The Secret of the Garden, by Arthur Gask

Chapter 3

I felt very ill and it was not until I had had two injections of morphia that I dropped to sleep. The reaction following upon my release from the kennels had been too much for me, and my harassed nerves were almost on the point of breaking down.

The next day the doctor would not allow me to get out of bed and refused resolutely to discuss any details of what had happened the previous evening. He kept dosing me with some filthy tasting concoction and once used the hypodermic syringe again.

‘Make your mind a blank, Cups,’ he kept on saying, ‘and forget everything of the past week. Your nerves are worn out. That’s all it is, and you’ll be right as rain tomorrow when you’ve had some rest.’

But it was three days before I could trust myself to think of the dogs without shaking and nearly a week before I felt well and calm again.

The doctor was kindness itself to me the whole time. ‘You see you’ve had a rotten spell, man,’ he remarked to me one day when I was getting better. ‘That business at the Court was quite sufficient of itself to shake anyone to his foundations, and what happened after nearly put the finishing touch. I quite thought you were in for brain fever.’

Then he went on very seriously. ‘But do you know, friend Cups, we had a much nearer escape that evening than either of us thought. That nosy inspector pretended to be only going over the house in a casual sort of way, just, as he put it, to satisfy them up at headquarters. But, in reality, he was more than suspicious about me. You know how sound carries when rooms are empty. Well, I heard him distinctly tell his men, when I was standing outside, after they had all gone in to make the search, to make jolly sure and not leave a spot unturned anywhere. He said I was just the very kind of man to help a beggar like you to get off. Now what do you think of that?’

I remember I laughed, in spite of the uncomfortable feeling I had.

‘Now, doctor,’ I replied, ‘he wasn’t altogether a bad judge of character, was he?’

‘Well,’ said the doctor grimly, ‘he came a cropper afterwards at any rate, for he went on to suggest to his men that the mad-dog affair, as he called it, was only perhaps, after all, a put-up stunt on my part to blind them. He was a fool there at any rate.’

At last I was allowed to see the newspapers and most interesting reading they were.

For many, many days my affair was the chief topic of interest and discussion. To judge from the general tone of the various articles that appeared, I had become in the public eye almost doubly a hero of romance.

If they had smiled at the way I had escaped from the court in the first instance, they had just rocked with laughter when they learnt of my sojourn in the judge’s house.

Not knowing what a great part pure chance had played in the matter, they imagined that I had come purposely up to Judge Cartright’s residence to make it my temporary home, and the sheer impudence of the idea tickled them immensely.

The ‘Cups of Mirth’, as one of the papers referred to me and, broadly speaking, that was the general impression in the public mind.

When in due course the judge’s supposed letter on ‘Sunday Observance’ appeared in the public press, and in spite of all attempts at secrecy, through the indiscretion of one of the judge’s own servants, the true source of the letter leaked out, the hilarity was redoubled.

Writers in the newspapers opined that one day it would come to be regarded as a classic joke, the music halls took it up and on all sides people were asking each other, ‘What the devil is that Cups going to do next?’

Dr. Carmichael smiled grimly as he read out these references to me and several times remarked cynically that he was sure it would be always the lasting sorrow of my life that I was not out among my friends to enjoy the applause.

But people’s memories are very short, and interest in anything soon dies down. In a few weeks the inevitable happened, everything about me was forgotten, and my name was mentioned in the papers no more.

Then started a long period of quiet and happy association with Dr. Carmichael.

After the events of the first night of my coming over to his house, the doctor had always insisted that at least it would have to be a matter of weeks before I could stand any chance of slipping safely away. So I was to make my home, he said, with him, and together we should get some mutual pleasure out of each other’s society.

I soon fell into the routine of the house and very quickly took on my part in the everyday life we lived. In the mornings I did the house-work and worked in the garden, leaving the doctor free for his literary studies and chemical research. In the afternoons, I did more gardening, and in the evenings only were we together for any length of time.

So high were the walls and so well wooded was the garden, that practically nowhere were we overlooked. But to make things doubly sure, in case of any chance observer, I wore a suit of the doctor’s and one of his old hats. We were not unlike in size and build and with my hat low down over my eyes, I could be mistaken any time for the doctor himself.

The dogs had soon got accustomed to me. For the first few days they had been kept shut up, but as it was I who now always took them their food, we had soon become good friends. Funnily enough, Diana took a particular fancy to me and when I was in the garden, she was nearly always by my side. I rather think she remembered the thrashing the doctor had given her.

