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The Lexington House Murder

~ Chapter One

Example content imageIchabod Crane was an early riser. He woke each morning at the sound of his coffee tray placed outside the bedroom door. He would fetch the tray, careful to leave a steaming cup next to Katrina’s bedside and always he would hesitate a moment to gaze at the beautiful sleeping face before placing a chaste kiss on her creamy cheek. The ritual never failed to leave him feeling a very lucky and contented man indeed.

Ichabod dressed and taking his empty cup with him, walked downstairs and into the dining room. The house was a little more crowded with himself, Katrina, Jonathan and Cook, but they were managing quite well. With the recent promotion due to his success with the Sleepy Hollow case, they would soon be able to afford something roomier. But for now, quarters were close but cozy.

Ichabod sat down before a generous plate of breakfast and read the previous evening’s post. A creak from the floor above signaled that Katrina was up and moving about. She had of late been sleeping beyond her normal waking time, yet rising early enough to join him for coffee.

Jonathan, as young Masbeth was now called by the household, was already seated across from Crane, enjoying some good amount of breakfast himself.

“Jonathan,” Crane asked, “Have you noticed Katrina arises later each day? Is she over tiring herself with her charities while I am busy down at the Constabulary?

Two hands covered Crane's eyes and a gentle voice spoke, “Good morning, gentlemen.”

Katrina gave Ichabod a gentle kiss on the cheek. “Did I hear my name just now?"

Pause. “Ichabod? Jonathan?”

Jonathan tried to keep his eyes down, “I believe he worries at your fatigue, Ma’am”. He looked knowingly at Katrina, gave a half nod, and left the room.

Crane frowned, “Now where is he off to in such a hurry?”

In the kitchen Jonathan waited patiently with Cook, their ears pressed against the door’s edge. They could hear murmuring from Katrina. Then a long pause.

THUD. There it was. Cook and Jonathan exchanged a knowing look. Jonathan quickly opened the door into the dining room. There was Constable Ichabod Crane out cold on the floor. Katrina by his side. Jonathan knelt next to her. “You told him, then” he said.

Katrina nodded. “I felt I had to, I mean, he is going to be a father."

Jonathan and Katrina helped Ichabod back into his chair. He was pale but upright. Katrina asked Jonathan to fetch a cool cloth.

“Ichabod, are you alright?” she asked as she rubbed his hands. He turned to Katrina with a look of wonderment on his face.

“Katrina, forgive me for fainting, my dearest. But, but…Katrina what wonderful news. I am overwhelmed with happiness.” He touched her face, lovingly.

“My dear, you must rest and take care not to over tire yourself. I am taking you back to bed myself and have Cook bring you an enormous breakfast.” He manfully lifted Katrina up in his arms and carried her up the stairs. Once in their bed chamber he laid her down carefully and fluffed up the pillows behind her. Katrina remained silent, with a tiny hint of an amused smile on her face.

“My sweet, Ichabod, your concern touches me deeply. But I assure you, being with child is a natural state; not an illness. The doctor told me I should continue my normal routine and that some exercise is good for me. And as for breakfast, I am afraid that being only 2 months with child, food is rather unappealing to me, especially in the morning.”

Ichabod nodded. His eyes were so full of amazement. His beloved Katrina, carrying his child.

He always thought one day…but now that it was here, his mind seemed to go off in all directions.

Just then a strong knock could be heard at the front entrance of the house. A few minutes later, a soft tapping at their bedroom door.

Jonathon opened the door and peeked around. “There are men from the constabulary for you, Ichabod, sir. They appear most anxious to see you. But, shall I send them away?”

Katrina answered, “No, Jonathan, tell the gentlemen that Constable Crane will be down directly.”
She hugged Ichabod, drew back and looked into his eyes. “Now, Constable Crane…off with you! You are needed elsewhere and I have Cook and Jonathan to look after me.”

Ichabod hesitated at the door. “Perhaps I shall have need of Jonathan, later.”

Katrina shook her head. “Not this morning. I want to speak to him myself regarding our previous discussion. With the baby coming, it is important that I explain our feelings to him.”

“Do you not need me to be here for that?” Ichabod ask anxiously.

“No, I think it best I handle this myself. You can speak to him later. If you find you have need of him, this afternoon, you may send for him then. Now, go along, and take my heart’s deepest affection with you.”

Ichabod nodded and with a shy smile, he closed the door behind him. Jonathan waited dutifully in the hall.

“Jonathan, Katrina requests that you stay with her this morning. If it is necessary I will send someone from the station to fetch you, later.”

“But sir, uh, Ichabod, shouldn’t I be with you? In the event this turns out to be a serious case?”

“You shall be with me, Jonathan. But for this morning, Katrina desires a word with you.”

He stared down at the disappointed face.

“I tell you what; you may bring a lunch basket with you at noon and meet me then. If indeed we have a new case, we can discuss it over our lunch. Just you and myself, how’s that?”

Jonathan smiled. The tiniest bit of a tremble was threatening to show in his voice. But he managed to respond, rather cheeily, “As you wish sir, I will sit with Katrina for a while and see you later this morning.”

With a painful heart, young Jonathan watched Ichabod walk down the stairs. His eyes teared up slightly, but he quickly rubbed them away. He did not want Katrina to see him weep. Time enough for that, after she told him. Told him what he already knew.


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