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TitleSunday Philosophy Club
File Size874.2 KB
Total Pages256
Table of Contents
                            Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight
Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten
Chapter Eleven
Chapter Twelve
Chapter Thirteen
Chapter Fourteen
Chapter Fifteen
Chapter Sixteen
Chapter Seventeen
Chapter Eighteen
Chapter Nineteen
Chapter Twenty
Chapter Twenty-one
Chapter Twenty-two
Chapter Twenty-three
Chapter Twenty -four
Chapter Twenty-five
Chapter Twenty-six
Chapter Twenty-seven
About the Author
Document Text Contents
Page 2



Page 128

1 2 1 T H E S U N D AY P H I L O S O P H Y C L U B

desperate means to protect his reputation? In different, less cen-
sorious circles it would probably be less devastating to be exposed
as a cheat, simply because there were so many other cheats and
because almost everybody would be likely to have been engaged
in cheating at some point themselves. There were parts of south-
ern Italy, parts of Naples, for example, she had read, where cheat-
ing was the norm and to be honest was to be deviant. But here, in
Edinburgh, the possibility of being sent to prison would be unthink-
able; how much more attractive, then, would it be to take steps to
avoid this, even if those steps involved removing a young man
who was getting too close to the truth?

She looked at the telephone. She knew that she had only to
call Jamie and he would come. He had said that before, on more
than one occasion—You can give me a call anytime, anytime. I like
coming round here. I really do.

She left her chair and crossed to the telephone table. Jamie
lived in Stockbridge, in Saxe-Coburg Street, in a flat he shared
with three others. She had been there once, when he and Cat
had been together, and he had cooked a meal for the two of them.
It was a rambling flat, with high ceilings and a stone-flag floor in
the hall and in the kitchen. Jamie was the owner, having been
bought the flat by his parents when he was a student, and the
flatmates were his tenants. As landlord he allowed himself two
rooms: a bedroom and a music room, where he gave his music les-
sons. Jamie, who had graduated with a degree in music, earned his
living from teaching bassoon. There was no shortage of pupils, and
he supplemented his earnings by playing in a chamber ensemble
and as an occasional bassoonist for Scottish Opera. It was, thought
Isabel, an ideal existence; and one into which Cat would fit so
comfortably. But Cat had not seen it that way, of course, and Isabel
feared that she never would.

Page 129

1 2 2 A l e x a n d e r M c C a l l S m i t h

Jamie was teaching when she called and promised to call her
back in half an hour. While she waited for the call, she made her-
self a sandwich in the kitchen; she did not feel like eating a
proper meal. Then, when that was finished, she returned to the
drawing room and awaited his call.

Yes, he was free. His last pupil, a talented boy of fifteen
whom he was preparing for an examination, had played bril-
liantly. Now, with the boy sent off home after the lesson, a walk
across town to Isabel’s house was just what he wanted. Yes, it
would be good to have a drink with Isabel and perhaps some
singing afterwards.

“I’m sorry,” she said. “I don’t feel in the mood. I want to talk
to you.”

He had picked up her anxiety and the plan to walk was
dropped in favour of a quicker bus ride.

“Are you all right?”
“Yes,” she said. “But I really need to discuss something with

you. I’ll tell you when you come.”
The buses, so maligned by Grace, were on time. Within

twenty minutes, Jamie was at the house and was sitting with
Isabel in the kitchen, where she had started to prepare him an
omelette. She had taken a bottle of wine from the cellar and had
poured a glass for him and for herself. Then she started to explain
about the visit to the flat and her meeting with Hen and Neil. He
listened gravely, and when she began to recount the conversation
she had had with Neil earlier that evening, his eyes were wide
with concern.

“Isabel,” he said as she stopped speaking. “You know what I’m
going to say, don’t you?”

“That I should keep out of things that don’t concern me?”

Page 256


Alexander McCall Smith is the author of the international phe-
nomenon The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series. This novel is
the first of a new series, The Sunday Philosophy Club. He spent
his childhood in Zimbabwe and has worked in Botswana and
Swaziland. He lives in Scotland, where he is a professor of med-
ical law at Edinburgh University.

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