Everything in the house was always carried out with regularity and precision. At ten every morning the one and only tradesman called. He brought everything wanted for the house and rang a bell down by the drive-gates to announce his arrival. There was a small wooden window in the wall, of which he had the key. It was his custom to unlock it and put, on the shelf inside, all that had been ordered the previous day. There he found, always ready, the order for the next day. The doctor very rarely saw him and sometimes, he told me, months passed without their exchanging a word.

Every morning and evening the newspapers were thrown over the wall.

The postman was the only other person to have dealings with the house, but even then, he rarely had a letter to deliver.

Occasionally, contrary to the general belief, the doctor went out, but it was nearly always a Friday evening that he chose for these excursions, when the shops were open until late. A short walk and a ten-minute tram ride would then bring him into the city, where no one knew who he was.

He banked at the Bank of All Australia and most of his business was done through the post. When he wanted money, he would draw an open cheque to ‘bearer’, and present it himself, but here again, the cashiers were never aware that it was Dr. Carmichael himself who was confronting them.

All these things I learnt very quickly, and I marvelled how the doctor could have borne his silent lonely life for so long.

‘I was just getting tired of it, Cups,’ he said to me one day, ‘and if you hadn’t come, I might any time have gone outside for a few days to a hotel, just to see what it would be like again. I expect, however, I would have come back soon.’

As I have said, it was the evenings only that we spent together, and our games of chess were what we enjoyed most. Dr. Carmichael had told me he was a strong player and he found that I was one too. There was not the tenth part of a pawn to choose between us, and many were the Homeric struggles that we had over the board. Sometimes I won, sometimes he did, but there was never any certainty about the matter, and in that lay the great charm.

The doctor was also a man of very wide and varied knowledge, and many were the discussions and arguments we had together. I was not by any means an ill-educated man myself and had thought over many of the problems of life with the same interest that he had.

‘I can’t understand you, Cups,’ he said meditatively one evening. ‘You’ve read a lot and you’ve thought a lot and yet at thirty-two you were just content to be a poor ambitionless bank clerk, with nothing to look forward to at all.’

‘Oh, I don’t know,’ I replied evasively. ‘I used to have my dreams like everyone else, I suppose. I was always hoping for some great explosion to come into my life, but I was too lazy to lay the train myself. I thought one day I’d write a book and put all the people in that I hated, under thinly veiled names.’

‘Well, but why did you hate people, Cups?’ asked the doctor curiously.

I shrugged my shoulders. ‘Chiefly, I suppose, because they had more money than I had,’ I said candidly. I went on bitterly. ‘But, no, I didn’t really hate them for that. I hated them for the arrogance their money gave them. Anyone with money is a god, anywhere. Here, you may be the biggest, vilest, ugliest, most diseased blackguard in the state, but if there’s cash behind you, you’re respected. Respected, mind you. People will bow and scrape and try to catch your eye. They’ll have a toadying smile always ready in case you should look their way. They’ll be so pleased if you take any notice of them and if you’re rich enough you can spit on them and they won’t mind. I tell you, I’ve seen it every day in our bank. Look at the racing world. It’s the same there. If you’re rich, you’re respected and you can do any damned thing you like. You can run your horses to suit yourself. They can be ‘on the ice’ one day and the next day you can win as brazenly as you like. You can have the brute’s head pulled off early one week with the jockey lugging him back, and the next week he can go out and win by half a street. But no one will say anything to you if you’re rich and respected. The committees of the racing clubs will invite you to lunch (probably you’ll be on the committees yourself), you can nod rudely to the paid officials and they’ll be only too pleased that you’re taking any notice of them at all. In fact, you can do anything and you’ll still be respected. They only drop on the little people and the poor.’

‘Well, Cups,’ laughed the doctor when I had finished my outburst, ‘don’t you think you rather give yourself away? It’s envy that’s galling you now, because they’re rich and you’re poor. You make yourself out rather a fool too.’

‘What do you mean?’ I asked irritably.

‘Why,’ he said grimly, ‘from what I’ve seen of life, it’s only the fools that are poor.’

I looked at him without replying.

‘Yes,’ he went on frowning, ‘if a man’s got any grit in him, he never remains poor. He gets money somehow.’

