He’s Watching You – Episode 13


THE lieutenant’s arm went round Joan’s waist as he helped her down the steep staircase. As they stepped out into the night there was a tenderness in his voice that she had not heard before.

“You’re safe now, Joan. I’ll look after you.”

An Army vehicle was waiting outside and she watched as the lighthouse keeper was thrown into the back. The colonel gave an order to the driver.

“Sergeant Baines.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Make your way to the surgery. Break down the door if necessary and arrest Doctor Hardwick for treason. I want both these men in the military prison by dawn.”

“It’ll be a pleasure, sir.” The engine revved and the truck drove away into the lashing rain.

The colonel’s car emerged from its hiding place beneath the trees, a corporal at the wheel. Joan sat in the back next to Les, shocked to the core, her head falling limply against his uniform jacket.

“I don’t understand anything, sir,” she said weakly.

“All in good time, Miss Merriel. Let’s get you warmed up by my fire first.”

“Here, take a drink of this, Joan,” Les Walker said. “You need it.”

Back in the colonel’s study she sank into a leather armchair close to the fire.

“I can’t believe it. Joseph Smith and Doctor Hardwick – spies.”

“We’ve suspected them for some time,” the colonel said. “But we needed proof and tonight we got it. The doctor’s real name is Hartmann. His brother was killed by the British in World War One and from then on he has hated this country.”

“But he told me that somebody had come to the surgery and informed him of a spy in the village. The next day the man was murdered.”

Les took up the story.

“That was the village blacksmith. He confronted the doctor with the truth. Said he was going to report him to the authorities as a spy. The doctor stabbed him to death that night.”

Joan looked appalled.

“He was planning to inject me with poison. I’m sure of it.”

“He would have if he thought you’d found him out. The man is a fanatical Nazi. But you wouldn’t have come to harm. I was standing just outside the surgery window with a gun.” Les looked grim.

“And Joseph Smith?”

“Not Smith. Schmidt. He was using the lighthouse lamp to signal to German ships. They were planning an invasion tomorrow night. That’s the conversation you overheard. A nasty piece of work. He’d have tossed you off the gallery without a second thought.”

“The two missing keepers. Surely that wasn’t to do with him?”

“No. The stories are true, though. He wanted to scare you off from the lighthouse.”

“But I still don’t understand.” The colonel’s whisky was coursing through her. “Why were you following me everywhere, Lieutenant? And threatening me?”

The colonel smiled and answered for him.

“Not threatening. Making sure you weren’t harmed. I was in a cleft stick, on the point of proving that Harmann and Schmidt were spies and unable to tell you. It would have blown our plans wide apart and they’d have escaped by boat. I ordered Lieutenant Walker to guard you with his life. He’s done a good job, don’t you think?”

 

Alan Spink

Alan is a member of the “Friend” Fiction Team. He enjoys working closely with writers and being part of the creative process which sees storytelling ideas come to fruition. A keen reader, he also writes fiction and enjoys watching football and movies in his spare time. His one aspiring tip to new writers is to “write from your imagination”.