it was but I suppose we’ll have to put it down to experience – where we put everything we don’t like,” Rosie said. “Still, I just had to talk to someone about it…”