The Road to Port Haven (Chapter 7­, page 1 of 12)

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Kara awakened to the sticky, unclean feeling of having slept in her clothes, and to the smell of fresh coffee, frying ham and cheroot smoke. To her surprise she found everyone in the glass room sitting down to breakfast, with an additional guest who was in conversation with Roman. The guest was a thickset, strong-looking middle-aged man with grey hair and moustache. On the table before Roman lay a pair of sketched portraits. Kara glanced at the nearest as she sat beside him. The man had a thick neck, thin hair nearing baldness and thick eyebrows connected in the middle, a tapered forehead and thick jawline that gave his head the appearance of a bullet. Kara had never seen the man before in her life. She was about to look away but her eyes strayed to the other portrait- then locked on it as though it were a strong magnet.

The pressure of Roman's hand on hers brought her back into the moment. 'You recognise this man?'

For a moment Kara felt as though she couldn't breath. 'Yes, I know him. That man is my eldest brother.' She forced herself to take a breath. 'Tell me, please . . . why do you have his picture?'

Roman's guest spoke. 'Señorita Savalas, I am Ramon Rodriguez, harbourmaster of Port Haven. These drawings were made by a woman who makes her living by sketching turistas as they get off the boats and tries selling their own portraits to them. Many of the portraits, such as these, remain unsold, and are discarded. We asked the artist to look through the trash and discovered these two portraits of the men we are seeking- the would-be assassin, the one you have just told us is your eldest brother, and this one, his accomplice.

'I must tell you, Señorita, that the chances of your brother being taken alive are not good. He has evaded capture, threatened the lives of the Castellans and their household, and is now, along with his accomplice, considered a dangerous fugitive. If he is seen armed, he will be shot on sight. If he tries to run, he will be shot. His only hope to avoid death or almost certain execution is to surrender to the Port Haven Authority, of which I am in charge, as soon as possible.

'That said, what are your thoughts on the matter? If the man is your brother, as you say, you should have something to say on the subject. Perhaps begin by telling me why he should want to kill you.'

Kara shook her head, faintly. 'I have no idea why he would want to kill me. We hardly know each other. I was just a child of six when he left for the Americas. Since then, to the best of my knowledge he has been in New York working for my father.'

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