Author: Sylvie Orp PM
Without Cowley at the helm, CI5 starts to drift into difficult waters (You may want to check out my new story on Pros 'Crossover' section - Misc. (link top right).)Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Adventure - Words: 5,881 - Reviews: 3 - Published: 02-01-13 - Status: Complete - id: 8966784
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Bodie had a way with the Old Man. He could usually josh him out of his dark moods, or when his leg was giving him hell. Doyle sometimes felt excluded from their close relationship; like the forgotten second son rather than the favoured child. But jealousy was kept in its box and Doyle stayed quietly in the background while Bodie wove his magic. Bodie had asked Cowley in the beginning why he didn't have the bullet removed. Cowley replied that it was because the leg may have to be removed along with the shrapnel. It was easy for Bodie to talk; he wasn't looking at a possible amputation. So he'd asked Bodie, genuinely curious, "What would you do?"
"Me, sir? I'd have another drink!"
That was Bodie all over - easing the man away from his agony. Doyle couldn't help but admire him.
But that was a few years ago. Medical science has moved on and Cowley has acquired a wife, the formidable Elizabeth. Bodie and Elizabeth, persuaded - or nagged - depending on your point of view - the Old Man to have another look at what could be done. They'd even offered to go with him to see the surgeon for an opinion. You can imagine his response to that! However, Cowley did come back from a consultation to grudgingly admit that new tests had shown that they could indeed remove the bullet without removing the leg. There was always a risk of course. There was no surgery at all without risk, but if Cowley were willing … More persuasion/nagging from Bodie and Elizabeth. Eventually Cowley could take the pain no longer and agreed to go under the surgeon's knife. There was a lot of work to do back at HQ handing over the job to Studden, head of MI5, in preparation for Cowley being away for at least a month. He'd baulked at such a long convalescence - "I'm not an old man yet - despite what you call me behind my back!" he'd growled but Bodie, again, smoothed over Cowley's wrath and said he should make the most of any sick leave - "We have to," he'd added cheekily.
CI5 had endured Studden's helmsmanship before when Cowley was on a rare holiday or even rarer sick leave. In Studden's book MI5 came first and CI5 an unequivocal second. He did the job grudgingly as though it was beneath him to have to do the work at all - two hats, two jobs, one salary. He mixed up the teams too - another thing CI5 (and, they suspected, MI5 too) disliked under his leadership. CI5 did wonder whether this was an unsubtle attempt for Studden to keep an eye on them and have his own agents reporting back on any backsliding or misdemeanours. Bodie had been put with Green of MI5 - a toady if ever there was one. Bodie didn't trust him as far as he could throw him - and that would be a treat to try! Doyle had been exiled to Wales on his own to liaise with the local police force at Hafod, a small rural community. They'd had a hint of a lead and it was ideal country to lose an armed gang and to hide any amount of booty and contraband.
The surgery went well. Bodie didn't know how many of his colleagues knew of Cowley's ceding to common sense but he kept his own silence about it. He visited the Old Man the day after the operation and he looked quite well considering the long hours he'd endured in theatre. Bodie and Elizabeth had had a long chat with the surgeon after the operation and they were to try to keep Cowley's spirits up and persuade him to keep off the leg (and the whiskey) for at least a couple of weeks. He'd be packed off to a nursing home as soon as possible and get physiotherapy there. Elizabeth bravely said that she'd be the one to break that particular piece of news! Bodie and Elizabeth took turns to visit and after a few days the Old Man was back to normal - barking orders at both or either of them, demanding this and that from the medical staff, and suffering no fool gladly. He had wanted to talk to Studden to see how he was running the ship but had been told that Studden was too busy.
Next day, Bodie asked Studden when he could get Doyle back. He should be returning from Wales by now.
"He's sent in his report from Hafod," Studden said evasively.
"So he's on his way home then?"
"One presumes so. He has not deigned to tell me of his plans. He seems to think this is some kind of holiday …" Studden's anger was rising.
Bodie was confused. This was not the Doyle he knew. Yes, he'd do his best to wind Studden up - they all did. It was standard procedure in CI5's book - but radio silence was not part of the game.
"Are you saying that Ray hasn't reported in? Since when?"
"Are you more slow than even I realised, William?" Bodie refused to let the name anger him; Studden would use it even more. "I said that he'd sent in his report, didn't I - or did you miss that bit?"
