Thursday, June 30, 2011

Don Quixote & Sore Feet

My current passport has run out after 10 years and has been cancelled. Flicking through the pages I am trying to remember the experiences and journeys that passport has taken me on and feel a little like Don Quixote going mad reading books of chivalry. New passport, new windmills hopefully.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Rihla (Journey 24): Ikaria (Icaria) Island, Greece: Reefers, Expert Witnesses and Independence

The Aegean

Rihla (The Journey) – was the short title of a 14th Century (1355 CE) book written in Fez by the Islamic legal scholar Ibn Jazayy al-Kalbi of Granada who recorded and then transcribed the dictated travelogue of the Tangerian, Ibn Battuta. The book’s full title was A Gift to Those who Contemplate the Wonders of Cities and the Marvels of Travelling and somehow the title of Ibn Jazayy's book captures the ethos of many of the city and country journeys I have been lucky to take in past years.

This one is about Ikaria Island, Greece.

There are moments in the life of every family when two individual members of that family share a ‘positive’ journey (leaving aside perhaps childbirth) which is exclusive to them from the remainder of the family members and which imprints a ‘good’ memory that perhaps becomes defining to that particular relationship. If there are instances when this happens or re-happens, many years apart, then it is not unusual for those instances to be linked in some way, thereby creating a geographic, temporal, spiritual or philosophical déjà vu reinforcement of that shared experience. So it was for me at least, my youngest daughter Nicole, and the island of Ikaria in the eastern Aegean.

Map insets by Piri Reis, Ottoman cartographer.

About 9 years ago I made arrangements for a family trip to Mykonos and Delos but had also wanted to see Ikaria, a large island to the east of these. The very notion of Ikaria fascinated me. Politically a place with a long history of centrifugal and centripetal exile; a backwater island that had been controlled in turn by Miletan, Persian, Athenian, Byzantine, Genovese, Knights of St. John, and Ottoman interests and which briefly proclaimed an independent Free State on July 18, 1912 until becoming part of Greece. Ikaria a societal island which was noted in medical literature for the longevity of its people, radio-active thermal spas and the rarity of senile dementia in the population, and in general literature for its hospitality, its panegyria festivals, and wild goats (rhaska). It was also the mythological birthplace of Dionysus (on Mt Pramnos), the Greek god of Wine. Just the place I needed to unwind.

Landing in the small airstrip on the north-east of the island we first climbed and then descended to the small port of Armenistis on the northern coast through magical and surprising forests of pine, cedar, fir and holm oak on what must be most tortuous and sometimes precipitous corniche in the whole of Greece.

My daughters, recent survivors from the stress of university exams, groaned at every bend in the road and later that evening at the apparent lack of ‘happening’ on the island. Within a day or so, however, the island’s essence had captured them and we all recuperated in the warm sunshine, lazy days, great home-brewed wine and early nights. I spent many of those beautiful mornings on Ikaria walking to places like the village of Razes in the hills, the ruins of the Temple of Tavropolus Artemida near Nas on the coast before returning to swim, and bask and trying to re-read (yet again!) James Joyce’s Ulysses.

After an idyllic restful week in the Ikarian backwater we left for what is the maelstrom that is Mykonos. Boarding and departing the ferry about 1am on a still, balmy night the lights in Ikaria appeared to go out behind us. At the back of the boat I was left alone, mesmerised by the phosphorous wake that fermented astern when Nicole joined me. Together we watched the most star-filled northern sky I had ever seen and talked, and talked, about nothing and everything, without restraint.

As a father it was a magical ‘mini-journey’ and I remembered it fondly when two years ago a joint authorship academic article written by Nicole and myself on the responsibility and regulation of Expert Witnesses at the International Criminal Court was accepted for publication.

The MV Ikarian Reefer and Sherbro Island, Sierra Leone

A very important development in establishing the responsibilities and duties of expert witnesses in civil law – and which subsequently were adopted in criminal law – was made by a Mr Justice Sir Peter Cresswell in the Ikarian Reefer trial in the UK in 1993. Reefers are refrigerated ships, which plied their trade transporting perishable goods in the main. The Ikarian Reefer had been built and launched at the Euskalduna yard in Bilbao Spain on Aug 9, 1967. 134.3 metres long it was named Plenica from 1968-1972 and with change of ownership Iberian Reefer from 72-79 and ultimately Ikarian Reefer from 1979. It ended it days scuttled and on fire on another island, Sherbro off the Coast of Sierra Leone. The subsequent maritime insurance case and the frustrating delays caused by the examination of conflicting expert witnesses resulted in Justice Cresswell’s elaboration of the duties of an expert witness, duties that run to the core of what guidance is available to expert witnesses in law today. He stated that:

The duties and responsibilities of expert witnesses in civil cases include the following:

1. Expert evidence presented to the Court should be, and should be seen to be, the independent product of the expert uninfluenced as to form or content by the exigencies of litigation.
2. An expert witness should provide independent assistance to the Court by way of objective unbiased opinion in relation to matters within his expertise. An expert witness in the High Court should never assume the role of an advocate. 

3. An expert witness should state the facts or assumption upon which his opinion is based. He should not omit to consider material facts which could detract from his concluded opinion. 

4. An expert witness should make it clear when a particular question or issue falls outside his expertise. 

5. If an expert’s opinion is not properly researched because he considers that insufficient data is available, then this must be stated with an indication that the opinion is no more than a provisional one. In cases where an expert witness who has prepared a report could not assert that the report contained the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth without some qualification, that qualification should be stated in the report.
6. If, after exchange of reports, an expert witness changes his view on a material matter having read the other side’s expert’s report or for any other reason such change of view should be communicated (through legal representatives) to the other side without delay and when appropriate to the Court. 

7. Where expert evidence refers to photographs, plans, calculations, analyses, measurements, survey reports or other similar documents, these must be provided to the opposite party at the same time as the exchange of reports.

History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.’

So said Stephen Dedalus in an argument with the schoolmaster Deasy in Chapter 2 of Ulysses and reading it in Ikaria struck me as being entirely appropriate. Stephen Dedalus who in character was Joyce’s own literary alter ego within the book’s structure and who in Joyce’s choice of his surname intentionally alluded to Daedalus, the master artifacer who designed and built the Labyrinth (aka Joyce’s Dublin) for King Minos in Crete. Daedulus (he the one with the partridge tattoo) subsequently designed and built wings for his son Icarius and himself to escape the labyrinth but Icarius flew to close to the sun and the wax binding the feathers melted and he crashed to his death on the island that now bears his name.

