House of Cards [CHAPTER 45]



It was that wise old sailor of stormy seas, Francis Drake, who remarked that the wings of opportunity are fledged with the feathers of death. Someone else’s death, for preference.

O’Neill had been asleep for three hours when he was roused by someone shaking him fiercely by the shoulder. Slowly he focused his eyes and saw Urquhart leaning over him, instructing him to wake up.

  “Roger, there’s been a change of plan. I’ve just had a call from the BBC asking if they can send a film crew over here to shoot some footage for their coverage on Tuesday. Samuel has apparently already agreed, so I felt I had little choice but to say yes. They’ll be here for some time. It’s just what we didn’t want. If they find you here it’ll start all sorts of speculation about how Party Headquarters is interfering in the leadership race. Best to avoid confusion. I’m sorry, but I think it best that you leave right away.”

  O’Neill was still trying to find second gear on his tongue as Urquhart poured some coffee past it, explaining once again how sorry he was about the weekend but how glad he was they had cleared up any confusion between them.

“Remember, Roger. A knighthood next Whitsun, and we can sort out the job you want next week. I’m so happy you were able to come. I really am so grateful,” Urquhart was saying as he tipped O’Neill into his car.

  He watched as O’Neill edged his way with practiced caution down the driveway and out through the gates.

“Good-bye, Roger,” he whispered.





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