By Any Name by Katherine John

By Katherine John

Pschological crime mystery

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Golden brown curling leaves interspersed with vast swathes of dry saffron-coloured grass sweeping upwards to high peaks, only just visible beneath crowns of low-hanging cloud. Up there the air would be cool; clean and pure enough to intoxicate a man more than a dozen whiskies ever could. And all around, as far as the eye could see, smooth weathered hills ribboned with frothing streams water-falling down the slopes. At this time of the year, everything would be veiled in a mist that sometimes, but not always, obscured the icing of snow in the deeper valleys and higher pinnacles.

The two porters continued to wheel their trolley along the corridor towards the sister’s office. The corporal moved into the doorway of West’s room to allow them to pass. They drew the high sided wagon alongside the soldiers and stopped. Both porters turned. Twin thuds resounded simultaneously. The 53 first porter scanned the corridor. They had timed it well. Two of the staff were on tea break in the canteen and the others were busy in the four-bedded side wards. Opening the door to West’s room he pushed the body of the soldier nearest to him inside.

I think forty might be pushing it,’ Elizabeth sat back in her chair. ’ ‘But you can’t just take a man into custody without having the slightest idea who he is,’ she protested. ’ Dave looked blank. ‘The World Peace and Disarmament Conference. It was all over the news this morning,’ Elizabeth reminded him. ‘I must have missed it,’ Dave said uninterestedly. ‘Look, we’ve signed your Official Secrets Act, so we can hardly go running to the press. You wouldn’t even be here if you didn’t have some idea who he is.

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