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Sympathy for the Devil- Chapter Three 3/6



Nicholas’s goal was to bore Frank out through provocation. With Danny there beside him, he wouldn’t lose his temper, he could focus on repeatedly stabbing the needle through the sacking and the black, and he wouldn’t have to think about switching off or the idea of getting hanged or about how he wouldn’t see Danny Butterman tomorrow morning, or the day after.


Out of sheer charity, he’d given Danny the thimble.


So far, Frank didn’t seem to be taking the bait. He merely sat there on the bench, taking his tatty sheet of newspaper out of his pocket again. As Angel continued to do whatever it was that he was doing, he tore the page carefully into a square, and continued to absently fold it into various, apparently random, permutations.


What, exactly, are you up to?” he said, after a while.


There’s an appalling lack of stab vests in this time and place,” said Angel, carefully keeping the edge of black folded over, so there wouldn’t be natty edges. “See a need, fill a need. Besides, it probably saved my life last night, despite its… unorthodox appearance.”


Ingenious,” agreed Frank, regarding the thing that Angel was sewing with some interest. “Folded cloth and… what? Tin?”


Close. Scraps of iron, a whole sheepskin coarse coat, and folded cotton, in a cheap burlap sack. Should be a bit hot in summer, but as it’s bloody November, I think we’ll survive.” Angel finished his row around the armpit of the thing that was taking shape, and went to check on Danny.


Remember, you’re supposed to be able to wear it later,” he said, gently.


Well, I dunno, do I,” said Danny, who was getting a bit hot and bothered and kept sticking his fingers, thimble regardless. “I’m not a girl.”


Neither am I, right? Just ‘cause girls have smaller fingers on the whole doesn’t mean you can’t. Just like some women could kick my arse in judo and fencing.” Angel grinned, trying to cheer him up. It was strange, to have the roles reversed like this– Danny (this one, and the one in 2007) seemed to be the one who joked around with ketchup sachets and smiled at him to get him to loosen up and not be such a prick– and to find himself suddenly filling that role, even if he didn’t feel very happy. It made him wonder if Danny ever felt like that, smiling when he didn’t feel like it, just to cheer him up.


And then he wished he hadn’t thought about Danny smiling, period, and tried to focus on making this smile as convincing as he could make it.


Girls, fencing?” Danny grinned back, his attention successfully diverted from the epic failure of the line of appalling tacking stitches clambering up the side of his stab vest. “What’s judo?”


I think Emmeline Pankhurst’s mother is about two years old as we speak, Nicholas,” remarked Frank. He sounded amused. “You can’t expect miracles.”


Angel chose to ignore Frank. Former superior officer was one thing. Former superior officer under his charge was another, and might give Danny the wrong impression about protocol. “Well, you know. There was a girl in Hendon who could get me every time with her foil, and I was the best in my classes, coursework, and extracurricular activities. She wasn’t so great in her paperwork and exams, but there were plenty of other women who were on my level for that who were aiming for deskwork. And judo is a kind of Japanese martial art designed to efficiently immobilize an enemy with a few non-violent moves.”


Japanese,” said Danny, thoughtfully. “Hey, I heard a couple of Japaneseish fellers landed in Portsmouth last year. First time ever, like.”


Er, really?” said Angel, stitching in his neckline. “Well, in case they ever come further inland, tell them ohio gozaimasu.”


What’s that mean?” asked Danny, enthusiastically. He made a few flailing hand movements, presumably representing his full knowledge of combat moves from the mysterious Orient, and nearly poked himself with his own needle. “‘Back off or I’ll judo you?’”


No,” laughed Nicholas, using the top of his vest as a pin cushion. “It means ‘good morning.’ Especially if you do a formal bow as a sign of respect. To them, it means you’re a civilized human being, as opposed to a barely evolved monkey.”


Oh, right, right,” said Danny. “That could come in useful.” He paused, executing a few more loopy stitches. “So, how do you say “back off or I’ll judo you”?


