Chapter 1: Oh, no, not again!
Margot curled up like a gumbie cat to watch the drive as the rain flung itself down on another dark December day. She had been to mass at the little chapel in the valley where her sister lived. Jack, as the available Anglican during an interregnum, had however been expected to celebrate at the other two churches in the benefice this morning, having presided at Christingles, Carols, first communion of Christmas elsewhere and a midnight Eucharist in Howells, before rolling in at 2am after a smidgen too much Frumenty. Fortunately there were only two services that morning and an Evensong timed to start after the Queen's Speech and before the evening films.
That didn't change the present moment. Len, Reg, the young adults and visitors were waiting for their lunch and there was as yet no sign of the errant vicar. Jack had been difficult enough to lever out of bed that morning, and it had taken Margot all of her strength to elbow her troublesome priest into cassock, trousers, collar and alb, and out of the door. Margot dreaded to think what would happen if Jack was caught up in conversations after the service and missed lunch. It would not be a pretty sight. She checked the insulin supplies in the cupboard, and a dose had been used this morning, but a hypoglycaemic crash was not what Dr Margot Maynard wanted to be dealing with on Christmas night. If nothing else, she was hooked on Strictly Come Dancing, and wanted to see what they would come up with.
Margot gave up her perch, and joined them in a brief grace before ensuring that the right combination of carbohydrates and proteins were put aside for her beloved priest. Len's daughter Jessie, girlfriend Sally Sparrow, son James, his girlfriend Sally O'Sullivan, then shared out the remainder of the provender. As usual, there were several waifs and strays who for one reason or another had found themselves stranded at their headmistress's house in the black mountains. Two of them had been the beneficiaries of cancelled flights, the others had been unable to go back to Australia due to bushfires, and instead of a barbeque on the beach found themselves sharing a turducken.
Jack Maynard observed to no one in particular that "if people were truly dreaming of a white Christmas they would actually prepare for it a good deal better, and with significantly less unrealistic expectations of themselves, their families and the British Public Transport system." He was very frail and it had been a miracle that he had made this Christmas. It had been Len who had suggested that Margot came along with her Jack. Their other siblings would be coming for New Year, as was traditional now, as the transport options were better, but somehow Len felt her surviving triplet should be there for Christmas. As the crackers were pulled, they all gave a roar of approval at the animated contents that came spilling out onto the table. They had been a present from Andy, with a note to say that Teddy had enjoyed his first term at school, and they were sure that the Maynard-Entwistle family would appreciate them.
Margot had grinned and shown the card to her Jack who had suggested checking they were safe before handing them over to anyone else. Margot pointed out that this was Andy, who had been married to "one of them" for twenty years and surely ought to be trustworthy in these things. Jack wasn't so sure.
Now they just served to remind them all that someone was missing. Sallio, as the family were referring to her, was complaining of a headache, while SallyS was twittering happily at Margot about all sorts of things, asking her about the relationship between she and Jack, how they'd met and how long they'd been together. Margot smiled, eyes glittering mischievously at the possibilities for the answers, but somehow she decided to behave herself, in a most unusual fashion, and let her young acquaintance into her world a little. Sally had noticed the picture of Margot, Jed and Abby in the downstairs loo, and wanted to know what had brought that about, as well as a letter, signed, mounted and used as a dartboard from Sir Francis Urquhart. Margot, never one to be unduly bothered by either the process of the law (social, scientific or political) was quite happy to talk.
It was only after the second Botswana story, involving copious amounts of Redbush Tea, traditionally built women, and a few interesting adventures, that Jack came through the door, accompanied by a tall, long-haired man wearing a strange head covering and a leather gauntlet that SallyS observed as being like something she'd seen in Coco de Mer. He also had far too much eye-liner, an attitude problem, and answered to "Jack, Cap'n Jack Sparrow to you."
Rev Jack guided the guest in, and invited him to join the table. Cap'n Jack produced his own knife, and seemed surprised when it failed to make any impression on the cold, over-cooked yorkshire puddings that had been sulkily produced. Dr Jack commented something about "young men nowadays" while Sally S started at the idea of someone else sharing her surname. It was only when the television started flickering in a most unusual manner that Sally S put her head on her knees (and a DVD in the player) and pronounced to the assembled company "Oh no, Not Again."
Chapter 2: In the Interests of National Security
Chapter by Angel of the North (Sangerin)
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a nation-state "at peace" must be in want of an enemy. The United States of America had many from which to choose, but sad to say, it usually focussed on those intent upon the state's improvement rather than its destruction.
Given a background in overseas aid as well as urban ministry, Rev Jack Lambert was in demand as a speaker at many a progressive Christian conference, as well as those focusing on issues of poverty and social justice. But with this demand came a certain notoriety. In the same week that Jack took part in a television skit with Harriet Hayes, a planned seminar with the Baltimore PD was cancelled, the reason given that The Rev'd Jack Lambert was 'too controversial'. An invitation to a west coast convent known for its community work (as well its choir) was withdrawn, but in its place came invitations from East Compton High School and UC Sunnydale. While the disappearence of most of the more conservative engagements was concerning, Jack was so busy with the remaining commitments that the loss was hardly noticed. Until the day that - speaking at an inter-faith event held at the Lima, Ohio Jewish Community Centre - Jack noticed two solemn, dark-suited observers at the back of the hall.
Mr Berry, one of the organisers, knew a little about them: 'We haven't seen them around here for a while,' he said. 'No one knows for sure, but we think they're Homeland Security. Keeping on eye on what's said,' he finished bitterly. At this point Mr Berry was interrupted by the demands of his daughter, but when, a few tour stops later Jack saw similarly-clad men at the back of a meeting venue, the speaking tour's organisers decided that they really ought to pay attention.
It was in crossing the Canadian border at Niagara that the trouble became obvious. Returning to the United States, Jack's British passport was studied at length, until a travelling companion was heard to wonder if a treaty had gone astray, or some such. Re-entry was eventually authorised, but many tense moments were involved for all.
It was at this point that Jack called in legal representation: Mark Darcy in London, who took care of the mission's legal work pro bono, and Elle Woods, a Bostonian accustomed to working with Darcy on trans-Atlantic matters. Woods' way of working was often considered confronting, but along with Darcy, Jack had on more than one occassion declared Elle to be a breath of fresh air.
'Do I understand you correctly?' said Mark Brydon into his telephone. 'Two British subjects are under investigation by US Homeland Security on the basis of a speaking tour and a history of aid work in Africa?'