‘Then what do you advise?’ I asked sarcastically. ‘Should I take up a life of crime?’

‘Not with that nose, Cups. Your remarkable nasal appendage must bind you to a life of respectability. There can be no dual personalities with you. But seriously what can you do for a living in another state, if you get away?’

‘I’d go on the land,’ I said sullenly, ‘or get a job with horses. I understand something about them.’

‘What does a bank clerk know about horses?’

‘My father was a breeder and till he died I worked with him. All my life, until I was twenty, I spent out in the bush and then, like an ass, I came into the city to live.’

‘Very foolish, Cups. If I had my time over again, I’d live my life in lonely places. There’s peace and happiness there and not the fevered rush for pleasure that kills you in the end.’ He was silent for quite a long while.

‘Well, well,’ he said at last. ‘We must think later on what we’ll do with you, but just now, we’ll have a game of chess.’

I had been with Dr. Carmichael about six weeks, when, one day, in the middle of the morning, he called to me to come into the house.

Rather to my surprise, he took me into the library and, moving a chair forward, bade me sit down in front of the window.

‘Look here, Cups,’ he said, I thought rather hesitatingly, ‘I’ve been thinking a lot about you lately, and how I can manage to get you away. You see, you can’t remain here for ever, man. I like your company very much but, to be quite frank with you, your coming here has upset my ideas. You’ve brought back to me the longing to go into the world again. I rather think now I’ve been a fool to shut myself up here at all. I’ve been like a sulking child. I’m only middle-aged, I’ve plenty of money saved and I’m beginning to realise that one day, I shall be a long while dead.’ He laughed happily. ‘So, you see, Cups, I’m like a boy who wants a spree and I’ve got a proposition to make to you to show you where you come in. Now let’s have a look at you very carefully.’

I wondered what on earth he was driving at, but my easily apparent perplexity seemed only to amuse him. He pulled another chair close up and sat down right in front of me.

‘You see, Cups,’ he said in a cold professional manner, ‘whenever I think of you — getting you away — I am always faced with the same one difficulty — your nose. No, you needn’t laugh, man.’ He shook his head warningly. ‘You won’t do so in a minute.’

‘I only laughed, Doctor,’ I said apologetically, ‘because you look so serious.’

‘And I am serious, Cups.’ He looked at me gravely. ‘What’s your life going to be, if wherever you are you’re always to be haunted by the idea that someone may recognise you suddenly and give you away to the police. The world’s a very small place, you know and, even if I get you away safely from here, there can be no security or lasting peace for you like this.’

I shrugged my shoulders. ‘Well, it can’t be helped. I must put up with it.’

‘I’m not so sure,’ he replied quickly, ‘and that’s what I’ve called you in for. Now let’s make a good examination of your precious nose and I’ll tell you what I can do.’

For quite five minutes he pinched and pulled me about. His next words startled me.

‘Yes, Cups,’ he said decisively, ‘if you’re willing to risk it, I can cut all that bridge away and give you a nose no different from anyone else’s.’

‘Risk it?’ I said enthusiastically, when I had got over my surprise, ‘I’d be delighted if you’d do it. At any rate, you can’t make it look more conspicuous than it does now.’

‘That’s not the risk I mean,’ he said gravely. ‘The operation’s safe enough, but it’s the danger of my having to operate and give you the anaesthetic as well. You see, it’s a very delicate operation at any time, cutting away bone and cartilage so as to leave only the slightest trace of scar. I shall have to take away a good flap of flesh too, and the whole time I shall have to have you deeply under the chloroform so that you don’t make a movement any way. It won’t be a short operation either, and single-handed it will take me a very long time.’

‘Well, I’m willing anyhow,’ I said, still delighted with the idea, ‘and if I do peg out, well, I shan’t know anything about it, anyhow.’

‘That’d be all very nice for you, no doubt,’ the doctor said grimly, ‘but what about me, saddled with a nice fresh corpse in the house in this hot weather?’

‘I never thought of that,’ I replied laughing, ‘but at any rate we could have a good deep grave ready so as to be prepared for anything. I’ll dig it myself under the big fig tree. It’d never be discovered there.’

‘Well,’ said Dr Carmichael, ‘I’ll think it over, but now you can go back to your work.’

For three days the doctor made no further reference to the matter at all and, although I was bursting with expectation, a certain delicacy of feeling forbade me to mention it.

