Scarlet opened his eyes, the feelings of nausea gone, and looked up. The Mysteronised Scarlet stood frozen for a moment, a shocked expression on his face, before falling lifelessly to the floor, his gun skittering away across the floor.
Captain Ochre, smiling broadly, lowered the anti-Mysteron gun. “Lucky I brought this gadget.” he said helping the still shaky Scarlet to his feet.
“I’ll say.”replied Scarlet with a smile, “but how did you know which one to shoot?”
“Simple.” replied Ochre “I ran into some poor demented soul muttering about two Captain Scarlets. It seems that he’s been working in the Court where the Colonel is in trial and he recognised you as the chief prosecution witness.”
“So that’s why he looked as if he’d seen a ghost.” said Scarlet, lifting the shoulders of his Mysteron counterpart.
“There was also the fact,” Ochre added. “That when you left me behind, you weren’t in uniform.” He grabbed the Mysteron’s legs and between them the two officers managed to carry the body into the cloakroom.
“Do you know what I’m going to do when we get back to Cloudbase?” Scarlet asked as they struggled with their burden.
“No, what?” asked Ochre.
“Lose some weight.” replied Scarlet. “I weigh a ton!”
Once in the cloakroom, they looked for a suitable hiding place for the body.
“In there.” Scarlet suggested, pointing to a the half-open door to a cupboard.
Opening the door revealed mops, a bucket and assorted cleaning materials, obviously, the cupboard was used by a cleaner. Between them, the two Spectrum officers pushed the body into the cupboard, covering it with
a dust sheet, and then closed the door.
“What now?” asked Ochre.
“I think we ought to find the Colonel and the others.” replied Scarlet. “But first,” he added, grabbing an overcoat from a coat-hook and passing it to Ochre, “you’d better make yourself a little less conspicuous.” The coat was large and baggy. So much so that the anti-Mysteron gun and detector could be concealed within it. The Mysteron detector, looking as it did, like a slightly unusual camera which, after all was what it was, Scarlet slung over his shoulder.
“So where do we start looking?” asked Ochre as they left the cloakroom.
The court-room was empty when they cautiously entered the visitor’s gallery.
“Obviously the court’s been adjourned.” said Scarlet.
“Let’s try the cells.” suggested Ochre.
Fortunately, there was a map of the building on a nearby wall and after only a few seconds they had located the cells.
“Hm, that’s very interesting,” commented Ochre, pointing out a feature on the map.
“Yes.” agreed Scarlet. “Come on, time’s getting short.” Since it was a Saturday, most of the building was deserted and their footsteps echoed eerily along the corridors. A short flight of stone steps led down to the detention area.
The guard yawned and looked at his watch for the umpteenth time. Even though he had only been on duty for an hour, he was bored. There had been excitement this morning, it was true, when the prisoner in blue had tried to escape. “The tranquillising dart should be wearing off about now.” he said to himself. Any further thoughts were forgotten as he heard footsteps approaching. Perhaps the warders had come to take his charges away. The rotten lot hadn’t even offered to bring him back something from the canteen.
He was surprised therefore, when a doctor, stethoscope hanging around his neck, and a man wearing an overcoat, obviously too large for him, strode into view.
“Open up!” ordered Scarlet briskly. The guard turned to unlock the door then stopped himself.
“Do you have some sort of identification, sir?” he challenged hesitantly.
“I’m sorry,” replied Scarlet “I left it outside in the rush to get here. You see, the old man is very ill and needs regular treatment. When he missed his appointment at the hospital this morning, I feared the worst. This Gentleman here,” he indicated Ochre,, “Is the old man’s solicitor. He
contacted me and we dashed over here. I only hope that we’re not too late.”
“Gee, I’m sorry.” replied the guard, unlocking the door.
Captain Blue slowly became aware of faces looking down at him. It took him a moment to recognise them as Colonel White and Destiny Angel. His head ached from the after-effects of the anaesthetic dart. He groaned.