You can’t,” said Nicholas, still smiling. “It’s only meant for self-defense. It literally means, ‘gentle way’. If you use it to attack someone, you’re disrespecting the discipline.”


There was this serial in the Mysteries of London,” said Danny, eagerly, “with this explorer bloke goin’ round foreign climes, and in number seventeen he was in the Orient an’ there were all these warriors running round with black underclothes on, and they could kill a man just by pokin’ him in like, three places. Make his liver explode or something, I think.”


Well, there’s special nerve clusters you could jab at,” said Nicholas, doubtfully, sewing a line directly across the vest, to prevent everything from gathering at the bottom. “but I don’t think they’d be like a Vulcan nerve pinch, and you’d have to be extremely experienced to know where to strike.” It’s good to know that B-movies weren’t the first ones to worship ninjas to insane proportions and productions. “You’d be better off learning the easier fighting moves, like kicking at a knee from behind, or from the side- if you want to break their leg- and punching specifically to wind people, and how to tackle them without hurting anyone.”


Ey, maybe you could show me sometime,” said Danny. And then, apropos of nothing, “Oh, sodding arseholes! It’s done that thing again.”


That thing’ was a spectacular many-looped false knot, formed in the thread at the base of a stitch due to the incredibly long trail of thread Danny was trying to sew with, on the simple but ultimately flawed principle that having a great swooping armslength of thread to work with and having to almost put your back out every time you pulled it through was somehow better and more straightforward than finicking about with tiny mimsy little stitches.


Language, Danny,” said Frank, absentmindedly, still fiddling with his piece of paper. Then he registered what he’d just said, and his hands froze still.


There was an awkward pause. It lasted about ten seconds.


Sir?” said Nicholas, eventually. His own tone of voice didn’t have the barbed inflection with which it usually armed the ‘sir’. In fact, it sounded kind of breathless. Uncertain. As if Angel didn’t know how to react in the least.


Frank looked up at him with open surprise before he could stop himself- half at himself for his unguarded response, and half at Nicholas for his unguarded voice. Then he frowned and looked back down at the folded paper, which with another few creases had turned (rather less intentionally than he would have cared to admit) into a small origami swan.


Nicholas stared a little while longer, then got up again to sort out Danny’s thread problems. “Here, like this.”




Two, maybe three full hours later (it’s a little difficult to judge time when underground), the vests were done. They lay on the ground –as the three men stared and two inspected them– like living things, something so freshly made it has a life of its own. They weren’t the slimming outfits of 2007, but they were serviceable, and a good deal better– and more official-looking- than wearing a burlap sack bib full of rattling things. Nicholas grinned, clapped Danny on the back, and fetched the white paint.


Shall I do the honours?”


You better,” said Danny, grinning back and sucking a punctured knuckle. “I got no idea what you’ve got in mind.”

With care, Nicholas wrote Sandford Police Service across the back of the vest, so that it would read across the shoulders and back when donned. Despite the fact that no British police service in history had ever done it, it would look very official in placement, and scream authority from at least thirty to fifty meters for people unused to the vest. Then- making sure this part wouldn’t smear- he painted an eight-pointed star over the heart, on top of which stood a crown, containing the initials W R.

William Rex,” said Nicholas, standing back for a better look. “No sense in confusing people for another few years. Besides, you could probably clip an official amended badge to it later, instead of it just being paint.”


To the right of the little symbol, he added, in smaller letters, POLICE.


Annnd… that’s kind of more or less what a police uniform looks like, in the future. Only they’re made by machines by the thousands, not by two blokes in a basement who have no idea how to sew and don’t have any budget.”


They look amazing,” said Danny, reverently. “You did that whole symbol and bits and everything from memory?”


