The messages on Harry’s answer phone were all very predictable: Bill, Laurel, Danny. He cursed himself for not clearing it before he’d left for
Only the message from Carrie herself was unexpected, left earlier that day. Her languorous drawl hid implications Harry felt it better not to unpick just now:
“You back yet, Harry? I hear you enjoyed your time in
He shook his head, silently wondering at the stupidity of the night he’d spent at Carrie’s. It had tilted him off balance, and he guessed now that Carrie knew a thing or two about Ana that she hadn’t seen fit to tell him. The whole thing had been a big mistake, that much was for sure: even to spend the night at her place, regardless of what might have happened, had been his folly.
As he made himself a coffee, Harry knew at last what he had to do – and ringing his brother’s ex-wife had to be last on his list. It took a certain courage, which we shouldn’t underestimate, for him to resolve, there and then, to turn his back on his own family – forget about the sorry mess of them – and to turn his attentions, instead, to Laurel McFry. He wanted to know how she was faring.
He’d had the presence, while in
“Hello?” she answered. She sounded a little tentative (wary, even) and certainly not relaxed in the way you might expect someone who was about to come into possession of around £20 million. There was a tiredness, what might be construed as a tension in her voice.
“Oh – thank goodness you’ve rung!” It was like she’d been roused from a sleep. “I … what I mean to say is … all this about the bond. Is it true?”
Harry wondered why she might have doubted him, but tried to put himself in her shoes. Maybe it was just a little incredible, to get a call out of the blue, as she had done last night, telling her the news about the Spanish bond.
“Yes, it’s true alright. It’s sitting in a vault in
“But you still can’t tell me how this has come my way? I hope you appreciate that I haven’t slept a wink, Harry. Is it something to do with my father?”
Harry wondered if he dare tell her his thoughts. He knew it would put her mind at ease. But his thoughts, for the moment, were only a theory, What was more, he knew he had a duty to Lillian McFry not to reveal her existence until such time as she wanted to. If, that was, she ever did.
“No. Nothing to do with your father – at least not directly. All I can say is, I may be in a position to tell you more tomorrow. Danny and I are back in
“So you’re condemning me to another sleepless night, Mr McFry?”
“Seems this case is causing quite a few people sleepless nights,
“That’s fine. Do you want to call around about 10am, or how about I come to the office?”
The office would be better, Harry thought, and arranged that
“And Mr Galloway? You told me to watch out for him. Do I still have to be worried?”
Harry hadn’t expected the question, but knew he’d have to be circumspect.
“Let me be candid,
“Danny’s been doing some digging on the
“He says you told him that Anne Lawrence – who married James McFry – had a brother, John James Lawrence, and that he married an Amy Peterson. You could save us a bit of work if you’ve got the certificate for the
“Don’t make me feel more of an amateur than I already am, Harry – please!”
Harry hadn’t meant to come across that way, and pulled himself back.
“OK – no offence meant,
“Speilmann. That sounds like it might be a German name, Harry.”
If she’d been in his flat,