Ikaria has a long history of marginal existence, from which as Stephen Dedalus would have it, it is trying to escape. The Free State established in June 1912 was only to exist until November 4, 1912 when Greek troops occupied it and the signing of a formal treaty of accession in June 1913. The interesting aspect to all of this is that this treaty (I have not been able to track down documentary evidence of the treaty) is apparently due to expire in 2012 and I wonder whether Ikarians, given the financial mess that Greece is in, will declare their independence again of Greece, the EU and IMF/Eurozone shackles.

I am certain there are Expert Witnesses out there willing to testify!


Ikaria - Paradise in Peril By John Chrysochoos, Ph.D

Ikarian Reefer 1993 2 LILR 68, 81-82.

Roger Derham, Nicole Derham. From ad hoc to hybrid – the rules and regulations governing reception of expert evidence at the International Criminal Court.
International Journal Evidence & Proof (2010) 14 E&P 25-66

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Windsong – Breath of Being (Chapter 21 – Sinan Qua Non)


Being The Beginning Sunday, January 23, 2011


1 The Exchange Sunday, January 30, 2011
2 bildende Kraft Saturday, February 5, 2011
3 Gossamer Wings Friday, February 11, 2011
4 Nemesis Saturday, February 19, 2011
5 Odd Shoes Friday, February 25, 2011
6 al-Rûh Friday, March 4, 2011
7 A Love Supreme Thursday, March 10, 2011
8 The Three-Cornered Light Thursday, March 24, 2011
9 Serendipity Tuesday, April 5, 2011
10 The Watchman Friday, April 15, 2011
11 The Upright Way Sunday, April 25, 2011
12 Angels Wednesday, May 4, 2011
13 The Cave of Montesinos Tuesday, May 10, 2011


14 Idols Tuesday, May 10, 2011
15 Nightingale Sunday, May 15, 2011
16 The Perfect Square Sunday, May 22, 2011
17 Haunting Thursday, May 26, 2011
18 The Uncontainable Wednesday, June 1, 2011
19 The Ear of Malchus Monday, June 6, 2011
20 Mauvais Pas Wednesday, June 15, 2011
21 Sinan Qua Non Saturday, June 25, 2011
22 Spirit-Level


23 Witness
24 Alcibiades
25 Ney
26 Birdsong
27 The Vanishing Point
28 The Cat Walks
29 The Approximate Likeness of Being

Becalming Unscientific Postscript

Chapter 21

Sinan Qua Non

“Thou marble hew’st, ere long to part with breath:
And houses rearst, unmindful of thy death.”

Ode 18

‘Don’t fucken’ move!’ Jack Dawson screamed as he moved with surprising speed across the restaurant courtyard. Inspector Gerrit Flatley and Ismâil the bookseller followed close behind him. Cormac McMurragh hesitated. He looked first at the oncoming men and then down at Rio before he dropped his raised hand and rushed through the door that linked through to the main dining area. Jack diverted his angle of approach to try and cut him off.
‘No! Stop Jack,’ Rio suddenly cried out.
Jack pulled up, shook his head and reluctantly walked back towards to where she sat. Gerrit Flatley had got there first. ‘Are you all right, Rio,’ he asked, gently taking her hand as he reached her. Her left cheek had reddened and having doused her napkin in iced water was holding it against her skin. Jack tried to barge through.
‘I’m ok, you two,’ she said, as she stood up. ‘Excuse me, I’m going to the toilet.’
Jack wanted to follow her but Flatley held his elbow. He pulled away and glared at the policeman.
‘Let her be, Jack,’ Flatley said sternly.
‘Yes Mr. Dawson, it is better I think,’ Ismâil agreed, slightly out of breath from the excitement. He lit up yet another cigarette as he added, ‘Anyway you and I have business to attend to. My car is outside. Let us go now and complete the arrangements. We have to, what is it you say, strike while the hand is hot.’
Jack Dawson hesitated and growled back, ‘Iron! Strike while the iron is hot.’
‘Whatever! We should go,’ the bookseller said impatiently as he turned to leave.
Jack looked at Flatley. ‘We’ll all meet up back at the hotel. Say 6.00 pm.’
‘Ok!’ the policeman agreed.
Jack hesitated again, looked in the direction of the toilets, then at the departing Ismâil. ‘Look after her, Gerry,’ he said before he headed for the steps.
‘No worries, Jack! Of course I will.’ Flatley called after him as he sat down.
The policeman’s slightly satisfied smile disappeared as Jack Dawson stopped briefly at the lower rung. ‘Oh, by the way Gerry! Look after the bill will ya. There’s a good cop!’
Jack’s laughter followed him out of sight.

‘Why did you bring me here?’ Rio asked as she hugged close to a wall to allow a battered truck, laden down with western style toilets and watermelons, negotiate the narrow street. They had taken a taxi from the restaurant with the intention of heading straight for the hotel but Flatley had suddenly insisted on being dropped off at the Sirkeci railway station. Standing on the pavement he had asked her what she and Mac had argued about, and what caused him to get so angry. She had declined to elaborate and after a short period of silence between them they then had walked through the maze of streets to the rear of the Yeni Camii and onwards and upwards toward the magnificent presence of the Suleymaniye mosque that dominated the old third hill of Byzantine Constantinople.
Flatley suddenly took Rio’s hand and squeezed it hard. ‘Whenever I come to the old city, I feel I have to walk amongst its streets, like a penitent seeking its blessing, breathing in its aromas, its resonance . . . its message. It has always had that effect on me,’ he said.
‘But where exactly are we Gerrit,’ she asked.
‘Just a little bit further,’ he replied as he strode forward, pulling on her hand.

