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.The Doctor, Fitz and Anji all looked back at him blankly.‘Oh, I see.Of course – you’re all bolshies, too, I take it.Very well.Shan’t talk about it.’‘I’m not a Bolshevik, you old fool,’ cried Hilary from the depths of his armchair.‘I’m not a Marxist or a liberal or anything.I’m totally nonpolitical.’‘Have it your own way.I’m having a cup of tea.Anyone?’They all murmured that they’d like a cup of tea.Anji felt a bit sorry for Hilary, drinking on his own.There was something slightly pathetic about it.‘There have been Pinks in Marpling since 1647,’ said Hilary morosely after his brother had left the room.‘Peripheral aristocracy, the lot of them.I’m the first to break with tradition – no job, no prospects, no bother.’‘But a very nice Bentley,’ Fitz pointed out.Hilary raised his glass and smiled.‘But a very nice Bentley.’The Doctor, Anji suddenly realised, had drifted off to the far side of the room, apparently taking no interest in the conversation at all.He had been 21inspecting the well-stocked bookshelf on the far wall; his head tilted at an angle to read the spines.‘Your reading matter is quite varied,’ he commented.‘My own books are mixed up with George’s, I’m afraid.His are the great works, the classics.Mine are the penny dreadfuls.’‘I see.Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities next to Burroughs’ Warlord of Mars.Which is which?’Hilary laughed, genuinely and warmly.‘I met Edgar Rice Burroughs once,’ said the Doctor.‘Had a nice chat about Mars.I think he was only half-listening, though.’Hilary sat up, immediately interested.‘You’ve met him? Have you ever read Tarzan of the Apes?’The Doctor was still examining the books.‘Met him, too,’ he muttered, apparently distracted.‘ Met him.?’Further discussion was prevented when Squire Pink returned with a large silver tray full of china cups and saucers, a tall silver teapot and a bowl of sugar.Anji thought he couldn’t be all that bad if he was prepared – and able– to rustle up a cuppa at the drop of a hat.‘Gosh, George,’ said Hilary.‘You’ll be digging over the garden next and cleaning out the gutters.’‘Don’t be facetious.Finish that damn drink and go about your business for the day.’ Squire Pink put the tray down on a table and glowered at his brother.‘I must say your new friends seem far better behaved than you.Why don’t you push off and leave them here with me?’‘Shall I be mother?’ asked Fitz, picking up the teapot, but everyone ignored him.‘I’ve got to go into the village later,’ said Squire Pink.Anji wasn’t sure whether he was talking to his brother or addressing the room in general.‘Some business with Tom Carlton and the church roof needs settling, and I’ve arranged to meet him.You’re welcome to stay here if you can stand Hilary’s company any longer.’‘We’ll be fine, I’m sure,’ said Anji, with a little smile at Hilary.‘Don’t let him drag you down, Miss Kapoor,’ warned the Squire.‘Everyone should have standards.’Anji, unsure how to respond to this, just smiled sweetly and took the cup and saucer proffered by Fitz.As he passed it to her his hand wobbled and hot tea sloshed over the lip of the cup on to Anji’s thumb.‘Ow! Fitz!’‘Sorry,’ he said, but he was looking the other way.Out of the window.‘Thought I saw something.’Anji sucked her thumb.‘What?’‘I don’t know.Something moving in the garden.Right at the bottom – I 22thought it was a person.’‘Shouldn’t be anyone out there,’ said Squire Pink, peering through the French windows.‘Are you sure?’‘Well – yes, look! There they are again!’ Fitz was pointing to a large rhododendron bush at the bottom of the garden, but all Anji could see was dense foliage.‘There’s someone there, I tell you!’‘It might be an animal,’ suggested Anji.‘A cat, or even a fox, perhaps.’Fitz shook his head.‘No, I’m sure it was a person.A man.’‘We’ll soon see about that,’ declared the Squire, heading for the doors.He strode out into the garden and marched across the lawn.When he reached the bushes, he gave them a good shake and peered into the gloom behind the leaves.Then he turned around and shook his head, shrugging.‘You’re imagining things,’ said Anji.‘No I’m not,’ insisted Fitz.‘There was someone there.Watching us.I’m sure of it.’‘Then where’ve they gone?’‘ I don’t know.I’m just telling you what I saw!’‘You’re getting jumpy in your old age, that’s your problem.’ Anji tried to laugh it off, but it was unlike Fitz to be so sincere.He was actually getting quite angry: ‘I know what I saw!’They were all distracted by a sudden noise coming from the piano.The Doctor had meandered past it and was running his fingers along the keys.‘Fitz is right,’ the Doctor said without looking up.‘What?’‘There was someone in the garden watching us,’ the Doctor went on.‘Probably the same someone who was watching us in the village when we first arrived.And followed us all the way here.’‘What?’ Anji said again, incredulous.‘I knew it!’ Fitz hissed with satisfaction.Anji was now feeling quite alarmed.‘Someone followed us? Who?’‘And if you were aware of them all along,’ said Hilary Pink, crossly, ‘why the devil didn’t you say something?’Everyone was staring at the Doctor, but his face was a picture of innocence, as if he couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about.His fingers picked out a few more bars of a tune on the piano before he said, ‘Well, whoever it was obviously didn’t want to be noticed.They were very well hidden.Who it was or why they were watching us I don’t know.But I’m sure that, in the fullness of time, they will make themselves known to us.’Only then did Anji vaguely recognise the tune the Doctor had played: ‘Para-noid’ by Black Sabbath.Suddenly it didn’t feel much like a holiday any more.23Chapter FiveJode hit the road at a run and kept on going.He had to take a chance on being seen in the open.Ahead was another hedgerow, and beyond that a sizable thicket in which he could lose himself.His boots struck the tarmac with very little noise.Everything Jode wore was designed to reduce the sound he made as he moved, or help camouflage him.It had worked beautifully in the village itself, and then on the country lanes as he followed the trio from the police box.But it wasn’t foolproof, and some fool had spotted him from the window at the back of the big house.He’d only just made it over the wall in time, cracking his shins badly as he scrambled over the coping.He’d really had to put all his trust in his camouflage at that moment.Then he had simply sprinted for the better cover on the far side of the road.Now he would be practically invisible [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]