As I thought over it seriously, I realised it was by no means a small matter for him gratuitously to take on so great a risk. Of course, it would be a splendid thing for me, and the very idea of it opened up wonderful vistas of a new life, free from all worry and distrust. I should be able to move freely everywhere again, I thought, and face my enemies with all the security of a man in a mask.

On the fourth day, a Thursday, I remember it was, Dr. Carmichael announced at breakfast that he was going out for the day, but he vouchsafed no reason for his excursion and in accordance with my usual custom I made no enquiry about the why or wherefore of anything.

The whole day I worked diligently in the garden, but, many times, my eyes turned to the big fig tree and I wondered interestedly if I was destined to lie under there. I felt exactly like a gambler who wanted to stake everything on a single throw.

About five o’clock, the doctor returned, and I could see at once by his face that he had some unusual news to impart.

‘Here you are, Mr. Archibald Cups,’ he said grimly, ‘I’ve got a little present for you.’ He took a small packet out of his pocket and handed it to me. ‘Have a good look at it, man, but don’t drop it whatever you do. There are six ounces of chloroform there, and it’s your passport to the open road. You can start digging your grave tomorrow.’

I know I beamed with delight, and I started thanking him in a rather confused way.

‘Tut, Tut, man,’ he exclaimed, brushing me away. ‘Wait till it’s over until you thank me. I’m looking forward to it, quite as much as you. It’s an adventure, Cups, and we’re getting even with the humbugs who would hound us both down.’

That evening at supper he seemed brighter and happier than I had ever known.

‘Yes,’ he said gaily. ‘I’ve quite made up my mind now to give up this place here. When your little affair’s over, we’ll both go out again into the world and have a good time. We’ll travel together, but at first we’ll play round Adelaide and see some of your old pals. It will be a tremendous pleasure to me to take you about where you’re likely to meet those you know and see how they’ll all fail to recognise you. I shall make an excellent job of your nose, and really I think the first person we ought to go and see must be the judge.’

I smiled rather uneasily and shook my head.

‘Nonsense, man,’ he went on, ‘we can easily think of some excuse. You can make out you travel in cigars or else have a new line of sky-blue silk pyjamas to propose.’

He laughed in great enjoyment, but I must confess I felt no little shaking in my shoes. I had certainly no hankering to run unnecessary risks, and the judge was the last person I wanted to see. I was remembering unpleasantly that Judge Cartright was supposed to have a most remarkable memory for faces and it was his boast that he never once forgot a man he had sentenced to punishment, no matter how long the interval of years might be. But there was no chilling the gaiety of Dr. Carmichael and for the moment I let it go.

‘Oh, by the by,’ he said presently. ‘I met your friend Drivel Jones at lunch today, or rather I sat near him in the Australasian Hotel. I learnt it was he from a friend accosting him by name. He talked a lot about racing and certainly does think he’s a big pot. He’s brought a chaser called Babylon over from New Zealand, and when the winter comes, over the fences, he says he’s going to scoop the pool. He’s a big coarse bully, just as you described, and we must try to take him down somehow. I went round afterwards to have a look at the vegetarian chap. I may, of course, have been mistaken, but I quite thought he gave everyone a very searching look as they came into his shop. He’s got a most beefy-looking assistant there too, who was never, I’ll swear, brought up on nuts. An observant chap, that vegetarian, and when he sees you, it’ll be a fine test whether I have been successful or not in altering your appearance.’

I said nothing, but I squirmed at the very idea of this last suggestion and privately made up my mind that whenever I went out, I’d give Pepple’s shop a very wide berth.

It was that arranged the operation should take place on Sunday, and the next day, in preparation, I started digging the grave. I have never quite made up my mind whether the doctor was really serious about that grave or whether he only regarded it as a joke. I really think now that he intentionally made me get it ready to bring home to me the seriousness of the whole affair.

I had ample time for meditation while I was digging it. The ground was terribly hard. We had had no rain for over two months, and every square inch of earth had to be broken with a pick. Two hard days’ work it gave me and when, on the Friday evening, it was finished to the doctor’s satisfaction, my hands were horribly sore and blistered.

