Chapter 28: Chris And Ceri Subbe

Previous: Lloyd Phillips

Gareth Williams' brother-in-law, Chris Subbe
After Lloyd Phillips had departed, Gareth Williams' sister Ceri and her husband Chris joined us in the study.

"Thank you for coming to see us," said Holmes to the young couple.

"It's an honour, sir," said Chris Subbe. "It's been such a horrible tragedy for the family. The press seem to be lined up against us -- for what reason, we do not know. But if not for you and Dr. Watson, we would be facing this all alone, sir."

"Tell us about your brother-in-law," said Sherlock Holmes.

"He was fun," said Chris, "funny, and very friendly, sir. It was a joy to speak with him. He always provided subtle and thoughtful conversation."

"We've been told he was very quiet," said Holmes.

"He was, sir," said Chris. "He spoke softly and slowly, and you had to pay attention to catch what he was saying. But he was always worth listening to, sir."

"We understand he was a very gifted mathematician," said my friend.

"Oh yes, sir," replied Chris. "He was unbelievably gifted, Mr. Holmes. But he remained so modest and humble, he was a source of joy to his family."

"When did you last see him?" Holmes asked.

"It was in June," said Chris. "Ceri and I spent a day in London, and we met Gareth for lunch at The Ritz."

"How did he seem?" asked Holmes. "Was he happy?"

"Yes, sir," Chris replied. "He was in fine spirits. We spent the afternoon with him, laughing and joking the whole time."

"Did he ever give you the impression that anything was bothering him?" my friend inquired.

"No, Mr. Holmes," replied Chris. "Never."

Gareth Williams' sister, Ceri Subbe
Holmes turned to Ceri and said, "Tell me about your brother."

"I adored him, Mr. Holmes," said Ceri. "He was both brother and best friend to me. It's a horrible loss, sir."

"Were you in the habit of speaking with Gareth frequently?" asked Holmes.

"When he was in the country, yes, sir," replied his sister. "Sometimes he would travel to the United States for work, and the time difference could be a problem. But when he was in England, we spoke to each other at least a couple of times a week."

"When was the last time you spoke with Gareth?" inquired my friend.

"Well, sir," replied Ceri, "I'm not sure whether I can answer that question."

"Have you forgotten the answer?" asked Holmes.

"No, sir," said Ceri.

"Well then?" prompted Holmes.

"I'm sorry, sir," said Ceri, "but I've been instructed not to talk about it."

"By whom?" inquired the detective.

"I'm not at liberty to say, sir," she replied.

"Can you tell us whether you phoned the police and asked them to check on Gareth on August 23rd?" asked Holmes.

"No, sir," Ceri replied, "I'm afraid I cannot answer that."

"Have you been instructed not to do so?" Holmes asked.

"Yes, sir," said Ceri.

"Who gave you those instructions?" Holmes asked again.

"I'm, sorry, sir, I can't tell you that," said Ceri.

"Was there a time when you were able to answer such questions as these?" the detective asked.

"Yes, sir," she said.

"When was that?" he asked.

"When we first found out about Gareth, sir," said Ceri. "I spoke quite freely with family members in the next day or two."

"But then something happened?" asked Holmes.

"Well, sir," she replied, "I was invited down to London by the police. They said they wanted my help, sir, but, um, well, I don't think I should say any more, Mr. Holmes. I have probably said too much already."