They entered Mimar Sinan street from its south-western end beside the hamam of the Süleymaniye and kept walking until they reached the small triangular apex at the head of the street where a small domed sebil stood. Behind this screen, at eye level and difficult to see because of the high walls, was a marble sarcophagus with a turbaned tombstone at its head. She watched as Flatley read the inscription on the southern facing wall.
‘Well,’ she demanded.
‘This is the tomb of Sinan the great, if not the greatest architect of all time. As modest in death as he was in life! He designed the Süleymaniye behind us and also most of the crowing architectural achievements of the Ottoman empire, without which it would not have been remembered, except for its brutality.’
Sinan qua non,’ she said. He laughed and hugged her tenderly. She liked the feel of his arms about her.
‘And you Rio, are a sine quo non, an indispensable person, like Süleyman’s Roxelana, a person without whom I can do nothing, and who for the first time in my life dominates much of what I think and what I wish for,’ he whispered into her ear. ‘That is why I brought you here, for the echoes of love built into the walls.’
She withdrew from him, disarmed by the intensity. ‘You’re serious, Gerrit. Aren’t you?’
‘Yes. Very! Sine fraude!’ he replied.
‘Thank you,’ she said quietly and leant forward to kiss him on the cheek. He turned his head slightly and their lips met, tentative at first but then hungrily finding each other waiting and wanting. A passing truck blared its horn at them, the driver glaring disapprovingly. They pulled apart. Rio held him tight.
‘I’m impressed by the way,’ he laughed.
‘By what?’ she asked. 'My technique?'
‘Ha, ha! No. Your Latin. I thought it was only us kids who were schooled – branded even – by the Christian Brothers, who could still quote their Latin.’
‘There is much about me you have yet to learn,’ she said as she buried her head into his shoulder.
‘What do you suggest we do now?’ he asked…and hoped.
‘What else is there?’ she groaned in need.

They walked hand in hand, stopping frequently to steal a kiss in darkened doorways and shadows, until they reached the hotel entrance. They brushed past the burly concierge and disappeared into its oblivion. Further down the street, a shadow hidden in a shadow watched and the screech of circling seagulls masked a cry of pain and joy.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Windsong – Breath of Being (Chapter 20 – Mauvais Pas)


Being The Beginning Sunday, January 23, 2011


1 The Exchange Sunday, January 30, 2011
2 bildende Kraft Saturday, February 5, 2011
3 Gossamer Wings Friday, February 11, 2011
4 Nemesis Saturday, February 19, 2011
5 Odd Shoes Friday, February 25, 2011
6 al-Rûh Friday, March 4, 2011
7 A Love Supreme Thursday, March 10, 2011
8 The Three-Cornered Light Thursday, March 24, 2011
9 Serendipity Tuesday, April 5, 2011
10 The Watchman Friday, April 15, 2011
11 The Upright Way Sunday, April 25, 2011
12 Angels Wednesday, May 4, 2011
13 The Cave of Montesinos Tuesday, May 10, 2011


14 Idols Tuesday, May 10, 2011
15 Nightingale Sunday, May 15, 2011
16 The Perfect Square Sunday, May 22, 2011
17 Haunting Thursday, May 26, 2011
18 The Uncontainable Wednesday, June 1, 2011
19 The Ear of Malchus Monday, June 6, 2011
20 Mauvais Pas Wednesday, June 15, 2011
21 Sinan Qua Non
22 Spirit-Level


23 Witness
24 Alcibiades
25 Ney
26 Birdsong
27 The Vanishing Point
28 The Cat Walks
29 The Approximate Likeness of Being

Becalming Unscientific Postscript

Chapter 20

Mauvais Pas

“Time slows and life extends beyond imagination . . .”

Joe Simpson
One Life

The Adalar ferry to the largest of the four Princes’ Islands had taken about an hour to sail from the Old City and after it docked, Flanagan had quickly crossed the promenade to Büyükada’s old square and joined the short queue for a horse drawn phaeton that would bring him up to the monastery. Most of those queuing were island locals, he noticed, returning from the city laden down with bags of clothes and shoes, happy to be home again.
The phaeton driver, bored with an unproductive day sensed a foreigner’s tip, and was fully intent on taking Flanagan on the full ‘Büyük’ tour of the island’s sights before a sharp exchange meant he had to settle for the shorter and more direct ‘Küçük’ route. After circling the small square they headed west passing the narrow street where the summer residence of the Papal Nuncio to Turkey stood and immediately behind it where the island’s biggest mosque had been built. Flanagan smiled, as he looked at mattresses and bedding being aired on the mansion’s steps and balconies and at the thought of Angelo Guiseppe Roncali, the future Pope John XXIII, being called to prayer five times a day with the newly mandated 1932 Turkish version of the traditional Arabic adhan by his back garden mosque’s muezzin.
The late afternoon air was cool but there was enough weak winter sunshine to make it tolerable and once they had passed the mansion where Trotsky had begun his History of the Russian Revolution, and the other clapperboard Charleston-like mansions that lined the elegant boulevard out of town, Flanagan was pleased to note that the horse had increased its trotting tempo to move at speed through the winding avenues of tall trees that spiralled upwards around the mountain.

It was nearly 4.00 pm when they pulled into the phaeton terminus at the base of the final summit of Yuce Tepe. Flanagan paid off the driver and began the short but steep climb to the Monastery of St George. Initially he climbed quickly but then felt a cloud of tiredness settle on him. The flagstones underfoot were slippery and he had great difficulty keeping his balance. Putting one foot in front of the other became frustratingly difficult and he had to rest on two occasions to stop falling over. This development worried and annoyed him. He was used to his fingers and hands cramping with tiredness but his feet or legs had never been a problem before. After twenty minutes of this effort he was greatly relieved to feel the ground level out.

