He just expired in his sleep.
It’s common knowledge, almost to a truism. His heart gave out, his lifestyle; he had the heart of an eighty-year-old by the end.
Had he survived the first attack, they probably could have fixed him up.
He might have done a few puff pieces about his reformed character, my days of excess are over, et cetera.
Should have looked after myself more, should have looked ahead.
The Journalist spoke to the Pathologist, as they are together, sipping gin slings and watching the sunset.
—I really can’t tell you any more about it than this…
Then, with him slyly winking, which brought them firmly together, metaphorically, which threw out an offer of future conspiracy between them. Feelers, putting out.
—Except that’s the official story.
—No, there was nothing wrong with his heart that I could see. Absolutely nothing, and that’s what I would have written down… in normal circumstances. Of course there are conditions that can mean the heart simply stopping, without any clinical signs post mortem,That can happen, long QT syndrome, sudden adult death syndrome, perhaps you know about these?
She is already ahead on that. He shrugs.
—We have to write something down in the report. I just wrote down what I was told to say, I assume because it fits so well with what people expect to hear.
Let us be sure, when we begin this affair, about the things that have thrown us together, she is running through it in her head. When I asked you, you said it was the heart of an eighty-year-old, so was that true?
—You’re not… She suddenly paused, the dramatic pause …. sucking him into the smoke of her.
—Are you saying he was poisoned?
The venal Criminal is introduced, only as a possibility.
—You’re not hinting are you? Dropping a big old hint to me? And I’m just being too stupid to get it? And you can’t say more, because of secondary considerations like civic politics, commercial confidentiality… Nothing like that?
—No, I’m not.
—Well, we have to be sure, don’t we.
We have to be sure that we canter across the starting-line together into this adulterous affair.
—No, there’s no subtext.