Nor did Mark. He had far too much to think of at the moment. He supervised the editing of the film himself, and just managed to get it done in time for his scheduled broadcast. He had to make a mad dash to get to the studios on time, but as it turned out this was all to the good for it gave to his performance an air of breathless urgency that all those who appreciated the seriousness of what he had to do agreed was totally warranted.
He started by apologising to viewers for inflicting yet another ministerial performance upon them, but the gravity of the situation and the near fatal attempt on the life of their leader and the integrity of the nation made it imperative that he crave their indulgence just once more. Only now, he went on, could it be conclusively revealed that, contrary to what Luke had told the nation, it was not the Leninist who was responsible for the attack. Nor had things happened as his dear friend and colleague Mathew had hinted, though at the time he spoke things were not quite clear so that he could not really be blamed for his error. No, it was not the President’s brother Dick who had made the attack, on behalf of MASH and MADAM as had been suggested. Indeed it was more than likely that MASH and MADAM were not involved at all, except insofar as they had been made tools of by the unscrupulous blackguard Luke, who had only masqueraded as a Muslim, when he was not one in spirit but only as it were in the flesh.
That it was Luke who was responsible should indeed have been clear to all those who had seen the President’s last words to him. At this point Mark’s image faded from the screen, and there appeared once more the scene of Tom’s valediction at the door of the breakfast room. Those moving words, ‘Et tu, Brute,’ Mark pointed out as he appeared once more, could only have been addressed to Luke. It was a regrettable fact that the President, albeit he was an Executive one, had taken Luke previously to his heart; and those words could only have been addressed to someone who had plunged a knife or a bomb into the bosom to which he had been clasped. Continue reading