"A few days later the funeral took place at St. Mary's church in Bow, where even the defendant's closest family, including the mother of his child, were convinced that the body being lowered into the grave was that of Daniel Cartwright.



"What kind of man, you might ask, would be willing to deceive his own family? I'll tell you what kind of man. This man," he said, pointing at Danny. "He even had the nerve to turn up to the funeral posing as Nicholas Moncrieff so that he could witness his own burial and be certain he'd got away with it."



Once again Pearson leaned back so that the significance of his words could sink into the jury's minds. "From the day of Moncrieff's death," he continued, "Cartwright always wore Moncrieff's watch, his signet ring and the silver chain and key, in order to deceive the prison staff and his fellow inmates into believing that he was in fact Nicholas Moncrieff, who only had six weeks of his sentence left to serve.



"On July seventeenth 2002, Daniel Cartwright walked out of the front gate of Belmarsh prison a free man, despite having another twenty years of his sentence left to serve. Was it enough for him to have escaped? It was not. He immediately took the first train to Scotland so that he could lay claim to the Moncrieff family estate, and then returned to London to take up residence in Sir Nicholas Moncrieff's town house in The Boltons.



"But it didn't even end there, members of the jury. Cartwright then had the audacity to start drawing cash from Sir Nicholas Moncrieff's bank account at Coutts in The Strand. You might have felt that was enough, but no. He then flew to Geneva for an appointment with the chairman of Coubertin and Company, a leading Swiss bank, to whom he presented the silver key along with Moncrieff's passport. That gave him access to a vault, which contained the fabled stamp collection of Nicholas Moncrieff's late grandfather, Sir Alexander Moncrieff. What did Cartwright do when he got his hands on this family heirloom that had taken Sir Alexander Moncrieff over seventy years to assemble? He sold it the following day to the first bidder who arrived on the scene, netting himself a cool twenty-five million pounds."



Sir Matthew raised an eyebrow. How unlike Arnold Pearson to do cool.



"So now that Cartwright is a multimillionaire," continued Pearson, "you may well ask yourselves what he could possibly do next. I will tell you. He flew back to London, bought himself a top-of-the-range BMW, employed a chauffeur and a housekeeper, settled down in The Boltons and carried on the myth that he was Sir Nicholas Moncrieff. And, members of the jury, he would still be living that myth today if it were not for the sheer professionalism of Chief Inspector Fuller, the man who arrested Cartwright for his original offense in 1999, and who now single-handed"-Sir Matthew wrote down those words-"tracked him down, arrested him and finally brought him to justice. That, members of the jury, is the case for the prosecution. But later I will produce a witness who will leave you in no doubt that the defendant, Daniel Cartwright, is guilty of all five charges on the indictment."



As Pearson resumed his seat, Sir Matthew looked across at his old adversary and touched his forehead as if he was raising an invisible hat. "Chapeau," he said.



"Thank you, Matthew," Pearson replied.



"Gentlemen," said the judge, looking at his watch, "I think this might be a suitable moment to break for lunch."



"Court will rise!" shouted the usher, and all the officials immediately stood up and bowed low. Mr. Justice Hackett returned their bow and left the courtroom.



"Not bad," admitted Alex to his father.



"I agree, though dear old Arnold did make one mistake, which he may live to regret."



"And what was that?" asked Alex.



Sir Matthew passed his son the piece of paper on which he had written the word single-handed.



CHAPTER SEVENTY-FOUR



"THERE'S ONLY ONE thing you have to get this witness to admit," said Sir Matthew. "But at the same time, we don't need the judge or Arnold Pearson to realize what you're up to."



"No pressure," said Alex with a grin as Mr. Justice Hackett reentered the courtroom and everyone rose.



The judge bowed low before resuming his place in the high-backed red leather chair. He opened his notebook to the end of his analysis of Pearson's opening, turned to a fresh page and wrote the words, first witness. He then nodded in the direction of Mr. Pearson, who rose from his place and said, "I call Chief Inspector Fuller."



Alex hadn't seen Fuller since the first trial four years ago, and he was unlikely to forget that occasion, as the Chief Inspector had run circles around him. If anything, he looked even more confident than he had done then. Fuller took the oath without even glancing at the card.



"Detective Chief Inspector Fuller," said Pearson, "would you please begin by confirming your identity to the court."



"My name is Rodney Fuller. I'm a serving officer with the Metropolitan Police stationed at Palace Green, Chelsea."



"Can I also place on the record that you were the arresting officer when Daniel Cartwright committed his previous offense for which he received a prison sentence?"



"That is correct, sir."



"How did you come to learn that Cartwright might possibly have escaped from Belmarsh prison and was passing himself off as Sir Nicholas Moncrieff?"



"On October twenty-third last year I received a telephone call from a reliable source who told me that he needed to see me on an urgent matter."



"Did he go into any detail at that time?"



"No, sir. He's not the sort of gentleman who would commit himself over the telephone."



Sir Matthew wrote down the word gentleman, not a word a policeman would normally use when referring to a snitch. His second catch in the slips on the opening morning. He wasn't expecting many of those while Arnold Pearson was on his feet bowling the Chief Inspector gentle off-breaks.



"So a meeting was arranged," said Pearson.



"Yes, we agreed to meet the following day at a time and place of his choosing."



"And when you met the next day he informed you that he had some information concerning Daniel Cartwright."



"Yes. Which came as a bit of a surprise," said Fuller, "because I was under the misapprehension that Cartwright had hanged himself. Indeed, one of my officers attended his funeral."



"So how did you respond to this revelation?"



"I took it seriously, because the gentleman had proved reliable in the past."



Sir Matthew underlined the word gentleman.



"So what did you do next?"



"I placed a twenty-four-hour surveillance team on number twelve The Boltons, and quickly discovered that the resident who was claiming to be Sir Nicholas Moncrieff did bear a striking resemblance to Cartwright."



"But surely that would not have been enough for you to move in and arrest him."



"Certainly not," replied the Chief Inspector. "I needed more tangible proof than that."



"And what form did this tangible proof take?"



"On the third day of surveillance, the suspect received a visit from a Miss Elizabeth Wilson, and she stayed the night."



"Miss Elizabeth Wilson?"



"Yes. She is the mother of Cartwright's daughter, and she visited him regularly while he was in prison. This made me confident that the information I had been given was accurate."