"In the Name of God, the merciful Father, we commit the body of Ian Summers and entrust his soul into Your hands," the Anglican priest droned before making the sign of the cross and tossing three hand-fulls of earth fall onto the coffin,. "You gave Ian life, and tragically he was taken from us. We commit him to You so that Heaven may receive him in Your peace and give him, through Jesus Christ our Lord, eternal life."

Archy shifted uncomfortably under his umbrella. He had long ago fallen away from the Church of England; and didn't see much need for it, really. Beside him standing beneath an umbrella just outside of the canvas pavilion that sheltered the family from the pouring rain was his nephew, Johnny Quid. At the front of the grave site was Ian's wife, Cloe and his mother, and brother. All of them looking pale and numb in the misted haze of inclement weather. Across the flower covered casket and standing under her own umbrella was a slender, strawberry blonde woman dressed in black with a black silk scarf artfully draped about her head and shoulders. She stood alone, her eyes sad and red. Archie recognized her face. She was the woman whom Ian Summers had been managing these past few years. She had changed a little since he last saw her, which was just before he'd been sent inside for four years.

After the eulogy was delivered the final throng of attendees throwing dirt and flowers onto the casket, the mourners moved slowly toward waiting cars and limousines that would take them to the wake at Ian and Cloe's flat in London. Archie moved with purpose following behind the young woman. Resisting the urge to touch her arm he called out gently, "Caroline," he said, "Caroline Rochefort?"

She stopped and turned to look at him. Recognising Archie's face she gave a small smile. There was that loveliness he remembered before he went to Pentonville Prison to serve his term. "Monsieur Cole," she said, "I thought I recognised you."

Archy swallowed and struggled to find the next words to say. Damn situations like this in the most difficult of times. In spite of his reputation on the streets, in front of a beautiful woman he could on occasion become rather muddle-headed. "Well, it's good that you remember," he said slipping his arm around her and hugging her gently. When he pulled away he noticed she was trembling, "You aliright?"

"Yes, of course," Caroline nodded resuming their trek through the grave stones and toward the parked cars. "I do think I'm going to go back to my hotel," she said, " Cloe and Ian's family are nice enough, but it was my car after all that he blew up in. I think they must be asking the same things that I'm asking."

"What's that?" Archy asked.

"Why did it happen, and of course," she sighed, "why did it have to be him and not me?"

"Don't say that," Archy soothed, placing a reassuring hand on her sleeve. "Johnny says that they're still investigating. So let them investigate."

Caroline only nodded and looked away, blinking back more tears. Poor kid, he thought, she looked as if she had cried the entire flight over to London.

"You know, I don't think you should be alone, Caroline," Archy said. "Why don't you stay with John and I? The house is certainly big enough."

"I'd rather not impose," she said as she approached the Bentley limousine that was waiting for her.

"Not at all. And really, it'd be more an imposition on you than on us," he said. "It's been more than four years since we've had a chat. Come on. Gives us a chance to catch up without the paparazzi gossipin', eh? Besides, we got better Scotch than your hotel does," Archy quipped.

The last remark made Caroline crack a smile. "Alright," she said.

Perhaps, Archy thought, there would be something positive coming out of this day after all.
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