Nicholas smirked. “So, breaking it off with three girlfriends because I can’t stop being a police officer was worth it, in the end? Because I can paint a badge on a suit?” He grinned a little wider, ignoring his own sore fingers. “I’m more amazed that it looks as together as it does. Like a… slim sort of life preserver, maybe, or a puffier version of the official one in two-thousand-seven. It looks like it could actually work.”


You’d better hope you’re right, seeing as how there’s still someone running around out there with a knife.” remarked Frank, behind them. He pulled the tail of his swan a few times, making it peck.


Angel turned, triumph dissolving into an awkward sort of facial expression that only Angel, pioneer of determined, purposeful looks could produce when so utterly derailed. “Er. Frank. You dropped the knife out in the fields. Nobody has it. You could probably wander around up and down that hedge for the next six months and never find it. For that matter, when have you cared whether I live or die?”


I wasn’t talking about that knife,” said Frank, patiently. He had been sitting there in silence, watching the two of them work, listening to them talk, for the majority of the time, and just the ordinary company seemed to be having an extraordinary clearing effect on his thoughts.


The boy was so much like Danny. And when it came to Angel, simple prolonged exposure to his company seemed to be having a worrying, unexpected effect. It had been a whopping thirty-six minutes now since the last healthy flare of sour, septic rage, since his last uninvited– but nevertheless regularly scheduled– mental image of ripping Angel’s face off with a vegetable peeler or similar.


Angel was a bloody good police officer. Even here, under these impossible circumstances, he was still obstinately failing to stop being a bloody good police officer. This was something that Frank respected right down to the bone, and that was a big problem.


Although,” he continued, off this thought, “you really should have impounded it as evidence when you had the opportunity. Not an oversight I would have expected, from you.”


He sighed, and put the swan down on the little shelf. “No- I was referring to whatever was used in conjunction with this Messenger fellow’s death. I think it’s fair to assume that when you happen to run into the person who really killed all these people, they’re not going to be very happy to part with it without a dust-up.”


Frank,” said Angel again, “we had a dust-up. In fact, we’ve had several. What do you know about the Messenger death that we don’t?”


Quite apart from the fact that I didn’t do it, you mean?” Frank took a deep breath. “What time did it happen?”


Around two-pee-em, yesterday,” said Angel. “Did you follow him after you saw him in the fog that morning?”


What morning? Nicholas, I haven’t the faintest idea what day of the week it is. If you mean yesterday morning, then no. Yesterday morning, I was in a barn. In a barn, trying to get those ruddy things off my legs, since whoever got rid of those handcuffs wasn’t quite helpful enough to finish the job. I wasn’t in a position to be following anyone. For that matter,” he added, tapping the naked bridge of his nose just below the livid line of a graze from their earlier interview, “you might have noticed, I’m hardly in any position to be going around spotting people in fog, either.”


You know, I don’t know what day it is either,” said Nicholas, thoughtfully. “PC Buttleman, could you tell the nice murderer and me what day, month and year it is, exactly? It was Saturday, June nineteenth three days ago.”


It’s Tuesday,” said Danny, who was examining the vests impatiently, wishing the paint would hurry up and dry quicker. “Twenty-second November.”


And it’s eighteen-thirty-four,” finished Nicholas, adjusting his collar. “So, do you have any witnesses to support your alibi? Or the approximate location of the barn? Also, where were you just before running into us, and why, if someone planted the knife on you, were you carrying it around? Logically, you should have chucked it in a well and found new clothes, and secured a witness.”


A witness?” said Frank. He gestured at himself. “Come on, Nicholas, do me a favour. I look like Magwitch out of the Dramatic Society’s Great Expectations. I couldn’t have exactly have strolled to the nearest farmhouse and asked them if they’d mind furnishing me with an alibi. Besides,” and he stabbed a finger towards the light-well. “Everything looks different out there. Once I left that barn, I’d say it took me about five minutes to get lost. I got lost!” This was clearly unbelievable, not to mention unbearable.In Sandford!”


