Monday, 31 March 2008

bees (3)

This is part 3.
See all parts...

A car, dark and oversized, stops outside my house. This time I am expecting it. I watch the man, short with a slightly furtive look that is barely hidden by the good suit and haircut, get out of the car and say something quietly to the man at the wheel. I watch him walk up my short path before I go to the door to let him in.

"Gordon." I say. "Come in."

He smiles, although his eyes betray a reluctant pain. It is hard to know whether it is his usual troubles at home or something altogether larger. Close up I see that he is aging well, a touch of distinguished grey frames his temples and his aging skin seems to be bringing out a nobility that was lacking when we first met.

We go through to the kitchen. The remnants of the tea I had been making earlier sits there, almost cool. I offer to make him a cup but he declines. He wants to get straight to business.

I explain everything that happens and he listens quietly, nodding every now and then or asking for a word of clarification. Finally he blows out a long breath and reaches into his pocket. From it he pulls out a photo. It is blurred and and creased but it is unmistakably the man who has taken my machine.

I simply nod affirmation.

"It's no fault of yours, old man." He tucks the photo away again, neatly. "He used to be one of ours. That's why he knew about you, and the codes to use, although how he got hold of them is another matter."

"He worked for the service?" I ask more for confirmation of my amazement.

"He was a good man, we thought."

There is a knock at the door. Outside it stands the driver of the car, also dark suited and with anonymously handsome features.

"Sir." He calls quietly. "Major Lestrade, a call has come through on the radio. They say he's been spotted, on the road back to London. They are waiting for orders."

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