“How do you feel, Captain?” asked White, concerned as ever for the welfare of his staff.
Blue shook his head to clear it and immediately wished that he hadn’t. “I’ll be okay, Colonel,” he informed White. “I just wish that the steam-hammer would stop.”
“You took a great risk, trying to escape,” Destiny said quietly.
“I know,” replied Blue. “I thought I could get away with it.”
“Well at least the guards used tranquillising darts,” said White as he helped Blue to his feet. “We have to be thankful for that.”
Before Blue could reply, he was interrupted by the sound of the door being unlocked. Quickly, the two figures were ushered in and the door locked behind them.
It was Destiny who first recognised the taller of the two figures beneath his unusual clothing. Blue heard her exclamation of “Captain Scarlet!” That was enough. With a yell of “TRAITOR!” he lunged at the figure, his fingers locking around Scarlet’s throat. Scarlet struggled, but Blue was a man possessed, anger and hatred lending strength. Scarlet was on his knees before the combined strengths of Ochre and White could drag Blue away. They held him firmly as Scarlet, gasping for breath, slowly got to his feet.
“Captain Blue!” snapped White, “You are still an Officer of Spectrum. Kindly act like one.”
Despite the circumstances in which they found themselves, the Colonel was still very much in control. His rebuke brought Blue to his senses. He stopped struggling but continued to glare malevolently at Scarlet, gently massaging his sore neck. Destiny, in true Gallic style, stood in front of him and spat in his face. A single tear trickling down her cheek, she turned her back on him.
Before Scarlet could utter a word, White had turned to Ochre. “Captain Ochre,” he ordered, “you are to place Captain Scarlet under arrest.”
“Captain Scarlet has been giving evidence against us at the trial.” White explained. “Evidence which has been edited to give a totally false picture. It is therefore clear that the Mysterons have once more taken control of him.”
“Colonel-” began Scarlet.
“Be Quiet!” snapped White. “Consider yourself under arrest.” For the first time, White noticed the anti-Mysteron gun, that had been hidden inside Ochre’s coat. “Captain Ochre,” he ordered. “You are to cover Captain Scarlet. If he makes a false move, you are to fire. Is that understood.”
The answer was as unexpected as it was brief: “No sir.”
White was furious. “What did you say?” he asked angrily.
“No, sir, ” replied Ochre. “I have been with this man since early this morning, when we met at the hospital. Apart from five minutes when we arrived, he hasn’t been out of my sight.”
“There was still time for a Mysteron replica to have been made, ” insisted Blue.
“Indeed there WAS a Mysteron copy -” admitted Ochre.
“See!” interrupted Blue ecstatically.
“But I destroyed it,” Ochre continued undaunted. “It had overcome the REAL Scarlet and was just about to finish him off.”
“Can you prove this?” asked White.
“We left the body in a cloakroom,” replied Ochre.
“Well there’s no way of checking whilst we’re under arrest,” sighed White.
“Perhaps there is,” replied Ochre. “What was the Captain Scarlet that you saw, wearing?”
“Spectrum Uniform,” replied White.
“Well there you are,” smiled Ochre. “The Captain Scarlet that I have spent all morning with has been wearing what you see now.”
Blue was still not quite convinced. “Colonel, how do we know that this man in front of us is the REAL Captain Ochre, not a Mysteron?”
White noticed the Mysteron Detector, still slung over Scarlet’s shoulder.
“Give me that detector, ” he ordered. “Slowly.”
Carefully, Scarlet eased it off his shoulder and passed it to the Colonel.
“Captain Ochre, If you wouldn’t mind…” said White, raising the detector. Ochre stood against the wall as White pressed the button, activating it. After a few seconds, he operated the second lever and a photograph popped up. It was a perfect X-Ray photograph. A Mysteron would have been opaque to X-Rays, the result being a normal portrait photograph of the subject.
“It seems that I owe you an apology Captain Ochre.” admitted White.
