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The door opened long before the morning light could creep through the bars of the window and into the cell. Despite the early hour, Harry was wide awake. A warder strolled in carrying a tray of food that the Salvation Army wouldn’t have considered offering a penniless hobo. Once he’d placed the tray on the little wooden table, he left without a word.
The Sins of the Father PDF Book by Jeffrey Archer
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Harry took one look at the food before beginning to pace up and down. With each step, he grew more confident that once he explained to Mr Jelks the reason he’d exchanged his name with Tom Bradshaw, the matter would quickly be sorted out. Surely the worst punishment they could exact would be to deport him, and as he’d always intended to return to England and join the navy, it all fitted in with his original plan.
At 8.55 a.m., Harry was sitting on the end of the bunk, impatient for Mr Jelks to appear. The massive iron door didn’t swing open until twelve minutes past nine. Harry leapt up as a prison guard stood to one side and allowed a tall, elegant man with silver grey hair to enter. Harry thought he must have been about the same age as Grandpa.
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Mr Jelks wore a dark blue pinstripe, double-breasted suit, a white shirt and a striped tie. The weary look on his face suggested that little would surprise him. ‘Good morning,’ he said, giving Harry a faint smile. ‘My name is Sefton Jelks. I am the senior partner of Jelks, Myers and Abernathy, and my clients, Mr and Mrs Bradshaw, have asked me to represent you in your upcoming trial.’
Harry offered Jelks the only chair in his cell, as if he was an old friend who had dropped in to his study at Oxford for a cup of tea. He perched on the bunk and watched the lawyer as he opened his briefcase, extracted a yellow pad and placed it on the table. Jelks took a pen from an inside pocket and said, ‘Perhaps you might begin by telling me who you are, as we both know you’re not Lieutenant Bradshaw.’
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If the lawyer was surprised by Harry’s story he showed no sign of it. Head bowed, he wrote copious notes on his yellow pad while Harry explained how he’d ended up spending the night in jail. Once he’d finished, Harry assumed his problems must surely be over, as he had such a senior lawyer on his side – that was, until he heard Jelks’s first question.
‘You say that you wrote a letter to your mother while you were on board the Kansas Star, explaining why you had assumed Tom Bradshaw’s identity?’ ‘That’s correct, sir. I didn’t want my mother to suffer unnecessarily, but at the same time I needed her to understand why I’d made such a drastic decision.’
‘Yes, I can understand why you might have considered that changing your identity would solve all your immediate problems, while not appreciating that it could involve you in a series of even more complicated ones,’ said Jelks. His next question surprised Harry even more. ‘Do you recall the contents of that letter?’ ‘Of course. I wrote and rewrote it so many times I could reproduce it almost verbatim.’ The Sins of the Father PDF Book
‘Then allow me to test your memory,’ Jelks said and, without another word, tore off a sheet from his yellow pad and handed it and his fountain pen to Harry. Harry spent some time recalling the exact words, before he set about rewriting the letter. An hour later, Harry, dressed in a dark blue suit, cream shirt, starched collar and a striped tie.
Was handcuffed, marched from his cell to a prison vehicle and driven to the courthouse under armed guard. ‘No one must believe you’re capable of murder,’ Jelks had pronounced after a tailor had visited Harry’s cell with half a dozen suits, shirts and a selection of ties for him to consider. ‘I’m not,’ Harry reminded him. Harry was reunited with Jelks in the corridor.
The lawyer gave him that same smile before pushing his way through the swing doors and walking down the centre aisle, not stopping until he reached the two vacant seats at counsel’s table. Once Harry had settled into his place and his handcuffs had been removed, he looked around the almost empty courtroom. Jelks had been right about that. The Sins of the Father PDF Book
Few members of the public, and certainly no press, seemed interested in the case. For them, it must have been just another domestic murder, where the defendant was likely to be acquitted; no ‘Cain and Abel’ headlines while there was no possibility of the electric chair in court number four. As the first chime rang out to announce midday, a door opened on the far side of the room and Judge Atkins appeared.
He walked slowly across the court, climbed the steps and took his place behind a desk on the raised dais. He then nodded in the direction of the DA, as if he knew exactly what he was about to say. A young lawyer rose from behind the prosecutor’s desk and explained that the state would be dropping the murder charge, but would be pursuing Thomas Bradshaw on a charge of desertion from the US Navy.
The judge nodded, and turned his attention to Mr Jelks, who rose on cue. ‘And on the second charge, of desertion, how does your client plead?’ ‘Guilty,’ said Jelks. ‘I hope your honour will be lenient with my client on this occasion, as I don’t need to remind you, sir, that this is his first offence, and before this uncharacteristic lapse he had an unblemished record.’ The Sins of the Father PDF Book
Judge Atkins scowled. ‘Mr Jelks,’ he said, ‘some may consider that for an officer to desert his post while serving his country is a crime every bit as heinous as murder. I’m sure I don’t have to remind you that until recently such an offence would have resulted in your client facing a firing squad.’ Harry felt sick as he looked up at Jelks, who didn’t take his eyes off the judge.
‘With that in mind,’ continued Atkins, ‘I sentence Lieutenant Thomas Bradshaw to six years in jail.’ He banged his gavel and said, ‘Next case,’ before Harry had a chance to protest. ‘Simple really. I’m a butcher, like me dad. Up every mornin’ at four, and off to the market. If I want the best cuts I have to be waitin’ for them the moment they’re delivered from the docks or the station.
