A Race Against Time – Episode 11

George had reached the point at which he had to intercede. Until now he had been quite happy to let the police carry on with their investigations without becoming involved. But he had seen the fear in Edward’s eyes, too. He had seen it and not believed it.

Something was amiss that may or may not have had something to do with Christian. The odds were very high that it did.

Before his morning lecture, George visited Edward’s rooms. They were on university grounds, but unlike Christian who lived in a suite of rooms – he had dismissed his valet because he believed he was his father’s spy – Edward, like George himself, lived in basic accommodation.

George walked through the unattended reception and knocked on the door of Edward’s room.

“Who is it?” Edward called from immediately behind the door.

“It’s George.”

“What do you want?”

“A quick chat, old boy.”

“You’re not looking for a fight, are you?”

If matters hadn’t been so serious, George would have laughed at the cowardice of the man.

“No, Edward. If I were looking for a fight I would have found you yesterday and given you a bloody nose.”

It took an interminable while for Edward to open his door, but he did eventually. When George saw him he could hardly contain his surprise.

One side of Edward’s face was terribly bruised, and the eye was swollen shut. His hair was uncombed and he was still in his nightclothes. When George shut the door behind him Edward stood in the middle of the room wringing his hands.

“I did not shoot Christian,” he repeated. “I promise you, George, it wasn’t me.”

“Do you happen to know who did?” George asked smoothly.

Edward hesitated. Then he let it all out in a flood.

“When he first approached me I didn’t even recognise him. He’d dyed his hair black and sported a black moustache. He was shabbily dressed. I thought I’d never see him again. When he asked me about Christian’s movements, I had no idea of his intentions.

“I thought he wanted to talk to him. In fact, I still don’t know if it was him that shot Christian. There’s no evidence to say he did, is there?

“He visited me late last night. I became suspicious when he asked me which room Christian was in at the hospital. I refused to tell him and he caught me several blows that nearly took my head off.”

Edward was now pacing the floor.

“My life is ruined,” he said, while selfish tears ran down his cheeks.

“Calm down, man,” George said. “Who are you talking about? Who is this man?”

“I didn’t want to hurt that busybody Elswita, but I was so wound up and so scared. I – I . . .”



“Who is the man?”

“Why, my father, of course.”

“But I thought he was in prison.”

“Well, they let him out,” Edward said calmly.

George was taken aback by the news. He didn’t know much about Edward’s father other than that he was in prison for theft.

“He came to me late last night,” Edward continued. “I had to tell him which hospital room Christian was in, otherwise I don’t know what he would have done to me.”

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 tip to new writers is “write from your imagination”.