“You too Captain.” he said to Scarlet.
“Me too,” admitted a sheepish Blue offering his hand to Scarlet who grasped it warmly. “It’s a terrible thing, suspicion,” he added.
“I’m so glad that you are not a traitor,” added Destiny, taking Scarlet’s free hand.
White cleared his throat noisily when he noticed this and Destiny let go as if electrified. The Colonel had very strict views on such matters whilst on duty.
“Have you come to get us out?” asked Blue.
“I think it would be better if I had your report first, Captain,” White said before Scarlet could reply.
“Yes sir,” he replied.
When Scarlet and Ochre had finished, White sat for a moment, deep in thought. The more he thought about it, the more he became convinced that the whole trial was no more than an elaborate farce, with one aim, to find him and the others guilty of crimes for which there was a mandatory death sentence. A break-out was too risky – people might get hurt. No he would have to come up with a plan…
“Captain Scarlet, Captain Ochre,” he said after a moment’s thought. “Listen carefully, this is what I want you to do…”
Ten minutes later, Scarlet and Ochre left the cell, Ochre once more wearing his overcoat.
“Is he okay?” asked the guard.
“It’s too early to say,” replied Scarlet, “but I’ve done the best I can.” With that, they strode towards the stairs. The guards sighed. He wished that they had stayed longer, just for a chat. He looked at his watch again. Roll on lunch-time. He looked down at his ample waistline and sighed once more. He knew that he really ought to lose some weight, but he was a big lad and
needed a lot to keep him going. Sadly, he returned to his solitary vigil.
“So what do we do now, Colonel?” asked Blue.
“We wait, Captain. Our only hope lies with Captain Ochre and Captain Scarlet.”
At the main doors to the court-room, the two Captains split up, following their respective orders. “Good luck, Captain Ochre.” said Scarlet, before turning on his heel and heading for the cloakroom, in accordance with the Colonel’s plan.
“Thanks,” muttered Ochre to himself. “I’m going to need it.”
After a brief detour, he made for the exit. Unencumbered as he now was, by the equipment he had previously been carrying, he was able to run for the doors. Once outside, he paused only to discard the overcoat before sprinting down the steps to the waiting S.P.V. As he reached for the control to open the hatch, he heard a yell behind him. An irate security guard, an ugly bruise staining his cheek, had just left the building and had started
to run towards him.
With a gentle whirr, the seat lowered to the ground. Ochre prepared to strap himself in when he became aware of a buzz past his ear. A moment later, he heard the crack of the guard’s rifle. The guard had adopted a kneeling position, his rifle in the firing position. Quickly, the hatch closed as, with a whine, the next bullet ricocheted from the metal of the S.P.V.
“Phew! That was close,” muttered Ochre to himself, starting the S.P.V. As it sped away from the Justice Building, he called Cloudbase. Lieutenant Green was relieved when Ochre called. Relief which soon turned to worry when he
learned that the Colonel and the others were not yet safe. However, he set his personal feelings aside as he received his instructions from Captain Ochre.
“I have all that,” he told Ochre. He closed the channel and opened another to Geneva Hospital.
The Secretary was apologetic. “I’m sorry M’sieu,” she informed Green “Doctor Harvey hasn’t come in this morning. I believe he had something of a late night last night. It could be that he has overslept.”
“Well, do you have a number to contact him?” asked Green.
“Why yes M’sieu,” replied the secretary.”But,” she added, “I’m not supposed to tell anyone.”
“You must, people’s lives depend on my getting in touch with the doctor.”
She thought for a moment. Hospital rules were strict on that matter… yet the young man’s voice held a note of sincerity that she found impossible to refuse.
Green thanked her hurriedly then made the call.
