“It was her obsession, you know, inherited from her father.”

Abrams puffed on his pipe. “Her father?”

“An Iraqi, and more than that a member of the royal family. A first cousin once removed of King Faisal II if memory serves.”

“I had no idea,” said Abrams. “There’s nothing Mohammedean about Miss Pritchard’s name or looks.”

Heath rubbed his nose. “I knew Frances Pritchard when I was up at Oxbridge floating between colleges. Brilliant lady, but impulsive. She married Ghazi on a whim while he was studying there, but she never converted to Mohammedeanism from what I understand. When Ghazi returned to Baghdad, he did so alone.”

“So why was his daughter here, then?”

“I suppose to try and reconnect. She volunteered as a nurse here, with the garrison, and stayed on with the RAF at Hinaidi, while her father was Minister of Antiquities.”

“And now?”

“And now it seems she’s wandered off, in search of the library her father was convinced lay beneath the swamps of the Shatt Al-Arab.”

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