XIII - SPADS, Page 40

Those long months during which Kim lived in Eastown as Mrs. Jake Shelton were, without doubt, the worse months of her life. They were certainly my worse.

Rowland made her get a roman numeral tattooed in the same place as the one that had appeared on his left collar bone since his resurrection. Shortly after this he brought her in front of a tribunal of hooded officials, very much in the style of the Ku Klux Klan. Following the Admiral's instructions, Kim played along with this juvenile charade and swore to "Uphold the defence of their great occidental values".

Unfortunately this did not get us any further. It soon became apparent that Rowland was little more than a pawn in the organisation that had recruited him. In addition he had obviously be warned to be on his guard with her. In spite of the risks she took, Kim never managed to identify any of his contacts.

Then came the day that he told his wife that he would be going away for a few days. He gave her the key to a safe deposit box at The National Trust Bank to keep safe untill his return. But this was all he would say.

Kim immediately warned us that the mission, whose nature still eluded us, was underway. Heidiger immediately activated his surveillance operation, put in place for this eventually but Rowland was too good to be caught like that and gave our agents the slip.

It was only when it was too late that we discovered the nature of his fateful mission was.

For what it was worth, our only slight consolation was knowing the gunman's identity and through that we hoped to find the parties responsible for planning the assassination. That hope died stillborn.

Rowland was certainly a tough character. I don't pretend to understand how he made it back to Eastown with two bullets in his chest, but somehow he did and died in the arms of the woman who had never stopped loving him despite everything. He only managed to say three words: "betrayed", "Mongoose" and "run". My daughter realised that her life was now in great danger. And it was MY fault.

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