Flanagan stood in front of the main chapel of the monastery complex and rested there for a few minutes before moving through its open door. He felt uneasy and wondered why there were no priests or penitents to be seen. Surrounding him and the entire complex, he noticed, was a dense quietness, an eerie stillness that contrasted markedly with the spasms in his hands. He retreated from the church apse and walked around its eastern perimeter to make his way to the small tea garden situated beside a restaurant at the very apex of the summit. The restaurant was closed and the garden empty of people. ‘Good,’ he sighed before descending again towards the church entrance.
Flanagan stopped and looked around before he headed towards a small side entrance gate to the monastery complex’s western side. He passed a row of flat tombstones – one with a skull and crossbones carving that stared starkly back at him – before he pushed open the gate and descended a steep set of steps to the first of the smaller chapels built into the side of the hill. He ducked his head as he entered and immediately turned to face an altar of dark wood and icons, the altar of Our Lady of Blachernae. Moving close he stretched up and dropped his hand into the narrow space above the altar frame. For a moment his heart stopped, when he could feel nothing, but then he found what he had come for and pulled the plastic folder towards him until he could get a grip and withdraw it over the frame and down into both his hands. He recognised Alanna’s handwriting on the cover. ‘Thank God,’ he murmured and having tucked the slim folder into his bag began his retreat. Then … a noise. He heard the footsteps first and felt a draft of wind. The hairs on his neck instantly prickled. He turned around slowly holding tightly onto the bag.
‘That saves me, and you, a lot of trouble.’ The voice was chilling, threatening.
‘What do you want? Who are you?’ Flanagan asked, frightened by the cold, dead eyes of the man opposite.
‘Please step outside Dr. Flanagan. This is not to be your sanctuary.’
‘How do you know my name? Who are you?’
‘Either you step out now or I will have you dragged out. Your choice.’ The stranger moved to one side tight up against a wall.
The two men looked at each other for a moment before Flanagan decided to obey and step out into the sunshine. The man follows him.
‘What is it you want?’ he asked again as his eyes adjusted. He looked up and saw that there were two other, younger men standing near the top of the steps. They grinned at him and one spat towards were he stood.
‘My name is Colonel Mehmet Zorlu of Army Intelligence and I want you to hand over the dossier, hidden here by the woman,’ the man with the ice-cold voice rasped.
Flanagan spun round and confronted the officer. ‘What’s happened to Alanna? What have you done with her?’
Colonel Zorlu shrugged, dismissively, before he moved in close to stand beside Flanagan as he leant against the perimeter wall. He then looked out over the nightshade waters of the Mamara that pounded the base of the cliff, far below them. ‘Do you see that island over there, Dr. Flanagan?’ he asked as he pointed to a small island in the distance.
‘Yes.’ Flanagan nodded. His hands shook uncontrollably.
‘That is Yassiada island, where Adnan Menderes was tried in 1961 by the Turkish Military and where he was held before being hanged on Imrali. Menderes found out the hard way that we . . . we, the military are the real power in Turkey and Menderes forgot that. He tried to deny the great legacy of Kemal and pander to the needs of minorities who wanted to see this great country destroyed. It is best that you don’t either.’
Flanagan suddenly thought of the papal mansion again, and the muezzin’s call disturbing the future Pope John XXIII and how Menderes had come to power in 1950 on a popular platform of repealing the ban on the Arabic version of the adhan. And of the name of the Turkish Foreign Minister who was hanged on Imrali with Menderes. ‘But you said your name was Zorlu?’ Flanagan said.
The soldier smiled, his harelip exposed momentarily before it curled upwards again to bury itself under a bushy moustache. ‘You have a good memory Dr. Flanagan. I am impressed. Fatin Rüstü Zorlu was a relation of mine. He trusted . . . was duped by Menderes. That was his mistake and he paid for that gamble with his life. I will not make the same. The dossier please.’
‘But he was posthumously pardoned in 1990.’
‘Guilt or innocence have no meaning for the dead, Irishman. Now stop stalling and hand over the dossier,’ the Turkish officer rasped.
Flanagan looked back up at the younger escorts and wondered whether they had guns. If only he could climb and run along the perimeter wall, he thought. He then realised he would have to choose – again.
‘I know what you are thinking,’ Zorlu said without looking back from the sea. His harelip quivered. ‘This moment, this particular moment in your life, is what is known in mountaineering terms as a mauvais pas, Dr. Flanagan. You have a decision to make. If you take the step, perhaps you will make it, but you also know that one error, one minute error of judgement will mean your long fall into hell, a death of splattering against the rocks down there, perhaps. . .’ He then swivelled and fixed Flanagan with his stare. ‘Or you can pull back, not take the step, not take the risk, knowing that the climb is then over but you live to think about that failure. I have climbed many mountains Dr. Flanagan, and know what I am talking about.’
Flanagan stalled for time. In the soldier’s eyes he saw that whatever he decided he was a dead man walking. Where is she? What had they done to her? ‘Where is Alanna?’ he demanded again.
‘The woman does not matter. She was a traitor to this country by trying to undermine its balance, its very delicate balance.’
‘You mean your power and that of the Generals?’
Zorlu’s eyes narrowed. ‘You have no knowledge of what it is to be a soldier, a warrior, or a leader of men. Power is exercised to instruct the ignorant. That is the secret of our effectiveness.’
The emphasis was blatant and Flanagan’s eyebrows arched. I just wonder, he pondered. ‘Secret. I know who you are now, Colonel. The true secret is with us. You are Muserin,’ Flanagan said aloud.
‘How . . .’ The colonel started to shout but then quickly calmed to a whisper, out of earshot of the men above, ‘How could you possibly know about that?’
Flanagan knew he was clutching at straws. He knew he had to keep the bluff going and keep the officer off-balance. It was his only hope, he realised. ‘I know many things, Colonel Zorlu. I have made sure that if any harm comes to me this information will be passed to a senior politician in the Turkish government. Names, rituals, intentions, the lot! That is my power and –’
‘One moment,’ Zorlu interrupted as he turned away to dial in a number on his cell-phone and, after connecting, speak in a low voice.
Flanagan watched him carefully and watched the skin flush in the man’s neck as he talked. The call terminated and Zorlu turned back to face him again. His eyes are murderous, Flanagan saw. He felt his hands begin to stiffen up and then spasm. The Colonel’s image blurred and then camke back into focus again.
‘My superiors do not give a shit for any secret obligations. But I believe in the legacy, I believe in the responsibility of the ages. Your knowledge has saved you for now Dr. Flanagan, but only if you hand over the dossier.’
‘The dossier . . . now! Or you die where you stand. Those are the orders from my superiors, your superiors.’
Flanagan saw Zorlu look up at the men on the steps behind. He turned. They pulled back their jackets to reveal holstered guns and began to descend towards him. He reached into his bag, withdrew the folder and handed it over.
‘Mauvais pas. You live to climb again Dr. Flanagan,’ Mehmet Zorlu sneered. ‘But not in Turkey! Leave and never return. This is a final warning.’
‘What happened to Alanna? Tell me where she is. Please,’ he pleaded.
‘The Kurd woman is dead, Dr. Flanagan. She was braver than you and took the step.’
‘You bastard . . . you bastard,’ he cried out as he slumped to the ground.
‘Leave Turkey Dr. Flanagan or you will join her. You have 24 hours. After that the Muserin can no longer protect you. Good day.’

Suddenly Jerome Augustus Flanagan was alone again. Above him a swirling wind rattled the gate at the top of the steps against the stone flagstones. Tears flowed down his cheeks, and a sobbing wail welled up that racked his whole being.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Joseph Matthew Derham 1925 - 2011

Goodbye Joe

Joseph Matthew Derham

My father Joe passed away peacefully today; an illness bravely borne and a death prepared for. Below is a poem of his from 1992, which says it all. May he rest in peace.

