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فصل 09

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متن انگلیسی فصل

CHAPTER NINE

Alan McLeod’s funeral had been arranged for that Sunday, and, despite the death of one son and the arrest of the other, it was taking place as planned.

Angus, Susie and Moira were getting ready for the service when two police officers knocked on the door. Moira invited them into the living room, where they stood looking like giants in the small space. They said what they had to say without any fuss: “Mr Fleming, you are no longer a suspect, you’re free to leave the island, if you want. But you will be required to give evidence at the trial,” said one.

“We’re sorry for any inconvenience caused,” added the other.

“Of course, thank you,” Angus replied, “But can you tell us what has happened?”

“No, I’m sorry. We can’t give any information about an on-going investigation.”

“Of course,” Angus repeated. “Well, thank you for coming.”

Susie spoke first after the door had been closed behind them.

“Well, that’s that.”

She looked from son to mother and back again. Angus looked slightly shell-shocked. She took his hand.

“Should we not be heading up to the church?”

“Yes, we don’t want to be late,” replied Moira, placing a hand on Angus’s arm, “Come on Angus. We can talk about this afterwards.”

Angus nodded.

An hour later, they were standing in the graveyard of the old stone church. Most of Tarbert and many people from further afield were there, standing close together for protection from the wind. The sombre colours of their clothes matched the slate-grey sky.

Angus couldn’t concentrate at first on what the minister was saying. He felt relief and anxiety: relief that he was no longer a suspect and anxiety about who the police were interested in now. He stared at his feet, his thoughts just a jumble in his head.

Gradually the minister’s words began to seep in and he was carried back to his own father’s funeral. It had also taken place in this graveyard, only a few years before. If he turned his head, he could see the gravestone.

As Angus lifted his head to do so, he spotted Mark MacKenzie standing at the back of the crowd. He was scowling. When he noticed Angus looking at him, his frown deepened and, with hands in his pockets, he turned away.

Angus gasped: Mark was wearing a heavy black army coat, with distinctive buttons on the front. With the wind blowing he had done them up, and it was clear that one was missing.

It was him, it was Mark not Stuart! Angus felt a weight lift from his shoulders. Susie raised her eyebrows at him and his mother nudged him. Clearing his throat, Angus adopted the pose of mourner. And this time, looking at the sky, he found it hard to stop the tears running down his cheeks.

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