Yes, in the very town you’ve spent your whole life in, thought Nicholas, and probably, because even Danny managed to put two-and-two together, your ancestors spent their whole lives in, and you’re proud of having been nowhere else in your life, which I find even more amazing. You probably haven’t seen anything new in forty years, until I managed to send you to Buford Abbey. And now we’re both here, with no idea how we got here or why the hell it’s the two of us, of all people, and you’re scared. Not gritting your teeth back in horror like when you tried to arrest me with your antique pistols and a bunch of confused officers, but SCARED. You don’t know your own town, which is like your lifeblood. But I’m not scared, I’m just sad and frustrated and wary, and right now I’m in control, which means, right now, I’m stronger than you.


Out loud, he said, “I know. Hawkers Mews doesn’t have the nine-foot stone wall yet, either. That threw me. The fountain’s gone, too, and The Swan Hotel, and the bridge to Sandford Castle. Half the streets aren’t even cobbled.”


Frank shook his head. Clearly, he hadn’t been given much of a chance so far to indulge in culture shock, and now it all came out at once. “The cricket ground’s gone. Spencer Hill is a quarry. There hasn’t been a weathervane on top of the Village Hall since nineteen-forty-seven, let alone some brass job covered in cockerels. There’s sheep on the Green!”


And there’s cows that go through the center of town every morning,” added Nicholas, drily. “Which kind of contributes a lot to the rubbish in the street. What I wouldn’t give to see an Astra. Or a phone. Even a walkie-talkie, or a torch instead of the lanterns.” Or Danny, said his mind. Shut up, he thought back.


A shower,” said Frank, “and some proper clothes. Preferably something comfy from Marks and Spencers, as opposed to something distinctly dodgy from a wet barn.” He laughed, shortly. “The really funny thing is that I haven’t been a smoker for thirty-six years, but right now, I couldn’t half do with a Silk Cut. The mind plays funny tricks, sometimes.”


Any damn pair of Y-fronts, for that matter.” Nicholas found himself smiling. It was bizarre. If he’d had to see Frank in the present, for some court appearance or something, he’d have been colder and more unfriendly than any of the Andes could ever be. But here, because there was no one else who could understand, though Danny Buttleman was certainly trying, they were chatting almost like old friends. The day before he’d snapped Nicholas’s rib, and now they were here. The mass murderer of Sandford and the man who brought him in. “You quit when you met Irene?”


Shortly after we were married, as I recall.” Frank smiled, looking slightly embarrassed. A part of him stood outside the conversation, hectoring him, pointing out that he was chatting to the man who'd ruined his life... but to his alarm he found himself rather wishing that it would shut up. He was a fish out of water in his own village. And Nicholas understood.


And then part of him was thinking I didn’t even notice the bridge. And he did.


Extremely shortly. She used to say that if she’d wanted to live with that sort of stink, she’d have married a kipper.”


Someone didn’t appreciate Mr. Marlboro Man, then?” Okay. That was a joke. Jokes happened so rarely for Nicholas– he usually tried to save up the quips, bad puns, and badarsedness for Danny, because making Danny laugh was the best thing in the world. Well, nearly, anyway. Why was he attempting to joke with this man?


I tried to arrest a twelve-year-old when I was seven for smoking,” he added.


Why don't I find that surprising in the slightest?”


Frank had heard Angel make exactly one joke, before. Of a kind, anyway. It had been about ice-cream, it hadn't been addressed to him, and at the time he hadn’t really been in any state of mind to pay attention to witticisms anyway. Remembering those circumstances, now, the smile drained from his face.


Hmm, yes.” The moment was gone. Nicholas coughed, embarrassed, and turned to Danny. “This is not, actually, how you’re supposed to question suspects. Are the vests dry yet?”


Nicholas,” said Frank, firmly, before Danny could do much more than poke a bit of the white paint with one cautious fingertip and open his mouth. “My memory might be a bit on the shaky side, but I didn’t kill these men. Any of them.” He paused, then got the rest out with fierce, almost desperate conviction. “I’m certain.”


