Saturday 14th July 2012
A former acquaintance rings a bell
DAN’S suggestion that we hide our identities behind masks – like the figure pursued by Morse Hell-Shock in the Rhetan tale of The Boundless Evil of Hark – met with Brendan’s firm approval.
“Nobody can keep Ulla cooped up for one day, let alone several.”
With Louise out shopping and the two men again engrossed in the business of keys, codes and cupboards, I spoke to Jenny on the telephone.
Her train journey to London had been uneventful; Harriet had met her at the station; they were now sitting in front of a roaring fire, drinking a third bottle of wine.
“We saw you on the news. Aitch is going to get all the papers. I might start another scrapbook. Any idea where you’ll be on Chris Muss day?”
“No. Brendan and I are at a house of his friends. They have the sights of London on a computer.”
“That won’t be much fun. Tell Brendan to get his act together and make a fuss of you.”
The door alarm sounded. I assumed it was Louise returning. Jenny and I agreed to speak again the following day. Dan headed into the hallway.
“Might be Carol Singers,” he muttered.
It was a woman, certainly, but not one called Carol. I recognised the voice immediately.
“Good afternoon. I have some of your guests’ belongings. And I’d be grateful if I could come in for a few seconds to speak to Virgulle. The Pry Minister has asked me to give her a message. In person.”
“How the hell?”
Brendan looked concerned. I pointed to my back, reminding him of the device attached to my wing, which allowed Guvver Munt always to know my whereabouts.
I left the room. There was no reason why Dan should have to admit another unexpected visitor into his home.
“Ah, there you are,” she called down the hall. “We had a room booked for you at the hotel, but I gather you have found alternative accommodation.”
“Do you know her?” asked Dan, stepping aside as I approached the door.
She scowled in the manner I remembered only too well from many days spent in Isobel Luthers’ disagreeable company.