Nineteen Seventy-Four
turned back to give the chimes one last go and found myself face to face with the unkind face of a heavy-set man, tanned and dressed for golf.
    “Is Mrs Dawson home by any chance?”
    “No,” said the man.
    “Do you know when she might be back?”
    “Do you know where I might be able to reach her?”
    “Is Mr Dawson at home?”
    I vaguely placed the face. “Well, I won’t keep you then Mr Foster. Thank you for your help.”
    I turned and walked away.
    Halfway down the drive I looked back and caught the twitch of a curtain. I turned right on to the lawn and walked across the soft grass to the pond. The raindrops were making beautiful patterns on the surface. Down below the bright orange fish were still.
    I turned and stared back at Shangrila in the rain. The curved white tiers looked like a rack of oyster shells or the Sydney fucking Opera House. And then I remembered my father’s two-penneth about Shangrila and Mr John Dawson:
    Shangrila looked like a sleeping swan .

    Noon, Willman Close, Pontefract.
    Knuckles rapped on the steamed-up window of the Viva. Back to earth with a bump, I wound down the window.
    Paul Kelly leant into the car. “What about Barry? Fucking hell, eh?” He was out of breath and didn’t have an umbrella.
    I said, “Yeah.”
    “Heard his head came right off.”
    “That’s what they’re saying.”
    “What a way to go. And in fucking Morley, eh?”
    “Yeah, I know.”
    Paul Kelly grinned, “It stinks in here, man. What the fuck you been doing?”
    “I had a bacon sandwich. Mind yourself,” I said as I wound the window back up, though not all the way, and got out.
    Paul Kelly, photographer. Cousin of the more famous John and sister Paula.
    The rain was coming down even harder, with it all my fucking paranoia:
    Why Kelly and not Dicky or Norm?
    Why today?
    “Which one is it?”
    “Eh?” I said, locking the car door, pulling my jacket over my hea_d.
    “The Goldthorpe’s?” Kelly was looking at the bungalows. “Which one is it?”
    “Number 6.” We walked across the Close to the houses at the end.
    Kelly took a huge fucking Japanese camera out of his bag. “The old bag’s in 5 then?”
    “Yeah. Did Hadden give you the money for her?”
    “Yeah,” said Kelly, stuffing the camera inside his jacket.
    “How much?”
    “Two hundred.”
    “Aye,” grinned Kelly, tapping his jacket pocket.
    “Half and half?” I said, knocking on the glass door.
    “That’ll do nicely, sir,” said Kelly as the door opened.
    “Good morning Mrs Sheard.”
    “Good afternoon Mr Dunford and…”
    “Mr Kelly,” said Mr Kelly.
    “A much more civilised hour, don’t you think Mr Dunford?” Enid Sheard was smiling at Paul Kelly.
    “I think so,” said Kelly, smiling back.
    “Would you gentlemen care for a cup of tea?”
    Quickly I said, “Thank you but I’m afraid we’re a little pushed for time.”
    Enid Sheard puckered her lips. “This way then gentlemen please.”
    She led us down the path between the two bungalows. When we reached the back door to Number 6, Kelly jumped at the sudden barking from Number 5 next door.
    “Hamlet,” I said.
    “My money, Mr Dunford?” said Enid Sheard, clutching the key.
    Paul Kelly handed her a plain brown envelope. “One hundred pounds cash.”
    “Thank you, Mr Kelly,” said Enid Sheard and stuffed the money into her apron pocket.
    I said, “Our pleasure.”
    She unlocked the back door to Number 6, Willman Close. “I’ll be putting on the kettle, so you gentlemen just knock on the door when you’re finished.”
    “Thank you. That’s very kind,” said Kelly as we went inside.
    I shut the door in her face.
    “You want to watch yourself there. Get her sexual motor running, you best know how to turn it off,” I laughed.
    “You can talk,” said Paul laughing along, his face then sud denly falling.
    I stopped laughing, staring at the candle on the draining board, thinking about

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