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.You can see why now.All he had to do was lean over and…and…’‘It’s not quite as straightforward as that, is it? For instance you’ve just said that your father knew nothing of your decision to hand over the money until he talked to Craigie.’‘That’s right.’‘At seven o’clock.’‘Yes.’‘So why would he take the knife at five o’clock?’‘Oh…’Troy wondered how she’d cope with that one.Always pleased to see anyone disconcerted, he strolled over and placed himself behind Barnaby to watch.‘Well…the money need not have been the only reason.I’d been talking about this place.Telling him how content I was.’‘Surely no one could take offence at that?’‘You don’t know him.He’s terribly jealous.He can’t bear me to be happy with anyone.After I left home he used to hang round in doorways and spy on me.’ She reached out and picked up the bag with the glove.‘Did he wear this as well?’‘We’re presuming whoever handled the knife wore it, yes.’‘It’s a left-handed glove.He’s left-handed.They were in the kitchen as well.What more do you want? And May getting upset was the perfect distraction.’‘Trouble about that, Miss Gamelin,’ perching on the table edge, Troy repeated her name with some satisfaction, ‘is that it rather works against the premeditation theory.As he hadn’t been here before, how was he to know things would take such a dramatic turn?’‘You’re going to let him wriggle out of it aren’t you?’ She glared at Troy with contemptuous disgust as if he were infinitely bribeable.‘I should have known.Money gets you off any hook.’Troy was furious.He was a lot of awful things but he was not corrupt, nor would he ever be.‘You keep your bloody insults to—’‘All right.Enough.’ The words were quietly spoken but Troy connected with the chief inspector’s gaze, slid off the table, turned away.Barnaby realised that the determinedly exclusive cast of his present witness’ thought made further questioning pointless.Running out of factual evidence, there was a real danger she’d start dreaming something up.He let them both go and turned on his bag carrier.‘What do you think you’re about, Troy? Letting yourself be provoked by a bit of a girl?’‘Yeh…well…’‘Well what?’‘Nothing.Sir.’Barnaby checked his list and sent the young constable for Mr Gibbs.Troy stood, stiff-backed, staring down at the old Gestetner.It had a yellow sticker refusing Nuclear Power with a polite ‘No Thanks.’ The mildness of Barnaby’s reprimand in no way mitigated, to Troy’s mind, its hurtful timing.To be pulled up like that in front of a policeman still damp behind the ears, plus two members of the public, was unforgivable.Crashingly insensitive to the feelings of others, Troy’s own sensibilities were fragile to a fault.He was on his high horse at the merest hint of criticism.‘See if you can get some water.I’m parched.’‘Right.’ Troy moved with Jeevesian formality towards the door.‘And refuse all alternatives.Especially that unspeakable substitute for Ronseal.I wouldn’t clean my drains with it.’When Troy opened the door, Guy Gamelin was there.He moved forwards and the sergeant immediately took several steps back.‘I’m returning to my hotel now.I should be there until tomorrow morning.Chartwell Grange, outside Denham.’Barnaby rose to his feet.‘Mr Gamelin,’ and indicated the empty chair.‘A few things I’d like to ask before you leave.’The two men sized each other up.Guy remained standing.He also remained uncooperative, saying, ‘Can’t say’ or ‘No idea’ to Barnaby’s first few questions.And he declined the invitation to draw a sketch.‘I don’t remember where I was, let alone anyone else.With the exception of that stupid cow mooing and rolling about on the floor.’‘You don’t have a lot of time for this organisation then?’‘A load of self-deceiving weak-minded histrionic wankers.’‘In that case you can’t have been pleased to find your daughter living here.’ At this remark, Guy’s formidable jaw thrust forward slightly and his breathing quickened.But he did not reply.‘I understand,’ continued Barnaby, ‘that you and she have been estranged for some years.’‘If you choose to believe the gutter press.’‘Isn’t it true then?’‘Moderately.Not that it’s any of your bloody business.’The adverb seemed inappropriate.Gamelin struck the chief inspector as a most immoderate man, the sort to fly from one extreme of heightened emotion to another.‘Tell me—had you met Craigie before this evening?’‘No.’‘What was your opinion of him?’‘He was a con man.’Takes one to know one.Troy was staring enviously at the watch on Gamelin’s wrist.A glittering oval of pale gold and crystal with an immaculate display of Roman numerals all on a platinum trellised band.Cost me a few years’ salary that, thought the sergeant.‘He was trying to take Sylvie for half a million.But I’ve no doubt you’ve discovered that by now.’ Barnaby went in for a bit of ambiguous throat-clearing.And waited.‘I’ve come across some shysters in my time—the City’s full of them—but he was something else.He not only tried to dissuade Sylvie from giving the money.He asked me to talk her out of it as well.’‘Wasn’t that a bit risky?’‘Not at all.You don’t understand how these fakers work.That’s the final move.Like the end of a haggle in the market place.The customer walks away knowing he’ll be called back because he’s got the whip hand.All this pretence made Craigie look good, y’see.Reinforced the saintly image.’There was something in the voice and in the bloodshot piggy eyes that did not quite ring true.Or marry with the words.What was it? Envy? Disappointment? A failure of belief? It could even have been, thought Barnaby, desolation [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]