"I am indeed, m'lord," Redmayne replied, his eyes never leaving Payne. "Was the Musketeers' motto: 'All for one and one for all'?" Redmayne repeated.

"Yes, it was," replied Payne with a slight edge to his voice.

"What else did the members of that society have in common?" asked Redmayne.

"An appreciation of Dumas, justice and a bottle of fine wine."

"Or perhaps several bottles of fine wine?" suggested Redmayne as he extracted a small, light blue booklet from the pile of papers in front of him. He began to turn its pages slowly. "And was one of the society's rules that if any member found himself in danger, it was the duty of all other members to come to his assistance?"

"Yes," replied Payne. "I have always considered loyalty to be the benchmark by which you can judge any man."

"Do you indeed?" said Redmayne. "Was Mr. Spencer Craig by any chance also a member of the Musketeers?"

"He was," replied Payne. "In fact, he's a past chairman."

"And did you and your fellow members come to his assistance on the night of September eighteenth last year?"

"My lord," said Pearson leaping to his feet once again, "this is outrageous."

"What is outrageous, m'lord," retorted Redmayne, "is that whenever one of Mr. Pearson's witnesses looks as if he might be in some trouble, he leaps to their assistance. Perhaps he is also a member of the Musketeers?"

Several of the jurors smiled.

"Mr. Redmayne," said the judge quietly, "are you suggesting that the witness is committing perjury just because he was a member of a society while he was at university?"

"If the alternative was life imprisonment for his closest friend, m'lord, then yes, I do think it might have crossed his mind."

"This is outrageous," repeated Pearson, still on his feet.

"Not as outrageous as sending a man to jail for the rest of his life," said Redmayne, "for a murder he did not commit."

"No doubt, m'lord," said Pearson, "we are about to discover that the barman was also a member of the Musketeers."

"No, we are not," responded Redmayne, "but we will contend that the barman was the only person in the Dunlop Arms that night who did not go out into the alley."

"I think you have made your point," said the judge. "Perhaps it's time to move on to your next question."

"No more questions, m'lord," said Redmayne.

"Do you wish to reexamine this witness, Mr. Pearson?"

"I do, m'lord," said Pearson. "Mr. Payne, can you confirm, so that the jury are left in no doubt, that you did not follow Mr. Craig out into the alley after you had heard a woman scream?"

"Yes, I can," said Payne. "I was in no condition to do so."

"Quite so. No more questions, m'lord."

"You are free to leave the court, Mr. Payne," said the judge.

Alex Redmayne couldn't help noticing that Payne didn't look quite as self-assured as he walked out of the courtroom as he had done when he'd swaggered in.

"Do you wish to call your next witness, Mr. Pearson?" asked the judge.

"I had intended to call Mr. Davenport, m'lord, but you might feel it would be wise to begin his cross-examination tomorrow morning."

The judge didn't notice that most of the women in the courtroom seemed to be willing him to call Lawrence Davenport without further delay. He looked at his watch, hesitated, then said, "Perhaps it would be better if we were to call Mr. Davenport first thing tomorrow morning."

"As your lordship pleases," said Pearson, delighted with the effect the prospect of his next witness's appearance had already had on the five women on the jury. He only hoped that young Redmayne would be foolish enough to attack Davenport in the same way he had Gerald Payne.


THE FOLLOWING MORNING a buzz of expectation swept around the courtroom even before Lawrence Davenport made his entrance. When the usher called out his name, he did so in a hushed voice.

Lawrence Davenport entered the court stage right, and followed the usher to the witness box. He was about six foot, but so slim he appeared taller. He wore a tailored navy blue suit and a cream shirt that looked as if it had been unwrapped that morning. He had spent a considerable time debating whether he should wear a tie, and in the end had accepted Spencer's advice that it gave the wrong impression if you looked too casual in court. "Let them go on thinking you're a doctor, not an actor," Spencer had said. Davenport had selected a striped tie that he would never have considered wearing unless he was in front of a camera. But it was not his outer garments that caused women to turn their heads. It was the piercing blue eyes, thick wavy fair hair and helpless look that made so many of them want to mother him. Well, the older ones. The younger ones had other fantasies.

Lawrence Davenport had built his reputation playing a heart surgeon in The Prescription. For an hour every Saturday evening, he seduced an audience of over nine million. His fans didn't seem to care that he spent more time flirting with the nurses than performing coronary artery bypass grafts.

After Davenport had stepped into the witness box, the usher handed him a Bible and held up a cue card so that he could deliver his opening lines. As Davenport recited the oath, he turned court number four into his private theater. Alex Redmayne couldn't help noticing that all five women on the jury were smiling at the witness. Davenport returned their smiles, as if he were taking a curtain call.

Mr. Pearson rose slowly from his place. He intended to keep Davenport in the witness box for as long as he could, while he milked his audience of twelve.

Alex Redmayne sat back as he waited for the curtain to rise, and recalled another piece of advice his father had given him.

Danny felt more isolated in the dock than ever as he stared across at the man he recalled so clearly seeing in the bar that night.

"You are Lawrence Andrew Davenport?" said Pearson, beaming at the witness.

"I am, sir."

Pearson turned to the judge. "I wonder, m'lord, if you would allow me to avoid having to ask Mr. Davenport to reveal his home address." He paused. "For obvious reasons."

"I have no problem with that," replied Mr. Justice Sackville, "but I will require the witness to confirm that he has resided at the same address for the past five years."

"That is the case, my lord," said Davenport, turning his attention to the director and giving a slight bow.

"Can you also confirm," said Pearson, "that you were at the Dunlop Arms on the evening of September eighteenth 1999?"

"Yes, I was," replied Davenport. "I joined a few friends to celebrate Gerald Payne's thirtieth birthday. We were all up at Cambridge together," he added in a languid drawl that he had last resorted to when playing Heathcliff on tour.

"And did you see the defendant that night," asked Pearson, pointing toward the dock, "sitting on the other side of the room?"

"No, sir. I was unaware of him at that time," said Davenport addressing the jury as if they were a matinee audience.

"Later that night, did your friend Spencer Craig jump up and run out of the back door of the public house?"