Friday, September 28, 2007

Made To Pay: Part Five

The Green Man continued his story, still looking out to sea. Sian Rule was cold, but she willed herself to stay, realising that this was something significant. The connection that the Green Man had had with this remarkable woman clearly went deep.

"The Station had only recently closed," the Green Man went on, "the ticket office had been moved to the only remaining open platform, while the station buildings were abandoned until they were converted to a pub. We established our base there, knowing that the agent was to use the train. We took turns in watching the platform through the window that looked down there. Sparrowhawk insisted on taking the first watch, even though she was clearly exhausted. I stayed awake until she dropped off to sleep, her forehead resting against the glass. I was able to move her from there and put her to bed." There was a real tenderness in the Green Man's voice as he spoke.

"The only people who I saw getting off the train were students and locals. Not one person looked like the picture that Sparrowhawk had given me. Shortly after three, I had to wake up my slumbering lady. She blinked sleepily and tried to get back to sleep, a cute contrast to her usual loveliness.

"But she went to her post at last," the Green Man told Sian, "and I slept. By the time I awoke, the station was filled with the silver sunshine of autumn morning. I rose and looked for Sparrowhawk.

"I couldn't see any trace of my lady," the Green Man shook his head. "For some reason she'd left me asleep while she'd slipped out. I knew that she wouldn't be as crass as to do this just for a walk - something must have happened.

"I left the station silently, the same way I had entered, and hurried to the taxi rank. There was a man there who told me he'd seen my lady run out of the station, followed by a couple of men. She had run off in the direction of Powell Street, one of the little streets that lead off the street that leads to the bridge.

"I knew that she must have been detected somehow, must have decided to lead the enemy away from my position. Knew that she had to be in terrible danger."

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