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generations back. Even if I cross-referenced them all and tried to eliminate those where the dates don t
work out, there d be an unwieldy number left.
 Is there no further clue to be found? Nothing amongst all those papers you brought back from Kent?
 Not as far as I can see. My grandmother was either too proud or too careful to leave anything that
someone might have come across. Even MacBride knows nothing. Orlando sighed, dragging his hand
along a set of railings in frustration.  I have no idea who I really am and it s starting to gnaw at me. He
stopped, halting his lover with a touch to his arm.  I woke up this morning as low as I ve felt in years. You
know how I hate not being able to solve a problem, whether it s maths or murder. This one just seems to
have no possible solution.
Lessons in Trust
Jonty measured his response, resisting all temptation to plough in and potentially make things worse
with platitudes, no matter how heartfelt they would have been.  There must be a solution. I m not sure we
can safely identify your father your grandmother probably took that secret to her grave but she was born
into a family, that s a simple fact whose existence can t be disputed, a concrete reality like the centre of a
maze. You look at the mass of hedges and wonder how you ll ever get there, but you do in the end. It s just
working out the path. He laid his hand on his lover s arm.  And there s no hurry, is there? We ve all the
time we want to explore dead ends or come back on ourselves.
 I want to know now, Jonty. The use of a Christian name in public, only usually allowed on
holidays, indicated how distressed Orlando was.  I ve told myself that we can research this mystery for as
long as we wish the rational, objective part of my brain understands that perfectly well. The subjective
part says that I ll go mad if I don t get it sorted soon. Orlando took another long sigh, one which seemed
to come up from his shoes and course along his spine.  You know who you are. I d always assumed I knew
who I was. And now&  He turned out his palms in a gesture of confusion.
 You re still my Orlando, no matter what your lineage. That can t change. Jonty smiled but his heart
wasn t in it. He d never felt quite so worried about his best friend.
They found the house they wanted and not a moment too soon, given the awkward silence which had
grown between them. It was pleasant, if not of absolute tip-top quality, in a nice enough street just
northwest of the station. The whole road made an agreeable contrast, with the white house fronts gleaming
in the sun, to the open space which lay opposite, a mass of different greens now that summer was in full
bloom. The place they sought lay about halfway along the row, a well-kept property with spotless
paintwork, the landlady being clearly a good and proud housekeeper. They already knew it was a boarding
house, from the carefully careless enquiries Jonty had made at the local grocer s shop en route, where the
delivery boy had proved particularly informative.
 Come on then. Jonty broke the quiet.  Let s face Dolores or whoever the lady he s got ensconced
here will turn out to be. They knocked at the door then raised their hats politely when it was opened by a
timid-looking maid.  We re here to make some enquiries about Mr. Robshaw. Jonty smiled, amused to see
how red the poor girl was turning.
 Oh. I ll fetch Mrs. Lawson. The maid turned straight on her heels and left the pair to fiddle with
their hats on the doorstep.
Mrs. Lawson was clearly from the same mould as Mrs. Ward, a similar build, a similarly sensible set
of clothes and an identically wary expression turning to a beaming smile when she saw her visitors and
observed the elegant bows they made.
www.samhainpublishing.com 57
Charlie Cochrane
 Please come into the guests parlour. She ushered them into a spotless hall and through to an
equally spotless room, one fitted with neat, elegant furniture.  You ll be wanting Mr. Robshaw?
 Well, we were hoping to find out when he was last here. Something in the tone of the landlady s
voice gave Jonty the clue that they were off kilter somewhere.
 He s here now. You re lucky to catch him he s soon to be away on business. I ll just go and fetch
him. Mrs. Lawson made something which was almost a curtsey and left.
Orlando fiddled some more with his hat.  What does she mean, she ll fetch him?
 What she says. There s a Mr. Robshaw living here and it s clearly not the man we saw dead in the
chair. Jonty took off his spectacles and polished them on his handkerchief, delighting in the fact his mama
wasn t there to see him and tell him off for risking a scratch to the lenses.  As a mystery, this gets better
and better.
Mr. Robshaw was clearly alive, bounding through the door and shaking both visitors hands.
 Gentlemen, please take a seat. Mrs. Lawson says you have some questions for me may I ask what this is
all about?
 We have no idea what it s about, to be honest. There s a puzzle and we hoped you might be able to [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]