Death is not a Cul-De-Sac

And we must Die.
Sometimes the thought is death itself,
And all endeavour strickened
By its chill need,
Persistent, without care.

If I could but once think
Without passion.
Take no vain advantage of my thought;
See only that which must be seen,
When gentler realities fail.

Then I might I have Dignity and Peace,
Not Happiness, nor Joy, incipient cares,
But Dignity and Peace,
Uninterrupted, acknowledged, applied.

Too shrewd to beg of Life,
Had I but the Will to Borrow of Death,
No Usurer when all is said,
I might repay His Interest on my Years,
In Retrospect.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Windsong – Breath of Being (Chapter 19 – The Ear of Malchus)


Being The Beginning
Sunday, January 23, 2011


1 The Exchange
Sunday, January 30, 2011
bildende Kraft Saturday, February 5, 2011
3 Gossamer Wings
Friday, February 11, 2011
4 Nemesis
Saturday, February 19, 2011
5 Odd Shoes
Friday, February 25, 2011
al-Rûh Friday, March 4, 2011
7 A Love Supreme
Thursday, March 10, 2011
8 The Three-Cornered Light
Thursday, March 24, 2011
9 Serendipity
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
10 The Watchman
Friday, April 15, 2011
11 The Upright Way
Sunday, April 25, 2011
12 Angels
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
13 The Cave of Montesinos
Tuesday, May 10, 2011


14 Idols Tuesday, May 10, 2011
15 Nightingale Sunday, May 15, 2011
16 The Perfect Square Sunday, May 22, 2011
17 Haunting Thursday, May 26, 2011
18 The Uncontainable Wednesday, June 1, 2011
19 The Ear of Malchus Monday, June 6, 2011
20 Mauvais Pas
21 Sinan Qua Non
22 Spirit-Level


23 Witness
24 Alcibiades
25 Ney
26 Birdsong
27 The Vanishing Point
28 The Cat Walks
29 The Approximate Likeness of Being

Becalming Unscientific Postscript

Chapter 19

The Ear of Malchus

“It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away,
the Paraclete will never come to you . . .”

John 16: 7, Gospel of

Avoiding the main door Flanagan followed Rio through a small side gate and down steps to the restaurant’s garden dining area. There was no wind and as the early afternoon temperature was unseasonably warm tables had been laid out in the open with white linen coverings and single long-stemmed flowers in thin vases. Rio could smell the scent of the table flowers in the air as they approached. Jack Dawson was already seated at one of the tables. He glared up at them. ‘Took your time,’ he growled.
‘You should have joined us, Jack. The church is fantastic,’ Rio placated. ‘Have you ordered?’
‘I’m going to have the house speciality. Half-melons stuffed with mince in a mint sauce. I’ve also chosen some wine.’
Flanagan held out a chair for Rio, directly opposite to where Jack was sitting, with her back to the entrance steps. He looked around the garden. He liked that it was very private enclosed as it was by a high perimeter wall covered by a climbing vine. He pulled out a chair and positioned himself between Rio and Jack. The waiter arrived and gave them menus.
‘What time is this friend of yours coming?’ Jack asked.
Flanagan looked at his watch. ‘12.15. He should be here by now.’
‘Are you ready to order, Sir,’ the grave-faced waiter asked nervously.
‘No. I am waiting for another…’ Flanagan started to explain. ‘Oh. Here he is now!’ The bitter smell of Ismâil’s cigarette had reached him first and Flanagan stood up to greet his friend, ‘Merhaba Ismâil.’
‘Merhaba Jaffa, my friend. A good day for the time of year!’
Flanagan nodded and indicated to Ismâil that he should take the chair opposite him. The waiter held it out. ‘Ismâil. May I present Dr. Rio Dawson and her uncle, Mr. Jack Dawson from Florida.’
Rio looked hard at the bookseller: late 50s, tall, overweight, long grey hair, loose dandruff on the shoulders of an expensive suit, pale skin, beautifully manicured nails, she noted. She held out her hand. Ismâil took her hand, looked at her fingers for a moment, and then turned the palm prone to brush his lips off the tips. ‘Enchanté, Mademoiselle. My friend, Jaffa never told me he had such a beautiful companion,’ he purred.
‘Merci, Monsieur Ismâil. Vous etês tres gallant,’ Rio answered.
The randy old goat, Flanagan thought, smiling. Jack Dawson coughed. The waiter stood somewhat impatiently, holding out the chair.
‘Excuse my manners, Monsieur Dawson, but I was blinded,’ Ismâil added as he reluctantly released Rio’s hand and shook Jack’s proffered greeting. ‘I hear Florida is a beautiful place with a good climate. Good for old bones like mine.’
Flanagan smiled as he saw Jack bristling with the ‘old’ implication and moved quickly to diffuse any difficulties. ‘Sit down you charmer. What is the good news you have for me, Ismâil?’
The bookseller, to the obvious relief of the waiter, finally took his seat. ‘One moment, my friend! Your impatience will kill you. You know I like to satisfy my appetites first and talk later.’ Ismâil removed his dark-tinted sunglasses before he reached out and took Rio’s hand again. She did not recoil. He gently squeezed her long fingers and looked into her eyes as he spoke, ‘Young men do not know how to take their time. Is that not so mademoiselle? All moments like these should be savoured as if time was a whisper. Smelling, touching, tasting, are all blunted by loudness. Young men want to be surrounded by noise and miss the nuance, the passionate nuance, of whispered sensation.’
‘I think Ismâil, if you were allowed, you would have me screaming,’ Rio said before releasing her hand. She brushed the bookseller with the back of her hand on his cheek before dropping it to the table to fiddle with her napkin. Rio suddenly blushed. She hadn’t meant to say it like that, or even touch him, but that was what had happened. She liked beauty in men and the bookseller was no beauty…apart from his hands, she thought. Yet she had sensed a charge between them, the electricity that always drove her on. It’s his eyes, she realised, hoping that her interest had not been noticed.
But the bookseller had noticed and smiled.‘You have cool fingers, mademoiselle.’
‘What do you suggest from the menu, Ismâil? It’s all in Turkish. I’m very hungry,’ Rio said, as she smiled back at him for an instant before quickly inspecting the menu.
He sighed, as he took the menu from her with an exaggerated sigh, ‘My heart is yours, mademoiselle but,’ he laughed loudly. ‘My stomach is the chef’s.’
At that moment the waiter returned with Jack’s order. They all stared at his choice, a mountain of diced meat contained within a half-melon. The aroma of mint suffused the air.
‘I’ll have that also,’ Flanagan said, thinking that the mince would be easy to swallow.
‘I will as well,’ Rio agreed. ‘Because of the scent of mint,’ she added, smiling at Ismâil again.

