“Your fiancé worked there,” the detective finished his statement. “We’ve spoken with Blane and your supply team. They said the same thing. They said they had already found a new supplier but were waiting for you to make the final decision. What was the hold up?”
“Ashforth Pipe Supply started around the time my parents founded Lipson Construction. The two companies kind of grew up together. Mabel Ashforth was a friend of my mother’s. I knew what losing our business would mean. I had planned to meet with Mabel… I thought she was still running the company… to discuss the problems.”
“Mr. Norsen completed the termination of business with Ashforth Pipe Supply while you were in the hospital,” the detective said. “He effectively closed the company.”
Jacob nodded his head.
“The employees report that they heard you yell at Mr. Ashforth.”
“I was very angry,” Jacob said.
“Because your fiancée was mistreated.”
“More than that. While I attempted to work with them, went out on a limb for them, they were lying to me.”
“About the ownership changes?” the detective asked.
“Yes. I’m sure our guys told you but we really bent over backwards to continue our relationship with them. I personally went way out of my way to keep them in business. So, yes, I was angry. But I never threatened him or his children or Mabel for that matter. I remember getting Katy’s medicine then going out to the car. I was excited about spending time with Jill and having a rare, free evening. I wouldn’t give up time with Jill to harass some poor family, a friend of my mother’s no less.”
“Getting a child’s medication from the company refrigerator doesn’t exactly sound like someone who is out of control or violent, Sergeant,” Samantha said.
“They say different things,” the detective said. “You’re saying he attacked you out of the blue. Completely unprovoked.”
“I can’t speak to his motivations,” Jacob said. “I was walking across the sidewalk and he hit me. I didn’t see it coming. My father told me it was a twenty pound pipe wrench but I never saw it.”
“That’s what the officers say,” the detective said. “The attack is corroborated by a video surveillance camera. Your statements differ on the events that happened inside his office. Mr. Ashforth says he was reasonably provoked.”
“Listen, the Ashforths lied to my client for almost a year,” Samantha said. “They’re lying now.”
“Is there anything you’d like to add?” the detective looked up from his notepad to Jacob. “Sir? Mr. Marlowe?”
“I’m sorry,” Jacob said. “I don’t feel well. I had this acupuncture treatment… It seems to have worn off.”
“This interview is over, Sergeant,” Samantha said. “My client is still very ill.”
Standing, Samantha walked to the door of the small sitting room. Opening the door, she found Blane waiting for Jacob. Blane helped Jacob from the room. Samantha watched them move into a nearby bedroom.
“I’ll walk you out, Sergeant,” Samantha said. “This place is like a maze. You can easily get lost here.”
The retelling of Celia’s Puppies, Denver Cereal Volume 2, continues tomorrow…
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