Only have to be a few minutes late, and I’m gettin’ second best. Half an hour late, and it’s scrag-ends, and your mum wouldn’t thank me for that, would she?’ Giles laughed as Bates leapt up and began heading back to the barracks, only to discover that the sergeant major hadn’t allowed any time for cleaning teeth. The Sins of the Father PDF Book
Most of the morning was spent fitting up the ‘sprogs’, as they were referred to, with uniforms, one or two of which looked as if they’d had a previous owner. Berets, belts, boots, tin hats, blanco, Brasso and boot polish followed. Once they had been kitted out, the recruits were taken on to the parade ground for their first drill session.
Having served, if somewhat inattentively, in the school’s Combined Cadet Force, Giles started with a slight advantage, but he had a feeling it wouldn’t be too long before Terry Bates caught up with him. At twelve, they were marched off to the canteen. Giles was so hungry he ate almost everything on offer.
After lunch, they returned to the barracks and changed into their gym kit before being herded across to the gymnasium. Giles silently thanked his prep school PT instructor for having taught him how to climb a rope, how to balance on a beam and how to use the wall bars for stretching. He couldn’t help noticing that Bates shadowed his every move. The Sins of the Father PDF Book Download
The afternoon ended with a five-mile run across the Devon moors. Only eight of the thirty-six raw recruits came back through the barracks gates at the same time as their gym instructor. One even managed to get lost and a search party had to be sent out to look for him. Tea was followed by what the sergeant major described as recreation.
Which for most of the lads turned out to be collapsing on their bunks and falling into a deep sleep. You always were an arrogant little shit, and clearly nothing has changed, thought Giles. This time he didn’t smile. ‘Now, it’s our responsibility to patrol the western perimeter of the town in four-hour watches.
Don’t underestimate the importance of our task, because if Rommel does attack Tobruk, intelligence is that he’ll try and enter the city from the west. So we have to remain vigilant at all times. I’ll leave it to you to fix the rotas. I usually manage a couple of shifts a day, but I can’t do a lot more because of my other responsibilities.’ Like what, Giles wanted to ask him. The Sins of the Father PDF Book Download
Giles enjoyed patrolling the west side of the town with his men, and quickly got to know all thirty-six of them, not least because Corporal Bates kept him so well informed. And although he tried to keep them on perpetual alert following Fisher’s warning, as the weeks passed without incident, he began to wonder if they’d ever come face to face with the enemy.
They only had to wait for a few moments before the door opened again and Greta appeared, looking a little flushed. She walked calmly out of the front door without bothering to check if anyone had seen her. ‘Second attempt,’ said Giles, who moved swiftly back down the corridor, opened the cloakroom door and disappeared inside just as another officer came out of the dining room.
Don’t turn right, don’t turn right, Terry begged silently. The officer turned left and headed for the lavatory. Terry prayed for the longest pee in history. He began counting the seconds, but then the cloakroom door opened and out stepped the commandant in all but name. Get back inside, Terry waved frantically. Giles ducked back into the cloakroom and pulled the door closed. The Sins of the Father PDF Book Download
When the adjutant reappeared, Terry feared he would go to the cloakroom to collect his cap and coat, and find Giles dressed as the commandant, in which case the game would be up before it had even begun. Terry followed each step, fearing the worst, but the adjutant stopped at the dining room door, opened it and disappeared inside.
Once the door had closed, Terry bolted down the corridor and opened the cloakroom door to find Giles dressed in a greatcoat, scarf, gloves and peaked cap and carrying a baton, beads of sweat on his forehead. ‘Let’s get out of here before one of us has a heart attack,’ said Terry. Terry and Giles left the building even more quickly than Müller or Greta had.
‘Relax,’ said Giles once they were outside. ‘Don’t forget we’re the only two people who are sober.’ He tucked the scarf around his neck so that it covered his chin, pulled down his cap, gripped the baton firmly and stooped slightly, as he was a couple of inches taller than the commandant. As soon as the driver heard Giles approaching, he leapt out of the car and opened the back door for him. The Sins of the Father PDF Book Free
Giles had rehearsed a sentence he’d heard the colonel say to his driver many times, and as he fell into the back seat, he pulled his cap even further down and slurred, ‘Take me home, Hans.’ At last the Germans had done something worthwhile. A U-boat commander had single-handedly solved his biggest problem.
Hugo began to believe it might even be possible that, given time, he could return to Bristol and resume his place as deputy chairman of the Barrington Shipping Line. He would begin to work on his mother with regular phone calls to Barrington Hall, but only after his father had left for work each day. That night he went out to celebrate, and arrived home as drunk as a lord.
When Hugo first migrated to London following his daughter’s aborted wedding, he rented a basement flat in Cadogan Gardens for a pound a week. The only good thing about the three-roomed accommodation was the address, which created the impression that he was a man of means. Although he still had a few bob in the bank, it soon dwindled, while he had time on his hands and no regular source of income. The Sins of the Father PDF Book Free
It wasn’t long before he had to let go of the Bugatti, which kept him solvent for a few more weeks, but only until the first cheque bounced. He couldn’t turn to his father for help, because he’d cut him off, and frankly Sir Walter would have given Maisie Clifton a helping hand before he’d lift a finger to assist his son. After a fruitless few months in London, Hugo tried to find a job.
But it wasn’t easy; if any potential employer knew his father, he never even got an interview, and when he did, his new boss expected him to work hours he hadn’t realized existed, and for a wage that wouldn’t have covered his bar bill at the club. Hugo began to dabble what little he had left on the stock exchange.
He listened to too many old school chums telling him about deals that couldn’t fail, and even got involved in one or two more shady enterprises that brought him into contact with what the press described as spivs, and his father would have considered crooks. The Sins of the Father PDF Book Free