"Who's that? Jessop?"
"Yes. I'm at the house. It's happened."
"You mean Pearman?"
"You were quite right. He's played himself out. He's just taken an overdose. The ambulance is on its way."
"Why didn't you let him die?"
"What's the point? He's nothing. Nothing. Just pathetic. comic. Let them pump him out. Are you listening?"
"Well, we've got quite a salvaging job to do. I want you to handle the press. As soon as the ambulance men remove him, I'm going up to Birmingham. You can report to me there. All they need is the right leader."
The bell on the ambulance, growing louder, stopped outside the house. It was replaced by the urgent ringing of the doorbell. Jessop went to answer it.