'Even better than that,' said Mark Darcy from his London home, 'One's a Catholic nun and the other a Church of England priest.'
'And naturally, you want to go straight to the media,' said Brydon.
'A media campaign has been suggested,' Darcy admitted.
'And how is Bridget?' asked Brydon.
There was a pause on the other end of the line. 'Two fags, one salad, and she's just on her way out for a walk,' said Darcy. 'She's "v.g.". But about my clients...'
'Look,' said Brydon. 'Homeland Security are dreadfully touchy these days, as you and I both know well. Media would be a bad idea all around. I assume you have a legal agent here in DC?'
' Elle Woods,' replied Darcy. 'I've worked with her before, and she has an office in Washington. Here's the issue, Brydon - while it sounds amusing, the level of harrasment is verging on the ridiculous. Reverend Lambert has been held up at the border twice now. I've seen the draft of the paper Lambert is presenting to the medical ethics symposium at Harvard, and it's not going to improve the situation. Quite the opposite, in fact.'
'Are you worried about a potential deportation?'
Darcy took a deep breath. 'I don't believe so,' he said, 'But as you said, they're touchy. Anything may happen.'
'I'll be in contact with Woods as soon as I can then,' said Brydon. 'We'll see what we can do. I'm sure that whatever Fr Jack has in mind can't be the worst thing said in this country.'
'"Reverend Jack" but I wouldn't be so sure,' said Darcy. 'But I certainly appreciate the help.'
'What are old schoolfriends for?'
'And here I thought it was part of the ambassadorial job description,' said Darcy.
'An outdated version, I expect you'll find,' said Brydon before he hung up the phone.
Harvard University prided itself on many things. Its academic tradition, fine buildings, and donor-base were admittedly chief among them, but their cross-disciplinary symposia were no more than halfway through the lengthy list of achievments. Any given symposium would have its share of highly regarded speakers, as did the three-day conference on medical ethics in the summer of 2005. Human rights lawyers, social justice advocates and medical theorists and practitioners came together for speeches and panel discussions, presided over by the nation's First Lady, herself a surgeon of some repute.
It was not Dr Margaret Maynard's first conference of the sort - far from it. But the speakers list and her own selection of topics - including a distinct focus on socialised medicine - meant that she was heartened to have finished her first and most major address. As she left the platform, smiling with relief, she encountered the First Lady, whose eyebrows were raised despite her motherly smile.
'Well my dear,' she said, embracing Margot warmly. 'You have set the cat among the pigeons.'
Margot smile. 'Surely you expected nothing less from me, Abbey.'
Abbey considered briefly. 'You're right. I didn't.'
'So - how many of your husband's pet policies have I advocated against now?'
'I stopped counting years ago,' replied Abbey. 'Thought you know I'm on your side where the gag rule is concerned. And to tell you the tructh, even Jed isn't that keen on it.'
'I'm glad to hear it,' replied Margot.
'I saw the speaking schedule,' said Abbey. 'And how is Jack? Got the infamous nerves under control yet? I'm surprised you aren't dashing off to be there for the beginning of the panel.'
Margot's face fell. Almost without realising it, she tightened her hold on Abbey's arm, which was enough to tell Abbey that something was amiss.
'Oh, no,' said Abbey. 'What's happened?'
Elle Woods had confronted Jack the moment she knew of the situation brewing with Homeland Security. 'Why didn't you tell me sooner? I've been getting phone calls from Sir Mark Brydon - not just from his office, but from him. Darcy seems to think this Brydon fellow is rather important.'
Although both worried and confused by the entire situation, Jack couldn't help but laugh at Elle's blithe reference to the former UK Ambassador to the United States. 'As soon as I knew that it was important, I told Mark Darcy,' said Jack. 'I've had a lot to keep track of these last few months.'
'Well, now you've got more to keep track of,' said Elle. From her briefcase she produced a sheaf of papers. 'These are the questions they want answered. Papers and page about nuns and Africa and Speedy Motors and defying South African law...'
'It was immoral,' exclaimed Jack.
Elle put up her hands. 'It's not me you have to convince,' Elle said. 'It's Homeland Security, and they so don't have my brainpower.'
'Do I just need to answer their questions?' asked Jack, reaching for the papers.
Elle pulled them out of Jack's reach. 'Oh it's so much more than that,' she said. 'Sit down: we've got work to do.
Over the next few weeks, as Jack worked with Elle and Mark Darcy to satisfy Homeland Security's questions, one thing was made perfectly clear to the lawyers. For as long as Margot could be kept out of proceedings, she ought to be protected from them and kept in the dark about the entire investigation. Neither Elle nor Darcy entirely understood her thinking, although it was clear to both that Jack and Margot's relationship was not in a healthy state.
Finally one evening Elle broke through the wall Jack had built.
'I don't want her hurt,' said Jack in answer to yet another plea from Elle to bring Margot into their team. 'She'd be horrified to know that she's being investigated like this.'
'She needs to know, Jack. She totally can't defend herself if she doesn't.'
'But I can do that,' said Jack. 'I got her into this mess - I need to get her out,'
Elle shook her head. 'From what's in these briefs, Margot's been stirring things up fine on her own account for years, albeit with her own sorority to protect her. Besides, she's made of her own faux-fur covered steel: it's one of the reasons you suit each other so well.'
'Except when we don't,' grunted Jack.
Elle took a breath and dove through the conversational opening. 'What is going on?' she asked. 'We've all noticed.'
'It got too hard,' said Jack, the words clipped short. 'That balance between public and private life - for a while we had it, but then... we just lost it again. And everything I did annoyed her, and what she did annoyed me, and despite all that we resented the fact that we were both so busy.'
Jack took a breath, and Elle stayed silent, hoping it would encourage Jack to continue.
'Our paths have never run smoothly,' Jack said, 'And I know we've no more right than anyone else to a happy, settled life, but for a time there, things were good. We were happy, and together. And now it's all gone wrong again.'
'I probably shouldn't say this,' said Elle, 'But from what know and what I've heard, crises binds you two together. You and Margot against the world. Or at least against Homeland Security,' she finished with a gentle smile.
'I suppose I'd best fill Margot in and hope she sees things as you do,' said Jack.
Elle smiled and passed Jack her neon pink phone.
Chapter 3: Enter Claudia Jean
Chapter by Angel of the North (Sangerin)
Sangerin was asleep during the majority of the writing of this chapter.
