In just a few minutes, Harry and Danny had established that Dacre Lawrence had assembled a collection of certificates that were almost a perfect mirror of the ones they’d ordered from their contact in
Danny, though, was puzzled. “I don’t get it, Harry. There’s nothing to suggest Dacre Lawrence had an interest in family history. Where did he get these? And how come he got them so quickly?” The same questions had occurred to Harry almost as soon as Dave Morris had mentioned the papers he’d received from Mabel Harris.
They were bent over the tiny table in the kitchen, which Harry had cleared, and were methodically sorting the certificates, clinically and effectively.
“We can only guess,” Harry said. “You know how long it’s taken us to work through these McFry’s – and that’s with our
“Maybe he brought someone in?”
“It’s possible. If that’s the case, it must have been before he visited Lillian. There’s certainly no way he could have got all this together in the time between him coming here and his subsequent stroke. From what Lillian says, he had about a week to do it, from when
He wondered what Danny would make of it. “There’s one other possibility. Whoever he paid to hack into Ancestry could also have broken into the government database – the one they’ve been developing over the past two years!”
“Of course!” Danny exclaimed. He knew all about the plans for the digital records service, which promised to allow almost instant access to certificates that, until now, needed to be manually searched for. It didn’t seem so incredible that someone with the skill to manipulate online census data could also find a back door into the mountain of information the government was amassing, courtesy of the new project.
Harry was thinking about Galloway and
“You realize this is probably a murder we’re dealing with –
“You mean they killed each other?”
“Time will tell – but, yes. We’d be guessing as to what exactly happened. If Dave Morris knows, he isn’t telling. But, look at it this way:
“I still don’t get how
“It’s clear that
Danny was catching up. “That means, he must have discovered Lillian was really a Blyth after his return to Thirsk…”
“Exactly. He must have searched for Lillian McFry in the national patient database using just her address details. That’s how he’d have found her as Lillian Blyth. Morris will be able to confirm that one for us, if we play it carefully.”
It was starting to come together for Danny. “You think there was something in Lillian’s medical records, Harry?”
Harry, though, was changing tack, again. “Maybe. I’m more interested in Stuart McFry. Look at this - Stuart McFry’s marriage certificate, and John Lawrence’s.” Harry laid the two marriage records next to each other. “Notice anything?” he asked Danny.
Danny studied the copy certificates. The one for John Lawrence confirmed the details he’d found in the index. It was Stuart’s – the one Laurel McFry might have sent for, easily enough, had she had the inclination – that made Danny’s pulse quicken.
Harry had turned to look out of the kitchen window. “Maybe we need to bring that cat in, out of harm’s way…” he said, to Danny’s puzzlement.
“The cat?” he asked. “What’s a cat got to do with it?”
Harry swung round to look at his colleague. “Well, it could get messy. Looks like Lillian’s pigeons are about to come home to roost.”