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The room they entered had a claustrophobically low ceiling; it smelled of cabbage and fish. The only light came from a crackling fire in a stone hearth. Blackout shades had been drawn over the windows nonetheless. A wireless radio somewhere, turned low, was playing softly “She’s Funny That Way.” Winterbotham had guessed right: Andrew Taylor was sitting in one of two easy chairs by the fireplace. He rose as they came into the room, and offered his hand. He was a man of a certain age, like Winterbotham himself, and, like Winterbotham, he was a man of a certain weight, even in the midst of wartime rationing. Winterbotham had not seen Taylor for several years, not since they’d been teaching together at the university. His first impression was that the man looked older, more haggard, more harried. His second was that he also looked healthier, in a strange way: His eyes were sparkling, and his handshake was firm. The war was doing him good, Winterbotham realized. Sometimes you found people like that; these dark days brought out the best in them. They were the Churchills of the world, the ones who thrived on conflict. “Evening, old chap,” Taylor said. “They found you.” “That they did. In my bath.” “Sorry about that, Harry. Come in, have a seat. Thank you, Colonel. That will be all.” Colonel Fredricks executed a courtly half bow, then stepped back out through the front door and closed it behind himself. “You’ve got him well trained,” Winterbotham remarked. “Not I. It’s the Royal Artillery who trained him so well. Tea?” “Something stronger, if you’ve got it.” Winterbotham settled down in one of the easy chairs beside the fire. A marble chessboard had been set up on a table between the chairs. He inspected it with a small smile. Perhaps Taylor had dragged him all the way out here simply because he was hungry for a good game of chess … although he rather doubted it. Taylor handed him a chipped mug and sat opposite the chessboard, holding one of his own. Winterbotham raised the mug and sniffed suspiciously. Whiskey. He took a sip into his mouth and rolled it around. Not just whiskey, but good whiskey. How long had it been since he’d had good whiskey? “You’re looking well,” Taylor said.

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