New Hampshire, Winter 2000, St Patrick's Catholic Church
The security detail had done their job well. No one suspicious or unfamiliar in sight, as the first family took their places in the pews at St Patrick's Manchester for a mass for St John the Evangelist. Fr Dowling had vouched for Dr Margot Maynard himself, she was an old friend of Sister Stephanie's from their time in Chicago, and was working as a Clinical Fellow for a sabbatical year in Boston at Sacred Heart. In addition they were all known to the Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago, John Blackwood Ryan, who had provided the highest references to the Secret Service when requested. Margot exchanged warm handshakes with the whole First Family at the door, Abbey and Ellie pausing so long to talk to a fellow doctor that the president had to depute his youngest daughter to persuade them to return to the farmstead. It didn't work.
It took some mock teeth chattering on the part of the president before his wife and daughter parted company from their new acquaintance and returned the farm, amid dire predictions of a presidential flu outbreak and his being incapacitated for the remainder of the festive season until the state of the union.
Sister Steve and Dr Maynard returned to their rooms, chattering happily about the unexpected conversations, and progressing onto the more contentious subjects (such as habit reforms), before settling on comparing the tales as old as time itself, that is school days, formation and living in a convent until the sun came up and they were late for mass. Dashing through the snow, laughing all the way to the church door, they made it in time for the gospel reading and, as Sister Steve gleefully pointed out, this meant there would be no reason for extra time during confession.
The night before forgotten in a haze of sleeplessness, neither woman thought any more about it.
Boston, Sacred Heart Hospital. February
Dr Margaret Maynard had had quite enough of the American Medical System and after 6 months in Boston she wanted her life back. She had thought it would be an opportunity, not grovelling in submission to part-fulfil her own ambition. To begin with, she just wanted to be able to treat patients, without having to ensure they had the right forms in triplicate, and the correct insurance and whether they could manage the co-pay. And having been a nun for a considerable amount of her adult life, she was in no deficit where her sense of humour was concerned, however the constant slapstick antics of her colleagues left a lot to be desired, and quite frankly was puerile in the extreme. The last one had resulted in a complaint to Professor Ross, who had been most displeased at the trouble his clinical fellow had been put to, and ensured behaviour in no uncertain terms.
Margot was there to continue some of the work she had been doing in Botswana about treating those with HIV and TB, specifically into palliative care, but also about reducing opportunistic infection on both counts. It wasn't quite the same without the copious quantities of bush tea, as well as Jack to fix her truck when she returned from trips in the further reaches of the country. Mostly it was the companionship of an evening that she missed – all through her career as a medical missionary Jack had found a way to join her as a lay Methodist Missionary, specialising in mechanical education and truck repair. It had opened up a whole new world for the pair of them, and the relationship had deepened over the 30+ years since they had met. Jack had taught the locals to mend modern vehicles, as well as kept the repairs up for the convent. Margot had patched Jack up in body and soul whenever it was needed. Until this year, when her old friend Jess Fletcher had put her in touch with Douglas Ross, and suggested a clinical fellowship in Boston, with accompanying lecture tours, and the chance to promote the causes most dear to her heart, including the fate of the 25% of the Botswana population who had contracted HIV, and attempting to persuade the new generation of medical professionals to go to Africa and repay the western debt to those countries, in particular taking away young nurses to the richer lands of the west.
The only problem was that Jack couldn't come too. While the provision allowed for a spouse, the US didn't recognise the highly irregular relationship between Rev Jack Lambert and Dr Margot Maynard, and thus Rev Jack would be unable to come over as well. The option of a partnership with ECUSA had been explored (Jack having been ordained within the Anglican Communion), however they seemed far less open to the possibility, even in liberal New Hampshire.
So Jack had walked away, telling Margot that she wasn't to be in contact until America was a definite. Somehow this had stretched into an unbroken silence of a year, and Margot couldn't bring herself to break it and admit quite how painfully this all was. She had heard that parish life back in the UK was going as well as could be expected, but not direct contact whatsoever.
It was going to take a force of nature to bring about the shift that was necessary. Whether that force of nature was an ice storm, an accident or Claudia Jean Cregg was debatable, but the fact that all three coincided had its practical advantages.
The ice storm had happened while Margot was on one of her periodic visits to Manchester to see Steve. She had been roped into helping out at the Trafford clinic once a month, working with those who had little access to healthcare, doing simple tasks, much as she had done in Botswana. The drunks who came in would try to proposition her, asking her why she was doing it, while she would bring them blinking into the sunlight, and sigh that there more was to see in this world than could ever be seen, and more to do than she could ever get done, and would they please leave her to get on with it. One old hobo, Gus, however would stand at the clinic door, claiming that he was really an asparagus, and that while he wasn't making a fuss, he would really like a wee drink. Margot left him to Steve.
It was Easter, the first family were at the farm, security was even higher than normal, and Margot was getting on with her clinic, when a tall woman strode in, paused, and said "I'm sorry to interrupt your clinic, Dr Maynard, but we need your help. We, the president, that is. Would you come with me a minute?"
It turned out that Jed had disobeyed orders and taken himself out for a drive on the farm. Away from the official motorcade, he didn't have access to his own doctor and had taking a slide during the ice-storm, with consequent damage. Abbey, naturally, had wanted him looked over, and CJ (stuck in Manchester visiting campaign folk) had been dispatched to find Dr Maynard on the instructions of the first lady. Jed himself got no say in the matter. After all, he was only the president, and there were more important things at stake.
Like ensuring that the president had done himself no damage, for a start. Abbey had briefed Margot very quickly about the situation, before the president was ushered into the vestry, which had its own entrance. Margot worked quickly, while CJ stood outside and kept an eye out. Jed made some comment about monstrous regiments, at which Margot forgot who her patient was, and flashed her infamous red-headed temper. Jed shut up.
He tried again, asking her a little about herself. Margot explained that she had been a nun in a missionary order, working with TB and HIV patients in Africa, but mostly in general work, including the Solomon Islands. Jed was thoughtful, his admiration for her work obvious, and asked about how she had come to understand her vocation, as a fellow Catholic. Margot talked of her parents, while she double-checked an observation she had made, and then stopped him.
"You're in pain?"
"Somewhat. And not just at your support for socialised medicine." Despite his laughter, he was paler than he had been, and his breathing laboured. Margot started to look around her. The lights were flickering, there was another storm coming, and she didn't like the sound of things.