A little later when they all had been served Ismâil looked again at his dinner companions and tried to take them in. He noted how the two men, his friend Jaffa and the American called Jack, interacted with the woman: she is laughing and gay and is teasing them, playing one off against the other, and resting her hand on his for longer than necessary when she wishes to get him to take sides. Once or twice Ismâil felt her leg beneath the table touch against his and then pull away slowly. On the second occasion he responded with pressure of his own but with a look she told him some other time. Not here, not now, she implied. He nodded. ‘Do you like intrigue, Rio,’ he asked her aloud.
The rogue thinks he has me, she thought, and arched her eyebrows at the smiling bookseller before she responded, ‘What ever do you mean, Ismâil?’
‘Istanbul of course! Here in this garden restaurant, this moment in time with your friends. Do you like the intrigue of it all?’ he persisted.
Jack Dawson did not like the edge to the question and could not prevent himself from asking, ‘What are you getting at Ismâil?’
‘Intrigue! A secret, love affair of a moment before it’s gone.’ Ismâil’s eyes flickered mischievously.
‘Or a plot to steal the moment!’ Rio laughed.
Touché,’ he responded, enjoying the game.
‘Your English is very good, Ismâil,’ Jack butted in.
‘Thank you! In a former life I was an officer in the army. I spent many years on overseas assignment in both England and the United States.’
‘You never told me that, Ismâil,’ Flanagan said, genuinely surprised.
‘You never were interested in my own story, Jaffa. Always somebody else’s.’
Flanagan sat back, admonished by the truth. He then suddenly remembered the warning Ismâil had given him about Alanna and realised it must have come from Ismâil’s army contacts. He tried to put this concern to one side as they finished their meal. What news did the bookseller have for him, for them, he wondered. He waited for Ismâil to pull away the tucked-in napkin from beneath his generous chin before he leant forward. He contrived to keep his voice steady, ‘Come on Ismâil! What is the good news,’ he asked and sipped his wine with false nonchalance.
The bookseller lit up a cigarette and smiled. ‘I have found the Book of the Messenger, Jaffa! Well two books actually.’
What,’ Flanagan spluttered, almost choking on the wine.
‘Where? How?’ Rio asked.
‘Ah my sweet. I am a sleuth. What is it you Americans call it?’ Ismâil said looking first at Rio and then at Jack Dawson. ‘Lateral thinking, that’s it… lateral thinking. Once the letters of Karabatakzade came to light, I thought that perhaps the archery connection might be an avenue to tracking down the Book’s whereabouts.’
‘Another thing you said nothing to me about that,’ Flanagan muttered with suspicion. He was annoyed with himself that he hadn’t considered it.
‘I am sure there are many things you keep from me too, Jaffa. It is the nature of our arrangement. We have usefulness to each other. No more . . . no less,’ Ismâil dismissed.
Flanagan sat back again, deflated.
For the first time that afternoon Jack grinned widely and could resist taking an opportunity to needle Flanagan further. ‘Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool, than open it and have it confirmed.’
‘Shut up, Jack,’ Flanagan rasped, stung by Jack’s opportunism.
‘Take it easy you two,’ Rio intervened before turning to the bookseller. ‘Tell us more, Ismâil. I’m really excited.’
God, she’s pulling his strings with that little-girl-lost voice of hers and fluttering eyes, Flanagan thought.
‘For you anything, mademoiselle.’ Ismâil smiled and then continued, ‘In the 1920s, under Attaturk, all of the old lodges were suppressed . . . the Mevlevi and Beçktasi tekkes and the like, mainly because of their influence on the military which he wanted to reform. I found out that an Archer’s tekke, dislocated from the Ok Meydani to Eyup, still existed until that time and I was fortunate to be able to track down the son of the last pir.’
Pir. What is that?’ Jack Dawson asked.
‘The pir was the leader, sometimes referred to as baba, meaning father of the lodges… or tekke, as they were known,’ Flanagan interjected. ‘Most of the lodges were Sufi in orientation and the pir was responsible for the spiritual or mystical side of the lodge’s activity. The Archer’s lodge would have been similar to that of the Mevlevi whirling dancers with the layers of initiation and discipline, associated in their case, to the preparation and practice of the bows and arrows,’ Flanagan further explained, recovering his composure.
‘Exactly, Jaffa!’ the bookseller concurred. ‘Through my contacts I learned that last pir’s son, was still alive and living in Eyup. I arranged to visit on the pretext of asking him if he knew anything further about Karabatakzade, but secretly hoping to find out if he had any knowledge of the Book and its whereabouts. It was a difficult job finding him. The house was very old and almost derelict but serving as the doorframe, remarkably, were two of the old abidesi distance stones from the Ok Meydani. He greeted me at the door and led me into a well-kept house. He introduced himself, I am Zergerdan Hekim –’
‘Do you hear that? His name was Hekim! There’s the bloody connection with Beatty!’ Flanagan shouted.
The bookseller frowned at the interruption.
‘Please continue, Ismâil,’ Jack said.
‘Where was I, oh yes! I am Zergerdan Hekim, son of Melek Hekim and you are welcome. It is a long time since anyone has spoken to me of the Archer’s lodge. This man was in his 80s, had a wasted left arm, and leg, yet he had a great dignity. He looked at me for a long time before speaking. Karabatak, the cormorant, the silent arrow that once released would disappear in flight and then suddenly appear again, like the memory of the man you are looking for, he whispered to me.’
‘Wow!’ Rio exclaimed, beaming further encouragement.
‘I told him of what we knew about Karabatakzade’s life and how he had been betrayed. One moment, he then said, holding up a hand and calling out a woman’s name. This woman appeared from the back of the house and he whispered in her ear. My daughter, he explained before she returned carrying a small chest. He then opened the chest with great reverence and lifted out an old book, its morocco cover decorated in beautiful gold calligraphy and the embossed engraving of an archer kneeling to Allah. He handed it to me. That is the record of all the famous archers of the lodge up to the last of the Sultans. The history was handed down generation after generation and it was the responsibility of the pirs to record those histories. The pages age with their story but the binding and last few pages are my father’s. Search for the name of your archer. ’
Ismâil stopped speaking, and lit up another cigarette.
‘Heck!’ Jack said.
‘Oh please continue, Ismâil,’ Rio pleaded.
‘I found his name of course!’ he said smugly.
‘And?’ Flanagan could not help pressing.
‘Our friend Karabatakzade was all that he seemed to us across the centuries: brave, skilled and loyal. According to the records, he died the death of a messenger.’
‘What do you mean?’ Jack asked first.
‘Karabatakzade requested that he be killed by use of the chaush or messenger arrow. He wanted to hear its whistle in the air as his death approached.’
‘Oh!’ Rio groaned with an involuntary sigh.
‘Dying from an arrow wound could be slow and painful. The Sultan had his head gardener complete the execution swiftly once the arrow struck home. A significant benevolence in a time when death was often prolonged and its finality no doubt a very welcome pleasure.’
‘A gardener?’ Jack queried.
‘Yes. The head gardener of the Sultan was also the chief-executioner,’ Flanagan explained.
‘Do you believe in execution for serious crimes, Rio?’ Ismâil suddenly asked. He looked at Flanagan and saw that Jaffa understood.
‘Damn right,’ Jack interrupted.
‘Only for the executioners, Ismâil,’ Rio said, having noticed the pain suddenly etched on Flanagan’s face.
‘Go on with the story,’ Flanagan demanded.
‘I closed the book and looked up at the old man. He had tears in his eyes as he spoke. My father Melek Hekim gave me a proud name but I could never be the man he was, he said pointing to his wasted arm. Polio. I couldn’t ever hold or draw a bow. I did not tell him that his father most likely tried to sell the records of the tekke before or very soon after it was closed down. He held him in such obvious reverence it touched my soul to see an old man talk as if he still was a child at his father’s knee but . . .’ Ishmail’s voice suddenly faltered and then failed him. He lit yet another cigarette and stared into the sky.
‘But what?’ Jack pressed.
After a few moments of inhaling and exhaling deeply the bookseller took up the story again. ‘I began to make my excuses to leave but Zergerdan held up his hand. Wait, he said. I have something else to show you. He then lifted from the chest another book. It had leather bindings and there were horse hair tassels attached.
‘Jesus!’ Flanagan gasped.
Ismâil smiled and shrugged his shoulders. A scattering of ash and dandruff flew off in Rio’s direction. ‘I didn’t dare breathe or show any emotion. I thought I would explode. Here was the Book, being handed to me.’
‘What did you do?’ Jack questions.
‘Nothing. Just stared at it. I was afraid to touch it in case, like Jaffa, my hands would betray my anxiety.’
‘What do you mean by that, Ismâil?’ Rio asked, looking at Flanagan.
‘He . . . he means I have a nervous fingering when I get excited about a manuscript,’ Flanagan quickly bluffed while throwing a warning flash of his eyes at Ismâil. ‘What happened then, Ismâil?’

