After being discharged two days later, Paul spent a very busy week at the Yard trying to wrap up the case. They had confessions for arson, the abduction and torture of Naomi and himself but still no confession for the murder of Lynd – Buyden’s companion was talking, however, no matter how they came at him, he still maintained that Lynd had been breathing when they left him none the wiser as to where the papers were hidden.
All in all though, Brian might well be right: the accused did not seem too eager to be extradited to France either where they were wanted as well or to be set free even for the shortest time. Apparently the fact that Marcus had promised to find them had made them keen on being safe “at her majesty’s pleasure”. Probably they would confess to the murder in another day, or simply blame it on Buyden, who was still assumed to be at large.
A little ingenious manoeuvring and careful checking of the fax records had also produced the leak in the Yard, an investigation was pending about that, and the homicide department needed a new assistant.
Paul had tried to get himself transferred from homicide to white collar crime in an effort to avoid like cases in the future, but had been told there was no chance of getting in there with the record he had just acquired. He was happy about the workload though, it kept him from brooding too much. He hadn’t been sleeping too well lately and kept seeing images connected with Buyden almost every time he closed his eyes.
After finishing the paperwork by the end of the week, there was one more thing left to do. He closed his office door and called his father.
“Paul, nice to hear from you in person. Rumours about your last case travelled all the way up to Scotland, congratulations.”
“H-hm. Dad, there’s something you could help me with, if you’re prepared to do that…” Paul was still not sure if his father would answer his questions.
“Why wouldn’t I?” George Usher sounded jovial.
“Because it involves answering questions. Listen, someone I’m really close to has been hurt, and I almost got killed. Do you think you could give me a straight answer to a straight question for once?” He had opted for the aggressive approach again, as he had always done in conversations with his father, he realised regretfully.
“Try me!” George’s tone was sincere. His sources in London had kept him informed about Paul’s case to a much greater extent than his son realised. He had heard that the case was considered closed, but had not been satisfied by the explanations provided. There was a cover up here, and one staged quite amateurishly. He had been hoping Paul would call him and put his mind to rest.
For the first time in his life, Paul had the impression that his father was talking to him as an adult. “Ok, what happened on April 8th?”
“I assume you mean ’94? Correct?” His father’s voice sounded very alert now.
“Yes,“ Paul held his breath.
“I lost sixteen people in Rwanda. They were killed when someone wiped out my whole East African post in Kigali. It was never reported, and the news weren’t interested with all the rest of the slaughter going on there, but we’ve never before been that ambushed anywhere. It might have been the same hoodlums who created all that chaos in the country, but I did not buy it. However I never managed to get to the bottom of it. Now I want a question answered: How did you come across that date?”
Paul told him about the memo. “So, what does that mean?”
His father’s voice became very cold, so Paul knew he must be extremely angry: “It means, we were sold out. Someone created all that havoc to get to resources, they’re doing it again from what you told me, and our government, which was involved, conveniently forgot to warn the people who were risking their lives for it and who would probably have been in the way of that kind of selfishness anyway.” He took a deep breath. “I suspected that that conglomerate was not only involved in arms trading but also in the use of their products. However, I would never have thought that a democratic government like ours would be implicated in their assassinations. And Richard Ashby is about to let Sutton-Barr off the hook?”
“Dad, I’m not really sure how much they actually know about…” Paul was not so sure anymore calling his father had been a good idea. “They were in the dark most of the time, I believe, I mean, they had to fabricate that evidence and…”
“Of course, right, so you said”, George Usher’s voice was back to the carefully controlled jovial tone. “Are you sure that firm is down?”
“Definitely!” Paul said quickly, not fooled for a second. His father sounded ready to make sure of that if it wasn’t already the case. Paul was reasonably sure he’d still have the resources to do that, and that it would be highly illegal. Suddenly a strange thought presented itself. “Dad? Have you ever heard the name Nils Buyden?”
George Usher was surprised at that question. “Years and years ago, he must be an old-age pensioner by now. Why?”
“Well, a) he was involved and b) you’ll be happy to know he’s dead.”
“That’s one bit of good news for Africa. Paul, where is that memo? Does anyone know you’ve seen it? Do you want me to call that ass Ashby to get you some cover?” He sounded worried and tense, ready to get to work at once. Paul could almost see him, he knew that look so well. He also knew how his mother reacted to that mood.
“Dad, relax, that problem has already occurred, and it’s also solved. But thanks for caring. I’ll see you sometime. Bye!”
“Call your mother!”
“I will, don’t worry. Bye!”
So he had been right: ‘Yvonne’ and her accomplices had been after the papers to keep their employers out of the spotlight for the arms trading and embargo-breaking, but the real panic had set in after they suspected that MI6 – and especially George Usher’ son – might find out about the memo. From his father’s reaction he could deduce they had been right in that. However with the firm down now, he was optimistic that the problem was solved. What happened to the man who had been the link between the dirty firm and the government was not his responsibility – something he was very glad about.