Paint had started to chip off the walls. Closer inspection revealed where previous prisoners had gouged its surface. Time slipped away without measure, the result of the disorientating design of his six-foot by four-foot holding-cell. Recessed in the ceiling, a caged lightbulb provided the only light. Snowden stared at the white walls. Ubiquitous feelings of claustrophobia crept in by degree. His hands tightly squeezed the edge of the cot where he sat. He paced. Peering through the small barred window encased in his door, the three cells opposite were empty. Beads of sweat formed on his brow. He was alone. Not long ago, he had deposited others, without remorse, into the same cells. His sigh was deep and drawn out. He had made his decision. His choice would be amended with a condition. It was an offer Menzies would bite. How could he not if he wanted to discover the mole in his midst? Controlled calm settled into his demeanour. His mind focussed. Pecuniary awards awaited if he played this game right. He laid down on the cot. Self-satisfaction percolated through him. He clasped his hands behind his head and closed his eyes. This respite abruptly ended when the key entered the lock and the door opened. Surprised, he sat up.
“I thought you might like some lunch, Archie.” Collier held up a brown paper bag and thermos. Behind him, Corporal Dubin stood with key-ring in one hand and gun in the other.
Sergeant Snowden glared at them from the cot. “Do you really think you need that?” He pointed to the pistol.
“I guess not.” Collier gestured to Dubin to holster the weapon. “Denby’s fish and chips and your Eight O’Clock coffee, freshly brewed.” He placed the thermos on the floor and the paper bag on the cot.
Snowden swung his legs over the bag and sat up. Opening the thermos, he poured the coffee. “Did you really have to parade me cuffed and at gunpoint through the precinct, Sandy?”
Collier signaled Dubin to step out of the room and shut the door.
“You’re a treasonous sonofabitch, Archie. And, under my watch, I wasn’t taking any chances.”
“Jesus, Sandy, we’ve known each other for a long time. Surely you knew—?”
“What?” Collier replied. “That you wouldn’t run? I don’t know who the hell you are, Archie, if that’s your name. What I do know is that you could be a valuable asset to our side.”
“Provided I throw my lot in with Menzies.” He opened ...