"I must have read about it in the transcript of the trial," said Craig, trying to sound confident.
"You know, one of the problems that an old warhorse like myself faces once he's pensioned off," said Sir Matthew, "is that he has nothing to do with his spare time. So for the past six months, my bedside reading has been this transcript." He held up a five-inch-thick document, and added, "From cover to cover. Not once, but twice. And one of the things I discovered during my years at the Bar was that often it's not what's in the evidence that gives a criminal away, but what has been left out. Let me assure you, Mr. Craig, there is no mention, from the first page to the last, of a wound to Danny Cartwright's left leg." Sir Matthew added, almost in a whisper, "And so I come to my final scenario, Mr. Craig. It was you who picked up the knife from the bar before running out into the alley. It was you who thrust the knife into Danny Cartwright's leg. It was you who stabbed Bernie Wilson in the chest and left him to die in the arms of his friend. And it will be you who will spend the rest of your life in prison."
Uproar broke out in the courtroom.
Sir Matthew turned to Arnold Pearson, who still wasn't lifting a finger to assist his colleague, but remained hunched up in the corner of counsel's bench, his arms folded.
The judge waited until the usher had called for silence and order was restored before saying, "I feel I should give Mr. Craig the opportunity to answer Sir Matthew's accusations rather than leave them hanging in the air."
"I will be only too happy to do so, m'lord," said Craig evenly, "but first I should like to suggest to Sir Matthew a fourth scenario, which at least has the merit of credibility."
"I can't wait," said Sir Matthew, leaning back.
"Given your client's background, isn't it possible that the wound to his leg was inflicted at some time before the night in question?"
"But that still doesn't explain how you could possibly have known about the scar in the first place."
"I don't have to explain," said Craig defiantly, "because a jury has already decided that your client didn't have a leg to stand on." He looked rather pleased with himself.
"I wouldn't be so sure about that," said Sir Matthew, turning to his son, who on cue handed him a small cardboard box. Sir Matthew placed the box on the ledge in front of him, and took his time before removing a pair of jeans and holding them up in full view of the jury. "These are the jeans that the prison service returned to Miss Elizabeth Wilson when it was thought that Danny Cartwright had hanged himself. I am sure that the jury will be interested to see that there is a blood-stained tear in the left lower thigh region, which matches up exactly with..."
The outburst that followed drowned out the rest of Sir Matthew's words. Everyone turned to look at Craig, wanting to find out what his answer would be, but he wasn't given the chance to reply, as Pearson finally rose to his feet.
"M'lord, I must remind Sir Matthew that it is not Mr. Craig who is on trial," Pearson declared, having to almost shout in order to make himself heard, "and that this piece of evidence"-he pointed at the jeans which Sir Matthew was still holding up-"has no relevance when it comes to deciding if Cartwright did or did not escape from custody."
Mr. Justice Hackett was no longer able to hide his anger. His jovial smile had been replaced by a grim visage. Once silence had returned to his court, he said, "I couldn't agree with you more, Mr. Pearson. A bloodstained tear in the defendant's jeans is certainly not relevant to this case." He paused for a moment before looking down at the witness with disdain. "However, I feel I have been left with no choice but to abandon this trial and dismiss the jury until all the transcripts of this and the earlier case have been sent to the DPP for his consideration, because I am of the opinion that a gross miscarriage of justice may have taken place in the case of The Crown versus Daniel Arthur Cartwright."
This time the judge made no attempt to quell the uproar that followed as journalists bolted for the door, some of them already on their mobile phones even before they had left the courtroom.
Alex turned to congratulate his father, to find him slumped in the corner of the bench, his eyes closed. He opened an eyelid, peered up at his son and remarked, "It's far from over yet, my boy."
BOOK SIX. Judgment
THOUGH I SPEAK with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not...
Once Father Michael had blessed the bride and groom, Mr. and Mrs. Cartwright joined the rest of the congregation as they gathered around the grave of Danny Cartwright.
And though I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith so that I could remove mountains, and have not...
It had been the bride's wish to honor Nick in this way, and Father Michael had agreed to conduct a service in memory of the man whose death had made it possible for Danny to prove his innocence.
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not...
Apart from Danny, only two people present had known the man who had come to be buried in a foreign field. One of them stood upright on the far side of the grave, dressed in a black tailcoat, wing collar and black silk tie. Fraser Munro had traveled down from Dunbroath to the East End of London to represent the last in the line of Moncrieffs that he would serve. Danny had tried to thank him for his wisdom and strength at all times, but all Munro had said was, "I wish I'd had the privilege of serving you both. But that was not the Lord's will," added the elder of the Kirk. Something else Danny hadn't known about the man.
When they had all met up at Wilson House the marriage ceremony began, Munro took some considerable time admiring Danny's paintings. "I had no idea, Danny, that you were a collector of McTaggart, Peploe and Lauder."
Danny grinned. "I think you'll find it was Lawrence Davenport who collected them. I merely acquired them, but having lived with them I intend to add more of the Scottish school to my collection."
"How like your grandfather," said Munro. Danny decided not to point out to Mr. Munro that he had never actually met Sir Alexander. "By the way," added Munro sheepishly, "I must admit to having hit one of your adversaries below the belt while you were safely locked up in Belmarsh."
"Sir Hugo Moncrieff, no less. And what's worse, I did so without seeking your approval, most unprofessional of me. I've wanted to get it off my chest for some time."
"Well, now's your chance, Mr. Munro," said Danny, trying to keep a straight face. "So what have you been up to in my absence?"
"I must confess that I sent all the papers concerning the validity of Sir Alexander's second will to the Procurator Fiscal's office, alerting them to the fact that I felt an offense may have been committed." Danny didn't speak. He had learned early on in their relationship not to interrupt Munro while he was in full flow. "As nothing happened for several months, I assumed that Mr. Galbraith had somehow managed to have the whole episode swept under the carpet." He paused. "That was until I read this morning's Scotsman on the plane down to London." He opened his ever-present briefcase, took out a newspaper and passed it across to Danny.