The alarm clock sat mute on the bedside locker, having long ago rung to exhaustion. Beside it sat an long-forgotten cup of tea, a deep brown skin floating on the by-now cold surface of the liquid. The only sound in the room was that of muffled snoring emanating from somewhere under the blankets on the bed. The telephone, an antique model with a bell, jangled noisily. It finally succeeded where the alarm had previously failed. With a faint groan, the huddled form moved slightly. A lone hand worked its way out of the cocoon of blankets and groped for the receiver. The fingers touched and then grasped. The arm withdrew, the handset drawing the coiled cable behind it.
“Yes, What is it?” the muffled voice said sleepily into the telephone. There was a pause as the caller explained what he wanted.
“What!” Doctor Harvey sat bolt upright. The telephone flex, already straightened out by the distance it had travelled, was suddenly pulled taut, flicking the teacup onto the floor.
“Blast!” cursed Harvey. “Oh nothing,” he explained to the caller. “I just spilled my tea.” He yawned and swung his legs off of the bed. “Tell your colleague to meet me here,” he informed the caller “It’ll probably be quicker.”
“Thank you, sir,” replied Green, closing the channel.
Captain Ochre’s epaulettes flashed green. “Go ahead Lieutenant,” Ochre said as the Cap Microphone dropped into place.
“I have been in contact with Doctor Harvey,” Green informed him. “He suggests that you meet him at his house, Grid Reference Four Two Seven Seven.”
“S. I. G.,” replied Ochre. “I’m very close to that position now.”
Harvey stood up, put his feet into his slippers and then winced. The tea he’d spilt had managed to land in one of them. Slowly, he removed the offending slipper and up-ended it into the cup. “It’s going to be one of THOSE days,” he said to himself as a thin stream of brown liquid trickled into the cup. He put the slipper down once more and barefoot, went to his room to dress.
He’d been right. His wife hadn’t understood. She’d banished him to the spare room. On the other hand, she had brought him his tea this morning, so perhaps she hadn’t been as angry as she’d made out.
Captain Ochre arrived ten minutes later, the S. P. V crunching noisily up the gravel drive to the doctor’s house. Harvey was more than a little surprised. He’d been expecting a jeep or some kind of saloon. He was even more surprised to find that he was expected to sit facing the rear of his strange looking vehicle. Still, he was prepared to try anything once.
With the banging of the gavel, the babble of voices was silenced.
The assembled court rose as Kemsley once more entered the chamber.
“We have already heard the evidence for the prosecution.” The judge informed the Jury. “We will now hear the evidence for the defence.”
“For all the good It’s going to do us, ” muttered Blue to himself as Colonel White rose slowly to his feet.
“Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury,” White began. “It is with a heavy heart that I find myself addressing you.”
Grayson let himself relax in his seat. He knew that White and his friends didn’t stand a chance. Like a lamb to the slaughter…
“When I first became aware of the charges brought against my colleagues and myself,” said White, looking levelly at the Jury, “I thought that some ghastly mistake had been made, a misunderstanding that would soon be rectified. These thoughts, however, were forgotten when not one, but two attempts were made on our lives.”
“Objection!” Black had leapt to his feet. “The Accused is making wild and uncorroborated claims.”
“Objection sustained,” replied Kemsley.
“With respect sir.” There was a noticeable edge to the Colonel’s voice. “The claims that I am making are neither wild nor uncorroborated. As you, yourself, pointed out before the recess, two defence counsels were appointed to us. The first, on being taken to Cloudbase, turned out to be nothing more than a Mysteron…”
“Colonel White.” Kemsley’s voice was like ice. “Since you persist with this ridiculous fantasy about aliens, It is clear that your evidence is inadmissible. You may stand down.” There was a murmur from the gallery.
“With respect, sir…” began White.
“That will be all, Colonel,” interrupted Kemsley. “Sit down.”
The foreman of the Jury rose to speak, a worried frown upon his face. A short, greying man in his fifties, who had served once before as a juryman, many years before, something about the day’s proceedings worried him.
“Excuse me, your honour,” he began. “I admit that my knowledge of the law is rather more limited than your own and far be it from me to impugn…”
“Yes, yes, what is it?” snapped Kemsley testily.