Bodie's anger was reaching a dangerous level but Studden either couldn't see it or chose to ignore it. "When did he send in his report?"
"Excuse me. I run CI5 at the moment, not you. Internal …"
Bodie, not trusting himself to speak any further, got up suddenly and left. Studden called after him, but he kept going. Bodie felt that this was the excuse Studden had been waiting for and would throw him off the squad for insubordination, but at the moment he couldn't care less. Ray was in trouble; he could feel it in his bones.
Doyle woke to a pounding headache. He opened his eyes and stared at a brilliant white ceiling which seemed to come down on him. He turned his head and fire shot through his brain. He gasped and looked over at an even brighter (it seemed) white wall to his left. He risked slowly looking over to the other side. He had a strong feeling that he wasn't alone. He also had a strong feeling that there was something wrong down below. One thing at a time. His view from the right side of the bed was of a line of patients either lying in bed, or sitting next to them. From nowhere a nurse loomed into view.
"I'm relieved you've finally woken up. How are you feeling?" she enquired gently.
Doyle wished she wouldn't shout. He couldn't remember a hangover quite like this. "Rotten," he gasped. "Where am I?"
"You're in hospital. I'll get the consultant."
She stalked off and Doyle felt that he hadn't learnt a great deal. He closed his eyes and felt sick. He was clinging to the bed, trying to stop himself falling out of it (or so it felt) when the doctor came and the curtains were drawn around his bed.
"You've got a nasty concussion, sir, and you were getting us worried for a while," the consultant started off. "You'll still feel out of it for a bit though. I'll ease you off the morphine and give you something a bit less aggressive. Nurse will give you some anti-nausea capsules."
"I itch," Doyle said in embarrassment, looking down the bed.
"You have a catheter in there. I know from my own experience that they're bloody irritating things, but necessary. It'll be taken away tomorrow all being well." With that cheery thought the man left and Doyle drifted off again as his medication was adjusted.
Getting no help or information from their temporary godhead, Bodie tackled the central operator who logged and recorded all incoming and outgoing phone calls and correspondence.
"Can you find out when Doyle last made contact?"
"Have you lost him?" Alex asked as he flicked through the log book.
"Not sure," Bodie conceded, wondering whether he was just getting over-anxious for no reason.
"He went out on the 18th," Alex confirmed. More flipping of pages. "Reported later that day to say he'd arrived." Alex's finger travelled expertly through the densely packed notes. "Reported in next day to say he'd made contact with the locals. Submitted an oral report next day. On the 21st he said he was packing up and on his way back. Not a sausage since."
"That was five days ago. Why hasn't anyone sent up a distress flare yet?!" Now Bodie was getting really anxious. His instinct had been right.
"I assumed that Studden had." Alex realised now that Doyle was out on a limb somewhere. He understood Bodie's anxiety.
"That bastard wouldn't help his own mother to cross the road - providing he had one in the first place," Bodie growled.
What to do now? It was clear that Studden wasn't going to let Bodie go tearing round the countryside looking for his mate. He'd have to try something else. Elizabeth …
As the medication eased and Doyle's head stopped spinning and his stomach stopped doing the hokey-cokey he tried to work out where he was and why. The catheter had been removed, he'd had a bed bath, and a few bowls of soup had been poured down his throat. He'd had another brain scan and the doctor was satisfied that there was no internal bleeding and the swelling of his brain was going down. He was feeling stronger. Why then was he not making progress? Doyle had been reluctant to engage his fellow patients in chat and was taciturn with the nurses. His consultant he could do nothing about. The man was drawing his own conclusions however from Doyle's evasiveness. Next morning, after his rounds, he drew the curtain around his patient's bed again. Doyle was confused and a little anxious. He'd only just had the once-over from this man.
"Ok, sir, you've done well to hold out this long but let's hit the nail on the head shall we?"
Doyle tried to look blank.
"You've no idea who you are, have you?"
Doyle sighed. The man was right. He couldn't get away with it forever. He just shrugged apologetically. "There'll be something in my pocket won't there?" Doyle suggested hopefully.
"Unfortunately, when you were found, you'd been robbed. Not only your pocket contents but the thief or thieves also took your jacket and shoes. We've been treating you for mild hypothermia as well as a hairline skull fracture."
"How long have I been here?"
"Nearly a week now."
