They had lunch at an open-air caf'e place, and of course it had to be paella. She had read about this in some coloured supplement as being one of the glories of the Spanish cuisine, but Enderby considered that never in his life had he been served with anything so insolent. It was warm sticky rice pudding embedded with strips of latex and small gritty seashells. Before it they had cold tomato soup full of garlic. She giggled and said: "It's a good thing we're both having garlic." Enderby choked on that, but later he choked harder on both a seashell and her saying: "Oh, look, there's a little man selling newspapers. Do let's have a Spanish newspaper. I've got my little dictionary with me." He choked so frightfully at the vendor that the vendor went off.
"Has something gone the wrong way? Have a drink of your nice wine." It was not nice wine: it tasted of ink and alum and eels and catarrh. "Oh, I did so want a newspaper."
"Lies," snarled Enderby. "Spanish bloody lies. All propaganda and censorship. You're not to have one, do you hear?"
"Darling Hoggy. Quite the heavy husband, aren't you? Perhaps there was fault on both sides."
"What do you mean?"
"Oh, her." He sourly tongued wine-lees from his palate. "She's got a lot to answer for. Plagiarism, apart from anything else." As soon as he got to Morocco he would get hold of that book. Some effete expatriate writer would probably have it.
"Oh, never mind." He had gone too far, or nearly had. "I don't want to talk about it."
"Perhaps she didn't like your poem-writing habits." Miss Boland had had too much of this adenoidal wine-substitute. Enderby scowled at her. "No poems tonight, hm?"
"That," said Enderby, with a kind of reproving leer, "I can promise."
"Oh, good heavens, look at the time. There won't be any tonight at all if we don't get back to the hotel. The coach leaves at one-thirty."
Enderby paid the bill, leaving no tip. It had been a horrible meal and it was a horrible place, full of eroded statues and stunted trees. She squeezed his arm, linking him, as he went to the pavement's edge to call at any vehicle that looked like a taxi. One taxi already had Miss Kelly and two uniformed men, pilot and co-pilot probably, in it. Miss Kelly clearly recognised Enderby but did not smile or wave. A damned silly girl. Enderby thought he would mention that business of the wrong room to Miss Boland, but then he decided not. The female temperament was a strange one.
At last a taxi took them to the Hotel Marruecos, where tour-members were already assembling at the entrance, luggage all about them. Miss Boland had to rush to her room to see about hers, not quite finished packing. Enderby saw another newspaper-seller hovering and gave him a five-peseta note to go away. Things would be all right, but for God's sake let things be hurried up. Mr Guthkelch had bought a pair of castanets and was fandangoing clumsily, clumsily clacking them. The man with the condoms in his luggage looked very tired, but his wife was erect, in rude health. Mr Mercer counted and re-counted and stopped counting when Miss Boland appeared, flushed and panting, a porter bearing her bags. And then the coach came and then they were off.
The airport was full of gloomy British travellers from Gibraltar, and they were being punished for that by being made to wait a long time for customs clearance. So, anyway, their courier whined to Mr Mercer, whom he seemed to know as an old pal in the game. And then Mr Mercer's lot marched across the tarmac and Miss Boland, God be praised, was a little sleepy after the wine. There was Miss Kelly waiting to welcome them all aboard again, but she had no welcome for Enderby. Mr Mercer came round with immigration forms, and they took off. It was a lovely golden Spanish afternoon.
Courteously, Enderby gave Miss Boland the window-seat he had had on the first leg of the journey. She slept. Enderby slept. Enderby was awakened. A uniformed man, pilot or co-pilot, was bending over him. He was a thick man, not old, jowled with good living, hangoverishly bloodshot. "Is your name," he said, his rather hairy hand on Enderby's shoulder, "Enderby?"
Enderby could do no more than feebly nod. So, then, radio messages were crackling all over the world's air. Wapenshaw had talked, killing in childish spite his own handiwork.