You don’t want to get hanged,” said Nicholas, bluntly. “That’s fine. I don’t want you to hang either. I want you to go to a maximum security prison for the rest of your life and never talk about Danny Butterman to my face again. Sound fair?”


Frank stared at him for a moment. “You’ve changed your tune,” he said. “What happened to ‘something a little more final’?”


Because I don’t believe in killing people. You know how many people were killed in the Sandford Incident? Exactly one, and that was because Tom Weaver shot Danny in the stomach and then threw himself under a sea mine. I can’t prevent everything. My superior wants to hang you. I don’t.”


Frank had always thought Tom Weaver was a pompous old ass, but when he was told what had happened at the station, he’d wanted to wring the man’s pudgy neck, a desire which hadn’t abated one fraction even after he heard Weaver had died in the blast.


But that’s a little irrational, isn’t it, Frank? murmured the mock-cheerful, despairing voice which might have been his conscience, if he hadn't pawned that particular commodity a long, long time ago. A tad unfair. After all, it wasn’t as if Weaver pulled that gun out of thin air, is it?


What did you say, again? When you handed it over? Something like ‘Plenty more where that came from, Tom.’ Some joke about making sure he pointed the right end at things. You both laughed.




Yes, I believe the accepted phrase is ‘your superior wants me to be hanged.’“ he said, rather tersely. “Passive tense, you see. I still get hanged, but no one’s directly responsible.”


Sorry,” said Angel. “It hasn’t been around for a while. It’s not something they’d teach you in school, the grammatical structure of capital punishment.”


And when you say ‘your superior,’ you’re referring to…?”


Chief Constable Frank Buttleman.” Angel jerked a finger in the direction of Danny. “That’s his son.”


There was a pause. Frank looked at Angel, then at Danny. “I see. Does he… look like me?”


No,” said Angel. “If he had, I’d probably have either tried to make a run for it, or tried to incapacitate him. That would have been one coincidence too many.”
Frank laughed, quietly. “This whole situation is one coincidence too many,” he said.
Behind Nicholas, Danny frowned. The train of thought which he had assumed had already reached its final destination earlier in the stable had just lurched onwards one stop and crashed into a tree. It was simply this: If Angel thought that it was probably true that he, Danny, was the great-great-etcetera grandfather of the Danny that Angel knew, and that that
Danny was this man’s son, then… Then this man... this murderer... was also his great-great-etcetera grandson. Just less one ‘great’. It was a simple step, but Danny hadn’t made it. Till now.


He didn’t feel like he wanted to think about this idea too hard. All he knew was that he suddenly wanted to get out of the cellar as soon as humanly possible. He poked Angel in the shoulder.
“Paint’s dry,” he said.


Good,” said Angel, standing up from his stool. “I think that’s enough for one day. I’ll see if anyone would have any loose tobacco and some rolling paper they’d be willing to donate. Let’s see how that vest looks on, PC Buttleman. Somewhere with better lighting, perhaps.”




The initial idea was the spare room, upstairs. However, when they got there, they found it occupied by a harried-looking maid who was irritably trying to dry the floorboards and rug, which were still soaking wet from the morning’s mishap. Having rather run out of options as far as the rest of the station was concerned, Danny suggested they use his own room, which was further along the upstairs corridor.


Sorry about that,” said Nicholas, a little embarrassed, his own vest banging against his shins as Danny opened his door. “I hope the rot doesn’t– by the power of Greyskull.”


Danny’s room was full of magazines. It was so full of magazines, that it would actually have been far more accurate to say that the magazines’ room had a bed in it. They filled rows of shelves on the walls, and, because thin paper booklets don’t stand well on shelves, they were stacked in boxes and in piles on the floor as well. The predominant colour was the mild, faded yellow of cheap paper, the kind that looks old even when one person has pawed through it once, and a lot of these had obviously been read a lot more than once. Here and there the odd luridly-coloured paper spine protruded, giving the yellowed expanses a cheerfully tawdry chequered effect.