Doyle was shocked. He'd only been awake and taking notice for a couple of days. "And you still don't know who I am?" The doctor started to shake his head apologetically when Doyle continued, "So there hasn't been an army of concerned friends and relatives hammering on your door or pestering the police about a missing person, then?" It certainly didn't make Doyle feel good about himself.
"From your accent, sir, you're not local. You're from England." He made it sound like a foreign country where you needed a passport and a plane ticket. "So you could be from anywhere over there. The local police have issued your description to the local border counties but nothing so far. You could be from right the other end of the country as far as we can tell."
"Hold on, hold on. Let's just backtrack a moment." Doyle spluttered, then paused. The word 'backtrack' seemed to trigger something in his brain. The doctor waited. Doyle clutched at a phantom memory, but sighed in frustration when it slipped through his fingers. The doctor began soothing words when Doyle interrupted. "Let's start with where I am for a start. If I'm not in England, then where the hell am I?"
"You're in Newport," the consultant informed him. "On the Welsh borders," he added in case Doyle's geography wasn't up to it. "You were found unconscious at a service station on the M4 heading towards England." The doctor paused in case this meant anything to his patient. From his confused and angry face, it seemed that it didn't.
The police were still trying to get a line on the registration plate of a car left at the forecourt there. There was a hold-all of clothes and sundry items which indicated that the owner was or had been on holiday. They could link the car with their mystery man at the hospital, but there was no more identity in the car than there had been on the casualty when he'd been found and brought in.
Bodie wasn't sure what his status was now - still on active service? Suspended? Sacked? He was sure that Studden hadn't the power to sack any of Cowley's staff but whatever his current position, Bodie now had the time to do something - at least until Studden caught up with him. After talking to Alex and gleaning no further information, Bodie drove to Cowley's flat. He was in luck; Elizabeth was just coming in from shopping.
"Sorry to nab you on the doorstep," Bodie started off, taking the bags off Elizabeth as she fumbled for her door key.
"Quite all right, Bodie. You can 'nab' me anytime!"
Bodie grinned as she let them both in. He followed her to the kitchen and put the bags on the table. She put the kettle on and ignored her shopping.
"Now, Bodie, what's this all about?" she asked, unbuttoning her coat. She knew that he hadn't been to the hospital that morning so it wasn't to do with George.
Bodie helped her off with her coat while explaining as much as he knew. Since Elizabeth had been cleared to the highest level, he could be open and frank with her. It was a great relief as he told his tale. She also had a mind like a steel trap and if anyone should be running CI5 in the Old Man's absence it should be her. She made tea, broke out the biscuits (she knew that much about George's best man!) and settled him down in the living room while she thought things over. She asked him a few more pertinent questions then got up to fetch an atlas from the study and then sat next to him on the couch. They managed to find Hafod on the map and worked out Doyle's most direct and likely route home.
"We have to make some assumptions Bodie," she started off thoughtfully. "We have to assume that he's booked out of his B&B …"
"Alex confirms that he has, and paid up and out."
"All right. That assumption becomes a known fact. What next? He gets in the car and drives into nowhere. We need to find the car and the man. When we've done that we'll know then why he hasn't made contact for five days."
Bodie had been going over endless scenarios in his head to answer that particular question.
Doyle was now allowed out of bed and had been given a track suit to wear. He still felt very weak, and cautious about doing anything too physical in case he brought on a headache. The consultant had said that permanent amnesia was rare and for him not to try to force memories to the surface. They'd come in their own time. That was easy for the consultant to say. He didn't have a life behind him and a life ahead of him which was cloaked in a deep fog. He still felt that someone should be looking for him, and was depressed that no-one seemed to. The coppers had come to visit and went away with most of their questions unanswered. Yes, the car could be his. No, he didn't know if he had been on holiday or a business trip; nor did he know where he'd been staying. And, no, he didn't remember getting out of the car and being mugged. The police had been doing the rounds of hotels and guest houses, starting in the large Newport area and fanning out. Needles and haystacks came to mind. The coppers had other things to do however, and needles were very low on their priority list.
Bodie and Elizabeth traced the pale blue snake of the M4 from Swansea, the nearest large town from Hafod and the most obvious route to England.
"Yeah, ok, we assume he was on the M4. But how far did he get? Did he even get over the border?"
"Let's assume not, Bodie. Let's assume he's still in Wales - for the moment at least. Once we've eliminated Wales, then we can concentrate on the larger geographical problem of England."
"You make it sound like Hitler's plan for Poland!"
