Side window/Natural Causes/Baseball Bat

Two bodies merited at least a detective inspector, and it fell to the lot of D.I Staines, who chose D.S. Stubbs and D.C. (Gym-shoe) Traynor as his support group.
It was not a pleasant task. The bodies had remained undiscovered for at least a week, according to the forensic specialist accompanying SOCCO. The green faced young constable with his head between his knees on an outside garden seat had been called by the neighbours complaining of the smell emanating from the small side window.
D1 Staines and his companions also escaped to the garden. “How do they do it?” asked Terry Traynor, her face almost the colour of her fellow constable’s. “They wipe a dab of Vick under their nose, said the experienced detective sergeant.
The DI called his troops to order.
“Did the old man kill the burglar? Or did the burglar kill him, and if so, who topped the burglar?” The scene was etched on their minds: The old man, sitting upright in his bed, firmly clutching a baseball bat in his wrinkled hands in a two-handed grip, the young intruder lying dead on the floor with a crushed skull.
“But the old man was sitting in his bed. The bed-clothes still up to his waist. The youngster’s corpse was as least three feet away,” said Stubbsie. “And the old boy would have had to stand up to hit him on the head, he was a tall lad.”
‘Could the Old Man have gone back to bed, after bopping the boy?” suggested Gym-shoe. “And kept hold of the bat in case he didn’t stay dead?”
‘Another puzzler,” said Staines, “Is why was the Old Man there in the first place? it isn’t the master bedroom. That has a far more comfortable bed. The Death room is obviously a spare bedroom. He lived here alone in this big house. Why on earth did he want to spend the night there?”
“And how about that side window,” said Stubbs. “It has a perfectly good catch. It even has a window lock that you can adjust for ventilation. Why was it left open? There is no sign of forced entry.”
“Do we know anything about the householder?” asked the Inspector.
“I had a quick look at the computer before we came out,” said Gym-shoe brightly, anxious to demonstrate her initiative. “His name is Bloggs, was I mean; and he reported a burglary last year. That was before he had the window locks installed at our advice.”
“’Once bitten—Twice shy’ Maybe the whole thing was a trap” said Stubbs.
“A lot depends on what killed the Old Man,” said the inspector.
The SOCO chief joined them in the garden. “We’re through now, the place is yours. They’ve zipped up the bodies and carted them away. The Medics are pretty sure that the Old Man died of natural causes. The youngster’s cause of death was obvious “’Three Strikes and you’re out!”’ and he left, chuckling.
Gym-shoe gawped, she wasn’t yet attuned to the graveyard humour that acted as a shield for
soco.
The other two exchanged grim smiles.
“Well, let’s wrap this one up. Someone has got to identify the lad and notify his parents if he‘s got any.”’

“I’ll look up Juvenile Offenders in the computer,” said the keen Gym-shoe. “Meanwhile, Stubbsie, let’s discuss our report over a Pint.” Said Staines. “Good thinking Guv,” said Stubbs and they left the garden.

by
H. St V. Beechey