Click here to Download Best Kept Secret PDF Book by Jeffrey Archer Language English having PDF Size 1.6 MB and No of Pages 346.
Harry Clifton would never forget the first time he’d heard those words, and how moments later his whole life had been thrown into turmoil. Old Jack, who like George Washington could never tell a lie, had revealed in a hastily called meeting in the vestry that it was possible that Emma Barrington, the woman Harry adored, and who was about to become his wife, might be his half-sister.
Best Kept Secret PDF Book by Jeffrey Archer
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All hell had broken loose when Harry’s mother admitted that on one occasion, and only one, she had had sexual intercourse with Emma’s father, Hugo Barrington. Therefore, there was a possibility that he and Emma could be the offspring of the same father. At the time of her dalliance with Hugo Barrington, Harry’s mother had been walking out with Arthur Clifton, a stevedore who worked at Barrington’s Shipyard.
Despite the fact that Maisie had married Arthur soon afterwards, the priest refused to proceed with Harry and Emma’s wedding while there was a possibility it might contravene the church’s ancient laws on consanguinity. Moments later, Emma’s father Hugo had slipped out of the back of the church, like a coward leaving the battlefield.
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Emma and her mother had travelled up to Scotland, while Harry, a desolate soul, remained at his college in Oxford, not knowing what to do next. Adolf Hitler had made that decision for him. Harry left the university a few days later and exchanged his academic gown for an ordinary seaman’s uniform.
But he had been serving on the high seas for less than a fortnight when a German torpedo had scuppered his vessel, and the name of Harry Clifton appeared on the list of those reported lost at sea. ‘Wilt thou take this woman to thy wedded wife, wilt thou keep thee only unto her, as long as you both shall live?’ ‘I will.’
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It was not until after the end of hostilities, when Harry had returned from the battlefield scarred in glory, that he discovered Emma had given birth to their son, Sebastian Arthur Clifton. But Harry didn’t find out until he had fully recovered that Hugo Barrington had been killed in the most dreadful circumstances, and bequeathed the Barrington family another problem.
Every bit as devastating to Harry as not being allowed to marry the woman he loved. Harry had never considered it at all significant that he was a few weeks older than Giles Barrington, Emma’s brother and his closest friend, until he learned that he could be first in line to inherit the family’s title, its vast estates, numerous possessions, and, to quote the will, all that therein is.
He quickly made it clear that he had no interest in the Barrington inheritance, and was only too willing to forfeit any birthright that might be considered his, in favour of Giles. The Garter King of Arms seemed willing to go along with this arrangement, and all might have progressed in good faith, had Lord Preston, a Labour backbencher in the Upper House. Best Kept Secret PDF Book
Not taken it upon himself to champion Harry’s claim to the title, without even consulting him. ‘It is a matter of principle,’ Lord Preston had explained to any lobby correspondents who questioned him. When Emma’s mother Elizabeth went into hospital for a check-up, she tried to reassure her daughter that there was nothing to worry about.
And told her she wasn’t to tell Harry or the children because it would only make them anxious. It certainly made Emma anxious and, as soon as she returned to Barrington Hall, she phoned Giles at the House of Commons, and then her sister in Cambridge. They both dropped everything and caught the next train to Bristol.
‘Let’s hope I’m not wasting your time,’ said Emma after she’d picked them up from Temple Meads. ‘Let’s hope you are wasting our time,’ Grace replied. Giles appeared preoccupied and stared out of the window as they continued their journey to the hospital in silence. Even before Mr Langbourne had closed the door to his office, Emma sensed the news wasn’t going to be good.Best Kept Secret PDF Book
‘I wish there was an easy way to tell you this,’ the specialist said once they’d sat down, ‘but I’m afraid there isn’t. Dr Raeburn, who’s been your mother’s GP for several years, carried out a routine check-up, and when he got the results of his tests, he referred her to me in order that I could carry out a more detailed examination.’
