Albatross by Evelyn Anthony

By Evelyn Anthony

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Anyone at Arlington who failed to charm was promptly sacked. There was no sign of the company's American parentage. Even the central heating was pleasantly low. The chairman insisted on flowers in his office and in the reception rooms. He had hung pictures from his own collection at salient points up the stairs where clients could see them. He loved early Dutch seascapes, but the client important enough to go into his room for a private discussion of his account could feast his eyes upon a magnificent fiery Turner landscape over the fireplace.

Handicrafts. Jesus God, she said to herself. What am I going to find . .? 'It's difficult sometimes,' the brisk voice went on, 'to think of him as a traitor. We've had several of them here, as you know. Pleasant men, on the whole. ' 'They would be,' Davina said. 'Peter's hallmark was charm. ' There was a second's pause before the answer. 'Yes. Yes, I suppose you could call it that. He's popular with the staff. Gets on well with the other occupants of the section. ' He hadn't liked that question or the tone of voice.

He gestured wildly, throwing his arms out. ' 'Keep your voice down, or the warder will come in. ' She saw the droop of his shoulders and the way his body sagged into the hard little chair. ' he said flatly. 'I want information. ' 'I was three weeks under interrogation,' he said sullenly. 'I told Kidson everything I knew. He promised a light sentence. ' 'You didn't tell him everything,' Davina countered. 'Nobody ever does. You kept something back, didn't you, just in case? ' 'I can't remember,' he said.

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