Harry closed the office door, pausing as he did so in the hope that the fax would ring. He was acutely conscious of the gaps that still existed in their knowledge – the low scores on the flip chart sheets next to some of the main players’ names. But it didn’t. Linda had let him down. He been sure she’d come through, had expected to have the certificates in his hand before Lauren arrived. He was worried she might have put herself out on a limb, and the bough had broken. As it was, he knew, now, that they’d just have to wing it: it would all depend on how Lillian wanted to play it, and he hoped to God that
“You OK?” Henry had asked, noticing that Harry looked pre-occupied.
“Sure, Henry. Good to see that Mrs Shipman’s back.”
Henry had raised his eyebrows. “Good?”
“Well,” Harry had replied, distractedly, “you know…” and he’d made his way back up the stairs to his office, leaving a puzzled plant-waterer in his wake.
He’d entered the room just as Danny had finished his call to Lillian. He’d looked at the fax machine, and saw it was lifeless.
“Nothing through, then?” he’d asked, trying not to seem too worried.
“No,” Danny had said. “But the good news is Lillian’s quite happy for us to call to see her today. And we can take
“You didn’t tell her?” Try though he might, Harry couldn’t mask his alarm.
Danny had looked at Harry. “Of course not,” he’d said, checking that his colleague was calming down. “I told her she was called Ana. Sorry, Harry. It was the first name…”
Harry tried not to seem annoyed. OK. If it had to be Ana, it had to be Ana.
“Fair enough, I suppose. Don’t worry about it,” he’d said.
He’d told Danny to wait in the foyer.
Now, as he made his way back downstairs, he placed the briefcase on the top step for a moment, while he lit a cigarette and started thinking how best to approach Lillian.
He was thinking, too, about how two sisters had come to play a remarkable role in this case. Danny mentioning Ana’s name, and the realization that
“Thanks,” she said. “Now. Who’s going to navigate?” With that, she turned sharply in the street and headed fast down to the flyover, and onto the road that would take them as quickly as possible to the motorway, and on down to