What?” said Danny.


Nicholas picked up one of the editions. It was poorly sewn together, with the smell of comic book paper, and had a colourful cover, promising the owner adventure and heroics and just maybe the sight of a beheading. “What are all these?” he asked, vest forgotten by his feet.


Penny numbers,” said Danny, who didn’t seem that bothered about inviting Angel into a room which by normal standards would be considered chaotically messy. He started to pull his vest on over his head. Slightly muffled, now, he added, “You know… well, maybe you don’t. They’re papers full of stories. They call ‘em penny dreadfuls.”


No, we’ve still got… something like this. We call ‘em pulp fiction, or anthologies, or literary magazines. Only they’re like soft-cover books–” Angel lifted up a handful, then another, and another, clearly overwhelmed. “Jesus. How many do you have?”


“‘Bout two thousand, four hundred, fifty… six?” said Danny, still searching for the neck-hole. “I prob’ly started collecting ‘em when I was round fourteen, something like that. I get a couple a week if the post’s good… an’ I picked up some job lots a few times at the market.” His head appeared, tortoiselike, and slightly worried-looking. It had evidently occurred to Danny that Angel, who appeared to prize practicality so highly, might think this was a bit stupid.


Angel, however, was grinning at him, at the penny-dreadfuls, at the whole room. “You,” he said. “Have no idea. How much you’re like my partner.” And it was true. If you put in every film in Danny Butterman’s extensive collection of action films back to back, with no breaks for eating, or sleeping, going to work, or using the toilet, you would have sat on his sofa for six months before you could get up again. You probably wouldn’t have a single working synapse left, and would constitute a living Health Hazard from the smell alone, but you would have Finished the Collection.*

Danny beamed. The entire temporal… weirdness… issue aside, he decided that on the whole this was a good thing. Besides, no one else had ever been so transparently delighted at being introduced to his collection before. Even his dad regarded it as a rather juvenile pasttime.

Danny thought that his father would probably have been more outspoken about the matter if he had been seriously concerned about how his son chose to spend his free time. A man as dedicated to level-headed, forward-thinking improvement as Chief Constable Frank Buttleman was certainly wouldn’t have wanted any possible successor of his to be so obsessed with the silly, melodramatic, often sensationalist view of the world painted within the pages of The Terrible Tale Of Ambrosio The Monk or The Hyde Park Strangler.


But then, no one seriously thought that Daniel Buttleman was ever going to be Sandford’s Chief Constable. Not his dad, he knew that for certain, not his fellow officers, and certainly not Danny himself. Even the most generous of his peers would have explained the issue with some variation on “The lad means well, but…”


Danny didn’t mind. Despite the daydreams, despite having more fictional genius detectives and policemen in his head than Agatha Christie, Ellis Peters and Arthur Conan Doyle combined, he knew he wasn’t really a proper policeman. He was just… well, he was just Danny, just the Chief’s son, just someone who had to go around in a stuffy coat and an awkward hat and sometimes tell off a local kid or two, not very convincingly, for scrumping or nicking chickens. A sort of symbol, because everyone knew that a quiet little place like Sandford only really needed people who looked a bit like policemen, for the look of the thing.


Well, apart from Constable Angel, who had very obviously missed that memo. Angel had turned up as if he’d known there were proper crimes lurking around needing him to solve them, and, hey presto, suddenly there were.


And he’d said, with no trace of uncertainty, that Danny might be the Chief Constable, one day.


Trying to stop grinning quite so much, Danny shrugged his stab vest properly on over his shirtsleeves and straightened his collar underneath it. Then, he took a first proper look at himself.


Oh my God. That. Is.…” He didn’t know even what it was, for a moment. “…Amazing.”