"Something isn't right." He moved sharply and then gasped, clutching his side.
Several days later, and Margot was able to check on her patient. The punctured lung had been drained and reinflated, and by the time it was possible to get away from New Hampshire, all the medics were in agreement that this was a) unnecessary and b) would cause panic.
She and Jed had spent the afternoon over a game of chess, where Margot lamented quietly the absence of Jack's advice. Margot had never been one for chess. That had been Len, or one of the boys, if any of them, or of course, her beloved Jack.
"Jack?" asked the president
"My… partner? Priest? Friend?" offered Margot.
"I'm not sure I understand. Jack, is Catholic?"
"No. Methodist by upbringing, Anglican by conviction. Not someone that we Catholics would see fit to ordain."
"I'm not sure I understand." Jed seemed genuinely puzzled, and Margot picked her words carefully.
"I can't have my Jack with me because your country would not recognise our relationship, nor would our church, yours and mine, Mr President. Any legal status to our relationship would not sit well if our faith would not sanction it."
"Yet you have turned your back on your vocation, Sister?" Jed was even more puzzled. "I can see why there would be issues with a former Catholic nun marrying an Anglican Priest, particularly as I cannot comprehend the idea of a married priest, or a married nun, but I suppose our Episcopalian friends have been managing perfectly well for some time."
"I have not turned my back on my vocation, Mr President. On the contrary, I live out my vocation, in my community, held in love and prayer. I am no longer of an order, yet I still have deep, prayerful and faithful relationships, based on trust, just as you lived out your vocation to serve God, presiding not at the Mass but over your country. Jack is not diminished by me, and if I thought for a minute that were to be the case, then I would depart in peace, according to God's holy word. I realise that our relationship may seem alien to you, but we are all beloved before God. Don't we all deserve to have opportunity for partnership, intimacy and happiness, if that to what our creator has called us?"
"Dr Maynard. Thank you. I believe that this was check mate." Margot knew when she had been dismissed.
It was walking through Boston three days later that her cell phone rang. CJ Cregg wanted a word. They were both busy women. Could she get over to the airport this afternoon? Somehow CJ already knew that Margot's schedule was free, something had been arranged…
Walking into the arrivals lounge, she saw a familiar figure in clerical shirt, trousers and mid-length coat. Losing all her dignity she ran across the room, with a cry of "Jack!" CJ, listening at the end of a phone in DC, smiled.
Chapter 4: The Man Who Can't Be Moved
Chapter by Angel of the North (Sangerin)
Our heroes find themselves in the middle of a certain Rising.
The man was introduced to the assembled group as Remus Lupin by Endeavour Morse, the speaker that lunchtime at the Churches Together brunch. He was a tired-looking man, deeply scarred, with eyes that Geraldine was later heard to observe as being "wild". Remus himself was softly spoken, but clearly used to commanding attention, as no one moved a muscle as he described the circumstances surrounding the killing of Bella Edwards during the filming of the second vampax commercial. They had been running through the city when an explosion in a nearby church had cut short their lives. An "Act of God" had been blamed as there was no obvious cause, however Remus explained that it was to do with some gang warfare, where Edwards had wanted to join the Riddlers, but had been refused for being the wrong sort of evil.
All of this was taken in with wide eyes, as the group tried to digest the fact that someone was using churches to perpetuate acts of terror, although one of the more cynical Anglicans had been initially heard to ask if this had been the work of the new diocesan arsonist, given that the incumbent had been wanting to rebuild that particular Victorian monstrosity for some time, and the Victorian Society had been bitterly opposing it.
"Anyone would think that Churches actually had a purpose" remarked Fr Lewis, drily, to Rev Jack Lambert and Dr Margot Maynard, a fellow Anglican and the RC representative respectively. "After all, they only exist to sing arcane hymns that bear little linguistic or theological relevance to daily lives in services that have remained unchanged for several hundred years, apart from the fact they haven't and the concept of tradition is anything that we half remember as having happened when we were children."
Jack agreed. "While we both remember and value prayers at school, the church is more than that. I mean, I've known Remus for a few years, although I only recently found out that he was called Remus, rather than the John Lupin that I knew at Benet's. He was in exile when I met him, and couldn't find work, so we gave him house room, and in return he did jobs for us until he had a reference."
"Oh, that's how he came to Benet's. I always wondered," said Lewis.
Margot continued with "His knowledge of medicine was fascinating, and we used to talk about herbal remedies for various issues. He was resistant to certain drugs, which always intrigued me."
"Well now, you two are in and around King's Cross, and I'm at Holy Cross, although I'm not sure for how much longer. I have a meeting with the patrons of the Trust.
Endeavour had been invited to speak about the response to the terror threats, as he had been investigating a number of murders in the Thames valley that seemed to be linked, including some that dated back to the 1970s. Remus had been helping him with his enquiries, and given that the area around King's Cross and the Charing Cross road were considered particularly vulnerable then a charm offensive had begun, with the two of them working together to build links between the fragmented communities of Central London.
Margot had lamented that the only community which seemed to have any cohesion was the gay community around Soho. She and Jack had formed links with St Patricks and St Ann's respectively, and tried to learn lessons from the locals about how best to engender community. Part of the problem was government planning surrounding the development of King's Cross, Gray's Inn Rd, and the surrounding area. Long a run down area of the city, there had been various minority groups who formed around a shared identity, rather than sharing in an identity based around the locality. Where once the working girls and shop owners might have talked to each other, now there was more animosity, more suspicion, as former family hotels were bought up.
In the middle of this was a student hostel above the Methodist Church, with a small chinese congregation, and a mission to the working women of the area. Even here, there was no coherence, as the church was divided any which way, and any time Jack or Margot tried to get anything done, they were always speaking to the wrong person, until they encountered a shy young chemistry student, who was perpetually flicking his long hair out of his eyes, and he explained how the system of the different circuits (didn't) work. His mother was a minister, and gave him the inside track about who to speak to, and it wasn't the student chaplain... His wife, maybe.
