Stepping off the train at
Returning to Cyril Galloway’s little antique shop early on the day after he’d first called there, he’d been hopeful of good news on the medals. He wondered now when the thought first occurred to him that he might take a cut of their value. Had it been a dream, as he drifted off to sleep in the bedroom of the small bed and breakfast he’d found the previous night? It probably didn’t matter. What did matter was that, when Cyril Galloway had welcomed him into his shop, he’d noticed his wide smile.
“Ah … Mr McAllistair! Won’t you come in! I believe I have some good news for you.”
Colin had nodded, and entered the small office situated just off the larger room, taking a seat that
“Well, I should perhaps start by saying I could find nothing at all about your Jonathan Harcourt, other than that he was a writer on the Daily Herald. I suppose, perhaps, that you already knew this?”
“Yes. Quite a celebrated one, from what I could gather,” he’d said.
“I may as well get to the point, Mr McAllistair. After you left last night I made a long-distance call to
“I discussed the medals with a collector in
Colin recalled how he had struggled to hide his astonishment. It was 1970. That was almost enough to buy a small flat in
“I would say … that’s amazing!”
“Well, I have his authority to buy them from you here and now. They are very important medals, you see. He seems to think that there may only ever have been two sets issued. Of course, it may take a day or two for the money to transfer. But he’s a reputable person, Mr McAllistair, and if he says he wants to offer £2,000, that seems to me a more than fair and reasonable amount,”
Thoughts of Jonathan Harcourt receiving a handsome cheque from a Spanish museum suddenly seemed to have been displaced in Colin McAllistair’s mind. Instead, he was thinking how, when he left
“I would be obliged very much if you could sell them, then, Mr Galloway,” he found himself saying.
McAllistair’s mind did the maths in a trice: £50 - a handsome payment for a simple telephone call, he’d thought, but a price he’d have to pay.
And so, it was agreed that McAllistair would leave the medals with
Months had passéd, and many bank statements had been studied, before McAllistair realized that the cheque was not going to be cashed. He wondered, then, whether Jonathan Harcourt might perhaps have died.