"I'm the pilot of this aircraft. You'll appreciate I have certain responsibilities." O'Shaughnessy then, but it was not an Irish voice. Enderby said, voicelessly:
"I'll come quietly. But I didn't do it. I just took his gun without thinking."
"Well, perhaps it might be better if you did think a bit, man of your age. She's my responsibility as a member of my crew. I won't have passengers taking advantage."
"Oh, that. You mean that." Enderby's relief was vented in a cough of laughter.
"It may be just a bit of a holiday lark to you, but this is our work. This is what we do for a living. We take our work seriously, but you don't help much with that sort of liberty-taking."
"I took no liberty," Enderby said with heat. "I made a mistake. I went to the wrong room. The room I meant to go to was the room of this lady here." He jerked his eyes and thumb at Miss Boland and saw she was awake.
"Make a habit of going to ladies' rooms, do you? Well, if it was a mistake you took long enough apologising for your mistake. She said something about you spouting poetry about putting the devil in hell and whatnot. Now, I may be only an ignorant pilot, as you'd think me I suppose, but I've read that thing about putting the devil in hell. The Cameron it's called." There were many passengers straining to listen, but the engines were loud. But Captain O'Shaughnessy was becoming loud too.
"The Dee Cameron," said Enderby. "Look, she's been telling you lies."
"We've never had any complaints before about passengers' behaviour. I don't want to be nasty, but it's my duty as pilot of this aircraft to give you fair warning. Any more of this interfering with Miss Kelly and I must ask you to leave the tour. I'm sorry, but there it is."
"It's a tissue of lies," said flushed Enderby. "I demand an apology."
"There it is. I take full responsibility. So no more messing about. Is that clear?"
"I'll give you messing about," cried Enderby. "If I could get off now I would. But I'm getting off at Marrakesh anyway. It's an insult and an injustice, that's what it is." Captain O'Shaughnessy jerked a salute at Miss Boland and went back to his engines. "That's what one's up against all the time," said Enderby to Miss Boland. "It makes me sick."
"All the time," said Miss Boland. "It makes you sick."
"That's right. It was the wrong room, as I said."
"As you said. And now would you kindly sit somewhere else? Otherwise I shall scream. I shall scream and scream and scream. I shall scream and scream and scream and scream and scream."
"Don't do that," said Enderby, very concerned. "Darling," he added.
"How dare you. How dare you." She pressed the little bell-push up above.
"What did you do that for?" asked Enderby.
"If you won't go you must be made to go. I'm defiled just by sitting next to you." Miss Kelly, wisely, did not come to the summons. Mr Mercer came, sad and troubled in his woolly cap. "You," said Miss Boland. "Make this man sit somewhere else. I didn't come on this tour to be insulted."
"Look," said Mr Mercer to Enderby. "I didn't say anything about that other business. It's the captain's responsibility, not mine. But this sort of thing is something that I'm not supposed to let happen. I made a big mistake having you on this, I did that. Now will you be told?"
"If you won't do something," said Miss Boland, "I'll scream."
"Don't worry," said Enderby. "I'll go. I'll go into that lavatory there." He got up and took his bag and beret from the rack. There were toys still in the bag. Enderby gravely dropped them into Miss Boland's lap-tortoise, beakless goose, flamenco doll, cymbal-pawed clockwork brown bear. She at once became thin and evil and ready to throw these things at Enderby, crying:
"He's hateful. No woman is safe with him. Throw him out." Many of the passengers looked on with interest, though not well able to understand, or even hear, what was proceeding. Behind, the condom overweight man and his wife sat stiffly, still not on speaking terms. They refused to be interested in the Miss Boland-Enderby trouble, though it was just in front of them, since showing interest would have drawn them into a common area of attention, which would have been rather like, or indeed might have led to, being on speaking terms again. Enderby stood stony in the corridor, swaying with the plane in a slight air turbulence (the Mountains of the Moon perhaps, or something), waiting for instructions. To the condom man's wife, who was in the outer seat, Mr Mercer said: "I wonder if you'd mind, Mrs er, changing places with this er. It's only for a short while, really. We're not all that far from Marrakesh now."
