Beth had been released on bail the morning after she had been arrested. But no one had been surprised when neither Danny nor Big Al were granted the same latitude.
Mr. Jenkins was waiting in reception at Belmarsh to greet them, and Mr. Pascoe made sure that they ended up sharing a cell. Within a month Danny was back in his post as the prison librarian, just as he had told Ms. Bennett he would be. Big Al was allocated a job in the kitchen, and although the cooking didn't compare to Molly's, at least they both ended up with the best of the worst.
Alex Redmayne never once reminded Danny that if he had taken his advice and pleaded guilty to manslaughter at the original trial, he would now be a free man, managing Wilson 's garage, married to Beth and helping to raise their family. But a free man in what sense? Alex could hear him asking.
There had also been moments of triumph to sit alongside disaster. The gods prefer it that way. Alex Redmayne had been able to convince the court that although Beth was technically guilty of the offense she had been charged with, she had only been aware that Danny was still alive for four days, and they had already made an appointment to see Alex in his chambers on the morning she had been arrested. The judge had given Beth a six-month suspended sentence. Since then she had visited Danny at Belmarsh on the first Sunday of every month.
The judge had not taken quite as lenient a view when it came to the role Big Al had played in the conspiracy. Alex had pointed out in his opening speech that his client, Albert Crann, had made no financial gain from the Moncrieff fortune, other than to receive a salary as Danny's driver while being allowed to sleep in a small room on the top floor of his house in The Boltons. Mr. Arnold Pearson QC, representing the Crown, then produced a bombshell that Alex hadn't seen coming.
"Can Mr. Crann explain how the sum of ten thousand pounds was deposited in his private account only days after he'd been discharged from prison?"
Big Al had no explanation, and even if he had, he wasn't about to tell Pearson where the money had come from.
The jury were not impressed.
The judge sent Big Al back to Belmarsh to serve another five years-the rest of his original sentence. Danny made sure he quickly became enhanced, and that he behaved impeccably during his period of incarceration. Glowing reports from senior officer Ray Pascoe, confirmed by the governor, meant that Big Al would be released on a tag in less than a year. Danny would miss him, though he knew that if he even hinted as much, Big Al would cause just enough trouble to ensure that he remained at Belmarsh until Danny was finally released.
Beth had one good piece of news to tell Danny on her Sunday afternoon visit.
"Christ, we only had four nights together," said Danny as he took her in his arms.
"I don't think that was the number of times we made love," said Beth, before adding, "Let's hope it will be a brother for Christy."
"If it is, we can call him Bernie."
"No," said Beth, "we're going to call him-" The klaxon signaled the end of visits and drowned out her words.
"Can I ask you a question?" said Danny when Pascoe escorted him back to his cell.
"Of course," Pascoe replied. "Doesn't mean I'll answer it."
"You always knew, didn't you?" Pascoe smiled, but didn't reply. "What made you so sure that I wasn't Nick?" asked Danny as they reached his cell.
Pascoe turned the key in the lock and heaved open the heavy door. Danny walked in, assuming he wasn't going to answer his question, but then Pascoe nodded at the photograph of Beth that Danny had sellotaped back on to the wall.
"Oh, my God," said Danny, shaking his head. "I never took her photo off the wall."
Pascoe smiled, stepped back into the corridor and slammed the cell door shut.
Danny looked up at the public gallery to see Beth, now six months pregnant, looking down at him with that same smile he remembered so well from their playground days at Clement Attlee comprehensive and which he knew would still be there until the end of his days, however long the judge decreed his sentence should run.
Danny's and Beth's mothers sat on either side of her, a constant support. Also seated in the gallery were many of Danny's friends and supporters from the East End who would go to their graves proclaiming his innocence. Danny's eyes settled on Professor Amirkhan Mori, a foul-weather friend, before moving on to someone seated at the end of the row, whom he hadn't expected to see again. Sarah Davenport leaned over the balcony, and smiled down at him.
In the well of the court, Alex and his father were still deep in conversation. The Times had devoted a whole page to the father and son who would be appearing together as defense counsel in the case. It was only the second time in history that a high-court judge had returned to the role of barrister, and it was certainly the first occasion in anyone's memory that a son would lead his father.
Danny and Alex had renewed their friendship during the past six months, and he knew they would remain close for the rest of their lives. Alex's father came from the same growth as Professor Mori-a rare vintage. Both men were passionate: Professor Mori in the pursuit of learning, Sir Matthew in the pursuit of justice. The old judge's presence in the courtroom had made even practiced lawyers and cynical journalists think more carefully about the case, but they remained puzzled as to what had convinced him that Danny Cartwright could possibly be innocent.
Mr. Arnold Pearson QC and his junior were seated at the other end of the bench, checking over the opening for the Crown line by line and making the occasional small emendation. Danny was well prepared for the outburst of venom and bile that he was sure would come when Pearson rose from his place and told the court that not only was the defendant an evil and dangerous criminal, but that there was only one place the jury should consider dispatching him for the rest of his life.
Alex Redmayne had told Danny that he only expected three witnesses to give evidence: Chief Inspector Fuller, Sir Hugo Moncrieff and Fraser Munro. But Alex and his father already had plans to ensure that a fourth witness would also be called. Alex had warned Danny that whichever judge was appointed to try the case would do everything in his power to prevent that happening.
It came as no surprise to Sir Matthew that Mr. Justice Hackett had called both counsel to his chambers before proceedings began, to warn them to steer clear of any reference to the original murder trial, the verdict of which had been reached by a jury and later upheld by three judges at the court of appeal. He went on to stress that should either party attempt to place on record the contents of a particular tape as evidence, or mention the names of Spencer Craig, now an eminent QC, Gerald Payne, who had been elected to Parliament, or the well-known actor Lawrence Davenport, they could expect to face his wrath.
It was common knowledge in legal circles that Mr. Justice Hackett and Sir Matthew Redmayne had not been on speaking terms for the past thirty years. Sir Matthew had won too many cases in the lower courts when they were both fledgling barristers for anyone to be left in much doubt which of them was the superior advocate. The press were hoping that their rivalry would be rekindled once the trial was under way.
The jury had been selected the previous day, and were now waiting to be called into court so that they could hear the evidence before passing a final verdict in the case of The Crown versus Daniel Arthur Cartwright.