“This is definitely wrong,” thought the Clerk of the Court to himself. “The old boy had never been rude to a member of the Jury before.”
“Well,” said the foreman nervously. “I would at least like to hear what the accused has to say. After all, If we are to decide his fate…” The rest of the sentence was lost as the rest of the Jury, as one, murmured their agreement. The murmuring grew louder as the spectators in the gallery
above agreed with him. Soon, it had increased in volume, with “Quite right too.” and “Let him be heard,” flying across the chamber.
“Silence!” Kemsley roared, smashing his gavel down on its block.
He glared around the chamber as the hubbub died away. “I WILL NOT tolerate this behaviour in this court. If there are any more such outbursts, I shall have the chamber cleared and a new Jury appointed.”
“Yes,” said Blue whispered to Destiny. “A jury of ‘yes’ men.”
Calmly, White rose once more to his feet. “Surely, there can be no harm in the truth,” he said looking straight at Kemsley. “If this is a fair hearing.” There was a note of challenge in his voice. The Jury murmured its agreement.
Kemsley knew he’d been beaten. “Very well,” he glowered “You may continue.”
“Thank you.” replied White. “Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury,” he began, turning to face them. “You are, no doubt wondering why, when two separate counsels were appointed to us, I am standing before you. The answer is simple. They were murdered, the second having eaten food intended for Captain Blue and myself. As my first witness, I intend to call Doctor Charles
Harvey, the doctor who carried out the post mortem examination.”
Moments later, Harvey was ushered in, briefcase in hand, a shock of tousled hair betraying his hurried journey.
“Doctor Harvey,” White began once the ritual of oath-taking had been completed. “You carried out the post-mortem examination on the late Mr Alexander Nielsen.”
“That is correct, yes,” replied Harvey.
“Would you please tell the court the cause of death?”
Harvey opened his case and removed a sheaf of papers and began to read:
“The patient seemed to be showing a kind of Haemo-”
“Briefly, please,” White interrupted. “Just the basic details.”
Harvey stopped reading, and blinked. He’d put a lot of effort into the report, now he was going to have to summarise it. He took a deep breath. “The basic details,” he said looking pointedly at White, “are that the poor man was poisoned by a fast-acting systemic poison”
“Exactly which poison was used?” asked White.
Harvey frowned and rubbed his chin. “Ah, well, that’s the question. It matches no toxin known to medical science. Detailed chemical analysis reveals very little, the computers were unable to identify all the constituents.”
“I see.” replied White “Can you tell me the source of this poison?”
“That’s simple.” smiled Harvey “His stomach contents were absolutely laced with the stuff. He was killed by the food he’d eaten.”
White was not going to get caught in any loopholes: “Exactly what food had he eaten?” he asked. “Was there any chance that something he’d eaten before coming to see me had been poisoned?”
“None at all,” replied Harvey. “The food samples taken from your cell were heavily contaminated. They were the source of the poison.”
“Thank you, doctor.” Harvey smiled as he stepped down from the witness box.
“So you see,” White addressed the Jury, “The man sent to defend us at this trial was an unwitting victim of an attempt on the lives of Captain Blue and myself. However, this was the second attempt to destroy us. For details of the previous attempt, I shall call Captain Blue.”
Kemsley glowered at White, but knew that there was nothing, as yet, he could do.
Briefly, Blue covered the events leading up to the meeting with Johanssen then, in greater detail, described the events on Cloudbase.
“…we finally trapped him behind a power conduit,” finished Blue.
“What happened then?” asked White
“Captain Scarlet moved in whilst I kept Johanssen talking.” continued Blue. “I tried to reason with him but he just told me that we were too late to save Cloudbase.”
“Go on.” urged White.
“We moved in on Johanssen to find his body smoking in the same way as Captain Brown’s, ” continued Blue “I cleared the room and left Captain Scarlet with Johanssen, his plan being to shoot out the window and let the depressurisation carry Johanssen away from Cloudbase.”