Margot had seen the student chaplain around Soho rather a lot, and something about him set her teeth on edge. This had caused a mammoth row with Jack, as the latter was far more forgiving than the former of the declaration "I just don't do ethics. Never saw the point of it" that had been heard at a meeting. The meetings surrounding planning had been tense, as no one like to admit that they were afraid of what might happen. For some reason King's Cross had been identified as a particular target, and the authorities were looking at the churches to help (in a predominantly non-Christian area) with "community cohesion" "evacuation planning" and "resource provision". What this translated to was potentially providing a morgue, re-homing anyone alienated by terrorist action/marooned at the station, and trying to teach everyone to play nicely. Oh, and making sure that the Salvation Army Tea Van continued to operate. Margot immediately volunteered Jack's non-clerical skills for that particular job. Jack's preference had been to have some training in train maintenance...
The nervousness affected their relationship badly, and as the summer wore on, and more reports came through, the relationship between the vicar and the nun of ambiguous status descended into blazing rows and at one stage an all out fight. Jack's hardheadedness drove Margot to distraction, both having seen too much trauma in their missionary work to dissolve into anything that looked like tears, just over little incidents like finding a mouse in a teapot (dead) or a decomposed cat, grin still evident. More's the pity as it would have saved Margot having to actually use her assigned room in the convent, rather than "lodging with the vicar as a convenience".
The two still had to go out on their streets for outreach, and the working girls commented on the tenseness that manifested at 2am. Margot was at the school of hygiene and tropical medicine as a part time clinical fellow, while Jack was following in the footsteps of Fr Jellicoe. Both were also working with the Nuns at King's Cross, particularly focusing on the sex-workers that were being "relocated" away from the more brightly lit streets and towards dimmer, more dangerous areas. Jack insisted on coming with Margot as a safety precaution, Margot resenting this bitterly, reminding her partner exactly who it was that had rescued whom in the middle of Botswana.
It took Jack's disappearance in the explosion that destroyed quite a lot of King's Cross to bring Margot to her senses. The old slum areas at the end of Birkenhead St were demolished, in an attack that also destroyed a significant amount of the area behind the Charing Cross road. A story was put around about a controlled slum demolition, but controlled slum demolitions don't normally kill civilians, even if the authorities are claiming that those were civilians who had evaded extraction.
Margot's work shifted to the cruciform building, dealing with survivors, in particular those whose injuries had also led to diagnoses of TB. She worked several days straight, cat-napping as best she could, and praying that she would be able to see Jack, at least for one last time. They were still going through the rubble, apparently, but didn't hope for survivors.
Being a reservist called up to help the young chemist was invaluable, shyly waiting for her when he could to bring her news of the latest discoveries at King's Cross, as no one had much time to tell anyone anything, unless the relationships had pieces of paper attached to them. His girlfriend sometimes came when he couldn't, and Margot was determined to buy them both a drink just as soon as she knew.
It was on the third day that she found out Jack had been taken to Charing Cross due to its major trauma centre, suffering from contusion and multiple fractures. The chemist had been on duty, and recognised the stole of the priest, and ensured that when he had all the information he could, Margot knew. Then came the impenetrable wall of "immediate family only" and "restricted visiting" while Margot tried to work her way through the NHS bureaucracy she knew well, without having to open herself up to the inevitable prejudices.
Finally, she got to the bed in the ICU, thanks to a sympathetic nurse, who recognised the situation for what it was, and arranged distraction. Jack was in a bad way, so Margot reached for a hand, and squeezed, only to be surprised by a squeeze back. Jack was looking for Margot's eyes, and when they met, mouthed just two words. "I'm Sorry."
It was enough.
Chapter 5: Good Men and True
Chapter by Angel of the North (Sangerin)
In which Sir Humphrey and Lord John join FU at his country estate.
Francis Urquhart had been reduced to the indignity of travelling first class on the Southern Railways between his country seat at Southurst, and was irritably waiting on the platform for his driver, Lupin. He'd always thought the man was something of a Pansy himself, wouldn't say boo to a goose, and certainly couldn't bag a pair, unless it involved whites on the village green. That morning would be Surgery, which was a tedium which one was expected to undertake, even when one was the Chief Whip. It helped to take the temperature of the fevered masses, to pass on their petty concerns to those who could do something about them, and perhaps be awarded some gratitude at the ballot box. Therefore his strategy was to be as courteous and deferential as he could manage to the loudest mouthed women in the room. In some ways, it was a pity that such creatures had got the vote, they were far more effective when it came to ensuring their menfolk complied with their wishes at the ballot box.
Lupin arrived with the slow train from London, five minutes after he should have, with the explanation that not being used so often, the car had not wanted to start. His hands were suspiciously clean, and Urquhart suspected that he had been lazing around, rather than attempting to fix the car, or even there being anything wrong with the car.
Their attention was taken briefly by a very large woman enveloping a small bundle of frizzy hair in a gigantic hug, and blocking the platform. Urquhart was very grateful that his guest for the weekend was too busy slobbering over his own constituents to arrive much before the civilised time for sherry - there was nothing so tiresome as petting the ego of a former prime minister, and Hacker was a particular tiresome individual. He could have retired to the upper house, like any sensible self-serving conservative and make some money in business, but no, he was too damn noble for that. Instead he commanded the loyalty of a considerable number of the lower house, who were particularly impervious to the encouragement of the whips office, and thus he had to manage the egos.
His other dinner guests were no less daunting, Appleby and Marbury. Appleby of course had been the Permanent Secretary of the DAA before his rise to be Cabinet Secretary to a veritable parade of PMs, and currently served the Old Woman Collingridge. Marbury had been biding his time in Bombay. He wanted Washington, and while he was eminently well qualified for this, he wasn't really suitably attuned to the needs of the business community. He would have to be offered Pakistan or similar - something that would cater to the family interests. Appleby would need to be bought off a different way and for a different reason.
The musings were interrupted as the car lurched and Lupin sounded the horn. Two cars sped past, both driven by women, full of women, and Urquhart couldn't resist making some choice comments when they were all pulled up at the traffic lights. Lupin didn't say anything, not wanting to remind the Whip that the reason he didn't have a car and wasn't driving himself was due to some similarly reckless conduct while under the influence, which the Chief Constable had seen fit to ignore under the condition that the offender refrained from driving voluntarily for twelve months. This was acceded to, as the alternative didn't bear thinking about. Lupin also felt disinclined to point out that the swerving had nothing to do with the women, and everything to do with a couple of speeding Malfoys playing silly beggars.
