"Thomas I've told you once and I've told you a hundred times, if you come home smelling like whiskey again, you'll be on the couch for another night!" Mrs Brackenried yelled at her husband. Although the doors were closed, the men of Station House 4, could plainly hear the angry yells of the inspectors wife. Why they seemed to have the arguments at the station, no one knew.
"Well if I wasn't on the couch all the bloody time I wouldn't need to drink whiskey!" the Inspector yelled back. "And I'll have you know, woman, that I've hardly touched a drop for weeks!"
"You wouldn't be on the couch if you didn't drink at all! And I don't believe that for a second!"
"Oh you don't ehy? Adelaide!"
The young woman, who'd been hiding behind the water cooler for the duration of the domestic, winced, and slowly emerged, as her uncle came out of his office and shouted her a second time. She saw George, Henry and William cast her a sympathetic look as she stepped inside the office, filled with volatile tempers.
"How dare you bring our niece into this! Addie, go back to work." her aunt told her. Addie stood by the door, waiting for the next volly.
"Don't tell my constables what to do! Addie, don't you move! Tell your aunt that I've not touched a drop!" he demanded.
"Well.. I wouldn't say you haven't touched a drop, you did have a rather large whiskey the other day..."
"I knew it Thomas! Lying to me again!" her aunt screeched. Addie gulped, as her uncle now shouted at her.
"Bloody hell Addie, you're meant to be on my side!"
"BUT it was just the one, and it had been a very bad day!"
"Admit it Thomas, you have a drinking problem!"
"I don't have a drinking problem, it's you who has the problem with my drinking!" the inspector shouted, red in the face. Addie, in the middle of all of this, was still not allowed to leave, as the barrage continued.
The arguments were carried on all through the week, and in to the next few weeks after that. The lads at the station watched as Addie, in the middle of the fray, had to choose between her aunt or her uncle, was getting more worn out. If she agreed with her aunt, the inspector would make her day hell. If she agreed with her uncle, her aunt would say she was encouraging him and his bad habits. George and Henry noticed how worn out she was, after she came out one afternoon, her ears ringing after he'd yelled at her for agreeing with her aunt. It was then George had his Eureka moment.
A week later, there was another argument in the station. Everyone stopped and stared at the inspector and his wife through the windows, as he had neglected to put the blinds down. Addie was standing by the inspectors drinks cabinet, when George knocked loudly on the door.
"What is it Crabtree?" he asked gruffly.
"Sir, there's an urgent call on the phone for Addie."
The inspector and his wife looked at Addie, as Addie looked at George and while their heads were turned, George winked at her, letting her in on the ploy.
"Go on then." he acknowledged. She left out of the door that connected to a corridor connecting the front desk to the inspectors office. George followed from behind, while the inspector watched in case it was just a trick to get Addie out of his office.
"Answer the phone, and then go out and walk down the street. Make it look.." George whispered, looking for the right word.
"Yes, now go on."
Her friend ushered her to the telephone that was next to the desk, where she picked up the hearing piece, being held by Fisher.
"Hello?" she asked, with mild confusion.
"Hello Addie!"came the cheery voice of Henry Higgins on the other end of the line.
"What's all this about?"
"Well George and I couldn't bare to see you look so worn out, so George had a brilliant idea. I'm at the tea room, where we usually go for lunch. Why don't you come down?"
"What will I tell my uncle?"
"Don't worry about that. George will take care of it."
"Alright, I'm on my way." she hung up the receiver, and grabbed her helmet, before rushing out, in mock plight.
A few corners away, she found Henry, right where he said he'd be. At Mary's Tea room, waiting outside the door for her.
"Thank goodness I have friends like you." she smiled gratefully, as the waitress set down a tray of tea and biscuits. Waiting for the waitress to leave, Addie unfolded a hankie, placed several biscuits in it, before dropping it carefully into her helmet. Henry gave her a curious glance.
"For George, they're his favourite."
Henry adored her simpleness and kindness, and he had the time to tell her, seeing as they were alone. But he chose not to, opting to keep his cards close to his cards and weigh out the situation before he made a move.
He once caught a fleeting glance of her, staring in a wedding shop window. He saw her shoulders droop as she hurried to catch him up.
Later that night, he and George walked past the same shop. He stood and looked at it for a while.
"Not thinking of buying one are you?" George joked.
"Don't be silly George... Addie was looking at it this morning. I can see why, it's really very pretty."
"She'd look splendid in it... don't you think?"
Henry stumbled a little, trying to think of an answer that wouldn't give his feelings away.
"I suppose she would... not quite as splendid as the dress you had George." he joked, trying to turn the subject away from his opinion. George blushed at the embarrassing memory of having to wear a dress, seeing as Addie was ill that day.
"Shut up Henry... seriously, what do you think?"
"Well... of course she would. Addie is one of those women who look good in anything."
"You've a point there... but don't you think she'd look.. I don't know..."
"Well... I don't know.. do you want me to picture her walking down the aisle?"
"No, you fool, just in the dress."
So he did. And he wouldn't tell, but it was the most beautiful thing he could ever think of.
"Did she say anything about it to you?" George asked, interrupting his thoughts.
"Uh, no, she just looked at it, sadly I suppose, thinking about it now..."
"I've heard her father has expressed his wishes for her to marry.."
"Yes, I heard it from Doctor Ogden. She was telling Detective Murdoch about it... seems she's not keen on the options..."
So he was going to lose her before he'd even had a chance, and yet, he still wouldn't confess his feelings.