Emma clenched her fists, something she used to do as a schoolgirl whenever she was nervous or in trouble. ‘Yesterday,’ continued Mr Langbourne, ‘I received the results from the clinical lab. They confirmed Dr Raeburn’s fears: your mother has breast cancer.’ ‘Can she be cured?’ was Emma’s immediate response. ‘There is no cure at present for someone of her age,’ said Langbourne.
‘Scientists are hoping for a breakthrough at some time in the future, but I fear that won’t be soon enough for your mother.’ ‘Is there anything we can do?’ asked Grace. Emma leant across and took her sister’s hand. ‘During this time, she will need all the love and support you and the family can give her. Elizabeth is a remarkable woman, and after all she has been through, she deserves better. Best Kept Secret PDF Book
But she’s never once complained – not her style. She’s a typical Harvey.’ ‘How long will she be with us?’ asked Emma. ‘I fear,’ said Langbourne, ‘that it will be a matter of weeks, rather than months.’ ‘Then there’s something I have to tell her,’ said Giles, who hadn’t spoken until then.
IT WAS JUST after midnight when the phone rang. Giles knew there was only one person who’d dare to call him at that hour. ‘Don’t you ever go to bed, Griff?’ ‘Not when the Conservative candidate resigns halfway through an election campaign,’ replied his agent. ‘What are you talking about?’ said Giles, suddenly wide awake. ‘Greg Dunnett has resigned, stating health reasons.
But there has to be a lot more to it than that, since Fisher has taken his place. Try to get some sleep, as I need you in the office by seven so we can decide how to play this. Frankly, as the Americans would say, it’s a whole different ball game.’ But Giles didn’t sleep. He’d thought for some time that Fisher was up to something, and now he knew what it was. Best Kept Secret PDF Book
He must have planned to be the candidate from the start. Dunnett was nothing more than a sacrificial lamb. Giles had already accepted that as he was defending a majority of only 414, and the polls were predicting that the Tories would increase their number of seats, he had a real fight on his hands.
And now he was up against someone he knew was willing to send men to their graves if he thought it would help him survive. Gregory Dunnett was his latest victim. Harry and Emma turned up at Barrington Hall the following morning. They found Giles having breakfast. ‘No more lunches or dinners for the next three weeks,’ said Giles as he buttered another piece of toast.
‘Just wearing out shoe leather on hard pavements, and shaking hands with countless constituents. And make sure you two stay out of the way. I don’t need anyone to be reminded that my sister and brother-in-law are staunch Tories.’ ‘We’ll also be out there, working for a cause we believe in,’ said Emma. ‘That’s all I need.’ Best Kept Secret PDF Book Download
‘As soon as we heard Fisher was standing for the Conservatives, we decided to become fully paid-up members of the Labour Party,’ said Harry. ‘We even sent a donation to your fighting fund.’ Giles stopped eating. ‘That’s wonderful news,’ said Mrs Tibbet, once Sebastian had told her everything that had happened that afternoon.
‘But I still think you should phone your parents and let them know where you are. After all, you still can’t be certain you’ve lost your place at Cambridge.’ ‘Ruby’s been sacked, my housemaster refuses to discuss the subject, even Matron, who is never short of an opinion, wouldn’t say a word. I can promise you, Mrs Tibbet, I won’t be going up to Cambridge.
In any case, my parents aren’t back from America until tomorrow, so I couldn’t get in touch with them even if I wanted to.’ Mrs Tibbet kept her counsel. ‘Well, if you’re leaving,’ she said, ‘you’d better go and pack your things because I could use the room. I’ve already had to turn away three customers.’ ‘I’ll be as quick as I can.’ Sebastian left the kitchen and ran back up the stairs to his room. Best Kept Secret PDF Book Download
Once he’d packed and tidied up, he returned to find Mrs Tibbet and Janice standing in the hall waiting for him. ‘It’s been a memorable week, quite memorable,’ said Mrs Tibbet as she opened the front door, ‘and one Janice and me are unlikely to forget.’ ‘When I write my memoirs, Tibby, you’ll get a whole chapter,’ Sebastian said as they walked out on to the pavement together.