"Men on holiday. Brings the beast out as you might call it. I know. I have no objection if she there hasn't." And, getting up, she gave Enderby a murderous look which he considered unfair, since he had, after all, been the instrument of disclosure of her husband's beastliness, meaning the truth. As she sat down grunting next to Miss Boland, Enderby saw that she had an English newspaper folded to what looked like a simple crossword puzzle. She had a ballpoint, but she did not seem to have filled anything in yet. He leaned across her bosom to squint at the date and saw that, as far as he could judge, it was yesterday's. That was all right, then. Before that lot happened. And then he saw that it was the Evening Standard and it was not all right. He said to this woman, leaning over more deeply:
"Where did you get that? Give it me, quick. I must have it. Something I've got to see."
"Right," said Mr Mercer. "Go and sit down quietly behind next to this lady's husband. We don't want any more trouble, do we now?"
"Cheek," said the woman. "It was left in the ladies at the airport by one of them Gibraltar people. I've as much right to it as what he has."
"Oh, please go on now," said Mr Mercer in distress. "If you can't hold it you shouldn't take it. A lot of this foreign stuffs stronger than what many are used to."
"She may be drunk," said Enderby, shoulder-jerking towards Miss Boland, "but I'm not, thank you very much. All I want to see is that paper. Something in it. A book review, very important. And then I'll go to that lavatory and sit in there quietly." Seeing Miss Boland gasp in a lot of air to revile him further, he made a grab for the newspaper. The condom man's wife strengthened her hold.
"For God's sake," said Mr Mercer, uncourierlike, "let him see what he wants to see and then let's get him out of the way."
"1 want to find it myself," said Enderby. "I don't need her to show it me."
"And who's her when she's at home?" said the woman. Miss Boland looked cunning and said:
"Let me see. There's something very fishy about all this. Running away from his wife, so he said."
"Really? Told you, did he?"
"Let me see." And Miss Boland, unhandily in the manner of all women with a newspaper, unfolded the Evening Standard, and the safe backwater of small ads and cartoons and crossword gave place, after a rustling tussle, to the horrid starkness of front page news. There it was, then. Enderby gulped it all in like ozone.
"Oh," said the woman, "I never seen that. Oh terrible, that, oh my word."
"Yes," said Miss Boland. "Terrible."
A screaming banner announced the shooting of Yod Crewsy. In hour of triumph. In Premier's presence. Waiter believed assailant. There was a large blurred photograph of Yod Crewsy with stretched gob or cakehole, but whether shot or just singing was not indicated. There was also a still photograph of the Prime Minister looking aghast, probably taken from stock. No picture, thank God, of waiter believed assailant. But Miss Boland was reading avidly on. Enderby had to now or never. He leaned over the condom man's wife and grabbed. The paper did not tear: he got the thing whole. He said:
"Very important review. Book page, book page," rustling tremulously through. "Oh, stupid of me. Wrong day for book page." And then, as though an issue without the book page were an insult to the literate, he crumpled the Evening Standard into a ball.
"That's going too far," said Mr Mercer.
"You mannerless thing," said the woman. "And that poor lad dead, too."
"Not yet," said Enderby unwisely. "Not dead yet."
"Hogg." That was Miss Boland.
"Eh?" Enderby looked at her with bitter admiration. He had been right, then; he had known all along this would happen.
"Hogg. Puerco. That's why you're on the run."
"She's mad," Enderby told Mr Mercer. "I'm going to the lavatory." He began to unball the paper and smooth it out. She had seen the name Hogg; the only thing to do now was to insist that he was not Hogg. There was no point in hiding the fact that Hogg was wanted to assist in a police enquiry. If, that is, one were oneself not Hogg. And one was not, as one's passport clearly showed. Enderby nearly drew out his passport, but that would look too suspiciously eager to prove that he was not Hogg. A lot of people were not Hogg, and they did not have to keep presenting their passports to prove it.