Elizabeth chuckled. Bodie was working his magic on her, too. "Fortunately England and Wales together are smaller than Poland, so that gives us another positive."
Bodie knew why Elizabeth was the best help Cowley could have - practical, methodical and positive. He felt better just being here and talking it through with her as he would have done with the Old Man. He wasn't going to suggest that they take this to Cowley; that would have been an insult to Elizabeth.
"Since Studden isn't going to help us, we'll just have to bring Ray home ourselves, won't we?"
"Sounds like a plan," Bodie agreed happily. At least Elizabeth was working on the theory that Ray was still alive.
The hospital had a problem. Their patient was now getting well enough to leave in the next few days; but leave to where? He had no money for his bus fare let alone a hotel for the night or a rail ticket over the border. Doyle had spoken to a psychiatrist as well as the neurologist who'd been looking after him thus far. They both agreed that Doyle's amnesia was genuine and likely to be from the blow to the head and not a fugue. Both specialists were concerned that nothing had come back yet. Doyle's total sum so far was that the name George meant something to him, but was fairly sure that it wasn't his own name. They gave him that name however as they had to call him something and put something on their forms. Smith was his inevitable surname. He also felt that he was a city boy and not a farm hand. They'd found that he could play chess and could draw very well. His hands indicated that he wasn't a manual worker, and he had old scars that none of the doctors could readily account for. None of it added up to much.
The Salvation Army took him in the end. His idea of dossing down with the tramps, however was misplaced. The hostel he was taken to was clean and bright. In return for a bed, food, bathroom and clothes, he helped around the centre and in the kitchens. They found him intelligent, amiable and very willing to help. He had a natural ease with the Army's volunteers and clientele and they trusted him. He seemed to know his way around the system and the Army wondered if he were a copper or perhaps a social worker.
Bodie contacted Doyle's B&B to see if he'd left an idea of what route he took and exactly what time he left. They couldn't help him on either score as they'd been quite busy that morning. Bodie tried to envision what he would have done once he'd left the guest house. He'd follow the signs to Swansea and the M4. Would he stop somewhere for petrol? He and Elizabeth looked for service stations on the route.
"He may have filled up before he hit the motorway," Bodie commented despairingly.
"We have to start somewhere. Find me a telephone number for this station here," she ordered, pointing a delicate finger to a service station on their map.
Bodie got the information from Eric, who'd taken over the switchboard from Alex. The first service station drew a blank, but their hearts leapt when Bodie got through to the second station further down the motorway who said there'd been an 'incident' on the 21st. Bodie pressed for details. Elizabeth saw the tension in Bodie as the information was relayed to him. He sat next to Elizabeth on the couch so she could hear the speaker at the other end. Bodie was told that a man had been found unconscious in the car park. The police had been called and an ambulance had taken the man away. The police had interviewed the staff on duty at the time but no-one had seen anything. Bodie asked which hospital the casualty was likely to have been taken to and was given a couple of possibilities. Bodie thanked the manager warmly and said he'd take it from there. He put the phone down and beamed in naked relief at the news.
"We don't know it's him," Elizabeth reminded him gently. She didn't want to get his hopes any higher than they were at the moment. "But it's a good start."
Bodie's next phone call was back to base who complained that they weren't a directory enquiry service!
Bodie drummed his fingers on the coffee table as the phone connected with a Newport hospital at the other end.
"It's the Metropolitan Police, London," Bodie lied, "I'd like to speak to someone about a casualty who was brought in on the 21st. Ray or Raymond Doyle."
After a long pause while she consulted her log, the receptionist said, "I'm sorry we don't have anyone of that name. We did have two unknowns but they've since been identified. A Mrs Shirley Philips and a Mr George Smith."
Elizabeth indicated that she wanted to speak to the receptionist. Bodie gloomily handed the receiver over to her.
"What do you mean by 'unknowns'?" she asked.
"I don't have specific details, but it's usually the case that a casualty would be unconscious when they were brought in and had no identity on them."
"Tell me about Mr Smith," Elizabeth asked.
Bodie was getting frustrated. Forget Mr Smith, let's phone the other hospitals he was thinking, but he let Elizabeth have her head.
"He's now left us, but I can put you through to the neurosurgical ward where he was treated if that helps."
They looked at each other, not knowing if this was good news or not.
"Yes, yes thank you," Elizabeth said.
The phone was picked up quickly at the nursing station and Elizabeth also claimed to be from the Met and asked for details of this George Smith of theirs.
