A Dark Dividing

A Dark Dividing by Sarah Rayne

Book: A Dark Dividing by Sarah Rayne Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sarah Rayne
catalogue. We can’t guarantee that it is the author, of course.’
    ‘I thought his name was Fleury. Philip Fleury.’
    ‘It is,’ said the voice, this time a touch huffily. ‘But if your name was Philip Fleury, don’t you think you might accept a soubriquet of Floy? A proliferation of ffs and lls, isn’t it?’
    Harry considered this and found it reasonable. ‘Do you know where the book came from? I mean, is there any provenance?’
    ‘No. It’s quite old stock. I’ve been here for twelve years and it was here when I came. But it’ll more than likely be from around these parts. A house-contents sale. A private library. We do quite a lot of those—well, we used to. Most of the big houses around here are gone now or turned into council offices or posh restaurants.’ The Welsh lilt that had been just discernible earlier came a bit more strongly. ‘The publishers are listed as Longmans Green & Co if that’s any help.’
    It was not really much help at all, although Harry had a vague idea that this was a now-defunct, but once-prestigious publishing house.
    ‘So there’s no indication whatsoever as to where the book came from?’
    ‘None at all,’ said the voice. ‘I told you, the stock’s quite old. Did you say you’d pay the extra three pounds ninety-five for twenty-four-hour delivery, Mr Fitzglen?’

CHAPTER EIGHT
    E VEN IN HER very wildest moments Mel had not thought that Joe would talk to the reporters who had gathered outside the hospital after the twins’ birth. She had not thought for a second that he would make a statement to them without consulting her.
    But incredibly, there it was on the late evening news just as Roz Raffan came in with a mug of hot milk and the offer of a sleeping pill.
    ‘I thought you were in theatre tonight. Are you moonlighting, or do you double as drinks-server?’ said Mel, who had been starting to feel sleepy but who was pleased to see the familiar face. It had been nice to strike up this small friendship with Martin Brannan’s theatre nurse.
    ‘I thought I’d look in to say goodnight before I go off duty. They were putting the drinks out in the ward kitchen so I said I’d bring yours in. You don’t mind, do you? You’re our celebrity, Mrs Anderson.’
    ‘It’s the twins who’re the celebrities, not me. And I wish you’d call me Mel. Am I meant to drink that revolting stuff?’
    ‘Not if you don’t want to. I can pour it down the sink if you like. Is that the evening news just coming on?’
    ‘Yes.’ Mel had been half-watching the television in the corner of her room, and half-reading. ‘Everything’s so gloomy. Wars and famines and things.’
    ‘They put out an item about the twins on the lunch-time news,’ said Roz, pausing at the foot of the bed, her eyes on the screen. ‘I saw it in the canteen. Didn’t anyone tell you? I expect your husband would have OK’d it with our press office, wouldn’t he?’
    ‘Not necessarily,’ said Mel dryly, and Roz looked a bit shocked.
    ‘I’m sure he would, Mrs Anderson, I mean, Mel. He’s so thoughtful always.’
    ‘What did the news item say?’
    ‘Only a brief announcement. And no names were mentioned, but somebody said the media were camping on the doorstep almost within minutes.’
    ‘Oh, no.’ Mel had not thought about this aspect.
    ‘Well, it’s news, isn’t it? People are interested. They’re concerned for you.’
    ‘I’ll bet the reporters aren’t interested or concerned for me,’ said Mel caustically. ‘In fact—’ She broke off as the newscaster said, ‘The Siamese twins, born two days ago at St Luke’s Hospital, are reported to be doing well and are breathing unaided. The twin girls are joined at the side of the chest, near the top of the ribcage, and although Martin Brannan, consultant gynaecologist in charge of the case, issued a statement that an operation to separate them would be reasonably straightforward, it seems as if a row could already be brewing. Over now to St

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