The vest should, by all rights, have looked utterly ridiculous. Certainly, it looked nothing like what a policeman’s uniform was supposed to look like. It didn’t even look anything like any sane article of men’s clothing was supposed to look like. And yet, somehow… it looked right.


Nicholas grinned back, picking up his own vest in one hand and affably punched him in the stomach with the other. “You look amazing. Welcome to the 21st century. Can you feel that at all? Doesn’t hurt, right?”


Nah,” said Danny, happily, twisting his neck in an effort to see his own back. “Ey– go on, put yours on.”


I can’t wait until someone invents the zip,” said Nicholas, trying to tug his vest over his head without tearing his ears off. “It’d make trousers twice as easy, too.” Head sixty percent through the black tunnel that smelled of sheep and whatever unmentionable chemicals had been used to dye the cloth, he stopped, hissing as the form-fitting– well, it was technically made to preserve your life– life preserver rubbed at his rib.


Careful,” said Danny, agitatedly, for the second time that day. It was almost impossible to keep in mind that Nicholas was actually injured, and that it wasn’t just a scratch, either. He had no lower gears. It was only when the machine actually stalled and spat sparks for a moment that you remembered.


He made a couple of instinctive halting noises, as if trying to calm Becky the horse, reaching out. “Whoah, whoah, here, let me. D’you want it on or off again?”

On,” said Nicholas, after a second of breathing deeply, trying to accommodate for the pressure on his chest. His face squeezed through the collar. “I’d feel better with it on. And then we can go show your mates in the pub? We did do quite a lot of work today. Work you’re not used to at all. Well done.”

*Angel had been fibbing a little by claiming to have seen every action film ever made. He’d made it about half-way.




( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 12th, 2009 09:00 pm (UTC)
I'm enjoying this read more than I can say. Memming ALL of it!

Jun. 13th, 2009 10:10 am (UTC)

...I read that as 'lemming'.
Jun. 13th, 2009 07:11 pm (UTC)
o0 Well, of course you did. But how did you know I keep my lemming collection in my memory bin?

Amazing! ;p

Your silly-fu is strong!
Jun. 12th, 2009 10:24 pm (UTC)

I'm really loving this, great job!

Just one little point of criticism... are you aware of the fact that “William Regina” translates "William Queen"? ^_____^ I have no idea about British police uniforms, so I may be wrong, but I'm guessing you want it to say "William King", which would be "William Rex".
Jun. 13th, 2009 03:01 am (UTC)
Got there before me. Yeah, it'd be William Rex.
Jun. 13th, 2009 07:08 am (UTC)
Thanks guys. *changes*
Jun. 13th, 2009 07:11 pm (UTC)
Unless Nicholas knew something about William that only 'came out' in history books later?

Jun. 13th, 2009 07:18 pm (UTC)

It's the only logical explanation.
Jun. 15th, 2009 04:46 pm (UTC)

*lol* Who knows... Maybe the Illuminati were involved as well... O_o

Jun. 13th, 2009 03:03 am (UTC)
Agatha Christie, Ellis Peters and Arthur Conan Doyle combined
Can't remember, but were any of these campers around/around famously at the time? As this is Danny's POV, may wish to change that.

I ADORE the conversation between Frank and Nicholas. giggled right the way though it. Actually, that is how you interview a witness - it's not now you interrogate a suspect or person of interest, though. <3
Jun. 13th, 2009 07:15 am (UTC)
Haha, yeah, I was watching something just the other day where a police officer was talking about how, while you don't exactly want to get the suspect thinking you're his friend, it's good to establish rapport by finding common ground, even if you're making it up.

I did just want to demonstrate how much detective story goodness Danny actually has in his head to the reader, so I went for authors the reader would know rather than Danny himself- it's sort of from his POV but it isn't what he's actually thinking, that bit. It didn't occur to me that it might read like it was.
Jun. 13th, 2009 09:40 am (UTC)
I always find amusement at the 'make up common ground' bit, but yes, it does work. Disturbingly.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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