"Yes, I remember him," the duty nurse said. "He'd been mugged and had a nasty concussion. When he eventually came round he had amnesia, but as he had recovered from his head injury we had to let him go."
"Let him go!" Bodie interjected angrily. Elizabeth wrested the phone back from him.
"We're not a convalescent home," the nurse defended.
"Of course not," Elizabeth soothed. "Do you have one?"
"A convalescent home."
"No. Since he still didn't know who he was, and no-one came forward to claim him - we think he was from across the border - then I think the Salvation Army took him in the end."
Bodie didn't know what to think or feel about that particular piece of news.
"Do you have a contact for us?" Elizabeth asked as calmly and sweetly as she could.
They had to wait an agonising several minutes before she came back with a contact name and number. They thanked the nurse sincerely and rang off. They looked at each other for several moments. Bodie didn't know whether he felt angry, sad, relieved, or several other things he couldn't put a name to. Elizabeth too looked lost in an emotional sea.
"Time for a cup of tea," she said after a time. It was too early in the day for whisky but she brought him one anyway.
"George Smith must be the name they gave him, since he's lost his own - if we are to assume that it is Ray," Elizabeth pondered as she sipped her Earl Grey.
"Odd that it's George," Bodie conjectured. "Usually an unknown is called John Smith. Or John Doe in America."
"Perhaps Ray came up with George himself and couldn't get any further. He's unlikely to have remembered William," she teased.
Despite everything Bodie smiled. "Come on. We've got this far. Let's make that call."
Elizabeth generously pushed the phone over to Bodie. Once connected to the Sally Army, he again claimed he was from the Met and enquired about this George Smith. Elizabeth was right; they shouldn't jump to the conclusion that it was Ray.
"Yes, we do have a client with that name. He's an amnesiac but that's the name we're using at the moment until he can come up with anything more definite. The doctors are convinced, by the way, that his amnesia is genuine. He's not a user or an alcoholic so we have no problem with him. In fact, he's been a great help to us here. Do you think you know him? Is he wanted?"
It sounded more and more like Doyle. To be sure, Bodie asked the officer to describe their client. Elizabeth was listening in. The physical description matched. Bodie didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
"That's him. Ray Doyle," Bodie said, choking on the words, "He's one of ours. Tell him Bodie and Elizabeth are on their way to collect him. We should get there some time tomorrow afternoon. Keep him close."
"That's excellent news. It will cheer him up no end. Despite putting on a brave face, I know he's been battling with depression. It's very common with amnesiacs apparently. Your names may even start to trigger a return of memory."
They thanked him with huge relief and put the phone down. Elizabeth slid her hand in Bodie's and they both sat in silence for a long while, staring at the carpet, lost in their own thoughts and emotions.
Elizabeth came out of her reverie first and said, "It's too late to set off for Newport now. I'll see George tonight and tell him where we're going. He's due to be moved to the convalescent home tomorrow in any case, so that should keep his mind occupied."
"He's not going to like that, is he?" Bodie commented with a wry smile.
"He's not going to like having one of his agents missing for a week without Studden doing anything about it, either," Elizabeth commented sadly. Bodie thought he detected a degree of fear there too, not for her own sake but for how her husband, already straining at the leash, would react. He'd want to get back to CI5 and take the helm in case anyone else went AWOL.
"Are you going to tell him then?"
Elizabeth thought for a few moments. "On reflection, no. Not at the moment anyway. He'll only want to go to HQ and throw Studden through the nearest window, and I don't think that's a good idea in George's condition at the moment."
"He can do a bit of defenestration when he's better, then?" Bodie joked.
Bodie took Elizabeth out to dinner in celebration. The more time she spent in this man's company, the more she liked and respected him. She could understand why her husband had a soft spot for him.
When he came home that night, Bodie had a message that Studden wanted him in his office at 8 o'clock next morning without fail. Bodie phoned Alex back and told him what he thought of that instruction. Alex translated it into English for Studden to read when he arrived at work. Bodie picked up Elizabeth next morning and they set off for Newport at the crack of dawn. The roads were fairly clear and they said little on the journey. They broke off for a quick lunch at a service station and were soon on their way again. They wondered whether their names had tripped any memory in Doyle's damaged brain.
Doyle was helping to calm down a very disturbed young man with mental health problems when Harry approached him and said he'd like a word when he was free. After half an hour or so, Doyle poked his head into the office.
