Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Chapter 73

By the time Harry McFry left the bar, it was already dark outside. He’d spent most of the rest of his time there thinking about Dr Dacre Lawrence. What was it that Lillian had recalled him saying? His father was a cousin to Thomas McFry. She didn’t seem to know much about the supposed family link, whatever it was. Harry had formed the distinct impression that Lillian, in some way, resented Thomas McFry. Yet she’d gone off to live with him after the war. It didn’t make sense. But the link to the Lawrences did - almost. Especially with that reference to the Margaret Lawrence who was the witness at Philip McFry and Colleen Blyth’s wedding, according to the certificate. Maybe Margaret was a sister to Dacre’s father? He’d have to check it out – or maybe ask Danny to follow it up. What was the use in having an assistant if he couldn’t ask him to tie up the loose ends, after all?

As he walked the damp streets back to his flat, he tried to keep in mind that, the next day, he’d be in Madrid. Late January in Madrid – it could equally well be raining over there, too, he thought. But at least Ana was there…


Harry didn’t need to ask Danny to check up on Margaret Lawrence. He was already doing it. Back home, which was a room in his parents’ house, Danny was busily interrogating whatever online records he could find – starting with the Birth, Marriage and Deaths records at Ancestry.com. Sometimes, you didn’t need to get a certificate. Sometimes, a name was so ‘different’ that it just jumped out of the records at you. And a name like ‘Dacre’ was one of those names. There were hundreds of Lawrence births every year – but there couldn’t be many Dacres, surely? Within half an hour of trawling the index, he’d found it. Dacre Lawrence was born in the December Quarter of 1946, and the record showed that his mother’s maiden name was Speilmann. The birth was registered in Thirsk, North Yorkshire. Expertly, Danny switched to another online service, where he looked for a marriage between a Lawrence and a Speilmann between 1945 and 1947. He found a marriage of a John Lawrence to a Margaret Speilmann in the March Quarter of 1946. Again, registered in Thirsk. That could only be her – no other Margaret Speilmanns were showing up in the right period. Wait until he told Harry this! He wondered whether Harry’s source at Southport worked weekends. It would be nice to see the certificate – to see if John’s father might even be any relation to the Anne Lawrence who had married James McFry? He picked up the number and dialled Harry’s flat, but there was no answer – just the eventual click of the answer phone. He left a message, outlining his findings. ‘Now,’ he thought, ‘better get that bag packed ready for tomorrow,’ and he spent the next hour looking for his passport, and sorting out what he’d need for a weekend in Madrid.

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