NOW AND THEN
After lunch, the assembly moved back into the
foyer, and Lloyd felt a little deserted as Anna moved round, keeping
an unobtrusive eye on the young women who came round constantly
with jugs of beer, bottles of spirits, wine, soft drinks, even
coffee. Good coffee, Lloyd discovered, but too many of his fellow
guests would have found that out. Someone should be standing outside
with a breathalyser, he thought, as practically everyone present
took full advantage of Holyoak's generosity. Every now and then
Anna Worthing would smile across at him, and he would feel ridiculously
pleased that she had. But mostly, she was involved in what she
was doing, and so was he.
He was watching Holyoak. He was watching him as he moved round
the room, as he ate and drank, as he chatted to his guests. Lloyd
felt like a child, fascinated by some nonconformity, knowing that
he shouldn't stare. But he knew that scar. He knew that it ran
through a beard, knew that that beard was old-fashioned, formal
and clipped, Edwardian style. He frowned. It was that beard, and
that scar. And one thing was certain. The absurdity which he hadn't
put into words, not even in his own head, now wouldn't be denied.
Lloyd had never seen Holyoak before; he would swear to that on
a stack of PACE handbooks. But he had seen his beard and scar
And they were on the wrong face.