Lupin took his hat, coat and vehicle around the back of the village hall, while Tom Fitzroy, Francis' loyal constituency agent was waiting with the running order. "You have Gus" (Francis sighed "can't be helped") "to begin with, then Mary Bennett," (more issues on the council estate - can't she solve them herself?") "then Childermass - I believe it's a planning issue" ("no, the gazebo might be legal but it's ugly, and it ruins my view") "Dr Neil Oliver - immigration issues" ("shouldn't be too difficult") "Julian Carax - Library campaigning. Wants to get one closed apparently." ("It takes all sorts") "finally there's Rev Jack Lambert, Rev Gerry Granger and Dr Maynard." At this Francis looked interested. "I knew Maynard. Good chap - lived down at Lymington. Sibling who was big in TB. Wonder what happened to him. In fact they all sound like good sorts. None of this trendy vicar nonsense, all good men and true. I shall have to consider inviting them to the house for tea." Fitzroy looked worried. "None of this nonsense. Let's get on with it. I don't have all day to waste, I want to be doing something useful, like shooting on my estates this afternoon.
Tom nodded "very good sir" and went to invite "Gus" (short for Asparagus, and the resident person of limited social function) into the office that had been decorated for such events. Tom privately kept a book wondering how long it would be before the regulars got shifted out. Neil Oliver, a soft spoken Jamaican was new, but mostly beneath notice as far Francis' priorities lay. Julian would be similar. It was the last three that Tom was looking forward to. The three distinguished visitors might not be quite the good sort of chaps that were expected. Good, well-intentioned folk, they were certainly. And they had a point.
Surgery progressed as expected. Then the final three were invited to the door, who turned out to be four. Francis looked confused. "I'm not sure that I'm expecting you, but if you give your names to my agent, I'm sure he'll make you an appointment. Next!"
"Oh, we're next. Your agent showed us here."
"No, Jacynth. Rev Jacynth Lambert. Prophet, Priest, but oooooooh! such a queen." She rolled the words around her mouth.
The fat woman came forward next. "Rev Geraldine Granger, and my niece Hermione. Gerry - how d'you do." Francis shook her hand uncomfortably.
Finally the slim woman with a pectoral cross. "Dr Margaret Maynard."
The one called Jacynth stepped forward. "We'd like a word with you. It's not about Botswana this time, but it is about Southampton, and the other inner cities round here."
Francis looked more sure of himself. "Well, that's Makepeace you want - he's environment secretary. Southampton isn't in my constituency"
Jacynth looked faintly menacing. "I'm well aware of that, however the plans for developing the city spread into your constituency, and directly concern our parishes. Really, quite directly. Dr Maynard works in the hospital, and we are curates locally..."
Two hours later they left. Francis turned to Tom. "If I ever see that monstrous regiment again, I shall be holding you personally responsible - get the bishop see if they can serve their title anywhere but Southurst. They seemed to hold me personally responsible for everything ill and expect me to put it right."
"Well you are the chief whip, sir."
Dinner that evening was not without its consequences. All the gentlemen who had wives had brought them, and Elizabeth had been thoughtful enough to provide a suitable plaything for Lord John, Helena Olsen, who was staying with mutual friends locally. Given his company, Francis regaled the table with the tales from the constituency surgery that morning, including his misfortune with the monstrous regiment. Sir Humphrey smiled knowingly, and waited for Hacker to launch into his own surgery that morning, something that would be long tedious and lose/gain nothing in the retelling.
Sir Humphrey himself made a note of the names of the curates. It would be of mutual benefit to become re-acquainted, and potentially could further his own causes. Henry Collingridge was not destined to remain in high office for much longer, and there was only so much that the civil servant could do for someone who seemed determined to be rendered an imbecile by FU. After the Botswana Affair ten years ago, two of the three women had won his admiration and loyalty. Geraldine was new, but if she was a friend of Jack's then that would do for him.
Francis's piercing voice interrupted his reverie, indicating that Hacker's soliloquy had been brutally ended as only FU knew how - getting his wife to do it. Marbury was also a potentially useful ally, it seemed. So far he had outwitted Urquhart four times in two sentences, demonstrating a far cannier knowledge of British Interests than Urquhart had imagined lay behind the foppish idiocy. Both of them (Marbury and Urquhart) were younger sons of Baronets, both of them knew the rules of engagement, and none played the game better.
Sir Humphrey was hopeful that his tenure at Downing Street would continue, if he got the opportunity to learn from the likes of Marbury. His ability to flatter his companion while refusing to step in the traps that Elizabeth had set was really quite something.
Taking his leave at the respectable hour of eleven p.m. and declining the offer to stay the night, he and Lady Appleby drove to the cottage where they were staying. He wasn't sure he held with women as Deacons in the C of E let alone as priests which seemed to be the latest nonsense, however for those two he held there might be an exception and this was his opportunity to find out. They'd be wanting Equal Rites next.... Jack would be taking Mattins at St Mary's, and it would be the perfect opportunity to find out. From their brief conversation, he gathered that Lord John intended to do likewise. This really might have been a useful weekend, if not in the way that the blasted Urquhart intended. Not at all, minister.
Chapter 6: This Monstrous Regiment
Chapter by Angel of the North (Sangerin)
In which there are more monstrous regiments (or rather, essentially the same one, only a number of years earlier...)
'What a city of women this place is turning into,' grumbled Fr Lewis Hall as he entered the St Benet's Healing Center early in the morning. He nodded at Sr Dr Maynard, chatting companionably in the staff room with fellow-doctor Val Fredericks, and their head of Befrienders, Francie Parker. Women had their place, he thought, but why so many of them had to have taken up residence at St Benet's was beyond him. It was, after all, bad enough that they had to deal with that Thatcher woman in Downing Street.
He saw Nicholas in his office, head bent over a ledger, pointing something out to Jack Lambert, and frowned yet again. It was Nicholas who encouraged them all, the big-hearted, misguided idiot. When would he learn?
On their return from Botswana Jack had been sent to St Benet's as a temporary measure. It had been thought that Jack's particularly practical approach to ministry might clash with some of the more esoteric approaches favoured by Nick Darrow, but priest and curate got along like a house on fire. Lewis Hall remained an unknown commodity, but as those in the diocese had been known to comment previously, he always was. They were simply pleased by his decision to attach himself to Darrow, thus mostly keeping both of them out of trouble. That a similar attachment, although ecumenical and of a different emotional character, existed between Reverend Jack and the Roman Catholic Dr Maynard went without comment.