How many secrets can you keep Jaffa, Ismâil thought before continuing, ‘Zergerdan said, I am an old man and will soon join the illustrious in the cemetery behind the house. These books were the most precious possessions of the tekke. All of the initiated archers are long dead and as I have no sons, only the daughter you have met, and so the living memory of the lodge dies with me. I’ve always hoped somebody would come for these before I die. To relieve me of the burden.
‘He gave them to you!’ Flanagan stood up to pace around the table.
‘Be sensible, Jaffa. He was old but not stupid. His daughter is unmarried and has looked after him all her life. He wants her to be taken care of. This was a negotiation. He knew the value of what he was offering.’
‘Like his father!’ Jack said.
‘And,’ Flanagan asked.
‘$80,000 or thereabouts. For both books! A very reasonable price.’
‘What is your cut, Ismâil?’ Flanagan questioned, suspicious again, before retaking his seat.
‘The lodge’s history book. No more no less!’
‘I want nothing to do with the Book of the …Messenger Spirit, Jaffa. See! I’m almost afraid to utter its name. Like our friend Zergerdan said, it is a burden. I have no desire to be a slave to that burden . . . or a victim –’ At that moment Ismâil’s cell-phone shrilled.
‘What do you mean by victim,’ Rio probed.
The bookseller held up a hand in apology as he listened to the phone. ‘Excuse me a moment,’ he said, as he got up and walked towards the far end of the garden where he leant against an olive tree.

‘Shit! Where would I get my hands on that type of money?’ Flanagan groaned aloud when the bookseller was out of earshot.
‘Do you want the Book that bad, Jerome?’ Rio challenged.
‘I . . . no, no I don’t. Not for me. I was thinking of Phyllis,’ Flanagan said truthfully.
‘Are you not going to try and bargain him down, Flanagan?’ Jack asked, genuinely intrigued by Flanagan’s reaction.
‘No, Jack. I’m not sure that it is that important any more.’
‘Well I do,’ Jack Dawson suddenly announced.
‘Why,’ Rio asked concerned.
‘Just business, Babs! This is a good deal and the sell-on value extremely high. Sure we could use it as a ploy to flush out Phyllis’ kidnappers but I would have no intention of handing it over. Think of all those Saudi or fundamentalist Arabs, who would be desperate to get their hands on the Book. In my book, excuse the pun, they can have whatever it is they are afraid of, at a price. Let me at it, darlin’. This is my type of game!’ Jack Dawson got up from the table and walked to where Ismâil was standing. He waited for the bookseller to finish his telephone call, and then linked his arm. Soon they are in animated conversation.

