Car 5

147
Mr Daniel Richards

Outward appearance

Small, slim, young black man. Thick-framed glasses. Short, white overcoat, dark suit, blue shirt with white bordered squares, black and yellow tie. Shoulder bag made of tan leather, slumped between feet. He prods chin thoughtfully, reading Conningsby by Benjamin Disraeli.

Inside information

Works for Dun and Old. Should be studying the documents in his bag on qualifying for tax accountancy, but sometimes the soul gravitates to what it truly needs.

What he is doing or thinking

Conningsby 's a bloody awful novel, but its siren call is this: Disraeli was a Jew who decoded Britain enough to rule it. Daniel has not had an easy life. He's small, not physically strong, and comes from a family of robust brothers. They are proud of him now. They used to beat him up. When he was a child, his favourite bible story was Daniel in the Lions' Den.

When Daniel was ten, his calm and funny mother collapsed while the boys were at school. No one told them she was in hospital and their father, not a resilient man, disappeared from grief. The boys were left on their own to cope for a week. Little Daniel emerged as the brightest. He decoded the cookbooks; he found where Mum was; he found the way to the hospital. When both parents finally returned, Daniel was head of the family.

His brothers defended Daniel after that. He found that wit could marshal strength. He is still small, still in the Lion's Den, still learning. Daniel has a vision of Britain, one in which he fits. Rules.


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