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TitlePast Lives
Author
LanguageEnglish
File Size949.1 KB
Total Pages207
Table of Contents
                            ONE
TWO
THREE
FOUR
FIVE
SIX
SEVEN
EIGHT
NINE
TEN
ELEVEN
TWELVE
THIRTEEN
FOURTEEN
FIFTEEN
SIXTEEN
SEVENTEEN
EIGHTEEN
NINETEEN
TWENTY
TWENTY ONE
THE END
Other Titles by Ken McClure
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Page 103

didn't get the good night's rest he was hoping for. When he was awake, he was
shivering with cold. When he was asleep, he was pursued in dreams by monks
from another age, each hideously deformed and carrying an Emma Forsyth doll.
He was glad when the dawn light came and chased the night away; he felt
exhausted.
Being Sunday morning and ‘against management policy’ - as he learned when
he asked - an early cooked breakfast was out of the question. He settled for
coffee and toast before checking out at seven. He comforted himself with the
thought that if everything went according to plan he would be back in Edinburgh
by nightfall. He would have a hot bath, a good meal and start making plans for a
trip to Paris. He drove out to the monastery and arrived in plenty of time for his
meeting with Burnett: he sat in the car watching the gates.
Just after eight, a white hooded figure came round the bend in the drive and
Macandrew got out of the car. He frowned. There was something about the
man's gait that was wrong. The angle of the feet and the manner in which the
sandals slapped down on the ground suggested a fat man. Burnett was small and
thin.
The figure was now close enough for him to see that it was definitely not John
Burnett. This man was middle aged, stout and had a florid complexion which
was becoming more so through the exertion of carrying the milk churns. The
bridge of his nose was depressed and his bottom lip protruded beyond his top,
exposing a row of notched teeth, which suggested to Macandrew’s medical eye,
the legacy of congenital syphilis.
'Good morning,' said Macandrew, trying to mask his disappointment. 'I thought
it would be Brother John.'
The monk looked puzzled, as if not knowing what to make of Macandrew then
he glanced at the guest house and asked, 'You're here on retreat?'
'Yes,' lied Macandrew.
'Brother John has been called to Edinburgh.'
'Really? I thought this was an enclosed community,’ said Macandrew. ‘I
thought the brothers didn't leave here. Some emergency perhaps?'
'Father Abbot doesn't confide in me,' said the fat monk testily. 'He just told me
to take over Brother John's duties . . . in addition to my own.'
'Do you know if John’ll be back soon?'
'No idea.'
The monk carried on towards the guesthouse and Macandrew was left looking
back up the drive. 'Shit,' he murmured. ' to you too, Brother.'
He sat in the car for a few minutes wondering what to do next. He couldn't turn
up at the abbey gates every morning hoping that Burnett would re-appear at

Page 206

'Absolutely enthralling.'
(Crisis) Medical Journal

'Pacy thrillers from Scotland's own Michael Crichton.'

Page 207

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