The Search for Evidence

Ever since finding Nazi memorabilia in his loft, Simon was determined to find out who owned them.

During his free time (even his non-free time) Simon scoured the internet and various documents to find any sign of a Nazi sympathiser in Lower Strangling to no avail.

Until he had an idea; the parish records. There must be something in the parish records.

There was just one issue. There were simply too many records for Simon to go through himself.

It was then that Simon called the village council together for an emergency meeting.

It was safe to say the council was not best pleased when they found out that Simon wanted them to sift through parish records rather than discuss the situation in Ukraine.

The council agreed to help Simon, however.

“Are you sure this is an appropriate use of council time?” John asked Simon, as he looked at a piece of old parchment.

“Yes. I will not rest until I know who owned the Nazi memorabilia.” Simon said.

“Does it matter?” Janet asked.

“Yes.” Simon said. “Well… it matters to me.”

“If it matters to you, and you alone, why should you drag the entire village council into it?” Dave asked.

“Because I’m the council chairperson.” Simon said. “Besides, if we did this during the PCC meeting, it would be sacrilege.”

“Except the only difference between the PCC and the village council is that I’m on the village council, mate.” Bruce said.

“I know, just… whatever, we’re doing this. Continue looking at the parish records.” Simon.

With that, the village council continued to sift through the parish records.

“Have any of you found anything yet?” Simon said.

The council replied unanimously that they hadn’t, and Simon sighed.

“Ah, but Winston Chamberlin married a Mitford sister in 1936.” Dave suddenly said.

“Excellent,” Simon said, “which sister?”

“Natalie,” Dave said.

“Never heard of her,” Simon said.

“Neither have I,” Dave said.

“Who was the man Winston married her to?” Simon asked.

“Don’t know,” Dave said, looking closely at the marriage certificate in front of him, before saying that she married a man called Ralf Wagner.

“Well, that is promising.” Simon said.

“It could be a coincidence.” John said. “Natalie Mitford may not be the sister of the other Mitfords, and Ralf may not have been a Nazi.”

“But if they were married by Winston Chamberlin, who may have been a Nazi, then it might not be a coincidence.” Simon said.

“Josh Clark was a pacifist who saw the First World War first hand,” Robert added. “He could have supported the Nazi cause from the very beginning, just so that they could avert another war.”

“Don’t be ridiculous, Josh was a righteous man of God who would support no one like Adolf Hitler.” Simon said.

“He may not have known what the Nazi cause entailed.” Dave said. “He probably didn’t know what they stood for.”

“I guess.” Simon said.

John sighed. “We’re getting nowhere with this. Hundreds of people could have originally owned the Nazi memorabilia for hundreds of reasons. We may never know the truth.”

“But we must try,” Simon said, “mainly so I can sleep soundly tonight.”

“Or you could try to forget about the memorabilia and focus on other work.” Janet said.

Simon sighed. “Fine, end of meeting. We’ll figure a way forward at a later stage.”

With that, the council placed the parish records back into their cardboard boxes and the Village council disbanded.

I will discover the truth eventually, Simon thought to himself as he placed the parish records back into the vestry, with or without the council’s help.

And so Simon left the vestry and walked over to the Hangman’s Noose, ready to resume the investigation after a pint.

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