‘I suppose it’s ironic in a way,’ Flanagan mused as he watched the two men haggle, as if deep in the souk.
‘What is?’ Rio questioned.
Flanagan thought for a moment, then asked quietly, ‘Why did you really come to Istanbul, Rio? It was hardly to corner me.’
‘You’re wrong about that, Jerome. I did want to corner you because you had lied to me. I wanted to see your eyes when you explained yourself. And I hoped in a way I could beat you to the Book, to get back at you.’
‘You will win so. Looking at Jack he seems about to close the deal. He likes making your wishes come true, Rio. Doesn’t he?’
‘What do you mean?’ she spat back at him defensively.
‘He is very indulgent of you. Almost deferential! I suspect the only reason Jack came to Istanbul was to get me, to get back at me for hurting you. Did you see the way his nostrils flared and his eyes lit up? This is his opportunity to put one over me. Now the real Jack is coming out. He senses a collectable at a bargain price and is going after it. Way to go Jack!’
‘There is nothing wrong with that.’
‘When I was young all my friends who were the go-getters, the property developers, the stock-market wizards and so on, were very attractive. They were in the game, wanted me to share in it, if I played to their rules, and both they, and the game, were exciting, something to be part of. I bought into it, lock stock and barrel. That is the main reason I left the museum. Now we meet up, infrequently it must be said because what drove us together now drives us apart, and we all seem sad. The more we acquired money, status and power the less we understood why we did so. The more we achieved the more frightening became what we perceived we had not achieved. It was automatic, without pleasure, without excitement. We could buy and sell souls at will not knowing what a soul was or could be.’
‘And you’re reformed I suppose,’ Rio taunted.
Flanagan shook his head slowly. ‘No, in reality I’m not. I never allowed myself a choice in the matter. Too late now, to choose again.’
He ignored the question. ‘What about you, Rio? What is your choice?’
‘You mean you and me?’
‘No. I know that’s not possible although I would like to have tried,’ he replied honestly.

Flanagan wanted to say to her: I’m too neutral for you; I offer nothing for you to get passionate about because I have lost my own passion; I’m not a challenge because I’ve given up. He is unable to tell her about his condition. He does not want her pity . . . like with Mac.

‘No. I was thinking of Mac. I should not have told you what I did. You know he loves you?’
‘Yes,’ Rio said quietly.
‘What are you going to do about it? Shit!’ At that moment Flanagan’s hands were gripped by spasms and the wine glass he held fell to the artificial grass matting on the ground. He stooped to retrieve it, but had difficulty stretching out his fingers.
Rio watched Flanagan bend down with great difficulty from the table. She wanted to ask him there and then but decided against it. Instead she retorted, ‘Nothing Jerome! I have enough of my own problems without taking on Mac’s. He’s fucked up, angry about his life, with his existence and thinks by having me all that will magically disappear. I’m little different from that hooker of his. People like me don’t provide solutions . . . distractions perhaps, never solutions. It’s not just a colour thing but is everything about me. I seek refuge in the shadows but spend my live seeking light. Mac will douse whatever light there is. He can’t help it. It’s his way of being.’
Flanagan heard those last words as he raised his head back to table level, the glass finally in hand. ‘But – Jesus….’

Jerome Flanagan looked up and saw Cormac McMurragh standing behind Rio’s shoulder. Mac looked pale and drawn and his lips quivered as if he was about to cry. At the far end of the garden Flanagan also saw that another man had joined Ismâil and Jack.
‘Mac. How long have you been standing there?’ Flanagan asked in a quiet tone.
Rio spun round. ‘Mac. What are you doing here?’ she flustered.
‘Long enough!’ Mac’s voice was harsh. He moved around to take the seat vacated by Ismâil and looked directly at Rio. ‘Jaffa asked me to come. Said he needed a friend. I thought we could all be friends here. I had this notion it would be a magical time, that you and I could . . . I thought we were friends.’
‘You are my friend.’
‘Fuck off, Rio. I was standing behind you. I heard what you said.’ He started to stand up.
‘Lets talk about this, Mac. Please.’ Rio shook with emotion. ‘I never meant to hurt you. I’m so sorry. Please sit down,’ she pleaded.
Flanagan watched not knowing what to say or do. Mac hesitated for a moment and relented. He sat back down but with his back half-turned to Rio. Flanagan decided to leave them together to try and sort out the misunderstanding. He got up and headed for the far end of the garden where Jack and Ismâil are talking to the newcomer. The man is tall, dark-haired and handsome. As Flanagan approached he heard them speaking in Turkish and decided that he must be one of the bookseller’s contacts.
Jack Dawson suddenly brightened. ‘Flanagan, the very man! Let me introduce you to Detective Inspector Gerry Flatley of the Garda Homicide Division. You two have a lot to talk about.’
Flanagan’s mouth opened.
The policeman turned but did not offer his hand. He switched back effortlessly from Turkish to Dublin-accented English. ‘You have lead us a merry dance Dr. Flanagan. But thanks to Mr. Dawson here you are not in as much trouble as you think.’
‘What do you mean?’ He barely got the words out.
‘Your blood group! I asked you about it in the hotel. It excludes you from the investigation,’ Jack explained.
‘Why are you here so, Inspector?’ Ismâil asked in English.
‘Our main suspect, Ahmed al-Akrash was thought to have travelled to Istanbul with a woman journalist. A couple matching their description were detained off the ferry from Izmir. I was sent to question them but on arrival this morning it seems that the man was not al-Akrash and that the couple were released into the custody of the military who wanted to question them on something to do with the Kurds. They were long gone when I arrived.’
Izmir – a woman journalist! It was too much of a coincidence. A dread flowed through Flanagan’s being. ‘What did you say? Was the journalist called Alanna Savur?’ Flanagan asked hoping against hope.
‘I think so. It sounds familiar. Let me check.’
Flanagan watched as Flatley pulled out the small notebook, that all policemen seem to be born with, and flicked through the pages.
‘Yes. Alanna Savur. Why? Do you know her?’
‘You said the army picked her up this morning.’
‘Excuse me, I must go!’ Flanagan said urgently.
‘Where to?’ Jack and Ismâil asked simultaneously.
‘I cannot say but I will contact you later.’
‘I’ve a good deal of questions for you Dr. Flanagan. I’d prefer if you’d stay,’ Flatley said evenly.
‘I’m sorry, Inspector. I must go.’ Flanagan raced towards the steps. He hoped that they wouldn’t try to stop him. He hesitated at the bottom rung. ‘Here Inspector. Hold on to this!’ he shouted, pulling his passport from his pocket and throwing it back over his shoulder. He did not wait to see Flatley bend down to pick it up nor look back at the noise coming from the other end of the garden.

Jack did. He heard Cormac McMurragh and Rio arguing loudly and turned. He started to walk towards them but then he saw a movement and heard Rio cry out. Her hand went up to cover her right ear. He started to run. Mac had stood up and hovered in front of Rio. His hand was raised and was drawn back ready to strike. Jack Dawson instinctively reached for the gun that wasn’t there. He screamed out Rio’s name. He . . .

Flanagan hailed a taxi and told the driver to take him to the ferry terminus at Yenikapi as quickly as possible.

St. Peter cuts off Malchus' ear in the Garden of Gethsemane (Garden of the Oil Press)