"I had a phone call," Harry said, indicating a chair.
Doyle sat and waited for the rest of it. He was no longer thinking along the lines of breakthroughs or a tearful wife coming to collect him. He was trying not to think at all of his here and now nor of the future.
"Does the name Ray Doyle mean anything to you?" He waited while his friend ransacked his bombed out memory banks.
"Yeah, yeah, I think it does," he said slowly and cautiously. He was already frustrated with phantom memories slipping through his grasp, and didn't want this to be yet another one.
Harry shook his hand. Doyle looked bewildered. "You are no longer George Smith of unknown origins but Ray Doyle, colleague - or something - of Elizabeth and Bodie who work at the Met. Sorry, didn't catch their surname." He paused while this sunk in. "They're coming to collect you some time tomorrow."
Harry hadn't come across an amnesiac before but had had the foresight to phone Doyle's doctor at the hospital with the good news that finally someone had traced him. The doctor told Harry what to expect from their friend when this news was broken to him, and to tell the police that 'George Smith' had now been identified. Harry got up and led Doyle to a small office.
"Just sit there quietly and have a think. I'll get you a cup of tea." Harry was following the doctor's advice.
Thoughts, facts, ideas, emotions were all vying for pole position in Doyle's head. He felt like a computer with a virus. His brain was going into overload until he thought his head would explode. Harry brought him the tea as promised and left without a word. Doyle didn't know how long he'd sat there, and the 'do not disturb' sign pinned on the door ensured that he got the peace he required. His life didn't come back all at once or in chronological order. It wasn't like sitting in the cinema and seeing his life flash before him. It was more like a jigsaw with missing pieces and pieces from other puzzles. There was a lot left unanswered, a lot that didn't seem to fit, but enough of it was there for him to say that he now had a fair idea of who Ray Doyle was and where Elizabeth and Bodie fitted in. Not the married couple as he and Harry had assumed, but two quite separate individuals holding quite separate compartments in his heart. He also now knew who George was and smiled at the thought that he'd carried Cowley's name for a while.
Mid-afternoon saw Bodie and Elizabeth pull up at the Salvation Army hostel. It was a much more modern and airy building than either of them had expected. They didn't have to step over any tramps sleeping in the doorway, and there was no smell of unwashed bodies or worse when then reached reception. All their preconceptions were shot down one by one.
"We phoned yesterday and have come to pick up …"
"Ray Doyle," interrupted a voice in the corner.
Bodie and Elizabeth whirled round to see a man with a smile as broad as the Thames. Although they weren't usually physical with each other, Bodie couldn't help but rush to Doyle's side and they hugged and laughed in mutual relief. Elizabeth grinned and shared their joy. Doyle brought Bodie back to the receptionist and introduced everyone.
"I'm going to have to go, Robert," Doyle said to his pal. He didn't sound too sad about it, though he had made friends here.
"Oh, buggering off to England as soon as your mates arrive, is it?" Robert joked happily.
"'Fraid so," Doyle grinned, already heading down a corridor and leaving his friends with Robert.
"He shouldn't be long," Robert commented, "I don't suppose he has much to pack."
Bodie and Elizabeth looked guiltily at each other. "We only heard he'd been missing yesterday. It took a while to track him down."
"I would have thought it would have taken longer than that to find him. I wouldn't know where to start. But I suppose the Met threw all their manpower into the search, eh, for one of their own?"
"Something like that," Bodie said heavily and felt Elizabeth tug discreetly at his sleeve to stop him saying something unguarded.
Doyle came back presently with a man in tow. They were clearly easy with each other.
"I'm Harry," he said shaking hands with the new visitors. "We're certainly going to be sorry to see Ray go."
"Hear, hear," joined in Robert.
"He's been a great help to us here," Harry continued.
Doyle was getting embarrassed. He hated goodbyes in any circumstances. He didn't want to go with a halo round his head.
"Cut it out Robert. I just needed to do something to stop me going nuts. Look, you take care and best of luck with all this. You're doing a wonderful job here."
It was Robert and Harry's turn to look embarrassed.
They stopped off at the police station for Doyle to give a further statement - not that he had anything much to add except his real name, and to pick up his car. Elizabeth felt that Ray wasn't up to driving yet so took over his car, leaving the men some privacy in Bodie's car to catch up with each other on the long drive home.
Home. It was a good word. Doyle rolled it round his head. He knew now where home was and all that it meant to him.