By Colin Watson

Fearless journalist Clive Grail is bent on uncovering a scandal of blue movies and blackmail in first rate Flaxborough. but if he publishes his revelations of the town's murky prior he unearths himself on the hub of a way more chilling and sinister crime.

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There has been, and it did. At North Gosby, Birdie stopped and tested the map for the final time. The references have been transparent adequate, and very simple. She drove on. The derelict railway station that when had served the little village of Hambourne was once reached by means of a brief paved incline best from the most street. Grass already was once growing to be during the cracked concrete floor and a number of other small timber had demonstrated themselves round the front to what have been the reserving place of work. Up the incline Birdie sponsored the Rolls, after making sure that no different site visitors used to be in sight. as soon as off the line, the auto was once successfully screened from view by way of an overgrown hedge and a grove of elders. A concourse of small birds that have been stripping the bushes in their darkish a great deal of berries burst upward in a loud cloud. A face peered carefully prior a nook of 1 of the glass-less home windows. Birdie raised a hand. She took the auto as with reference to the entrance as she might. Grail, taking a look faded, untidy and relatively drained, emerged with virtually melodramatic furtiveness and made a seize for the rear door. Birdie resisted an impulse to chortle. “It’s all right,” she stated, “we’re in the midst of bloody nowhere right here. Take it slow. ” She twisted around in her seat and pulled apart a heavy vacationing rug as Grail acquired within the vehicle and attempted awkwardly to squat out of sight. “All correct, take your time,” she stated back. “There’s hundreds room and the floor’s reasonably fresh. Lie flat and pull this over you. ” She permit the rug fall throughout his knee. “There have been snakes in that dreadful position. ” Birdie enable within the grab. “How attention-grabbing. It has to be rather a bit nature reserve. ” “You’ve been the hell of a time. ” “Oh, ballsikins. You’re fortunate to have gotten away so quick. It used to be completely out of attention for you that we made up our minds to select you up in sunlight. It’s bloody dicy. ” on the junction, she held the automobile again within the protect of the greenery till the line used to be empty in either instructions. Then she positioned it quickly at the as far back as Flaxborough. The plaintive voice rose once again from underneath the rug. “There’ll be hell to pay if this loopy scheme is going adrift. ” “It won’t need to, then, will it? ” the woman used to be waiting for autos in her rear reflect. Oncoming drivers—and there have been only a few at the present of day—went by way of too speedy to be of a lot account as strength witnesses; one purpose on overtaking, even though, will be way more more likely to memorize info. “What used to be bothering me,” acknowledged the rug, “in that lousy hideout—apart from snakes and rats—was a said doubt of ways trustworthy these different are. Why may still they take this sort of a chance on my account? ” “Why may still I, for that subject? ” there has been silence for your time, then: “Because you wouldn’t like getting the chop any longer than I should still, and our necks will be part through facet, think me. ” They gone through Pennick village. After one other part mile, Birdie started to look ahead to a silo at the right-hand part that served as a advisor to the hole of the lane to Stamper’s condo. There it used to be. She braked, swung the auto sharply at correct angles, and inside a couple of seconds it used to be accurately between timber.

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