Kingdom

Kingdom by Tom Martin Read Free Book Online

Book: Kingdom by Tom Martin Read Free Book Online
Authors: Tom Martin
her phone and wallet and have the bail forms written out. And give her the bone. It belongs to her office.’
    Not daring to speak, in case Lall changed his mind, Nancy took the filthy rag bundle and allowed the policeman to lead her away.
    Captain Hundalani re-entered the interrogation room, quietly shutting the door behind him. Before he could speak Lall addressed him.
    ‘Hundalani, make sure we don’t lose her.’ The Inspector was rubbing his hands irritably over his eyes. ‘She has our only piece of evidence. This is a risky strategy.’
    ‘Yes sir.’
    ‘The bone must be significant. She’ll lead us to him in the end, I’m sure of that.’
    Then abruptly Lall rose to his feet. He was tired and he wanted to get out of the stuffy interrogation room.
    ‘Do you really think she is his accomplice, sir?’ Captain Hundalani enquired nervously.
    ‘Maybe, maybe not. But the bone means something to someone. Of that I am quite sure.’
    Suddenly, for the first time in as long as Captain Hundalani could remember, Inspector Lall looked him full in the face and smiled. The smile was so unexpected and so very incongruous that it caused a shiver of terror to run down the young Captain’s spine.
    ‘Our own leads have now run dry, Captain. Let’s see what our star journalist does next. Perhaps she can help us with our detective work.’

7
    ‘How dare you send me out here?’
    Nancy was almost shouting into the phone. The guards on the steps of the police station stared in fascination as she strode away along the pavement. The Delhi crowds parted before her; shoppers and businessmen turned and watched her marching down the street. Back in New York, on the other end of the line, Dan Fischer, the editor of the Trib , was trying to calm her down.
    ‘Nancy, I had no idea. Listen, I had a visit from the CIA this morning as well. Just let me explain . . .’
    ‘Well, I bet they didn’t arrest you, take you to a police station and threaten you with twenty-five years in the black hole of Calcutta. Leprosy? Any threats of leprosy thrown in there?’
    ‘No, but Nancy, listen . . .’
    ‘How could you send me here? Perhaps next you would like to send me to North Korea? Perhaps you think this hasn’t been enough of a challenge for me?’
    ‘Nancy, please. Let me explain . . .’
    Biting her tongue, Nancy waited to hear his excuses.
    ‘I had no idea that this had all blown up until this morning. I was as much in the dark as you were. I would never have sent you had I known that the paper was going to get embroiled in an espionage row between India and China. And as for Anton, it’s complete bullshit . . .’
    ‘Tell that to the Gestapo over here.’
    ‘Look, the Indians and the Chinese are totally paranoid. They are always giving each other the frights and finding excuses to get at each other . . .’
    Nancy fell silent.
    Dan Fischer continued: ‘Now, I was woken this morning by two CIA officers who said that they were obliged to visit me as they had been asked by their opposite numbers in Indian Intelligence to investigate Herzog. They told me that they did not believe the charges and that as far as they know Herzog has never been involved with any Intelligence agencies. I told them that I also was certain that this was the case. Anton is a friend of mine, I’ve known him for years. It is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.’
    ‘Well, if he’s a friend of yours then why aren’t you trying to find him?’
    Nancy waved furiously at an approaching taxi that slid to a halt next to her on the road. She opened the door and got in.
    ‘Hang on one sec, Dan. Can you take me to the office of the International Herald Tribune on Akhbar Street please . . .’
    ‘Nancy – this is not the first time he’s gone AWOL. It’s his style . . .’
    ‘Not for three months, Dan.’
    ‘Listen, the CIA were very clear. The best course of action is just to do nothing.’
    ‘That sounds very convenient for you.’
    ‘Oh come on,

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