“What was the result of this action?” asked White.
“Johanssen’s body exploded several seconds later,” replied Blue. “If it hadn’t been for Captain Scarlet’s quick thinking, Cloudbase would have been blown to pieces.”
“What happened to Captain Scarlet?” asked White.
“I guess he must have been blown out by the decompression,” replied Blue. “We found his body several miles away.
“Thank you, Captain”said White. “You may stand down.” Blue quickly left the witness box. White turned once more to face the Jury. “Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, ” he began, “before I call my next witness, I feel that you should be acquainted with some facts. You have already seen that an attempt was made upon the life of the World President by two Spectrum Officers. This is documented fact, which I do not deny.”
“Is this relevant?” snapped Kemsley.
White turned to face him. “Yes, sir, ” replied White. “It is.” He turned once more to the Jury. “I admit, too, that I put Captain Brown in charge of the operation, ” he continued. “However, the mission I gave the two officers was to PROTECT the World President from assassination. I have since learned that within minutes of my order reaching them, BOTH men were involved in
a fatal car crash.
The foreman of the Jury stood, a thoughtful expression on his face. “Excuse me Colonel,” he interrupted. “Are you telling us that the two men that attempted to kill the President were impostors?”
“That is what we at first thought, yes.” replied White “However, what we later discovered was that their bodies had been re-created by the Mysterons.”
“Are you saying that they had been brought back to life?” The foreman was rather confused on this point.
“Yes,” replied White. “But with one major difference. They had no will of their own. They were mindless robots, used by the Mysterons for their own ends. As you have already seen, their first attempt to kill the World President involved turning the reconstructed Captain Brown into a walking bomb.”
“This is ridiculous!” retorted Kemsley.
“But perfectly true,” continued White, ignoring the interruption. He continued. “As you have also seen, Captain Scarlet was the other officer in the car. He too was killed in the crash.”
Black rose to his feet. “My lord,” he protested. “This fantasy has continued for too long.”
“I agree,” replied Kemsley. “What’s more, Colonel White, You have perjured yourself in open court. As you have already seen, Captain Scarlet has given evidence to this court. Or,” there was a sneer in his voice, “are you claiming that he too is one of these Mysterons? We have heard quite enough.” He turned to the Jury. “Members of the Jury,” he began summing up “You have heard…”
The Clerk of the Court could not remain still any longer. There was definitely something irregular going on. “My lord,” he began as he stood up. “I have been Clerk of this court for many years and in all that time, there has never been an occasion where the summing up has begun before both sides have presented their respective cases, no matter how fantastic their stories might seem. In fact, you, yourself-”
Kemsley turned on him. “Do you presume to tell me how to conduct this trial?” he snapped angrily.
“N-No sir,” was the nervous reply.
“Then sit down. I will not have junior staff telling me my business. I shall speak to you about this later.”
Quaking, the unfortunate Clerk returned to his seat. There was no doubt about it, the old boy was becoming decidedly arrogant. His wife and children must be going through hell, the Clerk thought to himself.
Now the distraction was over, Kemsley turned once more to address the Jury. “Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, You have heard-”
“NOTHING!” yelled Captain Blue, no longer able to contain his anger at this travesty. “The Colonel hasn’t been given a chance to present his case.” He turned to the Jury, to appeal directly to them. “In the name of Justice, I ask you to at least hear him out. You wanted to hear his evidence before.”
The foreman thought for a moment, then sat down. The other members of the Jury gathered around him. After several tense moments of muttered discussion, the Jury returned to their seats. The foreman stood once more.
“Your Honour,” he began. “We agree with the Clerk of the Court. We do not feel that we can come to a just and fair verdict unless we hear everything that the Colonel has to say.” He sat down amidst a round of applause from the Visitor’s Gallery.
“Silence!” Kemsley had to scream to make himself heard above the commotion. Finally, the noise faded away. Kemsley conceded. “Very well,” he sighed. “You may continue.”
