~All That Remains~
Allison opened the bag and spilled its contents out on the table. All the evidence taken from the scene and all the reports that had been written up now lay spread before her. There was a purse, and a small, leather bag which held all the contents taken from it, a coin pouch that still jingled with coins, and a few other personal articles. Among the reports was a detailed drawing of the scene itself, including the position of the body when it was found, and a full account of the state of the body written down after it was taken to the coroner. Once she’d examined the reports, she set them aside and poured the contents of the purse out onto the table.
Various cosmetics, the likes of which any proper lady would always have close at hand, a small hand mirror, and several articles of jewelery. As with the coins, they’d not been taken following the attack, excluding robbery as a possible motive. Allison sat for a moment and stared down at the tiny pile of personal effects. This was all that was left of a young woman’s life. A few trinkets, a few baubles, a few coins, nothing of particular import.
Amidst the pile, something caught her eye. She brushed away some of the larger articles and picked up what appeared to be the head of a match, red and unburned. There was nothing particularly strange about it, being merely a match head like any other. But what would Mrs. Celeste have been doing with it? There was no evidence that she smoked and it was unlikely that she was the sort of person to go around lighting candles or fireplaces. A woman of her standing would have someone else do that for her. Of course, it could just as easily have fallen into her purse in any number of places. It might have no bearing on the case whatsoever…