A Cambridge Mystery
By Daphne Coleridge
Copyright © Daphne Coleridge 2011
A late June day in picturesque Cambridge is always a pleasure, but doubly so when attending a traditional graduation ceremony in the elegant setting of the Senate-House. For Laura Latimer the occasion might have been a poignant reminder of the fact that, by dropping out after her first term of studying the History of Art, she had robbed herself of the opportunity of ever participating as a nervous graduand about to kneel before the Vice-Chancellor’s deputy. However, she was not predisposed to such introspection and was ready to enjoy the day as a spectator for whatever entertainment it might provide. She and her husband, Rupert, were currently accompanying the procession which was making its way from Pelham College, past King’s College and on to the Senate-House. The object of their attention was a rather beautiful raven-haired young woman in a black gown and a hood edged with white fur. Considering that the majority of other women in the procession were similarly dressed in the academic costume of a Bachelor of Arts, she seemed to be attracting a disproportionate amount of interest both from casual passers-by and strategically placed press photographers. Bumping accidently into one of the latter, Rupert grumbled loudly,
“You’d think that they could leave her in peace for one day!”
“No chance of that,” replied Laura. “At least they won’t be allowed in the Senate-House without an invitation.”
“I wouldn’t be surprised if at least one photographer tries to wangle his way in by posing as a proud parent. Poor Tizz, she’s quite right – she will never be able to blend into the background.” Rupert cast his eyes around as if to detect every possible nook and cranny which might conceal a zealous member of the paparazzi, but seemed to suddenly catch sight of something else that galvanized him into instant action. With surprising agility for a man with a long, rangy, rather badly-put-together look about him, he leapt forward and caught hold of the raven-haired woman just as some projectile shot past them at tremendous velocity, slightly grazing Rupert’s arm.