‘Quite a nice little resting place, Cups,’ said Dr. Carmichael looking down, ‘and what better could anyone want?’ He stood musingly by the graveside. ‘Yes, after all it’s peace and rest. If we only think and reason, everything tells us that death is rest. Do we die, like Diana, like a dog? Why not? Man is such a vain creature, Cups. He thinks he’s really so important that death can’t possibly be the end of all for him. All his life he’s an animal here. He eats, drinks, sleeps and makes love, just as all animals do, and yet, when death comes and he’s had his fill, he’s quite certain he’s going to start off on some new forms of excitement, all over again, somewhere else. His obsession is that he’s not an animal, and yet every moment of his life should tell him that nature regards him simply as an animal. Same laws, Cups, for men and dogs. Nature makes no distinction here — then why after death!’

‘Really, Doctor,’ I replied laughing, ‘just now, a long glass of cool beer would be far more to my liking than any discussion about death. If I snuff it on Sunday, I shall know all about it then, and I’m quite content to wait now.’

‘You’re a gross materialist, Cups,’ the doctor said, turning to go in, ‘and such men as you are the despair of pious individuals like myself.’

On the Sunday morning early, I lay down on a narrow table in one of the empty rooms. Dr. Carmichael had made me thoroughly spring-clean it the previous day, and the strong odour of disinfectants hung heavy all over the place.

‘Delightful, Cups,’ said the doctor, imbibing deep sniffs, ‘Reminds me of old times. But it’s a pity there’s not a bigger audience here, for I feel in good form today. I’m going to do you justice, man. Now settle yourself comfortably, breathe naturally and let yourself go. Think of the new life before you, in this world — or the next. Fold your hands and close your eyes. Yes, that’s it, you’re doing it very nicely.’

Softly, it seemed, the sickly vapour crept into my lungs, slowly the silence gripped me and then dim, dimmer waned the lights before my eyes. Swiftly the shadows met me — the long dark valley opened — and oblivion came.

It might have been many hours before I awoke, but the doctor told me later it was barely two. I felt terribly knocked about and bruised and with difficulty could breathe through the bandages about my face. I could see nothing and the slightest twitch hurt horribly. My head felt full of lead.

I groaned and immediately the doctor glided up.

‘All right, old man,’ he said very quietly, ‘everything’s over and it’s all gone off A1. I think I’ve made a thoroughly good job of it, but you mustn’t move or open your eyes. I’ve done more than I intended and put in half a dozen little fancy stitches that will quite alter your face. The skin will feel very tight and drawn at first, but I’ll give you a touch of morphia if the pain’s too bad.’

Oh, how I cursed everybody in the next few days. Dr. Carmichael, Judge Cartright, Drivel Jones, Pepple the vegetarian, everyone I had known came under my ban. Myself, perhaps, I anathematised more than anyone else. Why had I been such a fool to allow myself to be cut about like this? Why had I been such an ass to let this mad enthusiast mess about with me? Anything, the Stockade even, would have been preferable to misery like this. I was in the depths of depression. But things were not bad for very long, and in a very few days my spirits and hopes began to revive. At the end of a week I felt almost well, and, when at last the plaster and bandages were removed, I realised most gratefully that the change in my appearance was fully worth the suffering I had undergone.

I remember so well my astonishment when I looked in the mirror. It seemed quite a different person that looked at me back. The great nose was entirely gone and instead there was one, small, that promised to be almost graceful in outline. The shape of my eyes was altered and my eyebrows were straighter and had lost the outward curve.

‘You see, Cups,’ said the doctor proudly, ‘I’ve made quite a nice job of you as I promised. It’s a little bit early to tell what the final result will be, but everything looks very promising. You will be different not only in profile, but also full-face. Taking part of the muscle, as I have done, at the corner of both eyes will make you look quite different when anybody stares you straight in the face. Mind you, when you meet people you’ve known before, you may often find them staring curiously at you, but it will be only the subconscious part of them that will be finding a vague likeness in you, and I am sure that feeling will pass immediately away.’

I thanked him most gratefully, but he only laughed and said I really deserved something for the risks I’d run. Then he went on in a graver tone.

‘There are two things you must always be careful of, Cups. You needn’t worry about the scars, for they will hardly show at all, unless you get very hot, and then they will only appear as little white lines. It is not they that will ever give you away. It’s your walk and your voice. You must set at once about decisively altering both. The walk will be easily done. You must cut the heels of your shoes right off or else reduce them to a minimum. That will throw the style of your walking back and alter your gait. The voice, however, will be a different matter, and you’ll have to train yourself a lot there. I should have liked to have had a snip at your vocal chords when you were under the chloroform, but that’s more than I could manage here. What you must do is to habitually alter the poise of your head. Keep you chin low down and nearer to your chest — that will change the pitch of your voice and give it a deeper tone. Now start on it right away.’

