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By Brian Freemantle

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To the policewoman Jennifer said, ‘Nothing. I’m all right. ’ ‘You’re not. You’re possessed. ’ She could beat her, Jennifer decided: had to beat her, for Christ’s sake! If Jane was in her mind then she could read her mind – had already shown she could – so she didn’t have to speak: it was just appearing to talk to herself that would make people think she was mentally deranged. ‘Of course I know what you’re thinking but that won’t do. I told you, you’re trapped: mine to do with what I want. And I will do what I want with you.

The shirt collar was button down. There were perfunctory handshakes. Perry poured the wine. ’ There was a ritual that had to be performed, but today there was reason additional to the expected flattery. ’ The case of Peregrine Hallett was the most recent cause célèbre: Sir Richard Proudfoot himself had defended the society financier with minor royal friends against a charge of share-rigging a company take-over, exposed a flaw in the 1987 Banking Act that now needed Parliamentary legislation to correct, and gained Hallett an acquittal with costs and a public apology from the trial judge.

The lawyer nodded, showing no surprise. ’ How could she have forgotten Emily until now! Instead of replying, Perry looked sideways to the other solicitor. ’ ‘At the moment that’s not possible. Maybe even not advisable,’ refused Perry. ’ ‘I don’t know,’ admitted the bald-headed man, maintaining the promise of honesty. ’ * * * In the corridor outside John Bentley accepted with a philosophical shrug the lawyer’s refusal to allow a statement, sure he knew a way to get around it. Beside his superior, Malcolm Rodgers gestured to the policewomen re-entering the ward and said, ‘According to them all she does is talk to herself.

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