In fact, despite her attachment to St Bartholemews as well as to the Healing Centre, Dr Maynard spent the majority of her time at the Healing Center, mucking in wherever needed. No one was about to turn away the help of a skilled doctor, let alone one with her extent of experience. And so whether the centre was dealing with an outbreak of 'flu amongst the residents of the Barbican, or patching up striking workers who knew that they would be cared for here if no where else, Margot Maynard was in demand, and the Healing Centre was as busy as ever.
In the evenings, particularly when Mrs Darrow was, as was usual, down at the country house, Margot joined the three priests for an evening meal in the untidy rectory kitchen. She did her best to avoid getting dragged into cooking the meal, but as Lewis declared cooking to be women's work and Nick was hardly ever back from healings or other commitments in time, it was cook or takeaway. Luckily, Francie Parker often dropped into the Rectory and left a plate or two of food in the fridge for the hungry pastoral team.
On this particular evening Margot had rolled her eyes at Jack and Lewis' united front against cooking, and promptly put together a casserole she'd first learnt how to make when she was working with the order in West London.
Meanwhile, Lewis poured out glasses of red wine, and began to pontificate on the foolishness of the move towards the ordination of women.
Irritated, Margot pushed Bustopher, the insufferable Rectory cat, off the table and slapped plates and cutlery in front of Lewis. 'If you're so certain of yourself, Lewis, you've enough time to set the table for dinner.'
'Why, Doctor, what have I done?' Lewis asked blandly. 'As a Catholic, I would have thought you would be quite certain of where you stand on this topic.'
'I am exceedingly certain of where I stand,' replied Margot, 'But it isn't where you think.'
'Margot,' said Jack quietly.
'Why do you defend him?' asked Margot.
'Why do you care so much?' responded Jack. 'It doesn't affect you.'
Lewis shifted his gaze theatrically between the two of them. 'I thought this was my soapbox moment.'
Margot turned on him. 'Why do you care so much?'
'It is my Church that is turning its back on God,' said Lewis.
At this, Jack stood up. 'You're denying God's love to all His people,' responded Jack. 'I'd say there's a fairly good argument to say that it's you who is turning your back.'
'I shouldn't have to stand for this,' raged Lewis. 'And in my own kitchen.'
Margot's response was swift. 'As it happens, it's Jack's kitchen, too. Although it's not as though any of you do enough of the actual kitchen work to lay claim to any part of it. If it wasn't for my help...'
'And just why are you always here?'asked Lewis.
'Is that really any of your business?' said Jack. All three were now standing, Lewis at the end of the kitchen table, and Margot and Jack facing each other across it.
'When it concerns the moral character of my Deaconness, of course it does,' said Lewis. 'Let alone someone with the gall to lecture me on the love of God for His people, and what that has to do with the price of fish I've not the faintest idea.'
'Of course you don't,' snapped Jack. 'Your arguments entrench women as second-class citizens, within the church or outside it. You hide it in back-handed compliments like "sensitivity", but what you really mean is that because Jesus had anatomy of a particular shape, so must all His representatives in the priesthood.'
'My position is based on nothing so crude,' responded Lewis.
'Of course it is,'said Margot.
'And yet again,' said Lewis, 'I don't see what place you have in this discussion, Sister Maynard.'
'Perhaps we should exchange denominations,'said Margot, her tone clipped and biting.
'If you want to become an Anglican, you can always convert,'said Lewis. 'But it won't do you or any of your cohort of meddlesome females any good whatsoever. We are still part of the same catholic and Apostolic church, and the church should move as one, rather than be schismatic. It is less loving to provoke rows and arguments than it is to move forward as one, nurturing all those who would find themselves set aside by so abrupt a change, and such a grave departure from Tradition, or indeed Reason, if this discussion is to be believed. The roles of women and men within the body of Christ are different and complimentary, and we recognise that with different orders of ministry. We can waste time debating in Synod until the cows come home to the rectory, or we can focus on what matters - Faith in the Cities strikes me as more important than the emancipation of a few blessed females.
"Maybe we would have more priests to serve those parishes if we ordained women." Margot's voice surprised Lewis. He was expecting Jack.
"If they'd ever accept a woman in those places. They're rough estates, and they'd laugh at a woman more than accept her ministry. They can do more good as doctors and academics." If it was meant to mollify the two women in front of him, it failed sadly .
'Lewis!' said Nick Darrow from the doorway. 'What on earth have you been saying?'
'Merely impressing proper doctrine on our wayward Curate and the Registrar.' Lewis looked as though butter wouldn't melt in his mouth.
'By the fury on their faces I somehow doubt it,' replied Nick.
'Lewis decided to air his objections to the ordination of women,' said Jack.
'Ah,' replied Nick. 'I'd best keep him away from Geraldine when she comes tomorrow, then.'
'It would probably be a good idea,' said Jack.
'That infernal woman!'exclaimed Lewis.
Nick's response was bland. 'Yes. She's bringing Sister Barry – a nursing sister, not a colleague of yours, Margot–along to meet with the medical staff. She worked with the Henry Street settlement in Manhattan for a time, as did Ames. Both a very long time ago, but I expect it will be interesting to hear what they have to say. There are parts of the Henry Street model that are very good indeed.'
Margot smiled. 'A model founded by a woman, by the way.'
'That does it,'grumbled Lewis. He grabbed for the bottle of scotch, but Nick removed it from within his reach. 'If the Anglican Community regains its genitalia, please do let me know.'
"Female or male?" snapped back Jack.
With this unaccustomed use of crudity, Lewis departed the kitchen, leaving the other three to share out the scotch.
Chapter 7: A School in Cornwall
Chapter by Angel of the North (Sangerin)
Working together at a school in Cornwall (no, not that one), Jack Lambert and Margot's triplet sister Len revisit some history, and tackle some politics.
The sun was shining, it was a lovely day. A perfect morning for the girls to play tennis, or even to be out on the beach, brushing up their skills at surfing. Len Maynard however, was ensconced in her office, unable to leave the piles of work awaiting her. She poured herself a cup of tea and then settled back behind her desk. There was a stack of history papers needing to be graded, applications for a position as junior matron for Juniper House to be reviewed, and letters from parents to be answered. Madeleine Welbeck had happily delegated a significant amount of work to her deputy head as soon as she had realised the quality of Len's work.