‘You’ll have forgotten us both long before then,’ she said wistfully. ‘Not a hope. This will become my second home, you’ll see.’ Sebastian planted a kiss on Janice’s cheek, before giving Tibby a long hug. ‘You’re not going to get rid of me quite that easily,’ he added as he climbed back into the waiting taxi. Mrs Tibbet and Janice waved as the cab began its journey back to Eaton Square.
Tibby had wanted to tell him one more time, for heaven’s sake ring your mother the minute she gets back from America, but she knew it would be pointless. ‘Janice, go and change the sheets in number seven,’ she said as the taxi turned right at the end of the road and disappeared out of sight. Mrs Tibbet quickly returned to the house. If Seb wouldn’t get in touch with his mother, she would. Best Kept Secret PDF Book Download
‘He’ll just have to learn to live without you for a couple of years,’ said Feldman, making no attempt to disguise what he had in mind. Many a redblooded Englishman hearing such a proposition made to his wife might have punched Feldman on the nose, and a less tolerant wife than Mrs Feldman might well have been forgiven for initiating divorce proceedings as her three predecessors had done.
Harry just smiled, while Mrs Feldman pretended not to notice. Harry had agreed with Emma’s suggestion that they should fly to England straight after the ceremony, as she wanted to be back at the Manor House before Sebastian returned from Beechcroft. Their son was no longer a schoolboy, she mused, and only three months away from being an undergraduate.
Once the degree ceremony was over, Emma strolled around the lawn, enjoying the celebratory atmosphere and making the acquaintance of her fellow graduates, who, like her, had spent countless lonely hours of study while residing on distant shores, and were now meeting for the first time. Spouses were introduced, family photographs shown off and addresses exchanged. Best Kept Secret PDF Book Free
By six o’clock, when the waiters began to fold up the chairs, collect the drained champagne bottles and stack the last of the empty plates, Harry suggested that perhaps they should make their way back to their hotel. Emma didn’t stop chatting all the way back to the Fairmont, while she was packing, during the taxi ride to the airport, and as they waited for their flight in the first-class lounge.
No sooner had she climbed aboard the aircraft, found her place and fastened her seat belt, than she closed her eyes and immediately fell into a deep sleep. Sir Alan Redmayne shook hands with Harry and Emma before introducing Mr Hugh Spencer. ‘Mr Spencer is an assistant secretary at the Treasury,’ he explained. ‘The reason for his presence will become clear.’
They all sat down around a circular table in the centre of the room. ‘I realize this meeting was called to discuss a most serious matter,’ said Sir Alan, ‘but before I begin, I would like to say, Mr Clifton, that I am an avid follower of William Warwick. Your latest book is on my wife’s side of the bed, so unfortunately I won’t be allowed to read it until she’s turned the last page.’ Best Kept Secret PDF Book Free
‘That’s very kind of you, sir.’ ‘Let me begin by explaining why we needed to see you at such short notice,’ said Sir Alan, his tone of voice changing. ‘I would like to reassure you, Mr and Mrs Clifton, that we are just as concerned about your son’s welfare as you are, even if our interests may differ from yours.
The government’s interest,’ he continued, ‘centres around a man called Don Pedro Martinez, who has fingers in so many pies that we now have a filing cabinet exclusively devoted to him. Mr Martinez is an Argentinian citizen with a residence in Eaton Square, a country house at Shillingford, three cruise liners, a string of polo ponies stabled at the Guards Polo Club in Windsor Great Park, and a box at Ascot.
He always comes to London during the season, and has a wide circle of friends and associates who believe him to be a wealthy cattle baron. And why shouldn’t they? He owns three hundred thousand acres of pampas in Argentina, with around five hundred thousand head of cattle grazing on it. Although this yields him a handsome profit, in fact it’s nothing more than a front to shield his more nefarious activities.’ ‘And what are they?’ Best Kept Secret PDF Book Free