Dr. Carmichael was nothing if not thorough, and from that time forward he continually drilled into me the urgency of disguising my voice. He would no longer allow me to speak in the ordinary way and every evening made me read out loud in the new voice I had assumed.

Just a fortnight and a day after the operation, on a Monday morning it was, he announced his intention of going, the following Saturday, to the Port Adelaide races at Cheltenham.

‘Drivel Jones,’ he said looking up from his paper, ‘is running his great chaser Babylon in the hurdles there, and I’m interested to see what the animal is like. He spoke so cocksure about him the other day when he sat near me at lunch, and the sporting correspondent of the paper here seems inclined to share his confidence. This man says that just now probably only one horse in the Commonwealth could lower his colours at level weights, and that’s Death Arrow from Perth.’

‘Death Arrow’s a five-year-old mare,’ I commented, ‘by Long Bow out of Poisoned Berry. She’s only a hurdler, not a chaser.’

‘Well, a good hurdler makes a good chaser, doesn’t he?’ asked the doctor.

‘Not always,’ I said, ‘and conversely many a good steeplechase horse is often no good over the sticks.’

‘Well,’ he said, smiling, ‘I’ll go and see for myself next Saturday if this great Babylon bears out what you say. At any rate he’s the champion chaser of New Zealand. But come out into the garden now. I’ve got a little job for you.’

He led the way to the big fig tree where I had dug the grave.

‘Now, my boy,’ he said laughing, ‘If you don’t mind, I’ll just get you to fill this in at once. I’m perhaps one of the last men in the world to be superstitious, but twice lately I’ve dreamt of this darned grave, and this morning I woke up just as you were about to tumble in the earth over me. You were crying, too, and the tears looked so funny running down your new face.’

‘Rightoh, Doctor,’ I said cheerfully, ‘but I guess I would shed a tear or two if I was burying you. I’m quite a grateful sort. Oddly enough I was going to suggest myself filling in this hole today, before the rains came. As an old bushman, I’m sure there’s a change about and the weather’s going to break. I smell it in the air.’

‘I don’t think so myself,’ said the doctor, shaking his head, ‘but as you mention it I’ll go up and see what the glass says,’ and he turned off to go up into the tower where the barometer was hanging.

I got the spade out of the tool-shed and tucking my trousers into the tops of my socks was prepared for an unpleasant morning of dusty work.

Suddenly, and just as I was preparing to shovel in the first spadeful of earth, I heard a faint cry from the direction of the tower followed by several loud crashes and the sound of one final heavy fall.

I stood stock-still with the spade uplifted in my hand and my heart seemed to stop beating in my chest. There was something so ominous about the silence that ensued.

For a moment I waited and then a dreadful apprehension of terror seized me. Throwing down the spade, I ran swiftly into the house. In the hall, at the foot of the stairs leading up into the tower, I found Dr. Carmichael lying huddled on the floor. His neck was twisted at a horrible angle, his face was ghastly pale, and his eyes were staring with a dreadful, frightened look. He was conscious, but he couldn’t breathe properly. He turned his eyes towards me as soon as I came up. I threw myself down on my knees beside him.

‘Don’t touch me,’ he gasped faintly, ‘leave me alone.’

‘Oh, I’ll go and get a doctor at once,’ I wailed.

‘No good,’ he panted. ‘Cervical vertebrae — neck broken. I’m finished,’ and he closed his eyes.

‘Oh, doctor,’ I exclaimed, ‘I must get you help.’

He opened his eyes again and smiled very faintly at me.

‘Good chap, Cups,’ he whispered. ‘I give everything to you . . . don’t be afraid . . . have courage, man.’

His voice trailed away to silence, and in a sweat of terror I thought the end had come. Suddenly, however, some new strength seemed to touch him and, staring hard, his eyes caught mine in warning.

‘Look out, man’ he whispered. ‘Look out . . . tell Angas Forbes.’

A dreadful spasm crossed his face. He tried to breathe. His head fell sideways, and his eyes closed very slowly. Then he was quite still.

Dr. Robert Carmichael was dead.

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:54