Grayson frowned. It was proving to be more difficult than he’d expected. He consoled himself with the thought that his enemies’ fate was already sealed. Try as they might, there would be no escape for them.
Colonel White continued. “As I was saying, Captain Scarlet was killed in the car crash. The Mysterons created a double of him, which they used to kidnap the World President.” He then went on to describe the gun-battle at the top of the London Car-Vu and the subsequent events.
The members of the Jury looked incredulous at the fantastic story that was being told. Grayson saw the expressions and relaxed, White was signing his own death sentence. His smile grew broader as White finished his narrative.
“I therefore call my next witness,” said White “Captain Scarlet.”
The atmosphere was electric as the panelled door opened to admit Scarlet. The figure moved to take his place in the witness box.
“Captain Scarlet,” began White “In your own words, will you tell us what happened when Captain Blue brought Mr Johanssen to Cloudbase?”
“Yes sir,” replied Scarlet. He told the Court of the events leading up to the search and subsequent discovery of Johanssen’s body.
“What happened then?” asked White.
“I knew that we had to get rid of the body before it exploded,” replied Scarlet. “Since it would have taken too long to use normal escape routes, I decided to blow out the window, the air pressure doing the rest.”
“Go on,” encouraged White.
“When I blew the window,” continued Scarlet, “Johanssen and I were carried towards it. I managed to hold onto a stanchion to stop myself from being blown out too. I was able to see the body as it fell. It blew up just afterwards.”
“What happened then?” asked White.
Scarlet thought for a moment. “I think I must have passed out,” he said slowly. “I remember regaining consciousness in a mortuary…”
At that moment, there was a faint cry from the body of the court and a figure stood up. “But you were left for me to…” said Harvey, pointing at Scarlet.
For a moment, White was unable to recognise the startled figure. Then he realised who it was. “Ah! Doctor Harvey” he smiled “Would you like to finish what you were saying?”
“I er, that is. No, I must be mistaken,” stammered the doctor.
“Let me see If I can guess what you were going to say” suggested White. “You were going to say, ‘You were left for me to carry out a post-mortem. ’ Is that correct?”
Dumbly, the doctor nodded.
“And I suppose that when you came to carry out the examination, the body had gone?”
Again, the doctor nodded “I thought that someone had moved it,” he said quietly. He stared at Scarlet and shook his head slowly.
White decided to gamble. “Is the man standing in the witness box the same man that you were asked to examine this morning?”
“He appears to be, ” replied Harvey carefully. He could be locked up in a padded cell for less.
“And the body was dead?” asked White.
“Of course he was dead!” snapped Kemsley. “You don’t carry out post mortems on living people.”
White ignored him. “What was the presumed cause of death?” he continued.
“Well, replied Harvey, brightening. He was on safer ground now. “I was told that it was a helicopter crash, but the body appeared to be unmarked.”
“Thank you,” said White. “You may sit down.”
Gratefully, Harvey returned to his seat.
“The evidence is inadmissible,” snapped Kemsley. “He was not in the witness box.” Captain Blue groaned.
White was not shaken. He addressed the Jury directly. “If you remember, Doctor Harvey has already taken the oath. Does it really matter where he gives his evidence?”
The foreman thought for a moment. “No,” he said after a moment’s thought. “I don’t suppose it does.”
Kemsley tried again. “How do we know that the witness hasn’t a twin brother who was killed?”
White turned to Scarlet. “Captain Scarlet. Describe the room in which you found yourself.”
When Scarlet had finished, White looked for Harvey. “Doctor Harvey. Is that a correct description of your laboratory?”
The reply was immediate. “Yes sir.”
White turned to the Jury. “So you see, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, an independent MEDICAL witness has confirmed the facts about Captain Scarlet’s amazing powers of recovery.” He turned back to Scarlet. “Will you please continue Captain?”
The smile had disappeared from Grayson’s face. He had the first faint feelings that something, somewhere, had gone wrong.