"The police," said Miss Boland. "Send a radio message to the airport. He did it. That's why he's run away."
"I don't have to put up with all this, do I?" said Enderby with a fine show of weariness.
"He said all the time that he hated pop-singers."
"That's not true," said Enderby. "All I said was that you mustn't necessarily regard me as an enemy of pop-culture."
"Jealousy," said Miss Boland. "A bad poet jealous of a good one. And what was that you said just then about a gun? I'm quite sure I didn't dream it." She seemed very calm now, glinting, though breathing heavily.
"I'll give you bad poet," said Enderby, preparing to shout. "If there's any good in that book of his, it's because it's been pinched from me. That bitch. Plagiarism. I hope he dies, because he deserves to die."
"Look," said Mr Mercer, "we don't want any trouble, right? This is supposed to be for pleasure, this cruise is. Will you both stop shouting the odds? If there's anything to be seen to I'll see to it, right?"
"If you don't," said Miss Boland, "I will. I will in any case. He killed him, no doubt about it. He's as good as admitted it."
"Who's a bitch?" said the condom wife, belatedly. "Who was he saying was a bitch? Because if he was meaning me -"
"I'm going to the lavatory," said Enderby. Mr Mercer did not attempt to stop him; indeed, he followed him. The crumpled Evening Standard had somehow reached Miss Kelly. She was spelling all that front page out, reserving her reaction till she had taken everything in. Just by the lavatory door Mr Mercer said:
"What's going on with her down there? Is she potty or what?"
"A matter of sex," Enderby said. "I spurned her advances. I don't think it's decent the way she carries on, and me with my mother dying in Marrakesh."
"Look," said Mr Mercer without sympathy. "You shouldn't rightly be on this plane at all, as you well know, and I'm bloody sorry I let you come on it. It was a bit of a fiddle, and I think I've learned my lesson now about that sort of thing. Now she's going on about you being a dangerous criminal, which sounds to me like a load of balls. You've not been killing anybody, have you?"
"I have enough on my hands," said Enderby gravely, "with a dying mother."
"Right then. I'll get her calmed down and I'll tell her that I'm doing whatever has to be done. The police and that. The customers have got to be satisfied, that's laid down in the rules. Now it won't be long to Marrakesh now, so I'll tell you what I'll do with you. You nip off before everybody else, see, because I'll let you."
"Thanks very much," said Enderby.
"I'll keep them all back till you have time to get away. I don't want her on the job again, howling murder and upsetting the other mugs," said Mr Mercer frankly. "So you'll find three taxis laid on specially for the tour. They take one lot to the Hotel Maroc and then keep coming back for the rest. Well, you get into one and get the driver to drop you wherever it is you want to be dropped and then send him back to the airport, right? How far is it you have to go?"
"Near that place where Winston Churchill used to stay," said Enderby with sudden inspiration.
"Not too far then, that isn't. And then," said Mr Mercer, "that'll be the end as far as you and me and everybody else is concerned. Got that?"
"That suits me well enough," said Enderby.
"You'd better get in there, then. Look, she looks like getting up to start asking for immediate action. Summary execution and that. You thrown out into the bleeding shipstream. You sure you done nothing wrong?"
"Me," said Enderby, "with a dying mother?"
"You don't look the type, anyway. Get in there. If anybody else wants to go I'll have to tell them to let it bake till we get to Marrakesh. I wish," said Mr Mercer with large sincerity, "I'd never bloody well set eyes on you." Enderby bowed his head. "Mysterious fascination for women, eh? Now get yourself locked in there."
It was better in the lavatory, an interim of most delectable peace and quiet. All Enderby could hear was the engines except for a brief phase of shock and howling from Miss Kelly. She was, it seemed, sorry that Yod Crewsy had been shot. Then she appeared to have got over it.