Merely Players
to be himself. He was so much on show nowadays that he had almost forgotten exactly who that self was. But there were no cameras here, no journalists looking for a juicy quote and waiting all day for a moment of indiscretion. His companions enjoyed the fact that he was in the party, that they would be able to drop casually to others in the coming week that they had been ‘shooting with Adam Cassidy at the weekend’, but they weren’t seeking to trip him up.
    He enjoyed the moment when they opened the hampers and brought out the home-made pies and sandwiches and the booze. He enjoyed sitting with his host on a rock in the heather and looking at Pendle Hill on the one side and the fells which ran away towards lower ground and eventually the Ribble estuary and the sea on the other. He had expected to be among the ‘county set’, but the party was much more mixed than that. There were only two women, one of them the wife of the owner and the other one a twenty-five-year-old niece of his, who made a point of seeking out the man who played Alec Dawson, She was thoroughly star-struck. That pleased Adam, though he wouldn’t take it any further. He didn’t want to risk antagonizing his host, and there were ample opportunities for him elsewhere.
    There was also a young farmer, who was one of the few who didn’t cultivate Adam’s acquaintance. He had the healthy open-air countenance you would expect and a pronounced Lancashire accent which in this company you wouldn’t. Adam thought he’d seen him somewhere before, but he couldn’t be certain where – he met so many people, he said with a smile to the man of whom he made his enquiry. Paul Barnes was the farmer’s name. He farmed in the valley over there, said his informant, gesturing with a wide sweep of his arm towards the Trough of Bowland. ‘Round my neck of the woods, then,’ said Adam.
    He remembered then where he had seen Barnes. It was on one of his rare excursions to the school gates with his children. Must be months ago now. Paul Barnes had been there and he must surely remember him. Adam wondered why he did not come across and speak to him, then spoke again to the owner’s pretty niece and forgot the matter entirely.
    He remembered then where he had seen Barnes. It was on one of his rare excursions to the school gates with his children. Must be months ago now. Paul Barnes had been there and he must surely remember him. Adam wondered why he did not come across and speak to him, then spoke again to the owner’s pretty niece and forgot the matter entirely.

SIX
    T he meeting with the Muslim community which involved Chief Superintendent Tucker and Detective Chief Inspector Peach took place on the sixteenth of November. It proved far more successful than Percy had dared to hope.
    The theme of the meeting was law and order in the town, and the senior policemen shared a platform with three prominent local councillors, one of whom was himself an Asian. The questions and the answers were for the most part constructive. The audience listened politely, though it was sometimes difficult to be certain how many of them agreed with the arguments being put. Under pressure, Percy would have had to admit that as a partnership, he and Tommy Bloody Tucker had on this occasion made an effective team. The older man had briefed himself well on the general lines of police policy and avoided any gaffes, whilst Peach was able to illustrate the generalities with particular instances from cases the CID had handled in the last couple of years.
    Although the session was conducted in a hall adjoining the largest mosque in the Asian quarter of Brunton, it had been billed as an open meeting. Predictably, a dozen or so National Front party members made a noisy entry into the hall two minutes before the meeting was due to begin. There was a strong presence of uniformed police around the doors, but at Peach’s insistence the Front group

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