It wasn't that Len begrudged the time, or the effort that she put into the administration of her school. Although when younger Len had never thought she could love another school as much as the Chalet School, Trebizon, with its beautiful buildings and grounds, and its enthusiastic staff and girls, had its own place in her heart. For a number of years, now, she and Reg had been happy here: Len working her way up to deputy head, and Reg a leading surgeon at a nearby hospital. Although their daughter Jessica was entered for the Chalet School - naturally, for any child of the extended Bettany family - she had been known to ask her mother why she couldn't stay at Trebizon, where she'd lived for most of her childhood.
On top of Len's regular work, she was mulling over an important decision. An offer of a new situation had come to her in the last few days. She had talked it over with Reg, who was all in favour of the plan, but the final decision was Len's own to make, and she was finding it difficult. Sighing, she refreshed her tea and turned back to her history papers.
She had put in less than twenty minutes work when the Headmistress herself arrived, the school chaplain trailing in her wake.
'Len, dear, I hate to bring you into this,' said Miss Welbeck, 'But Jack suggested that you might be able to help.'
'Oh, did she?' asked Len, glaring playfully at her old friend.
'Sorry, Len,' said Jack, 'But I do think you'll be a help.'
Len smiled. 'So, what's the difficulty? And would you like some tea?'
'Please,' said Miss Welbeck. Jack moved to the side table to make a fresh pot of tea, while Len and her Head sat down to talk. 'You know about section 28, of course. We didn't think it would have any applicability to us as we aren't a Council school. Nor do we tend to include such things in our curriculum.'
'How has that changed?'
'It was Jack who pointed out that our policy was... shortsighted, shall we say?' said Miss Welbeck. We are assuming that we have no students whom this policy would affect, no students who need to be cared for as they realise who they are.'
Len nodded slowly. 'True.'
'I'd like to go to the Governors with a proposal: but I'd like you and Jack to work together on precisely what that proposal should be.'
'What sort of timing are you looking at, Madeleine?' asked Len, conscious of the decisions she was trying to make.
'I'm honestly not certain,' replied Miss Welbeck. 'I rather wish this hadn't come up: I don't particularly want to face the Governors with this. Nevertheless, I can see that we need to do this. I don't want any of our girls to feel ignored or abandoned.'
Again, Len nodded. Jack leaned against Len's sideboard holding her teacup in her hand without a saucer.
'You might see what the Jane Willard have done in this regard,' Miss Welbeck went on to suggest. 'They have something of a reputation, it's true, but I know that their current Principal has made quite an effort to ensure that their school societies are sufficiently inclusive.'
'What about Skelton Hall?'asked Len. 'Or perhaps Cliff End in Brighton? I have an old schoolfriend who is a mistress there. And there's the Towers, of course.'
Miss Welbeck nodded. 'Very good suggestions – and both Cliff End and the Towers are old and quite established schools.' She finished her tea, and stood up. 'I am glad that you are happy to take this on. It's a great weight off my mind, Len. Thank you very much for the tea.'
Jack said nothing until the door had closed behind Miss Welbeck.
'Rather,' replied Len. 'Do you think Auntie Hilda and Auntie Nell ever had to deal with this?'
'Well, not with Section 28,' replied Jack. 'But I don't doubt they had to consider what was best for the school and the staff.'
Len nodded. 'I think of them quite a lot these days,' she said. 'With this offer of the headship at Howells... And this is the sort of thing that I suppose I'll have to deal with.'
'Well, yes,' said Jack. 'You can't assume that any school in the country can avoid these considerations, no matter how much you might like to.'
'You're speaking as though I've never had to deal with this at all, and you know that's not true.'
Jack laughed. 'Are you referring to ancient history?'
'Perhaps just a little. And then Margot, of course, although it's different when it's a sister. But all this talk – in the newspapers and on the evening news: Inevitably it's brought out issues with some of the girls. I've already had one girl wanting to talk to me about it.'
Jack was silent for a moment. 'Catriona Morgan?' she said eventually.
Len nodded. 'She came to see me last week. Talked around the issue quite nicely, and we've arranged to have tea together again next week. The problem is, I've no idea what to do or how to help her. How much do you know about her?'
'She's come to me to talk about it, too. Something about the dog collar and the inevitable rumours about women who do what are considered 'men's jobs' must make me seem a good person to talk to. And of course I can't share any of what she's said to me in that capacity,' she finished.
'I gather that she and Sue Murdoch are particularly close,'said Len. Frustrated, she stood up and began to pace. 'Oh, the whole thing is so ludicrous.'
'Look,'said Jack. 'This is a private school, and not even officially attached to the Church,'she said. 'The policy is up to the Board of Governors, and not a bishop among them. Because of Madeleine's request you and I can have a hand in drafting it.'
Len stopped her pacing and faced Jack. 'I wish none of this were necessary,'she said. 'I wish section 28 had never been thought of, and I do wish that the world would accept you – and Margot – as you are.'
Jack nodded. 'Margot understands,'she said.
'Oh, I hope so,'said Len. 'Ever since Con died I've felt... I don't know. That Margot was too far away from all of us. Geographically, yes, but also emotionally. Part of that is because she entered the Order, of course. It's like when Auntie Robin went away. But it's more than just that. And she's my triplet,'Len finished. 'We're closer – we were closer – than the others. And so much older than the other girls, anyway. And now there's only her and me.' Jack held her arms wide, and Len accepted the embrace. 'You are good, Jack. You are so very good to me. And to Margot.'
They parted, and Jack offered Len a handkerchief to blot the few tears that were staining her cheeks. 'After Anne,' said Jack, 'You're the closest thing to a sister that I have. Besides, you got me this job when no one else would employ me, and speaking of which, that's another thing in favour of the Board of Governors. They approved my appointment, after all.'
'You're right, of course,'said Len. 'I only wish you could be staying longer. Do you think there's any chance of seeing Margot before you go back to this work of yours in Botswana?'
'I doubt I'll see her until I get there - probably not until next year. She's returning as soon as she can: she's only waiting for the papers to go through. Those attacks by Sam Botha's gang last year made everything much more difficult in terms of bureaucracy, and South Africa, of course, are causing trouble as well. Neither Catholics nor Anglicans are particularly popular right now.'
'You are careful, aren't you?'asked Len.
'Of course I am. Neither of us wants the other in any danger, and so we look out for each other quite nicely. And for the Sisters, of course.'
'Of course,'replied Len.
'Don't worry about us,'Jack said, a hand resting lightly on Len's shoulder. 'I'll look after her.'
'I know you will,'said Len, smiling at Jack before shooing the Chaplain out of her office and turning back to her work.