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Pitt ignored it.  Who?
 Simbister.
Pitt felt the cold bite into him, and a faint sickness in his
168 Anne Perry
stomach. It should not have surprised him. It was what
Welling and Carmody had implied. He tried once to evade it.
 Of Cannon Street? Are you sure?
 Yes.
 At his home? Are you certain?
 Yes. Are you going to see Jones? Tellman asked.
 No. I can t do it without running the risk that Wetron will
hear of it. I doubt he d tell me anything.
Tellman nodded unhappily.
 Thank you.
He stood up to take the kettle off the hob before it woke
the rest of the house.  What do you know about Piers De-
noon? he asked, reaching for the tea caddy.
Quietly, Tellman told him.
First thing in the morning Pitt sent a message to Voisey,
and at noon once again he walked down the steps to the crypt
of St. Paul s, and along the same arched aisle as before. This
time he went past Nelson s tomb to that of the great Duke of
Wellington, successful against the Maratha Confederacy in
India, commander of the campaign in the Peninsular War,
and finally, of course, victor at Waterloo.
Voisey was standing at the far end of the tomb, moving his
weight from one foot to the other. He turned as he heard the
sound of Pitt s steps. A flush of irritation crossed his face at
his own predictability.  I assume you have a damned good
reason for this! he said in a low voice as soon as Pitt was be-
side him.  I was about to have a meeting with the home sec-
retary.
 Of course I have, Pitt replied tersely, glancing at the
magnificent tomb. It was solemn and imposing as befitted
the greatest military leader in British history, and yet still
less ornate or individual than Nelson s. It spoke of glory and
admiration, but not love.  Do you think I would send for you
for anything less?
Voisey ignored the  send for you with difficulty and it
showed on his face.  Well, what is it? he demanded.
LONG SPOON LANE 169
Pitt was certainly not going to tell him about the arrest of
Jones the Pocket, or his plans to take his place. It was dan-
gerous enough as it was, with little he could do to protect
himself. Nor was he going to mention Tellman, for the same
reasons.
 The anarchists are getting their funds through Piers De-
noon, only son of Edward Denoon, he told Voisey.  He is an
erratic, nervy young man, but apparently brilliant at raising
money. He saw Voisey s face light with an interest too vivid
for him to conceal.  When frightened into believing the po-
lice were aware of it, Pitt continued,  he reported immedi-
ately, at one in the morning, to Simbister, head of Cannon
Street police.
Voisey swore, and let out his breath slowly. This time he
did not bother to hide his emotion. His cheeks were flushed,
almost hiding the blotchy freckles.  I knew it! he said be-
tween clenched teeth.  The corruption goes all the way!
Who told you about Piers Denoon? Wetron?
 Indirectly, Pitt said.
Very deliberately Voisey glanced at Wellington s tomb.
 Great tactician, he said, his expression now impossible to
read; there was irony in it, amusement, anger.  Do you know
about his  scorched earth policy? I don t think you would
approve of it. The inflection in his voice suggested that his
own opinion was different, and that the disagreement in Pitt
was based on some kind of weakness, a failure of courage.
He looked again at the huge, imposing tomb.
Pitt was at a disadvantage, as was undoubtedly Voisey s in-
tention.  I assume this scorched-earth policy has some rele-
vance to Wetron, or Denoon, or you would not bother
mentioning it now?
 Of course it has, but he s not a lovable hero, is he! That
was a remark almost thrown away.  I imagine you prefer
Nelson. They all adored him. And of course he had the ex-
quisite good taste to die on deck at the height of his greatest
170 Anne Perry
victory. Who could question him after that? It seems like
blasphemy. Whereas Wellington, stupid sod, had the poor
judgment to come home safe and sound, and go on to be
prime minister. Unforgivable.
Voisey flashed a brief smile.  He won in Vimiero early in
the Peninsular War, then the year after chased the French
army all the way to Madrid. But when they forced him to re-
treat, in 1810, he laid waste to the land behind him as he
moved on. Ugly, but very effective.
 You admire it? Pitt asked, then realized how he had be-
trayed his own revulsion.
Voisey savored the moment.  Do you want to separate the
man from the campaign? he asked with a lift in his voice.
 Without Wellington, Napoleon might have won. Almost
certainly he would have. He was a genius. Or don t you think
so? There was a challenge in his voice, undisguised.
 Of course he was, Pitt agreed.  A little ill-considered to
attack Moscow! A wiser man might have learned from the
scorched-earth policy in Spain. Maybe he didn t appreciate
that scorched and frozen are essentially the same when it
comes to feeding an army.
Voisey s eyes widened, a flash of humor in them.  You
know, Pitt, I could almost forget myself and like you! Just
when I think you are utterly predictable, you surprise me.
 Very arrogant to think you can predict someone, Pitt ob-
served.  And arrogance is stupid, sometimes fatally so. We
can t afford that.
 One moment you are pedestrian, Voisey went on as if
Pitt had not spoken, but the sharp angle of his body betrayed
his tension.  The next acutely perceptive, then complacent to
the point of idiocy! Perhaps it comes from being half game-
keeper, half would-be gentleman.
Pitt forced himself to smile. The slur on his heritage stung.
Why did Voisey feel a need to attack him so sharply that he
could not govern it? What was it in Pitt that disturbed him so
LONG SPOON LANE 171
much that he did not hide it?  Does Wellington s scorched-
earth policy in the Peninsular War have anything at all to do
with Wetron and the anarchist bombs, or Simbister and De-
noon? he asked curiously.  Or did you just want to see if I
knew as much military history as you did?
Quite suddenly Voisey started laughing, openly and with
apparently quite genuine humor.
Pitt had to remind himself that Voisey hated him. Voisey
had caused the death of the Reverend Rae, a good and inno-
cent old man, and he had killed Mario Corena himself, even
if he had been forced into it. He was behind scores of other
acts of greed and destruction. His wit and essential hu-
manity, his power to laugh or to be hurt were irrelevant. His
hate was all that mattered, and Pitt must never forget it. If he
did, it could cost him all he had.
 Do you think Wetron is planning to scorch the earth if
he s forced to retreat? Pitt asked aloud.
 I think he ll burn it to a cinder, Voisey replied.  Don t
you?
 Only if he is sure he s lost. He is a long way from losing
now.
Voisey was still watching him intently. If anyone else
passed by the tombs of the famous, neither of them saw or
heard.  I think he ll be happy to cast Sergeant Tellman into
the flames, Voisey said softly.  And he could most certainly
do it.
 Of course, Pitt agreed.  But he won t destroy a tool he
believes he can use.
 Against whom? Voisey raised his eyebrows.  He would
hurt you far more by destroying Tellman than anything else
he could do. There was a sharp, satisfied glitter in his eye.
 You would miss him, but the guilt for using him, and [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]